Re-cyclical Urbanism. Visions, Paradigms and Projects for the Circular Metamorphosis

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The European Commission has clearly stated that more intelligent, sustainable and competitive development requires a paradigm shift in which the territory is construed as a primary resource, considered the holder of “development cells”, which are too often underused or mystified with regard to their real potential for use (EC, Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, 2012). Cities designed and built on land rent — on which Italy set a benchmark — need to be replaced with cities of social and cultural profitability, value creation and jobs production. Cities that recycle already-used land to avoid energy waste, smarter cities — not just technologically, but also wiser and more sentient ones, capable of activating collective intelligence —, and cities that are more dialogic and shared, and therefore more responsible. The European strategy contained in Horizon 2020 clearly states the need to use the potential of “urban mines” (abandoned areas, infrastructure and buildings), adapting new urban policies to the lifecycle approach (Life Cycle Assessment): from the procurement of raw materials (vacant land and abandoned buildings) to the end of the cycle (new uses and functions), using as little energy and resources as possible and, instead, reactivating latent energy.Cities will have to act within a new evolutionary model, the result of innovation produced by the third industrial revolution and by start-ups, the actions of makers, and energy generated by creativity and by the metamorphosis of the circular economy. An urban model that is more responsible and capable of reshaping the objectives of tangible and intangible asset production, of revising energy and mobility protocols, and above all, of rethinking the settlement model: a new holistic way of thinking that elicits reuse, recycling and creative evolution within next-generation capitalism — “Capitalism 4.0”, about which Kaletsky (2010) writes — which generates an economy — the Next Economy proposed and elaborated by Brugmans, van Dinteren and Hater (2016) — created from the integration of renewable energies and circular economy, able to produce new value from the re-cyclical processes of the new urban metabolism. The economic model supporting cities in the circular society must be able to generate local value, rather than an extractive economy that creates dependence on the exogenous strategies of large companies. We need to return to an urban economy that is sustainable in terms of facilitating territorial and human capital, dynamic and propulsive for the labor market, and which offers valid alternatives to the growth of inequality. In short, an urban economy guided by a social agenda. We thus need a new urban dimension that combines business with citizenship and facilitates interaction between education and work, and between housing and public space.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Numero di pagine303
ISBN (stampa)9788899854188
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2017


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