Reimagining Urbanism. Creative, Smart and Green Cities for the Changing Times

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Abstract

We live in a world of cities, where more than half of the population lives and works in urban settlements, whether dense or sprawled, metropolitan or networked, expanding or shrinking. The city plays a major role in the Urban Age as habitat – the U.S. and Europe are close to 80% – not only as development growth machine, driver of communities’ evolution and dynamism, but bearing the responsibility to generate innovative lifestyles, more sustainable smart and creative, and to be the reformer of its own development pattern. The exhibition curated by Richard Burdett in 2007 at the Tate Modern on Global Cities showed us a world where cities produce more than 50% of global GDP, consume 90% of global resources, produce 80% of carbon dioxide emissions, require almost 80% of national energy demand and their buildings consume 40% of global energy (Burdett and Sudjic, 2007). Cities continue to attract population – even more in times of crisis – especially from other cities, but they are also developing new ties with suburban and rural areas. Global capital flows still nourish their competitiveness, redevelopment and quality but require to be properly transformed into local resources (Veltz, 2012). Dynamism had previously been too simplistically identified with the settlement of a creative class, the setting up of main events or with the establishment of magnets for transnational flows (the entrepreneurial city). Yet, further expanding the concept of urban development is necessary today. The real factors enabling urban identity, creativity and innovation to switch from the mere attraction of population and activities – a zero sum interurban competition – to be capable of generating new economies, nurturing a better quality of life and promoting civic virtue thus producing new forms of city need to be identified.Re-imagining urbanism, therefore, does not propose itself as a new totem-word or a mantra, mention of which is enough to deliver results. On the contrary, it requires a rigorous exercise of resolve, responsibility and skills based on a good governance of the city – having to increasingly tackle both shrinking and metropolitanization – based on a new pentagram: vision, strategy, design, rules and community. A different thought and a chain of actions for the changing times, able to re-imagining urbanism, as well as regional and landscape planning too. We shall go back to view the territory as a productive resource and not just a space of consumption, drawing on the energies of the new participatory magma, merging the issues of young people, knowledge workers and economies of sustainability to produce a new territory that we must learn to explore, interpret, settle and design with the ability to deal with new forms of conflicts – social, cultural, ethnic, ecological, functional and, increasingly, economic – generated and erupting in the city.Metamorphosis is the new powerful keyword of the future. We did catch a glimpse of the many signs and indications that pointed at it during the booming globalization years, but we have ignored them anaesthetically. Today, we are rather forced to perform it during the recession years of the crisis and the societies of the future – with their increasingly smart, creative and green cities – need to take action within a state of perturbation that is bound to last for long, profoundly changing us. Their capitals (spatial, relational and human), once reactivated, will have to be driven by an urban planning able to ensure new forms of convergence of cultural, economic, environmental and social sustainability thr
Lingua originaleEnglish
EditoreListlab
Numero di pagine336
ISBN (stampa)9788898774197
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2014

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