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Urban Renewal

Page history last edited by Muriel 14 years ago


Urban Renewal

Urban Renewal -Sound-




1.  Extract of the speech of the mayor of Barcelona during the opening session

There is a new urban paradigm that needs to be face in the upcoming years: the increasing densities the cities have to have to create a sustainable development to stop the urban sprawl. This is not an easy goal: the market pressure to create a city spread all over the territory, with one-single family houses and one car to every inhabitant. This can happen. Barcelona will be therefore, the new model city, with poly-centric nucleus, high densities and a new housing policy; all taken by the hand with a strong politic base.



2.   2. The exploding city and the role of the architect

With the evolution of humanity and technology, the city must change. It has to be the cultural and social space where people reunite to share to each other. Cities need to be well-connected, compact and with mixed uses, creating solutions to the common problems with environmental, economical and social complements.





3.    3. Urban renewal and cultural values. Searching for a synthesis

The urban renewal is pointing towards the recovery of old centers, to give the city a new image through an urban project. This project, as the Ciutat Vella case, must consider the following elements: Recovering urban space; reducing urban traffic; Introduction of new directional activities; Typological restoration and construction of new residential buildings and Experimentation with new types of management.



  1.   History and nature as fundamental values of urban renewal

The main conclusion about this session guides toward the concealing of to urban elements: history and nature. These two themes are the basis of a successful urban project because it enhances the identity of the inhabitants of the city with natural and historical places and buildings.





  1. Historical cities of Asia:  urban conservation or reconstruction

The current expansion of the Asians cities sounds an alarm to all the urban planners: the historical links to buildings and gardens is in danger so, the UNESCO among other institutions are nowadays, fighting to preserve the natural and artistically monuments of each city. This is possible through the construction of well-connected cities with human scale and an efficient policy of public housing. The tourism that attracts people to the preserved historical centers is other reason to protect them, and increase the incomes of a city.


  1. Renewing the city's economic fabric

The renewal plans for the cities must seek the updating of old and obsolete dynamics through the rehabilitation of old structures. The old industrial zones can be modify to adjust them to a new and more open dynamic, preserving the old building and incorporating new activities that responds to the new city role.


7. Urban renewal of the transition to a market economy in contemporary China

The new schemes that are being applied in the growing China are worrying, mainly for its western sprawl model that uses the little fertile soil that the country has for the new cities that are planned to be constructed. This model represents the future of China, and it is not the best model to apply. On the other hand there are some cities that are using the traditional pattern of growth representing the promising future of this country.



  1. The scope and meaning of private urban renewal in the US

As a consequence of the bad planning of the 50´s, the little cities of US are now poorer and smaller. The new approaches of urban planning seek a “democratic and strategic planning, communication between private and public investments and support for non-profit corporations”.



  1.  A territorial view of urban renewal

There are some themes that can be included in urban renewal such as: flows, metropolitanization, conflict and dispersion. The first one of this list, flows and places refers to the freedom gave by the new communicational media and the dispersion that it creates. This dispersion empathize the importance of places, as a concentration center.

The metropolitanization is related to the capacity of a city to grow and expand with an own dynamic that increase the competitiveness of the city. This growth has created a new phenomenon: the governability crisis of big cities that nowadays needs to be put under control through a democratic system that includes the compactness, complexity and integration of urban settlements.


  Emsher Park:  territorial action in urban renewal

This session thought me that the isolated intervention inside the city is not possible, or at least, it does not give a good solution. The important part of a good planning is to create a city with identity which everybody likes and to face the upcoming employment issues and landscaping problems with creativity and a regional vision.




11. Urban renewal in explosive growth processes: Río de Janeiro

This is a lesson about successful strategic planning, the new planning area that aims to solve the problems of the city through punctual interventions. In Rio de Janeiro´s case, the strategic lines followed were the improve of empty spaces, the recovery of the maritime front with promenades and parks, a new road connecting the main cities and the inclusion of the well-known “favelas” to the urban morphology and dynamic.


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