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News Article | April 5, 2016
Site: www.treehugger.com

Urban planning design is hard. Difficult choices have to be made by different parties with different interests; by citizens who know nothing about planning or urban design and just like things the way they are. Then there are developers who know nothing about planning other than it takes money and they have it. Then there are the planners and nobody knows what they think because they take their orders from the politicians who take money from one side and votes from the other. No wonder our cities are such a mess. Now, from the people who brought you Cards Against Urbanity, come the City Design Method Cards, a mix of cards, mobile app and web features that “brings all aspects of city design together in one resource designed for everyone.” The Kickstarter campaign is off to a slow start, perhaps because the name certainly isn’t as grabby as Cards against Urbanity was, and because Kickstarter site doesn’t really explain how the cards actually work. It is full of phrases like “curating & distributing the very best methods & practices for cities, towns & neighborhoods;” Many people run when they see “curating” used that way. There is enough leveraging, crafting and interlinking going on to scare the uninitiated, mixing startup business jargon with planning jargon, the worst of all possible worlds. However when you watch the video it all becomes clear and persuasive. Lisa Nisenson explains: Millions of people step up to the city design table each week. People from civic associations, the public works department, the mayor, PTAs, engineering firms, architects, homeowners' associations, chambers of commerce. And they all have one thing in common, there is no one good resource that captures every aspect of city design in one place. And what’s even worse, None of those resources we have are engaging or visual or organized, and they don't meet people where they are on the learning curve. Until now, with City Design Method Cards. The 250 cards describe aspects of urban planning, design, and governance. The app has all the cards, updates and links to more information. It seems odd, in this day of computers and instant access to information from all kinds of sources, to rely on old fashioned cards. On the other hand, one can have too much information, too many choices. Lisa notes that “maybe PowerPoint and pdfs weren't getting the job done”. Perhaps simplifying, getting down to basic principles and definitions, dare I say curating, is a good approach to speeding up the planning and urban design process. See more at the Kickstarter site and be sure to watch the video, it explains it so much better than the copy.


Polic D.,Urban planning | Stupar A.,University of Belgrade
Spatium | Year: 2015

The beginning of the 21st century was marked by significant socio-economic changes in Serbia, which influenced urban environment and development strategies. Novi Sad, the capital of the Serbian province of Vojvodina, also followed this pattern, adjusting to the new social and spatial dynamic. The shift from a socialist to a neo-liberal model of planning was visible in different spheres - the system of stakeholders was altered, public funds were substituted with small private investors, while existing regulations were either overlooked or interpreted in a questionable manner. Simultaneously, the newly established real estate market mostly focused on the areas around the traditional urban core which underwent a process of quasi-regeneration. Used only as an opportunity for new speculative development, it did not have any respect for either tangible or intangible heritage. However, a decline in real estate development (since 2009) has created a setting for a different planning approach to include consideration of problems of heritage areas. Considering the socio-economic background of recent urban transformations in Novi Sad's inner-city neighbourhoods, this article analyses the context of the problem, provides recommendations for improvements in the approach to planning, and introduces guidelines and rules for site-sensitive urban and architectural design.


Molinaroli E.,University of Venice | Sarretta A.,CNR Marine Science Institute | Ferrarin C.,CNR Marine Science Institute | Ferrarin C.,CNR Institute for Coastal Marine Environment | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Earth System Science | Year: 2014

Integrated classification maps were produced by combining sediment grain-size and hydrological data (water renewal time, WRT) from two Mediterranean lagoons, Lesina (LL) and Varano (LV), Italy. The geophysical characteristics of the two basins, derived from detailed bathymetric charts, are quite distinct: ~30% of LL (mean depth ~1 m) but only 3% of LV (mean depth ~3 m) is shallower than 1 m. The sediments of both lagoons are mainly composed of mud (~80%). A detailed multivariate analysis of grainsize data by Entropy Max classified the lagoon beds of LL and LV into five sedimentary facies. WRT data, computed by a hydrodynamic model, indicated different hydrological conditions in the two lagoons: LL showed a sharp west-east gradient, with a basin-wide average of ~190 days, whilst LV showed a fairly uniform distribution and a higher basin-wide average (~260 days). The distribution of sedimentary facies and water renewal times were combined in a composite map representing the distribution of environmental patterns. The approach outlined in this study can be used to improve zonation schemes by providing a hydromorphological perspective on transitional and coastal environments. © Indian Academy of Sciences.


Yu X.,Urban Planning | Li Q.,Harbin Institute of Technology | Liu X.,Harbin Institute of Technology
International Conference on Internet Technology and Applications, ITAP 2010 - Proceedings | Year: 2010

In the background of rapid development of our society and economy, and the increasingly strengthen of urban construction power, it is a common focused topic of contemporary urban planner that how to insure the efficiency of the guidance of urban plan and urban design. The concept of comprehensive urban design is raised in this paper. The aim of this concept is to achieve a sound management system, to guide the rational direction for managers, to compensate the shortcomings of experience insufficiency of city managers, constructors and planning makers through an effective management to the content and time sequence of implement and key control point of local urban design. Not only the method and content of comprehensive urban design, but also the necessity of it in the market economy is discussed. ©2010 IEEE.


UNESCO and partners convene international experts to advance vital new approach to solve interconnected problems; More well-funded, multi-disciplinary education, studies and research essential to meet humanity's growing needs, global goals The "business as usual" approach to scientific problem-solving -- characterized too often by narrow, disconnected, uni-dimensional research -- simply isn't up to the vital task of addressing the world's increasingly complex, inter-connected problems. That's the quandary inspiring a high-level international experts meeting in Malaysia Dec. 19-21 to be conducted under the auspices of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The meeting's mandate: Recommend how to stimulate worldwide the large-perspective, trans-disciplinary scientific approach needed to slow and reverse increasingly complex threats to human well-being on track to worsen in the near future. For example, energy, water and food security are recognized as a highly-interrelated trio of fundamental issues confronting policy-makers, who must weigh and balance choices related to one part of the nexus against impacts on the other two. Urban planning, infrastructure design and climate science is another combination of natural, industrial and social sciences that need to be bridged and dots connected, informed by a wealth of relevant indigenous and local knowledge. The combination of human health and livestock production sciences is among a myriad of other examples. UNESCO's two-year "Sustainability Science Approach" project aims to foster more collaborative, multi-disciplinary research and education worldwide. It was initiated in October 2015 by two UNESCO sectors - Natural Sciences, and Social and Human Sciences - together with the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (Japan/MEXT), which hosted the first symposium last April. This second symposium in Kuala Lumpur (program), hosted by the Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT), the Office of the Science Advisor to the Prime Minister, and UNESCO, will air regional experiences and help formulate concrete new international "Sustainability Science Policy Guidelines," being readied for UNESCO member states' consideration at the third and final symposium, in Paris next fall. "Sustainability Science is essential to achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals. It is problem- and solution-oriented - an innovative form of "use-inspired basic research. And interest in this approach is growing within the policy-making community." Tan Sri Zakri Abdul Hamid, Science Advisor to the Prime Minister of Malaysia and Co-Chair of MIGHT "Sustainability science is needed now more than ever, with humanity facing unprecedented challenges that require researchers and policymakers to work together to develop integrated, transformative solutions. This symposium will play an important role in charting the future path for sustainability science and advancing such solutions, including efforts to achieve the global goals." Kazuhiko Takeuchi, Senior Visiting Professor, United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS) "With the adoption of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development, governments are posing many questions: What kind of knowledge is needed to inform the 2030 Development Agenda? How can natural and social sciences engage in a dialogue with each other as well as with relevant indigenous and local knowledge? Can the knowledge of other stakeholders than the academic community be mobilized to address societal challenges related to sustainability? What are the institutional measures that may be required to pursue inter- and trans-disciplinary research and education? Through expert work in the area of sustainability science facilitated by UNESCO and generously funded by Japan, we are starting to have the right answers to such important questions, and the meeting in Kuala Lumpur is a fundamental step to this end." Salvatore Arico, Chief of Section, Capacity Building in Science and Engineering, Natural Sciences Sector, UNESCO Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology The Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT) is a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee under the purview of the Prime Minister of Malaysia. MIGHT is an organization built on the strength of public-private partnership with more than 100 members, both local and international, from industry, government and academia. MIGHT is dedicated to providing a platform for industry-government consensus building in the drive to advance high technology competency in Malaysia.


Katoshevski-Cavari R.,Urban Planning | Arentze T.,TU Eindhoven | Timmermans H.,TU Eindhoven
Sustainability | Year: 2010

The relationship between various planning-ideas and sustainability is described, using a dedicated multi-agent model and demonstrated by a case study. The analysis supports planning based on preferences and behavior of a target population. Two objectives are addressed: (1) Examine the effect of different planning ideas-scenarios on the development of the built-environment and, in particular, how different planning scenarios can contribute to a sustainable built environment, and (2) Demonstrate the relevancy of the multi-agent model as a tool for planning and evaluating planning alternatives. Four planning scenarios are included and three performance indicators measuring aspects of sustainability (accessibility, mobility, and viability) are employed in the analysis. © 2010 by the authors.


Vrbaski B.,Urban Planning | Krnjetin S.,University of Novi Sad
WIT Transactions on Ecology and the Environment | Year: 2010

The preparation of Strategic Environmental Assessment, as an important step in the chain of hierarchical solving of environmental problems, represents a very important factor in shaping our surroundings. The increasing pollution of all environmental elements emphasizes the need to react at all levels, in particular by strategic planning when built up environments are formed. The aim of this paper is to analyze our experience in application of the Law on Strategic Environmental Impact Assessment. We have paid special attention to its drawbacks, observed in preparation of a strategic environmental impact assessment. Strategic environmental assessments have mostly been prepared in a "bureaucratic" way without employing adequate methods and foremost without the corresponding input data, which would be processed by means of adequate methods. For the purpose of relevant document preparation as efficiently as possible, 13 typical examples have been analyzed and a series of principles, criteria and solutions for observed problems is defined on the basis thereof. © 2010 WIT Press.


News Article | September 28, 2016
Site: www.nature.com

By 2030, 1.1 billion more people will live on Earth — bringing the total to about 8.5 billion. Most of them will arrive in dense Asian and African cities, exacerbating pollution and resource shortages1. Urban expansion alters a city's 'big seven': natural vegetation; agricultural land; clean water; jobs; housing; transport; and communities. Rapidly growing cities such as Kano, Niamey, Sikasso and Bobo-Dioulasso in sub-Saharan West Africa, for example, are already converting woodlands into irrigated farmland to feed their rising populations2. Urban planning can slow such degradation, and even improve matters. But protecting natural and agricultural land, water bodies and biodiversity are rarely top priorities for municipal governments. Planners focus on creating jobs, housing, transport and economic growth. A new approach to planning cities is called for: one that is both global and regional. It must consider which areas are best placed to support higher populations without greatly increasing the already heavy ecological footprint on our finite Earth. Globally, planners should prioritize development in the most suitable (or 'least bad') areas. That rules out regions that are populous, resource-poor or hotspots for native biodiversity. It points to places that have the warm and moist climates amenable to growing crops, such as grassy and forested lands in temperate and tropical regions. We see promise in large areas in the Americas, central Africa and Asia as well as pockets of Oceania. Second, metropolitan regions need to manage where they absorb new arrivals. Currently people often concentrate in cities or areas of urban sprawl (see Nature 467, 900–901; 2010). Instead, compact settlements along the urban fringe and in surrounding satellite cities and towns should be encouraged. This provides space for sustainable communities and limits the loss of valuable land. Managed satellite-city growth can be seen around Barcelona, Spain, and compact communities have been established around Portland, Oregon, and Canberra, Australia. Such a vision demands worldwide coordination. It will require international and national policies for environmental protection, urban development and human migration. And each city must develop an urban regional plan. A working visit by one of us (R.T.T.F.) to Barcelona in 2002, including a memorable helicopter ride, showed how such planning can work3. Below, the city's chief planner had gathered mayors and leaders from across the region. Their conversation went something like this: “We're wasting land! We're all in this place together. No American sprawl wanted here. Save and improve our tight water supply. Rein in the floods. Stop shrinking our parks and conservation areas. Don't stick band-aids on our transportation system. We need long-term economic strategies. Tourists and grapevines will not like our warming climate.” Such conversations are needed to galvanize support for planning whole urban regions. Like a tsunami, urbanization moves powerfully and swiftly across the land. City limits bulge; satellite cities grow; strip developments and sprawl spread. These last two are the most detrimental to the environment3, 4. The reason why expansion is so damaging harks back to the origins of cities. Most settlements began on good agricultural soil near a body of fresh water and natural vegetation4. Buildings, cultivation, pasture and woodland often evolved in concentric rings. Episodes of urban expansion therefore cover or pollute once-valuable natural resources at ever increasing range. Meanwhile, the exploding urban population is inundated with solid waste, wastewater, heat and pollutants. This pattern applies to cities of all sizes, from small (fewer than 500,000 people) to mega (more than 10 million people). Around the edges of the small and mid-sized US cities of Salt Lake City in Utah, and Denver in Colorado, for instance, good agricultural soil has been covered with houses. Expanses of natural ecosystems have shrunk and become fragmented and degraded. Semi-wild wooded recreation areas lie farther from the city's people. Wells have lowered the water table, dried out streams and wetlands and made wildlife scarcer. Similarly, Seoul has converted a greenbelt into a ring of parks that is separated by highways and new communities. Urban sprawl has taken place around cities across China at unprecedented scale and speed. Climate change makes things worse by increasing the number and severity of heat waves, droughts, floods and days of bad air quality5. Expansion of coastal cities — such as Guangzhou, Mumbai, New Orleans, Osaka and Vancouver — puts more people at risk of flood damage from sea-level rise. The urban poor are among the most vulnerable. Meanwhile, global food production will need to increase enormously. Feeding 1 billion new mouths only 14 years from now without drastic changes to the food system could require a few hundred million new agricultural hectares, an area about the size of Greenland, even India6. To see which areas of the world have physical conditions that could theoretically accommodate an extra billion people sustainably, we overlaid maps of seven variables from The Atlas of Global Conservation7. We ruled out regions with extreme or high water stress; other arid areas; tundra and ice; centres with species unique to a region; and regions with population densities that exceed 100 people per square kilometre, namely much of Europe, the Middle East, India and China and the western United States. That leaves large areas of South America; parts of southern Canada and the northern and eastern United States; south-central Africa; parts of Asia north of the Himalayas and from the Black Sea to north China; and scattered parts of Oceania (see 'Habitable zones'). Some moist tropical areas could support crops such as cacao, coffee, oil palm, rice and maize (corn). But development should be prohibited in biodiversity hotspots such as Borneo, northern Queensland in Australia and parts of the Amazon basin. The fact that these amenable places differ from regions where population growth is most rapid raises the issue of whether migration to more suitable areas will increase, especially as the impacts of climate change hit harder. Most people prefer to stay in their own nation. The costs of migration are high: breaking cultural and social ties, transport and rebuilding of communities and infrastructure. But staying put becomes less feasible as a population becomes more dense and environmental resources more limited. As the flight of refugees from today's Middle Eastern conflicts shows, the migration of tens or hundreds of thousands of people will challenge communities along the travel routes as well as in the source and recipient regions, which are mainly urban. Of course, many more factors affect where people can or want to live, including job availability, quality of government, conflicts and secondary effects of population growth such as air pollution, wastewater, urban heat and loss of natural vegetated land. And there are alternatives to settling more suitable regions. For instance, we could move everyone into compact cities; pump more water from deeper wells and aquifers; build thousands of desalinization facilities; apply agricultural genetics to accelerate food production; or let climate warming turn boreal forest into farmland. But such ideas will be unsuccessful in the long term without widespread land, water and urban planning. Cities are so enmeshed in their surrounding regions that it no longer makes sense for them to be the sole focus of sustainable planning4, 8. Satellite images reveal patchworks of communities, industrial zones, farmland and natural ecosystems threaded by a web of transport links. For people and nature to thrive, the arrangement of land systems and water across the urban region (typically 70–100 kilometres in radius) must be managed holistically3. Urban region plans outline areas where water-supply protection, new compact communities, local food production, industrial centres and so forth are and are not appropriate, rather than pinpointing specific streets, developments and industries. They aim to sustain people and resources within the city and surrounding rings3, 8. Some areas can accommodate more people better than others can. Inner cities and suburbs have too little land. Although city centres can be made more dense, for example by building upwards, they tend to have little green or outdoor space for families and suffer from excess heat, pollution and other environmental problems4. And unplanned growth beyond the city limits can destroy ecologically valuable land. We suggest that growth be concentrated in four places: the outer suburbs; existing low-density sprawl areas just beyond the suburbs; satellite cities; and towns and villages within adjoining farmland. These peripheries are ripe for economic investment in jobs, parks, local public transport, water systems and housing3, 8. Compact communities facilitate neighbourhood ties, whereas scattered housing and roads characterize bad sprawl. Local officials and decision-makers will need policies and incentives to encourage sustainable development in these zones, particularly in rural villages, which tend to empty out as residents move to cities for work. Focusing on the region instead of the city will help to protect natural areas, water supplies, food-growing areas, air quality and natural resources. For example, New York protects land around its reservoirs to prevent water pollution; Sapporo in Japan guards its mountain slopes to provide cooling, erosion control, tourism, recreation and wood; so does Stuttgart in Germany, but for ventilation with clean air. Portland has set a limit for sprawl, and London enforces a greenbelt. Expanses of market gardens adjoin Valencia in Spain, and waste-water food-growing thrives next to Kolkata, India. Chicago has regional clean-air regulations; Edmonton, Canada, sites its industrial areas down-wind. Yet urban region planning is scarce today. For good reasons — the areas are big and involve numerous jurisdictions, sectors and key societal functions. City planning is commonly done by experts in city centres or by architects focused on buildings. Typically the environment is addressed near the end of a planning process, and mainly to meet regulations. The process needs to be reversed. Built structures should be fitted around, not on, valuable natural resources. Global-scale land planning and human migration issues should be linked to international agreements on water stress, clean water and environmental degradation. The source and target areas of human migration should receive particular attention. Such agreements might highlight groundwater quantity and quality in urban regions; riverside or floodplain protection; and development and irrigation in areas needed to protect water supplies for cities. Immigration policies should encourage development and growth in environmentally suitable regions. National governments must put teeth into policies mandating urban region plans. Funding for planning, implementation and measuring progress should be allocated by the different levels of government and beneficiaries. Urban region planning requires a new mix of expertise. Essential are experts in: ecosystem and landscape ecology, water quantity and quality, agricultural soil quality and productivity, economics, transportation infrastructure engineering and community development. International agencies, non-governmental organizations, academics and professionals should step forward with case studies, examples, models and new projects. Major universities should establish multisector urban region planning units to develop models and initiatives. Society must think globally, plan regionally, then act locally.

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