Publication: New mechanisms of intervention in the existing city: requalifying through degrowth. Objective: a resilient city through a circular urban planning
It is becoming widely accepted that the future of urban planning and the place of the satisfaction of our needs in our cities, will be based on urban redeveloping and regeneration, instead of continuing with the unlimited consumption of virgin land. Therefore, the challenge is to qualify and intervene on the existing city, otherwise we run the risk of incurring into greater inefficiencies and resources shortages. Hereby, urban qualification is understood as a model of efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability. Once it is accepted the goal of effective intervention on the city, we must confront the systemic problem which concerns urban planning: the practical impossibility of intervention in the consolidated city, except by injecting public money (that we don’t hace, and will not have) or by programming artificial re-densification. Both procedures cannot be considered as feasible methods. While the city is still growing and consuming large quantities of virgin land, there are no opportunities to generate the added value needed so that the existing city can reinitiate the redeveloping process. Therefore, we must catalyse urban redeveloping by limiting expansion and generating value. Reducing urban growth does not only diminish the ecological footprint, but it generates an increase in value in the already altered land, that facilitates the regeneration of the existing city. Concentration of value through physical net degrowth that generates net value growth. In other words, this approach provides a new mechanism to intervene in the existing city: active and programmed urban degrowth acts as a generator of value and as a redeveloping catalyst. This land use approach is the first step towards resilience and circular urban planning (brand new concept provided in this paper, as the closure of life cycle in land use). As a matter of fact, resilience can never be fully achieved if mechanisms that facilitate urban degrowth are not effectively implemented. Degrowth is itself resilient: In fact, the response of degrowth should be viewed as the most resilient of all. The background is the theory of the circular economy and the philosophy of cradle to cradle: waste should be understood as a food of a new parallel process. Garbage is food, as well as degrowth generates value.
Book of proceedings: Annual AESOP Congress, Spaces of Dialog for Places of Dignity, Lisbon, 11-14th July, 2017
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