Urban and socio-cultural renewal planning performance

Sustainability is the optimal relationship be tween peopl e, envi ronment , economy and available technology. Heritage and sustainability are strongly linked, as today’s heritage is nothing but yesterday’s sustainability. Nevertheless, through our work with different city councils in Spain, we found that sustainability and heritage have three main problems when it comes to urban planning. The first problem is that they tend to fall under separate areas of policy (disciplines) and are dealt with by different ministerial departments. Heritage and sustainability policies are therefore badly coordinated in their application. This may lead to contradictory solutions. A second general problem in urban planning that influences the relationship between sustainability and heritage is the time between the planning conception and the implementation of the results on the ground. Urban planning consists of long term activities that take a long time to get fully implemented. We can only really see if the original planning ideas were correct once their results have manifested themselves, often years after the original policies and plans were conceived and investments made. If those plans are not effective, we will have wasted many resources that we cannot reverse because it will cost then even much more time and money. We cannot follow a trial and error process. Finally, heritage and sustainability policies need to be filtered according to the specific context of every city. The people, the natural environment and the history of every city are so different, that the policies cannot be directly applied without being adapted to local circumstances. Solutions for similar problems need to be adapted to the specific needs of the cities where they are applied.
Sustainability in heritage protected areas : Book of Proceedings of the 5th AESOP European Urban Summer School Tours, France, from 1st – 8th September 2014
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