The Future of The City-Region (Oxford Univ. 2013)


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The lecture presented at the Institute for Science, Innovation and Society at Oxford University, in June 2013, arguing the case for a 'clean, green, and smart' strategy of technological development, and a 'long and flat' strategy of physical development, for New Zealand's largest metropolitan area, Auckland.

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The Future of The City-Region (Oxford Univ. 2013)

  1. 1. The Future of the City-Region: Clean, Green, Smart, Long and Flat Presentation to the Institute for Science, Innovation and Society Oxford University 20 June 2013 by Dushko Bogunovich Assoc Professor of Urban Design Depts of Architecture and Landscape Architecture Unitec Institute of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand
  2. 2. Unitec – main campus, Mt Albert, Auckland
  3. 3. • “has “Has anyone seen any cities around here?”
  4. 4. city - region
  5. 5. city - region culture - nature • “The term city region has been in use since about 1950 by urbanists, economists and urban planners to mean a metropolitan area and hinterland…”
  6. 6. city-region
  7. 7. • The main proposition: that the ‘sustainable city’ paradigm is tired, and needs to be replaced with a new concept, one that acknowledges the advancing global environmental change (climate change+biodiversity decline), as wel as the ever larger spatial scale of the urban phenomenon >>> >>> therefore: ‘resilient region’ • inside which, in many cases, is a ‘linear city’
  8. 8. Auckland: a city nested in spectacular landscape
  9. 9. Auckland – the city and the suburbs
  10. 10. Representations of cities often facus on the downtown or CBD.
  11. 11. The city as a ‘spectacle of verticality’
  12. 12. In reality, most of Auckland looks like this…..
  13. 13. … and like this.
  14. 14. The Auckland Plan (2011) • The first task the newly amalgamated and elected council and mayor undertake…
  15. 15. Auckland amalgamation in 2010: A city becomes a region
  16. 16. The Auckland Plan ..… by pursuing the policy of urban containment, i.e. by ‘curbing the sprawl’. The “compact city” model was adopted: 70% - 30% split between in-city and out-of-city development (inside/outside RUBs) …..
  17. 17. The main driver of the spatial strategy: containment of urban sprawl Based on the rationale that ‘compact city’ is good because it: • enhances the social nature of the city; • stimulates the exchange of ideas > helps the knowledge economy; • reduces the transport distances > lowers the GHG emissions The implementation of that plan – via ‘intensification’
  18. 18. MULs become RUBs
  19. 19. Two problems with ‘urban boundaries’ and ‘intensification’…
  20. 20. How do you contain a city in the 21st century?
  21. 21. How do you ensure intensification looks good?
  22. 22. 70% - 30% split? (70% inside RUBs, 30% outside RUBs) Unlikely! More likely, the reverse: 30% - 70%
  23. 23. An Alternative Vision (2012) • Accepting of the world-wide trend of simultaneous concentration of population at the national scale AND dispersion of the population at the regional scale…
  24. 24. UK: population concentration in SE England
  25. 25. London: deconcentration of population in all directions
  26. 26. Does comparing UK to NZ make sense?
  27. 27. The Big Banana A combination of global trends and local circumstances is telling us that a different approach is necessary. Decentralisation and low density are driven by powerful forces (culture, technology) and therefore inevitable. It is too hard to contain these trends. And to some degree, they might be even desirable… There is a ‘logic’ in NZ’s northward population drift… climate, landscape, connectivity, eco nomies of scale…
  28. 28. The ‘Banana theory’… (DB, 1995) The ‘Little Banana’ …
  29. 29. The ‘Big Banana’
  30. 30. Auckland – the bigger picture: the city > the region > the super- region…obvious linearity The reason: the origins of the current metropolis are in the conurbation that grew over some 100 years along a single traffic corridor..
  31. 31. The Auckland conurbation: from Manuaku toTakapuna, And beyond…
  32. 32. Drivers and shapers of future growth are strong… as the natural landscape both attracts and resists further urbanisation
  33. 33. The direction of growth is very clear…. …and the overall linearity very pronounced.
  34. 34. It is an expanding metropolis, but not really ‘sprawling’…. Auckland is growing in a linear fashion, in the shape of corridors, rather than ‘carpet sprawl’.
  35. 35. Urban sprawl of this type is extremely unlikely in Auckland !
  36. 36. Also – new, green technologies make it possible to reduce the suburbs’ heavy energy dependence and massive carbon footprint. Instead of being insatiable consumers of resources, the suburbs could become net producers. Self-sufficiency in food, water, sanitation, stormwater management, power, some fuel & fibre is a welcome prospect, but this is possible only when the intensity of development (‘density’) low. Compact city cannot be self-sufficient.
  37. 37. AN ALTERNATIVE TO A SINGLE COMPACT CITY: Polycentric development, with a range of densities, and with excellent connectivity between the nodes. Retaining a reasonable level of mobility, while building up resource self-sufficiency. The peri-urban landscape of Munich
  38. 38. What should determine the extent (boundaries) of development?
  39. 39. Auckland: a city-region shaped by water and terrain
  40. 40. Auckland – City on the water
  41. 41. Water and linear growth: the coastal condition for amenity, and the linearity for efficiency.
  42. 42. A vision for Auckland
  43. 43. Concept & Reality
  44. 44. T • The physical geography (‘landscape’) is one strong driver of the future form… • The other is the continuing evolution of the technology of urban infrastructure (IS)…
  45. 45. • ‘clean’ IS • ‘green’ IS • ‘smart’ IS
  46. 46. • ‘clean’ IS – renewables, green-tech, eco-tech.. • ‘green’ IS – ‘working nature’: ecolog. services • ‘smart’ IS – IT and CT (ICT): efficiencies
  47. 47. Green Infrastructure
  48. 48. Green Infrastructure: Chicago plan
  49. 49. World-leading cities now have green infrastructure plans
  50. 50. Urban farming
  51. 51. Smart Infrastructure
  52. 52. The ‘smart city’ component enabling more intelligent decisions in the daily functioning of individuals, households and businesses
  53. 53. • Small device + big network = huge impact
  54. 54. Decentralisation: an all powerful force; could have a profound effect on the configuration of urban infrastructure...
  55. 55. s ‘academic satellites’ of London
  56. 56. Clean-tech Comes to Oxford
  57. 57. Clean Infrastructure • Energy • Water • Waste
  58. 58. aspiration
  59. 59. reality
  60. 60. Zero Energy House built in Pt Chevalier, Auckland, 2012 NZ’s First ZEH
  61. 61. Pt Chev, July 2012
  62. 62. Urban form: long and flat Urban infrastructure: clean, green and smart
  63. 63. Finally…. • Conclusion • Relevance • Repecussions
  64. 64. Conclusion • Auckland 2040 will be a linear city, with a 100 km long ‘infrastructure spine’ running through its middle. On both sides of the spine, there will be suburbs, with town and suburban centres. The spine itself is like a necklace - a corridor of fast-transit and other high order infrastructure connects a dozen of city-hubs. On the spine’s flanks, both along the sea and the land side, are the suburbs, with various densities. They are endowed with all the local and natural amenities and supported by a mix of green and technical infrastructure, with varying degrees of independence/reticulation.
  65. 65. Relevance • The new urban sustainability paradigm sees horizontality as a strength, not a weakness. It is about a regional approach, smarter use of low density areas, and hybrid infrastructure. In other words, about creating a symbiotic relationship between the city and its region; pursuing polycentric development with multiple densities across the entire region; and an integrated mix of green, blue and grey infrastructure.
  66. 66. Repercussion • Most of the global urban landscape in the 21st century will be suburban and peri-urban. However this is not the parasitic suburbia of the 20th century, completely dependent on urban infrastructure. This is a productive, low-density landscape, consisting of partly autonomous properties, which are supported by a highly decentralized, ‘smart’, ‘clean’ and literally green infrastructure.
  67. 67. end