The Historical City as the Sustainable Compact City Model_2001
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The Historical City as the Sustainable Compact City Model_2001

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2001 – “The Historical City as the Sustainable Compact City Model” – Comunicação apresentada no 6º Simpósio Internacional da Organização das Cidades Património Mundial “Risk Preparedness and......

2001 – “The Historical City as the Sustainable Compact City Model” – Comunicação apresentada no 6º Simpósio Internacional da Organização das Cidades Património Mundial “Risk Preparedness and Emergency Response in the context of the management of the World Heritage Cities” – Puebla (México), 3 a 7 de Outubro.

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  • 1. 6th International Symposium OWHC - Puebla – Mexico – 3-7 October 2001 The historical city as thesustainable compact city model Joaquim Flores Porto - Portugal
  • 2. The historical city as the sustainable compact city modelObjectives:To present the idea that the so persecuted model of thesustainable city, in one of its major models - thecompact city - already exists:is the historical city, developed over hundreds of years,which form and social relationships where shapedaccording to the principles of human scale, one of themajor factors of sustainability. Joaquim Flores – Puebla – Mexico – 3-7 October 2001
  • 3. The historical city as the sustainable compact city modelIntroduction:The theme of this Symposium leads us to reflect aboutone of the major risks that menace our cities in generaland the World Heritage cities in particular - theunsustainable urban environment.Which is:The lost of the balance between urban and naturalenvironments. Joaquim Flores – Puebla – Mexico – 3-7 October 2001
  • 4. The historical city as the sustainable compact city modelSustainability:This complex concept deals mainly with the delicatebalance between inheritance and legacy.Like in domestic economy we can not spend more thanwe earn.But also like in domestic economy we are spending morethan we can, living on credit, hopping that someone willpay our debts in the future. That is not sustainableanymore. Joaquim Flores – Puebla – Mexico – 3-7 October 2001
  • 5. The historical city as the sustainable compact city modelSustainability:The expression “World Heritage Cities” gives a clearidea of the city as heritage - something that we inheritand want to legate to the future.But inheritance is today a heavier burden, because it isnot anymore just monuments, historic buildings orgardens, sites or even intangible heritage. Today, itconcerns the urban ecosystem with it all as one, with isdelicate balance, lost in the majority of the modern cities. Joaquim Flores – Puebla – Mexico – 3-7 October 2001
  • 6. The historical city as the sustainable compact city modelSustainability:1987- A report of the World Commission on Environment and Development (UN) - «Our Common Future», also known as the «Brundtland Report», gives international recognition to the subject.1990 - The «Green Paper on the Urban Environment», produced by the Expert Group on the Urban Environment of the European Commission, enlarged this thematic to the urban environment. Joaquim Flores – Puebla – Mexico – 3-7 October 2001
  • 7. The historical city as the sustainable compact city modelSustainability:1992 - The Rio Conference really marks the differencewith the production of the «Agenda 21», a document thataims to extend sustainable development to the entireplanet.2000 - «The Sustainable City 2000» conference, gave usa definition of the urban sustainability, which majorconcerns dealt with the problems of city’s environment. Joaquim Flores – Puebla – Mexico – 3-7 October 2001
  • 8. The historical city as the sustainable compact city modelSustainability:Besides all the evolution of the concepts and thedevelopment of some successful case studies, until nowwe have not reached the aimed goal of the sustainablecity. Joaquim Flores – Puebla – Mexico – 3-7 October 2001
  • 9. The historical city as the sustainable compact city modelThe Compact City:Unlike the examples of thepast, that gave us some modelsof the ideal city, this presentmodel of «ideal» is notanymore a concrete and well-designed city, but an abstractand complex concept. Joaquim Flores – Puebla – Mexico – 3-7 October 2001
  • 10. The historical city as the sustainable compact city modelThe Compact City:1973 - The theme of urban environment and theCompact City were first discussed trough the book«Compact city: a plan for a liveable urbanenvironment».1990 - In the «Green Paper on the Urban Environment»the idea of compactness and subsequently the compactcity model were reaffirmed as the main goals of thesustainable city. Joaquim Flores – Puebla – Mexico – 3-7 October 2001
  • 11. The historical city as the sustainable compact city modelThe Compact City:But in truth the debate of the sustainable city is still open,and up till now it was not possible to establish withoutdoubts that the compact city is the right model to achievesustainability neither it was possible to clearly materialisethis model in an urban shape. Joaquim Flores – Puebla – Mexico – 3-7 October 2001
  • 12. The historical city as the sustainable compact city modelThe Compact City:However, the cities of Parisand Barcelona aregenerally accepted asbeing, in certain aspects,the closest urban forms tothe sustainable compactcity model. Joaquim Flores – Puebla – Mexico – 3-7 October 2001
  • 13. The historical city as the sustainable compact city modelThe Compact City:In terms of World HeritageCities we can name thePortuguese city of Évora,as an example of aEuropean Mediterraneancity, that represents aurban form that we canaccept as being close tothe compact city. Joaquim Flores – Puebla – Mexico – 3-7 October 2001
  • 14. The historical city as the sustainable compact city modelThe Compact City:1996 - a book untitled«Compact City: A SustainableUrban Form?», concludes thatthis model was a viable mean toachieve sustainability, but notthe only way. Joaquim Flores – Puebla – Mexico – 3-7 October 2001
  • 15. The historical city as the sustainable compact city modelThe Compact City:2000 - The same authors triedto establish the relationshipbetween the sustainable cityand it’s concrete shape, inanother book - «Achievingsustainable urban form». Joaquim Flores – Puebla – Mexico – 3-7 October 2001
  • 16. The historical city as the sustainable compact city modelThe Compact City:From the conclusion of this last work wecan stress that:the “(...) compact city is most fuel efficient and hasthe lowest carbon dioxide emissions – savingsof up to 43% in fuel are possible (…)”,and that it “(…) may be able to reduce the use ofcars by up to 70% and reduce trips for non-workactivities by 75% (…)”.In the social field it is underlined that the mix ofuses in the compact city promotes the socialequity. Joaquim Flores – Puebla – Mexico – 3-7 October 2001
  • 17. The historical city as the sustainable compact city modelThe Compact City:In summary, we can state that thecompact city is pointed as the model ofthe sustainable city, even if it is not theonly one, it is the most proved model. Joaquim Flores – Puebla – Mexico – 3-7 October 2001
  • 18. The historical city as the sustainable compact city modelThe Compact City:Also in this conclusions, and even moreimportant in the context of the historicalcity, the traditional neighbourhood isstated as having “(...) the potential toreduce carbon dioxide emissions by42%, provide transport energy savingsof 57%, save 26% in energy (bydesigning homes to make the most ofsolar energy), and reduce time anddistances travelled.” Joaquim Flores – Puebla – Mexico – 3-7 October 2001
  • 19. The historical city as the sustainable compact city modelThe Compact City:One of the characteristics of the historical cityand traditional architecture, the adaptability, isalso referred, using the studied examples ofthe cities of Lisbon and Edinburgh, where theperimeter block, “(...) with adequate space,offers the best form for allowing change overtime, but without disrupting the original urbanplan or form.” Joaquim Flores – Puebla – Mexico – 3-7 October 2001
  • 20. The historical city as the sustainable compact city modelThe Historical city as the sustainable model:As we saw, the literature points that:the historical city or, most commonly, thehistorical centre of the city, is a urbanmodel close to the sustainable one. Joaquim Flores – Puebla – Mexico – 3-7 October 2001
  • 21. The historical city as the sustainable compact city modelThe Historical city as the sustainable model:Now we will take into considerationthe advantages of the compact cityover the diffuse city.The comparison between these twotypes of city models was made bySalvador Rueda (2000) in an articleuntitled «City models: basicindicators». Joaquim Flores – Puebla – Mexico – 3-7 October 2001
  • 22. The historical city as the sustainable compact city modelThe Historical city as the sustainable model:Consumption of materials IndicatorThe diffuse city is clearly negative in termsof sustainability.In the compact city model the proximitybetween uses and functions means lessconsumption of materials, smaller builtsurface and less maintenance needed bythe development typology. Joaquim Flores – Puebla – Mexico – 3-7 October 2001
  • 23. The historical city as the sustainable compact city modelThe Historical city as the sustainable model:Consumption of materials IndicatorIn the historic city the consumption ofmaterials indicator is largely positivebecause we are dealing in this case with arecycling process that, apart from theobvious contention in the consumption ofmaterials, saves at the same time amaterial of quality – our common heritage. Joaquim Flores – Puebla – Mexico – 3-7 October 2001
  • 24. The historical city as the sustainable compact city modelThe Historical city as the sustainable model:Consumption of energy IndicatorThis indicator favours the compact citymodel.The same situation applies to the historicalcity. However we must underline that toachieve a sustainable energy demand onthe apartments of the historic city it isnecessary to apply the principles of theecological architecture in the rehabilitationof the houses. Joaquim Flores – Puebla – Mexico – 3-7 October 2001
  • 25. The historical city as the sustainable compact city modelThe Historical city as the sustainable model:Consumption of energy IndicatorExample: the city of Catania (Italy) wherethe rehabilitation project of a historicquarter aimed at integrating renewableenergy uses. Joaquim Flores – Puebla – Mexico – 3-7 October 2001
  • 26. The historical city as the sustainable compact city modelThe Historical city as the sustainable model:Consumption of water IndicatorIs higher in the diffuse city than in thecompact and historic cities, which isdirectly related with the developmenttypologies of the diffuse city – the single-family buildings – that consume water inthe garden, swimming pool, etc. Joaquim Flores – Puebla – Mexico – 3-7 October 2001
  • 27. The historical city as the sustainable compact city modelThe Historical city as the sustainable model:Pressure of impact on support systemIndicatorThe pressure is higher in the diffuse city.The consumption of land is greater than inthe compact city, due to the urban explosionwithout demographic growth.In the compact city these natural systemsare conserved due to the compactness ofthe building fabric. The same applies in theHistoric City. Joaquim Flores – Puebla – Mexico – 3-7 October 2001
  • 28. The historical city as the sustainable compact city modelThe Historical city as the sustainable model:Emission of greenhouse gases andatmospheric pollution IndicatorsAre both higher in the diffuse model due,respectively, to the increasing energyconsumption and models of mobility andenergy use.The lower consume of energy and thegreater accessibility in the compact modelleads to a better performance regarding thepollution aspects. Joaquim Flores – Puebla – Mexico – 3-7 October 2001
  • 29. The historical city as the sustainable compact city modelThe Historical city as the sustainable model:Pressure of impact on support systemEmission of greenhouse gases andatmospheric pollution IndicatorsThe historic city follows the compact cityindicators in respect to the landconsumption, biodiversity, infiltration ofwater and pollution, leading to a minorpressure of impact on the environment. Joaquim Flores – Puebla – Mexico – 3-7 October 2001
  • 30. The historical city as the sustainable compact city modelThe Historical city as the sustainable model:The organization of the urban system isalso in deficit in the diffuse model, if wetake into account several social indicatorsas the urban complexity, proximitybetween information bearers and socialcohesion. Joaquim Flores – Puebla – Mexico – 3-7 October 2001
  • 31. The historical city as the sustainable compact city modelThe Historical city as the sustainable model:urban complexity, proximity betweeninformation bearers and social cohesionThe mix of uses, the greater diversity ofinformation bearers and the mix of peopleand families with different economic andethnic characteristics produces in thecompact city a greater social stabilitybecause it increases the number ofrecurrent regulatory circuits. Joaquim Flores – Puebla – Mexico – 3-7 October 2001
  • 32. The historical city as the sustainable compact city modelThe Historical city as the sustainable model:urban complexity, proximity betweeninformation bearers and social cohesionThe historic city also possesses thesesocial characteristics, reinforced by a socialcohesion established by centuries of urbancomplexity and mix of uses. Joaquim Flores – Puebla – Mexico – 3-7 October 2001
  • 33. The historical city as the sustainable compact city modelThe Historical city as the sustainable model:The urban quality, evaluated by threeindicators – atmospheric pollution, noiseand public space – gives for the first timein our analysis an advantage for the diffusecity, but even so with great possibilities forthe compact city to recover with adequatemeasures as we will see in detail. Joaquim Flores – Puebla – Mexico – 3-7 October 2001
  • 34. The historical city as the sustainable compact city modelThe Historical city as the sustainable model:Atmospheric pollution IndicatorIs higher in the compact model due tomore intense use of the urban fabric thatprovides higher levels of emissions. Alsohigher are the noise levels on this modeldue to the concentration of vehicles. Joaquim Flores – Puebla – Mexico – 3-7 October 2001
  • 35. The historical city as the sustainable compact city modelThe Historical city as the sustainable model:A reduction in the number of vehicles incirculation, integrated in a politic of carrestriction and promotion of publictransportation, may serve to reduce urbannoise and pollution.Example: The Transport Plan of Curitibamunicipality in Brazil. Joaquim Flores – Puebla – Mexico – 3-7 October 2001
  • 36. The historical city as the sustainable compact city modelThe Historical city as the sustainable model:Public Space IndicatorFavours again the compact citymodel. This is because in such citytype the street and square are still themain spaces of contact and public life,promoting complexity and mix of usesthat leads to social cohesion and agreater quality of life.In the historic city this is reinforced bythe quality of the built environment. Joaquim Flores – Puebla – Mexico – 3-7 October 2001
  • 37. The historical city as the sustainable compact city modelThe Historical city as the sustainable model:In summarythe comparison between the several city models showsthat the compact city is still validated by these indicatorsas is by the most recent literature.The historic city follows and some times surpasses thecompact city model becoming in that way amaterialisation of such abstract model.The same literature also points some characteristics ofthe historic city and its re-use as some of the paths ofsustainability. Joaquim Flores – Puebla – Mexico – 3-7 October 2001
  • 38. The historical city as the sustainable compact city modelConclusions:To achieve sustainability we need to recover thebalance in the city between development andconservation, giving priority to the rehabilitation of theexisting structures in the truth spirit of recycling, sodear to the ecological movement. Balance is not just amatter of mathematics but also a real question of thecity survival. Joaquim Flores – Puebla – Mexico – 3-7 October 2001
  • 39. The historical city as the sustainable compact city modelConclusions:Another crucial goal to achieve in this process is therecovery of the human scale. This means that weneed to search for the human element in the urbanplanning process, approaching the technicians to theinhabitants of the city, looking at the same time for thecities in the city, in the formal and social points of view. Joaquim Flores – Puebla – Mexico – 3-7 October 2001
  • 40. The historical city as the sustainable compact city modelConclusions:The third fundamental point is the recycling strategy,because we have to take into account that the historiccity is an existing built heritage that can not be lost, notonly for its intrinsic economic and artistic values, butalso for its memorial value that characterises eachplace and saves it from the dangers of globalisation. Joaquim Flores – Puebla – Mexico – 3-7 October 2001
  • 41. The historical city as the sustainable compact city modelConclusions:These three crucial strategic vectors – balance,human scale and recycling – can be concretised inseveral specific actions: - Approach urban planning with urban management - finding the «cities in the city» through the creation of urban management structures near the population, giving them voice in the planning process and achieving the «human scale». Joaquim Flores – Puebla – Mexico – 3-7 October 2001
  • 42. The historical city as the sustainable compact city modelConclusions:- Control the urban growth, giving priority to the re-useof the existing buildings.- Rehabilitation of major buildings with great heritagevalue to public uses.- Reduce car traffic in towns and promote publictransports, bicycles and pedestrian mobility. Joaquim Flores – Puebla – Mexico – 3-7 October 2001
  • 43. The historical city as the sustainable compact city modelConclusions:- Promote formation in the traditional constructiontechniques for the local inhabitants, with three mainobjectives: - Obviate the lost of the traditional construction techniques. - Promote employment among the inhabitants of the historic city. - Lower the price of building rehabilitation, promoting urban conservation. Joaquim Flores – Puebla – Mexico – 3-7 October 2001
  • 44. The historical city as the sustainable compact city modelConclusions:- Promote the ecological rehabilitation, applying theconcepts of passive solar energy and recyclingmaterials, with the objectives of reducing theconsumption of energy, consequently reducing thelevels of pollution, and minimising the consumption ofconstruction materials. Joaquim Flores – Puebla – Mexico – 3-7 October 2001
  • 45. The historical city as the sustainable compact city modelConclusions:It may seem a paradox but the historic city, amodel from the past, is now the future.This is a fact even for the most up to datetheories and practices of urban planning in theyears to come, because not only the historiccity has a sustainable urban form, but alsopossesses the potential to achievesustainability in its plenitude. Joaquim Flores – Puebla – Mexico – 3-7 October 2001
  • 46. The historical city as the sustainable compact city modelReferences- DANTZIG, George Bernard, SAATY, Thomas Lorie (1973) Compact city: aplan for a liveable urban environment, WH Freeman & Co, San Francisco- EH (English Heritage) (1997) Sustaining the historic environment, EH, London- JENKS, Mike, BURTON, Elizabeth and WILLIAMS, Katie (eds.) (1996),Compact City: A Sustainable Urban Form?, E & FN Spon, London-JENKS, Mike, BURTON, Elizabeth and WILLIAMS, Katie (eds.) (2000),Achieving Sustainable Urban Form, E & FN Spon, London- LARKHAM, Peter J. (1996) Conservation and the City, Routledge, London- RUANO, Miguel (org) (1999) Ecourbanism – sustainable human settlements:60 case studies, Editorial Gustavo Gili, Barcelona- RUEDA, Salvador (2000) City models: basic indicators in Quadernsd’arquitectura i urbanisme, 225, C. A. C., Barcelona, p. 29- RUEDA, Salvador (?) La ciudad compacta y diversa frente a la conurbacióndifusa in http://habitat.aq.upm.es/cs/p2/a009.html Joaquim Flores – Puebla – Mexico – 3-7 October 2001