GREEN URBANISM APPROACHES:     WINGS – ECOLOGICAL CITES, SUSTAINABLE CITIES, SMART GROWTH                Author: Dr. Mirel...
1990s, a decade that rallied more conferences and ecological cities discussions.Additional conferences showing a wider, gl...
―Ecological City is distinguished by the degree to which environmentalconsiderations are incorporated into decision-making...
According to Mark Roseland, a highly recognized authority in the field ofsustainability, planning and ecological cities, t...
ecosystems—ranging from human communities, to technology, economy, and socialorganization—as well as around spatial and re...
structures and ways of life make this approach an intrinsic component of green urbanismapproaches.The 1990 Chicago Symposi...
and propose new ways of preserving and restoring the balance between the natural andthe built environment through planning...
The OECD Report       The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development4 (OECD) wasactive in promoting ecological...
overviews and case studies of innovative policies. The result was a 1996 report5 of theProject Group, entitled The Ecologi...
environmental problems in cities in the past were overcome with economies far          less productive, knowledgeable and ...
new millennium with more clearly defined concepts, continuing the efforts consolidatedin the 1990s.        In recent years...
In conclusion, it can be stated that the ecological city (Figure 0-2) representsmore than just a simple theoretical concep...
Figure 0-2: Ecological Cities: A Shared Vision(source: Rutherford Platt – Ecological Cities Project, 2002)                ...
According to Platt (1994: 11-12) urban sustainability can be viewed in twosenses:          ―The first concerns the protect...
OriginsThe 1987 Brundlandt Report           The idea of promoting sustainable development goes back to the 1987 Report oft...
Principle of transfrontier responsibility. At the broad level, stewardship of global       environment is required. More s...
The 1988 International Congress on Nature, Management and Sustainable Development       One of the immediate responses to ...
   Since the population increases and the over-consumption of the resources is    undermining sustainable developments wo...
regional levels, whilst working in ways which always support the goal of global       sustainable development.‖       Acco...
metropolitan proportion of the US population rose from 65.9 percent to nearly 80 percent(Platt, 1996: 305-306).       Thes...
Evolution of the Smart Growth Concept       Both smart growth and (the previously discussed) sustainable development pursu...
be served and fostered in the process‖ and ―may bring …‘prowgrowth‘ and       ‗antigrowth‘ together with a common agenda o...
development. These include the increasing overall national affluence, continuouspopulation growth, technological change, a...
for new or revised concepts and policies that could deal with these problems in a moreintegrated way.       In the United ...
community and the environment—into a more cohesive theoretical formulation.According to the Smart Growth Network (2002: i)...
1997, the amount of urbanized land used for development increased by 45 percent, fromapproximately 51 million acres in 198...
―Smart growth is development that serves the economy, community and theenvironment. It provides a framework for communitie...
This rapid land consumption and pattern of growth is believed to be due in largepart to consumer demand, but some of it al...
different in each community. In any case, one distinct feature of smart growth appears tobe its emphasis on integration, i...
1. Promote mix land uses – commercial, residential, recreational, educational, and others   – in neighborhoods or places t...
Green Urbanism Approaches In Europe       This section outlines the particular features of the European Green Urbanism,lin...
of resolution. These rapid changes also brought along a change in the way differentnational governments view and support t...
were channeled towards creating new urban concepts, new urban policies, and integrationof cities into their regional and n...
should be understood as the equivalent for the British town and country planning, or,more specifically as the concept that...
of the European Union, marked by its successive enlargements. What follows constitutesa summary of the main spatial planni...
Stage Four occurred in the 1990s, a period marked by two significant events: theGerman reunification in October 1990, and ...
To summarize, the chronological development of the European Union spatialpolicy is a reflection of the changes in its over...
culminated with the disastrous effects of the industrial era on the cities and metropolitanregions of the time, and which,...
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Author Dr. Mirela Newman Wings Of Green Urbanism Ecological Cities, Sustainable Cities, Smart Growth

  1. 1. GREEN URBANISM APPROACHES: WINGS – ECOLOGICAL CITES, SUSTAINABLE CITIES, SMART GROWTH Author: Dr. Mirela Newman, newmanmirela@yahoo.com Ecological City ApproachOrigin, Definition and Tenets The idea of ―ecological city‖ can be traced back to about 1975 when theBerkeley-based Eco-City movement began. The term ―eco-city‖ was popularized byRichard Register and the Berkeley Urban Ecology School, as well as by the Australianmovement led by David Engwicht. Mark Roseland traces its origins back to 1975, inBerkeley, California, with the foundation of a non-profit organization entitled ―UrbanEcology‖, which stated as its main goal to ―rebuild cities in balance with nature‖(Roseland, 1997: 2). According to Roseland, the author of the 1997 book Eco-City Dimensions:Healthy Communities, Healthy Planet, ―urban ecology‖ gained momentum 12 years later,in 1987, with the publication of Richard Register‘s1 Eco-City Berkeley. The bookintroduced the idea of ecological cities and discussed how the city of Berkeley could beecologically rebuilt in the decades to come. The book was accompanied by a new journalentitled ―The Urban Ecologist‖. Three years later, in 1990, the urban ecology approachgained momentum with the ―First International Eco-City Conference‖, organized andheld in Berkeley, California. Momentum from the conference lasted throughout the1 Richard Register was, together with a group of other people, one of the founders of theoriginal Urban Ecology movement. 1
  2. 2. 1990s, a decade that rallied more conferences and ecological cities discussions.Additional conferences showing a wider, global interest in ecological cities were held inAdelaide, Australia in 1992 (―Second International Eco-City Conference‖), and in Yoff,Senegal in 1996 (―Third International Eco-City Conference‖). Conceptually, the ―ecological city‖—often times identified as the ―sustainablecity,‖ ―sustainable community,‖ or even as the ―green city‖—represents an urban conceptthat states the goal or direction for planned urban developments, and promotes the visionof achieving a balanced, sustainable city in harmony with nature. According to MarkRoseland (1997: 12), the ―ecological city‖ represents a sort of a visionary urban ideal thatcan be defined as follows: ―The Eco-city vision links ecological sustainability with social justice and the pursuit of sustainable livelihoods. It is a vision that acknowledges the ecological limits to growth, promotes ecological and cultural diversity and a vibrant community life, and supports a community-based, sustainable economy that is directed toward fulfilling real human needs, rather than just simply expanding. Building eco-cities requires access to decision-making processes to ensure that economic and political institutions promote activities that are ecologically sustainable and socially just.‖ This statement implies that cities need to be planned and built with both ecologyand humans in mind, with the goal of achieving and maintaining a balance betweenecological limits and human needs. Implicitly, for these goals to be achieved, there is theneed for wise decision-making processes, and for that purpose an ecological urbanplanning can and should provide the framework that guides urban developments. Two definitions regarding the essence of the ecological city concept aresummarized in Figure 0-1. 2
  3. 3. ―Ecological City is distinguished by the degree to which environmentalconsiderations are incorporated into decision-making in public and private sectorsalike‖…whose objectives are ―to integrate social, economic and environmental objectivesto achieve sustainable development and to give greater attention to providing a betterquality of life for all urban citizens.‖- OECD: Innovative Policies for Sustainable Urban Development: The Ecological City (1996: 17)―The Eco-city vision links ecological sustainability with social justice and the pursuit ofsustainable livelihoods. It is a vision that acknowledges the ecological limits to growth,promotes ecological and cultural diversity and a vibrant community life, and supports acommunity-based, sustainable economy that is directed toward fulfilling real humanneeds, rather than just simply expanding. Building eco-cities requires access to decision-making processes to ensure that economic and political institutions promote activities thatare ecologically sustainable and socially just.‖- Mark Roseland: Eco-City Dimensions: Healthy Communities, Healthy Planet(1997: 12) Figure 0-1: Definitions of Ecological City 3
  4. 4. According to Mark Roseland, a highly recognized authority in the field ofsustainability, planning and ecological cities, the evolution of the ecological cityapproach has been influenced by several paradigms that developed over the same period.From his perspective presented in the introduction to Eco-City Dimensions, Roseland(1997: 4-12) asserts that in order to understand the dimensions of the ―eco-city‖ concepts,one has to briefly survey the literature including the following concepts and movements: Healthy Communities—a broad conception of public health, developed and adopted by municipal governments in both Europe and North America, and focused on medical care; Appropriate Technology— a concept which states that technology should be designed to fit into and be compatible with its local setting, targeting to enhance people‘s self reliance on local levels; Community Economic Development—a concept subject to much interpretation; Social Ecology—the study of both human and natural ecosystems, focusing on the social relations that affect the relation of society as a whole with nature, which advances a holistic worldview; Green Movement—a political trend which takes different forms in different countries, based on four principles of ecology, social responsibility, grassroots democracy an non-violence; Bioregionalism—a concept centered around the idea of place, territory and bioregion, oriented toward resistance against destruction of natural systems and renewal of natural systems; Native World View—a philosophy which argues that indigenous cultures developed sustainable patterns of resource use and management a long time ago and what they accomplished need to be looked at in much greater detail. The modern world can learn a great deal from the ―ancient wisdom‖ that helped sustain many of these cultures. In synthesis, Roseland‘s widely open array of themes and concepts seems tosuggest that the ecological city approach is much more complex, it goes beyond the greenand ecological components in a city‘s fabric, and evolves around both human and natural 4
  5. 5. ecosystems—ranging from human communities, to technology, economy, and socialorganization—as well as around spatial and regional concepts. The same author (Roseland, 1997: 3) summarizes the ten basic principles of urbanecology and ecological cities as follows:1. Revise land use priorities to create compact, diverse, green, safe, pleasant, and vital mixed-used communities near transit nodes and other transportation facilities;2. Revise transportation priorities to favor foot, bicycle, cart, and transit over autos, and emphasize ―access by proximity‖;3. Restore damaged urban environments, especially creeks, shore lines, ridge lines, and wetlands;4. Create affordable, safe, convenient, and racially and economically mixed housing;5. Nurture social justice and create improved opportunities for women, people of color and the disabled;6. Support local agriculture, urban greening projects, and community gardening;7. Promote recycling, innovative appropriate technology, and resource conservation while reducing pollution, and hazardous wastes;8. Work with businesses to support ecologically sound economic activity while discouraging pollution, waste, and the use and production of hazardous materials;9. Promote voluntary simplicity and discourage excessive consumption of material goods;10. Increase awareness of the local environment and bioregion through activist and educational projects that increase public awareness of ecological sustainability issues. The above stated principles encompass the essential views on what an ecologicalcity should be, and point towards a policy of revision regarding urban developments. Theview derives from the dissatisfaction with the contemporary state of cities, and from therecognition that things can be changed if approached in the light of the eco-city tenets.The emphasis on designing and implementing ecological or green urban concepts, 5
  6. 6. structures and ways of life make this approach an intrinsic component of green urbanismapproaches.The 1990 Chicago Symposium One of the significant steps in consolidating the ecological city approach wasmarked by the 1990 symposium2 on ―Sustainable Cities: Preserving and Restoring UrbanBiodiversity‖, which promoted the ecological preservation and restoration of urbanbiodiversity in American cities. Organized in Chicago by Rutherford Platt (Professor ofGeography at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst) and Paul Heltne, president ofChicago Academy of Sciences. The conference was interdisciplinary in participation andsubject matters, uniting scholarly researchers—from geography, ecology, landscapearchitecture, forestry, wildlife management, environmental education, and law – privateand public managers, and citizen activists, all interested in promoting and applyingecological city concepts. It was devoted to recognition of the function of biodiversitywithin urban areas, the impacts of urbanization upon biodiversity, and the way to designcities compatibly with their ecological contexts (Platt, 1994: 12). The results were published in The Ecological City: Preserving and RestoringUrban Biodiversity (Eds. Platt, Rowntree, and Muick, 1994). The book is a collection oforiginal essays, with an interdisciplinary content, as well as approach, on the issues of theecology of urban communities. Focusing on issues of public policy and public-privatecollaboration, the authors assess the impact of increasing urbanization on biodiversity,2 This symposium benefited of the presence and assistance of a number of Chicago areaorganizations including the Open Lands Project, the Northeastern Illinois PlanningCommission, the Morton Arboretum, the Center for Neighborhood Technology, and theDepartment of Geography at the University of Illinois at Chicago. 6
  7. 7. and propose new ways of preserving and restoring the balance between the natural andthe built environment through planning and design. The symposium, along with the book which came out of it, point to the fact thatthe ecological city approach has developed in an interdisciplinary scholarly context,stemming from a variety of fields, and that, indeed, it is not just a single, sporadicapproach stemming from Berkeley. The ecological city encapsulates the increasingconcerns over the development of American cities in the second part of the twentiethcentury, and echoes the principles of green urbanism. Although focused mostly on theanalyses of biodiversity within urban areas, and the impacts of urbanization uponbiodiversity3, the ecological city approach points to the need for an improved, greener,ecological urbanism, one which takes into consideration organic or ecological principlesand applies them into cities. The 1990s were characterized by the intensification of the ecological cityapproach, which became richer in content and more appealing to urbanistsinternationally. Numerous professional meetings were concerned with how to achieveand implement ecological city concepts and practices, heralding the advent of urbanecological thinking and planning. As a result, the 1990s saw an increased number ofinitiatives—from the small-scale ones, to the departmental and institutional – at local,regional, national and international levels.3 For a good insight on the proceedings and goals of the symposium, please seeRutherford H. Platt‘s Introduction and Overview to The Ecological City: Preserving andRestoring Urban Biodiversity, the University of Massachusetts Press, Amherst, 1994,pages 1-15. 7
  8. 8. The OECD Report The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development4 (OECD) wasactive in promoting ecological city concepts and management in the 1990s. Committed tothe internal OECD policies, each member promotes policies designed to achieve―sustainable economic growth‖ and employment, a rise in the standard of living, a soundeconomic expansion, and the development of world trade—based on a multi-lateral, non-discriminatory basis, in accordance with international obligations. An active agent in a more and more global world, the OECD (1996:3)acknowledged ―the need for a change in urban policies,‖ argued that ―to remain with thestatus quo is to commit our societies to unacceptable costs and risks,‖ and activelyadvocated for the necessity of reform and change in the urban approaches, recognizingthat the change will encounter difficulties ―The process of improving the environment will not be easy. But the adjustments and changes involved should not dissuade governments or the public from making the effort to implement reforms.‖ Not only did the OECD herald the change required at a larger scale, but it alsobecame directly involved with designing and advocating for more sustainable,environmental-friendly urban policies. One of the major OECD contributions was thepublication of the 1990s report Environmental Policies for Cities. The report was basedon the recommendations made by the OECD Group on Urban Affairs, a group thatemphasized the need for integrative strategies for environmental policies. The Project Group on the Ecological City, established by the OECD Group onUrban Affairs in 1993, was in charge with the preparation and analysis of national4 OECD was founded on December 14, 1960 based on a convention signed in Paris. Atpresent, it is a much larger organization and comprises of twenty-seven countries fromfour different continents. 8
  9. 9. overviews and case studies of innovative policies. The result was a 1996 report5 of theProject Group, entitled The Ecological City: Innovative Policies for Sustainable UrbanDevelopment, who proposed that the ―ecological city‖ concept provides a link betweenurban policy and economic policy, adaptability being the major factor in serving urban,environmental and economic objectives. According to OECD (1996: 17) the ―ecologicalcity‖ is viewed as a city which: ―is distinguished by the degree to which environmental considerations are incorporated into decision-making in public and private sectors alike,‖and as a city which ―is simply more effective at finding and implementing solutions to environmental problems,‖and whose objective is ―to integrate social, economic and environmental objectives to achieve sustainable development and to give greater attention to providing a better quality of life for all urban citizens.‖ Since the beginning of the 1990s, OECD brought substantial contributions to theecological city approach. For instance, in 1992 the OECD Group of Urban Affairs,approved a large-scale project on The Ecological City, and designated the Project Groupon the ecological city as the main investigator. Challenged by several issues confrontingits member countries, OECD recognized the severe pressures on the urban environment,accumulated over the years, and started advocating for a new agenda of priorities. Thus,OECD (1996: 15) emphasized that in order to achieve sustainability, better and moreeffective, innovative urban policies had to be implemented: ―Cities in OECD countries are under severe environmental pressures, but face many problems when trying to improve environmental conditions. Major5 This report was published in 1996 under the responsibility of the Secretary-General ofthe OECD. 9
  10. 10. environmental problems in cities in the past were overcome with economies far less productive, knowledgeable and inventive than ours. Yet very often – and ours seems to be such a time – problems accumulate and persist for years before major efforts are made to address them. Urban societies and economies possess unique capacities for problem-solving that have yet to be applied fully to the environmental challenges of today.‖Aware of the favorable conditions for a change in urban policies, the OECD fostereddiscussions on the ecological city concept and policies in its member countries, e.g.: Australian National Ecological Cities Workshop6 1994 Danish National Report for the OECD Project on the Ecological City7 ; French Report on the Ecological City for the OECD Group on Urban Affairs8 ; Norwegian Report on the Ecological City for the OECD Group on Urban Affairs Project9; Swedish Ecological City Report10; National Overview Germany11.Regional Ecological Cities Symposia in New England From the early and timid beginnings—which stem back in the middle of the1970s, to the slow but steady growth of interest manifested in the 1980s, and all the wayinto the prolific and intense events of the 1990s—the ecological city approach evolvedand branched into an array of theoretical concepts and pragmatic projects. It entered the6 Held in Brisbane on November 16-19, 1994. See Foulsham and Munday in TheEcological City. Achieving Reality (1994).7 See Laursen and Eisling (1994).8 See Ministry of the Environment, and Ministry of Public Works (1994).9 See the Norwegian National Overview (1995).10 See National Board of Housing, Building and Planning (1995). Presented at the 3rd session of the Project Group on the Ecological City. See Pahl-11Weber (1995). 10
  11. 11. new millennium with more clearly defined concepts, continuing the efforts consolidatedin the 1990s. In recent years, driven by the impetus to engage in regional self-assessmentthrough locally organized ―Ecological Cities,‖ the northeastern corner of the UnitedStates saw a number of regional ecological city symposia of national significance,focused on issues of eco-city development, e.g.: The 2000 ―Ecological Cities‖ Symposium held in Amherst12; The 2000 ―Boston Ecological Cities13‖ Symposium; and The 2002 ―The Humane Metropolis: People and Nature in the 21st Century‖ Symposium14 which celebrated the work of William H. Whyte15, and addressed a wide range of urban ecological issues including urban livability, open space and public spaces, interaction of urban and ecological systems, ecological restoration, green design, green infrastructure, regreening the old neighborhoods, city parks, urban environmental education, and the green urbanism experience from Europe.12 Organized and funded by Rutherford Platt, Director of the Ecological Cities Project atthe University of Massachusetts, it focused on the emerging interest in ecological citiesapproaches, and underlined the desire to symposia in several metropolitan areas,including Boston, New York, Chicago, Hartford, and the California Bay Area. Thepurpose was to assembly scholars, practitioners and activists from diverse disciplines,researchers involved with urban ecosystem research, and to discuss new approaches topreservation and restoration of natural areas and ecological processes within cities,suburbs and the urban fringes, and to stimulate a national dialogue about urbanecosystems and what can be done within the already existing American cities.13 Held on November 10-11, under the local auspices of the Boston College Law Schooland Watershed Institute.14 Organized by Rutherford Platt in collaboration with the NYU Steinhard School of Education and theWallerstein Collaborative for Urban Environmental Education.15 William H. Whyte (1917-1999) is the author of The Organization Man (1956), TheLast Landscape (1968), and City: Rediscovering the Center (1988). As a prominentanalyst and proponent of shared spaces and open land in and around American cities,Whyte explored the premise that the livability of urban communities relates closely to thebalance of built and unbuilt spaces. He focused on conserving open space on the urbanfringe for farming, outdoor recreation, watershed functions and amenity, as well as on the 11
  12. 12. In conclusion, it can be stated that the ecological city (Figure 0-2) representsmore than just a simple theoretical concept. It is an ecological approach applied to cities,one that requires coherent, integrative, and sustainable strategies. Applying an ecologicaldefinition of sustainability to urban communities might be viewed as an oxymoron(Greenbie, 1990), especially in the light of the traditional views, according to whichurbanization destroys natural phenomena and processes (Platt, 1994: 11). However, it isthe task of ecological cities to promote urban sustainability –meaning that the city shouldbe inherently adaptable, characterized by diversity and variety in both natural and builtenvironments.social use of shared urban spaces – including streets, parks, plazas and ‗privately ownedpublic spaces.‘ 12
  13. 13. Figure 0-2: Ecological Cities: A Shared Vision(source: Rutherford Platt – Ecological Cities Project, 2002) 13
  14. 14. According to Platt (1994: 11-12) urban sustainability can be viewed in twosenses: ―The first concerns the protection and restoration of the remaining biological phenomena and process within the urban community itself – ―the greening of the city,‖ in the phrase of Nicholson Lord (1987). In the second sense, urban sustainability refers to the impact of cities upon the larger terrestrial, aquatic and atmospheric resources of the biosphere from which they draw sustenance and upon which they inflict harmful effects. Sustainability in this sense would involve issues of transportation, energy conservation, air and the water pollution abatement, material and nutrient recycling, and so forth.‖ The ecological city relies on the concept of ecology – which implies that theurban system survives by adapting to change—and requires innovation and creativethinking, which are critical for its design, functionality and evolution. In order to achieveecological cities that have a lower ecological footprint16 there is the need forimplementing the ecosystem approach in urban planning, as well as for a combination ofpolicy instruments, financial, regulatory and strategic tools. Sustainable Cities Approach The ―sustainable city‖ approach may be traced back to about 1980, whenheightened environmental awareness and the renewed interest in cities sparkled thesustainable cities movement.16 A city should require smaller areas to sustain its level of resource consumption and toabsorb the waste produced in it. 14
  15. 15. OriginsThe 1987 Brundlandt Report The idea of promoting sustainable development goes back to the 1987 Report ofthe World Commission on Environment and Development, also known as the BrundlandtCommission17. According to this report (WCED, 1987: 43)18, the concept of ―sustainabledevelopment‖ refers to: ―development which meets the needs for the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs‖Since that time, three main concepts outlined the evolution of this predominantlyEuropean urban approach: ―sustainability,‖ ―sustainable development,‖ and sustainablecities.‖ Along these lines, Graham Haughton and Colin Hunter (1994: 17), stated thatthere are three basic principles that underpin the ―sustainable development‖ concept: ―Principle of inter-generational equity. In considering any human activity, the effects on the ability of future generations to meet their needs and aspirations must be considered. This is sometimes also referred to as the principle of futurity. Principle of social justice. This is concerned with current generations, where poverty is seen as a prime cause of degradation. Sustainability requires that control over distribution of resources be more evenly exercised, taking account of basic needs and common aspirations. Wider participation in environmental strategies and policies is an integral element of achieving this aim, sometimes also known as intra-generational equity.17 The Brundtland Commission was named after its chairman, the Prime Minister ofNorway.18 The World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED) was set up at therequest of the United Nations General Assembly in 1983, as an independent body. Itmandated to evaluate and make recommendations as to the interacting relationships ofenvironment and economic development in shaping the future of the society from theperspective of the year 2000 and beyond. 15
  16. 16. Principle of transfrontier responsibility. At the broad level, stewardship of global environment is required. More specifically, transfrontier pollution needs to be recognized and controlled. Where feasible, the impacts of human activity should not involve an uncompensated geographical displacement of environmental problems. Rich nations should not overexploit the resources of other areas, distorting regional economies and ecosystems. Similarly, the environmental costs of urban activities should not be displaced across metropolitan boundaries, in effect subsidizing urban growth.‖The two authors acknowledge that large-scale political challenges are required whenpursuing the sustainable development philosophy, and suggest the emphasis should lie onthe ecological requirements, which can operate from the local, to the global scale.The 1987 Our Common Future Report The publication of the famous Our Common Future report, submitted in 1987 bythe World Commission on Environment and Development to the UN General Assembly,constituted a cornerstone in the development of the sustainable cities movement. It raisedimportant issues and warned that immediate measures needed to be taken in order to copewith the increasing environmental problems. This report was well received by variousgovernments, international organizations, and by the scientific community. Althoughpredominantly a political document, focusing largely on the issues of economic growth,the report provided a comprehensive, well-informed assessment of the critical problemsregarding the natural world and the global resources, and laid down the principles ofsustainable management. It thus opened the doors to new future approaches, advocatingfor the implementation of the concepts of ―sustainability‖ and ―sustainable management‖in every aspect of the social, cultural, political, economical, and environmentalendeavors. 16
  17. 17. The 1988 International Congress on Nature, Management and Sustainable Development One of the immediate responses to this cornerstone report was the organization ofa historic worldwide congress: ―The International Congress on Nature and Managementand Sustainable Development‖, which was held in 1988, in Groningen, the Netherlands.More than seven hundred participants, distinguished scientists and policy-makers fromforty-three countries (Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, Central America, SouthAmerica) attended the congress. The goals of the congress were summarized by Verwey(1988: V) in the preface of the 1988 book Nature Management and SustainableDevelopment, which stated: ―not only draw attention to the problems and hazards involved, but also, indeed in particular, to approach these problems in a way in which would avoid doom- laiden thinking and promote a realistic and constructive attitude.‖ The discussion was mostly non-urban. It focused on the place of naturemanagement and sustainable development in the policy of the United Nations, of the(then) European Communities, as well as in the policy of the Netherlands. Itencompassed broad topics covering the management of the atmosphere, climatic changead risks in sea level changes, the management of tropical forests and of European forests,the management of mountain forests in the third world, the management of protectedareas, grasslands and wetlands, the management of the transboundary rivers and seas.Some of the key issues that pervaded all sessions were highlighted in the conclusions ofthe Congress: The approaches to sustainable development should be based on considerations of long-term security, at international, national and community levels; 17
  18. 18.  Since the population increases and the over-consumption of the resources is undermining sustainable developments worldwide, any approaches to sustainable resource management should therefore include population-resource balance as a fundamental concern; The general public needs to be fully informed about the environmental, economic, legal, political and commercial implications of sustainable development.Sustainable Cities Haughton and Hunter‘s 1994 Sustainable Cities, dealt with the issues of―sustainability‖ and urban development – concepts built on the growing interest in therole of cities in the sustainable development process – and examined both the specificproblems of environmental degradation and the contribution cities can make to attainingglobal sustainability. They advocate an urban focus on environmental problems, pointingout that it is at the urban level where many environmental problems arise and wheremany environmental problems are experienced most intense. Haughton and Hunter (1994:12) viewed cities not only as places of environmentalproblems but also as ―important cultural environments…the accumulation of differenthuman-made artifacts in the built environment…where there is a real tension with aspectsof the natural environment ―, and as places with a great potential to be ―moreenvironmentally friendly than many realize,‖ especially when urban design is wellmanaged and integrated with nature. Haughton and Hunter (1994: 27) laid out their own definition for ―sustainablecities‖ by drawing upon earlier ideas on green cities and urban sustainability pushedforward by their contemporaries (e.g., Berg, 1990; Breheny, 1990; Leff, 1990; Mayur,1990): ― A sustainable city is one in which its people and business continuously endeavor to improve their natural, built and cultural environments at neighborhood and 18
  19. 19. regional levels, whilst working in ways which always support the goal of global sustainable development.‖ According to them, economies and environmental problems become increasinglyinternational in scope. Given the interdependencies involved in urban growth, economicdevelopment and environmental change, cities can no more be regarded in isolation.Sustainable cities requires a certain degree of control and management implemented atdifferent scales— ranging from local, to regional and global—through long-term, well-defined integrated policies and strategies. Haughton and Hunter‘s (1994) primary thesisis that sustainable cities can make a major contribution to improving the globalenvironment. For that reason, they advocate for a fundamental change in the way welook at cities, and for a comprehensive urban scale analysis in the light of the sustainableurban management and development strategies. Smart Growth ApproachOrigins: Growth Management Concept ―Smart growth‖ originated in the United States in the late 1960s as part of the―growth management‖ concept. The term was popularized in the 1970s, and revisitedagain in the 1980s and 1990s. The postwar period in the United States was characterizedby rapid change, in the following three ways: (1) demographic change, which involvedboth absolute population growth at various scales and a massive geographic redistributionof households; (2) intra-and interregional migration, with the former chiefly characterizedby the ―white flight‖ from central cities to suburbs, while the latter was characterized bylong-distance moves from the ―frost belt‖ of the Northeast and Middle West censusregions to the South and West; (3) growth of the metropolitan population, with anincrease from 118 million in 1960 to 197.7 million in 1990. Percentage wise, the 19
  20. 20. metropolitan proportion of the US population rose from 65.9 percent to nearly 80 percent(Platt, 1996: 305-306). These combined postwar forces of change impacted negatively especially ―thesmaller and mostly newer suburban communities [which] were frequently ill-prepared for[these] changes,‖ and they caused ―traffic congestion, demands for new schools and otherpublic services, loss of open space and visual amenities – in general an erosion of theircherished small town atmosphere‖ (Platt, 1996: 306). The need for ―growthmanagement‖ was sparkled by the rapid postwar changes, and started in the small andfast growing suburbs in the 1970s: ―Although most had some form of basic zoning and subdivision regulations, they generally lacked experience in dealing with ‗big city‘ developers. Towns under 25,000 very likely had no professional planning staff and depended on their volunteer boards, occasionally assisted by an outside consultant, to cope with the onslaught. It was among these smaller but fast-growing suburban jurisdictions, especially in the sunbelt states, that the idea of ‗growth management‘ became chic during the 1970s and early 1980s.‖ Also, Platt (1996: 306-307) points out that growth management might have beenaround ―as long as Euclidian zoning, which, at least in theory, ‗manages‘ new urbangrowth through limits on land use, bulk, and density,‖ and explains that ―by 1970 there was a growing consensus in many fast growing communities that neither zoning nor subdivision regulation could address (1) the timing or pace at which growth was permitted to occur or (2) the ultimate character of the community when fully developed,‖ as ―urban sprawl,‖ a phrase popularized by sociologist William H. Whyte (1958; 1968, produced ―wasteful pattern of land use that encroached on farmland, floodplains, natural areas, and other open space.‖As a result, growth management evolved during the early 1970s in a variety of formsreflecting the lack of any dominating technique or approach. 20
  21. 21. Evolution of the Smart Growth Concept Both smart growth and (the previously discussed) sustainable development pursuedevelopment that is environmentally sensitive, and they contain land developmentpractices with broad ―ecological‖ consequences for urban communities. According toSchmitz and Bookout (1998), when used in the context of smart growth, the word―ecological‖ transcends biology and the relationships among organisms and theirenvironment. It incorporates other systems that are part of the human environment withthe natural environment, including economic systems, community systems, and socialsystems. ―Smart growth and sustainable development are compatible‖, and smart growth―can be seen as a path to sustainable development‖ (Schmitz and Bookout, 1996: 69). Within this broader context, Schmitz and Bookout (1998: 69) define ―smartgrowth‖ as a comprehensive approach to accommodating development that recognizesthe link between quality of life and patterns and practices of development, and ―Promotes growth and land development that build community, protect environmental systems, take full advantage of opportunities in brown fields and the inner city, maximize return on private and public investment, and safeguard human health.‖ The dominant pattern of land development in the United States in the past 50years has been low density, single use and suburban. This growth pattern has becomequite controversial, bringing critics and defenders to debate how it affects local fiscalhealth, environmental quality, and character of a community, economic growth, andinvestment in infrastructure. As a result, public officials, developers andenvironmentalists started promoting the concept of ―smart growth‖ (Schmitz andBookout, 1998: 68-69). According to them, ―[smart growth] accepts that new housing, businesses and jobs must be accommodated and that the economy, the community, and the environment must 21
  22. 22. be served and fostered in the process‖ and ―may bring …‘prowgrowth‘ and ‗antigrowth‘ together with a common agenda of community well-being, economic prosperity, and environmental protection.‖ Interestingly, in the past two decades the two terms ―smart growth‖ and ―growthmanagement‖ are used almost interchangeably. Growth management is nowadaysreferred to as smart growth, and has evolved gradually in different stages: from itsemphasis on preserving environmental resources by setting limits to new development inthe 1960s, to the more broadly focused planning and governmental approach aimed atsupporting and coordinating the development process. In The Limitless City, Gilham(2002: 156) defines ―smart growth‖ as: ―managed growth that attempts to fulfill the need to provide for growth (both economic and in population) while at the same time limiting the undesirable impacts of growth.‖ Gilham views smart growth measures as offering an array of promising ways tochange the pattern of urban development in the United States (2002: 160), andsummarizes the smart growth approach as: ―a term that has grown out of growth management initiatives undertaken across the country from the late 1960s into the 1980s. The unbridled growth of the 1990s brought new urgency to issues posed by suburbanization, and a wide array of groups has banded together under the burgeoning smart growth movement, which was built upon the growth management techniques from earlier decades. Yet, smart growth remains a wide umbrella, and different groups carry different agendas within the movement.‖ Initially developed as a reaction to what was perceived as the negative impacts ofurban sprawl, or of highly dispersed development patterns that characterized the previoushalf century, the ―smart growth‖ concept targets to eradicate many of the problems thathave been previously targeted to be solved by the previous urban planning approaches. Gilham (2002) explains that in the United States, by the 1990s there were anumber of factors at work that triggered the search for new approaches to urban 22
  23. 23. development. These include the increasing overall national affluence, continuouspopulation growth, technological change, and growth of car ownership that takesadvantage of both the world‘s largest highway system and low taxes on vehicles andgasoline, as well as government policies that rewarded suburbs and penalized cities—including the federal mortgage insurance programs that promoted new housing onoutlying land rather than repair existing city housing. Additional factors include taxdeductions for mortgage interest, zoning codes and regulations—all of which reinforcelow-density housing in the suburbs by requiring large lots and thus increasing the numberof affluent tax payers—and the fear of crime in the inner city neighborhoods, which wasreinforced by the social pathologies of public housing. All these factors have favored andaccelerated the rapid and unplanned land developments and encouraged urban expansionin the form of mostly unplanned dispersed urban development depicted as ―urban sprawl‖(Gilham, 2002). In the United States the sprawl phenomenon has spiraled out of proportion, and itis no longer equated just with a type of dispersed development, but rather with anunstoppable, unsustainable, ‗not so smart‘ type of development. This kind ofdevelopment is characterized by large, separate zones for residences, shops andbusinesses, pattern which leads to worse congestion, escalating tax rates, disinvestmentsin older communities and the consumption of open space. The widespread concernsabout urban sprawl have unleashed a wave of innovation, including smart growthinitiatives and tools that range from creative economic incentives, to new constructiontechnologies, rewritten building and zoning codes, sophisticated marketing anddemographic forecasting techniques. Thus, by the early1990s, there was a strong demand 23
  24. 24. for new or revised concepts and policies that could deal with these problems in a moreintegrated way. In the United States, the smart growth approach was revisited and refined in theearly 1990s. It can be argued that ―smart growth‖ (represents the American approach togreen urban planning and development, and at the same time (Figure 4-3) one of thegreen urbanism developments. However, it is important to add that American smartgrowth is neither largely implemented, nor nationally coordinated by the federalgovernment. It is rather promoted by independent organizations and planning agenciesthat have recently come together to form a network. This situation appears to stem froma number of substantial differences between European nations and the United States,including different types of government—federal government in the US versus strongly centralized governments in many European countries; different legal and administrative frameworks and financial laws; different perceptions of the urban land—with urban land perceived as an inexhaustible resource in the US versus the perception of urban land as a scarce and highly valued resource in Europe; different types of planning—with most European countries having strong national planning systems, while US does not have national planning; different degree of trust in planning and planners—largely speaking, planning is perceived negatively in the US, while planning is largely accepted as a necessity in most European countries; different property rights laws, and other factors; and lack of a broad-scale national or regional vision of smart growth in the United States. What characterize smart growth are not necessarily the elements it focuses on, butrather the manner in which it combines its three main components—economy, 24
  25. 25. community and the environment—into a more cohesive theoretical formulation.According to the Smart Growth Network (2002: i) the concept is defined as follows: ―Smart growth is development that serves the economy, community and the environment. It provides a framework for communities to make informed decisions about how and where to grow. Smart growth makes it possible for communities to grow in ways that support economic development and jobs; create strong neighborhoods with a range of housing, commercial and transportation options; and achieve healthy communities that provide families with a clean environment.‖ In addition, smart growth advocates suggest that this integrated approach to urbandevelopment could bring solutions to a number of problems that affect the quality ofurban life. By addressing a wide range of quality of life issues—that becameincreasingly significant not only for all American urban communities and dwellers, butalso for local and state policy makers, planners, and developers—smart growthproponents hope to rally support to their cause and advance a better urban life. If theirclaim is totally valid it is up to the future to show its real life implications. Briefly, smart growth aims to: encourage compact forms of urban development, both commercial and residential, and to promote integrated land uses; reduce air and water pollution, by promoting and encouraging more efficient patterns of development that maximize mass transit and reduce the need for automobile use; enhance economic competitiveness by reversing the trend of isolated, concentrated poverty in urban inner cores though a variety of revisions and changes. Americans are consuming more land than ever before, thus creating a situationwith tremendous implications for the future that in order to solve, will require both athorough analysis of previous patterns of urban development and a revision of futurepolicies. For instance, during the last decades of the twentieth century, Americansdeveloped land three times faster then the country grew as a nation. Between 1982 and 25
  26. 26. 1997, the amount of urbanized land used for development increased by 45 percent, fromapproximately 51 million acres in 1982 to 76 million acres in 1997. During this sameperiod, however, population grew by only 17 percent. This means that the United Statedconsumes land for urban development in an ―unwise‖ or ―non-smart‖ fashion that needsto be urgently addressed through an integrative, broader, coordinated approach, such asthe ―smart growth.‖ To do this, United States would need the political will and asupportive legal, administrative, and fiscal framework that would favor national or atleast regional planning (Smart Growth, 2002). 26
  27. 27. ―Smart growth is development that serves the economy, community and theenvironment. It provides a framework for communities to make informed decisions abouthow and where to grow. Smart growth makes it possible for communities to grow inways that support economic development and jobs; create strong neighborhoods with arange of housing, commercial and transportation options; and achieve healthycommunities that provide families with a clean environment.‖ -Smart Growth Network (2002: I) ―Smart growth is a term that has grown out of growth management initiativesundertaken across the country from the late 1960s into the 1980s. The unbridled growthof the 1990s brought new urgency to issues posed by suburbanization, and a wide arrayof groups has banded together under the burgeoning smart growth movement, which wasbuilt upon the growth management techniques from earlier decades. Yet, smart growthremains a wide umbrella, and different groups carry different agendas within themovement.‖-Oliver Gilham: The Limitless City. A Primer on the Urban Sprawl Debate(2002: 160) Figure 0-3: Definitions of Smart Growth 27
  28. 28. This rapid land consumption and pattern of growth is believed to be due in largepart to consumer demand, but some of it also due to non-market incentives, such aszoning and tax breaks that encourage larger homes (Smart Growth Network, 2002: 9).Theoretically, smart growth‘s main goal is to avoid such patterns and create vibrant,healthy, diverse, livable, more compact urban centers. It actually promotes a ―smarter‖pattern of development that could sustain an overall better quality of life, reduce landconsumption, preserve open spaces, decrease urban sprawl, protect the environment,wildlife, wetlands and watersheds, reduce services and support a stronger economicdevelopment. These goals point to the fact that smart growth encapsulates many of theprinciples and tenets put forward by other green urbanism approaches previouslydiscussed in this chapter. However, the problem with the ―smart growth‖ approach in theUnited States seems to be the lack of implementation of smart growth principles at widerscale. The strong market forces, combined with private interests and land ownershiprights, to mention just three of the main ―break factors‖, seem to impact negatively manyof the local and/or regional decisions regarding ―smarter‖ developments. Hence, whilesmart growth seems to have evolved into a more sophisticated and broader theoreticalconcept, it still lacks the tools and general framework to implement it into practice. Ten principles of smart growth are summarized in Figure 0-4. They provide notonly the conceptual framework for the smart growth approach, but they also provide abetter understanding of the goals and tenets of smart growth. They point to the steadyefforts made to implement a more sustainable, better way of coping with urbandevelopment and its consequences, and suggest that while the implementation of a broadsmart growth strategy is possible, it is also true that achieving smart growth is going to be 28
  29. 29. different in each community. In any case, one distinct feature of smart growth appears tobe its emphasis on integration, its goal to combine the economic, environmental andcommunity interests into one, long-term cohesive, integrated approach. Like their predecessors concerned with the patterns of urban development and thequality of life in the urban centers, the promoters of the smart growth concept and itspolicies acknowledged the severe problems facing the American communitieseverywhere. In 1996, they came together to form the Smart Growth Network, which isnow a broad coalition of 32 organizations that support smart growth strategies. Thisrecently formed network consists of private, public and non-governmental partnerorganizations seeking to create smart growth at various scales of resolution ranging fromneighborhoods, towns, cities, and regions across the United States. A review of thepartners in this network suggests on one hand the large interest raised by smart growthapproaches, and, on the other hand, the complex array of issues that smart growth hopesto improve. 29
  30. 30. 1. Promote mix land uses – commercial, residential, recreational, educational, and others – in neighborhoods or places that are accessible by bike and foot;2. Implement a more compact morphological pattern of development that leaves undeveloped land open to absorb and filter rainwater, reduce flooding and storm water drainage, and helps achieve the density of population needed to support viable transportation alternatives;3. Provide quality housing and a range of housing choices to accommodate the housing needs of all residents and advance the idea of accessibility to work and place of residence;4. Advocate for walkable communities and pedestrian friendly features, including sidewalks, as well as an appropriate mix of densities and uses, compact street intersections, and the construction of small-scale neighborhoods;5. Create distinctive, attractive, functional communities with a strong sense of place, which should not only respond to basic housing or commercial needs, but also help foster a sense of civic pride and community cohesion;6. Preserve open space, farmland, natural beauty and critical environmental areas;7. Strengthen and direct development towards existing communities, in particular the urban core and first-ring suburbs which were abandoned for the newer, low-density, dispersed developments on the urban fringe;8. Provide a variety of transportation options – an essential key of smart growth which aims to improve the already overwhelmed transportation system, to reduce traffic congestion, and improve the quality of everyday life for every dweller;9. Make development decisions predictable, fair and cost effective, with the acknowledgement that private sector is crucial to supplying the large amounts of money and construction expertise needed to meet the growing demand for smart growth developments;10. Encourage community and stake holder collaboration in development decisions, through periodic public hearings and consultations on planning or zoning decisions; Figure 0-4: Ten Critical Principles of Smart Growth (source: Smart Growth Network, 2002) 30
  31. 31. Green Urbanism Approaches In Europe This section outlines the particular features of the European Green Urbanism,linking a number of issues that have confronted European cities with some of thesolutions, approaches and policies to solving them. Initially, a brief historical review ofthe various challenges that Europe has constituted the cradle for the twentieth centurygreen urbanism planning to the twentieth century European urban problems is presentedalong with the argument ideas, concepts and policies. This is followed with a discussionaround the European Union spatial policies and the context in which they were shaped.Finally, there is a discussion of the significance of European sustainable cities. Fundamental global, regional and national changes in the economy, technology,demography, politics, and environment are reshaping urban places all over the world, aprocess that has accelerated in the last decades of the twentieth century. As the globalmarket becomes increasingly more competitive and complex, different geographicregions and countries are compelled to respond to both the global forces and the regionaland national forces, in accordance with their specific inherited framework. The European continent has responded to these challenging global and regionaltransformations in its own specific manner, by trying to preserve its inherited features andpatterns, on one hand, and by trying to open up and be an active and integral part of theglobal market, on the other hand. Furthermore, competition among European cities hasbeen promoted by processes of globalization, European integration, informationalizationand the opening-up of Eastern Europe (Van den Berg, Braun and Van der Meer, 1998: 5).These processes have accelerated in the past decade or so, and led to significanteconomic, social and technological modifications of the urban structures at various scales 31
  32. 32. of resolution. These rapid changes also brought along a change in the way differentnational governments view and support their spatial and urban development and planningprocesses. As a response to the various challenges facing European cities at the end of thetwentieth century in their search for finding solutions to the urban dilemma, came therealization that city governments cannot cope by themselves. Their challenges demand ajoint effort of different layers of government, other public institutions and private sectors.(Van den Berg, Braun and Van der Meer, 1998: 7). In other words, the necessity of approaching urban planning and urbandevelopment in a longer-term, more integrated, sustainable manner received increasingattention, and was materialized, in many European countries, in a sustained effort tointroduce new urban concepts and national policies that would meet not only the internalchallenges, but also the external ones posed by an increasing globalized world. Not onlywere the various European governments open to embrace new ideas and strategiesregarding their cities – including the green urbanism or sustainable cities approaches - butthey were also the ones that supported them politically and financially. Taking up the theme of the Western European search for finding solutions tourban problems, R. H. Williams (1996: 204) reminds us that in order to provide a basisfor identifying issues, several studies have been undertaken into urban problems in theEuropean Union and into the comparability of urban data from different member-states.In order to illustrate the difficulty of the task, Williams points to one detailed study doneby Cheshire and Hay at the end of the 1980s. Their study produced the concept of thefunctional urban region based on the analysis of a wide set of data, meticulously collectedfrom every city over 330,000 people, within 12 European Union countries. Later, efforts 32
  33. 33. were channeled towards creating new urban concepts, new urban policies, and integrationof cities into their regional and national contexts, all with the goal of finding solutions tothe urban problems in various European cities. The European Union, as the most urbanized region in the world, with 79 percentof the total population in 1992 living in urban areas (CEC, 1994), has, since the early1990s, adopted and pursued an explicit spatial policy and planning agenda that aims toachieve a more balanced urban spatial development in each of the member countries.Consequently, since the early 1990s, the European Union has a common spatial planningpolicy, or, in other words, a common town and country planning policy19. It is essential, at this point, to introduce the conceptual framework regarding thespatial planning terminology. According to Williams (1996: 7), the word spatial is usedto express: ―a focus on the location and distribution of activity within the territory or space of Europe.‖In addition, Wilson (1996, 7) also gives a broad definition of spatial policy: ―any policy designed to influence locational and land-use decisions, or the distribution of activities, at any spatial scale from that of local land-use planning to the regional, national and supranational scales.‖ Wilson (1996: 10) also states the significance of an international terminology20,and specifies that the term spatial planning is a general Euro English21 concept, which19 The Treaty on European Union, known as the Maastricht Treaty, includes references inthe English text to town and country planning, the equivalent text in other languagesbeing an exact translation of the term spatial planning (Williams, 1996: 3).20 See R. H. Wilson‘s book European Union and Spatial Policy and Planning (1996: 57-62) for a very interesting discussion of problems associated with the worldwide use of theEnglish language, translation issues and terminology. 33
  34. 34. should be understood as the equivalent for the British town and country planning, or,more specifically as the concept that defines the process of: ―planning the spatial or territorial location of activities and physical development at any or all spatial scales, from the building precinct (for which formal and legally binding plans are required under some member-states‘ spatial planning systems, for instance the German Bebauungsplan and the Dutch bestemmingsplan), to that of regions, nations, and Europe as a whole. Spatial planning is in fact an exact translation of the German Raumplanung and comes close the sense of the French amenagement du territoire.‖ What is fundamental for our discussion on European Green Urbanism is theacknowledgement that Western Europe, unlike any other region of the world, hasmanaged to come together not only for economical and fiscal reasons under the umbrellaof the European Union, but also for spatial and urban goals led by the European planningcommunity. Thus, since the 1990s, there is possible to identify a European planningcommunity, consisting of a network of people who are interconnected through anexchange of ideas and other informal links. These exchanges occurs through thefunctions of local planning authorities and firms, by participation in Council of Europeactivities or EU lobbying and networking programs, or through taking an active role inplanning associations (Wilson, 1996: 11). In his book 1996 entitled European Union Spatial Policy and Planning, R. H.Wilson dedicates a whole chapter to the historical development of spatial policydevelopment, and argues that chronologically, the European Union spatial planningpolicy has evolved, since the 1950s, successively, in a period of time subdivided into fivetime periods, and has incorporated the changes brought about by the changing structure21 According to Wilson (1996: 10), the term Euro English is defined as the use of Englishwords to convey non-British ideas and concepts, which is used constantly in the contextof EU affairs, and is an essential medium for the discussion of planning in a pan-European framework. 34
  35. 35. of the European Union, marked by its successive enlargements. What follows constitutesa summary of the main spatial planning chronological stages highlighted by Wilson(1996: 65-90). Stage One was marked by the 1957 Treaty of Rome, and included agriculture andtransport as the key policy sectors with a spatial significance, with no clear regionalpolicy yet in place. Stage Two was marked by the 1970s and the first enlargement, with Denmark,Ireland and the United Kingdom joining the European Union. As a result, two maincomponents of the spatial policy were added: regional policy – which dates back to theParis Summit of October 1972, and environmental policy – which is directly associatedwith the accession of the United Kingdom in 1973. Stage Three occurred in the early 1980s, when Greece was welcomed aboard, at atime when the EU spatial structure and greatly increased disparities provided the stimulifor the development of the idea of a spatial policy framework for Europe as a whole.During this significant stage, fundamental steps of longer-term significance were taken inthe development of the European Union spatial policy, which came in the form ofconceptual thinking, as well as through the introduction of new policy instruments andthe adaptation of the already existing ones. During the later 1970s and early 1980s, manylocal and regional authorities in several countries were developing policies for urbaneconomic development, and many local industrial estates, access roads, factoryconversions and new factory building projects were undertaken as part of local authorityeconomic development programs. 35
  36. 36. Stage Four occurred in the 1990s, a period marked by two significant events: theGerman reunification in October 1990, and the European summit at Maastricht inDecember 1991 – which approved the Treaty on European Union, as well as by thechanges in Central and Eastern Europe and the prospects of an eastward enlargement.The consequences of the German reunification, for instance, went beyond issuesconcerning German institutional and political changes; they had considerable spatialimplications for both Germany and the European Union, confronted not only the with theincorporation of a new territory, but also with the reality of environmental and economiclegacy of the centrally planned economies. The 1991 Maastricht Treaty had majorimpacts on spatial planning: a) it expanded the scope of the European Union policy byamending the treaty to create an European Union competence in spatial planning; b) itincluded references to ‗town and country planning‘ in the environment title, Article 130s– which while in its British sense id does not equate with spatial policy, the equivalenttext in the French and German versions comes very close to doing so; c) it increasedemphasis on economic and social cohesion; d) it reinvigorated the European transportpolicy; e) it enhanced environment powers; f) it increased funding; and, perhaps, mostsignificantly g) it clearly identified European Union Spatial policy as one of the priorityconcerns. Stage Five occurred in 1995 and it is identified as the fourth enlargement, whichbasically took two main directions: northwards and eastwards. This stage was of greatsignificance in relation to both the changing spatial structure of the European Union, andto the evolving spatial planning policy. 36
  37. 37. To summarize, the chronological development of the European Union spatialpolicy is a reflection of the changes in its overall spatial structure. It is also the outcomeof a specific ―thinking European‖ philosophy that permeates the spatial planning ideasand policies, one that incorporates a whole range of European features and aspirationsranging form the physical-spatial patterns to the social-cultural features, and to theeconomic and political development dimensions as well. In addition, the EuropeanUnion spatial planning policy draws extensively upon the experience of the membercountries, each of them with their own national spatial plans and policies, and their ownspecific planning philosophy stemming from their respective specific geographicalrealms. The goal of the European Union is to integrate a number of ideas that come outof national, supranational, transnational, and regional studies, and ensure theirimplementation at different spatial scales. Since the beginning of the twentieth century, Europe, and in particular the westernhalf of Europe, has represented a flourishing cradle for green urbanism ideas, concepts,philosophies, tools, strategies and policies. These ideas evolved around a greener, morepositive, smarter way of thinking about urban development in general. This greeneroutlook on urban development and planning has evolved around the early twentiethcentury garden cities and green belts concepts, and, later around the ecological citiesconcepts, and more recently around the end of the twentieth century green or sustainablecities. The reason Europe has both fostered and pushed for greener urban philosophiesand policies since the beginning of the 2oth century seems to be obvious. The argumentincludes the temporal threshold that divided the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, which 37
  38. 38. culminated with the disastrous effects of the industrial era on the cities and metropolitanregions of the time, and which, in turn, launched a serious search for solutions to theurban, economic, environmental and social problems. Since Ebenezer Howard and hisfollowers raised the issue of planning and building a better, greener, more equitable cityfor the urban dwellers of his time the issue of tackling and finding solutions to theincreasing urban problems was forever altered. 38
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