The 4th NUDC
20th February 2009, Grieghallen - Bergen
NEW DIRECTIONS IN
Professor // Dr. Matthew Carmona //BARTLETT UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF LONDON // united kingdom
Co-founder // Dr. Mitchell Joachim //TERREFORM ONE // united states of america
Co-founder // Cameron Sinclair //ARCHITECTURE FOR HUMANITY // united states of america
Vice. President //Jason Prior //EDAW // united kingdom
President // Erik R Kuhne //ERIK R KUHNE & ASSOCIATES // united kingdom
Associate // Richard Hollington //OFFICE FOR METROPOLITAN ARCHITECTURE (OMA) // netherlands
Director // Jonathan Smales //BEYOND GREEN // united kingdom
Conference host: Rob Cowan, Dir. Urban Design Skills
// INTRODUCTION // There is a need to stage a guide for global planning which involves new sustained environmental directions. While urban designers and architects alone cannot solve the world’s environmental problems, they are responsible for designing the future cities, and therefore in a position to influence the promotion and pursuit of energy-efficient, socially-responsible buildings and public spaces. They are also in a position to influence the future cities through new paradigms of innovation; new thoughts; new perspectives; new methods and rural and urban strategies, where increased use of new technology is a crucial part of the sustainable planning strategies developed. The current urbanisation which attracts people in great numbers from rural areas and small towns raises issues such as prospects for work; housing possibilities; improved lifestyle and education. How does this rapid urbanisation effect the environment? How will rural areas cope with the increased emigration? Is urbanisation as an isolated entity the critical factor generating these environmental issues?
The green city; the inclusive city; the social city; the walkable city; the eco-city are concepts promoted by architects and planners in their work of designing future cities and pursuing environmental solutions while at the same time trying to include a conscious approach towards the social and human aspect of the new urban context. New city concepts claim to accommodate the rapid urbanisation with design strategies enabling the city as an organism to grow accordingly to the growth of population. Is there a real demand for such new cities being planned? Might it be that the real challenge lies in sustaining the existing city, and turning the focus towards rural areas with small towns, villages and communities making them more interesting and attractive to live in so that people don’t move from these places?
Current cities are challenged by future environmental problems escalated from matters such as higher urban density; constraint of land use; rapid urbanisation; increased car use; higher global mobility; higher energy use and an extended consumption of global and cultural resources. Highlighting the concept of the future cities includes discovering the reasons behind the potential environmental disaster. Are the environmental issues our cities are facing only related to what is described in the UN Environmental report? Or could it be a consequence of people’s advanced mobility and change of lifestyle over the past three decades? I.e. new cities adjacent to waterfronts will be major influence on economic growth and tourism, leading to increased consumption of natural resources and undesirable impacts on culturally important heritage sites.