Why Urban Policies?
The 21st century is called “the age of the metropolises and cities” as they are becoming the predominant living environments of human beings. Nonetheless, what has historically been termed a “city” is an obsolete concept which comes from the ancient idea of the “city” in opposition to the wild rural and natural environment. Nowadays, the urban phenomenon is much more “pervasive” and the character of urban areas has extended to dense and less dense metropolitan areas, both in the megalopolis and in the countryside. Approximately 75% of the European population live in urban environments, and a quarter of the EU’s land surface has been directly affected by urbanisation. Planetary Urbanisation is the term used by Nail Brenner Implosion/Explosions) to define the end of specific dichotomies (urban/rural, centre/periphery, nature/society) that have characterised territorial analysis and urban planning theories since the nineteenth century. Philosophically, Brenner’s proposal follows the theories of “Modern Liquidity” made by Bauman where the intrinsic condition of modernity is the abandonment of dialectical, physical, social and also geographical categories that “shaped” the inductive/deductive comprehension of the world, and thereby its regulation. The translation of this “approach” into the practices of the governance of metropolitan systems puts forward radical innovations in the way it has conceived the interpretation and the formal regulation of territories, societies, their political and economic representation and power and the possibility for transformations.
The terms like urban “expansion, diffusion, dispersion” and relative patterns (radial urbanisation, discontinued urbanisation, leapfrogged urbanisation or jeopardised urbanisation), including “sprawl” or “sprinkling, still refer to what, to some extent, can be viewed and classified by using a “metric”, hence a hierarchical interpretation, and ultimately a modern view of space. The post-modern interpretation abandons these measurements and classifications, assuming that the “urban phenomena” is everywhere, without boundaries, metrics or classifications; furthermore, without hierarchy, rational relations or linear networks.
This assumption makes our understanding of metropolitan dynamic more complex and self-adaptive, while considering for instance that metropolises attract economies and people but also are extremely exposed to the climatic, health, social and economic hazards that affect global and local economies.
Metropolitan areas are more vulnerable systems, for they intrinsic nature is dense and interconnected. The experience from the COVID-19 crisis teaches us how an epidemic emergency situation cannot be handled by local approaches alone and with the use of isolated “red zones” when the exchange of people and goods is the preliminary living condition of urban and metropolitan systems. Therefore, the governance of these systems needs to be reconsidered so as to reflect on how they should be managed, governed and transformed to become more adaptive and resilient. It should also entail an interdisciplinary and integrated view, taking into account the economy as well as social and environmental aspects/context.
COVID-19 teaches us also how also how strong is the relation between health and environment, especially it is evident that the well-being of citizens is strictly dependent to Ecosystem Services. The challenge is to develop and apply computational models for healthcare by digital futures to study, monitor and assess the relations between ecosystems and humans with computational biophysics and economical models. This is the core subject of the complexity paradigm which is based upon two main pillars: the understanding of the system not as a unique one, but with focus on the relations between components and their mutual feedback and, secondly, the organisation of the system by mutual rules generating the “inconsistency” of an efficient regulation (thus complex systems are adaptive to nature).
So, why Urban Policies?
For many reasons:
· We want to deal with Urban Complexity;
· We want to talk with people of different background and Native Countries;
· We are curious to learn new perspective from growing Countries;
· We want to connect, talk and discuss with Researchers.
We will use this space for multiple initiatives (communications, seminars, projects and communication), trying to keep the debate on the theme of urban policies lively, chich is so important for governing contemporary urban systems in the anthropocene era.
We hope to use this space in a rich way, providing a service to all those who, like us, can construct a lot by sharing of materials, knowledge and initiatives, even knowing that our resources are scarce. We will also develop this web space thanks to your ideas and initiatives and we are ready to share your projects if you wish and have time.
We would like to share the initiatives and experiences related to the territorial governance and the sustainable use of the land, while sharing our skills in the field of urban and territorial planning. The project stems from the desire to bring together our initiatives in a web space but, above all, to give space to opinions and points of view different from our background, recognizing the weak knowledge of territorial governance systems different to the Italian one for cultural reasons , rather than political, legislative and sectorial.
We met in 2015 during a Conference organized by Oscar in Mogliano Veneto (TV, Italy) and then we decided to go ahead together organizing collaborations, seminars, events and publishing material. We commonly struggle to aid decision-making while reforming urban policies by a political perspective (Oscar) and by a technical and instrumental one (Stefano). We are two urban planners with a common curiosity and passion for sustainability in urban planning and policies. This is our first brand new project together and we hope to embark in this project other curious and passionate researchers!
Meet our team
Our team of professionals have experience in planning, maping and many other.