Sustainable Urbanism and Housing

Sustainable Urbanism and Housing reflects the complex and converging issues of climate change and urbanism and the transformations they induce on the built environment.

Centre for the Future of Places will analyze and work with these transformations that pertain to the way we plan, design, build, maintain, govern, and use our cities. The radical transformation of how cities work implies, for most urbanists, a radical change in the way they plan and design. Inquiries around this theme hope to clarify new approaches to urban and landscape transformations, involving elements such as retrofitting, retail planning, culture and heritage issues, new ecologies, as well as new forms of infrastructure and transportation in the system of our cities.

Additionally, the research will also analyze and discuss the paths to sustainable and resilient cities, more energy efficient neighborhoods and districts and sustainable, green and landscape urbanism trends that will help shape and organize the city, thus enhancing and securing the urban futures in uncertain times ahead. The investigation is geared towards finding a more comprehensive understanding of urbanism at the regional scale that would then in turn provide a better platform to address climate change and climate stabilizing efforts, future development towards a dynamic, healthy, and low-carbon society.

Provision of adequate, just, dignified but also ecologically and socially sound housing, integrated into all systems in the urban realm plays also an important role in our research. Aside from issues connected to urban form and planning, there is a need to also look into the role residents and citizens should and could play in determining the urban quality of their dwelling condition in a contemporary and ever changing democracy. Community and social sustainability are a strong focus of our investigations. The physical design of communities to promote social sustainability is important but not the only element.

New visions for neighborhood housing redevelopment should support a human, economic, social and cultural recovery and renewal. The systems and processes that we put in place to achieve these ends can be thought of as the “soft infrastructure” of the community. This includes formal societal services and institutions as well as the community’s informal structure, a unique and context specific web of voluntary organizations and social relationships.

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