Environmental Engineering Reference
In-Depth Information
The City Under Transformation
Different studies by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology regarding sce-
narios for our future demonstrate that it is not possible to pursue unlimited
economic, material, and quantitative growth in a world that presents well-
defined biophysical limits [1, 2]. The city is the one most responsible for this
uncontrolled and uncontrollable growth, which leads to unlimited land con-
sumption. The urban conversion of land has progressively increased every-
where in Europe [3]. Italy leads the classification. From 1960 to 2002, in some
regions of low settlement energy, i.e. where substantially stable demographics
subsist, land consumption has been higher than 500%. The city has undergone
a profound change in its substance regarding changes in:
Economic systems, starting from the second industrial revolution and
continuing to today [4], with effects on the landscape from agriculture to
industry, on the infrastructure, on the functional organization of the liv-
ing/working system, and on the juxtaposition of functions for living with
those for production, commerce, and residual rural areas [5].
The social structure of the population , especially starting in the 1970s,
with the progressive improvement of average living conditions, the growth
in levels of education, and the growing flux of immigration, tourism devel-
opment, and city users [6].
The system of public and/or collective spaces , places of collective identi-
fication for meeting and public representation, once limited to the city's
political centers, progressively moved to peripheral or marginal areas [7].
But the city has also been transformed in its appearance 1 :
1 In particular, transformations linked to two social and economic processes that have forcefully
emerged in the last 20years should be examined—the reorganization of commercial complexes
and the insertion of new immigrant populations—considering the logic of changes introduced by
them in the city and territorial organization and the limits of local and urban planning policies
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