Environmental Engineering Reference
In-Depth Information
In fact, in ordinary practice, urban and territorial planning has led to a
reduction in the complexity of urban systems, considering them as substantial-
ly stable, believing that the transformations were preventable and controllable,
and thinking about sustainability not as a constantly changing process and path
that requires contributions from everyone, but as a final stable state.
Interventions designed and programmed only on the small scale, for timely
projects, which image the recomposition of a general mosaic after the fact,
have been the main cause of the degradation we are witnessing. Unfortunately,
responses have been of a sectoral, monodisciplinary type, with rather limited
effectiveness, lacking a modus operandi that would allow possible alternative
scenarios in policy, plan, and project choices for the city to be compared and
their results to be monitored over time. The effects are for all to see: urban and
peri-urban areas that are insecure and unprepared to face sudden climate
changes; poor environmental quality, with air that is sometimes unbreathable,
and a lack of policies to manage waste; energy-hungry urban areas that do not
manage to limit consumption because of poorly designed urban systems and
individual constructions and which are not able to start alternative energy pro-
duction; areas devoid of meeting spaces for socializing, outdoor life, chil-
dren's play areas, after-work hours for adults, and walks for the old. It is nec-
essary to ask what has worked or what has worked only partially, and to be
open to new challenges.
Some tools are used extensively and more courageously, for example,
recourse to territorial urban adjustment [25], the development of the strategic
and evaluation approach with argumentative and decisional goals. Some new
suggestions have been introduced through European announcements, for
example, “ smart cities and communities 2 , and there are experimental proj-
ects already under way, such as “creative cities” [26-28] . However, very poor
governing approaches linger when there is inadequate interpretation of the
current change.
Interpretation and Representation of the Changes
Interpretation of the changes is very often entrusted to institutions, to general
synthetic frameworks, without analyzing in detail the urban changes that are
occurring in the systemic network . Just to give an example, in the case study
of the diffuse Adriatic city , which is widely discussed in the last chapter of
this volume, the current organization of the urbanized area, while not respond-
2 See the announcement for the presentation of project ideas for “Smart cities and communities
and social innovation” published by the Italian Ministry of Universities and Scientific Research
with Directorial Decree N. 391/Ric of 5 July 2012, following Communication COM (2011) 808
by the Committee to the Council of Europe, the European Parliament, the European Economic and
Social Committee, and the Committee of the Horizon 2020 Regions.
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