Environmental Engineering Reference
• The themes of overall organization of the city and its energy needs on dif-
ferent building scales.
• The themes of the safety and quality of principal determiners of the urban
environment (air, water, and land) on different city organizational scales.
Innovative experiences that are being tried in different European cities,
starting from guiding actions directed at reducing land consumption, invite us
to adequately improve areas that are still free, encourage forms of permanence
of traditional uses of agrarian land in the city, and introduce forms of sustain-
Toward Demolition and Reconstruction
To start urban politics on a path of adapting the existing fabric rather than
occupying new land, it is probably necessary to implement national policies
that call for a cultural jump by all of the stakeholders. In particular, it is appro-
priate for designers to go beyond a traditional approach and businesses to free
themselves from the habitual logic aimed at always building new construc-
tions. Together, they should confront the taboo of demolition and reconstruc-
tion. Scrapping, similar to what is done with cars and household appliances,
should be considered . Some initial steps have already been made. For
example, from the legislative point of view, in France, where national policies
for urban rebirth have been implemented, a national law has been enacted to
establish the National Agency for Urban Renewal (Agence Nationale pour la
Rénovation Urbaine). From the point of view of programs realized, different
important results have been obtained  in France 6 , the United Kingdom 7 ,
The Netherlands 8 , and Spain 9 . To guarantee the possibility of new interven-
tions, not necessarily demolishing and reconstructing on the same site, one
should go beyond the expropriation approach, placing compensation principles
alongside prerequisite principles. The experience of the “ transfer develop-
ment right ,” in use for some time in the USA, seems to be very effective ;
recourse to territorial urban planning adjustment has also become increasing-
ly interesting in urban design in Italy .
6 In 2000, in Paris, the project Ilot Caillié was created. It was completed in 2007. Ilot Caillié, com-
prising 423 unhealthy buildings, is situated in the northeast area of the French capital.
7 In the United Kingdom, the project for the Hulme-Manchester neighborhood (located in the sub-
urbs of Manchester) was created in the 1970s. It dealt with an area of about 110ha with a popu-
lation of 12,000 inhabitants. Four large structures in the shape of arcs and 13 buildings in a line
containing a total of 5,000 apartments were demolished and substituted with other apartments or
buildings for other uses.
8 In the 1980s, in The Netherlands, the Zuidwijk, Rotterdam Program was created. The quarter is
found in the suburbs, south of Rotterdam. It was built after the Second World War and was
arranged into eight areas; most of the estate was public.
9 In Spain, the Turó de la Peira (Barcelona) project was created and the estate was built in 1959
under a private initiative. The neighborhood is situated in the northern part of Barcelona. The
estate extends over 47ha with 4,166 apartments distributed among 16 buildings.