Urban context

Javanrouh BW

Urban context

The 3rd theme shifts towards the urban context, looking at resource infrastructures in the built environment, as well as the stakeholder landscape and regulatory frameworks associated with these flows. Topics are, for example, industrial ecology, shared value, and regenerative planning & design. 

The world is urbanizing rapidly. Cities face specific challenges relating sustainability and quality of life. Today, most cities function linearly; resources enter the urban area, are then used or stored, and eventually leave the area as waste. The irreversible consumption of resources, as well as the effects of their transformation on health, biodiversity and climate – combustion, contamination, depletion, etc. – are economic and ecological strains on our society. Sustainable use of essential resources in cities requires a new paradigm, based on circular principles rather than linear ones, while promoting resources to be continuously exchanged or recycled, preferably in close proximity to where they are utilized.

Shifting from a linear to a circular approach not only implies environmental benefits, it also has ample potential economic benefits. Such a transition, however, with its large effects on spatial lay out and quality of life, requires technical, organisational and institutional changes. It inherently means cutting across boundaries and disciplines, as urban subsystems that used to be strictly separated are now going to be connected.

Many of the current research and policy endeavors surrounding urban development are related to this exactly: interlinks between various flows, sectors, actors and interests. The parallel sessions address those interlinks and methods to achieve synergies.  For example as explored in the Better Airport Regions project [NWO, 2012-2014], with regards to redevelopment of post-war social housing in Rotterdam or in the Detroit Urban Regen project {Except & Urban Renaissance Foundation, 2015].

Check parallel sessions

TU Delft