Sunday, March 20, 2011

Architecture, Urban Planning and Biodiversity: Thoughts about an ecopolis, Plea for a lobe city


Towns are generally regarded as the cause of many ecological and social problems. Can they, in the future, also become the source of solutions? If so, what is the best strategy and the best urban model for achieving these goals?
This paper presents a number of eloquent and inspiring examples of ecological residential neighbourhoods and green industrial parks in European cities.
The creation of a “semi-public common interior space” in residential neighbourhoods (through a judicious dosage of the public and the private) seems to be the town planning key and strategy for solving both ecological and social problems. There is no doubt that when these interior spaces are inter-connected to form a blue and green network with the right ecological conditions, a surprisingly
high biodiversity can be preserved in an urban environment. Whether or not such an approach will strengthen the social diversity in towns depends, among other things, on the extent to which one resists the tendency to close these semi-public environments (that is, to privatise them) and to transform them into an urban eco-ghetto.
To conserve urban biodiversity, the “lobe-city” seems to offer the best prospects. This was developed as an urban model in the first half of the 20th century, in most cases as a reaction to the concentric growth of towns that was regarded as suffocating (GIELING,2006). It is characterised by blue and green fingers (wedges) in which one can find countryside-features penetrating deep into the “lobe-city”. Among others, the expansion plan for Cologne/Köln (1927) in Germany and the “finger plan” for Copenhagen (1948) in Denmark were based on this concept. To varying degrees, the model of the “lobe-city” was also employed in the general plan to extend Amsterdam (NL-Amsterdam Uitbreidings Plan AUP, 1935) and in cities as Hamburg, Berlin, Freiburg im Breisgau, Frankfurt am Main (D)and Stockholm (S).
I will focus on the theme ‘ecological sound urban water management’. That means that other very important topics, such as waste management, traffic management and of course energy management will not be tackled here. For details about these topics in relation to the lobe city theory, we refer to ROMBAUT.

Central Copenhagen, by felissy

more about Copenhagen:

Creative Copenhagen: Globalization, Urban Governance and Social Change

Copenhagen – city of cyclists!

Complete Streets Lessons from Copenhagen

1 comment:

  1. Hi...Your post really got me thinking man..... an intelligent piece, I must say.