The dominant “vision” of urban development has been one of competitive cities being led by an economic development model whose engine is built on attracting investment from investors across the globe. Attracting manufacturing, trade, services for export on the one hand, and on the business opportunities for infrastructure and real estate development, services and consumer goods for the growing middle class on the other. This vision has been neither “inclusive”, nor a vision of environmentally sustainable development. However, the imperatives of inclusive growth and of combating climate change are acknowledged and are gradually gaining importance in governmental policy.
Solutions to the urban problems of the future must assume the new reality of cities. The inevitable technological progress must find a balance with the ‘bio-ecological’ and social recovery of the natural environment.
This shift encourages us to re-design. We are using concepts such as
- Ecological concepts
- Social economic dynamic & transformation
- Adaptive capacity,
- Response diversity
To find novel solutions to the structure and functioning of cities. Sociasl Ecologic engineering and biomimicry guide the development of form and technological solutions.
Cities are not just economic engines, they are unrivalled as providers of the basic ingredients for quality of life in all its senses: environmental, cultural and social. Cities manage a range of environmental issues, such as quality of air and water, energy, waste and natural resources.
In the future, cities have to secure food provision, especially in a context of shorter, more local, production– consumption chains. A city is a place where the many components of the natural ecosystem are interwoven with those of the social, economic, cultural and political urban system in a unique manner.
Reconcile economic activities and growth with cultural, social and environmental considerations, as well as reconciling urban lifestyles with green constraints and opportunities. As focal points for consumption and innovation, cities play a key role in shaping greener behavior and consumption.
Cities’ resilience means a gradual retrofitting of the existing urban texture, taking into account environmental constraints such as mitigation of, and adaptation to, the impact of climate change. The affordability of housing costs in order to avoid migration flows towards suburban areas is also at stake.
Cities are the best placed to act on the use and misuse of natural resources, and are set to play a key role in the implementation of the global climate targets.