Panelists & Paper Presenters

A.

Kathy Arthurson, A/Professor, Neighbourhoods, Housing and Health Research Unit, Flinders University, Adelaide, AUSTRALIA. Policies for Achieving Healthy, Just and Sustainable Australian Cities: Planning for Urban Diversity

This paper presents the findings of an Australian Research Council funded project that investigated inclusionary planning policies for creating urban diversity, promoting a mix of affordable housing, private ownership and rental housing in inner city Melbourne, Australia. The research examined numerous questions, including whether re-configuring urban diversity through urban renewal had positive effects in terms of contributing to residents'  well-being  and modifying the previous negative  neighbourhood  reputation. In the analysis we  conceptualise  neighbourhood  reputation as a critical factor that impacts on residents’  well-being  and social inclusion.   

The paper sets out the mixed method research, which included a quantitative survey of residents and in-depth qualitative interviews. A key focus was exploring how residents perceive urban diversity. Opinions about urban diversity and its impact on  well-being  varied. The majority of respondents supported the idea of inclusionary planning (62%), around a quarter were against it and a small proportion voiced uncertainty about it. The main themes expressed by respondents for supporting inclusionary planning were about avoiding ‘ghettoisation’ of  neighbourhoods, and urban diversity as enabling community building. Some respondents that opposed exclusionary planning expressed the view that people on low incomes should not have access to high quality affordable housing in good inner city locations. Another commonly cited view was that urban diversity is fine in theory ‘but would not work in practice’. The paper concludes with a discussion of urban policies that have successfully surmounted some of these obstacles in order make diversity an asset.

Martin Aube, Professor, Cégep de Sherbrooke, ON, CANADA. The LED outdoor lighting revolution: Opportunities, threats and mitigation for urban and rural citizens.

The presence of artificial light at night (ALAN) in environment is now known to have  non negligible  consequences on fauna, flora and human health. A real revolution is undergoing in the outdoor lighting industry threatens the night integrity. The vector of that revolution is the advent of the cost-effective Light-Emitting Diode (LED) technology into the outdoor lighting industry. The LEDs provides many opportunities: they are long lasting, easily controlled, and generally allow a more efficient photometric  design which, in term, may result in energy savings.  

After explaining the complex and non-linear  behaviour  of the propagation of the ALAN into the nocturnal environment, we will outline the potential impact of the ALAN on the human health and we will introduce some dedicated indicators for its evaluation. A special focus will be made on the role of the blue content of the ALAN in the evaluation of its impact. More specifically we will show how white LED technology, that often shows increased blue light content, compares to the traditional High Pressure Sodium technology. Finally, we will identify the possible mitigations to restrict the adverse impacts of the white LEDs in the urban and rural environment.

B.

Amira Mostafa Badran, Architect and Urban Placemaker, Pratt Institute, NY, NY, USA. An Edge-based Placemaking Approach: Transforming Cairo’s fragmented urban fabric into a network of accessible public spaces

Public open spaces are becoming more sought after in the present-day model of sustainable community and urban development. This paper addresses the emerging concern with lack of safe and equitable public spaces in rapidly growing and over-crowded cities. It presents a brief discussion of fragmented urban settings and the disputed edges that are formulated as a result of this milieu. This notion is part of a wider  placemaking  approach towards co-creating nodes of public space to replace the existing socio-spatial barriers; whether they are impassable streets, fenced walls, abandoned lots or unsafe parks.  

This paper outlines a preliminary strategy model to be implemented in the city of Cairo, Egypt in areas where there is a clear social, economic, and/or physical demarcation, as a tool to investigate further the above premise. Through an integrated process of participatory action and spatial configuration analysis, the paper first traces and studies fragmented routes along with highlighting potential public nodes in the center of Cairo. Second, it proposes a  placemaking  strategy to reclaiming citizen  ownership,  initiating a collective place-led development and building capacity on those poorly utilized nodes to create a cohesive network of micro public spaces. Third, it focuses on one of those nodes as a pilot project to which the edge-based  placemaking  framework will be experimented and applied within this research. Finally, the conclusion drawn from the developing pilot project along with recommendations for future expansions and applications of the proposed framework are included.

Sharon Baggett, Associate Professor, University of Indianapolis, IN, USA. The Age-friendly Community Movement: Inclusion, Small Change, and the Right to the City

While the aging of the planet is a grand challenge, grand challenges call for local solutions. The age-friendly community movement will not succeed by promoting a single model that works for every community. In the words of  Nabeel  Hamdi, global progress will come through the accumulation of “small changes” that emerge from locally defined assessment and local participation and mobilization of resources.  

Using examples from Japan, Cameroon, and the USA, an international panel of scholars and practitioners will discuss the manner in which livability can be defined through participatory research and development that is inclusive of all ages and abilities. Inclusion is taken to be a human right and it will be argued that the just city (or town) is only livable to the degree that it is moving towards full inclusion in both planning and outcomes.  

Four papers in this session will address ways to embed the age-friendly city movement within a social justice framework; the role that young people have played in assessing and responding to the needs of frail elders in Cameroon and Uganda, with attention to the significance of the youth development movement to older adults; the resilience of small Japanese villages in the face of significant demographic change; and an overview of the potential for older persons to contribute to and draw from the sharing economy and escape dependence on the monetary economy for meeting their needs and extending their power.

Wayne Robert Beyea, J.D. Extension Specialist, School of Planning, Design and Construction, Urban and Regional Planning Program, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, USA. Creating Healthier Generations through Safe Routes to School in the U.S. Great Lakes Region

In a single generation, school children in the United States have gone from walking and biking to school to taking private transportation or school busses as the primary mode of transportation. The social, economic and health effects of these trends for children and intergenerational communities has been devastating. To begin to address these concerns the Unites States federal government enacted the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) in 2005. Today, over a decade after its passage all 50 states and more than 17,000 schools have benefited from funds announced by state Safe Routes to School (SRTS) programs (National Center for Safe Routes to School, 2015).  

Within the U.S. Great Lakes region, Michigan has been a leading innovator to combat the negative health effects on children and vulnerable populations by increasing walking and biking to school. Through a unique partnership between the Michigan Department of Transportation, Michigan Fitness Foundation, Michigan State University and local schools, positive impacts have been realized in increasing walking, bicycling and safety at participating schools. 

This paper will highlight the integrated approach used by Michigan State University (MSU) through SRTS grant funding to collaborate with health, transportation, fitness and planning, design and construction experts to strengthen vulnerable populations by increasing non-motorized transportation. National trends, best practices and the innovative SRTS approach used by MSU will be highlighted. The applied research covered in the paper is essential to further understanding the relationship between walking and bicycling to school and student health.

David M Boyd, Senior Planner, City of Bothell, Washington, US; Civita Institute Fellow, Seattle WA, USA. A Living Laboratory for Studying Italian Hilltowns

Nominated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the northern Lazio village of  Civita  di  Bagnoregio  provides a unique living laboratory to study Italian  hilltowns. I have been working on the site since 1984, first as a student of Professor Astra  Zarina in the University of Washington’s Italian  Hilltowns  Program, and then as the  Civita  Institute’s Astra  Zarina  Fellow in 2013. I propose to present my documentation of the complex of properties  Zarina  and husband Tony Heywood purchased, restored, and donated to the  Civita  Institute starting in 1962. 

The five homes, courtyard, garden and library now serve as the Italian home for the  Civita  Institute and its ongoing study of architecture, urban design, and culture. My documentation of the properties includes my own drawings and photos of the properties as both a student and fellow, plus the work of many other students, fellows, and  Zarina  and Heywood themselves. Special focus will be on the revival of traditional, sustainable building methods and adaptation of a built environment to house modern homes and facilities. The properties date back over 2500 years to Etruscan origins, with later Roman, medieval, and Renaissance layers added and revealed through skillful renovations. 

Mike Burnett, President, Hot Sky Consulting, Portland, OR, USA. Envisioning Greenhouse Gas Emissions as Solid Urban Infrastructure

The unanimous approval of the Paris climate agreement places limiting climate change to the minimum practicable levels as the central organizing theme for human activity on Planet Earth. Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for developed nations are to be reduced by 80% by mid-century. The design of cities, which are responsible for over two-thirds of emissions, will have to respond. The fact that GHG are airborne and invisible makes addressing them from a planning perspective somewhat nebulous. One way to make GHG tangible is to conceptually convert carbon dioxide (CO2), the primary GHG, into its frozen form: dry ice. Pre-industrial CO2 levels were the equivalent of 2.8 millimeters of dry ice, which is approximately the thickness of one pane of glass. This, then, is the “glass” in the global greenhouse. CO2, a by-product of fossil fuel combustion, is such a potent GHG that, over its lifetime in the atmosphere, it captures heat equivalent to over 600 times as much energy as contained in the fuel burned to create it. This is why it is essential that we transition towards a fossil-fuel free world. Urban infrastructure decisions inherently involve energy and CO2 emissions. This paper will convert the lifetime CO2 emissions for a range of options for key types of urban infrastructure – buildings, transportation, industry, energy, and nature – into dry ice. The goal is to create a planning tool that will allow urban planners to visualize CO2 emissions as something as solid as the infrastructure that created them.

C.

Bernardita Calinao, PhD, Deputy Director, Orentreich Foundation for the Advancement of Science, Cold Spring on Hudson, NY, USA. Identification of Placemaking Opportunities along Sidewalks using GIS: A Public Realm Study

Sidewalks are often regarded as simple pedestrian corridors to get from Point A to B. Among highly evolved and well-designed cities, however, sidewalks are more than walking corridors. Sidewalk equals place - extensions of private living space that transition naturally to  outdoor  cafes, street benches, play areas, neighborhood markets and gardens. As Jane Jacobs once said, sidewalks are the “lifeline” of the city.  

This paper identifies  placemaking  opportunities among sidewalks in the southwest section of Manhattan, New York. Approximately 63,204 feet of sidewalks were analyzed within 62 blocks, fronting 1,046 parcels that spread over 127.6 acres of land. Sidewalk rating and geographic information systems were used to objectively assess the tangible elements of the walkway, furnishing zone, building edge and street adjacent to a parcel unit. The sidewalk  viewshed  qualities considered include aesthetics, utility, safety, comfort, connectivity,  vibrance, interest and legibility. 

The study succeeded in isolating and mapping sidewalks in need of physical improvement. Of the 1,046 sidewalk units analyzed, up to 280 units had a score of 1 (with 5 as highest) suggesting the need for improvements in the following areas: aesthetics (19%), comfort amenities (21%), safety (5%) and,  vibrance (23%). This study illustrates how the applied sidewalk rating system and GIS technology are effective tools for sidewalk pattern analysis, walkability studies and identification of  placemaking  opportunities.

Luca Caneparo, Director, Professor, DAD, Politecnico di Torino, ITALY. Energy Efficiency Investments in the Quality of Urban Living

Energy efficiency is a global issue for both developed and developing countries.  The paper introduces the methodology being experimented to drive the large amount of financial resources for energy efficiency to improve the quality of urban life.  These resources are being allocated worldwide by both public and private financial institutions. 

The paper addresses the means to grow and care for cities’ places that span public-private space design and management, as an effective methodology to bridge the gap between public and investor finance. 

Energy efficiency is usually managed at the scale of the buildings, i.e. consumption reduction (heating, lighting, etc.). 

Rather, we put forward the methodology and the tools for the regeneration of urban places by means of energy efficiency measures in different countries. This deals with a paradigm shift in the definition of energy efficiency, not just the buildings, instead the local urban environment with its feedbacks on the quality of urban living. New tools are being implemented: 
1. Analytical, to assess the environment at the scale of blocks/neighbourhoods. 
2. Financial, to fund the specific scale. 
3. Policy, to support and incentive. 

For the sake of healthy, just, and sustainable cities, the operational framework of the tools available and being developed by private and public financial institutions in several countries is outlined. 

In the recent years, the support to urban regeneration is becoming particularly relevant, given the budget constraints of most Public Administration and the  conjunctural  shortening of private partnerships, which has dramatically reduced the options of intervention on public spaces especially.

Julie Chodacki, Clinical Psychologist, United States Public Health Service, Belleville, IL, USA Lessons from communities in constant transition: Pros and cons of leveraging replicate built environments to provide stability

U.S. military personnel and their families typically relocate to a new geographical base every three years. Most often they move to an area far from friends and family, often someplace they have never even visited, sometimes to a foreign country. One of the factors that  helps  military members quickly adjust to the new place is the consistency of the built environment. Regardless of the location of the military installation –- whether the military member is working in California or Florida, in Europe or Asia -- primary features of the installation appear nearly the same.  

While the consistency and predictability of the built environment provide physical and emotional security and comfort, there are several drawbacks. Often the familiarity leads to isolation; in some cases military members are reluctant to explore beyond the safety of the base; in some cases the disparity between the military’s built environment and the built environments of the local communities breeds contempt.  
Applying individual cultural identity development research to built environments, this paper considers how “assimilation” or “acculturation” of built environments contributes to communities’ separatism or integration with neighbors and larger social structures. While the paper primarily addresses lessons learned from military communities, it includes similar phenomena from segregated ethnic enclaves in large urban communities. The lessons learned  may  be applied to facilitating smoother transitions for anyone who faces multiple relocations including global business leaders, academics, or journalists.

Vincent Coluccio, Public Health Professional, New York Academy of Medicine, Red Hook, NY, USA  Strategies for Addressing Childhood Lead Poisoning

According to UNICEF;  “Childhood exposure to lead poses an environmental and child health hazard of global proportions, and is a problem that demands urgent action. Lead poisoning is a serious health hazard with major socio-economic implications. Lead is a potent neurotoxin (nerve poison), particularly in children whose growing bodies are highly susceptible. Residents in urban areas have higher lead levels in their blood than those in rural areas.”  

This session will examine the major sources of urban lead exposures to adults and children alike. Childhood susceptibility to lead exposure, and a brief review of childhood lead exposure health effects, will be presented. Environmental lead exposure standards will be presented and compared with lead concentrations in several urban areas. 

A case study of effective practices for the monitoring and dramatic reduction of both urban lead pollution and childhood lead exposures, based on regulatory programs in the United States, will be presented. The importance of monitoring for environmental lead and children’s blood lead levels, in areas with potential for lead contamination, will be emphasized.  

In communities where lead risks are identified, parental organizations in concert with medical personnel and community leaders might serve as advocates for governmental resources and lend support for lead reduction programs. Professional public health organizations may also serve as sounding boards to both the community and the agency conducting environmental testing.

D.

Kristie Daniel, Director, Livable Cities Program, HealthBridge, Ottawa, CANADA. Understanding slum dwellers access to public spaces

Public space has been recognized as an international priority through its inclusion in the Sustainable Development Goals. In order to understand the current situation in Kampala, Uganda we conducted two studies that examined the location and quality of local parks and public spaces. The first study found there was a lack of formal parks and open spaces in the city, particularly in outlying areas and slum settlements. The parks that did exist were of poor quality and primarily served the sports activities of adult males.  

Our second study examined the informal spaces—that is, spaces not officially recognized as parks or other public spaces— that may exist within and near slums. We conducted a similar study that mapped the location and determined the quality of the informal spaces through both direct observation and through focus group discussions. This study found the informal spaces greatly increased the coverage of space for recreation. But, the informal spaces were crowded and the safety conditions in most spaces were poor, especially for children and women. 

The results of both studies confirmed that community engagement is critical for the preservation, maintenance, and enhancement of parks and playgrounds in Kampala. The local people are eager and  well-positioned  to take care of their open spaces provided they are preserved and protected by the City. Local groups are using the results to advocate for strong policies at the City and to work with local communities to improve their spaces.

Ken Doherty, Director of Community Services, City of Peterborough, ON, CANADA. Leveraging Sustainability

The City of Peterborough, Ontario, Canada is a single-tier municipality of 84,000. While not part of regional government, the City collaborated with Peterborough County, its eight Townships, two First Nations, and community partners, to establish Sustainable Peterborough (SP) in 2007. This unique partnership has leveraged significant external funding and influenced regional policy and planning development.  

In 2009, SP secured $445,974 from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities; the province; and local sources to develop an Integrated Community Sustainability Plan.  The resulting Plan was unanimously adopted by all local governments in 2012.  

Its vision is simple yet far-reaching: “Caring communities balancing prosperity, well-being, and nature.” It encompasses 11 theme areas and 18 priority action items-- well beyond scope of more traditional environmental plans.  

Annual report cards have spurred healthy competition among local governments, resulting in significant advances. In 2013 SP secured $445,500 of external funding to develop a regional Climate Change Action Plan. Consultants have completed inventories of Green House Gas Emissions for 2011 and, post Paris, a broad cross section of community leaders are working on local action plans.  

Sustainable Peterborough’s impact continues to expand. It has secured $850,000 in provincial funding over three years to lead a Healthy Kids Community Challenge. The Plan has also influenced Official Plans, Transportation Plans, and Energy Plans. Collaboration has extended to the development of a regional Age Friendly Plan and a regional tourism partnership with Shimano on cycling routes. Next, Sustainable Peterborough may finally tackle local food security and agriculture …

Jenny Donovan, Principal, Inclusive Design, Albert Park, AUSTRALIA Places where people thrive

Place matters. When we intervene in other people’s shared surroundings we frame the opportunities and experiences open to those people. We influence who people can meet, what they do, what they are inspired by. This in turn influences their chances of gathering the life lessons, forging the connections and collecting the insights that are necessary to meet their needs and face life’s challenges. 

This places a huge responsibility and privilege in the hands of all of us who influence the public realm. Our choices can may consign people to dependency on expensive, dangerous, land-hungry and unsustainable modes of transport or liberate them from such dependency. Decisions we make may have implications on people’s ability to participate and connect. Our actions can reinforce or erode the ability of places to move people emotionally and inspire them. 

This paper will suggest some characteristics that influence whether or not a place nurtures or neglects its inhabitants and some of the social outcomes. The paper will make some observations about a social gradient of design inspiration that reflects and reinforces the social gradient of health observable in many countries. It will refer to a number of projects around the world that have sought to change the relationship between people and place to make that relationship more mutually nurturing, revealing some of the mistakes as well as the successes. The paper will conclude by suggesting some characteristics that places have that may support people to meet their needs, thrive and  fulfil  their potential:  thriveogenic  places

E.

Richard M. Economakis, Architect, Professor, University of Notre Dame, South Bend, IN, USA. Streets of hope: Outlining an urban, environmentally responsible approach to housing EU asylum-seekers

The unfolding refugee crisis has prompted governments to adopt easy-to-build,  temporary housing types to house the waves of migrants while their requests for asylum are processed. However, even the most efficient shelters currently being produced are guaranteed in their aggregate to cause significant damage to the environment. This paper will discuss the nature of this damage, including carbon dioxide emissions during manufacture, and toxicity to the earth resulting from disposal.   

A proposal will be presented which envisages the creation of temporary processing centers in Turkey, Jordan, Greece, Italy and other crisis 'hot spots', employing ‘zero-impact’ environmental techniques and using a traditional urban model to create humane, welcoming settings for migrants who have fled violence in the home towns. Refugees would find temporary quarters while waiting to be processed, complete with health- and child-care services, refectories, clothing dispensaries, laundry facilities, etc. Their first experience in transitioning to Europe would thus be welcoming and civilized. Buildings would be constructed using upgraded adobe techniques (sun-dried brick), which are familiar in Syria and other countries of the Middle East. Adobe buildings are cheap, easy to produce,  quick  to assemble, and highly ecological, as they do not generate deleterious amounts of carbon dioxide during production and handling, nor do they leave toxic or other hazardous waste when discarded. They are also highly durable, permitting eventual re-purposing of the processing centers as affordable housing, academic villages, or resort communities. The ability to re-purpose makes the proposal attractive for investment, which can count on eventual capital returns.

Cherie Enns, Phd(Cand) RPP, Associate Professor, University of Fraser Valley, BC, CANADA. Just Communities and the Migrant: A Sustainable Response

Recent mass migrations of people due to conflict, climate change related events or other challenges such as economic disparity have reinforced the need for more sustainable global policy response at both the source country and in communities where migrants are received. Receiving regions and countries are faced with many impacts and are often under resourced. Without an adaptive and holistic strategy conflict and discord arises at each receiving location. Opportunities and benefits are often over-looked. 

Based on our experience working in global communities including conflict zones of South Sudan and Somalia and receiving communities within the region and Canada, the authors will present a framework for responsive community design to global realities of the movement of people. With a focus on voice of those affected and respect for challenges a series of case studies will be explored. These case studies will demonstrate a variety of tools and examples of methods of meaningful engagement, adaptive planning and community design, and finally long term adaptability to changing communities and self-built sustainable neighbourhoods. 

Working through case studies, the presenters will provide innovative approaches to helping create resiliency for both receiving and source communities with the goal for more just and sustainable for all.

F.

Roberto Falanga, Postdoc Research Fellow, Institute of Social Sciences – University of Lisbon, PORTUGAL. The good, the bad and the ugly, or, participation, crisis and cities. The case of Lisbon

In the last two decades, new forms of interaction between public authorities and civil society have spread at multiple scales worldwide. Participation over public policies and services has, in some cases, aimed to uphold challenges against the pervasive impact of financial crisis from 2008 onwards. 

Taking into account changes in governance patterning in urban contexts, and zooming in Southern Europe, this paper aims to observe and understand the role of participation in contexts of crisis. On discussing the growing fashioning with civil society participation in Portugal, and considering the country as one of the most affected by austerity measures, a light will be shed on two ongoing participatory initiatives in Lisbon: the Participatory Budgeting, from 2008, and the  BipZip  Programme, from 2011. Both international and national organizations have demonstrated high appreciation on these initiatives, and this paper acknowledges that more critical discussion is needed about their impact in the city.  

The initiatives will be first thoroughly  analysed  as specific participatory policies and, secondly, discussed looking at their results within the alleged renewal of the urban governance in Lisbon. Final considerations on participatory policies will be proposed at the light of the Portuguese context and the critical times experienced in Southern Europe.

Aidan J. ffrench, MILI Past President ILI, Irish Landscape Insitute/Dlr County Council Green Infrastructure PM, Bray, REPUBLIC OF IRELAND. People, Place and Quality of Life: achieving sustainable Green Infrastructure and Quality Placemaking – lessons from Ireland

After the country’s disastrous flirtation with a neo-liberal model of economy that gravely impacted on people and environment, Ireland is experiencing amplified  urbanisation  just as climate change is acutely impacting on human lives. This against a background of constrained public  resources,  exacerbated by dysfunctional governance, ineffective policy delivery, poor regulation and misplaced investment priorities.  

Despite these systematic weaknesses, inspiring examples of progress do persist;  driven by civil society and passionate ‘champions’ in the public sector. At local levels in towns and cities, a new focus on community  placemaking  and urban horticulture is enhancing health and  well-being. Dublin City Region’s constituent local authorities are engaged with this process by fostering and delivering  practically-orientated  projects, that benefit the common good (public health, social solidarity, quality living, working, leisure places).  

Dlr  County Council’s Green Infrastructure Strategy 2016-22 is a holistic response to this trend. The award-winning, multi-disciplinary project -  jointly-led  by landscape and planning professionals – comprises 3 strands: smart movement, natural heritage and water management; all taking  cognisance  of the imperative of Climate Change mitigation. The Strategy harnesses existing initiatives, e.g. urban greenways for health, eco-tourism and local economy;  greenspace  for green exercise/eco-therapy; while seeking to  programme  pilot, demonstrator projects in biodiversity, constructed wetlands, ‘green streets’  stormwater  management and PPS (New York)- inspired  placemaking; thereby leveraging the diverse  syngergies  that G.I potential offers to people, place and a more sustainable model of economy and urbanism. The underlying philosophy suggests are new paradigm resonant of the communal and commons ethos, central to LAUDATE SI.

G.

Kathleen M. Galvin, Charlottesville City Councilor, AIA, CNU-A, Charlottesville City Council, Charlottesville, VA, USA.  Building a Sustainable and Equitable City: One Neighborhood at a Time.

This paper focuses on how the redevelopment of HUD assisted housing within the context of sustainable neighborhood revitalization can be an agent for equitable change, when coupled with “a consistent investment policy,” that intentionally links residents’ self-sufficiency to the rebuilding of their community. 

Charlottesville, VA is home to the University of Virginia and a successful pedestrian mall. Just south of the mall, lies a former industrial area with several public and subsidized housing developments. In 2008, this area was identified by the Department of Health and Human Services as medically underserved and in 2010 it was the subject of a failed attempt to secure a Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Choice Neighborhood Grant. In 2012, the City committed its own funding to create a vision for holistic redevelopment without resident displacement, known as the Strategic Investment Area (SIA) Plan. Coincidently, another study found that one-third of Charlottesville’s working families did not earn enough to be self-sufficient. These findings compelled the City to produce the Growing Opportunity Report which  initiated a downtown job center, apprenticeships, alternative certification programs and peer networking. 

In 2015, the City granted funds to a non-profit housing provider to begin the process of rebuilding one of the HUD assisted developments within the SIA. Redevelopment can promote economic mobility, however, under the HUD Section 3 Program. With the City’s workforce initiatives and SIA Plan, Charlottesville now has the framework to help residents become self-sufficient by “qualifying” them for construction jobs related to redevelopment.  

Grzegorz Gawron, PhD, University of Silesia in Katowice, POLAND. Seniors in city. The analysis of selected concepts for adapting public and private spaces to the needs of aging society

The early part of the 21st century sees two notable milestones. For the first time in history, more people live now in urban than in rural areas. On the other hand we have the rapid ageing of  humanity which  is perhaps the most salient and dynamic aspect of modern demography. These two closely related global trends already have and will have significant implications for human development. This means the necessity to meet the needs of the growing group of people with specific requirements, with full rights and legitimate aspirations for decent quality of life and be involved in society.  

According to the World Health Organization experts, and not only their opinion, the physical and social environments are key determinants of whether people can remain healthy, independent and autonomous long into their old age. Of course there are many possible ways (theories and ideas) in which the urban environment may influence the health and  well-being  of older residents. But two of them seem to respond directly to the needs of shaping private and public spaces. The concepts of “Aging in place” and “Age friendly cities” showing how societies (on global and local level) should prepare for challenges of aging, therefore they are worth presenting and promoting in every aspect.

Peter A. Gorski, MD, MPA, Professor of Humanities, Health & Society, Florida International University; University of Miami; and Chief Community Health, Child Development & Innovation Officer, The Children's Trust of Miami-Dade County, Miami, FL, USA. How Municipal Government Overcame Its Own Bureaucracy to Leverage Relationships and Promote Healthy Community

A unique independent taxing authority of county government established by voter referendum to provide county-wide services for children and families recently reorganized its mission, programs and methods in order to increase its impact through efforts to engage citizens as leaders and guides, convene funder  collaboratives  across public and private sectors and change underlying social, economic, environmental and educational conditions in hopes of increasing the impact of more traditional social services. In moving staff and programs from service-centric and deficit based to relationship-centered and asset based, community partners naturally began to consider each other’s synergistic contributions to and shared responsibility for social and environmental justice, community health and children’s development. The presentation will describe a first tangible project that applies the new framework, in this case to rally citizen energy for restoring the beauty, use and central salutary role of neighborhood parks, based on the following guiding principles: 

1. Personal dignity, community and justice are the root sources of health; 
2. The social gradient reflects the artificial distance created by professional power relationships; 
3. Built and natural environments foster and depend on caring relationships; 
4. No one organization or strategy can create community health. 

These values direct a concerted project to rejuvenate the physical condition and central social and educational role of neighborhood parks in Miami, Florida. We will discuss the status of community planning and action that is energizing participatory citizenship.

Michael Grove, Principal, Sasaki Associates, Watertown, MA, USA. An Agricultural Economy for 21st Century Beijing

Cities are innovation ecosystems, empowering the collective intelligence and co-creative capabilities of their citizens. The conversation today not only includes the city,  but  expands to include entire regions – mega-scaled areas in which a city is the beating heart of a robust, larger body. The edges of these cities, where intellectual capital and modern conveniences are nearby, and where land is still available (and affordable), are fertile ground for new ways of thinking about urbanism, innovation, and economics. While this land is often agricultural, the issue is more complex than the loss of farmland to development. With great social, economic, and ecological implications, a significant shift in the relationship between cities and farms is long overdue.  

Situated 13 kilometers east of Beijing,  Songzhuang  illustrates how we might reimagine the  peri-urban interface. Designed as a series of self-sustaining communities, the plan offers a revolutionary vision where civic life and agriculture are integrated.  Songzhuang  proposes a complete reconfiguration of the relationship between city, public realm, and farmland. Conventional development patterns dictate that farms are located either at the periphery of the city, cut away from the urban fabric, or surrounding a smaller urban area, creating an ocean of farmland in which the town is an isolated island. At  Songzhuang, this pattern is inverted, with development forming the periphery, promoting interaction between the urban fabric, parks, and agricultural fields. This strategy balances development and open space, promotes, self-reliance, and creates abundant new economic opportunities based on research and scientific advancement of agricultural products.

H.

Hiro Hata, Associate Professor of Urban Design, School of Architecture and Planning, University at Buffalo/SUNY, NY, USA A Vision for Shelton Square, Buffalo, NY: Urban Design for the Common Good to re-energizing the historic downtown square

Under the theme of Prioritizing the Common Good, Urban Design and the Public Realm, this paper will discuss alternative urban design visions for transforming a Buffalo’s downtown historic square from a present traffic island into a great urban space, thus catalyzing to redevelop it a truly sustainable, walkable, livable urban fabric with a sense of place rich in human-scale. 

Once known as the “Times Square of Buffalo”, Shelton Square -- named after the St. Paul’s great 19th-century rector Rev. William Shelton -- was a bustling place bounded by historical landmarks like St. Paul’s Cathedral and Louis Sullivan’s Guaranty Building. The nexus of four major arteries -- Main, Erie, Church and Niagara Streets figured prominently in Joseph Ellicott’s radial plan of 1804 -- it long served as a hub of downtown shopping, public transit and business activities. But as urban renewal took hold in the 1960s, Shelton Square became choked off by traffic and parking lot. 

Sustainable strategies will illustrate potential for re-energizing the historic square to be a heart of the existing Erie Community College campus and a new mixed-use district for housing and retail activity around it. New armature would connect the square with emerging nodes such as the East-Side and the Buffalo-Niagara Medical Campus. The paper will disseminate highlights of an urban design research conducted by this author with a group of interdisciplinary students at University at Buffalo. The design research was enriched by input from stakeholders representing state, county, city, preservationists, private developers and concerned citizens.

Mary Beth Henry, Community Technology Planner/Manager, City of Portland, OR, USA. Integrating Digital Infrastructure into the Livable City'

Urban planners typically focus on the built environment with a goal of creating connected, healthy, prosperous cities. They should also pay heed to the critical, emerging importance of the  internet.  The  internet  is just as vital a part of a city’s infrastructure as its roads, bridges, and electrical grid.  Access to the internet has become essential for full participation in society, yet many communities are not integrating broadband internet infrastructure, access, and training into local plans: many cities and their citizens are on the wrong side of the digital divide, which separates those people who have access, devices, and digital skills from those that do not.   

Ubiquitous, affordable high speed  internet  via fiber and wireless can be transformative in creating the healthy, equitable, responsive city of the future.  For example, high speed  internet  is a prerequisite for telework and  telehealth  applications. These, as well as a wide range of other broadband-based applications, benefit the environment and reduce greenhouse gases by reducing auto emissions, construction demand, road maintenance, and related energy use.  

Planners must also counteract potential negative impacts of the  internet  such as a more sedentary lifestyle and isolation.  Providing  internet  access and training in  multi-purpose community centers in affordable housing complexes  is one way to address both issues.    

The  internet  can be a supplement to face-to-face communication in order to forge connections between people in the community and foster dialogue about local issues.  However,  unless whole communities – providers, planners, architects, elected officials, non-profits, and the citizenry – develop targeted, collaborative solutions to address the digital divide, income disparities will continue to grow.  Author Jane Jacobs argued that “cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.”  Digital infrastructure will play an increasingly important role in creating more livable cities and combatting climate change, but only if urban planning integrates broadband and addresses the digital divide.

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Dr. Paul A Jones, Reader in the Social Economy, Research Unit for Financial Inclusion, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, England, UK. Creating affordable financial services from the bottom-up: The role of community finance in achieving healthy, just and sustainable cities

Over the last 20 years, Liverpool has undergone a process of urban regeneration that has facilitated a new waterfront, a growth in the visitor economy, a huge increase in commercial and cultural activity and in apartment living in the city centre.   

But on the housing estates that surround the city, poverty, financial exclusion, over-indebtedness and deprivation persist.  Marginalised  by the banks and mainstream financial providers, large numbers of people on low-incomes lack access to affordable financial services and are left with little choice but to use high-cost, sub-prime financial providers. The result is greater financial insecurity for many, often with significant detrimental effects on health and  well-being.  

This paper argues that there can be no healthy, just or sustainable city without access to affordable financial services appropriate to the needs of its inhabitants. Yet the for-profit banking sector has shown little interest in serving low-income communities. In Britain, it has often been left to volunteers to come together to respond to the financial needs of their own communities through the creation of self-help financial co-operatives known as credit unions.  

The paper traces the development of British credit unions and analyses their role within the social economy as community-driven, democratic and mutual financial institutions. It explores their contribution to social, economic and community development and how they have become regarded by policy makers in national and local government as filling gaps abandoned by the state and by the private financial sector and as key long-term players in serving low-income communities.

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William Kenworthey, Partner, Cooper Robertson, New York, NY, USA Future Imperfect - Lessons learned for an approach to achieve more resilient places

New York was dealt a devastating terrorist attack in 2001, saw the fall of its financial giants in the crisis of 2008, and in 2012 was battered by a powerful storm that flooded its communities, burned one neighborhood to the ground, and left many without power for days to weeks. The reality that this waterfront city continues to grow and thrive demonstrates the magnetism of this adaptable place. Through the City’s plan for A Stronger, More Resilient New York, the State’s effort for New York Rising, and outcomes from HUD’s Rebuild By Design Competition resiliency is being implemented. It will take time, money, and a shift in culture to prepare all of our systems to be ready for what threat may come next. There is always more to be done, as resilient is not something you are, it is something you become more so, since every future hazard cannot be predicted with absolute certainty. Policies related to buildings and infrastructure need to evolve. And, solutions cannot just be copied from other parts of the world; they must be built with the uniqueness of place in mind, incorporate the concerns of the inhabitants who must live with the results, and have a sensitivity to culture and ecology, which can also add to economic value. The result is truly of, by and for a locale. Design with the place in mind is how our firm approaches resiliency, which with beauty, craft, and sustainability should be inherent in each solution. This is a presentation of lessons learned from our recent work.

Bridget Kerner, Program Analyst, National Association of County and City Health Officials, Washington DC, USA. Brownfield Redevelopment and Health Impact Assessment: A Model for Success

In the United States, a brownfield is an identified space containing hazardous pollutants or contaminants, making the space unsafe for community members and requiring a comprehensive redevelopment process. Communities with brownfields in close proximity suffer economically, physically, and emotionally until the space is redeveloped. The redevelopment process is problematic because of where brownfields are located and how redevelopment plans are developed. Brownfields are predominantly located in communities with a high density of low income and minority residents who are disproportionally exposed to environmental hazards, intensifying inequitable health outcomes. In addition, the redevelopment process does not require community engagement or input, without this engagement the specific needs of a community are neglected.  

One strategy for engaging communities and preventing negative health outcomes for vulnerable populations is health impact assessment (HIA). Local health departments and community organizations can use HIA to develop research-based recommendations on community brownfield redevelopment plans that prioritize community health and wellness. A successful example of a brownfield redevelopment Health Impact Assessment can be seen in Pasco County, Florida where HIA was used to influence the County's redevelopment of a brownfield site into a multi-use community center. Pasco County is a successful model for bringing health to the forefront of brownfield redevelopment and increasing community engagement in the redevelopment process.  

This case study encourages local health departments to lead brownfield redevelopment efforts using HIA as a tool to address segments of their community that are polluted and neglected. Brownfields are a barrier to community health and  well-being, the case of Pasco County offers a solution to this barrier and a method for enhancing the health of vulnerable communities.

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Dave Lee and Luca Rocco, Professor, Clemson University School of Architecture, Clemson, SC, USA. Una Piazza per Tutti [A Square for Everybody]

This paper discusses an architectural design project undertaken by university students to reinvigorate the identity of an historic Genoese Piazza by providing self-sufficient housing for displaced immigrants. 

The premise for this project was that sustainable, just cities and settlements  can  be restored to areas that once thrived with such activity, but have – for various reasons – lost their identity. For the rebirth of these places to occur it is first necessary to understand how they functioned, their urban fabric and cultural identity. With existing locations it is sensible to begin with a bottom-up approach. As such, this project began with a careful examination of the Piazza, its history, and how its organization functions as a social, political, commercial, and religious heart of the city. 

Several  piazze  were identified in the city of  Genova in addition to other medieval  piazze  in northern Italy to draw comparison to their formations. Having considered localized functions and constituents a priority we then isolated a single piazza, San  Pancrazio, to further study and propose a range of sustainable solutions. 

A church of former significance resides in this particular piazza whose socially responsible activities elicited design responses that suggested a common thread of providing a renewed sense of community. This was addressed by providing a modestly scaled new construction on an open site adjacent to the piazza that had been destroyed in World War II. The design proposals each considered the constituents of the piazza as socially connected and self-sufficient - in this way, linking individual buildings.

Lora Lucero, Professor, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, USA. Transforming to a livable community in the absence of political stability: Gaza Strip as a case study

Nearly 2 million people live in the very dense and  tightly-controlled  Gaza Strip. The United Nations has predicted the Gaza Strip may be uninhabitable by 2020. Although the challenges appear to be intractable, this paper offers integrated strategies to build a just and livable community. Using Kate  Raworth’s  Doughnut, the authors summarize the current conditions on the ground in the Gaza Strip using key indicators (including health, unemployment, infrastructure, education and the environment), followed by a description of some of the obstacles.  

The focus of the paper is the authors’ description of a livable community in the context of the challenges and opportunities present in the Gaza Strip, along with integrated strategies to address immediate needs to ensure basic survival (again referring back to Raworth’s doughnut), and intermediate actions to plan for the mid-term and long-term sustainability of the Gaza Strip. Top among the strategies is the authors’ firm belief that the next generation of talent must be empowered to take a leadership role in this effort. 

The research compiles substantial work and writing prepared by international organizations that have studied the conditions, combined with the authors’ personal experience in the Gaza Strip. The recommendations and conclusions are solely those of the authors and have not been vetted by others inside or outside of the Gaza Strip.

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Tracy Walker Moir-McCleanAssociate Professor, Schools of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN, USA. Stewardship of an Urban Wilderness of Blue and Green in an American City

This paper describes a timeline of key ideas, events, vision and planning projects in Knoxville that led to identification, recognition and preservation of land and water urban wilderness resources in the city. These resources support social, economic, civic, educational and recreational needs of local urban and ecological communities while enhancing connection between residents and wild places. The presentation also describes a long-term planning that connects Knoxville’s urban wilderness system to a regional infrastructure of blue and green wilderness and low-impact transportation corridors within the Knoxville-Oak Ridge-Maryville metropolitan area and the surrounding five-county planning area. Contributions and coordination of effort between government and planning agencies, non-governmental organizations and citizen groups are discussed. Unique aspects of local culture that support these efforts including deep connections between local Christian spiritual traditions and nature, and a local culture and legacy of community-giving and stewardship are also discussed. Presented by a design professional and university faculty member who has observed and contributed to this process over a 20-year period through community-engaged urban design and landscape planning courses and publications.

Nancy McLean, ASLA, RPP, Planner and Landscape Architect, Corporation of Delta, Corporation of Delta, Delta, BC, CANADA.  The Green Gateway: Creating an Urban Forest Network to Improve Air and Water Quality

Urban tree canopy cover provides significant, measurable benefits for sustainability. Based on research from the US Forest Service and biologists, a small municipality changed its legislation to support tree planting and dramatically increase canopy cover. Dr. Nowak's work on the selection of tree species to best address pollution will be reviewed in light of planting for air quality and water quality improvement. The techniques applied to create an urban quilt with ecological connectivity will be explored in depth to provide a template for future sustainable programs. Acquiring planting sites from other government agencies and plants from a variety of sources were key to the success of the projects completed, and the synergy among participants, donors, government officials, and students engaged in the projects offers an untapped resource for others to use to promote and create sustainable cities.

Jane Mitchell, Chair, Grand River Conservation Authority, Region of Waterloo Councillor, Waterloo, Ontario, CANADA. Using Partnerships to Turn an Open Sewer into an Award Winning Urban River and to Protect the Local Drinking Water Aquifers

250 years ago, the Grand River Watershed and the Region of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada were forest and indigenous created savanna. Settlers arrived and cut down the forests to create European farms. Towns grew up. By the 1930s, the Grand River ran with raw sewage. The river flooded or dried up completely. Tree cover was 5 percent.  

Business, politicians and environmentalists formed the Grand River Conservation Authority. Sewage was treated, dams and dykes built and building restricted on the flood plain. Today partnerships protect fisheries, plant trees and help farmers prevent runoff. The Grand became the first urban Heritage  river  in Canada and won the Thiess International  River prize.  

One of those partnerships is the Lake Erie Source Protection Committee. In May 2000, people in Walkerton to the north of Waterloo Region died from E. coli in the town well. The province of Ontario passed the Clean Water Act and the local source protection committee brought together municipal governments, industry, first nations (Six Nations of the Grand River, Mississauga of the New Credit), and community to craft a plan that protects wells and rivers. 

In 1990 the town of Elmira, Ontario had its water supply polluted by NDMA and DDT from barrels buried by Uniroyal. The town now uses piped in water. In response to concerns by citizens, the Region of Waterloo created Environmentally Sensitive Landscapes and the Country Side Line around the urban areas to restrict growth over the most sensitive aquifers. 

Before and after photos provided.

David L. Mowat, Senior Scientific Lead, Population Health (public heath physician), Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, Toronto, ON, CANADA. Healthy Canada by Design: lessons learned from bringing health considerations into land use and transportation processes.

In the last decade health authorities across Canada have demonstrated a growing interest in the relationship between the built environment and the health of their populations. In 2010 the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, an agency of the federal government, provided funding to catalyze action on this issue, starting with five national and seven local partners. Funds were directed neither to research nor to construction, but rather to developing relationships, tools and knowledge  products which  result in changes of practice and policy, and also to exchanging and mobilizing knowledge and building capacity. Critical relationships include those amongst public health officials, urban planners and transportation engineers, as well as amongst public health, elected officials and the affected public. These links were developed at national (ex.  National professional associations for planners, and transportation engineers, provincial associations, provincial governments) and local levels.  

A second phase expanded the project to seven health regions, each involving several municipalities. After three and a half years of the project there were reports of 122 practice changes, such as health membership on planning review committees and participation of health staff in developing design guidelines; and 66 policy changes, such as, inclusion of health related language in official plans and requirements for the use of specific health impact assessment tool.  

The paper will describe the project and its rationale, provide more information on results and will identify key success factors.

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Fabio Paoletti, Engineer, Visiting Professor, Studio Paoletti, UTSA Urbino, Salara, ITALY. The return to the Piazza

After decades of new inhumane architectures, born to break spaces and schemes,  finally the design and construction of the “Piazza” as a place to belong, to meet and exchange has once again become a key element in some of the latest projects of Traditional architecture and urbanism. These new squares built or under construction have flourished and are flourishing worldwide. The speech focuses on the compositional aspects of the traditional piazza in the former western town and in a parallel between the historic squares and samples of new projects in Italy, France, England, United States, Guatemala and other countries. The speech is supposed to be given in a  powerpoint  slideshow.

Dr. Danang Priatmodjo, Senior lecturer, Department of Architecture, Faculty of Engineering, Tarumanagara University, Jakarta, INDONESIA Winning Back City’s Blue-Green Elements: Cases of Waduk Pluit and Waduk Ria Rio, Jakarta

As a city where thirteen rivers run, Jakarta needs many water basins for controlling overflow of the rivers. There are eleven large water basins scattered around the city. Among them, two water basins are special, for located in considered “prime locations”. They are  Waduk  Pluit  (80 ha) and  Waduk  Ria  Rio  (26 ha).  Waduk  means water basin. Resulted from their strategic locations, for about fifty years the two water basins suffered from the squatters who occupied edges of water bodies. There are about 17,000 families live on the shores of  Pluit basin, while 850 families reside the banks of  Ria  Rio basin. Furthermore, for decades water bodies of those basins were covered by water hyacinth.  

The fate of the two basins were radically changed after  Joko  Widodo – with nickname “Jokowi” – was elected as the Governor of Jakarta in 2013 (Note: A year later  Jokowi  was elected as the President of Indonesia). The new governor relocated people from west edge of  Pluit  basin and built a green public park on it. Similar action was conducted in south edge of  Ria  Rio basin. In addition, the water hyacinth has removed. Now people of Jakarta enjoy a 4 ha waterfront park at west edge of  Pluit  basin, and another 2 ha similar park at south edge of  Ria  Rio basin.  

After a long – half a century – wait, the blue and green elements of the city win back. And it is just a start. Other banks of both  Pluit  and  Ria  Rio basins will get their turn. Likewise other nine basins that suffer similar situation will be reorganized.

Michaele Pride,  Professor and Associate Dean, University of New Mexico, School of Architecture and Planning, Albuquerque, NM, USA. Training Design Professionals to Create Healthy, Equitable Communities

In recent years, the building/construction/development industries have become increasingly interested in the population and individual health impacts of environmental design and planning. This ‘interest’ is the latest phase in a long tradition of architects and planners attention to (and responsibility for) the health, safety and welfare of the general public. Among current concerns  are  health disparities correlated with place—one’s zip code is a greater determinant of health outcomes than one’s DNA code.   

Today’s trends in health concerns span a spectrum from healthy buildings/interior environments (now measured with the Well Building Standard) and Health Impact Assessments of development policy proposals to urban design strategies intended to support active living (Active Living Standards, NYC).  

How do we ensure that today’s architecture/design and planning students develop the skills and knowledge base to enter tomorrow’s workforce well-prepared to address/improve the health impacts of their professional work...especially for those communities that experience health disparities? While professional organizations have readily adopted public health objectives, the academy is slower to move/change. That said several design and planning schools have developed health initiatives in response to the (new) demands of practitioners, clients and the general public.  

This paper provides an overview of recent trends in environmental design disciplines to explicitly address (measure, predict) the health outcomes of the built environment. Design/architecture-based initiatives at three institutions—University of Michigan, University of New Mexico, and the University of Washington—will be highlighted as demonstration of the various ways in which the academy is adjusting/adapting to meet new concerns and new demands coming from the design professions, clients, and the general public.

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Kimberly Rollings, Assistant Professor, University of Notre Dame, South Bend, IN, USA. Creating constituencies for health and sustainability in post-industrial cities: lessons from South Bend, Indiana USA

Smaller, post-industrial U.S. cities present a unique opportunity to turn urban deficiencies into assets. Despite deprived economic conditions and crumbling infrastructure resulting from suburban migration, the demise of heavy industry, and population decline since the 1960’s, “rust-belt” city revitalization can not only reinvigorate local economies, but create constituencies for health and sustainability. The city of South Bend, home to just over 100,000 residents, is a prototypical post-industrial city located near the southernmost bend of the St. Joseph River in Indiana. This paper will describe ongoing and often converging public, private, and community efforts to improve health and sustainability in South Bend via adaptive reuse and downtown revitalization, improving pedestrian infrastructure, and increasing access to nature and recreation. Adaptive reuse of many abandoned buildings has attracted new jobs and businesses, as well as a local food co-op, a community center, community gardens, and a community-run “pay-it-forward” coffee shop. Improvements to pedestrian infrastructure and public safety promote walkability and connectivity. One-way streets converted into two-way streets, “complete street” renovations, and organized events draw children and families downtown and to city parks. Walking school buses increase physical activity and emphasize the importance of neighborhood schools in building community. Improvements to parks and trails provide enhanced opportunities for physical activity, recreation, and access to nature. “Top-down” and “bottom-up” efforts focusing on health, sustainability, and quality of life, in addition to economic investment, have been critical to South Bend’s progress and serve as lessons for other post-industrial U.S. cities.

Alejandra Gonzalez Rossetti, PhD, Senior Adviser, Barcelona Global Health Institute – ISGlobal, Barcelona, SPAIN. Urban Policy Innovation for Urban Health Equity

In the last two decades, significant progress has been made around the understanding and measurement of city factors affecting the health of urban dwellers along two urban health fields: environmental health and urban health equity. This has triggered an increasingly dynamic dialogue among urban health thinkers and city policy makers, generating high expectations about reaching a common interest in prioritizing urban health at the core of city agendas. This opportunity presents an important challenge: That of creating the policy mechanisms and tools that may bridge the gap between urban health thinking and city policy-making.  

This paper intends to contribute to bridge this gap by presenting a set of urban health policy tools designed to enable urban health thinkers and city policy makers to jointly and swiftly address the urban policy details of urban health, thus ensuring that knowledge and evidence in urban health reach the relevant urban policy arenas (in the city’s institutional context), at the right time (in the urban policy process) and with the right content (with a systemic approach enabling “intake” in urban policy). The set of tools directed at supporting rapid joint exercises among urban health thinkers and city policy makers is organized around three areas: (1) City governance and institutional context; (2) Urban policy process; and (3) Systems toolkit for urban health policy that structures decision-making around governance, finance, resource management and service organization.

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Rosa Schiano-Phan, PhD, Principal Lecturer, Westminster University, London, England, UK. The Mitigative Potential of Urban Environments and Their Microclimates

Cities play a crucial role in climate change: More than 50% of the growing population lives in cities producing most of the global GDP but also 78% of greenhouse gases (GHG) responsible for climate change. Moreover, due to their highly modified land-use and intensive activities,  cities are at the forefront of the most rapid environmental and climatic change ever experienced by mankind. Yet, cities’ potential to mitigate both  climate change and their own environment is underexploited.  

This paper explores ideas  related to the potential of urban environments to modify their microclimates, reflecting on the overlapping potential between  mitigative  and adaptive actions. These actions in cities can not only tackle some of the largest contributing factors to global climate change  but  offer short- to medium-term benefits that could drive more immediate socioeconomic and behavioral changes.  

This review proposes and discusses a new preliminary definition of urban environments as microclimate modifiers—Mitigative  urban Environments and Microclimates (MitEM)—and calls for further research into: (a) inter-connecting the full range of  mitigative  and adaptive initiatives already being undertaken in many cities and  maximizing their input systemically; (b) developing a common and holistic definition of  MitEM; (c) promoting its uptake at policy level and amongst the key stakeholders, based on its social and public value beyond the environmental.

Katarina Smatanova, University Researcher, architect, Institute of Land Use and Urban Planning, Faculty of Architecture, Slovak University of Technology, Bratislava, SLOVAKIA. Planning processes in community development and Roma settlements upgradings in Slovakia

One in five cities in Slovakia's landscape is  marked by conflict, discrimination and exclusion. As a result of long-term politics of previous regimes, in some towns have developed segregated pockets of poverty inhabited by people predominantly of Roma ethnicity. Nowadays these areas suffer from social and spatial exclusion, high level of unemployment, socio-pathological phenomena, illegality, negatively influencing the rest of the urban structure. 

Due to the number of  unsuccesful  government initiatives  attemting  to improve this situation, animosity among non-Roma and Roma has recently significantly increased, in a form of  discirimanatory  practices on the level of local municipalities, or as violent conflicts between citizens. However, number of Roma living in these areas is projected to increase, while the number of Non-Roma citizens is about to decline. Therefore these towns are in front of new  challanges, in terms of ecologic, economic, but mostly social sustainability.  

Proposed paper  scrutinises  a pilot project 'domov' of 10 municipalities involved in new planning processes with an aim to prepare these towns for new challenges they have to face. First of the project phases was to establish a safe platform where all the groups can communicate and conflicting rationalities can be identified and sorted out. Consequently, project is focused on elaboration of solutions and possible scenarios through new tools of community and participatory strategic planning (e.i.  games, facilitative meetings,  festives). These involve means of housing provision, Roma integration, strategy of local-based education and employment opportunities and upgrading schemes for Roma settlements.

Felia Srinaga, Researcher and Senior Lecturer, University of Pelita Harapan, Tangerang, INDONESIA. Community Participation to Combat Poverty and Care for Their Common Homes (Case Study: Kampong Mauk,Tangerang, Indonesia).

Urban  kampung  is oftentimes a forgotten aspect of the rapid development of cities and suburbs. These remaining  kampungs  are poorly maintained and unsanitary, which leave their inhabitants socially, culturally, economically and healthily unattended. In the last two decades, Jakarta and its satellites (one of which is  Tangerang) have grown rapidly, both physically and economically. Tangerang  as one of the satellite cities of Jakarta continues to build and try to keep the urban  kampungs  of the city as sustainable  kampungs  by preserving the physical buildings, natural environment, and other local potentials that they have.  

Kampung  Mauk, which is located near the coast, is one of developed settlements in  Tangerang. Although this  kampung  has some physical and economic problems, it still has some good social life (such as spirit of working together), cultural potential and natural environment to develop. Considering the problems and potentials of this kampong, we involve the community to participate in healing and caring for their common homes (community) as well as their shared environment. Physical development of "kampong  Mauk" has been started by both the government and by the NGO in the last three years. Nevertheless, this community needs to continually maintain and develop social, cultural and economic activities in their everyday life.  

The aim of this study is to obtain a model of community participation in the physical development of a multipurpose building and its surroundings where people can discuss their daily activities program. This study will also plan various programs within social, economic and cultural sphere. 

Jack Sullivan, Associate Professor, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA. Rebuilding Baltimore Neighborhoods on the Community’s Terms

Baltimore is a city divided by race and poverty. It is also a city characterized by empathy and compassion. In its poorest black neighborhoods, the decades-long struggle to eliminate social injustice,  economic disparity, and environmental degradation has recently been guided by activist leaders who are sculpting a new model for community redevelopment. This paper identifies the people who are redefining the scale and character of urban design and how they are contributing to a meaningful reinvention of community planning for the future. 

Last year, Suzanne H. Crowhurst  Lennard and KJ  Kresin  wrote a timely article about Baltimore’s  Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood. By the time the 2015 IMCL conference was underway,  Sandtown  had exploded in violent protests following Freddy Gray’s death while in police custody. As images of abandoned row houses, vacant lots, and angry citizens occupied the space and time of social and national media, Baltimore became a national symbol of the festering physical blight and psychological wounds that still persist. Community leaders immediately stepped in to restore calm,  then  they stepped up their efforts to promote positive change for good. 

In West Baltimore new ideas for effective redevelopment have been evolving for twenty years. Neighborhood associations, faith-based organizations, philanthropic foundations, and non-profit design and construction partnerships have become the agents for change. Together they have reset the redevelopment agenda, realigned expectations with economic realities, and redefined methods for inclusion. They have collaborated and competed for funding, bonded and disagreed on investment priorities, and collectively strategized to maintain authenticity and avoid gentrification. As a result, these communities have decisively taken charge of their destinies.  

This paper highlights these present-day innovators, explores what inspires their vision, and articulates the means by which each organization is diligently working to stem the tide of despair and advance a wave of hope.

Nanami Suzuki, Professor, National Museum of Ethnology, The Graduate University for Advanced Studies, Osaka, JAPAN. The Age-friendly Community Movement

While the aging of the planet is a grand challenge, grand challenges call for local solutions. The age-friendly community movement will not succeed by promoting a single model that works for every community. In the words of  Nabeel  Hamdi, global progress will come through the accumulation of “small changes” that emerge from locally defined assessment and local participation and mobilization of resources.  

Using examples from Japan, Cameroon, and the USA, an international panel of scholars and practitioners will discuss the manner in which livability can be defined through participatory research and development that is inclusive of all ages and abilities. Inclusion is taken to be a human right and it will be argued that the just city (or town) is only livable to the degree that it is moving towards full inclusion in both planning and outcomes.  

Four papers in this session will address ways to embed the age-friendly city movement within a social justice framework; the role that young people have played in assessing and responding to the needs of frail elders in Cameroon and Uganda, with attention to the significance of the youth development movement to older adults; the resilience of small Japanese villages in the face of significant demographic change; and an overview of the potential for older persons to contribute to and draw from the sharing economy and escape dependence on the monetary economy for meeting their needs and extending their power.

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Rennie Tang, Assistant Professor, California Polytechnic University Pomona, USA. Play as a Catalyst for the Intra-generational City

Play is a topic that everyone can relate to because it is conjures up memories of childhood while also being associated with enjoyment, fun and leisure. Certain forms of play promote healthy competition, challenge and a degree of physical activity. “To play is to be in the world. Playing is a form of understanding what surrounds us and who we are, and a way of engaging with others. Play is a mode of being human.”  (Sicart, 2014).  This is particularly relevant today as play is increasingly engaged across a broad spectrum of age groups as a means of facilitating social interaction, health and well-being  in cities. While spaces for play in urban environments remain largely associated with playgrounds, a desire for extending the spirit of play throughout the city is evident in the movement known as temporary urbanism. 21 Swings (https://youtu.be/RgGV80nnsbw) designed by artists Daily  tous  les  jours  is a project that demonstrates how playful temporary interventions can stimulate intra-generational dynamics in urban space. Through case studies such as this one, the goal of this research is to investigate play as a necessary occupation and innate human tendency across the lifespan that can provide a catalyst for building an intra-generational city. Our diverse team of professionals, representing a range of healthcare specialties including pediatric occupational therapy, disability studies and gerontology, as well as art and urban design, utilizes the cross-breeding of disciplinary knowledge to develop a play-based framework for the intra-generational city.

Ayse Ozbil Torun, Assoc. Professor, PhD., Ozyegin University Faculty of Architecture and Design Nisantepe, Istanbul, TURKEY. The associations between socio-demographics, urban form, commuting mode to/from school, and childhood obesity

This paper examines the association of socio-demographic features  (educational attainment, income, and auto ownership), urban form characteristics (gross land use density and street connectivity) and access mode to/from school on the odds of being overweight and obese for children aged between 12 and 14, controlling for age and gender. Data for this cross-sectional study were drawn from questionnaires conducted in 20 elementary schools located in Istanbul, Turkey. Randomly selected parents (N=1118) of 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students (N=1954) completed questionnaires about their socio-demographic characteristics, neighborhood environment as well as their children’s commuting modes  to/from school. Body mass index (BMI) of each student was calculated by measured height and weight data. Home- and school-environments (800 and 1600 meter buffers around the respondent and school) were evaluated through GIS-based land-use data (parcel-level land-use density) and segment-based street connectivity measures (angular segment integration and choice implemented in Depth map  as well as two segment-based connectivity measures, metric and directional reach, implemented in GIS). Preliminary findings of the study indicate children who actively commuted  to/from school  had lower BMI than non-active commuters. More importantly, it is shown that increased street network connectivity measured at the segment-level is significantly associated with reduced odds of being obese. Findings of this study suggest that modifications to the home- and school-environment may help support active commuting patterns to/from school and hence prevent childhood obesity, but would require large interventions in current planning and land-use practices. 

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Wiebke Unbehaun, Senior Scientist, University for Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna, Institute for Transport Studies, Vienna, AUSTRIA Step ahead for Health and sustainable urban Transport

Urban transport is responsible for about a quarter of CO2 emissions from transport, and 69 % of road accidents occur in cities (EC Transport White Paper 2011) and impacts urban life quality in many ways. According to the WHO 44% of the European population did not met the 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week in 2013 recommend to reduce the risk of many Non-communicable diseases (NCD). 

Active travel is one key to integrate the recommended 150 minutes of moderate physical activity in everybody’s every day live and therefore, fundamental for healthy, environmentally-friendly multi modal travel  behaviour. Campaigning for active travel seems to be a suitable approach that addresses many challenges: improve individual health and mental well-being by increased physical activity; reduce macroeconomic expenses on medical costs; decrease overall societal costs of the transport system including energy consumption, GHG-emissions, air pollution and noise, and land consumption. 

The paper addresses the topics of “Achieving Healthy, Just, Sustainable Cities” and “Healthy Transportation Planning
 for All”. It presents an approach that aims at initiating a mode shift from the car towards active modes like walking and cycling. The approach combines proven elements from PTP and health campaigns for strengthening the campaigns’ effects and was implemented in five European cities. The paper focuses on the results of the qualitative and quantitative evaluation, the key lessons learnt and the respective cost benefit ratio.  It also  considers the respective urban framework conditions for walking and cycling.

W.

Anand Wadwekar,  Assistant Professor, School of Planning and Architecture Bhopal India, INDIA. How smart is real smart?: Engaging the debates on constructing false productivity of an Indian city

With the recent announcement of ambitious 100 smart cities  programme  by Indian national government, there has been increasing concerns regarding what is the form of future urbanism in India. The national government stipulates multiple  prerequsite  parameters for cities to be able to qualify for the  programme. On the contrary, many of the cities are just beginning to explore the se criterias  as form of their urbanism and therefore struggling to prove themselves on false premise.   

The paper brings out the serious concern of what is the fate of  distinctive urbanism of Indian cities  in view of emerging elements of new form of governance which is flattening and detrimental to its already existing diverse character.  

One of many such neglected  element  is urban green and its role in urbanism and daily urban life. The place of nature and natural systems in cities are critical to the survival and concept of urban habitat. Many cities in smart cities  programme  of government yet do not have any strategy to deal with this pressing issue of urban ecology.  

The research focuses on how  natural systems constitutes the soul of distinctiveness of Indian urbanism  and at large Asian urbanism by studying the case of city of Bhopal. 

The paper illustrates how far the intended smartness will bring the change in the productivity and how we need to restructure the inclusion of natural systems in our daily urban life as well as for future urban form.

Filippo Weber,  FWA – Filippo Weber Architect, Firenze, ITALY. Mitigative Buildings and Urban Environments

In recent years, the global environmental and energy agenda has placed great attention on building energy efficiency due to its substantial savings’ potential. This attention has led to improvements in the efficiency of services, components and appliances; however, this has led to the following outcomes: 1) the focus on efficiency has created a disjointed approach between the design of the building as an envelope and that of its environmental control systems as mechanical add-ons, often leading to high up-front expenditures and to buildings as isolated systems; 2) especially in urban areas, the built environment and its energy processes highly affects the microclimate to the extent that today cities are at the forefront of the most rapid environmental and climatic changes, causing reduction in comfort and health and increasing buildings energy consumption; 3) building users’ adaptive  behaviour, expectations and potential active involvement in energy saving strategies are not sufficiently embedded into the design process and building operation, increasing the ‘performance gap’ and missing the opportunity for further energy savings. Considering buildings, surrounding environments and users as elements of the same (eco)system  could drastically reduce energy expenditures and enable the transition to a low-carbon, sustainable and resilient society.   

Experimentations indicate that  small scale  mitigative  actions would yield significant immediate improvements in the microclimate with advantages for outdoor and indoor comfort, enabling the application of passive strategies and reducing energy demand. Based on the above a new architectural paradigm is proposed:  Mitigative  Buildings and Urban Environments. The paper discusses new avenues for the future architecture and cities, starting from the definition of ‘mitigative’ in the context of a climate change responsive architecture, down to a discussion of technical and non-technical barriers hindering applicability.

DI Dr. Sandra Wegener, Senior Scientist, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna; Institute for Transport Studies, Vienna, AUSTRIA.  Active transport for healthy and liveable cities!

In view of numerous problems caused by too much traffic in urban areas, city authorities and transport planners develop and implement measures and policies to encourage citizens to walk and bike more often to address these problems for an improved quality of urban life. At the same time, active mobility (walking and cycling, public transport) comes more and more into focus and gains interest of health experts, as one opportunity to increase physical activity among citizens, as sedentary  behaviour  and physical inactivity raise chronic diseases in cities all over the world.  

PASTA “Physical activity through sustainable transport approaches” is an interdisciplinary European project, focusing on active mobility to tackle these issues. As one part of the project various measures promoting walking and cycling as well as their success factors, challenges and the influencing framework conditions in seven European case study cities (Antwerp, Barcelona, London,  Oerebro, Rome, Vienna and Zurich) have been compiled.  

Various indicators were collected describing the PASTA cities’ basic data, measures, policies and strategies, the transport system and services and finally the resulting mobility-relevant characteristics. These data were consolidated with the outcome of workshops and interviews with stakeholders and experts from different sectors and responsibilities in the cities, revealing challenges of promoting active mobility, detailing good practice examples and requirements and talking about the importance of the health argument. This information is used to explain how framework conditions affect the transport systems and services and how they influence mobility  behaviour  of citizens, and to show that the health criterion is becoming a key argument for active mobility in future.

David Woltering, Community Development Director, City of San Bruno, Santa Rosa, CA, USA. Explosive Economic Growth in the San Francisco Bay Area has Created Significant Job Growth and Opportunity, but at what Cost?

This paper examines the extraordinary economic growth the San Francisco Bay Area has experienced since 2010 and discusses challenges associated with this growth. The paper concludes with a description of specific actions, measures, and/or programs local communities are undertaking or could undertake to help address the challenges and better manage this growth toward maintaining and/or promoting healthy, sustainable, and equitable communities. The paper not only describes the San Francisco Bay Area growth phenomenon and some of its challenges, but offers first-hand experience and perspectives from a local community trying to address these challenges. 

The San Francisco Bay Area includes nine counties and 101 cities, including the City and County of San Francisco and “Silicon Valley.” The region is well known for being a world leader in technological innovation and entrepreneurship. Since 2010, the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) indicates that within the region approximately 600,000 new jobs were created, 300,000 new residents were added, yet only an estimated 60,000 new housing units constructed. While the region is clearly experiencing an economic boom, there are many challenges including a significant shortage of housing, resulting in skyrocketing housing costs; displacement of tenants; and extremely long commutes and traffic congestion. Regional agencies and local governments are considering and implementing various measures and programs to better link jobs, housing, and transit as well as to increase the production of housing for all economic sectors to address these challenges. The paper describes and suggests actions, measures and programs to help address the challenges.

Y.

Fred Young, Principal, Alta Planning + Design, Seattle, WA, USA.  How Streets Learn

Over 20 years ago, Stewart Brand presented a concept in his book “How Buildings Learn” that the best buildings are the simplest buildings as they provide the most flexibility to adapt to meet the changing needs of inhabitants. At the core of his argument, he outlines a concept of “shearing layers” that categorizes the components of a building by the rate at which they change.  

We can consider streets in precisely the same way. 

In the last 100 years, our dominant  modes of transportation has  changed radically from non-motorized transport to automobiles to the current trend of increasing non-motorized uses. For the most part, many of our streets in urban areas have a fixed ROW, but must meet increased demands. The streets we have built in suburban areas have been built under a different paradigm and have different opportunities to adapt to new uses and demands.  

This paper will explore how we have designed our streets over time and how they adapt to new uses and changing priorities. The author will identify “sheering layers” related to streets and discuss their impacts on how a street can adapt to new uses. Real world examples will show how streets have been modified to safely accommodate new uses and priorities.  

If we consider these issues at the beginning of a project, we can build streets that are adaptable as time moves forward. Similarly, if we understand what is easily changeable in a street, we can adapt the street to safely accommodate all users.

Junior Presenters

A.

Saud AlKhaled, Master of Urban and Environmental Planning Candidate, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USA. Challenging the Coded Dimension of Urban Form: Interventions of the Kuwaiti Building Code on Urban Form Performance

With the advent of oil wealth (1946-), the Arabian Gulf States became a laboratory for budding planners and architects to test their ideas and plan lasting cities. However, few knew of the realities and conditions on the ground. Within a decade or two these plans became obsolete and the need for new plans was in the works. Constraints dictated by the local conditions were not fully accounted for which resulted in a disjuncture between the intended use and actual performance of the developed cities. This is the story of many regions around the world that overemphasize standards and are planned insensitive to contextual complexities.  

This research not only investigates the magnitude to which building legislation shapes the built environment in its less desirable iterations, but also examines the efficacy of applying universal standards in master-planned cities. It expands on Martin and March’s (1973) simplification processes of urban form to develop a framework that classifies code-determined built products at the neighborhood level in Kuwait. By unfolding the ruling text, the framework proposes an empirical model to evaluate its impact on the performance of the built environment. It argues that present urban challenges are confounding variables to ill-suited regulations buried in applications of extraneous foreign standards. By objectively evaluating the role that the Kuwaiti Building Code plays in determining future urban quality, the research suggests for enough space within the code to allow for larger environmental and cultural influences to promote a ‘resilient and sustainable’ built environment at the neighborhood level.

B.

Elena Bellini & Alessia Macchi, PhD students, University of Florence, ITALY. Architectural adaptability: constructing resilient cities

“For things to remain the same, everything must change”. This famous sentence, taken from  Tomasi  Di  Lampedusa’s  “Leopard”, suggests us an important message: cities can last only if they are able to change, being resilient and updating the way they are planned and built. 

In a “liquid society” the challenge for the residential projects is to give answers to housing needs upcoming every day, being at the same time more concerned with social and environmental sustainability. To last and be still useful, a social housing unit should be adaptable to the requests of the changing society passing through it. This aspect of temporariness introduces the architectural theme of impermanence that could be read not only as a quick answer to a specific housing emergency, but especially as an alternative way of designing the social housing itself. As our societies, that are not definitive and immutable, residential design should be flexible, according to an ever-changing household. That leads directly to the concept of  adaptability  that represents the ability of a house to change, accommodating the maximum range of inhabitants. The unique way to obtain this goal is to adopt a new design approach by using  architectural modules, optimizing the space and its use, minimizing private spaces and introducing shared facilities. Furthermore, to achieve resilience and the possibility to last in a low carbon footprint future, architecture should  maximize low-tech and low-impact constructing solutions. As a result, three key words of innovation take shape: inclusion, adaptability and sharing.

Maria Beltran-Rodriguez, PhD candidate, University of Maryland. Madrid,  SPAIN. The People’s Park typology: Madrid Rio’s case study

Urban parks are often highlighted for their ecological functions, as well as their experiential and cultural effects (Czerniak 2007). Lately though, the ecological function seems to be secondary. Clemens  Steenbergen  describes the city park as a landscape architectural model. One of the turning points he mentions is the appearance of what he calls the ‘people’s park,’ characterizing it as “ …a recreational machine. Instead of nature, the program became the source of unity.”  (Steenbergen 1993, 122).  

This research aims to strengthen the notion of “social well-being” as directly linked to health, and part of our daily routine. The ‘people’s park’, with a stronger emphasis on design and program than on ecology, is seen as a potential everyday space that can promote social well being and conviviality among its users. Feeling welcomed and integrated, but also acting in a tolerant way towards ‘others’, is an essential aspect of the condition I term conviviality; particularly in a demographically, culturally, economically and/or ethnically diverse context.  

The objective of my work is to investigate the relationship between design solutions and the level of conviviality among users of urban landscapes. I examine aspects that transcend the green component of a park, and that affect the quality of social interaction and integration (conviviality) among a diversifying society. This paper will present the findings of an investigation in Madrid Rio (Spain) and will reflect upon the results to understand user interpretation and perception of design, and determine what effects design features can have on conviviality performance.

C.

Almudena Cano, PhD Candidate, Royal College of Art, London, England, UK. Neighbourhood Planning: participation and empowerment in the age of Localism

With the recent assimilation of ‘Localism’ thinking into mainstream urban policy and planning in the UK, the  neighbourhood  has become the principal site for  experimentation with participatory models of urban regeneration. Under the extended perception of a democratic deficit in practices of local governance,  Neighbourhood  Planning has been presented as a new instrument for local communities to produce statutory planning documents for their area through a process that promises to rebalance power at local level.  

This paper critically reviews the conceptual and practical implications of the  Neighbourhood  Planning framework in relation to community empowerment. It first  conceptualises  Neighbourhood  Planning as a particular form of  institutionalised, state-enabled participation in the production of the built environment. Far from conventional top-down and bottom-up approaches to planning, under this hybrid formula, participation is carried out within predefined limits and it is associated with problems of legitimacy, representativeness and political efficacy. Aligned with scholarly critique, this paper analyses to what extent the  Localist-driven reforms are resulting more in a transfer of service delivery functions to citizens rather than in a significant devolution of control. 

To conclude,  Neighbourhood  Planning processes  neutralise  the empowering effects of participation when they are limited to intra-community collaboration. They tend to reproduce existing hierarchies at the scale of the  neighbourhood. However, the paper ultimately argues that, if instead, we viewed these individual communities collectively and provided mechanisms for inter-community connection, this network could constitute an emergent common arena for groups to collaborate and open up more empowering forms of democratic action.

H.

Lei Hua, Ph.D. Student, Clemson University, Fort Lauderdale FL,  USA. Environmental Design Considerations for Making Healthier Neighborhood in China: A Case Study of Residential Community

China’s rapid rate of urbanization associated with massive development of new residential neighborhoods has caused greatly ecological, social and economic changes over the last three decades. All of these changes have increased urban residents exposure to risk factors, such as physical inactivity. However, the relationship between built environment and urban residents’ behaviors at the neighborhood level is understudied in China. Furthermore, more evidence within the context of China’s cities is desired to inform the design of healthier neighborhood that supports active living. 

This study examines how we can make healthier neighborhood in China’s cities using environmental design as intervention. I approach this question by conducting a cross-sectional field observation and residents’ survey in a single-embedded case study of  Fangzhuang, a typical residential community in Beijing, China in terms of its location, price, development type, and building types. Seven environmental attributes of neighborhood related to physical activity synthesized from empirical research done in Western cities, including neighborhood density, walkability,  bikeability, recreation environment, accessibility, safety, and aesthetics, are tested in this case in the form of field observation and survey to recognize residents’ perceived barriers of neighborhood to physical activity. Supplementary data of semi-structure interview with original designers and clients, and archive data are analyzed to in-depth and fuller understand of the impact of neighborhood characteristics on residents’ activity. Expected findings show significant associations between environmental attributes and physical activity and the comprehensive approach to neighborhood design can increase residents’ physical activity.

M.

Kostas Mouratidis, PhD Researcher, Norwegian University of Life Sciences Department of Landscape Architecture and Spatial Planning (NMBU), Ås, NORWAY. Rethinking how built environments influence subjective well-being

Population growth, rapid urbanization, urban sprawl or excessive urban  densification have  posed challenges to the quality of life of city dwellers. The emerging challenges have motivated theorists and researchers to focus on how urban planning, urban design, and public policy measures can promote livability and  well-being  in cities. In this regard, this paper argues the utility of investigating the influence of characteristics of the built environment on subjective  well-being. Reviewing relevant research, the paper discusses difficulties in understanding the impact of the interaction between residents and built environments on well-being. Then, an approach to cover the existing gaps in knowledge is presented. The paper considers the different types of physical and social characteristics of the built environment that can have an impact on  well-being  and also the different life aspects that might be influenced by these characteristics. It is then attempted to explain the associations between built environment characteristics and life aspects, which in turn play a role in the overall subjective  well-being. It is also discussed how built environments might differently influence distinct perspectives of subjective  well-being: hedonic well-being, life satisfaction, and  Eudaimonia. Finally, the paper concludes considering ways that the proposed approach can be used in future research.

V.

Dominic Villeneuve, Doctoral Assistant (Architecture and Sciences of the City), Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Lausanne, SWITZERLAND. Just Mobility in The City: The Case of Non-Motorized Households in Car Dependant Cities

By the simple fact of not owning a private automobile, some households are already living a sustainable mobility lifestyle. They rely on public transportation networks, cycling and car sharing and generally travel less than car-owning households. But current sustainable mobility policies often do not take into account these kinds of households,  focussing  instead on convincing car owners to shift modal  behaviours.  

As Pope Francis states in his encyclical,  Laudato  Si': “An admirable creativity and generosity is shown by persons and groups who respond to environmental limitations by alleviating the adverse effects of their surroundings and learning to live their lives amid disorder and uncertainty” (p. 110). Our PhD dissertation study examines the mobility  behaviours  of one such group, non-motorized households living in car-dependent Western Cities. We consider them as an everyday example of sustainable mobility and examine policy solutions that could make it easier for those foregoing private car ownership. We compare the similarities and difference between North American and European households by surveying households in Quebec City (Canada) and Strasbourg (France). In total we interviewed 57 households to dress a picture of their mobility  behaviour  and find out from them what policies are missing. We also inquired about social exclusion associated with their lack private vehicle in a car-dependent society. In this paper we present our initial findings regarding what our interviewees suggest to improve public policy concerning their sustainable mobility. We also expose their ideas of a perfect world for non-motorized households.

W.

WANG Anqi, Student, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Kowloon, Hong Kong, CHINA. Comparison of growth management policies in America and China

Under the background of rapid urbanization, growth management is a hotspot in the research area of land use planning policy, aiming to mitigate the adverse impacts on environment caused by built-up land expansion. Policies of urban growth boundary, residential subdivision, preservation zoning, etc. showed remarkable effects in America. With growing GDP, population, and land demand, China also enacted related land use policies such as basic farmland protection, built-up land quota, and zoning policies to control urban sprawl. However, the effects of these strategies varied considerably, and it is essential to acknowledge their different features if concerning to learn from each other. Therefore, this study compares the different growth management policies in the two countries, in order to distinguish the characteristics of land use control in America and China. It is suggested the American system mainly consists of regional autonomous policies, with plot based land management and quality-oriented control strategies, while China relies more on nationwide compulsory policies with district based land management and quantity-oriented control strategies. Both America and China showed their own difficulties and advantages in managing urban growth, indicating that one might show effectiveness in some cases, but out of strength in other conditions. This study would help policy makers to better use these tools and encourage different cities to know and learn from each other.

Z.

ZHANG Tianyao, Graduate Student, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, CHINA. Residential environment and health-related residential behaviors: examining multiple health outcomes of suburban neighborhoods

A growing body of literature examines residential suburbanization in relation to various health outcomes (e.g., physical activity, obesity, stress, and social wellbeing). The expansion of Chinese urban land to the periphery triggers the prosperous suburban housing, of which number further grows given the planning supports from the municipal government under the new town concept. These two initiatives result in various suburban neighborhoods as to their physical types. This study aims to evaluate health outcomes in suburban neighborhoods and explain how residential environment and health-related residential behaviors can impact on various health outcomes. Three neighborhoods in  Panyu  District of  Guangzhou,  were selected with different physical characteristics. Data were collected from the doctoral project by questionnaire and semi-structured interviews. Three parameters were selected to interpret health outcomes: obesity (self-report body mass index), mental health (calm, stress, anxiety, depression, emotional effects), and neighborhood cohesion (help, social inclusion, trust, relations with neighbors and outsiders).  

In terms of obesity, it was only associated with socio-demographic factors. Adjusted for socio-demographic factors, mental health was significantly related to walking time, regularity of leisure activity, commuting condition, frequency of and willingness to neighborhood interaction, and symbolic design. Likewise, neighborhood cohesion was significantly associated with the inclination of physical exercise, variety of and willingness to neighborhood interaction, quantity of open space and fitness facilities, satisfaction with education and medical care facilities, and symbolic design. The results showed that health-related residential behaviors are key components to mental health compared with residential environment. Neighborhood cohesion can be improved if residents (1) response positively to physical activity and neighborhood interaction, and (2) are satisfied with service facilities.

Poster Presenters

Hamed Ahangari, Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, USA. How Increase in Cycling Boost Transportation Safety; Evidence from American Cities

Transportation planners in the United States have directed a lot of effort towards promoting biking for urban transportation by implementing on-street bike facilities and bike share programs. For this reason, bike commuting has increased in many American cities representing one of the most significant changes in commuting patterns that  has  occurred in the past decade. The most dramatic changes have been limited to just 8 cities where the percentage of bike commuting has achieved critical mass by passing a threshold of 3%. Previous studies have used cross-sectional data to show that cities with this level of biking have lower traffic fatality rates for all users due to a safer street environment.   

In this paper, we use data for the 50 most populous American cities from 2000 to 2013 to examine the relationship between traffic safety and bike commuting over time. Our study, which is the first to examine this phenomenon from a temporal perspective, confirms that cities that moved into the high biking category have also exhibited a significant improvement in road safety. This, taken together with earlier studies, suggest that efforts made to attract more bikers also lead to safer road conditions for all road users. Overall, the findings suggest that biking improves public health not only for the person biking but for the urban community more generally.

Jacopo Benedetti, PhD Student, Architect, Università di Roma Tre - Dipartimento di Architettura, Rome, ITALY. From Heritage to Living Language: Learning from Historical Settlements

The paper will be based on an ongoing PhD research, which is being carried out with the guide of professors Claudio D'Amato and  Elisabetta  Pallottino  within the joint doctoral program between the University of Roma  Tre and the Polytechnic University of Bari: "Architecture - Innovation and Heritage".  

It will be argued that the staggering coherence of richly layered historical settlements rests upon “unwritten – but uncompromising – rules and laws of cohesion and relation within the urban fabric” (Paolo Marconi, 1997). These rules apply to the composition – and to the visual interpretation, i.e. the perception – of historical built environments, and are borne of both cultural and "elementally human" (Ernesto De Martino, 1962) issues. 

This thesis will be discussed drawing from a vast array of sources and references, both within the boundaries of architecture and beyond: from the works of Christopher Alexander, to the Italian "Ambientismo" and Gustavo  Giovannoni; from linguistics to the history of architecture; from studies on the composition of the figurative arts, to Gestalt psychology.  

It will be suggested that in reading into the processes that underlie some successful examples of our own built tradition, it may be possible to learn some invaluable lessons to help us with the challenge of "caring for our common home", finding in a distant heritage the keys to define truly contextual, truly contemporary architectural languages.

LIU Xin, PhD Research Student, City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon, Hong Kong, CHINA. Construction practitioners’ perspectives on improving housing design quality in China

The housing problem in China has shifted from a quantity to a quality problem, and it is time to take into consideration design quality in addition to housing delivery. Although housing quality has been improving as part of a worldwide trend, the voluntary uptake of design quality practices is not as high as expected within the Chinese housing industry. One of the possible reasons for this under-performance is that the Chinese housing industry is growing too fast to get things right in the first place. Thus, there is an urgent need to explore and understand the barriers to improving housing design quality in China, which in turn, will help to identify areas for future improvement and the corrective measures to be taken.  

To further this objective, this paper first reviews the existing studies on housing design quality and housing research in China. Based on this literature review, an initial checklist of hindrances to housing design quality is  summarised. These hindrances are then developed through qualitative interviews and a questionnaire survey administered to experienced practitioners in the Chinese housing industry. Though this mixed method approach, a series of critical factors in housing design quality is identified. To further verify the research findings, a case study of two real-life housing projects is conducted to test how these hindrances and constraints manifest. Finally, through a comparison of the two housing projects, seven critical challenges are shown to be key to improving housing design quality.

Melda Açmaz Özden, PhD, and Tolga Özden, Faculty of Architecture and Design Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University, Çanakkale, TURKEY. Assessment of Waterfront Area in terms of Socio-Spatial Sustainability: The Case of Çanakkale, Turkey

Sustainable waterfront development has been in the agenda of cities for long to achieve healthy and livable cities. Although many studies and policies have been developed to manage better, sustainable and  liveable cities, it is still questionable how to achieve socio-spatial sustainability in urban waterfront areas. Waterfront areas provide a crucial opportunity for the image of the city. In addition, well-planned waterfront areas contribute to high quality of life and livable environments. Today’s cities, along with the globalization and neoliberal policies accompanied by rapid urbanization, have been suffering from unsustainable urban environments, communities and lives. These trends have also brought about many socio-spatial problems as well. Waterfront areas are affected negatively from inadequate practices. Therefore, it is needed a holistic approach to provide sustainable waterfront development. This study emphasizes on waterfront area of Çanakkale city in Turkey. As being located on the  bosphorus,  Çanakkale city has great potentials in terms of using and access to the waterfront area. This study develops a  survey which  evaluates the existing waterfront potential of the city from the point of socio-spatial sustainability view. In addition, current  projects which have been designed and implemented for the waterfront use  are critically evaluated in terms of strengths and weaknesses. This evaluation is used to develop a projection for the effective future use from a holistic and participative approach. The projection includes the planning strategies for a sustainable approach of waterfront use.

Patrick Saunders-Hastings, PhD Candidate, Risk Consultant, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, CANADA.  An all-hazards approach to addressing the health effects of extreme weather events

Background: It is expected that climate change will increase the frequency and severity of acute weather events, such as floods, hurricanes, and winter storms. These events will have direct effects on health, as well as indirect consequences mediated by the built and natural environment in which they occur. Further, particular population groups will experience an inequitable burden of these health impacts, as they are more likely to be exposed, and less able to adapt to particular health hazards.  

Methods: This paper presents a systematic review of the health effects of acute weather events, highlighting population groups most vulnerable to negative outcomes. Events are dissected into component hazards, giving an all-hazard approach to building community resilience and enhancing health equity. 

Results: While direct morbidity and mortality do occur during extreme weather events, these are increasingly rare, particularly in developed countries. The majority of the health burden is mediated through factors relating to infrastructure, natural systems, and human  behaviour. Moreover, the causal pathways through which negative health effects arise appear to be similar across weather events. 

Conclusions: Certain ‘causal nodes’ appear to drive the majority of the health burden, regardless of event type. This suggests that the same population groups will suffer an inequitable burden across extreme weather events. However, implications for policy and program intervention suggest that interruption of key nodes can disrupt the causal pathways, minimizing health impacts of extreme weather while preventing an inequitable distribution of consequences.