Panelists and Presenters

Return to Keynote Speakers

A

Tomas Allen, Architect, PhD Student, UDC - A Coruna University, SPAIN. Urban Planning requires a New Perspective: Project Management

As cities continue to adapt to 21st century challenges, local leaders are required to imagine new solutions. Today, cities need to be more competitive and attractive to retain young populations and to be inviting destinations for businesses, jobs, investment and tourism. To be able to provide a livable city for the next generations, it’s imperative to adopt sustainable transport alternatives, addressing requirements of current and future citizens, and also their local/global environmental and sustainability concerns, such as greenhouse gas emissions, Quality of Life, among others.

Above all, mayors should aim for a happy city; they should develop capacity to hear their citizens and be able to attend to their social desires. The European Commission recently issued guidelines to assist cities developing Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans. These Plans start by evaluating city’s mobility constrains, and conclude with proposing measures that go substantially beyond the traditional mobility solutions and will touch all municipal, and even regional, sectors.

With this in mind, Urban Planning for the next decades cannot be confined to a room within the municipal administration building. In this paper, we propose a holistic approach, urging Urban Planning to go outside the office and become a Project Management effort, gathering a matrix of local resources with diverse background, from the wide municipal spectrum. Instead of car-oriented functional zoning plans, local leaders must be focused on generating an exhilarating vision for the city and setting-up a Project Management team that coordinates all actors, generating creative solutions for the city and its inhabitants.

Fiona Andrews, Dr., School of Health & Social Development, Deakin University, Melbourne, AUSTRALIA. A good place to raise a family? Parenting and place in Melbourne, Australia

The preschool years (0-5 years) are a crucial period for child development that can set the scene for future adult health. Along with family, a child’s neighbourhood and community play a key role. Parents’ perspectives of, and their relationship with their community are significant because, preschool-aged children are dependent upon parents to negotiate their engagement with and receipt of community-based resources.

In Australia, most children are raised in urban environments. Melbourne (the capital city of the State of Victoria), has the fastest growing population of all Australian capital cities. This growth is currently concentrated in two locations; sprawling, low-density suburbs on the edge of the city (up to 40kms from the central business district), along with infill higher-density inner-suburban areas. These provide quite different environments in which to raise children.

This paper reviews our ongoing research program comparing parents’ experiences of raising preschool-aged children in these different urban environments. It describes both parents’ ideals for a good place to raise a family, along with their actual experiences of raising preschool-aged children in inner and outer-suburbs of Melbourne. In particular, it focuses on parents’ social networks along with their engagement with their community and the possible consequences these have for their children’s development. The role of both contextual and compositional factors in these experiences will be discussed. Findings of this research have implications for both service delivery and social planning of new suburban development to improve liveability for families.

Bruce S Appleyard, Assistant Professor of City Planning & Urban Design San Diego State University, San Diego, CA, USA. Toward Livability Ethics: A Framework to Guide Planning, Design and Engineering Decisions

“Livability” has become a popular term in planning, design and engineering circles, yet there continues to be a lack of clear consensus on what livability actually means, let alone how to measure it and how to achieve it.

In response, this article draws deeply on the literature to develop a comprehensive understanding of this complex concept. Our analysis suggests that livability is best understood as an individual’s ability to access opportunities to improve their quality of life. However, one’s quality of life pursuit can actually detract from the livability of another. This is particularly true in transportation, as one’s travel inherently touches the lives of others along the pathway.

As wealth and social status often play a key role in determining whose quality of life pursuit wins out, a moral and ethical framework must be at the heart of our achievement of livability. Therefore, livability in a just society requires all individuals be assured equal access to such opportunities.

Rather than one, monolithic definition of livability there is a need for a theoretical moral basis to measure, understand and judge activities toward livability achievement through a set of clear, concise and easily applicable livability ethics.

Towards this goal, this paper first presents a comprehensive examination of the literature, and then provides guidance to professionals on the application of livability concepts in practice by articulating: a) an overarching definition of livability and set of supporting meta-principles, b) a set of ethical livability principles, and finally c) a set of livability process-principles.

Janet Askew, RTPI President, Royal Town Planning Institute, London, UK. Welcome

Hugh Parker Atkinson, Dr., London South Bank University, London, UK. Beyond the Washington Beltway; Fighting Climate Change and Promoting Sustainability in America's Cities

The last two decades have seen a growing partisan divide within the US political system. At a Federal level policies to promote sustainability have fallen victim to this partisan divide. However, the paper will argue that this relative lack of policy action in Washington DC has created a policy space and a regulatory vacuum which a number of American cities have sought to fill. The paper will argue that a number of US cities have developed far sighted policies with regard to climate change which have had a substantive impact. There have been a myriad of such local initiatives such as the introduction of local climate action plans and sustainability strategies. These range from San Francisco in the west and Chicago in the Midwest through to New York on the eastern seaboard.

City governments in the US have direct policy responsibility, independent of Federal Government, over areas such as renewable energy, energy efficiency and public transportation. In addition, cities have a tendency to be less prone to the heightened political tensions that we see in Washington DC. As a consequence, the paper will argue that US cities are in a strong position to create localised solutions as part of an overall strategy to tackle climate change and promote sustainability.

Suzanne Audrey, Dr., University of Bristol School of Social and Community Medicine, Bristol, UK. The contribution of walking to work to adult physical activity levels

BACKGROUND: Regular physical activity is effective in preventing chronic diseases including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, hypertension, obesity, depression and osteoporosis. In the United Kingdom it is recommended that adults should undertake at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity in bouts of 10 minutes or more throughout the week, but many adults do not achieve this. Walking is a popular form of exercise that can be incorporated into everyday life and sustained into older age. It is also a carbon neutral mode of transport that has declined with the growth in car use.

OBJECTIVE: To examine the contribution of walking to work to adult physical activity levels.

METHODS: Employees (n=103) at 17 workplaces in south-west England, who lived within two miles (3.2 km) of their workplace, wore ActigraphTM accelerometers for seven days during waking hours and carried GPS receivers during the commute to and from work. Physical activity volume (accelerometer counts per minute (cpm)) and intensity (minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA)) were computed overall and during the walk to and from work.

RESULTS: Total weekday physical activity was 45% higher in participants who walked to work compared to those travelling by car and MVPA almost 60% higher. Combined accelerometer and GPS data showed that almost all of the walk to work constituted MVPA.

CONCLUSION: Walking to work was associated with higher levels of physical activity. There is a need for effective interventions to support and increase active commuting, specifically walking, in adults.

B

Maria Beltran, PhD Candidate, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA. Towards a definition of convivial urban spaces

How can we define conviviality in the urban situation? This is a timely question, as rapid urbanization drives an increase in population and globalization is making world cities more diverse and socially and ethnically varied (Sandercock 2003, Burayadi 2003, Briggs 2008). At a more granular scale, new neighborhoods are experiencing a loss of social interaction in public spaces. Many theorists and scholars describe the lack of vitality or social interaction in the contemporary city as “the death of the street” (La Cecla 2012, Scully 2003, Augé 1995, Venturi 1968) and others are concerned with its gradual privatization (Zukin 2010, Madanipour 1998, Harvey 1997). This paper will present a literature search that establishes the meaning of conviviality in the urban context by positioning it within a body of urban design research on related topics such as social sustainability (Hall 2011, Gehl 2011), sense of community (Alfonzo 2007, Brower 2011), democratic spaces (Francis 1987, Carr et al. 1992, Worpole and Greenhalgh 1996, Shaftoe 2008), social capital (Putnam 1996), sociability (Hester 1984, Mehta 2013), and lively streets (Jacobs 1961, Whyte 1980, Walzer 1986). The result of this research will be to lay the foundation for analysis of particular urban places in terms of their conviviality. Ultimately, this research can inform public policy, management and process, to work hand in hand with design in order to ensure convivial urban spaces as the city continues to transform and redevelop.

Stefania Biondi, Ph.D., Professor, Monterrey Institute of Technology Querétaro, MEXICO. Participatory design as an asset to create social sustainability in Queretaro, Mexico

Zurich profits from its prime site adjacent the Lake of Zurich against the backdrop of the Alps. Rivers run through the city center, structuring it concurrently. Water serves as a strong attractor.

Zurich is a growing city and built density will rise over the next decades. It’s a declared objective to increase density within city limits. The provisioning with open spaces in walking distance has to maintain or rise to guarantee a healthy city life that take Zurich regularly to the top of international rankings on livability.

In general open spaces are designed appealingly, multifunctional in use, open 24/7 and public property. Citizens have various possibilities to participate and determine urban life since Switzerland is a direct democracy.

The water bodies play a crucial role in the grid of open spaces for recreational activities and leisure. Lakeside and riverside baths have a long tradition in Zurich. Lake shores and river banks are heavily frequented not only in summer all year long since pedestrian and cycling routes accompany the waters attractively.

In the presentation will be shown how the office of parks and open spaces copes with conflicts between user groups close to waters. Different approaches to a better sojourn quality will be shown: development and utilization concepts with civic participation, transforming fallows to a riverside bath, temporary installations as sensitization campaigns and restoring rivers interdisciplinary; Always with simultaneous consideration of flood prevention, aspects of nature, ecology, the given urban and scenic context and the latest water protection law.

Sarah Bowman, Director of Education, Coady Bowman; USA. Urbanization and an Ageing Population: Creating Sustainable, Resilient and Livable Cities

The City of Greater Bendigo (110,000 persons located 150 kilometres north of Melbourne Australia) has developed an innovative strategy to shape the urban area centred on healthy and active transport. The strategy is built on a comprehensive response to the results of an Active Living Census completed by one-third of the City's households and the adoption of 24 indicators designed to measure the liveability of the City. The Strategy provides for a major modal shift to walking, cycling and public transport, ten-minute neighbourhoods, place making in a network of activity centres. This presentation focuses on the innovative community engagement undertaken to bring about the behaviour changes, working with students to research and document the changes needed including a series of precinct plans for a major Hospital development and the City’s University campus and the revitalisation of the city centre, the development of 'Bike Bendigo', and the activation of a major transport corridor as the key framework of the Strategy. Using the Liveability Indicators the City is monitoring its performance against 20 other similar cities across Australia and translating these into targets for delivery in the Strategy. Significantly many of the indictors and targets relate to the health of the City’s residents.

Christine Bräm, Executive Director, Office of Parks and Open Spaces, City of Zurich, SWITZERLAND. Blue urban life. How waterscapes contribute to a better living in Zurich.

Zurich profits from its prime site adjacent the Lake of Zurich against the backdrop of the Alps. Rivers run through the city center, structuring it concurrently. Water serves as a strong attractor.

Zurich is a growing city and built density will rise over the next decades. It’s a declared objective to increase density within city limits. The provisioning with open spaces in walking distance has to maintain or rise to guarantee a healthy city life that take Zurich regularly to the top of international rankings on livability.

In general open spaces are designed appealingly, multifunctional in use, open 24/7 and public property. Citizens have various possibilities to participate and determine urban life since Switzerland is a direct democracy.

The water bodies play a crucial role in the grid of open spaces for recreational activities and leisure. Lakeside and riverside baths have a long tradition in Zurich. Lake shores and river banks are heavily frequented not only in summer all year long since pedestrian and cycling routes accompany the waters attractively.

In the presentation will be shown how the office of parks and open spaces copes with conflicts between user groups close to waters. Different approaches to a better sojourn quality will be shown: development and utilization concepts with civic participation, transforming fallows to a riverside bath, temporary installations as sensitization campaigns and restoring rivers interdisciplinary; Always with simultaneous consideration of flood prevention, aspects of nature, ecology, the given urban and scenic context and the latest water protection law.

Trevor Budge, Associate Professor and City Strategy Manager, La Trobe University and City of Greater Bendigo, AUSTRALIA. Using Liveability and Health Indicators as the core of an Integrated Transport and Land Use Strategy

The City of Greater Bendigo (110,000 persons located 150 kilometres north of Melbourne Australia) has developed an innovative strategy to shape the urban area centred on healthy and active transport. The strategy is built on a comprehensive response to the results of an Active Living Census completed by one-third of the City's households and the adoption of 24 indicators designed to measure the liveability of the City. The Strategy provides for a major modal shift to walking, cycling and public transport, ten-minute neighbourhoods, place making in a network of activity centres. This presentation focuses on the innovative community engagement undertaken to bring about the behaviour changes, working with students to research and document the changes needed including a series of precinct plans for a major Hospital development and the City’s University campus and the revitalisation of the city centre, the development of 'Bike Bendigo', and the activation of a major transport corridor as the key framework of the Strategy. Using the Liveability Indicators the City is monitoring its performance against 20 other similar cities across Australia and translating these into targets for delivery in the Strategy. Significantly many of the indictors and targets relate to the health of the City’s residents.

Dan Burden, Director of Innovations & Inspiration, Blue Zones, Minneapolis, MN, USA. Urbanization and an Ageing Population: Creating Sustainable, Resilient and Livable Cities

One of the greatest global challenges we face today is increased urbanization alongside population ageing. This panel offers real-world examples of the triple win with proven, integrated solutions:
• Livable Cities – enabling citizens of all ages to lead healthy, active and independent lives through supportive built environments;
• Resilient Cities – improving the efficiency and effectiveness of social systems through age-friendly policies that unlock the longevity dividend;
• Sustainable Cities – transforming our infrastructure to distribute renewable energy through an advanced system.

The panel has collaborated on the book Reinventing Our Future which addresses global challenges to livability. This panel includes a rare mix of successful town-makers who lead on-the-ground efforts to advance livable communities by empowering multi-disciplinary, cross-national and intergenerational teams. They will demonstrate how urban areas can be reinvented by hitting the reset button, so that we learn from our past, and set a new compass-heading for rebuilding our cities today. They will discuss how we are creating a demand for life in an urban environment and the appropriate responses that ensure health, well-being, happiness, sustainability and a sense of community can emerge. They will share where to place the crowbar to leverage cross-generational talent that drives integrated solutions, creates hope, and offers beneficial changes that contribute to livable, resilient and sustainable cities.

C

Bernardita Calinao, PhD, Deputy Director,OFAS, Sleepy Hollow, NY, USA. Sports Action Camera: an Effective Tool for Visual Inventory and Assessment of Walking Routes in Urban Environments

A state-of-the-art video camera, designed primarily to capture fast-paced sports activities, was used to conduct a visual inventory and aesthetic assessment of sidewalks in West Village (Manhattan, NY). Unlike standard photographic and video cameras, the head-mounted unit was simple, versatile, and efficient to use. The process of capturing and recording data facilitated experiential and objective evaluations. Data from video clips were coded and mapped on GIS to delineate degrees of aesthetic difference and vitality among sidewalks.

Seven urban components were evaluated: sidewalk, building edge, vegetation, water, streetform, space, pedestrian, and activity. Each component has up to 40 attributes identified and conditions evaluated by rating and ranking methods. Services such as Google® Street View are inappropriate for these evaluations because they focus on driving views, not sidewalk views, and lack sensory data necessary to assessing the pedestrian experience.

Maps and related data generated from this study will enrich the experience of urban pedestrians by directing them to streets that meet their desired criteria for walking routes. Tourists, for example, can use the information to optimize their time and experience in an unfamiliar city. This approach can be applied to any neighborhood.

The high-tech camera is an excellent device for urban studies. The next phase of this project will be to translate data to geo-referenced weblinks and a walking app for easy use by pedestrians. Although systems exist to rate overall walkability of a city, data resulting from this study will help to filter individual streets that are more walkable than others.

Pier Francesco Cherchi, Professor, University of Cagliari, Cagliari, ITALY. Achieving Healthier Cities Through Regeneration of Abandoned Monumental Buildings

The proposal is a strategy for achieving healthier city trough revitalization of inner areas based on the restoration and rehabilitation to current needs of ancient monumental facilities. The research moves over from several opening questions. What potential abandoned monumental buildings cover in terms of renewing and regenerating inner-city areas? What future do we imagine for ancient buildings that historically played a significant role in the civic structure of a community and that still contribute in forming the memory and identity of a society? May we think that the recovery of abandoned buildings could be a virtuous practice not only in terms of sustainability but also for the enormous potential that a public monumental centrality can play in terms of social revitalization and urban regeneration?

The research addresses the complexity of this issue by analyzing related cases, relevant for the design solutions and fallouts, and proposes answers to the opening questions investigating a relevant case study, the hospital of San Giovanni di Dio in Cagliari (Italy).

Starting from its original urban vocation, a place of healthcare for the entire city, the research envisions to re-functionalize Cagliari’s ancient hospital maintaining its soul, and at the same time introducing new uses. Though preservation and adaptive reuse we aim to create a civic landmark and a cultural and social meeting, a gateway to the city, able to strengthen its civic character and at the same time to enable dynamic relationships in citizens lives.

Irene Chini, PhD Candidate, IUAV University of Venice, Venice, ITALY. Making cities liveable through the revitalization and promotion of traditional markets

Markets are inseparable elements of the model of a Mediterranean city: compact, complex, efficient and with social cohesion. This characteristic may constitute a strategic response to the fact that in many parts of the world people are becoming dissatisfied with the poor design of spaces for commerce and consumption. Experts predict a remarkable contraction of the great commercial centres that at the moment dominate the retailing trade. In the US and UK, the time spent in malls has already fallen, and it is accepted that the new online trade, that can guarantee better prices, will cause a retailing concentration in a small number of giants. In addition, the consumption sphere will be filled more and more with “leisure” and “experiences”; thus, traditional markets provide good assets. Face to face buying and selling, the different kinds of fresh, quality products, and the differences themselves between markets, can offer a wide range of experiences, richer and more authentic than other generic formats. Experts on the future transformation of cities remark on the importance of the territory in the era of globalisation. Markets, and more a system of public markets, “mark” the terrain inside the urban fabric as a space of sociability, security, identity, creativity, diversity and in the and as a mirror of the tendencies of the population as liveable city needs.

Randall Coleman, Co-Founder, Director of Operations, Can YA Love, Toronto, ON, CANADA. From Sacks to Pillars: The [R]evolution of "Low-Tech" Vertical Farming for Bristol

Bristol is a city of farms. From the urban farms of St. Werburghs to Sims Hill, Feed Bristol to the Severn Project, and the over 110 allotments available, the city is brimming with prime urban agricultural space. One third of Bristol is ‘green and blue’ open space with 87% of people living within 300 meters of a public green area. Yet with all this green space, for a city of under 450,000 people, demand still appears to outweigh supply. The situation is not unique to Bristol within the rising global urban agriculture movement. This paper explores how an open-source, small-scale vertical farming system implemented in the slums of Nairobi, Kenya and Medellín, Colombia could promote increased density within urban agricultural-designate areas in developed, as well as developing, countries across the world. These vertical farms have been designed to maximize existing urban farm footprints or to minimize disruption of current urban agricultural-designate areas by employing disused and derelict urban spaces. Other design benefits include growing food separate from contaminated soil, improving accessibility for the elderly and disabled, increasing crop productivity by at least 5x, and counteracting food deserts. These objectives can be met with natural farming methods, sourcing local materials, and little maintenance. The end result are individuals, families, and communities that are stronger and more resilient with regards to food security, health and well-being, and climate change adaptation.

Simon Conibear, Development Manager, Duchy of Cornwall, Poundbury, UK. Poundbury: A sustainable new urban neighborhood. Tour leader: Poundbury

Aisling Costello, Head of Projects, Age Friendly Ireland, World Health Organisation, Age Friendly Cities and Communities Initiative, Dublin, IRELAND. Livable Cities - Enabling older citizens to participate in the planning and reshaping of their local communities

Paul Cozens, Dr., Senior Lecturer, Curtin University, Strategic Planner, Perth, AUSTRALIA. Housing Image, Maintenance and Stigma: Investigating Perceptions of Crime, Fear of Crime and CPTED in Western Australia

Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) is a crime prevention strategy which has been implemented in North America, Europe, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand and in parts of Asia and the Middle East.

The research literature has commonly focused on two key dimensions to CPTED; territoriality and natural surveillance. Research has also explored the maintenance / image dimension and how ‘broken windows’ in a neighbourhood may affect crime and anti-social behavior. However, few studies have explored how the image, maintenance and stigma of housing might affect perceptions of CPTED, crime or the fear of crime. This paper investigates and contrasts the perceptions of 168 members of the public and 12 built environment professionals with regards to a specific housing type in Perth, Western Australia. Using two photographs of the same house as the environmental stimuli to elicit responses (one poorly-maintained and one well-maintained) respondents were asked about their perceptions of crime, fear of crime and the extent to which CPTED features were perceived to be present and potentially discourage / facilitate crime.

The findings provide support that there is a correlation between poorly maintained housing and the perceptions of CPTED, crime and the fear of crime.

D

Jacqueline Davies, Lecturer, School of Health Sciences, City University London, UK. Nursing students walking the walk of counteracting environmental health inequalities

Student nurses walk near where they will practice to reflect on healthy communities. They observe the three dimensional real world using all five senses. This innovative approach to learning was commended by the UK’s Nursing and Midwifery Council and favourably evaluated by students as one of the best parts of their first year. In theory classes students learn about health inequalities, social determinants of health and the healthy cities movement. Feedback from their walks suggest students are actively improving health. They add to the walkability of the neighbourhood, meet and talk to the people they will care for when they are in practice, learn about the space where they will later encourage people to walk, and they get to walk and meet each other.

Walks are the basis for the student assignment. The method draws on health workers’ long established practice of ‘walking the patch’ and their need to observe and document what was noticed in clinical settings. The walk provides an opportunity to observe both old and new public health challenges and initiatives, from drainage systems upwards. The instructions given to the student to walk about in a group, observing, notice and conversing comes have been developed from those used with MBA students where the method has been developed primarily to disrupt traditional transmissive learning. While this is valuable to the education of nursing students, as a public health healthcare students can contribute to improving the environment.

Alan DeLaTorre, Ph.D., Research Associate, Institute on Aging, Portland State University, Portland, OR, USA. The Intersection between Sustainable and Age-friendly Development

Portland, Oregon has been considered a leader in urban planning and sustainable development when compared to other cities in the United States. Government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and businesses have engaged in innovative policy making and practice aimed at creating a more sustainable city. Until recently, however, little has been known about how or whether civil servants and practitioners consider older adults in terms of sustainable development.

This paper explores the intersection between sustainable and age-friendly development in Portland based on interviews with key informants in the urban planning, development, and design professions. The meaning of sustainable development as it pertains to aging will be discussed, as well as policies that affect sustainable, affordable housing for older adults in Portland. Findings suggest that introducing the topic of aging into the discourse of sustainable development leads to a more robust meaning of the concept, which can aid future research, policy, and practice. The findings also point to the need for sustainable development practices to pay closer attention to social equity issues that pertain to people of all ages and abilities. Finally, a revised definition of sustainable development will be offered, in addition to ten guiding principles of sustainable development for an aging society.

Luca Dellatorre, Principal Acoustic Consultant, Institute of Acoustics, London, UK. Urban soundscapes and quality of life, a more holistic approach.

The cacophony of sounds that we experience in cities is in general an accidental result that can often affect the way we live and operate within that environment.

Even if the planning and design of cities and infrastructures is regulated by a meticulous approach to noise mitigation in order to reduce the negative impact on people, this does not guarantee the obtainment of soundscapes that empowers the users improving wellbeing and quality of life.

How does urban sound relate to the way we live and what could be the effect on the development of our cities if instead of thinking only in terms of noise reduction a more holistic approach was adopted?

A new perspective is proposed where planning and design should go beyond the satisfaction of noise policies and actively try to develop good sounding cities where, in relation to a specific usage, the soundscape would be designed to help in satisfying people’s needs.

Being conscious about what we hear and its effect on our wellbeing will be the first step that will allow users, planners and designers to bring an active contribution to the evolution of the current mindset and a step forward in making our cities more liveable.

Patrick Doherty, Regional Development Consultant, Age Friendly Ireland, World Health Organisation, Age Friendly Cities and Communities Initiative, Dublin, IRELAND. Livable Cities - Enabling older citizens to participate in the planning and reshaping of their local communities

This presentation will focus on the role that Ireland’s “Age Friendly Towns Project” has played in assisting local communities to make their area a better place in which to grow old. Ireland is one of a small number of countries that has a national Programme to support and implement the WHO’s Age-friendly Cities and Communities programme of work. This is endorsed by key governmental departments and local government. Established in 2009, the national programme is now up-and-running in all 31 local authority areas in Ireland. The nationwide roll-out of this programme is being facilitated by Age Friendly Ireland. This presentation aims to demonstrate how the Age Friendly Town Project successfully impacted on the lives of older people. Bringing older people together with key stakeholder’s e.g. local government, statutory bodies, education providers, NGO sector and business, enabled a partnership approach to help identify gaps that exist in their communities and to find SMART solutions to address these gaps. It will describe the infrastructure developed to support the Age Friendly Town Projects and how it complements the wider Age-friendly City and County Programme at both a local and national level. It will also highlight some of the initiatives that have been developed to deliver real change and show, how as a national programme, we are using the findings from the projects to further affect change in other communities from around the country. Finally, it will outline the lessons learned from Ireland’s experience that may be relevant to Age-friendly programmes elsewhere.

Grant Donald, Partner and Design Director, Silk Tree International, Shanghai, CHINA. Longevity Park

An exploding ageing population in China (WHO figures show that by 2050 China will have more than 330 million Chinese aged 65 or older, with 100 million of them aged over 80), has prompted the Chinese government to lead the way in how to manage an ageing population “actively.”

Wanshou Park is a shining demonstration of reintegrating the elderly into the community, encouraging them to age ‘actively’ by encouraging participation in physical and social activities and using the park and its surrounding facilities to offer additional services such as health and mental wellbeing.

The Park refurbishment project carried out by Silk Tree International comprises redeveloping the existing park into four distinct components: encompassing the elderly, the young, music and a sporting.

The design of the park includes design aspects beyond the traditional – incorporating aspects such as a children’s playground to encourage a mix of old and young energies, fruit trees, to invoke memory through smell, working with local schools and hospitals in the area to participate in activities within the park, as well as looking at ways to improve transport lines to bring bus routes closer to the park and how existing buildings surrounding the park could be reconverted into rehabilitation and health care centres, possible short-term housing, learning and educational facilities and refitting an existing hotel into a new one.

If the Wanshou Park is successful, it could become a model for other parks for driving urban development around a focus on rehabilitation and aged care facilities.

Jenny Donovan, Principal, Inclusive Design, Albert Park, AUSTRALIA. The nurturing city: creating places where people thrive

My paper will draw from my experience as an "international expert in placemaking" in Palestine and Kosovo for the UN and my work in disadvantaged urban and rural communities in Australia, the UK and elsewhere. The paper will suggest that incremental design decisions and unchallenged assumptions made by developers, architects, planners and other professionals in our towns and cities often have inadvertent effects on the people who share these places. Despite a wealth of studies, time and commitment the social impact of development is often detrimental and often unexpected in its nature and severity. This paper will posit that this is because the "balance of influences" on peoples lives may be subtly altered by each development; opening some doors but closing others and with it framing what our surroundings allow us to do or stop us doing.

This paper will then go on to describe from my personal professional experience and my research some of the ways in which places can become more nurturing, less neglectful and facilitate people to better meet their needs in their shared surroundings.

The work will draw on examples from many parts of the world and suggest themes that seem to be consistent (and hence potentially replicable elsewhere) and those that are culturally specific.

F

Tim Fendley, Partner, Applied Wayfinding, London, UK. What next for Legible Cities

A decade ago a team of information designers sat down to think about an open wayfinding brief. What came from it was a concept for Legible Cities.

The idea was to activate and pedestrianise the centre of cities, to give the urban realm back to walkers, thus creating healthier cities and reaching urban goals involving both health and sustainability.

The system has gone through the most rigorous testing and at every turn its impact and benefit to the city has been proven, not only in terms of sustainable travel and increased footfall to boost the economy, but in its citizens’ health as well.

Bristol was the first Legible City, the first to have the system in place, and followed by Legible London, this was the first wave of Legible Cities. Since the concept’s inception, similar systems have been implemented and the concern is that many of these imitations are simply that, and the global standard is limited to look and feel.

How will the system stay relevant, fit for purpose, and ultimately able to support urban goals pertaining to a healthy population?

The field will mature over the next ten years and it will do so in six ways; the distinctiveness of places will have more importance, considered thinking and planning knowledge will be integral to the process, the physical world will connect to the digital world to communicate in a common tongue, the function of the Legible Cities system will not be second to its design, wayfinding will grow to be represented on an official level, and will be part of government budgets from the onset.

Lee A. Fithian, AIA, AICP, NCARB, LEED AP, Associate Professor, University of Oklahoma College of Architecture, Norman, OK, USA. How Advanced Building Systems Can Offset Water Infrastructure Needs

Water infrastructure requirements will be reaching crisis proportions in the coming years. Increasing urban populations, drought conditions due to climate change, and increasing rule limits for drinking water contaminants set the tone for diminishing water resources.

Capital funding has not kept pace with the needs for water infrastructure. If we think holistically, however, many of these water infrastructure needs can be offset by how we address the historic view of buildings’ systems.

The current premise is that buildings should simply “plug-in” to existing water infrastructure. The expectation is that a new building connects to a potable water system and waste water is flushed away to be disposed of at a centralized treatment plant. This belies our growing institutional knowledge of holistic building design and urban development. Rather than becoming a point source load on water infrastructure, buildings are capable of becoming water resource generators.

Precedent models for building based rainwater harvesting, reuse and treatment systems already exist, such as in the new US City of San Francisco Public Utilities Commission building, a 277,500 sf office building housing more than 900 employees, utilizing rainwater harvesting and an onsite “Living Machine” to reclaim and treat all of the building’s wastewater satisfying 100% of the water demand for the building’s low-flow toilets, urinals and irrigation. If we couple these advanced building systems with water conservation ordinances and street level design we will rethink how buildings can actually offset water infrastructure needs while also impacting the city at the pedestrian scale.

Morel Fourman, Founder and CEO , Gaiasoft Group companies, London, UK. Urbanization and an Ageing Population: Creating Sustainable, Resilient and Livable Cities

Claire Freeman, Dr., University of Otago, Dunedin, NEW ZEALAND. Can urban planning and design redress inequities in accessibility? : New Zealand’s Children’s access to urban biodiversity

In planning, the provision of accessible green spaces including; parks, sports grounds, beaches, woodland and other natural areas, is seen as fundamental to enhancing not just the quality of the urban environment but the quality of life its inhabitants. However, the public realm and its accessibility is also a social construct with access being determined not just by physical factors such as location and design, but by factors relating to socio-economic status, ethnicity, sense of belonging and age. For planners there is a conundrum and a challenge, in that, though the green-spaces available may meet good planning principles in terms of design, range and availability, their use appears to uneven across social groups. We report the findings of a New Zealand study which looked at the nature connection opportunities for 187 children aged 10-11 living in three different cities. The study found that even where children lived in close physical proximity and theoretically, had equitable access to similar green-space opportunities there was significant variability. We ask what are the factors causing this differential accessing of local green-space, is it related to green-space planning and design, levels of provision, or underlying societal constraints. The paper concludes by considering whether there are design strategies that planners can use to overcome differences in accessibility, especially in areas of socio-economic deprivation so as to enhance all children’s ability to connect with locally available biodiversity. Our study demonstrates the complexities planners face in managing public green space provision and use.

G

Magdalena Garmaz, Professor, Architecture and Environmental Design, College of Architecture, Design and Construction, Auburn University, Auburn, AL, USA. Systems Thinking and Design Thinking: Two Methods for Teaching Sustainable Urban Strategies

This paper will discuss a peculiar American design educator’s dilemma: how to teach students with no previous urban experience the values and possibilities embedded in good urban design. Since most of the students, upon graduation, end up practicing in the big urban centers, it is particularly important to develop a series of projects in the design studios that emphasize sustainable design strategies. Configuring these strategies around systems thinking and design thinking is a particularly appropriate approach in an environmental design program. This paper will discuss some of the projects used in the author’s teaching that are specifically tailored to shedding off the “non-urbanite” skepticism, and developing an appreciation and understanding of the inherently human-centric system of the livable city. Emphasis on designing with, rather than for the people approach; use of divergent - in addition to - convergent thinking; and real-scale prototyping (mock-ups), are some of the most effective ways to communicate these ideas, and foster a shift from suburban mindset to urban design attitude.

Yi Gong, Dr., Sustainable Places Research Institute, Cardiff University. Can the physical environment you live in influence your health expectancies?

While Total Life Expectancy (TLE) continues to increase, it doesn’t mean we are healthier or that we have a better quality of life. New research has started to show that it is not just how many years you have left that matters, but how many healthy years. The gap in TLE was found to underestimate health inequalities substantially . This is why the ONS released experimental statistics on Disability-free Life Expectancy (DFLE) at the small area level to add important information about differences between small areas in the quality of life as well as its length. Meanwhile, there is growing interest in links between poor health and environmental inequalities, where low levels of environmental justice (defined as areas with low living environment quality) contribute to health inequalities, independent of other factors such as socio-economic position.

By analysing ONS DFLE data at the Middle Super Output Area in 1999-2003 and physical environment data, this ecological study aims to explore how Health Expectancy is affected by the quality of the physical environment in which people live in England. The physical environment data will include data on traffic noise, air pollution and access to services from the Department for Communities and Local Government. This research will provide empirical evidence to improve current policies aimed at reducing health inequalities by linking them with planning and environmental policies.

Ray Green, Professor, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, AUSTRALIA. A design framework for creating healthy urban green spaces for children

Architects, landscape architects and interior designers are increasingly interested in integrating natural landscapes and elements of the natural world (i.e. plants and animals) into the design of buildings to achieve a range of benefits for their users. This has led to innovative designs for various building types, from hospitals, office buildings, factories to schools, all with the aim of increasing the health, productivity, capacity for learning and other positive outcomes for the users. Based on this notion, the author formulated a set of design principles to guide the design of the new, one billion dollar, Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne in Australia. This design framework was based on extensive review of the medical and psychological literature and specifies five types of design interventions for increasing contact with nature for the hospital’s patients, staff and visitors and includes:
• Natural replacements used to evoke vicarious experiences of nature
• Opportunities for passive interaction with nature
• Nature used to facilitate social interaction
• Nature used to facilitate physical movement
• Opportunities for direct, unstructured contact with nature

One aim of the new hospital's design was to achieve a seamless integration of the hospital buildings with the adjacent park (Royal Park) to create a total park/hospital system using the barrowed landscape of the park as a source for having contact with nature. This paper seeks to show how this same set of design principles can be used to guide urban open space design that will result in health benefits for the users of these spaces and children in particular

H

Bjoern Hagen, Assistant Research Professor, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USA. The Social Dimension of Sustainable Neighborhood Design: A case study of two communities in Freiburg, Germany

From a planning perspective, the main purpose of social sustainability is to create strong, vibrant, and healthy communities, which enhance the quality of life and the overall resiliency of the neighborhood and its population by establishing a built-environment of high quality that provides appropriate and accessible local services, contributing to the overall physical, social, and cultural well-being. However, sustainable development projects and environmental friendly neighborhood designs often pay less attention to the social dimension compared to the environmental and economic side of sustainability.

This paper presents a case study of two neighborhood developments in the city of Freiburg, Germany. In particular, the research effort was centered on evaluating the social responses and characteristics of living in the two recognized sustainable communities Rieselfeld and Vauban. In both cases, the whole neighborhood development process was not only guided by design, transportation, and ecological concepts, but also by a social concept acknowledging the need for a community building infrastructure and programs. In particular, the social concept addressed communal infrastructure such as childcare, schools, and youth programs as well as healthcare for elderly people, public space, and public participation.

Based on visits to the two neighborhoods, and interviews with involved architects, city planners, as well as community leaders, this paper presents insights and experiences from which other city governments can learn from as well as best practices that can be transferred and implemented somewhere else.

Stephen Hodder, RIBA President, Royal Institute of Bristih Architects, London, UK. Welcome

Elinor Huggett, Sustainability Consultant, Max Fordham LLP, London, UK. Fifty shades of green

A building can only ever be as simple as the system that it functions within: the large majority of buildings rely on infrastructure networks to provide them with essential resources such as energy, water and food. Therefore, it is not only individual buildings that should be considered when evaluating the benefits of simplification, but the whole infrastructure of towns and cities.

Incorporating more foliage, trees, and soft landscaping within these infrastructure networks (including their buildings) could reduce the complexity of overall urban systems both now and in the future. This would provide benefits both in terms of the quality of the urban environment and in terms of the efficiency of resource use.

Commonly cited benefits of enhanced greenery within urban environments include urban heat island mitigation, stormwater management, pollution reduction, enriched biodiversity, improved ecosystem services, and food production. Many of these could prove incredibly useful: for example, cooler cities would have a reduced requirement for mechanical cooling systems; air scrubbed clean by vegetation would improve air quality; and city scale deployment of water retaining green infrastructure would reduce requirement for expensive sewer systems.

J

Jing Jing, Architect SAR/MSA, Arken SE Arkitekter, Stockholm, SWEDEN. The Built Environment for Children - Stockholm Experience

The enjoyment of, and impact on children from the built environment is a very significant aspect of “social sustainability”, but it is relatively underrepresented in the discourse on sustainable development. Despite significant advancements in the understanding of the relationship between the built environment and child health and development made over the past several decades, many argue that contemporary urban (and sub-urban) environments in developed countries are having negative repercussions on child health and development.

Stockholm, featuring both advancements as child-friendly city which reflects Sweden’s national branding as “child-friendly” nation (Swedish Institute, 2012) and challenges as to its radical urban transformation which in combination with a relative shortage of housing that places great pressure on city planning. The paper draws importance to the phenomenon of public space regeneration, with particular focus on understanding how public spaces can be built and adapted to provide children with environments that stimulate their social, educational and physical development. The high levels of activities to modify, expand, and build new areas in the city to accommodate more people, including more children, provides a dynamic and robust setting for case study. This paper reviews the built environment for pre-school aged children (age 0-6) in the city of Stockholm and investigate how planners, architects and designers account for children as users of the spaces and places that they plan and design. A series of case studies on child-friendly design are provided in order to produce learning materials for architects, planners and policy makers based upon the Stockholm experience.

Rajinder Jutla, Professor, Missouri State University, Springfield, MO, USA. From Simla to Shimla: the changing face of a Himalayan Town

This study will focus on Simla, a hill station founded by the British during their colonial rule. The cool climate of the city provided refuge from the hot Indian summer and Simla served as the summer capital of British India. An attempt was therefore made to conjure up a sense of familiarity through the recreation of an English townscape. This is reflected even today in its Gothic and Tudor style buildings. The city was originally planned for a population of 30,000 to 40,000 but the present population has crossed 200,000. Simla has experienced phenomenal growth in recent years and has emerged as a popular tourist destination in the Himalayas. This has put added pressure on the land. Slopes which were once thought to be unsafe and inappropriate for construction were altered for development. This growth has transformed the character of the city and has caused an erosion of its picturesque image, changing it from a landscape of tall majestic evergreens to one of concrete buildings perched on hillsides. The paper will examine the development of Simla and its resulting environmental cost in the post-independence period. It will reveal the forces behind the change in the visual character of the city and how both longtime residents and tourists perceive the Simla of today or Shimla as it is presently called. This will be based on site interviews conducted with two sample groups. This study can provide lessons for the development and saving of other hill towns from environmental degradation.

L

Rex LaMore, Professor, Michigan State University, Lansing, MI, USA. A Green Approach of Reducing and Eliminating Private Property Abandonment

Over the last 40 years, many legacy cities in the mid-west of the US have experienced widespread residential, industrial, and commercial abandonment. This flood of abandonment and subsequent blight has left communities with a large number of vacant properties, limited public resources to remove these abandoned structures and encourage the waste of potentially valuable building materials. The current system of private property ownership encourages abandoned parcels which presents a hazard to public health and safety.

This paper will examine strategies for ending the practice of private sector abandonment: community benefit agreement, insurance policies and bonds. This paper will also discuss the application of requiring deconstruction on building practices and the development of a recycle and reuse economic sector for abandoned structures.

This research has environmental, social and economic application for the greening of cities now and in the future.

Bruce LaRue, Ph.D., President
Chambers Bay Institute, University Place, WA, USA.  Urbanization and an Ageing Population: Creating Sustainable, Resilient and Livable Cities

James Longhurst, Assistant Vice Chancellor, Environment and Sustainability; Associate Dean and Professor of Environmental Science, Faculty of Environment and Technology, University of the West of England, Bristol, UK. Urban Air Quality in Historical Perspective – or why we fail to learn the lessons of history.

M

Rowan Mackay, Research Intern, University of Westminster, London, UK. Designing social capital in the contemporary city: Integration in the public realm

In the face of ever increasing social and cultural diversity in our cities, this paper proposes a new approach to urban design that demands a greater understanding of the built environment as a facilitator of social capital and, in turn, of integrated and progressive communities and neighbourhoods. Taking as a starting point social capital’s defining processes of ‘bonding’ and ‘bridging’ diverse social groups, this study identifies specific public environments that are conducive to aiding integration in cities such as Bristol. And will, I hope, bring new understanding and practical guidance to the subjects of 'lifetime communities' and 'urban design for a hospitable public realm'.

Building on empirical investigations that took place in Southall, London in 2014, this paper explores the relationship between the physical environment and experiences of marginalization and integration of migrant groups within a host society. From this analysis a number of determining factors are identified and presented as urban design guidance, aimed at improving the quality of our public realm and the creation of vibrant, inclusive and adaptive built environments.

Emphasizing the importance of a flexible public realm focused around key civic infrastructure, comparisons between sites in Bristol and Southall show how every-day tensions within a multi-cultural society are resolved through every-day interactions at the scale of the street. Through the presentation of tangible design objectives, supported by key social and socio-spatial theory, this paper presents a realistic way for urban design to respond to the diverse and complex social landscape of a contemporary city such as Bristol.

Helen Manchester, Professor, University of Bristol, UK. Towards the All-Age-Friendly City

The All-Age-Friendly City project emerged from a desire to imagine the future city from the perspectives of those people – children and older adults – who are too often overlooked in the design and planning of cities today.

Reports on ‘the Smart City’ tend to make little or no mention of the different and sometimes shared needs of a multi-generational city. In designing for children and older adults separately we risk ignoring the fact that these groups often live alongside each other, occupy the same public spaces, have interests in common. Important opportunities may therefore be missed to create services and infrastructure that address the interests of both groups. Moreover, by treating these groups separately we risk furthering current trends toward intergenerational tensions that are potentially harmful for the wellbeing of all. If we want a future city that is adequate to the people living in it designers, policy makers, developers and planners need to think carefully about all ages and stages of life.

To address this issue this project brought together researchers working in childhood and aging, members of local government, artists, community groups, computer scientists, developers, planners and practitioners working with children and older adults, to co-produce ideas about how cities might better meet the needs and interests of our oldest and youngest generations.

This paper outlines why designing the All-Age-Friendly city is an urgent contemporary concern and identifies four key areas for future development:
• building intergenerational trust;
• encouraging encounters across generations;
• re-imagining housing; and
• creating all-age-friendly transport systems.

Devon S McAslan, Doctoral Student, University of Michigan, Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, Ann Arbor, MI, USA. Expanding Public Parks through Community Activism in Jackson Heights, Queens

Jackson Heights is currently one of the most diverse and dense neighborhoods in Queens, and for many years has had among the lowest ratio of park space per person of any neighborhood in New York City. In 2008 the neighborhood started a weekly ‘play streets’ program which took place on Sundays during the summer months and closed a section of street adjacent to the heavily used Travers Park. In summer 2010 the community successfully fought for approval to close the street entirely to traffic for two months. The success of this summer program encouraged the neighborhood to seek ways of making this ‘play street’ a permanent fixture of their community. In 2011 the Jackson Heights Green Alliance and the NYC Department of Transportation, the city department in charge of the NYC Plaza Program, made plans to turn this street into a permanent pedestrian plaza, effectively expanding Travers Park. Much of this was facilitated by the City’s effort to ensure that all New Yorkers live within a 10 minute walk of quality open space. This paper explores the challenges faced by the community in starting the ‘play street’ and how they successfully lobbied to make this a permanent part of their everyday landscape. The NYC Plaza Program has turned 22 underutilized spaces into public plazas since 2008 but relies on community activism to start a project. Jackson Heights shows how community activism and city programs can work together to create meaningful open spaces out of underutilized land and streets.

Kevin McCloud, MBE, British designer, writer and television presenter best known for his series Grand Designs, and his highly sustainable residential housing development company HAB Housing. HAB Housing  

Anne McCusker, Policy and projects officer, Belfast Healthy Cities, Belfast, NORTHERN IRELAND. Walkability for Healthy Ageing assessment

Context: The built environment has a significant impact on the health and wellbeing of older people. An accessible built environment will enable older people to retain a degree of independent mobility and continue to participate in society, which supports health and social wellbeing. Remaining active has benefits for physical health and emotional wellbeing as well as increasing a sense of personal safety and a sense of belonging.

Rationale: Belfast has recently gained accreditation as a member of the WHO Global Network of Age Friendly Cities and Communities, which includes Outdoor environments as a key area for action. Access to walkable routes was identified as a priority identified by local older people within this theme. A GIS map of walkable routes in Belfast (and the City of Derry) has also recently been developed through the Knowledge Exchange, Spatial Analysis and Healthy Urban Environments (KESUE) research project at Queens University Belfast. However, assessing the quality of routes was outside the scope of this project and a need for a tool to explore qualitative elements was identified.

Description: The Walkability Assessment for Healthy Ageing (WAHA) tool was designed for use by older people and organisations to evaluate the age-friendliness of the built environment on local streets and in parks. The project was piloted in east Belfast and in parks across Belfast by older people with various mobility levels, who provided positive feedback on the tool and the project. The tool was designed to look at the impact of the built environment on the levels of physical activity of older people. Using the WHO Checklist of Essential Features of Age-friendly Cities and existing walkability assessment tools as a guide for criteria, a questionnaire was developed which enabled older people to perform self-assessments of their local area.

The results identified many positive aspects, as well as common barriers in the built environment that may prevent older people engaging in physical activity in their local area. Key findings for developing a more walkable environment for older people include consistent provision of maintained pavements and dropped kerbs, public seating, street lighting and pedestrian crossings. The project also highlighted the importance of the personal safety of older people.

Achievements: The recommendations suggest modifying the tool in partnership with academic colleagues would enhance its use in planning services and new initiatives such as active travel. A key recommendation of the report highlights the need to formally engage older people in policy and decision making on planning and physical development in the city. The recommendations have been presented to the Healthy Ageing Strategic Partnership, which coordinates work on age friendly cities in Belfast, and has taken responsibility for taking the recommendations forward.

Conclusion: The project highlights that creating a supportive environment can be achieved with relatively minor adjustments. The tool has also been found useful. Work is ongoing to further pilot and validate the tool to build a stronger evidence base to inform future policy and decision making. Work is also ongoing with partners to identify ways to implement key issues highlighted.

Laura McDonald, Health Development Officer, Inequalities Professional, Belfast Healthy Cities, Belfast, NORTHERN IRELAND. Shaping Healthier Neighbourhoods for Children

The environment we offer children plays a vital role in shaping their opportunities and aspirations. Similarly, the opportunities we provide for children to take part in decision-making, the ways in which we encourage them to tell us their views and give them the skills required, affect their willingness and ability to participate in society.

Children’s needs are not always considered in decision making in relation to the physical environment. The Shaping Healthier Neighbourhoods for Children Project gave children an opportunity to express their views and was used as mechanism to gather these views and feedback to decision makers.

The project engaged approx. 400 Primary School children aged 8 – 11years. Three sessions where held with each class, the first session set the scene for the work; the second session was a guided walk with the children in their external environment near to their school, during which the children took photographs of things they liked and did not like; the third session involved creating posters and PowerPoint presentations using the children’s photographs to demonstrate the positive and negative aspects of their environment.

David McKenna, Landscape Architect and Engineer, IBI Group, Liverpool, UK. Developing a Shared Vision to help different professions communicate and work to a common goal: Experiences delivering shared space

It is well understood that different professions have a different perspective on the priorities of a project and this can exacerbate communication problems developed due to different cultural backgrounds. When people have different aims for a project there decisions will not necessarily make sense to one another and disagreements can become exaggerated due to the misunderstandings. The issue can be particularly acute with shared space schemes where Landscape Architects and Engineers are dealing with:
• unfamiliar concepts
• a lack of design guidance
• a situation where standard solutions are not generally appropriate
• concerns that paving detailing is not durable
• concerns with safety
• expensive solutions when compared with standard highways treatments

Developing a shared vision can help people focus on achieving a common goal. I am a dual-qualified Landscape Architect and Engineer, I have led the design and delivery of some significant shared space schemes and I have found a strong, simple concept helpful in communicating concepts, developing a shared vision and achieving a common goal. I will outline the process and our experiences on the following schemes:
• Castle Square, Caernarfon
• Lyceum Square, Crewe
• Exchange Place, Kidderminster

Circe Monteiro, Planner, UFPE – INCITI, Recife, BRAZIL. Parque Capibaribe, reweaving a city through green and public spaces.

This paper deals with the research methodology and interventions proposed for a 30km linear park along the main watercourses of Recife, Brazil. The project, commissioned by the Municipality of Recife to the Federal University of Pernambuco – UFPE has been developed by a group focused on research and innovation for the city coordinated by InCiTi.

The project aim is a strategic plan that tackles environmental, spatial and social issues. Such a change in the configuration of the city is perceived as a framework that will ignite the transformation of Recife, a city that accounts with more than 30% of its surface covered with nature reserves of forest and mangroves but where public spaces and parks represents only 0.5 %.

One of the main challenges in this research is how to reconnect citizens and river. Recife is a city of nearly 500 years old where the relation between city and river has drastically changed within time. The advent of motorized modes of transportation in parallel to the expansion of the city reverted the former relation with the river; spaces along water are no longer at the centre but at city's periphery.

Therefore the proposed park searches for a reinvention of the city, grounded on expanding the potential and qualities of existing public spaces and vacant areas, on the priority for public and non-motorized means of transportation and structuring vital and sustainable places.

Emma Regina Morales, Doctoral Candidate, The University of Sheffield, UK. Compost Urbanism: Decayed urban spaces used as fertilizer for healthy vibrant places. The case of 'La Merced' in Mexico City

Regeneration in city centre usually is a complex problem that usually faces problems of population abandonment, heritage buildings decay and commercial areas losing their appeal versus new commercial options. The case of ‘La Merced’, the largest public market area in Latin America (112 hectares), is complicated because the decay of the area is what is keeping it alive at the same time. ‘La Merced’ is still one of the main places to buy and sell fruits, seeds, vegetables, meat, and prepared food amongst other things. The tradition goes back to prehispanic times and its best moment was with the construction of the main building in 1947, but in recent years with the state’s change of policy towards public markets the area has become dangerous, the infrastructure is about to collapse, waste management and water supply is a real health threat for thousands and in the past two years there has been two major fires destroying thousands of stalls. The concept of compost urbanism is an attempt to understand what is starting to rot in this living organism that has such an important symbolic value for Mexicans and use it to reseed and grow a better area. Not by disappearing their informal selling strategies but by understanding them better… not by displacing street vendors to other areas but by understanding their dynamics. Using this knowledge as fertilizer for new ideas should be the base of the current regeneration process instead of displacement and gentrification.

Imran Muhammad, Dr., Senior Lecturer, School of People, Environment and Planning, Massey University, NEW ZEALAND. Can we make Auckland liveable with ‘auto-dependency’?

Auckland’s first Spatial Plan’s vision is making Auckland the world’s most liveable city by 2042. To achieve this vision, the Plan identifies broad outcomes that contribute to liveability, which are to be attained through transformational shifts including a car-dominant system into an integrated public transport network. The plan propose a series of expensive infrastructure projects, including rail tunnels under the CBD, rail extension to the airport, and an additional harbour crossing. This paper critically assesses the transport strategies proposed by the Plan from a broad spectrum of liveable cities perspectives. In drawing on the events leading to the 2009 Auckland local government reform, the Plan making process and the content of the Plan, this paper shows that the Plan’s transport strategy suffers a range of drawbacks, including limited political support, a rushed consultation process and lack of a robust framework for funding public transport projects. These problems raise questions about the Plan’s capacity to drive a ‘transformational shift’ in Auckland’s transport landscape and ultimately contribute to the vision of making Auckland the world’s most liveable city. This paper concludes by recommending Auckland Council adopts a more proactive approach to transport planning focusing on better community engagement, more strategic goal setting and more innovative funding mechanisms.

N

Anton C. Nelessen, Professor of Urban Planning and Founder of A. Nelessen Assoicates, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ, USA. Transforming Cities through Visioning

This paper summarizes the research, process and results of Community Visioning contracts in 167 communities across North Americas, using an image and video based Visual Preference Survey (VPS) The VPS relies on human responses, that taps into people’s memory; their visual, emotional and cultural responses to places.

The results of this community visioning process indicate that the most rapid track to implementation and future construction occurs when there is a consensus vision that is both top down and bottom up. The key to the process is having people who know, use and own the study area, evaluate existing and potential future conditions by responding to this question, “How appropriate or inappropriate is the image you are seeing, now and in the future for this area?” These images are evaluated on a +10 to -10 basis, including 0, a 21 point scale using a mean and standard deviation.

The results are applied in preparing vision plans, comprehensive and redevelopment plans to achieve healthy, sustainable, happier, safe and viable cities, towns and regions. The VPS provides the visual and mathematical evidence to make hard decision to effectuate change in the urban future. The paper will be delivered with a multi-media format using digital and video images to present the process, a summary of most important results and where this sustainable vision has been implemented.

Mark J Nieuwenhuijsen, PhD, Research Professor, Center for Research in Environmental Epidemiology, Barcelona, SPAIN. Positive Health Effects of the Natural Outdoor environment (PHENOTYPE)

Introduction: Growing evidence suggests that close contact with nature brings benefits to human health and well-being, but the proposed mechanisms are still not well understood and the associations with health remain uncertain. The Positive Health Effects of the Natural Outdoor environment in Typical Populations in different regions in Europe (PHENOTYPE) project investigates the interconnections between natural outdoor environments and better human health and well-being.

Aims and methods: The PHENOTYPE project explores the proposed underlying mechanisms at work (stress reduction/restorative function, physical activity, social interaction, exposure to environmental hazards) and examines the associations with health outcomes for different population groups. It implements conventional and new innovative methods to characterize the natural environment in terms of quality and quantity, and uses smartphones to capture location-specific, objective physical activity data. Preventive as well as therapeutic effects of contact with the natural environment are explored through field and laboratory experiments. PHENOTYPE further addresses implications for land-use planning and green space management.

Results: Results of the various studies show beneficial effects of green space on cardiovascular mortality and disease and mental health in adults, obesity, asthma and cognitive function and behavior in children and birth weight. Initial smartphone data show greater mobility of the subjects and considerable differences in physical activity levels, sometimes but always related to the natural environment. Data from field experiments provide some evidence for preventive and therapeutic psychological benefits, and physiological benefits of using natural environments in cardiac rehabilitation, but these appear to vary with the baseline health of the population and type of urban comparator environment.

Conclusion: The project provides further evidence on links between exposure to natural outdoor environment and human health and well-being. Collectively our results suggest that better integration of human health considerations in land use planning and green space management may have significant population health benefits.

O

Melda Açmaz Özden, PhD, Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University, TURKEY. Suburban communities and socio-spatial sustainability: Assessing a middle-class suburb in Ankara, Turkey

Sustainable cities and communities have been in the agenda of cities for long to achieve healthy and livable cities. Although many studies, policy documents and policies have been developed, published and implemented to develop better, sustainable and liveable cities, it is still questionable how to achieve socially sustainable communities in different localities. Today’s cities, along with the globalization and neoliberal policies accompanied by rapid urbanization, uncontrolled sprawl and suburbanization, have been suffering from their unsustainable urban environments, communities and lives. These trends have also brought about many socio-spatial problems, such as alienation, disintegration, insufficient access to urban services, urban spaces with low quality of life, crime and security problems. Growing problems and ad-hoc solutions produced for overcoming these problems result in much more complex urban problems.

This study focuses on a middle-class suburban area, namely Ümitköy, located on the south-west corridor of Ankara, which is the capital of Turkey. It is one of the most rapidly growing suburban areas of the city. The paper evaluates the pros and cons of this suburban neighbourhood regarding indicators of social sustainability. Showing the pros and cons of this suburban neighbourhood through socio-spatial components of sustainable communities, it seeks to reveal to what extent socio-spatial sustainability has been achieved or failed in such middle-class suburban neighbourhoods of Ankara.

In the final part, after making discussions on the research findings, the paper suggests some planning and design cues and strategies to achieve more sustainable and livable suburban neighbourhoods in Ankara and its counterparts.

Aysen Ozturk, Assoc. Professor, Eskisehir Osmangazi University, Eskisehir, TURKEY. The Soul of Eskisehir: To Revive the Use of Bicycle

The aim of the present study is to revive the intensive use of bicycle in the province Eskisehir in the historical process and to cite the works on ‘revitalizing cycling again in the city’ which are developed because of the decrease in the use of bicycle as a secure means of transportation due to the increase in the number of motorized vehicles on the existing roads.

To increase the role of bicycling in its transportation system, the city of Eskisehir adopted a Bicycle Pilot Road Plan in 2011. There were a three workshops to assist the municipality of Eskisehir in Turkey to better include cycling in its quest to make Eskisehir’s urban transport policies more sustainable. With the support of a team organized under the frame of Eskisehir Metropolitan Municipality as the host of the event and with the collaboration of local governments, non-governmental organizations and universities; the most appropriate bicycle route has been determined according to the attraction and production centers of the city and the infrastructure for the bicycle route and the detailed solutions have been developed.

In the present work, the discussion is in the Habitat project workshop of the Department of Architecture in Eskisehir Osmangazi University on the ways of participation of the bicycle to the future urban life with new programs.

P

Silvia Paldino, PhD Student, Università della Calabria, Rende, ITALY. UNICEF Child-Friendly Cities: How children can participate making the world a better place - the case of Le Coriandoline, Italy

This story begins 20 years ago when a cooperative of Correggio, called Andria from the name of one of Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino, engaged in the construction of neighborhoods on a human scale, decides to create a neighborhood for them: children. Children: a really strange target for building something solid like houses. But the architect behind the project, together with an educator in 1995 starts the project by asking the collaboration of 12 schools of the town. And so 700 children helped by 50 teachers, two education experts and 20 other people, including architects and engineers have begun to trace the their first ideas on sheets and videos.

In the district over the transparent house with all the windows, there are bells decorated with the names of the people (of all inhabitants -cats included- and not just the surname), and in the tower house, in addition to the lift, there is a slide near the stairs. And then there is also the Coriandoli Office (that is like “Confetti Office”) that, besides being the common room for meetings and gatherings, is also 'the center of the project documentation. All children's drawings and the artists, who worked with them, are collected there.

This experience should teach us how children are perfectly able to build a better world.

Hugh Petter, Director ADAM Urbanism, Winchester, UK. Nansledan: the design and delivery of a sustainable urban extension to Newquay, Cornwall

This is a case study about Nansledan, conceived as a highly sustainable urban extension to Newquay that is finely tuned to local needs and, learning the lessons from Poundbury, that will strengthen and diversify the local economy. The speaker is the master-planner and co-ordinating architect for this project, working with The Princes Foundation, which ultimately will produce 4,000 homes and 4,000 new jobs.

Working with Cornwall Council, the sensible ultimate capacity of the site was determined though a long-term flexible masterplan which was then broken down into phases. In parallel, a suite of strategy documents were developed covering energy, water, food, transport, green infrastructure, together with a pattern book that captures the particular character of local architecture and urban form. Each subject was looked at from first principles rather than simply relying upon established methods for measuring the sustainability of the scheme to help ensure that the most sensible overall approach is adopted.

Nansledan draws inspiration from the vernacular of the north Cornish coast, which itself was developed in a low carbon environment. The Duchy has imposed a requirement to obtain as many materials, components and contractors as possible from the county, so spreading the economic warmth of the development locally.

A consortium of regional house-builders, bound together with the landowner via a common aspiration agreement, is delivering the development in accordance with the vision that has defined.

The project is now on site and selling for a premium compared with parallel development on adjoining local sites, and providing new affordable homes

The talk will articulate the vision for Nansledan and explain how, by reverting to first principles to define the vision and delivering the project through a consortium can deliver a more truly sustainable development that husbands value, creates local jobs, responds to local needs, and which reinforces the distinctive local architectural and urban character.

Rick Phillips, RA, AICP, Director of Urban Design, Northern California, HNTB Corporation, Emeryville, CA, USA. Cities and Systems – Urban Livability and the Zofnass Tools for Sustainable Infrastructure

Victoria Pinoncely, Research Officer, Royal Town Planning Institute, London, UK. Healthy surroundings: the relationship of built environments to physical and mental health

Planning and public health share the common mission to improve human wellbeing. The rise of health challenges such as non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in both developed and developing contexts has increasing social, economic and individual costs - World Economic Forum has estimated that the cost of the five leadings NCDs could be $47 trillion dollars over the next 20 years. Most health issues have a preventable component to them and health is not limited to hospitals and genetics. The environment in which we live, work and spend leisure time has an enormous impact on our physical and mental health and wellbeing. ‘Health’ needs to be better understood and included in policy decisions and by professionals outside of formal healthcare and public health. Health problems such as obesity, chronic heart disease, stress and mental health issues are intricately linked to the environments in which people live and work. This paper, based on an existing publication, will be a comprehensive review of the international literature on the links between the built environment and health. It will outline the impact of the built environment on health outcomes, through urban form, street scale urban design, provision of public and green spaces, housing, transport, and access to amenities. The paper will inform decision-makers that influence urban form and built environment professionals and offer them an evidence base on how to influence health positively. The paper argues that planning can play a central role in creating environments that enhance people's health and wellbeing.

Penny Pirrit, General Manager Plans and Places, Auckland Council NZ, New Zealand Planning Institute, Auckland, NEW ZEALAND. Translating Aspirations into Reality -Auckland's journey towards becoming the worlds most liveable city

Auckland with almost one and a half million people accommodates one-third of New Zealand’s population. Suffering in the past from fragmented municipal local government management, eight territorial authorities were amalgamated into one city/one council in 2010. The new council acted swiftly to produce an integrated spatial plan with a shared vision for Auckland to become the world’s most liveable city.

The resulting Auckland Plan reflects the WHO’s 12 goals of sustainable development to promote health and well-being for the city. A key focus is to achieve a compact urban form where people have access to quality living and working environments. The Auckland Plan was developed with extensive community participation and represents firm commitments by central government to work with Auckland Council and with Aucklanders on its implementation.

Auckland Council is currently in the process of developing consequential plans and actions that deliver the outcomes and transformational shifts of the Auckland Plan. Auckland’s population is culturally diverse, has a high percentage of under 25 year olds and some of the wealthiest and poorest communities in New Zealand. Engaging with these diverse communities has presented opportunities to use a range of ways of connecting and working with them.

This paper will share the different approaches and tools being used to develop, with communities, meaningful plans and actions that translate the Auckland Plan outcomes and transformational shifts down to the local area and neighbourhood level.

John J. Pittari, Jr., PhD, Professor, Auburn University, Auburn, AL, USA. Shaping a Healthier Birmingham Through Enhanced Connectivity

After decades of consistent and significant population decline, the city of Birmingham, Alabama, is now beginning to witness a reversal of this trend. Quite notably, this change is buoyed by new residential growth that is occurring in its downtown core, with a concurrent resurgence of related uses and amenities. As a means of both supporting and leveraging this promising situation, Auburn University’s College of Architecture, Design and Construction plans to launch a new “Designing Healthy Places Initiative” from its Urban Studio facility in downtown Birmingham. This initiative is grounded in the rapidly growing body of compelling evidence coming from a broad range of disciplines that the built environment is key to creating a healthier future.

The initiative’s first project will center on the creation of a connectivity plan for downtown that will link attractions; improve way finding; enhance the public realm; better the retail environment; and increase potential for employees, residents and visitors to walk and cycle. The implementation of such a plan was identified in the City’s recent comprehensive plan as one of ten game-changing strategies for Birmingham’s future; and is one that ultimately intends to enhance both the economic and cultural health of downtown and the physical and social health of local inhabitants. As lead investigator for the project, the author’s paper presentation will provide the context for downtown Birmingham’s revival and describe the methods through which increased connectivity and walkability will be achieved as a way of promoting livability and making Birmingham a healthier city.

Rafael Pizarro, Associate Professor, American University of Sharjah, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES. What is new about sustainable urban design? Green infrastructure systems and the new landscapes of sustainability

The word “sustainable” is now appearing before the term “urban design” as a modifier to imply a better, i.e., “greener,” type of design. In the times of Climate Change, where anything with the adjective “sustainable” allegedly means “environmentally sound,” it is not surprising that the 60-year old discipline has jumped on the sustainability semantic wagon. Yet, what exactly is “sustainable urban design” is far from clear. Older tropes of urban design such as compactness, walkability, connectivity, centrality of public spaces, etc. are often cited in the literature as descriptors of sustainable urban design. However, I argue that such attributes have been part of the repertoire of good urban design for a long time; since the times of Kevin Lynch, Gordon Cullen, Edmund Bacon, Donald Appleyard and the like, far predating the advent of sustainable anything. The paper alleges that what may differentiate old good urban design from a new sustainable one is the introduction of spaces and facilities to generate energy, recycle water, produce food, and reuse organic waste; all using non-fossil fuel-based systems. The paper illustrates how the introduction of such green infrastructure systems in the urban landscape implies a new way of conceiving theoretically and normatively the very field of urban design. And, by the same token, in the paper I argue that the introduction of such systems in the urban landscape will dramatically change the aesthetics of cities.

R

Patricia Rios, Architect, PhD Student, College Professor, Instituto Tecnológico de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, Mexico City, MEXICO. Participatory design as an asset to create social sustainability in Queretaro, Mexico

Throughout history, the city of Queretaro has struggled with social and urban segregation. During the industrialization process, the city began drawing physical borders that divided the society into neighborhoods that separated the different socioeconomic levels. Consequently, the urban fabric intensified social problems such as segregation, exclusion and intolerance that, to these days, continue to exist.

Nonetheless, the recent emergence of participatory design, has demonstrated to be an opportunity of change and inclusion towards the materialization of an active and engaged community. This research explores the evolution of participatory design in Queretaro over the last couple of decades as an asset to plan and transform the city into a project of collective identity.

The first attempts of engagement contemplated unidimensional models such as the top-down method, which favored dominant stakeholders in the decision making process. Hence, in order to bridge from null or misconceived participation, to real and engaging participatory activities, new processes were developed creating a solid and inclusive platform of programming and design, towards the planning and design of an inclusive and livable city. Civil society institutions and academia, have acquired an important role in urban participatory design embracing and incorporating the humanistic approach in addition to technical aspects. They consider community participation as a key aspect to enhance social and physical accessibility in the planning and design of the city. Today, participatory design begins to be considered as an instrument that promotes social sustainability and the creation of an inclusive society.

Angela Ruiz del Portal, Research Assistant, Cardiff University. Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff, WALES. Is the European Green Capital Award showcasing appropriate models of best practice for transition? The land use indicator

The European Green Capital Award rewards the efforts and commitment of European cities that tackle the environmental challenges of urban areas. These efforts will have, in turn, a positive impact on social and economic aspects, ultimately improving the overall sustainability of the city. Awarded cities are expected to act as a model and inspire other European cities by promoting best practice.

Focusing on the land use factor, reviewed literature in the field distinguishes between urban form and urban development. While “…form is a snapshot of process…not measurable in terms of sustainability” (Neuman 2005) urban development refers to the processes that change and adapt the form overtime. The analysis of the EGCA criteria in reference to this factor together with the evaluation of past high-scoring cities in this regard point towards the relevance that historical development has in the current sustainability of cities, represented by their urban form.

The paper reviews recent development strategies (i.e. the process evaluated by the award) in Bristol and compares them to those applied in the case studies with inherited sustainable urban forms. While the strategies may be similar in all the cases, this study suggests that the latter haven’t shown a significant transition from unsustainability to sustainable land use in their recent development, but a maintenance of an already privileged urban environment. With a less favourable starting point, Bristol may represent a better model of best practice for other aspiring cities in transition by showcasing achievable positive results in its recent and still ongoing process.

S

Mike Scott, MRTPI FPIA CPP BA(hons)TP, Director, Planisphere, Fitzroy, AUSTRALIA. Place DNA in the World's Most Liveable City

Cities worldwide are the main drivers of national and regional economies. Some cities have a stronger identity than others; most are subject to pressures that make them increasingly ‘placeless’. Does this matter?

Place DNA analyses what makes a place different or distinctive, and generates planning and design policies that build on and strengthen those distinctions. The presentation will use illustrations of international cities to explain Place DNA, how it works and why it’s important. Melbourne, regularly ranked as the world’s most liveable city (The Economist), will be a particular focus of the presentation.

In a globally competitive world, high value economic drivers and their employees want to locate in vibrant centres of business and cultural activity, with attractive environmental qualities. We believe that Place DNA will be increasingly important as a competitive advantage in the twenty-first century world, and therefore a vital tool for planners and designers involved in urban regeneration.

Sabina Selli PhD,  Architecture and Planning, Department of Architecture, Design and Urban planning, University of Sassari, Alghero, ITALY. Social “infrastructures” for a public space project with shared organization

The European context of recent years has constituted fertile ground for starting up a period of new practices of participated construction of public space that are truly able to include inhabitants in urban regeneration processes. Public space that is configured as the archetype of common good and materializes in the participation of the citizen in its construction. Participation that is adapted to the features of local societies, by means of processes and instruments capable of making both formal and informal resources present in the community come to the surface and become rooted in the urban project.

Public space rediscovered as the connective tissue of the city, where “infrastructures” are represented by the citizens and for which urban management is needed that will deal with intercepting the social capital present on the territory and promoting processes that, through interaction, will foster the emergence of collective intelligence and an improvement in the quality of urban life of a community.

In this paper some case studies in the Italian and Spanish context are presented, which offer the possibility of initiating a reflection on the new roles taking shape within dialogic reconfigurations between public and private, in the processes of transformation and management of public space with shared organization. An urban model that does not ask for investment in great infrastructures to continue but in platforms and projects able to make the potential of every citizen, which requires the rethinking of a new role for public action.

Scott Sernau, Professor of Sociology, University of Indiana, South Bend, IN, USA. Rapid neighborhood regeneration and the challenges of inclusion

In many ways, Eddy Street Commons is a masterpiece of neighborhood regeneration. A struggling, transitional neighborhood with extensive marginal housing, sitting at the front door to the University of Notre Dame, has been transformed in a few years into a thriving college town: compact walkable development with sidewalk cafes, street side shopping, and clusters of apartments and condominiums filling the floors of the brownstown-inspired buildings. Irish Green commons, a performing arts center and Innovation Park, a technology start up center, are right across the street. New housing with mixed rates and traditional styles is being constructed over a large multi-block area and property values are rising rapidly. Visually, this is a new urbanist showpiece. But it is also a process of gentrification in a long-neglected neighborhood. Slides with this presentation show the dramatic changes in a matter of years from underused land to spaces that evoke the feel of a classic old and yet thriving college town. Interviews with longtime residents, however, also show the challenges, dangers and pitfalls in rapid change in a vulnerable neighborhood. Careful work by the university and three neighborhood partnership groups has sought to involve residents in the process and make sure that changes benefit all. Suspicions and questions still remain, however: development for whom, and is this “new urbanism” authentically “true urbanism?” Both the dramatic possibilities and the challenges of equity and inclusion that such regeneration projects entail must be considered.

Torgeir Esig Soerensen, Head of Parks and Streets Department, City of Stavanger, NORWAY. 52 Everyday Walks - Developing an Outstanding, Continuous Green Urban Structure and a Contribution to Public Health

The City of Stavanger, Norway’s most densely populated city, adopted its first Master Land Use Plan in 1965. Stavanger was and still is the Norwegian city offering the least amount of green public space per inhabitant.

The plan advised an ambitious, green urban structure, mainly consisting of narrow green corridors with some bigger landscape parks in between. The cobweb of green corridors, the continuity were outstanding. The idea was to build green trails throughout the city, making them accessible for all inhabitants within 500m. However, much of the land was privately owned.

In the nineties it became clear to the leading politicians that implementing this continuous trail system would be an important contribution to public health and give “probably one of the best urban green structures in the world”.

So city went to it; prioritizing resources, adopting zoning plans, acquiring land or privileges and building green trails.

By 2012 the aims were almost reached. One main challenge still: How to make people aware of all the new opportunities and start using them?

In 2012 the 52 Green Everyday Walks were launched, one per week, guidance in the local paper and on several internet sites. Carried out in a cooperation between the city and the local rambler association. They also issued an attractive guide book. Covering all the neighborhoods, it has turned out to be a huge success for outdoor life, public health, social life and local identity

Felia Srinaga, Researcher and Head of Laboratory of Urban Studies, University of Pelita Harapan, Timur, INDONESIA. Found spaces: The affordances of urban public spaces for adolescent and youth

For most urbanites in Indonesia-especially in Jakarta, they do many activities in enclosed spaces or buildings. Adolescents and youngsters are looking for more comfortable places to hang-out, such as at the mall, cafe shops / restaurant, games room or at home to play games. The urban open space become less attractive to some of them. This is due to their various needs are not accommodated.

For the majority of other adolescents and youngsters who live in urban kampong, they use streets, front yards, part of spaces or corners of the city as a playground. They found an interesting space where meet the needs of their activity, either physical recreation, social or expressive activities. Adolescents and youngsters find a place for fulfillment to their needs in accordance with the affordances of the place.

By observing their daily activities in plaza, square and special places in the city, this paper would like to express where the place, what features and elements of the city that become affordances of their found spaces. Generally, found spaces serve people's varied needs offering comfort, a place to rest, the opportunity to be outdoors and a fit well place for a planned activities.

From some sketches of place that correspond to their expectations, mind mapping and behavioral map of activity in urban public spaces, it was found that the youngster's found spaces are that meet the following criteria: physical condition of space that can give them a sense of secure / protection, mysteries, enclosure; comfort in activities-especially in playing activities; pleasure; attraction; and environmental / natural context. Some features and architectural elements that are much preferred are the element of water and trees / plants / green.

Jay Storfer, Senior Policy Analyst, Climate Change and Health Office, Health Canada, Government of Canada, Ottawa, ON, CANADA. Assisting Canadian communities to reduce the health impacts of urban heat islands

Extreme heat can have a significant impact on human health and is an issue which is expected to be exacerbated by a changing climate. The urban heat island effect, a phenomenon where the ambient temperature in an urban area is hotter than that of surrounding country side, can significantly magnify stress on the health of vulnerable populations. Key measures to reduce UHIs include an expansion of vegetation cover by planting trees and shrubs and installing green roofs, and an increase in surface reflectivity by installing light coloured roofs, pavements and building facades. In addition to reducing UHIs, these measures can have many additional benefits that support overall community health, well-being and resilience. Co-benefits include reduced greenhouse gas emissions, lower volumes of storm water run-off, enhanced biodiversity and improved air quality. Since 2011, Health Canada has been working with communities to help identify the causes of urban heat islands and support approaches to reduce heat-health impacts through interventions in the built environment. This presentation will describe public health and urban planning tools that have been developed to build resilience to heat as well as present case studies showcasing community efforts to reduce UHIs. Practical projects highlighted include Health Canada’s partnership with communities to develop various locally-relevant GIS-based tools to guide interventions by urban planners and public health professionals.

Stephen P. Sugg, City Manager, City of University Place, WA, USA. Reshaping Suburbia - It Starts with the Street University Place, Washington, a postwar suburban community 35 miles south of Seattle, undertook a bold experiment in 1996 to convert Bridgeport Way, the community's 4-lane commercial arterial street into a pedestrian, cyclist and transit friendly boulevard. The aesthetic improvement was dramatic but even more impressive were the safety results - vehicular crashes declined by over 70 percent. The city council subsequently used this street remodel as a springboard for retrofitting the downtown core. In 2002, the council invited the community to imagine an alternative future for 20 acres of commercial land lining Bridgeport. The result was a compact and pedestrian focused plan for civic, commercial and residential uses centered on a public square. Implementation however would prove to be a formidable challenge - after several attempts to engage the private sector, the City, at great financial and political risk, assumed the development role in 2009. In the middle of the Great Recession, the City constructed streets, utilities, parking structures, and in February 2011 opened a 60,000 square foot Library/Civic Building centered on a 20,000 square foot public square. Since its opening, over 1,000 people visit the Library each day, and the 3-story Civic Building Atrium looking out on the square has become the community's living room. With public investment nearly complete, adjacent parcels have attracted private investment including 200 residential units, 30,000 square feet of retail space and a 38,000 square foot Whole Foods. As stated earlier, it "Starts with the Street".

T

Marc Tarca, City of Vincent, Perth, AUSTRALIA. Housing Image, Maintenance and Stigma: Investigating Perceptions of Crime, Fear of Crime and CPTED in Western Australia

Sir Eric Thomas, Vice Chancellor, Bristol University. Welcome.

Susan Thompson, Director, Healthy Built Environments Program, City Futures Research Centre, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, AUSTRALIA. Planning and Building Healthy Communities: Creating health supportive environments in Australian neighbourhood Abstract: This paper presents research exploring the relationship between human health and the built environment in four diverse residential areas in metropolitan and regional New South Wales in Australia. A core focus of this Australian Research Council funded study, with partners from health and the built environment, is an in-depth qualitative examination of the ways in which healthy behaviours, encompassing physical activity, access to nutritious food and connecting socially, are supported by the built environment. The paper sets out the research methods, which include observational assessments, mapping and measurements of the physical, social and food environments, along with focus groups and interviews. Findings are then presented. First, an overview of the Healthy Neighbourhood Audit Instrument, specifically developed for this project, is discussed. We examine how data were gathered through the audits, and how these findings subsequently informed the interview and focus group schedules. Next, we provide a description and analysis of the structured interviews and focus groups. The results indicate that the built environment has a significant impact on the ability of people to engage in different healthy behaviours that enhance their daily physical activity levels, regular access to healthy foods and community engagement and social connection. The barriers and enablers for healthy behaviour varied across the case study sites. The paper concludes with a discussion of how the interview data has informed focus group discussions, as well as the further examination of the relationship between the built environment and healthy behaviours in these varied residential settings in NSW.

W

Rosalind Wade, Professor, London South Bank University, London, UK. Promoting sustainable cities by linking campus, curriculum and community

This paper will review a range of RCE (Regional Centre of Expertise in Education for Sustainability -ESD) intersectoral initiatives which seek to address social and ecological challenges in relation to liveable cities. The RCE movement is an initiative of the UN University in conjunction with UNESCO in response to the UN Decade of ESD (2005-2014)and there are over one hundred worldwide. They have grown up organically, through collaboration and partnerships between universities, business, local government and civil society. They aim to create a local and global knowledge network for learning, policy and practice of sustainability.

The paper will consider to what extent RCEs, which exist outside conventional organisational structures, can contribute to the complex and wide-ranging sustainability issues faced by cities. It will look at a number of initiatives of RCE London (UK), RCE Saskatchewan (Canada) and RCE Greater Sendai (Japan)and seek to identify opportunities and challenges in effecting change. In particular, it will examine the potential of informal, intersectoral and transdisciplinary alliances.

The paper will draw on social learning and social change theory in exploring the potential of RCEs to mobilise and effect change. Given that the UN Decade of ESD ends this year, what role if any can there be for RCEs in future years? How can they help to mainstream sustain-ability in policy and practice ?

Geoffrey Peter Webber, Emeritus Professor of Architecture, University of Sydney, AUSTRALIA. Many Years, Many Small Steps: Not Only Green

This paper will review a range of RCE (Regional Centre of Expertise in Education for Sustainability -ESD) intersectoral initiatives which seek to address social and ecological challenges in relation to liveable cities. The RCE movement is an initiative of the UN University in conjunction with UNESCO in response to the UN Decade of ESD (2005-2014)and there are over one hundred worldwide. They have grown up organically, through collaboration and partnerships between universities, business, local government and civil society. They aim to create a local and global knowledge network for learning, policy and practice of sustainability.

The paper will consider to what extent RCEs, which exist outside conventional organisational structures, can contribute to the complex and wide-ranging sustainability issues faced by cities. It will look at a number of initiatives of RCE London (UK), RCE Saskatchewan (Canada) and RCE Greater Sendai (Japan)and seek to identify opportunities and challenges in effecting change. In particular, it will examine the potential of informal, intersectoral and transdisciplinary alliances.

The paper will draw on social learning and social change theory in exploring the potential of RCEs to mobilise and effect change. Given that the UN Decade of ESD ends this year, what role if any can there be for RCEs in future years? How can they help to mainstream sustain-ability in policy and practice ?

Ivo Wenzler, Dr., Senior Principle and Associate Professor, Accenture and Technology, Policy and Management, Delft University of Technology, Delft, THE NETHERLANDS. How 6 European cities and their 13 partners work together to reduce CO2 emissions and realize EU energy targets

Urban areas are currently responsible for three-quarters of the global energy demand which makes cities a logical starting point for becoming more sustainable and livable.

The program enables cities to define a smart energy city vision, helps specifying their transformation agendas, provides a decision support environment, facilitates smart urban labs, and creates a platform for knowledge sharing.

In order to make a sustainable progress, cities and their stakeholders need to test the impact of various measures on their energy and climate targets (e.g. will implementing a heat grid or solar panels contribute to reaching the targets, and what if the gas or oil price changes?).

The decision support environment is the vehicle to experiment with a wide variety of measures and to provide actionable insights into the impact of those measures over time.

These insights objectify the dialogue between stakeholders on achieving smart energy targets by ensuring the transparency of the underlying facts and assumptions.

Currently, the decision support environment focuses on the buildings related measures.

The vision for the future is to broaden the scope by enabling measures for public spaces, infrastructure and logistics. Examples are the increase in EV-loading points, or simulating the most effective routes and methods for handling waste.

This program supports the ambition of the consortium to transform cities into low carbon cities, an ambition explicitly shared through experience and made sustainable by outlining the path that generated these insights for other cities to benefit from.

Steve West, Vice Chancellor, University of the West of England, Bristol, UK. Welcome

Z

Razieh Zandieh, PhD student, Department of Urban and Regional Planning and Geo-information Management, ITC, University of Twente, Enschede, THE NETHERLANDS. The Influence of Inequality in Access to Local Facilities on Older Adults’ Walking Behaviour: An Environmental Justice Approach

Walking, as a type of physical activity, occurs in urban environment. It has positive impacts on mental and physical health, especially in older adults. Therefore, all older adults are encouraged for walking. However, there is evidence indicating that older adults living in high-deprivation neighbourhoods are less active than those living in low-deprivation neighbourhoods. It means that some older adults are deprived from benefits of walking. To reduce this inequality and to encourage all older adults for walking, it is needed to identify how built environmental factors (e.g. accessibility) influence older adults’ walking behaviour in low and high-deprivation neighbourhoods.

This exploratory study relies on environmental justice approach to describe how inequality in access to local facilities influences older adults’ walking behaviour in low and high-deprivation neighbourhoods of Birmingham-UK. In doing so, it considers six dimensions of accessibility including availability, proximity, route quality, adequacy, acceptability and affordability. Thirty-four participants (65 year old and over) provided data on their perceptions of access to local facilities and their walking behaviour. A mixed method was applied in this study. The results identified that inequalities in access to some local facilities (shops, green spaces and social centers) in high versus low-deprivation neighbourhoods influence older adults’ walking behaviour in these areas. In conclusion, the findings are helpful in identifying different dimensions of inequality in accessibility and the importance of their influence on older adults’ walking behaviour.

Liz Zeidler, Founding Director, Happy City, Bristol, UK. Happy City.

 

Return to Keynote Speakers