Who created the new urbanism


The representative of Liverpool John Moores University and Eco-Logica Ltd., England, presented the debate about "New Urbanism" and "Urban Renaissance" in Great Britain, which has so far produced a lot of rhetoric but only a weak policy of implementation.

The basic problems of urban development in England can be illustrated using the examples from Lancaster and Liverpool. In Lancaster, a city with around 100,000 inhabitants, there are currently around 2,700 vacant residential buildings, while at the same time 1,600 new houses are to be built in the form of master plan settlements on the "green field" The bus network is connected, although this shows that this offer is not used by the residents.

The rapidly advancing suburbanization in the south east of England is putting enormous pressure on rural areas and is causing the gradual decline of the core cities. This is particularly evident in Liverpool with 470,000 inhabitants and an unemployment rate of 16.4%. Around 16,000 residential units are vacant here, and 55% of the social housing stock is in urgent need of renovation. Corresponding renovation and modernization plans are, however, completely lacking.

The main problem of urban development in England is the disintegration of planning. All planning initiatives are in the hands of private developers. All settlement development measures are planned "top-down", municipalities are hardly involved. Too few funds are required by the state for the development of public space.

put on horseback. Private car ownership and the privatization of public transport are seen in England as political instruments for solving problems in the area of ​​urban planning and transport.

According to plans by the English government, 43,000 new residential units are to be built in south-east England every year in order to be able to meet the additional demand forecast by 2020. Under the previous planning conditions, this means a further enormous amount of space required on the "green field". These developments are flanked by the creation of large shopping and entertainment centers with catchment areas of up to 100 km and correspondingly generous parking spaces for private cars. The expansion of London Heathrow Airport The number of passengers around Terminal 5 is to increase from the current 50 million per year to 80 million per year, and the government has consciously accepted the associated deterioration in the quality of life for around 250,000 residents of West London.

In summary, the speaker named the simulation of notions of the city in the artificial worlds of suburban settlements, shopping malls and urban entertainment centers - a disintegrated reality in the face of declining core cities - as a major problem of today's urban development in England. The Urban Task Force, founded in 1998 to solve problems, formulated the following goals of urban renewal (Urban Renaissance): Urban renewal is a national strategy for compact urban development, with which the core city problems are to be solved and millions of new residential units are to be created. Urban renewal is based on quality planning, social cohesion and environmental responsibility.

The "Millennium Village" Allerton Bywater near Leeds is an example of New Urbanism in England. The basic principle for the development of Millennium Villages is the development of a new standard for housing and settlement forms in the 21st century using abandoned coal-mining areas. Millennium Villages are to be characterized by high quality and integrated transport systems as well as to create new living space.The concepts to be implemented are determined in an international urban development competition.

The plans for Allerton Bywater were developed by the consultant's office and meet the requirements mentioned: 700 houses are to be built on a former coal mining area, which will be integrated into existing settlement units. Energy efficiency and selected building material

fe, the reduction of parking spaces as well as a mixed use concept of living and working should set an international standard and realize the principle of sustainability.

However, there are serious problems with the implementation of the plans. The implementation of the projects is financed purely by the private sector, which is why the private builders ultimately have the decision-making power. They want larger parking spaces for private cars and reject the conceptual innovations such as mixed use and energy efficiency as too radical. Public transport concepts as an incentive to reduce car use do not receive any funding. After all, the negative image of former coal mining areas - combined with the fear of contaminated sites, among other things - limits investors and potential users.

Overriding difficulties arise from the fact that the project developer is significantly involved in the decision on the urban development competition and that no control mechanisms have been established over the implementation of all components of the integrated plans presented. As a result of these developments, the original planning is now criticized in Allerton Bywater. The project is currently 18 months behind schedule. In response to these grievances, some of the planners and architects involved have already dropped out.

From the point of view of the speaker, the goals of urban renewal formulated by the Urban Task Force are correct and the creative potential for problem solving is present. The political will to implement it and the structures of the local state, on the other hand, are completely inadequate. The solution to the problems described requires the prioritization of public concerns over private-sector interests, the search for alternative financing mechanisms, adherence to integrative concepts, the renewal of existing buildings instead of focusing on new construction projects (on the "green field") as well as the coherence of the entire urban planning process Above all, instead of the previous top-down planning, more municipal initiatives are necessary and must be implemented.

© Friedrich Ebert Foundation | technical support | net edition fes-library | May 2001