Ecological Vs Suburbia - A Vision of Europe

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The alternative to Sub-Urbanization today is finally available. It is possible to build new plazas and squares, a new public realm, new public buildings as well as new residential settlements according to an ecologically-oriented attitude. It is possible to design and build new urban neighborhoods, demolishing brutal peripheral housing areas built in the second half of the past century, while transforming decaying sub-urban areas into true mixed-use urban neighborhoods. A new attitude towards the importance of a balanced relationship between urban development and natural eco-system is currently spreading all over the world. A New Civic Architecture.
An architecture based upon civic principles and aiming at contributing to the construction of a true organic city, a place where citizens can exchange ideas as well as goods within a friendly environment.
In fact, in the age of Globalization citizens all around the world are confronted with the choice between two alternative patterns of developments: the sub-urban system and the urban.
The conventional SUB-URBAN system is based upon residential suburbs, office skyscrapers and malls, all connected through a gigantic sprawl of motorways.
The level of congestion of the traffic system together with the increasing rate of air pollution are the most evident phenomena of this serious pathology, which finally leads to the increasing sense of insecurity spreading all over the sub-urban areas.
The accelerated growth of commercial Malls, from US to the rest of the world is actually threatning most cities both empoverishing the historic centers and extending the size of residential suburbs.

The conventional SUB-URBAN system is based upon residential suburbs, office skyscrapers and malls, all connected through a gigantic sprawl of motorways.
It is a model based upon the organic growth of new traditional towns, cities, districts, and villages. The emergency of New Urbanism has offered citizens the possibility of a real choice in terms of urban environment and many good examples of Urban Renaissance have been realized and constantly being constructed.


In this framework, commerce plays a key role in shaping the contemporary urban environment. A vision of Europe activity is exploring this new condition, presenting study cases and debating successful strategies of urban intervention, with the best examples of Urban Renaissance interventions following the principles of sustainable development at the scale of metropolis, cities, neighborhoods, blocks and lots, in Paris as well as in Alessandria, in San Francisco as well as in Poundbury, in London as well as in Spetses, in Berlin as well as in Piove di Sacco, in Bilbao as well as in Dresden, in New York as well as in Stockholm.

Parallel to the globalized conventional building activity, a new architecture is emerging with a strong concern for civic values. This New Civic Architecture respects local traditions and typologies, while providing communities with real alternative to the everyday life.
Baltimore, USA, Lafayette Courts Demolition of an obsolete sub-urban area and construction of a traditional neighborhood
Despite the worldwide propaganda for Malls, people in cities such as New York City, San Francisco, Paris, London, Rome, Madrid live in traditional mixed-use neighborhoods, shopping everyday at small retails or medium-size department stores which enrich the life of streets and squares
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