Dr. Ronit Davidovitch-Marton, Lihi Davidovich-Ein Gedi

Renewal Sustainable Urban Growth

From Carbon Reduction to Urban Sustainability

Cities always look for new opportunities. Recognition of the importance of supplying cities the opportunity to develop and still be able to preserve environmental resources and prevent urban sprawl, have brought forth the understanding that the leading challenge in future years will be urban renewal as the major tool for having better cities, which can develop and grow from within. This is motivated not only by ecological considerations, but as part of an urban concept that recognizes the importance of renewing existing urban space as a key to urban, economic, environmental and social quality.

This concept stimulates ongoing work for developing patterns, tools, and methodologies that can enable cities to upgrade, develop  and organize out of what now exists—as quality environments amid a changing reality. Lack of land reservoir for urban development should, and can, become an advantage.

We as planners are inclined to bringing an integrative set of tools to drive processes of comprehensive urban renewal. This array of tools must become more refined.  It must incorporate within its physical tools attention to social and economic matters—as an integral part of development and reflect synergy and integrative vision.  If this is not done, those tools are liable to lead to processes that contradict the essence of sustainability. The city may become very “sustainable” in terms of environmental measures but very “un sustainable” socially, economically etc.

This article presents a set of innovative tools for driving processes of urban renewal that confront these issues and enable local, organic ,continuous development and growth over time;  The new tools comprise the time dimension as a critical component of the process, making it possible for diverse population groups to integrate into the process and for the urban-social-human-economic-physical fabric to grow from within.

The set of tools was developed based on planning experience in a number of cities in metropolitan Tel Aviv,Israel, and will be presented by way of “snapshots” from the relevant plans.