Call For Papers: Modelling Sustainable Urban Transition

Cardiff castle front, as seen from Castle st.

Cardiff castle front, as seen from Castle st. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Transitions towards more sustainable cities are inherently complex phenomena which cut across many fragmented sectors including water, waste, energy and the built environment. The challenge for urban policy makers is to develop the knowledge and capacity to use resources more sustainably and incorporate this knowledge into the existing urban environment, critical infrastructures, and the lives of the people who live in it.

 Although we cannot predict the future, we know that it will have to conform to the laws of nature, the constraints of ecological systems and the peculiarities of individual human and societal systems. Within the transition research community, much research is being undertaken to develop models to investigate the dynamics of urban transition pathways. However, efforts have thus far being piecemeal and disconnected.

 This symposium, held in Cardiff, UK, on July 3rd-4th 2013, will offer a platform for interdisciplinary collaborations regarding long term urban planning, bringing together academics and practitioners to discuss experiences, opportunities and limitations of using system dynamics modelling approaches to investigate suitable urban transition. A new collaboration network based on the symposium is proposed and a special journal issue in a leading journal will be sought. Funding may be available for travels and accommodations in the UK for invited speakers.

 The themes of the symposium will be

  1. Physical flows: energy, water and waste
  2. Urban infrastructure and urban metabolism
  3. Social transitions
  4. Methodologies
    1. systems thinking and analysis
    2. dynamic modelling

Source : retrofit2050



Guimarães - Capela S. Miguel do Castelo

Guimarães – Capela S. Miguel do Castelo (Photo credit: mariag.)

An urban geofiction project by Miguel Guimarães (Porto, Portugal).

“I always had this passion for cities, always curious about their size, their organisation, their ‘design’. I really like to spend some time ‘investigating’ cities all around the world in Google Earth or Bing Maps and my creations have a bit of a mix of what I observe.” This is probably the way how many urban geofictionalists do it: creating maps of fictional places that are a “synthesis” of observations and investigations from maps of existing places. Inspiring “compositions” of urban forms, still creating something new in the end.

Here are some pictures of one of the six cities that Miguel Guimarães has drawn so far: Novo Guimarães, a city at the coast with a mixture of parts with a rectangular street grid, neighbourhoods with other interesting geometrical forms, and even some quarters with quite “organic” forms. The style is very unique: streets are shown as simple lines (or double lines for avenues/motorways with divided lanes) and the outlines of each (!) single building are shown. The city is surrounded by a (semi-)circular motorway, the airport is located in the north-east.


Plateforme Bâtiment Durable de La Rochelle

la rochelle

la rochelle (Photo credit: barth1003)

La Plateforme Bâtiment Durable de La Rochelle s’inscrit dans le cadre de la reconversion du site militaire de Lagord (17). L’ensemble de ce site est géré par la Communauté d’Agglomération de La Rochelle qui a l’ambition de créer un parc bas-carbone sur le thème des éco-activités. La Plateforme, éléments clé de cet écosystème, prendra place dans le bâtiment militaire existant qui sera réhabilité à cet effet.
La Plateforme (membre du réseau des plateformes Bâtiment-Energie-Grenelle, soutenu par le Plan Bâtiment Durable), regroupe 15 partenaires au travers d’un consortium public-privée dont l’Université de La Rochelle (LaSIE) est le coordonnateur.
Spécialisée sur le thème de la réhabilitation des bâtiments, elle développera des services autour de 3 pôles :

Le Laboratoire d’essais
L’Agence de la réhabilitation
Le Pôle Formation.


L’objectif du projet est de créer une plateforme technologique interrégionale dédiée à la rénovation dans le bâtiment. La mise en place du projet s’inscrit dans une volonté à plus grande échelle et à plus long terme de se doter d’un parc technologique bas carbone sur le site de Lagord. Ce parc et notamment la plateforme technologique auront une visibilité nationale et européenne.
Le projet vise, via une réhabilitation ambitieuse, à faire la démonstration que l’on peut atteindre 25 kWhEP/( dans des opérations de rénovation en maîtrisant le processus sur toute la chaîne de valeur.
Le programme de rénovation du bâtiment militaire conduira à la mise en œuvre :

d’un laboratoire d’essai
d’un hall de montage pour la formation
de bureaux
de salles d’enseignements et d’amphithéâtres
d’une pépinière d’entreprises

Source: univ-larochelle

800 homes in Cardiff Pointe scheme approved

Cardiff Super Casino, Cardiff, Wales

Cardiff Super Casino, Cardiff, Wales (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Construction of an 800-home waterfront community in Cardiff Bay is set to begin in the new year after the plans were given the go-ahead last night.

Considered the missing piece in the International Sports Village (ISV) jigsaw, the £250m Cardiff Pointe will be one of the biggest developments to rise up in the city in recent years.

Cardiff Council’s planning committee approved four linked applications to build 798 homes on vacant land off Ferry Road, Watkiss Way and Empire Way.

The largest scheme is for 561 homes – including 392 apartments and 169 houses – on the peninsular of land between Cardiff Bay Yacht Club and the International Swimming Pool.

Councillors were told Cardiff Pointe will be built in six phases, with early construction focusing on town houses and maisonettes.

Later phases will include 18 five-bedroom waterside “executive” houses and finally two landmark towers, standing 23 and 27 storeys high, that will “cantilever” over the water.

At the foot of the zinc-clad towers will be shops and community facilities, with the local health board already indicating it would be interested in opening a “satellite surgery”.

Committee chairman Councillor Michael Michael said: “Overall, I welcome this scheme – hopefully it’s a sign that the city is moving forward.”

The second site, currently used as a temporary car park for the swimming pool, will see 79 homes built, including 43 apartments and 36 houses.
The third application is for 63 apartments on land behind the Morrisons supermarket on Ferry Road, while the fourth is for 95 apartments on land off Watkiss Way.

These sites will also be a mixture of private and social housing.

Riverside’s Labour councillor Iona Gordon, the only councillor not to back the main scheme, was concerned it did not offer a continuous cycle path around the peninsular’s coastline.

“This Bay is our coast – we are denying access to views of the sea for the whole of the Cardiff’s citizens to enjoy,” she said, but planning officers insisted the proposed route was a “big improvement”.

As part of a deal to reduce the social housing element from 40% to 12.5%, developer Greenbank Partnerships Ltd must pay £7.9m towards a new ice arena.

Greenbank has separate plans for a 3,000-seat, dual-pad ice arena, real-snow indoor ski slope and what would be Wales’ tallest building for land neighbouring Cardiff Pointe.

It is hoped the ice arena, the new home of the Cardiff Devils, will be ready for the start of the 2014-15 ice hockey season. That application is expected to go before the planning committee in March.

The developer must also pay a contribution of almost £2m towards improving local primary and secondary schools, £118,500 per year for three years on boosting bus services and £106,050 on upgrading cycle routes.
Jonathan Smith, director of Figurehead Homes who will be delivering the scheme for Greenbank Partnerships Ltd, said: “We are delighted that Cardiff Council has resolved to approve the development and the regeneration of this part of Cardiff.

“We hope Cardiff Pointe will provide an exemplar residential development; not only one that reflects Cardiff’s current status as a capital city and a capital of culture, but also one that will hopefully set a blueprint for future development in the city.

“We believe that Cardiff should aspire to world-class and environmentally friendly residential design, and that high quality design and living accommodation should be readily accessible. Cardiff Pointe will provide a sustainable community offering a broad range of accommodation to suit all.”

Source : Cardiff