Advocacy for the compact mixed-use and walkable city: designing smart and climate-resilient places

Steffen Lehmann

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Urban areas currently account for 60 to 80 per cent of global energy consumption, 75 per cent of carbon emissions and more than 75 per cent of the world's natural resources. A conference on the appropriate transformation of urban systems is therefore important and timely, as it is essential to deal with the future increase in urban populations, current overconsumption and cities’ growing footprints despite finite resources and limited availability of land. Therefore, it’s timely to highlight the need for taking steps to address greenhouse gas emission reductions and the global nature of the challenge. While the knowledge of good urban design allowed us for centuries to design cities that functioned well and had beautiful proportions, now an entirely new set of questions about optimal city form and urban management have emerged that have not previously been asked.

In this keynote address, firstly I will outline the qualities of authentic urban places and offer a definition of ‘Smart City’; and then I will argue that urban design still warrants a very high priority of good public space for face-to-face encounters as it sets the framework for success of any future urban development at an early stage and remains central to any successful low carbon outcomes. In all this, urban form, public space, density and the integration of low-carbon technologies all have a strong interrelationship.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
JournalInternational Journal of Environment and Sustainability
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2016
EventAjman 4th International Environment Conference 2016 - Ajman, United Arab Emirates
Duration: 2 Mar 20163 Mar 2016


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