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THE FUTURES OF THE CITY – Towards a sustainable urban environment and mobility

December 2, 2010

Last week on the 24th and 25th of November I spend two days in a hotel nearby Amsterdam participating to the exploratory COST workshop THE FUTURES OF THE CITY – Towards a sustainable urban environment and mobility on behalf of the Architects’ Council of Europe.

COST is the acronym for European Cooperation in Science and Technology, an intergovernmental European framework for international cooperation between nationally funded research activities. COST creates scientific networks and enable scientists to collaborate in a wide spectrum of activities.

Some of these activities deal with architecture, the built environment and urban development at large covering reconstruction and rehabilitation of structures and buildings, dealing with cultural heritage areas, green structures as well as issues of quality of life. This field is managed by the Domain Committee Transport and Urban Development (COST TUD) currently chaired by prof. Cristina Pronello from Politecnico di Torino.

The research projects promoted by COST are called Actions and following are some of the actions that are interesting for architects and planners

_  Pedestrians’ Quality Needs (PQN)

_  Sustainability of Constructions: Integrated Approach to Life-time Structural Engineering

_  Sustainable Development Policies for Minor Deprived Urban Communities

_  Soundscape of European Cities and Landscapes

_  Land Management for Urban Dynamics

_  Improving the Quality of Suburban Building Stocks

_  Semantic Enrichment of 3D City Models for Sustainable Urban Development

_  Integrating and Harmonizing Sound Insulation Aspects in Sustainable Urban Housing Constructions

_ Integrated Assessment Technologies to Support the Sustainable Development of Urban Areas

More information can be found at the COST website and in the section dedicated to Transport and Urban Development.

The exploratory workshop “THE FUTURES OF THE CITY – Towards a sustainable urban environment and mobility” has been attended by high-profile experts in the respective fields of research with the aim of drafting the future research agenda the COST TUD Domain committee.  The full report of the event will incorporate the outcomes of the research projects that have been presented and the different concepts and visions that have been proposed, but it will be available only at the end of winter.

In the meanwhile I can share with you my presentation that was structured in 3 parts. In the first part I introduced the structures and aims of the ACE, then I presented the Common Language Project a joint initiative with the European Concrete Platform and the third part was dedicated to the issue of Urban quality indicators with regard to the ongoing work within the Reference Framework for the European Sustainable City.

The presentation took 20 minutes and was followed by a 20 minutes debate, so there was not the possibility to go into details, but the interest raised was high and I am confident that, although I haven’t even seen Amsterdam, the workshop was absolutely worth the trouble to make the trip.

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