Currently the Sustainability principle is considered as the integration of the three values environment, equity and economy to be implemented in urban contexts by including the surrounding connections with rural areas. The sustainable urban development increasingly becomes a horizontal (transversal thereby) policy area by which implementing development policy at different levels, national, regional and local.
According with the Leipzig Charter on Sustainable European Cities (2007) “Our cities possess unique cultural and architectural qualities, strong forces of social inclusion and exceptional possibilities for economic development.
They are centers of knowledge and sources of growth and innovation. At the same time, however, they suffer from demographic problems, social inequality, social exclusion of specific population groups, a lack of affordable and suitable housing, and environmental problems.
The Sustainable Urban Development is the response of Europe2020 strategy in order to practice the sustainability principle in an holistic way “Cities have to move towards a more holistic model of sustainable city development, in which they overcome seemingly conflicting and contradictory objectives.
Economic growth has to be reconciled with the sustainable use of natural resources, global competitiveness must be inclusive and favor a local economy, and attractiveness to the global social and economic elite must not exclude less favored groups” (EU Regional policy, 2011).
The Smart Growth principles in US are applied in sustainable strategy for the city, “building urban, suburban and rural communities with housing and transportation choices near jobs, shops and schools.
This approach supports local economies and protects the environment.
The connection of Sustainability with the urban planning theory and practice has obviously influenced the use of urban management instruments, mostly belonging to the family of urban renewal and urban regeneration initiatives. Urban regeneration initiatives have
become more market oriented by stressing the role of the private.
According to Roberts and Sykes (2000), urban regeneration can be defined as “comprehensive and integrated vision and action which leads to the resolution of urban problems and which seeks to bring about a lasting improvement in the economic, physical, social and environmental condition of an area that has been subject to change”.
The main features of urban regeneration regard: area-based approach, strong awareness of what are local needs/urban problems, strategic approach and lasting effects/impacts.
Starting from integration as central feature of urban regeneration, the complexity of urban problems and the peculiarity that they assume with respect different urban contexts have, in a certain way, moved the central feature towards the involvement of the community.
The different ways of community involvement generates different instruments based on the typology of partnership set up.
“The coordination of the actors involved in urban regeneration has been a central but problematic element.
The most complex co-ordination takes the form of area-wide partnerships that include representatives from the public, private, community and voluntary sectors” (Tallon, 2013:4).
The intent of generating wider effects in terms of economic development at macro-level (regional thereby) trough urban regeneration initiatives has been eluded by the strong local interests even if not homogeneous among each others. In order to reach a feasible consensus among all actors involved, the job creation became common objective, to which converge all different urban problems and solutions.
Consequently, the sustainability of urban regeneration initiatives is still at the center of political and academic debate. Economic sustainability, environmental sustainability and social sustainability provide criteria for such indicators to measure the urban regeneration performance.
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CLUDs Lab - Community Local Urban Development Laboratory - Universita' degli Studi Mediterranea di Reggio Calabria - Dipartimento Patrimonio Architettonico e Urbanistico
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