DEVELOPMENT URBANISM: Brainstorming another kind of urban development

Vertical kitchen garden @ Henrik Valeur, 2014

Vertical kitchen garden – Henrik Valeur, 2014

Call by Henrik Valeur for an international collaborative brainstorm

Development urbanism is a theory in progress about the possible use of urban development as a means to combat poverty and protect the environment.

The concept of development urbanism can be seen as an alternative to the concept of smart city. Says Valeur: “There are obviously too many unresolved problems in our cities today, but my point is that many of these problems can be solved by very simple and inexpensive means. Smart technologies are rarely necessary and may, in fact, create more problems than they solve

The theory may be relevant in so-called “developing” countries that are undergoing processes of urban transition, but it may also inform and inspire the sustainable transition of so-called “developed” countries.

The focus of urban development should be on providing accessibility and opportunities for the deprived and oppressed, promoting human health and well being, cultural diversity and social equality, while preserving natural resources, including biodiversity and wildlife, air, water and soil.

Problems should be solved at the root, through collaborative and participatory approaches, and the implementation of concepts like co-evolution and self-organization, rather than by adding additional layers of complex management systems and sophisticated technologies.

Solutions should be developed in accordance with specific local conditions. They should not be “perfect” but allow for modifications and improvements. After all, urbanism is a dynamic field and development is about changing status quo.

The theory is being developed by architect-urbanist Henrik Valeur and is as yet largely based on personal experiences, case-studies and data from China and India.

Comments and critique, ideas and suggestions are most welcome!

Henrik Valeur
hv@uid.dk
+45 20 667 667
https://developmenturbanism.wordpress.com

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About the author/organizer:

Henrik Bjørn Valeur .  Born 13 October 1966 is a Danish architect-urbanist, founder and creative director of UiD (Denmark) and UiD Shanghai Co., Ltd (China), curator of CO-EVOLUTION: Danish/Chinese Collaboration on Sustainable Urban Development in China.  In 2010, he wrote an op-ed in the Danish newspaper  InformationIn the English translation of the article the term “development urbanism” appears for the first time.

In the book India: the Urban Transition – a Case Study of Development Urbanism, which can be seen as a “call for action to everyone who wants to make a positive and concrete difference to the urban environments of developing societies”.  Valeur describes development urbanism as “a multidisciplinary field that is focused on sustainable urban development as a means of combating poverty and its related illnesses and of protecting the environment, the climate and the resources. It addresses basic human concerns in urban settings, seeing cities not as “dumb” machines but rather as sophisticated ecologies in which people are adapting to a constantly changing environment”.

The concept of development urbanism can be seen as an alternative to the concept of smart city. Said Valeur: “There are obviously too many unresolved problems in our cities today, but my point is that many of these problems can be solved by very simple and inexpensive means. Smart technologies are rarely necessary and may, in fact, create more problems than they solve

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About the editor:

Eric Britton
13, rue Pasteur. Courbevoie 92400 France

Bio: Founding editor of World Streets (1988), Eric Britton is an American political scientist, teacher, occasional consultant, and sustainability activist who has observed, learned, taught and worked on missions and advisory assignments on all continents. In the autumn of 2019, he committed his remaining life work to the challenges of aggressively countering climate change and specifically greenhouse gas emissions emanating from the mobility sector. He is not worried about running out of work. Further background and updates: @ericbritton | http://bit.ly/2Ti8LsX | #fekbritton | https://twitter.com/ericbritton | and | https://www.linkedin.com/in/ericbritton/ Contact: climate@newmobility.org) | +336 508 80787 (Also WhatApp) | Skype: newmobility.)

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