Agata Krause, PhD scholar, Cardiff University, School of Planning and Geography, Cardiff, United Kingdom
Ioanna Katapidi, PhD scholar, Cardiff University, School of Planning and Geography, Cardiff, United Kingdom
Eleni Malekkidou, Urban planning and regeneration consultant, Gregory M. Malekkides & Associates, Limassol, Cyprus
The purpose of planning revisited: Challenges in achieving sustainable energy goals in historical cities of the European Union.
In the paper we unravel opportunities and challenges of sustainable planning in European historic districts. Taking into account the development of Western urban planning thought and the focus on sustainability, we examine how energy efficiency policies and practices relate and result to more sustainable urban historic districts, which constitute places of high value but also vulnerability (Phelps et al. 2002; Lewis et al. 2013). In order to achieve this we i) explore the how selected international and national sustainable energy oriented policies refer to urban heritage; this involves overview of the assets and challenges of urban heritage and ‘links’ between sustainable planning policy and energy efficiency in historic districts; ii) we assess how the processes refer to selected contemporary debates about the urban planning.
We argue that although urban heritage sites represent interesting premise of creating energy efficient places, they have been overlooked by current developments in sustainable oriented policies and practices. Furthermore, we question the extent to which these policies and practices would/could remains uncontested in the light of the evidence about ‘glocalisation’ tensions (Swyngedouw 2004) and policy ‘convergence’ issues (Gertler 2004). We further suggest that eco-efficient policies and practices are negotiated in the processes of social interaction and shaped by power relations (Foucault and Gordon 1980). This includes suggestions that ‘objectivity’ and ‘reliability’ of sustainability assessment methods can be in various ways compromised (Bond and Morrison-Saunders 2012). Finally, we identify areas of broader concern regarding the role of planning in the development and implementation of such policies and practices by raising the interest for further research in the field.
Bond, A. and Morrison-Saunders, A. 2012. Challenges in determining the effectiveness of sustainability assessment In: Bond, A., Morrison-Saunders, A., Howitt, R., ed. Sustainability Assessment: Pluralism, practice and progress. Oxon: Routledge.
Foucault, M. and Gordon, C. 1980. Power/knowledge: Selected interviews and other writings, 1972-1977. Pantheon.
Gertler, M. S. 2004. Best practice? Geography, learning, and the institutional limits to strong convergence. Reading economic geography, pp. 350-361.
Lewis, J. O. et al. 2013. Cities of Tomorrow–Action Today. URBACT II Capitalisation. Building energy efficiency in European cities.
Phelps, A. et al. 2002. The Construction of Built Heritage: A North European Perspective on Policies, Practices, and Outcomes. Ashgate Aldershot,, UK.
Swyngedouw, E. 2004. Globalisation or ‘glocalisation’? Networks, territories and rescaling. Cambridge Review of International Affairs 17(1), pp. 25-48.