Dennis IJsselstijn, David Jacome, Todor Kesarovski, Jan Portheine, Daniel Radai
(Delft University of Technology, Netherlands)
Evolve, not change. Improve, not replace.
Urban conservation as a strategy for sustainable spatial development
Our world is undergoing an unprecedented process of global urbanisation. Cities have been growing, both spatially and demographically, and are projected to accommodate almost all of the world’s population in 2050. This pre-determines a constantly rising pressure on energy and mobility systems challenging the sustainability of the urban environments. Striving to deal with these issues the existing building stock and transportation networks, which serve the ever changing urban lifestyles, demand certain adaptations. Conservational approach towards the urban fabric could be indeed employed as a tool for general spatial development strategy in order to foster a sustainable prosperity and the quality of life in cities. However, the physical preservation must also incorporate and emphasise an energy conservation and renewable resources utilisation strategy because the long-run effects of restoration projects may be harmful in terms of environmental sustainability. The essence of this concept is the belief that future urban demands could be met on the basis of the richness of the past with the right means applied.
This project addresses the conservation of existing housing fabric based on a technological solution, which ensures energy-positive buildings and a conceptual vision enabling to facilitate self-sustaining habitat on urban scale. Our case study is developed on Honselersdijk, a residential town located in the greater metropolitan areas of The Hague (the Netherlands). The essence of the project relies on the establishment of distributed energy generation and shared consumption grid, promoted simultaneously via top-down and bottom-up planning approaches. In order to enhance the transport flow efficiency, an integrated strategy developed on cycling and shared vehicles is elaborated within the existing major mobility network on metropolitan level. In particular, our ambition is to manifest an urban concept where sustainability is not just about creating energy efficient and durable spaces but it is fundamentally about promoting lifestyle based on shared communal responsibility and awareness regarding the performance of the multi-scalar urban systems.