Critical Issues in current planning
Te dices. Me marcharé
a otra tierra, otro mar,
a una ciudad más bella de lo ésta
pudo ser o anhelar
La Ciudad. C. Cavafis
The topic of the current issue pretends to depict the big changes which urbanism and planning as documentary support have suffered since its birth until today as it was traditionally understood, in a continuous change in a long term, until the change of century, when planning approaches, interests and objectives were questioned. The formation and consolidation processes of planning are sped up in a difficult way to foresee in the 80s of the past century, so it’s presented the need to understand urbanism in a different way.
We have attended to technological changes which modify in a substantial way the manner to work, to the appearance of concepts such as sustainability, or cultural and economic changes in the lifestyle of our society, with an important footprint in territory. We are now in a situation which invites to understand planning in a more flexible, open and participatory way, adaptable to the evolution of the society that defines it, moreover of those who talk about the death of planning.
We attend to the increasing population accumulation in urban areas, to the detriment of rural areas. Cities acquire a bigger dimension without a clear metropolitan expression on its functions, supported by the use of cars, without a comprehensive or identity vision about what cities want to be.
This makes more important, when we talk about planning, the approach based in a strategic vision and the necessity of a wider look into territory, moreover than its consideration as intermunicipal planning, it’s not a big scale urbanism as it’s understood in Southamerican countries, it’s something different that considers landscape, territorial structure, built and natural heritage, or biodiversity, together with population.
The irruption of sustainability and its evolution towards the circular economy concept, together with the assumption of climate change and its effects have led to increasingly demanding and restrictive approaches with new urban growths. Rationality must be introduced in the uncontrolled processes that led to the housing bubble and the subsequent crisis. All this requires the revision of the design methods of our cities.
The urban peripheries appear as new protagonists of urbanization processes and their integration in the city, in the need after the crisis of having to "build the city on the city" and in the debate, still unsolved, around densification in opposition to the process of dispersion and fragmentation in recent years in which, not only housing has been occupying the territories of greater value but also economic activity in a decentralization process, with the consequent impacts of the increase in infrastructures of any type, of the consumption of energy and a waste of productive time or of leisure in the displacements.
Planning requires a consensus on the part of the whole society, so public participation acquires greater relevance and must be associated with greater political responsibility. The planning always and now more must be considered in the long term, be the result of a negotiation from all areas and permanent in time, picking up the old concept, being the constitution for the evolution of the city, its frame of reference. Assuming its character as a citizenship project and the concept of the right to the city that, as one of the articles presented, is a right derived from the right to the plan. The vitality of cities and their quality comes from their society and his integration in them.
The situation in Spain in recent years have as result the shortage of approved planning, a situation that gets worse with the excess of legislation issued, sometimes overlapped, and in addition requires the revision and adaptation of the plans, limiting the validity and stability of their determinations, to which is added an excess of reports that lengthen the processing times. These reports, have a different degree of connection, are sometimes contradictory and issued after the deadline on multiple occasions, leaving the planning on the way. All this, is demanding a greater involvement of the Autonomous Communities, a broad vision and coordination between the different administrations with different success.
The legal certainty is damaged and leads to litigation culture of town planning. Planning thus loses its function of organization, definition of integrated models in the environment and society that has to identify with them, promoting a great disinterest in the same from the political class to citizens who see it as an imposition, far from its function of generating the city of the future with a high quality of life, the planning becomes a contract that gives legal guarantees to the economic investor.
The articles that open the issue have topics that are varied and interesting enough to start a debate that we hope will be fruitful, incorporating not only those issues that are close to us in the Western world, but also those that manifest themselves in emerging countries in where cities appear with a degree of strength and generation of problems that should not be alien to us.
|Directora:||María A. Leboreiro Amaro, Dra. Arquitecto. Profesora Titular de la E.T.S. de Arquitectura de Madrid|
|Consejo de redacción:||Miquel Adriá, director de la revista Arquine|
|Carmen Andrés Mateo, Arquitecta. Profesora Asociada de la E.T.S. de Arquitectura de Madrid|
|José Mª Ezquiaga Dominguez. Dr. Arquitecto. Profesor Titular de la E.T.S. de Arquitectura de Madrid|
|José Fariña Tojo. Dr. Arquitecto. Catedrático de la E.T.S. de Arquitectura de Madrid|
|Fernando Fernández Alonso. Arquitecto. Profesor Asociado de la E.T.S. de Arquitectura de Madrid|
|Josep Mª Llop Torne. Arquitecto. Profesor en la Facultad de Geografía de la Universidad de Lleida|
|Javier Ruiz Sánchez. Dr. Arquitecto. Profesor Titular de la E.T.S. de Arquitectura de Madrid|
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