Sustainable urban regeneration of historic city centres: lessons learnt

Elnokaly, Amira and Elseragy, Ahmed (2011) Sustainable urban regeneration of historic city centres: lessons learnt. In: World Sustainable Building Conference, 18-21 October 2011, Helsinki.

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Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Paper)
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Abstract

Cities are society’s centres of human interaction, creativity, knowledge, diversity, culture,
commerce and economic creativity. The accretion of several layers of history tends to reveal a
great deal about the city's past, present and even future. Historic city centres are usually endowed
with a multitude of historic buildings, heritage sites and the like. However, it is also these historical
centres that are most prone to the undesirable and consequential effects of growth and rapid
technological advancement, where a range of environmental and developmental challenges find
their crude expression. The rehabilitation and conservation of historic city centres serves as a
fundamental catalyst for change. Furthermore, urban regeneration of historical city centres also
promotes social interaction between inhabitants of the city, and the adoption of its urban spaces
encourages public activity. This paper scrutinizes the city centre of two historical cities which are
Barcelona, Spain and Istanbul, Turkey. Successful aspects of their ecological performance are
highlighted. The two downtown areas discussed in this paper represent the downtown of two
Mediterranean cities, and both are distinguished historical cities who have contextual similarities.
The historical city centres of these Mediterranean cities have undergone variety of projects and
strategic plans for urban regeneration, development and beautification. Moreover, various attempts
have been made for the improvement of their environmental quality and ecological performance.
This is through increases in urban green spaces and public parks, increased dependence on
renewable energy technologies (RETs) and adopting sustainable transportation modes as opposed
to undesirable and harmful vehicular transport. In essence, many urban regeneration plans have
been aimed at conserving and preserving buildings and sites that are considered symbolic of the
two cities heritage and legacy. Concomitantly, the paper presents a review of sustainability issues
related to these two city centres and analyses the strategies that have been used through various
urban regeneration projects and development plans. The paper particularly focuses on
investigating the strategic plans and attempts that have been made at urban regeneration level by
the Barcelona City Council and the Greater Municipality of Istanbul for the revitalization of their
core areas.

Keywords:Historical City Centres, Urban Regeneration, Environmental Quality, Core City of Barcelona, The Historical Peninsula, The Greater Municipality of Istanbul, Sustainable Strategies and Strategic Plans.
Subjects:K Architecture, Building and Planning > K110 Architectural Design Theory
K Architecture, Building and Planning > K100 Architecture
Divisions:College of Arts > School of Architecture & Design > School of Architecture & Design (Architecture)
ID Code:8490
Deposited On:28 Mar 2013 20:04

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