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Editorial Vol 36 No 2 2011

By : Yurdanur Dulgeroglu-Yuksel

This editorial deals with the issue of sustainability in relation to the development of the city in the 21st century. The main goal is to make an inquiry into Piecemeal vs Grand Planning Approaches to generating sustainable cities. The focus of the city is the human settlements. The issue of sustainability has been a concern for many planners, architects, urban geographers and social scientists. “Sustainability” is an old concept but has become a new solution criteria for generating liveable cities. The role of the professional is crucial in the development of cities to become more sustainable. It seems that development of cities, especially those in developing countries, in the post-modern age require a critical evaluation and updating of their existing housing and settlement policies and practices. They seem to neglect the development dynamics in fastgrowing metropoles sometimes. While the natural phenomenon of urbanisation require piecemeal approach to spatial planning and development in Developing countries, their governments tend to adopt Grand policies of developed countries. Implementation of such policies with fujrthern use of high-tech often results in large wipe-outs in the city and social disintegration, following the replacement of existing neighborhoods. Physical and social integrity, as well as slow growth of settlements is a crucial start towards sustainable cities. The selected articles by the authors mentioned below contribute through discussion of major approaches to either theory and/or practice of designing sustainable cities, and the cases provided in their articles further explore the issue of sustainability in its locally unique spatial, soci-cultural, economical and legal/policy dimensions. Such diverse experiences from different cities /countries of the world provide evidence for the complexity of the sustainability issue and need for an integrative new approach which requires the participation of both experts and the lay people. compares Grand- vs. Piecemeal planning with each other by using theory of behavioral change. Thus, he discusses and challenges professionalism in urban design for sustainability. His favored approach emphasizes the interactİon between designers and users and the active participation of the latter on new/future urban development form and forms of practice. He is claiming that multi-disciplinary and multi-actored practice is essential. compares the Grand planning approach with piecemeal planing approach in view of enhancing quality of city life. He criticises existing planning systems in general, efficiently to deal with sustinability issues, and uses traditional planning approach for this inquiry. He claims that a new approach which integrates a multi-actors in the city in policy-making, urban planning process, and practice is necessary. By that he holds a similar view to that of Symes. discusses a new urban paradigm and explores the concept of palimpsest wherby the city is considered to be a multi-layered organism. His case to examine this paradigm is Riga-Lativa, as a living model for sustainable development. , emphasizes preservation f the architectural values, monuments, and points out to the role of adaptable, well-designed regulations and policies for the sustainable development of the cities. She focuses on environmental consciousness being developed for the last 40 years . Through the examination of her ideas on housing in Finland in relation to conservation policy and legal framework, she claims that grassroots level strategies are fundamental for sustainable approach to environmental planning and design. Zaman argues in favor of urban regeneration, rather than urban renewal based on demolition fin order to have a sustainable building system for urban areas. His case is Dhaka, a mega city in Bengladesh, in which he draws his argument on adaptable building concept in favor of acceptability of changes to the userdwellers in the city. Similarly, look at the sustainability issue from the point of view of users of the city, with particular focus on the home-range or close evnironment of home. With the aim of providing the designers and the decision-makers with clues, in the creation of more responsive dwelling environments two types of neighborhoods and the vicinity of Cairo, Egypt are surveyed through the dwellers of the similar social status. The outcoming results point out to some perceptual characteristics of the sustainable home environments. writes from the designer’s perspective as expert on human, cultural, economical and technical aspects of sustainability. He discusses the issue of sustanability and makes an evaluation through the case of Kuwait’s tall buildings designed by green building principles, and warns the designers against ready-made and prescriptive green design parameters by asking them reconsider the local conditions and contextual facts. Last three articles have selected Turkey for their focus of examination in relation to the issue of sustainable city. Firstly, bases his article on the widely- accepted belief that Mediterrenean Architecture is prototype for contemporary sustainable design concept with its bioclimatic characteristics. He closely examines a city popular for its climatic, natural, cultural (architectural) values and through that, argues for its preservation of cultural and residential pattern by constructiong by building laws and regulations. Use of recyclable construction materials, protecting the vernacular architecture in addition to visual and biophysical ecology is not only made possible by the consciousness of soe architects but also supported extensively by local building regulations. They are the challenging factors for increasing tourism economy. In this way, Ayıran and Broner-Bauer point out to the strong role of regulations for the sustainable city development. Secondly , develops his argument throughİnformal settlements of Istanbul, Turkey based on formation of identity and place-makingfor sustainable community development. He looks at the identity and place-making from the knowledge point of view and explores the relation through a case study. He concludes that knowledge supports piecemeal growth and social sustainability. His study counterargues grand-planning approach due to its top-down nature and inadaptability, unlike adaptable bottom-up approach. Accordingly, expert knowledge should not dominate over the local knowledge for sustainable growth. Thirdly, and finally, aim to make projections for the mega city Istanbul by a comparaive analysis of last several master plans of the city and assessing their sustainability by such sustainability criteria as sustainable transportation, urban compactness, historical conservation, balance of natural and man-made environment, resource-management, population pressure on urban environment,, cultural diversity and social equity.

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