The article deals with the environmental consciousness emerged from the 1970ís onwards, and with subsequent
change in the ideology of city planning. The focus is on the development of urban conservation methods and on the
maintenance of the built environment, which have marked a decisive shift away from the CIAM theses that dominated
urban thinking during half-a-century. The decision to take the existing built environment as the starting point for all
actions of city planning and design has been a radical stand for a new approach, corresponding to and paralleling
the idea of sustainable development that crystallized in the 1980ís up to the 1992 UN Conference. Grassroots-level
strategies are considered important for all actions towards a sustainable way of life. The case of Finland is studied in
some detail, with the conservation atlas of the historic milieu as an example of teaching a sustainable approach to
environmental planning and design.
Keywords:Environmental Consciousness, Urban Conservation, Sustainable Development, and Conservation Atlas
of Historic Milieu.
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