Cities act as hubs of knowledge, attracting the ambitious, and enriching the lives of their inhabitants. In the modern era, however, cities face a multitude of challenges due to skyrocketing population densities, and the effects of climate change. Poorly planned urban environments can have devastating effects on their inhabitants and the globe alike, and while the aspect of scrapping slums to create luxury housing for the affluent seems like an attractive prospect to some, the more egalitarian approach of Urban Regeneration offers a green renewal to dilapidated urban environments, enhancing the lives of all people within them.
Urbanism and cities in general, along with the rise in industrialization, contribute the most to climate change’s negative effects. Particularly in cities where the urban sprawl has taken hold, automobile dependence becomes the norm, and the roads grind to a halt for daily commuters, with no viable options for public transit, biking, or walking. The dependence on automobiles for transportation thus increases greenhouse gas emissions, and noise pollution, and promotes an unlivable state for cities due to a slew of physiological illnesses caused by exhaust fumes. Not only does automobile reliance promote poor livability within urban areas, but it also introduces what’s called the urban heat island effect, where the expansion of roads & asphalt causes the city’s temperature to rise dramatically in comparison with surrounding environments, pushing researchers and scientists to urge governments and policymakers to pursue a carbon neutral approach and introduce an inclusive transportation system that takes into account pedestrians and cyclists.
In light of revitalization & regeneration, however, one must not forget their origins. The concept of urban renewal & revival does not mean the erasure of heritage and history, moreover, the conservation of cities’ heritage should not be seen as an obstacle to progress, on the contrary, they promote architectural inspiration, and pride for the future generations. Historical monuments & sculptures offer a well of inspiration for modern engineers and architects, they shape contemporary design that is unique to the context of the designer’s landscape and history, and tell a story of a time long past that resonates with nationals and visitors alike.
This issue of ARChive compiles studies that explore the topics of urban regeneration to combat the devastating effects of climate change, in addition to the importance of historical heritage & monument preservation and their importance in an increasingly globalized world.
The selected papers in this issue are from two of IEREK’s international conferences. The 4th Edition of the Cities Identity Through Architecture and Arts (CITAA), held in collaboration with Pisa University in December 2020, and the 6th Edition of the Urban Planning & Architectural Design for Sustainable Development (UPADSD), held in collaboration with the university of Florence in September 2021.