Smarter and Sustainable Urban Conservation: Myth or Reality?

Ana Roders: Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands

Youfang Peng: Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands


KEYWORDS: Urban Conservation, Smart; Heritage, Sustainability, Architecture

Countries are well aware of the important role of urban conservation in their sustainable development, and there are enough international recommendations and conventions to confirm it. Recently, countries worldwide agreed to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable by 2030 (United Nations, 2015), calling on countries, cities and communities to strengthen efforts to protect and safeguard the world’s cultural and natural heritage. Though, the question remains: how can efforts to protect and safeguard the world’s cultural and natural heritage be strengthened? How does this effort affect architecture and urban planning? How is urban conservation contributing to sustainability?

This session aims to enable the debate around the demand for a better understanding of the processes and impacts of architecture and urban planning in urban conservation, and consequently in the sustainable development of cities worldwide. This session welcomes papers that address how to become smarter in urban conservation. Fostering greater knowledge of urban resources and heritage enables an informed and evidence-based approach to architecture and urban planning that fosters respect for cultural identity and the environment. This cultural dimension of the city and its sustainable development perceives cities as a dynamic urban ecosystem, and relies on new forms of urban planning and architecture, linked to an integrative framework for smart urban governance. The challenge set to the authors in this session is to raise understanding and debate on how this integrative approach helps cities to further develop and become more sustainable, in particular while (or not) acknowledging the role of culture in sustainable urban development.