Antonio Font

Urban Problems and Disciplinary Paradigm: Around a "Reasonably" Compact City?

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A new urban model has emerged, very different from the traditional compact shape of the city: growth by contiguity or "oil-spill" growth, it has generated a dependent periphery that has evolved discontinuously as a sprawl throughout entire regions. This kind of growth consists of autonomous, yet interactive heterogeneous fragments, and has consequences in terms of how we consume open land and transform the landscape; in how multidirectional flows are generated; in the appearance of new ways of inhabiting land; and in the behaviour and lifestyles of its inhabitants. In this context, the fact that designers are progressively turning away from Master Plans to instead embrace the "urban project" - itself a more flexible and effective problemsolving tool - means that a demand for greater flexibility and adaptability in the field of urbanism is in point, echoed in industry, administration and government. In such a perspective, the paper proposes an agenda of planning paradigms to deal with sustainability problems related to the emerging forms of urbanizations in Europe.


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