Sustainable Regeneration History
The blue flag of the United Nations organization grew from the one world map developed in the second world war showing an aviator’s view of planet earth with no boundaries and continents linked together with no east or west.
In 1987 the UN Brundtland report was intended to initiate action to provide a way out of poverty for the third world’s inhabitants.
THE DEVELOPMENT DEFINITION IS SPECIFIC THAT ACTION IS REQUIRED AND EDUCATION IS CENTRAL IF THE GOAL IS TO MEET WITH INCREASING SUCCESS THE NEEDS OF ALL.
SUSTAINABILITY which defines DEVELOPMENT identifies that meeting a goal is not enough. It must be passed on to the never ending number of generations in the future.
The key to sustainability is in the education of every generation everywhere, rich or poor, to use the planet earth’s gifts efficiently and at the same time understand the limits of resources.
Education will ensure that the earth’s resources are used not only effectively but equitably.
EDUCATION AND COMMUNITY
Education and communities go together. The UN observation of problems in countries are echoed in all communities both in terms of accessibility as well as quality. Neighbourhoods are typically sized to the distance children can walk to school. Walking has important health and social benefits.
Although most communities in the past started as an education centred neighbourhood, many new communities now are not receiving schools and children are required to travel. On the other hand, communities have schools shut down because of a lack of children. Both are unacceptable because stable communities are essential to good education.
ADEQUATE NUMBERS OF BOTH CHILDREN AND ADULTS ARE INDISPENSABLE FOR EDUCATION OF CHILDREN AND KEEP THE NEIGHBOURHOOD POPULATED WITH FAMILIES.
PEOPLE AND COMMUNITY
Because sustainable development is people based, demographic changes are important to consider.
PEOPLE ARE NOW LIVING MUCH LONGER AND STARTING FAMILIES MUCH LATER AND FEWER PEOPLE ARE RAISING CHILDREN.
All these social factors indicate that communities will have far more households than before even if the population does not change.
Matching housing and community services to changed demographics is essential.
Planning, economics and social disciplines have never considered the time and change factors which accompany communities as they evolve through the years.
Out of the observation that new suburban communities are full of parents and children at the beginning but lost half of their population when the children moved away, the neighbourhood Life Cycle Theory was initiated to describe this pattern of neighbourhood deterioration which concluded that schools should be closed at the end of a 70 year lifespan.
The community could then be left to the poor to let it run down further and later could be bulldozed for a new community.
The problem with all versions of the Life Cycle Theory is that they are all completely opposed to the Sustainable Development principles of building communities around education and generational continuity to develop social capital.
Jane Jacobs in her 1961 book “THE DEATH AND LIFE OF GREAT AMERICAN CITIES” was particularly opposed to the racism generated by Life Cycle planning and in part 3 initiated her concept of regeneration to defeat the forces of decline.
Her coming to Canada changed Canadian cities particularly in encouraging regeneration of city centres without freeways, improvement of public transit, promotion of pedestrian priority and higher urban densities.
REGENERATION PROVED NOW
Europe has picked up this method of meeting sustainable development since it fits well with cities with similar streets with mixed use sidewalks connecting to adjacent residential. The retention of existing housing and adding denser mixed use to existing commercial pedestrian streets has now become a standard for all 500,000,000 people in Europe.
For communities anywhere, the pattern of retaining homes around schools combined with upgrading strip commercial to mixed use pedestrian centres is a pattern that not only meets sustainable development standards but brings neighbourhoods to their original population.
REGENERATION FUTURE BENEFITS
Because regeneration is child oriented retaining homes and schools is essential. Infilling by tear down to generate density is unsustainable because it makes no economic sense, provides homes of types that are not demographically or socially required and have negative environmental characteristics that faster waste and damage to urban landscapes.
Regeneration on the other hand provides proper quantities of needed economically and by meeting social requirements can reduce urban sprawl.