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Urban ecology and cultural heritage values for a new emergent European city

Listed author(s):
  • Luciano PILOTTI


In the context of globalism and the emergent knowledge society, ecological and eco-system improvement of cities in a multi-phases interdependent dimensions is a new, complex subject involving a multidisciplinary analysis of place as an urban landscape value (with rich externalities) with a hybrid governing mechanism across multiculturalism, cross communities, and multi-level hyper-networking. We see a new city as an emergent and complex eco-system: an ecology. However, the question remains as to the nature of the specifically urban ecology and some answers are main aims of that paper. First, the city is the focal point of most peoples’ lives: over the next two decades, two thirds of the human population is expected to be urbanites, partly due to increasingly efficient transportation centered in cities (train, car, aircraft, etc. ). Second, the city is a growing relational space among people, companies, and institutions, pushing the value of virtual connectivity that can generate competitive cities in the global economy and the knowledge society. Third, the city is a bio-structure of diffuse knowledge, largely bottom–up, and multiple space sharing between long and short distance communication for convergent/divergent stakeholders. Last but not least, the city as a context of self-organization and high interdependences mixes local and global resources with private and public ones, connecting knowledge, relationships, and motivation able to endure competitive advantages oriented to stimulate emergent and future potential. We see a new emergent form of the city over the Fordist towns of the late 18th-early 19th centuries as a hierarchy (manufacturing and services functions) between central and peripheral structures, mediated by urban/land revenue (costs of place), that locate services in the city-center and peoples’ home in the periphery with a simple form of governance segmented by land prices and political lobbying (central location by manufacturing and services). Congestion charge and pollution are largely a result of the emergent city-form. However, the present model in the post-Fordist, post-Berlin Wall age in Europe is a more horizontal town. This model is characterized by bottom-up partnership governance, high speed transport (in-city and inter-city), and high broadband line: a collective brain sharing of a cognitive “integrated” ecology (centrality of location on the grounds of hyper-networking and invisible resources) to reduce congestion and pollution for a harmonious, sustainable, and connected emergent city. This is posited as a “happy, responsible city” involving a mix of tolerance, talent, and technologies ( à la R. Florida), maintaining strong social cohesion and extended citizenship responsibility where everyone is an intelligent user and a potential contributor to value.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano in its series Departmental Working Papers with number 2011-20.

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Date of creation: 06 Oct 2011
Handle: RePEc:mil:wpdepa:2011-20
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