VOL: 7  NO:2 163-184 2010-2


Tackling eco-urbanity: Housing and placemaking at the urban edge


Istanbul Technical University, Faculty of Architecture, Istanbul, TURKEY

Received: September 2010 Final Acceptance: Novermber 2010



With more than half of the world population is now living in urban settlements, urban growth is almost inevitable. But our cities are not growing in healthier and ecological ways, they are ‘sprawling’. Much of this sprawl is a result of new housing developments and constructions for their related services, occurring rapidly one after the other at urban peripheries. There are several principles and guidelines offered for ‘ecologic’ urban planning and ‘eco’ or ‘green’ building design. However, most of these guidelines are rigid, contemporary market-driven and global ‘checklists’ with no ability to inform local urban design and interdisciplinary practice and polarizing the differences in design disciplines with their incompetent content that is far from addressing the symbolically, ecologically and functionally powered interrelations between built environments and nature. This paper addresses ecological housing design and planning at urban edges by proposing an updated urban design strategy –the placemaking strategy- and testing its role in monitoring eco-urban development with actual case studies on two ecological settlements at the urban edge of Linz, Austria. The study investigates and highlights the importance of architecture and landscape combined comprehensive urban design strategy to preserve land, prevent consumption in all terms, to utilize the on-site resources, and use of renewable energy sources, to improve functional and social performance of urban contexts at urban edges and maintain healthy living conditions for the inhabitants for longer term goals of livability and sustainability.


Keywords: Urban design strategy, placemaking, ecological housing, eco urbanity, architecture and landscape design, livability.



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