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Urban Guides: Qu

In a rapidly urbanizing world, the design of cities will determine the health and wellbeing of billions of people. Urban InVEST provides tools to show how incorporating the value of nature into urban design can deliver better outcomes for people and the planet.

Urban Guides: Qu

for his master of architecture graduation thesis from politecnico di milano, chinese architect bojing qu has proposed a series of rotating plug-in capsule apartments for shanghai. the design began with the observation that thousands of young people flood into the mega city as urban sprawl increases every year. it becomes urgent for them to survive with a limited amount space and higher housing rates. consequently, the idea of a rotating apartment has been conceived to produce a living system enclosed by a light gauge steel structure that can quickly be produced and assembled on site. individually, each capsule is made up of two main parts: one is a rotating component that involves the main daily living functions such as a living room, bed room, and dining room, while the other is a fixed module that contains the subsidiary functions such as a kitchen, toilet, and storage room. this system challenges the minimum living dimensions of human beings and multiplies the space available to them simply by rotating.

An urban growth boundary, or UGB, is a regional boundary, set in an attempt to control urban sprawl by, in its simplest form, mandating that the area inside the boundary be used for urban development and the area outside be preserved in its natural state or used for agriculture. Legislating for an "urban growth boundary" is one way, among many others, of managing the major challenges posed by unplanned urban growth and the encroachment of cities upon agricultural and rural land.[1]

An urban growth boundary circumscribes an entire urbanized area and is used by local governments as a guide to zoning and land use decisions, and by utilities and other infrastructure providers to improve efficiency through effective long term planning (e.g. optimising sewerage catchments, school districts, etc.).

If the area affected by the boundary includes multiple jurisdictions a special urban planning agency may be created by the state or regional government to manage the boundary. In a rural context, the terms town boundary, village curtilage or village envelope may be used to apply the same constraining principles. Some jurisdictions refer to the area within an urban growth boundary as an urban growth area (UGA) or urban service area, etc. While the names are different, the concept is the same.

Opposition to unregulated urban growth and ribbon development began to grow towards the end of the 19th century in England. The campaign group Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) was formed in 1926 and exerted environmentalist pressure. Implementation of the notion dated from Herbert Morrison's 1934 leadership of the London County Council. It was first formally proposed by the Greater London Regional Planning Committee in 1935, "to provide a reserve supply of public open spaces and of recreational areas and to establish a green belt or girdle of open space".

In the United States, the first urban growth boundary was established in 1958, around the city of Lexington, Kentucky. Lexington's population was expanding, and city leaders were concerned about the survival of the surrounding horse farms closely tied to the city's cultural identity. The first statewide urban growth boundary policy was implemented in Oregon, under then governor Tom McCall, as part of the state's land-use planning program in the early 1970s. Tom McCall and his allies convinced the Oregon Legislature in 1973 to adopt the nation's first set of statewide land use planning laws. McCall, with the help of a unique coalition of farmers and environmentalists, persuaded the Legislature that the state's natural beauty and easy access to nature would be lost in a rising tide of urban sprawl.[3] The new goals and guidelines required every city and county in Oregon to have a long-range plan addressing future growth that meets both local and statewide goals. The state of Tennessee passed the Tennessee Growth Policy Act(TGPA) in 1998 as a response to the state's growing population, increased land development, and conflicts regarding municipal annexation. Tennessee in the year prior to the TGPA's passing was ranked 4th in the United States for fastest rates of land development.[4]

After the release of Melbourne 2030 in October 2002, the state government of Victoria legislated an urban growth boundary to limit urban sprawl. Since then, the urban growth boundary has been significantly increased a number of times.

In Canada, Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa (the "Greenbelt") and Waterloo, Ontario have boundaries to restrict growth and preserve greenspace. In Montréal and in the rest of the province of Québec, an agricultural protection law serves a similar purpose, restricting urban development to "white zones" and forbidding it on "green zones". They are notably absent from cities such as Calgary, Edmonton, and Winnipeg that lie on flat plains and have expanded outwardly on former agricultural land. In British Columbia the Agricultural Land Reserve serves a similar purpose where adjacent to urban areas.

Over the past two decades,[timeframe?] greater Auckland has been subject to a process of growth management facilitated through various strategic and legislative documents. An overarching objective has been to manage the growth of Auckland in a higher density, centres-based manner consistent with the Auckland Regional Growth Strategy. Effect is given to this strategy through a series of layers of control including the Local Government Amendment (Auckland) Act, the Regional Policy Statement and then via District Plans. A key outcome of this process was the establishment of a metropolitan urban limit (MUL) or urban fence that dictated the nature and extent of urban activities that could occur within the MUL and hence also dictated the relative values of land within the MUL.

Containment of built-up development is defined through a General Zoning Plan in the case of both urban and rural municipalities. The plan defines the 'intravilan' as the boundary within which built-up development is allowed. Oradea municipality provides tools to verify if land parcels are located in intravilan or not.[6]

An integrated development plan is required in terms of Chapter 5 of the national Municipal Systems Act No 32 of 2000 for all local authorities in South Africa. This plan would include a spatial development framework plan as one of its components, which would require larger metropolitan areas to indicate an urban edge beyond which urban-type development would be largely restricted or forbidden. The concept was introduced in the 1970s by the Natal Town and Regional Planning Commission of the Province of Natal (now known as KwaZulu-Natal) in the regional guide plans for Durban and Pietermaritzburg. The concept was at that stage termed an "urban fence".[7]

Controls to constrain the area of urban development existed in London as early as the 16th century. In the middle of the 20th century the countryside abutting the London conurbation was protected by the Metropolitan Green Belt. Further green belts were then created around other urban areas in the United Kingdom.

Oregon restricts the development of farm and forest land. The regulations are controversial: some economic analysis has concluded that farmland lying immediately outside of Portland's growth boundary is worth as little as one-tenth as much as similar land located immediately on the other side;[9] other analysis have found that the UGB has no effect on prices when some other variables are taken into account.[10] Oregon's law provides that the growth boundary be adjusted regularly to ensure adequate supply of developable land; as of 2018 the boundary had been expanded more than thirty times since it was created in 1980.[11] In the Metro area, the urban growth boundary has to have enough land within it for 20 years of growth; it is reviewed every six years. Other cities in Oregon seek regulatory review of proposed urban growth boundary expansions as needed.

Washington's Growth Management Act, modeled on Oregon's earlier law and approved in 1990, affected mostly the state's more urban counties: as of 2018, Clark County, King County, Kitsap County, Pierce County, Snohomish County, and Thurston County.[12]

In Tennessee, the boundaries are not used to control growth per se, but rather to define long-term city boundaries. (This was a response to a short-lived law in the late 1990s allowing almost any group of people in the state to form their own city).[13] Every county in the state (except those with consolidated city-county governments) has to set a "planned growth area" for each of its municipalities, which defines how far out services such as water and sewer will go. In the Memphis area, annexation reserves have been created for all municipalities in the county. These are areas that have been set aside for a particular municipality to annex in the future. Cities cannot annex land outside of these reserves, so in effect the urban growth boundaries are along the borders of these annexation reserves.[14] Additionally, new cities are only allowed to incorporate in areas determined to be planned for urban growth.[15]

Most sources of outdoor air pollution are well beyond the control of individuals and this demands concerted action by local, national and regional level policy-makers working in sectors like energy, transport, waste management, urban planning and agriculture.

Abstract:The aim of our review is to critically analyze the urban agriculture and urban food systems literature in order to understand the impact of urban-produced foods on community food security. We examine the role of city planning, food policy, and civic engagement in creating spaces for urban agriculture in cities across the United States, and whether (and how) these spaces promote food justice and food security. Bringing together multidisciplinary literature on access to urban agriculture and the distribution of urban-produced foods in a thematic, systematic review, we point out gaps in the academic research that would benefit from further study. The review integrates academic literature generated from Web of Science searches with gray literature identified through Google Alerts. We find that while there is a strong focus on elucidating the multiple benefits of urban agriculture, there are few studies that robustly measure the impact of urban farms on improving food security in low-income communities. Much of the literature is theoretical, focused on the production potential of urban agriculture, while more work is needed to understand and overcome barriers to access and distribution among communities in need. We conclude with a set of recommendations for researchers, practitioners, and policymakers who seek to create spaces in cities for food justice, equity, access, and sovereignty.Keywords: urban agriculture; food justice; food access; food distribution; food systems policy and planning


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