“Transforming the City towards Low-Carbon Resilience” – Steffen Lehmann

By on 01/29/2016

“Transforming the City towards Low-Carbon Resilience” introduces urban design principles that support the transformation of existing cities towards more resilience regarding the impact of climate change.  Steffen Lehmann – Professor, University of Portsmouth/Founder of s_Lab Space Laboratory for Architectural Research and Design (Sydney – Berlin), bases the lecture on his research in sustainable cities’ transformation and introduces the compact, mixed-use and walkable city model as the most promising urbanization type. The lecture outlines the principles of Green Urbanism and two ongoing research projects: (1) Urban microclimates: How to keep cities cool; (2) Low impact construction using prefabricated engineered timber systems.

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“Transforming the city towards low-carbon resilience” – Steffen Lehmann

SYNOPSIS

Since the start of the 21st century, humanity has been a predominantly urban species. This presentation is about the future of cities and how urbanization will develop when based on principles of sustainability. It explores the underlying dimensions of the transformation of existing cities towards resilience, the design of low carbon green precincts and their urban systems.  Keywords: High-performance low carbon precincts; integration of low-carbon technologies; complex urban systems; resilient communities; sustainable consumption; urban microclimates. The compact, mixed-use and walkable city model is presented as the most promising urbanization type.

The lecture introduces the principles of Green Urbanism and two ongoing research projects:

(1) Urban microclimates: How to keep cities cool;

(2) Low impact construction using prefabricated engineered timber systems.

Therefore, crucial to the success of city transformation will be interdisciplinary collaboration between experts and stakeholders; and the integration of technologies into the social and behavioral context.

Propositions for addressing the issue:

Steffen Lehmann introduces three fundamental propositions as the underpinning theoretical position of his understanding of cities and their transformation potential:
1.    The compact mixed-use walkable city model: there is no need to reinvent the city; much of it is about learning from the traditional existing European city type combined with the Green Urbanism principles.
2.    Public space and density: the public space network and its connectivity is crucial; increasing compactness requires also more green space and new mobility programming of public space.
3.    The new urban agenda: better urbanization models/integrated approaches are required that establish clear growth boundaries, protecting precious greenfields, forests, agricultural land, limiting urban sprawl.

BIOGRAPHY

Prof. Dr. Steffen Lehmann (Dr.-Ing. TU Berlin; AA Dipl London) is Professor at University of Portsmouth, UK, and a German-Australian urbanist, author, educator, researcher and curator, registered in 1993 as a chartered architect and urban designer in Berlin.  Steffen has more than 25 years’ experience in the fields of sustainable architecture, urban design and construction, a strong track record in teaching, research and government advisory roles, and achieved distinction at the international level. He is an internationally renowned authority on sustainable cities, a strong advocate for sustainability and a passionate educator.  As Head of School at Curtin University in Perth, he repositioned the large School of Built Environment based on principles of sustainability.  Prior to this, he was a tenured Chair Professor of Sustainable Design and Founding Director of two flagship research centres at the University of South Australia in Adelaide.

Steffen is the editor of the Book Series for Sustainable Design; his most recent book: “Low Carbon Cities. Transforming Urban Systems” (Routledge, 2014).  From 2008 to 2010, based on the international significance of his work he was appointed to the UNESCO Chair in Sustainable Urban Development for Asia and the Pacific. In 1993, in pursuit of a more ethically correct practice, he founded the s_Lab Space Laboratory for Architectural Research and Design (Sydney – Berlin).

ADDITIONAL READING MATERIAL

“Low Carbon Cities. Transforming Urban Systems” (Routledge, 2014), edited by Steffen Lehmann.

“The Principles of Green Urbanism” (Earthscan, 2010), authored by Steffen Lehmann.

Steffen’s book series: https://www.routledge.com/series/EARTHSD

Steffen’s web site:  www.slab.com.au


 

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The Global Urban Lecture series is an initiative by UNI – UN-Habitat’s partnership with universities worldwide.

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