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The Environmentalist 16, 135-155 (1996)

The search for the sustainable city in 20th century urban planning
A.D. BASIAGO
10847 Sunnybrae Avenue, Chatsworth, Ca/ifomia 91311, USA.

Summary
A new city has emerged in the 1990s, designed to achieve urban "sustainability" The notion of sustainable urban form has its roots in the Garden City movement at the turn of the century. The "garden" cities of the 1900s and the "ecological" cities of the 1970s were proposed as alternatives to the pathology of modern urban form. Just as cities provide a place for humans to rive, so they destroy ecosystems and become unfit habitats for the human spirit. The city must be made more vital, humane, efficient, beautiful, self-sufficient, and natural through a return to a more compact form, its impact on the environment must be decreased. These themes have reemerged in the sustainable cities of the 1990s, advanced on behalf of future generations and planetary ecology. The sustainable city is a compact city. Calthorpe's "Transit-Oriented Developments" (1989) are hailed as sustainable because their walkable streets free residents from reriance on automobiles and their high density preserves surrounding wildlife habitat. The European Commission (EC) rests a sustainable future for Europe (1990) on the twin pillars of urban compactness and urban regeneration. Nash (1991) believes that sustainable global urbanization would consist of 1.5 billion humans living in 500 compact cities. He calls his vision "Island Civilisation" The sustainable city is also a cffy of regenerative processes. Girardet (1990; 1992) thinks ,it has a "circular metabolism', as distinguished from the "linear metabolism" of contemporary cities. McDonough (adviser to President Clinton on "sustainable development') theorizes in The Hannover Principles (1992) that in order to make civilization sustainable, urban form will have to be based on the principles of nature, which makes no waste, maximizes biodiversffy and is sustained by the sun. The urban form designed by McDonald (1993), conceptualized with ideas from c~baos theory, contemplates a sustainable city within a sustainable watershed and a form "holistic" "diverse" "fractal" and "evolutionary" Lyle (1994) believes that the sustainable cities of the ne.~ century will be based on the "green infrastructure" of "regenerative systems" The commonality linking these landmarks of sustainable urbanization is the ideal of bringing the city into a ~fital symbiosis with nature. The sustainable city is a "green" or "living" city. The search for the su.~tainable city in the 20th century has not been Utopian buttopian, a quest to create a form of city suited to optimal development of the Earth island.
Introduction

The ide,a that the contemporary pattern of world urbanization is not 'sustainable', and that a 'sustainable' paradigm must be designed, first appeared in Britain a quarter of a century ago. In A Blueprint for Survival (The Ecologist, 1972), a distinguished panel wrote that our 'industrial way of life' is not sustainable. By disrupting ecosystems and depleting resources, expanding population and consumption are endangering human survival. The 'sustainable' society would cause
* Andrew D. Basiago, an American lawyer and city planner, was a scholar in land economy at Cambridge. He is currently writing a book on solar cities.

minimum ecological disruption, practise conservation, and maintain a constant population. 'Our task is to create a society which is sustainable', the panel wrote. The UN's World Commission on Environment and Development renewed the call for sustainable development in 1987. Their report, Our Common Future, defined sustainable development as 'development that meets the needs of the present, without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs' (Brundtland, 1987). At the Earth Summit (1992), diplomats from over 120 nations established sustainable development as the world development policy of the 21st century. The accords they framed to save the world's forests, stabilize its climate and conserve its biodiversity, the Rio Declaration on Environ135

0251-1088 1996 Chapman & Hall

The search for the sustainable city in 20th century urban planning ment and Development (UNCED, 1992a), and Agenda 21 (UNCED, 1992b) herald a new development science based on economic, social and environmental sustainability. In urban planning, no consensus exists as to which human settlements embody sustainability. Sustainability might imply the vitality of a city as a complex system, the quality of life of its citizens, or the capacity of nature to support its processes. Some commentators define this concept narrowly in terms of the economic sustainability of a city, its potential 'to reach qualitatively a new level of socio-economic, demographic and technological output which in the long run reinforces the foundations of the urban system' (Ewers and Nijkamp, 1990). Others link sustainability to broader social principles of futurity, equity, and participation (FOE, 1994). When physical planners speak of sustainability, they mean the pursuit of urban form that synthesizes land development and nature preservation. Pearce (1994b) writes that 'the vocabulary of "sustainability" is still far from settled ... A wide variety of opinion exists as to what would constitute "sustainable" urban form'. Glimpses of what a sustainable urban form might be can be found in the 'Garden City' of the 1900s, the 'Ecological City' of the 1970s, and the 'Sustainable City' of the 1990s. In this paper, these historical models of sustainable urban form are explored, with a view to deriving general principles of sustainable urbanization. great cities. Owen's New Lanark and New Harmony; Buckingham's model city; Saltaire, founded by Sir Titus Salt at Alpaca Mills; Lever's Port Sunlight; and Cadbury's Bournville all sought social improvement by emigrating population to autonomous settlements (Pepler, cited in Geddes, 1948). In Garden Cities of Tomorrow, Howard advanced a similar communitarian plan. Organizers would approach pro-social capitalists, who would fund the purchase of (2500 ha) of agricultural land for 4 percent debentures. The estate would be held in trust by four citizens on behalf of debentureholders and the Garden City citizenry. Municipal revenues would be derived from rents based upon annual land values. A 'rate-rent' would be collected from farming operations, home building lots and business premises. This 'rate-rent' would consist of a 'rent' and a 'rate'. 'Rents' would finance the interest on the purchase money and a sinking fund to retire the principal. Any balance would be spent by a municipal council on public improvements, pensions and insurance. 'Rates' would be used to build and maintain public works as the city developed. The leases under which all building sites would be let would contain a covenant by the landlord to apply the whole sum received, first, to pay debenture interest, second, to redeem debentures, and third, for public purposes (Howard, 1902). Howard believed this revenue system would yield great results. No 'landlord's rent' or interest would be payable for public works other than the small amount which had been already provided for in estimating net revenue. As the city grew, increased values would not go to individuals, but to the municipality to be spent on public improvements. This would relieve the rates paid by citizens, foster co-operation, give workers higher purchasing power, and spur employment. Farmers would see their rents, usually lost to a landlord, returned to them as roads, schools and markets. An admirer of Henry George, Howard believed that the path to social reform lay in a more equitable system of land tenure in which individuals neither appropriated rent-values created by others nor maintained rent-values expropriated by others (Howard, 1902). Howard's 'Garden City' is remembered not for finance, however, but for land use. Howard saw that town and country act as 'magnets' (Fig. 1). The jobs, high wages, and life advancement of town are undermined by 'high rents and prices'. Social opportunity and amusement are reduced by excessive hours, social isolation and long commuting distances. The 'well-lit streets' of towns 'shut out sunlight' and their 'fine public buildings' attract soot. '[P]alatial edifices' and 'fearful slums', Howard wrote, are 'the strange, complementary features of modern cities'. Con-

The search for the garden city Howard's 'Garden City' (1902): Urban sustainability as the integration of town and country How can we design cities that combine the best of town and country living? This question asked by Sir Ebenezer Howard launched the era of the 'Garden City'. In Garden Cities of Tomorrow (1902), originally published as Tomorrow: The Path to Real Reform (1898), Howard envisioned self-contained rural communities of 30 000 surrounded by green belts in permanent agriculture. He proposed restoring people to the land, away from 'crowded, ill-ventilated, unplanned, unwieldy, unhealthy cities'. The 'Garden City' would combine all the economic and social advantages of 'an energetic and active town life' with all 'the beauty and delight of the country'. Howard hoped that his proposal would spark an international effort to build up 'clusters of beautiful hometowns, each zoned by gardens, for those who now dwell in crowded, slum-infested cities' (Howard, 1902). The roots of Howard's 'Garden City' lay in the urban overcrowding of the Industrial Revolution, which had produced slums in many

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Fig. 1. The three magnets of town, country and garden city according to Howard (1902) versely, the country, for all its beauty and wealth, lacks society and capital. Rents in the country are low, but only because wages are. The 'bright sunshine' and 'pure air' of the country are diminished by 'long hours and lack of amusements'. '[B]eautiful vistas, lordly parks, [and] violet-scented woods' are no salve for trespassing signs. Drinking water, sanitation and proper drainage are scarce for lack of rural infrastructure. The living conditions of isolated rural areas rival slums (Howard, 1902). The bane of urbanization, Howard realized, is a lack of balance between urban and natural form. By contrast, a 'Garden City' would exist in harmony with its rural setting. Circular in form, it would cover about 400 of the 2500 ha (Figs 2 and 3). At its centre would be a circular garden of about 2 ha. Surrounding this garden on ample grounds would be a town hall, concert hall, lecture hall, theatre, library, museum, picture-gallery, and hospital. Within this urban centre would also be a public park of 60 ha with ample recreation grounds. Running all around this 'Central Park', a wide glass arcade, the 'Crystal Palace', would open on to the park. The 'Crystal Palace' would serve as an all-weather resort attracting citizens to the park and as a shopping emporium with a winter garden. Six wide boulevards would spiral out from this civic centre to the circumference of 'Garden City', dividing it into six distinctive wards. Houses would be built in a ring looking onto the 'Crystal Palace', on other avenues built in concentric rings around the town centre, or fronting the roads converging at the centre of the town. 'Grand Avenue', a green belt 130 m wide and 4.8 km in diameter, would divide the area outside 'Central Park' into two parts. It would form additional parkland occupied by schools, surrounding playgrounds and gardens, and churches. All of the city's industry - its factories, warehouses, dairies, collieries and timber yards - would front a circular railway ringing the outer periphery of the town and connected to a main line passing through the estate. Beyond this outer ring would remain 2000 ha of agricultural land. In this manner, the garden quality of residential life would be preserved. Residences would be segregated from industry, goods

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mity of the town as a produce market, and from the convenient transit to distant markets afforded by the rail system. In infrastructure terms, no existing structures would have to be purchased or destroyed, and no urban renovation would be required. The very best and most modern machinery would be used to build such things as roads (Ho-

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ha estate and built the garden city of Letchworth with plans prepared by Barry Parker and Raymond Unwin. A second town, Welwyn Garden City, was founded after World War I (Pepler, cited in Geddes, 1948). The British government accepted the rudiments of Howard's development pattern in 1944. Henceforth, its policies would aim at decongesting cities by creating new urban centres for 'overspill' industry and population. Green belts would separate towns and preserve wide swathes of the countryside. Far more favourable conditions could be secured on raw uncultivated land. Moreover, the exodus from cities would cause urban land values to fall, further stimulating urban regeneration (Howard, 1902). Howard, by emphasizing the integration of town and country, the conservation of agricultural land, and the decanting of population away from crowded centres, introduced fundamental tenets of 'sustainability'. His site plan featured land with few buildings or works on it. This causes low environmental impact. As his city grew, 'the free gifts of Nature', 'fresh air, sunlight, breathing room and playing room', would be 'retained in all needed abundance' so that life might become 'an abiding joy and delight' (Howard, 1902). Today, this would be called 'open space'. The satellite urbanization found in Howard's chapter on 'Social Cities' allows interstitial lands to be preserved as wildlife habitat or community amenity and natural systems to flourish. Urban form of this sort is a touchstone of 'sustainability'.

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Fig. 4. The 'Social City' in its more limited realization. (From Howard, 1902). ward, 1902). In a chapter entitled 'Social Cities', Howard explained how to accommodate rising population. When the population of 'Garden City' reached 32 000, another city e.g., 'Concord' would be established at some distance away. Together they would form satellites around a 'Central City' of 58 000, whose centre, some 5.2 km distant, could be reached in five minutes (Fig. 4). Surely to build on the zone of agricultural land around a 'Garden City' would destroy its right to be so-called. The area between cities, therefore, would retain 'all the fresh delights of the country - field, hedgerow and woodland'. The cities would be arrayed around the periphery of the inter-municipal railway encircling the central city and be directly linked by highway. Their people would share public buildings and live as one community. Such a network might gradually drain away the populations of the old slum cities and rejuvenate urban life on a regional and national basis (Howard, 1902). The 'Garden City' captivated influential people. In 1899, a Garden City Association was formed. In 1903, Howard's associate, Frank Osborn, took his ideas to England and established the First Garden City, Ltd., which bought a 1500

Geddes' 'Neotechnic City" (1915): Urban sustainability as completeness of relation of organism, function and environment For a contemporary of Howard, Patrick Geddes, the dysfunctional cities of the early 20th century had been shaped by several epochs of urban degeneration. In his second 'Cities and Town Planning Exhibition' in India, in 1915, and in Cities in Evolution (1915), Geddes showed how successive stages of warfare, fortification, centralization, regionalization and industrialization had destroyed the vital form of the mediaeval city. Geddes believed that the mediaeval cities that marked the first noteworthy stage of European urbanization were the product of a Golden Age of 'quiet, decent, constructive agricultural civilisation'. They possessed 'well-planned streets and open spaces', 'beautiful and roomy dwellings' and admirable public monuments. Mediaeval towns, such as Tholen in the 17th century, had enormous gardens and open space. The form of towns such as Rothenberg, with its private and public buildings, towers, fountains, town hall and belfry, nurtured a 'healthy, democratic civic life'. He loved Salisbury, a 'spacious garden town with small detached houses', centred around a great cathedral that anchored the life of the community (Geddes, 1915). 139

The search for the sustainable city in 20th century urban planning In the second stage of European urbanization, the mediaeval city was destroyed by intensifying militarization. At the end of the Middle Ages, the favourable qualities of the mediaeval city gave way to increasing fortification. By the time of the Renaissance, the European city had become a large fortress dominated by a citadel, the town itself 'a mere appendage'. Geddes believed this militarization caused 'the misery of overcrowding and material dilapidation' of the Middle Ages. 'The progress of war, and the war spirit,' he wrote, 'devastates regions', and 'ruins their minor cities' (Geddes, 1915). In the third stage, centralization followed fortification, and with it imperialism and despotism. Cities, such as Versailles, Nancy, Vienna and Berlin, each 'a new Imperial Rome', became places to parade the importance, wealth and prestige of leaders (Geddes, 1915). The exemplar, Haussmann's Paris, glorifying Napoleon III, culminated the fortification of the 16th and 17th centuries. Haussmann cut boulevards through Paris' gardens and working-quarters to provide control by Napoleon's artillery. Initially, Haussmann's plan for Paris brought prosperity. Everything that he and Napoleon had envisioned came to brightest fruition. Labour was in unprecedented demand. Population grew. Employment was regular. Landlords enjoyed rising rents and property values, and with these, the city's budget grew. New public works were commissioned and fortunes made in building, contracting, land speculation and finance. Migrants supported new shops, hotels, cafes, theatres and music halls. But the depression of 1870 undermined these developments, a reversal of fortune Geddes attributed to Haussmann's plan and the changes it wrought. Gardens and playing nooks had been replaced by suffocating courts and dusty boulevards. These sickened women and children and led to alcoholism and tuberculosis among men. Rents in new tenements skyrocketed, even for small flats with tiny rooms. Geddes found Paris (and Berlin or Chicago) adequate to express 'the greatness of Caesar', but unsuitable for industrial workers (Geddes, 1915). In the fourth and modern stage of European urbanization, 'conurbations' spread across entire regions, crowding out any garden amenity left within cities. Geddes described London, the 'conurbation' that destroyed the vitality of the Thames Valley, as an 'octopus', 'a vast irregular growth', 'a great coral reef'. Countless little villages and boroughs were 'swallowed up' by regional urbanization. The integrity of local community life had given way to 'local friction', 'overlapping', ' wastage', 'arrests', 'encystments', 'congestions', 'paralysis'. The 'conurbations' that spread around the industrial cities of Birmingham, Manchester, and Glasgow each developed near a coal field. This promised social progress. But soon they each harboured impoverished populations, soil too limited for agriculture, and 'mean and miserable cities 140 subsiding upon exhausted mines'. Coal had produced not vital living, but 'Slum' and 'Super-slum' (Geddes, 1915). For coal-fired modern cities, Geddes invented the term 'Paleotechnic', much as 'Paleolithic' describes the Stone Age. These cities dissipated energy to achieve marginal utilities. 'As Paleotects we ... endeavour to dig up coals, to run machinery, to produce cheap cotton to clothe cheap people, to get up more coals, to run more machinery', he wrote. This was not resource development but national waste. 'Paleotechnic' urbanization, founded on poverty and extending markets, Geddes likened to 'mould upon the jam-pot, which spreads marvellously for its season', but ultimately produces only 'fungus-city, full of thirsty life and laden with innumerable spores'. Wasteful and inefficient industries maintained a 'poor and dull existence'. Employment was 'unstable and irregular', finance fraught with 'pecuniary and credit illusions'. '[C]rowded luxury' for the few was supported by 'deteriorative labour conditions' for the many. With access to natural conditions 'three-fourths destroyed', parks proved only 'bright patches ... amid vast labyrinths of streets'. As a result of such living conditions, people were physically deteriorating. Alcoholism, drudgery, meanness, over-indulgence, indolence, sexual perversion and gambling had begun to flourish. The 'Paleotechnic' order, by dissipating the resources and energies of nature, was depressing human life and producing unemployment, disease, vice, apathy, indolence and crime (Geddes, 1915). Such cities lacked the 'adequate development of real wealth', which Geddes thought was embodied in 'houses and gardens'. In a 'Neotechnic' age, society would have to make a 'general advance to a higher plane of industrial civilisation'. The pursuit of civic quality would have to supplant economic waste. A 'vast national movement of reconstruction' would have to bring health, well-being and beauty to cities and regions. New garden villages, garden suburbs, and small garden cities would be built to 'preserve the best traditions of the city's past, yet purged of its decay, its active sources of continued evils'. A programme to restore mediaeval town-planning and housing, Geddes' 'Neotechnic City' evoked Howard's 'Garden City'. Geddes admired the New Docks at Frankfurt, with its co-ordinated system of transport and commerce, and housing, with gardens and parks, for workers. But he recognized the limitations of German methods and noted that the English garden city Letchworth was admired in Germany. His 'Neotechnic' city would be a place of humane cottages in garden suburbs. Like Salisbury in the 13th century, which had streams that ran through its streets, 'Neotechnic' urban form would incorporate natural amenities. The 'grand markets and public places', 'ample gardens', and 'broad and magnificent thoroughfares' of mediaeval cities would return. Spacious dwellThe Environmental&t

Basiago ings and gardens would bring wholesome delight to inhabitants (Geddes, 1915). In heralding a 'Neotechnic' age, Geddes emphasized crucial issues in the search for the sustainable city. Geddes supported preserving what remained of the hills and moors between rapidly growing cities. This would give the public access to green belts around 'conurbations' and protect the purity of the water supply. He favoured natural reserves to separate growing villages and suburbs and the preservation of gardens to sanitize them. In our time, 'sustainability' recognizes the recreational value of urban green belts and defends woodlands and wetlands on the grounds that they serve as natural buffers that filter and recharge aquifers. Geddes' complaints that 'towns must now cease to spread like expanding inkstains and grease-spots' and that growth 'tends largely to submerge all differences beneath its rising tide' are echoed today by proponents of urban growth boundaries, compact city development, and redevelopment that restores identifiable town centres. Geddes feared that lack of access to nature and its great open spaces was causing human health, even genetic integrity, to deteriorate. He called for 'a fuller and far more vital access of youth to the country and to country life and occupations'.. Large industries should be moved to the country, and spacious buildings in the city adapted to smaller crafts. Smaller plants in the city would then be demolished. The resulting open space would bring 'a gain to health, to children's happiness, and therefore to civic economy and productivity'. Garden cities would produce 'better crops of human population'. Juvenile delinquency would decline as youths recovered the 'touch of first-hand rustic experience' in 'open air schools ... situated upon the margins of ... open spaces.' His concern is reflected today in the debate over open space. Finding modern metropolises to have 'no centre' and 'no limits horizontally or vertically' and thus conducive only to 'confusion of soul ant1 unfitness of body', Geddes defined the advantages of the new sustainable town plans with 'walkable streets'. Just as Geddes could see that 'Paleotechnic' civilization was based on minerals that it was swiftly exhausting, so 'sustainability' rejects fossil fuel use and embraces alternative energy. Geddes celebrated the development of Norwegian cities, with their 'innumerable gardentowns and villages ... each limited in size by that of its stream', set amidst a 'comparatively undestroyed natural environment', which used 'lakes as power-reservoirs'. He observed that water supply places inexorable limits on population growth. He thus understood the significance of planning cities within the sustainable limits of water catchments and wffh renewable energy systems, and the relationship, of each to regional environmental quality. By advancing a planning approach that is 'synoptic', that involves 'seeing the city as a whole' (Gedde,;, 1915), Geddes presaged the preoccupation of 'sustainability' with 'holism'. Geddes understood that the sustainability of cities and the quality of human life are closely interlinked. The search for the sustainable city is a quest to both restore the environment and revitalize human life, a synergy of geography, industry and society. 'Healthy life is completeness of relation of organism, function and environment, and all at their best', Geddes wrote. 'Cities in Evolution and people in Evolution must thus progress together" (Geddes, 1915). Wright's 'Broadacre City' (1934): Urban sustainability as decentralized democratization in an urban form nearest organic as possible The quest by Howard to free humans from overcrowded urban centres and return them to the country was also taken up by the American architect Frank Lloyd Wright. In 1934, Wright brought a group of his Taliesin fellows to a Chandler, Arizona workshop, where they created a new urban form, a new community plan 'Broadacre City' (Wright, 1935). Hall (1984) writes that what Wright foresaw was 'a return to the simpler rural society of his Wisconsin boyhood'. Cheap electricity and universal car ownership would decentralize the population and place it back on an agrarian base (Wright, 1935). Another attempt to accommodate the unnatural city to the natural region, 'Broadacre City' was, in a sense, Howard's 'Garden City' bereft of any unifying centrality. Integrated decentralization, utilitarian land tenure, municipal property ownership, private home ownership, full employment and small scale artisanship were the chief elements of 'Broadacre City'. Wright's was a radical democratic vision. Wright wrote that 'Broadacre City' would be based on 'general decentralization as an applied principle and architectural reintegration of all units into one fabric'. The land would be held only for 'use and improvements'. Public utilities and the government would be 'owned by the people'. Privacy would be protected 'on one's own ground for all'. The economy would offer 'a fair means of subsistence for all by way of their own work on their own ground or in their own laboratory or in common offices serving the life of the whole' (Wright, 1935). 'Broadacre City' would arrest Gotham by disassembling it and spreading it out. The 'waste' and 'ugly scaffolding' of the metropolis would be torn down and replaced with structures in 'forms nearest organic' as possible. Dehumanizing existence in big cities, industrial and crowded, would give way to a semi-rural life, pastoral and unfettered. Ten km 2 of low-density development would support 1400 families, with area determined by family size. A city of 'small farms, small factories, small homes, small schools, and small workshops' would be the setting of a culture based on independent artisanship and small-scale collaboration. 141

The search for the sustainable city in 20th century urban planning
Economic independence would free the American people from the mines, the mills and the factories and give them a second chance at democratic living (Wright, 1935). The vehicle of liberation would be the automobile, which would link the distant points of Wright's sprawling city-region. 'Broadacre City' would be a metropolis of onefive-car houses. A great arterial, suspended over the city like a bridge, would accommodate twelve lanes of automobiles, three truck lanes and a longdistance monorail travelling at 355 km h q. In time, an air transport with rotors capable of travelling in any direction at 320 km h -a would be developed, further enhancing regional transit (Wright, 1935). Despite an emphasis upon spatial relationships, 'Broadacre City' was not merely a design concept. Like Howard's 'Garden City', it would be carried aloft on wings of Utopian reform. Land use in the town would be guided by the visionary guidance of a popularly elected planner-architect. A new form of monetary exchange would be based on social credit. Land would be held only for use and improvement. The public would own the patent to new inventions. A society of co-operative artisans, having rejected the strife of 'the old success ideals', would explore 'ones more natural to the best in man' (Wright, 1935). Many dimensions of 'Broadacre City' persist in sustainable urbanization to this day. Wright thought that decentralization and redistribution would allow society 'to correlate the properties of the life of man on earth to his birthright - the ground itself' (Wright, 1935). A radical Earth consciousness of this type pervades sustainability. Wright believed that urban spatial smallness - 'small gardens', 'a small zoo', 'segregation of ... students into small groups' (Wright, 1935) - would protect and nurture human personality. This concern for appropriateness - even smallness - of scale remains an abiding part of the sustainable city. Wright's proposal that urban design be guided according to a planner-architect's 'sense of the whole as organic architecture', and that this architect would advise the 'regiment and row' of linear design only in plant cultivation and in walls (Wright, 1935), exemplify three recurrent patterns in the field: the role of imaginative planner-visionaries, holism, and the pursuit of natural form. A municipal subsidy to plant useful trees like white pine, walnut, birch, beech, fir ... as well as fruit and nut trees' would yield 'a profitable crop' and give 'character, privacy and comfort to the whole city' (Wright, 1935). Wright knew the manifold benefits of urban forestry, which is today seen as fundamental to any sustainable town plan. Wright's insistence that housing be available for people of different income levels (Wright, 1935) persists in contemporary 'sustainabitity'. Local sufficiency through production at or near the place of consumption, thus eliminating the wasteful hauling of goods over vast distances (Wright, 1935), was but another sustainable attribute of 'Broadacre City'. In retrospect, however, many aspects of 'Broadacre City' were clearly not sustainable. The low density called for in the plan is inconsistent with the notion that urban compactness conserves land and allows for the preservation of habitat. Wright bragged that electricity, oil and gas would be 'the only popular fuels' in 'Broadacre City' (Wright, 1935), but fossil fuels are not renewable and thus their use is not sustainable. Wright's hope that copper roofs would give 'a permanent cover capable of being worked in many ... ways and giving a general harmonious colour effect to the whole' (Wright, 1935) may have expressed the inspiration of a great artist but showed little understanding of energy conservation. Wright's scheme was least sustainable in transport. Wright celebrated the automobile as a liberating technology. 'Every Broadacre citizen has his own car', Wright crowed. 'Multiple-lane highways make travel safe and enjoyable' (Wright, 1935). By providing twelve lanes of automobile traffic and a monorail for long-distance travel, Wright denigrated the inherent efficiency of trains for mass transit. In this way he prefigured modern American urbanization, which gives the most pro-social and economical forms of transit shortest shrift. Today it is recognized that living in conurbations inundated by cars is not merely non-sustainable but is, in fact, miserable. Wright believed that he was not so much inventing a form of urbanization as heralding one that would emerge. The automobile, telecommunications and standardized production were 'already at work building Broadacres' (Wright, 1935). In this he could not have been more prescient. 'Broadacre City' anticipated the sprawling suburbs that developed after World War II in America and the 'free enterprise, owneroccupier societies' of Canada and Australia (Hall, 1984). His scheme is such a mix of sustainable and non-sustainable elements that it seems to mark a cross-roads. For all its inventiveness, 'Broadacre City' led not to the sustainable city, but to today's dystopian reality of suburban sprawl and eightlane expressways.

Mum ford's 'Biotechnic City' (1938): Urban sustainability as 'decentralization in a life-centred order' In his writings, Lewis Mumford urged the adoption of a regional planning paradigm that would foster humane values. For Mumford, this hinged upon the integrated decentralization of urban land use patterns. Echoes of Howard redounded in Mumford's insistence that the population of major cities be decanted into smaller centres, until the metropolitan areas themselves were reformed into a constellation of self-contained communities separated by parks and green belts. Like his mentor, Geddes, Mumford idealized the mediaeval European city. He believed that the transience asThe Environmentalist

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sociated with capitalism's emergence in the 12th century caused these cities to degenerate. Cities had developed in three distinct ages of urbanization. Mumford called these the eras of the 'Paleotechnic', the 'Neotechnic' and the 'Biotechnic' city. By 'Paleotechnic', Mumford meant essentially what Geddes meant: the grimy conurbations of the Industrial Revolution. Paleotechnic culture had 'submerged humanity and its values in an orgy of filth, overcrowding, clatter and environmental destruction'. When Mumford wrote of the 'Neotechnic' culture that followed, he meant not Howard's 'Garden City', but the 'megalopolis, that marvel of mechanization', 'sprawl', 'fantastic skyscraper palaces'. This new form of urbanization was mechanistic and dehumanizing. In the 'Biotechnic' age, humans would rebel against this form and 'control machines for social ends' (Wilson, 1983). Mumford's writings reveal that by 'Biotechnic', Mumford meant an urban form, small, rural, genial and integrated, that would nurture the human spirit. In The Culture of Cities (1938), Mumford described Wright's architecture as 'a microcosm of the new Biotechnic economy'. It showed the way to the 'Biotechnic City' by working 'a synthesis of nature, the machine, and human activities and purposes'. By failing to develop such a synthesis and destroying nature, modern humans were tearing apart the fabric of a symbiosis that first developed between humans and plants in Neolithic times. Mumford predicted that '[t]he ancient symbiotic relation, so helpful to both human and plant life, may be dissolved in an excess of technological dynamism, within our lifetime' (Mumford, 1972). Wright's 'prairie architecture' and later 'desert architecture' were, for Mumford, models of 'true regional form' based on 'respect for the soil, the site, the climate, the environing region' (Mumford, 1938). 'Biotechnic' urban form would be regional in scope. The mediaeval compactness and integration envisioned by Mumford would allow the countryside to be kept 'an active, dynamic element in city life'. Food would be grown c.lose to the urban market on the grounds that 'fresh foods offer most nourishment'. In a passage evocative of Howard's 'Garden City', Mumford wrote of 'locating appropriate factories and workshops in the country'. This would give agricultural families alternative occupations, make the land more economically productive, lead to the better utilization of natural resources, and make rural areas more culturally productive (Mumford, 1945). Mumford's 'Biotechnic City' would enjoy 'a general contraction of the machine' and 'diminution of the ... world market'. In the 'Biotechnic' economy, 'consumption and service' would take precedence over 'production for sale and profit'. Production would be directed 'into channels where a surplus of energy is made available, either for direct use in life, as house, as city, as regional habitat, or for storage against future vital uses'. Consumption would be directed towards 'the conservation and enhancement of life' (Mumford, 1938). Mumford spoke of the 'Biotechnic City' with a peculiar biological imperativism. Mumford believed that cities have a maximum, practicable population limit. Beyond that limit, cities frustrate human development, expressed in something as fundamental as reproduction. '[T]he biological norm of city growth', the 'degree of concentration beyond which the community fails in reproducing the full quota of its members', Mumford set at between 25000 and 50 000 citizens. This was the 'upper limit for the size of the Biotechnic city'. Sprawling cities were antagonistic to human life because they were stemming procreation. The need to balance the size of human settlements, reproduction rates and nature preservation might be related to human survival. The 'economic disorganizations', the 'retrograde tendencies' reflected in modern urban form might easily represent the end of civilization itself (Mumford, 1938). To prevent social disintegration, the 'Biotechnic City' would emphasize 'the central biological needs of the family'. Mumford believed that Western cities failed to address people's needs for love, sexual intimacy, and conditions favourable to the physical and psychological growth of children. These conditions included a 'stable, reassuring environment of home and garden'. Post-war urban reconstruction, therefore, would have to 'give time and thought and money and love to the culture of the family'. The family must have 'the essential space and equipment it needs', Mumford wrote. As a first principle, the 'Biotechnic City' would place the family at the centre of civic life (Mumford, 1945). Mumford identified housing reform and the elevation of education above all other societal priorities as hallmarks of his 'Biotechnic City'. The dwelling house, Mumfbrd felt, had been 'the backward point of modern technics'. Instead, it would be the physical focal point in the change from a pecuniary to a Biotechnic economy, just as education would be the metaphysical focus of the 'Biotechnic City'. The family residence and the school would become 'the essential nucleus of the new community', acting as 'organs of the whole community' (Mumford, 1938). A return to the mediaeval form celebrated by Howard and Geddes would re-humanize urban living. The small, self-contained, garden communities envisioned by Mumford would 'restore to the city the maternal, life-nurturing functions' (Mumford, 1961). By these Mumford meant 'the birth and nurture of children, the preservation of human health and well-being, the culture of the human personality, and the perfection of the natural and civic environment as the theatre of all these activities' (Mumford, 1938). The path to the sustainable city lies in urban form that will

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SCENIC VALUES

RECREATION VALUES
FORESTVALUES

RESIDENTIAL VALUES

WILDLIFE VALUES

INSTITUTIONAL VALUES

Fig. 5. McHarg's planning overlays used to evaluate potential urban sites - scale in miles (one mile = 1.61 km). (From McHarg, 1969). sustain the human spirit. pitalism was also to blame for nature's pillage. In the name of profit, the land was raped, the rivers and atmosphere polluted, the landscape sterilized, the great forests felled, the marshes filled. Modern economic determinism had framed 'an imperfect view of the world' by failing 'to incorporate physical and biological processes'. Since nature sustains cities, and the disruption of natural processes made cities dysfunctional, a new form of 'ecological' urbanization was required. It would bring an understanding of biological processes the plants, the decomposers, ecosystems, other life forms, the gene pool - to the planning of cities. A new form of city would be developed based on the appraisal of the natural systems within which humans live. It would be a city designed with nature and not against it. Only such a new cosmography would sustain the populace (McHarg, 1969). McHarg's question of where nature belongs in the world led to the more practical question of,

The search for the ecological city McHarg's 'City Designed with Nature' (1969): Urban sustainability as environmentally sensitive planning
What is the place of nature in humanity's world? In Design with Nature (1969), Ian McHarg addressed this vital question, the abiding question of the era of the 'Ecological City'. McHarg lamented the degeneration of modern cities like New York. He found them places of 'ugliness and disorder' created 'for private greed', maximum expressions of 'man's inhumanity to man'. McHarg blamed humanity's 'anthropomorphic, anthropocentric' world view for the 'dead grey tissue' of cities encircling America. Corporate ca-

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where are the best places to place cities? Some locations on Earth possess agricultural land or wildlife habitat that urbanization would destroy. Others harbour natural hazards, such as flood plains or seismic faults that might destroy cities (Bell, 1994a). Planning should not merely address economic', considerations, but the implications of development for physical, biological and social processes. If the goal of development is to achieve 'the maximum social benefit at the least cost', development's impact upon the local economy, health, amenity, safety, community integrity, institutions, residential quality, and scenic, historic and recreational value, including the costs to society of the destruction of nature, must enter the equation (McHarg, 1969). McHarg, therefore, introduced a new method to express both social and natural processes as social values. This method begins by evaluating and ranking land, tidal inundation, historic, scenic, recreation, water, forest, wildlife, residential and institutional values for a given area. These values are each portrayed graphically on transparencies (Fig. 5). The individual maps are then overlaid, forming a composite. This composite represents, McHarg wrote, 'the sum of social values, physiographic opportunities and constraints'. The optimum location to develop is identified with a view to incurring the least natural and social cost and creating new social values. Nature possesses 'a value system with intrinsic opportunities and constraints to human use'. The most economical place on Earth to develop is where it 'will be least destructive to nature's 'seamless web' (McHarg, 1969). Urbanist Jim Bell, director of the Ecological Life Systems Institute of San Diego, joins a growing cadre of sustainability planners who are employing the McHarg method to place centres of intense human activity in interstitial areas. Overlay maps detail both natural resources (groundwater locations, optimal agricultural soils, plant and animal habitats) and natural hazards (flood plains and seismic faults). Human settlements are then placed on land that contains the fewest intersections of these dynamic attributes (Bell, 1994a). By preserving the 'ecological infrastructure ... underlying the human-created infrastructure' (Nelson, 1994), genetic diversity, soil fertility and mineral reserves are protected from development (Bell, 1994a). McHarg's system is uniquely suited to regional planning based on water catchment boundaries. The plant and animal communities that inhabit water catchments protect cities from floods and soils from erosion. They create the organic material in soils and play a vital role in groundwater recharge. In a plan that Bell has developed for the San Diego-Tijuana region, water catchment boundaries, not arbitrary political boundaries, form the parameters of regional planning. A set of water catchment base maps is used upon which sets of transparent maps are overlaid. Each transparency identifies a natural resource or hazard. Areas of the water catchment without significant natural resources or hazards quickly become apparent as the best locations for new development. Developments to be relocated to more optimal areas are also identified (Bell, 1994a). Once the optimum place to urbanize is identified, the second major focus of the emerging design philosophy based on McHarg's precepts is to strive to make cities self-sufficient. Regions like San Diego-Tijuana, which imports 90 percent of its water and 95 percent of its power, are vulnerable to earthquakes, floods, fires and terrorism. Cities that are resource and water efficient and store resources locally will last longer if supplies are interrupted. Designing cities to utilize local resources in a sustainable way - for example, by requiring solar cells on roofs and the recycling of sewage to grow food, materials and crops - not only makes regions less vulnerable to disaster, but creates jobs and saves money on imports (Nelson, 1994). According to Bell, sustainable land use governance depends upon resolving a number of land use issues. First, it is necessary to find the optimal sites for urban and industrial activities. The alternative to doing so is economic and environmental decline. McHarg's method (performed on Geographical Information Systems), by identifying where nature has placed water catchment boundaries, wildlife corridors, alluvial deposits, the best agricultural soils, and coastal features such as kelp beds, identifies where society's actual wealth is located. Second, the cost accounting system of nature must be adopted in a financial system. 'True cost pricing' accounts for the true environmental costs of a good or service, its life cycle cost, not strictly its first cost. This would create economic incentives to seek environmentally beneficial alternatives. Third, 'sustainable' buildings must become the basic unit of urbanization. A 'sustainable' building does not promote sickness, is seismically safe, is not built on a flood plain, contains a rain cistern to conserve water, is surrounded by climatically suitable edible landscape and relies on energy income from the sun. A simple model of a city 'designed with nature' is one that uses solar energy to distil its clean water, but which directs contaminated water, waste heat and CO 2 to productive greenhouses and aquaculture ponds. Solar energy has freed its inhabitants to pursue more creative and purposeful living (Bell, 1994b).

Canfield's 'Prototype Symbiotic Community' (1974): Urban sustainability as design based on natural carrying capacities
McHarg's ecologically sensitive planning inspired Cerro Gordo, Oregon, a town of 2500 founded by Chris Canfield in 1974. Cerro Gordo was based on a study of the carrying capacities of the valley in which it is located. Two dozen different environmental factors and intrinsic land use suitabil-

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ities were examined. Lines were drawn between less productive soils near the centre of town and forestry soil at its periphery, where a perpetualyield forest was established. The site most suitable for the village centre (as indicated by 24 factors) was abandoned to preserve a major wildlife corridor (Canfield, 1993). A notion of 'symbiotic community' that Canfield traces to Mumford's The City in History (1961) also inspired Cerro Gordo. Mumford wrote that by the time of the Neolithic village, humanity had two forms of urbanization to pursue. The way of the citadel sees the city as a fortress, an instrument to dominate people and the natural environment and amass economic surplus. This Mumford distinguished from the way of the village, involving co-operation among people and between people and their environs. The way of the citadel is 'predatory' and has led to the downfall of ancient civilizations that have exceeded natural carrying capacities. It is embodied today, he thinks, in non-sustainable global industries which burn fossil fuels a million times faster than they were accumulated. By contrast, the way of the village is 'symbiotic'. Recognizing that the biosphere, as the source of everything produced, represents real wealth, it seeks a way of living in harmony with natural support systems (Canfield, 1993). As a 'prototype symbiotic community', Cerro Gordo is founded in symbiosis, or mutually advantageous partnership, with the biosphere. The town brings together village, farm and forest. It is planned within water catchment boundaries. Perpetual forestry and organic agriculture are practised. The town's plan features a natural progression of circles (home, cluster, neighbourhood and village), with a courtyard on one side of each cluster housing unit and a 400 ha commons on the other. Residents earn their living on site. Phased and limited growth of a self-sufficient, mixed-use pedestrian village and permanent protection of the valley in which the town is situated are envisioned (Canfield, 1994). Cerro Gordo is typical of the city designed in nature. Many alternative communities of this sort founded during the 1970s based on 'ecological' principles were built in rural areas, where the mistakes of the past would not impinge. The growth and development of many were guided by a statement of principles or an 'ecological' master plan. Form followed philosophy in an experiment designed to demonstrate how all cities might be 'ecological'. These communities sought to establish sustainability in absolute terms. The Cerro Gotdarts hope to demonstrate sustainable community development by building a prototype. Whilst world population has grown too large to achieve urban sustainability by way of a programme of new towns in forested enclaves, the principles upon which Cerro G o r d o and towns like it were founded reverse the depletion and destruction of natural support systems in existing cities. These are: conversion, to industry manufacturing only non-toxic, non-destructive and non-exploitative products; conservation, the reuse, reduction and recycling of resources; renewable energy, such as solar; regeneration, the regrowth of natural support systems; and symbiosis, defined as partnership, qualitative growth and co-evolution (Canfield, 1994).

Corbett's 'Village Homes' (1975): Urban sustainability as solar design, natural drainage and edible landscape Begun in 1975, in the wake of the first petrol crisis, the Davis, California community Village Homes epitomizes the 'Ecological City'. Premised on the notions that solar design should cut daily family energy budgets and that a sense of community should be nurtured to reduce crime, drug abuse and other social ills, Village Homes features solar architecture, a pedestrian friendly layout, natural drainage and edible landscape (Corbett and Corbett, 1984). Planned by Michael Corbett as a model of sustainable development (Corbett, 1994), Village Homes brought sustainability to the commercial subdivision (Corbett and Corbett, 1984). The small, stucco houses of Village Homes anchor a multidimensional energy strategy. A majority face south (Corbett, 1994). Solar heating and natural cooling lowers space heating and cooling costs. Homes have large set-backs and courtyards to provide privacy for large solar purchases. Trees, placed on the east and west for cooling, are selected for maximum summer shade and winter exposure (Corbett, 1984). Ample street trees reduce ambient temperature by about 6C (Corbett, 1994). Homes are well-insulated with high mass material and tight weatherproofing (Corbett, 1984). Windows are placed for cross ventilation. Narrow, shaded streets with guest parking bays reduce traffic and increase summer cooling (Corbett, 1984). A density of 20 to 25 home units per hectare is maintained, but not at the expense of solar access, upheld as a matter of right. Every eight units or so share a common area (Corbett, 1994). Corbett was inspired by mediaeval villages in Spain that have small roads suitable for people and bicycles and, terraced, hilltop garden towns of 15 000 to 20 000 in Italy, which typically contain many small, close-knit neighbourhoods (Corbett, 1994). On Village Homes' tree-lined streets, walking and bicycling are encouraged. Like Stein's Radburn, New Jersey, planned to stem throughtraffic, only 40 percent of the roads in Village Homes are accessible by automobile (Corbett, 1984), and no through-traffic is permitted. Residents enjoy a quiet environment where birdsong is heard and children are safe to play. Community green spaces and long cul-de-sacs (395 to 425 m) foster socializing (Corbett, 1994). A sidewalk wending its way past residences promotes congeThe Environmentalist

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Basiago niality. The development is relatively small and neighbourly, with 240 units arranged on 30 ha. A range of homes, from 55 to 260 m 2, accommodates a range of incomes. Villagers share a recreation centre, pool, bikepaths, playgrounds and ofrices. Quiet, less crime prone streets and cooler summer temperatures have made homes in the village cove.ted by buyers (Corbett, 1984). A green belt behind each house is linked to a natural drainage scheme. This consists of a system of small channels enshrouded in dense foliage that crisscross the community (Corbett, 1984). Rain accumulates in intermittent, gurgling streams that fill holding ponds near homes (Corbett, 1994). These nourish the greenbelts and replenish local groundwater (Corbett, 1984). Fifty percent of the vegetative landscape is edible, which allows residents, especially children, to pick fruit and berries from trees around town. Inhabitants harvest figs, peaches, persimmons, cherries, pineapple-guavas and Concord grapes eight months a year. A homeowner's association maintains the trees at a cost of US$73 per owner per month. This fund also supports community playing fields and a solar-assisted swimming pool (Corbett, 1994). 2.85 ha of land are also devoted to small-scale agriculture. Common areas near every house are planted with vegetables. Many families in the development produce compost, an important form of waste reduction, whe.n one considers that 50 percent of refuse in American cities comes from yard litter (Corbett, 1994). Local food production supplies a quarter of residential requirements (Corbett, 1984). Village Homes residents consume half as much energy as residents of neighbouring Davis, California developments, many of which practice energy conservation. Police records show that the subdivision suffers only 10 percent as much crime as its neighbours. Village Homes is the most sought-after residential development in Sacramento. Homebuyers are willing to spend nearly US$3 additional dollars per square metre (0.093 m 2) to live there. Banks are increasingly willing to finance similar developments (Corbett, 1994). These facts show that when residential developments implement sustainable principles, both economic and environmental benefits follow (Corbett, 1984). Mollison's 'Permaculture' (1978): Urban sustainability as a perennial system of agrourbanism Notions of re-establishing agriculture in the urban milieu also characterized the 'Ecological City' of the 1970s. Of the many schemes explored with this in mind, Bill Mollison's 'permaculture' is representative. Mollison saw that societies with permanent agricultural systems have achieved permanent cultural systems. Societies that have not depleted their soils have survived (Roley, 1994). As permaculturist Bill Roley, professor of Regenerative Studies at California Polytechnic University, explains, permaculture is an urban 'design strategy over time' that integrates community patterns with ecological imperatives, organizing indigenous knowledge and experience with resources available in a community. It emphasizes complex interlinkages between landscapes and the built environment through food, waste, water and energy. These diverse webs of relationships use wind, solar, water, and soil energies, and a myriad of biological processes carried out by organisms, to create a permanent culture (Roley, 1991). Permaculturists ask three questions: first, how do geology and geography interact with the sun, water, wind and nutrient cycling of the living landscape?; how can water harvesting, food production and other unique attributes influence and contribute to design of the housing space?; and what can be done without disrupting the natural order of things? They seek 'a full circle interchange' with: the 'sustainers' of human existence, plants, which also serve as primary solar collectors; the consumers and creators of pollution, humans and animals; and the recyclers, the microorganisms, which begin the process of regeneration (Roley, 1991). The key to permaculture, Roley says, is that its designs are based on nature's own systems. Permaculture fosters 'ecological support webs.' It identifies the energy 'source', and the energy 'sink', and then divines how they work together. For example, crops can be cultivated anywhere on a hillside, but it is more advantageous to place them where water flushing through the catchment will reach every field. Permaculture begins at the highest end of a property, and builds bench drains to control erosion, encourage vegetation and reduce non-point source pollution. These handle water, recycle nutrients and control fire. The irrigation systems of permaculture meander widely, like the serpentine course that recharges a natural river. A favourite strategy of permaculturists is to plant leguminous crops on swales. Grazing pigs and goats eat grasses that would otherwise crowd out the legumes. Their manure in turn nourishes the legumes. The composting of agricultural waste as a way to add economic value is another (Roley, 1994). Achieving permaculture in modern cities will require multidisciplinary teams of 'permaculture planners', specialists in water, plants, soils, economics, architecture, farming, appropriate technology, and community relations. Their goal will be to restore agricultural wealth in an urban setting. Crops and herbs will be grown near underground and above-ground passive solar dwellings, thus eliminating the marketing, packaging and transportation of food. Densely interspersed multi-croppings will emulate the ecology of rainforests. Shelter belts of trees selected for local suitability will stem erosion by wind and rain. Variants of civilization's most productive agricultural systems - the rice-talapia ..system and mangrove 147

The search for the sustainable city in 20th century urban planning
I

Fig. 6. Part of Calthorpe's plan for Laguna West, Sacramento, California, USA (From Calthorpe, 1993). forests - will be established generally (Roley, 1994). Mollison's permaculture survives in today's sustainable urbanism. Founded on the simple analysis of basic energy, food, water and nutrient needs, permaculture holds the potential to lessen

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demand on utilities and supermarkets. The homegrown tbods it produces are less expensive, more nutritious and can be consumed in season. Permaculture is viewed as a means of reducing pressure on landfills, which are filling up. Its goal of directing communities away from 'high entropy lifestyles' that deplete energy and are destructive towards 'low-entropy' ones that 'optimize the multiple usefulness of resources' is lauded as a measure to prew,'nt 'long-term environmental degradation' (Roley, 1991). Mollison and the urban ecologists of the 1970s understood that the path to the sustainable city lies in urban form that will sustain the environment. walks lead inward towards ample civic space and porches promote social interaction. Apartments atop detached garages increase density. Straight, tree-lined residential streets define neighbourhoods bracketed around ,civic space that might include a lake, park, town centre, or transit plaza. The TOD, in turn, becomes 'an armature for controlling regional growth' (Calthorpe, 1994a). Compact neighbourhoods are arrayed along transit lines. Large aggregations of land between the compact developed nodules are dedicated to green space (Delsohn, 1994). The TOD first emerged in Calthorpe's plan for Laguna West in Sacramento, California (Fig. 6) in 1989 (Delsohn, 1994). At Laguna West, streets extend radially from a city centre consisting of a town square surrounded by a lake. Streets branch out :from common nodes at 60 angles inside a rectilinear frame, evoking Versailles as adapted by L'Enfant to Washington, DC. This scheme achieves densification of the urban population, which explains why overpopulated Manila has invited Calthorpe to draft a plan for it. Calthorpe is serious about reversing urban sprawl by directing new growth inward into socalled 'in-fill' areas. Urban fabric that has been developed is redeveloped. Dense planning that creates local destinations saves road infrastructure and makes light rail transit feasible. At the neighbourhood level, setbacks are eliminated to conserve land. Portland, Oregon, necklaced in an urban growth boundary, is eager to apply Calthorpe's ideas to improve its civic infrastructure and save the rustic Willamette Valley from sprawl (Calthorpe, 1994a). Calthorpe has drafted regional growth plans for Sacramento and San Diego, and over 100 American cities have applied the pedestrian-oriented, compact form promoted by Neo-Traditionalists like him (Delsohn, 1994). Calthorpe's designs have been criticized on the grounds that they are not convivial to nature. For example, the pond at the centre of Laguna West is devoid of wildlife. Calthorpe frankly admits that it is 'a community feature and not a natural feature.' Calthorpe's streets are walkable, and thus 'interesting, safe and enjoyable,' but Calthorpe integrates automobiles with bikes and pedestrians in his streets - automobiles that contribute to air pollution, global warming and acid rain. Calthorpe defends his urban form as sustainable on the grounds that greater density wastes less energy by way of fewer vehicle miles. His strategy is to attack the transport component of urban form as a means of saving nature, on the grounds that 'the density needed to support family living is not consonant with habitat protection'. Instead, 'compact regionaJ~ settlements with green edges' are the way to save nature. Dense developments like Laguna West can be surrounded by green belts. The habitat needed to sustain many species must b e i n the form of large aggregations. Preserving nature i n smaller urban parcels is illu-

The search for the sustainable city

Calthorpe's 'Neo- Traditional Town Planning' (1989): Urban sustainability as the control of regional' growth
What qualities give a city sustainability? This question was posed by the 'New Urbanism' that emerged in the United States in the 1990s. Exemplified in the 'Neo-Traditional Town Planning' of Peter Calthorpe, the 'New Urbanism' called for 'creating new community space that is dense, diverse and convenient' (Gerloff, 1994). Lopes (1994) 'writes that 'Neo-Traditional Town Planning' seeks to return American cities to the form they had before the mass suburbanization of the 1940s. American urban neighbourhoods once had 'a close proximity between uses and an interlocking grid of streets'. A return to this form will encourage' modern urbanites 'to walk, use public transit and live closer together'. If streets are made walkable again, air pollution will abate as traffic congestion declines. If compact developments are built, less land will be consumed by low density housing. If neighbours are given a greater mix of activities and opportunities to meet, crime and social isolation will wane. 'The premise,' Lopes writes, 'is that new development that is 'planned in this manner will alter people's habits in response to a different built environment from the typical suburban community.' Calthorpe's model of sustainable urban form, illustrated in The Next American Metropolis (1993), features dense town centres built around transit stops. Suburban communities consume vast amounts of land and energy. Revitalizing inner cities cannot succeed until growth at the periphery of metropolitan regions is stemmed. Developments must be made more compact. A critical mass of residential density is needed to support transit and reverse the sprawl of large, isolated, auto-dependent suburbs out into the countryside (Delsohn, 1994). In Calthorpe's 'transit-oriented developments' (TOD's), pedestrians are placed within a 10-minute walk of a bus or train. Side-

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sory (Calthorpe, 1994b).


The EC's Urban Green Paper (1990). Urban sustainability as urban compactness and regeneration

The EC endorses 'environmental and economic sustainability' in its Green Paper on the Urban Environment (CEC, 1990). A city revitalization strategy, the Green Paper adopts two principal approaches in contemporary urban 'sustainability': revitalizing cities by making them more 'compact' and regenerating existing urban land. The EC would like to see urban Europe return to its roots. The traditional European city stressed density, multiple uses, and social and cultural diversity. Individuals from different age, social and professional strata lived together. The city was a vital centre of life and density, with a variety of uses. This tradition eroded, however, under pressure from the functionalist planning model embodied in 'The Charter of Athens' of the 1940s. A more sprawling, less integrated European city emerged. Housing, industry, commercial areas and green spaces were segregated and linked by an extensive road and transport network. 'Functional exactness', expressed in strict zoning laws, destroyed the flexibility of European cities, which ceased functioning as 'dynamic, organic wholes'. Development of Europe's cities according to a pattern of disaggregated uses brought unintended consequences. Zoning within cities and along their peripheries - for university, banking, industrial and other uses - separated people from services. Suburban sprawl ensued, further isolating individuals. City form became less compact. Within town, city centres became congested and decayed. Marginal lands became 'dumping grounds' for undesirable uses such as waste dumping, industry and social housing. Air and noise pollution were exacerbated by the mobility that spatial differentiation imposed. The suburb became a haven from 'blight, poverty and pollution' (CEC, 1990). To place Europe's cities on a sustainable footing, the EC recommended that something of the heterogeneity, physical beauty and compactness of historic cities be restored. Strict zoning would be avoided and mixed uses favoured. Architectural heritage would be defended. Redevelopment and revitalization would go forward within existing urban boundaries. Greater diversity would be encouraged, urban sprawl avoided. The zoning policies of the past, which by separating land uses spawned suburbanization and traffic would be abandoned in favour of 'mixed use and development'. People would be brought closer to their jobs and daily services. Cars would become optional rather than necessary. Urban wastelands, abandoned land under industrial yards, docks, rail sidings and military sites, would be redeveloped. This would save city open space and surrounding reaches from development. Existing city areas
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would be revitalized. Traffic noise and pollution would be reduced by favouring pedestrians and inhabitants over commuters. Urban road taxes, parking restrictions, speed limits, road narrowing and pedestrian zones would be implemented to encourage bicycling and walking and use of electric vehicles and public transport. Dilapidated housing, such as social housing that has fallen into slum conditions on the outskirts of cities, would be reintegrated into the city. Disused industrial sites would be linked to city centres with new services and infrastructure. Urban 'fragmentation' would be confronted, as vast built-up areas were given qualities we associate with cities (CEC, 1990). The EC's proposal contains decidedly 'green' components. Squares, parks, green belts and wildlife habitat otherwise lost to new development would be saved as derelict land under abandoned facilities was redeveloped in comprehensive programmes of regional development. Pilot programmes in open space protection and tree planting would be launched (CEC, 1990). In making its recommendations, the EC linked solving the problems of cities with solving world environmental problems, such as global warming and acid rain. For example, fossil fuel use in urban transport increases global atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. '[I]t is in the cities that we find the greatest concentration of population and economic activity - and hence of emissions... [I]t is the cities which make the crucial, long-term and often irreversible decisions on infrastructure investments in energy supply, waste and water treatment, and transport' (CEC, 1990). The 'multifunctional, creative city', therefore, is not only 'the more liveable city', but the one that will pollute the global commons the least (CEC, 1990).
Nash 's 'Island Civilization' (1991): Urban sustainability as a global civilization of 1.5 billion humans living in 500 compact cities

Roderick Nash sees urban compactness as an essential element of sustainability because urban sprawl is approaching saturation levels 'in Europe and large parts of Asia, Africa and North America'. Humanity's 'uncontrolled growth' Nash likens to a cancer that will destroy global ecology and humans 'unless we cultivate the capacity for self-restraint' (Nash, 1991). For the next millennium, Nash envisions an 'Island Civilization' of 1.5 billion humans living in 500 concentrated cities of three million people. Integrated into each of these cities would be the means to produce food, water, energy, and materials. Most of the planet would be returned to wilderness conditions as species roamed vast spaces of habitat between the 500 cities (Nash, 1991). The cities of Nash's 'Island Civilization' would be highly technologically advanced, single-structure 'habitats' as imagined by architects Paolo Soleri and Buckminster
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Fuller. They would reach 1.6 km in height and be built above and below ground, at sea and at the poles, as population was decanted away from temperate latitudes. Highly compact, the habitats located on the 48 contiguous American States would occupy no more than 2 percent of American soil. Highly self-sufficient technopoles, they would allow all water, electricity, transportation and communication infrastructure between existing cities to be dismantled. Nash has in mind 'an intensely urban culture' that would be 'very dense but very appealing'. Gone would be the 'single family homes on 2000 m 2 lots widely separated from business and cultural centres and linked with a network of roads into a nearly continuous fabric of civilization' (Nash, 1991). Urban compaction would allow humans and their technologies to occupy 'small niches in a continuous wild ecosystem'. Wilderness, presently constrained to 'islands of wildness in a matrix of civilization', would flourish again. Bears, wolves, buffalo, elephants, tigers and 'the more humble species whose presence defines biodiversity and ecological health' would return. With the Earth transformed back to Pleistocene conditions, young people might follow the caribou and salmon during 'several years of subsistence hunting and gat]hering completely out of contact with the civilized islands' (Nash, 1991). Nash writes that his 'Island Civilization' would serve four objectives. First, it would allow the human presence on Earth to endure for many thousands of years. Second, it would advance the rights of nature by curtailing species extinction and the loss of vital habitat. Third, it would preserve wilderness between cities to instruct humans on the functioning of healthy wild ecosystems. Lastly, it would allow the global population to maximize their intellectual and technological potential whilst respecting the right of other species to maximize theirs (Nash, 1991). must be based on plant nutrient recycling. Clean energy technology and maximum efficiency must intercept sulphur and nitrates. Processed goods must use recycled materials. Forests must be augmented with large-scale tree planting (Girardet, 1992).

McDonough's 'Sustainably Designed City' (1992)." Urban sustainability as a new industrial order based upon nature's principles
Like Girardet, architect William McDonough, (adviser to President Clinton on sustainable development), addresses the processes of the sustainable city. McDonough believes that achieving a sustainable civilization is a design problem. A new industrial order will have to be built (McDonough, 1994). In The Hannover Principles (1992), 'a guide to the search for sustainability', McDonough urges designers to 'insist on the rights of humanity and nature to coexist in a healthy, supportive, diverse, and sustainable condition'. They must recognize that 'the elements of human design interact with and depend upon the natural world'. All aspects of human settlement are to be considered 'in terms of existing and evolving connections between spiritual and material consciousness'. For sustainability to emerge, designers must 'accept responsibility for the consequences of design decisions upon human well-being, the viability of natural systems, and their right to co-exist' and create only 'safe objects of long-term value'. Future generations are not to be burdened 'with requirements for maintenance or vigilant administration of potential danger due to the careless creation of products, processes, or standards'. It is important to eliminate 'the concept of waste' from industry, for in nature, 'there is no waste'. 'Human designs should, like the living world, derive their creative forces from perpetual solar income', the principles state. The new industrial order McDonough envisions will be guided by nature's three principles: one, nature produces no waste - only food; two, nature promotes maximum diversity; and, three, nature relies on its solar energy account. Consumer items would be designed for total compost. Goods would be designed to return to the soil. Offices and warehouses would be generic. Consumables such as televisions would be brought back to distributors for composting. All carcinogenic, mutagenic, toxic or radioactive products would be unmarketable. Shoes would not be tanned with chromium. Nickel would be taken out of coinage. Soaps would be designed for suitability with local water conditions and manufactured in the inner city to foster employment. Fossil fuel use, which consumes capital reserves to meet current operating costs, would be eliminated. Solar energy would be the primary energy of civilization (McDonough, 1994).

Girardet's "Circular Metabolism' (1992): Urban sustainability as a closed natural resource cycle
Compactness alone will not lead to the sustainable city. It is possible to imagine a city with a high population density surrounded by wildlife habitat which is nonetheless wasteful because the natural resource cycles upon which it depends are not 'closed'. Herbert Girardet (1992) distinguishes the 'circular metabolism' of sustainable cities from the 'linear metabolism' of modern cities. In the 'linear metabolism' of modern cities, natural resources are converted to waste in a wasteful input-output pattern. Food and water, fuels and energy, processed goods, timber and pulp, and building materials are imported into the city. They are exported as sewage, exhaust gases, household and factory wastes, or wanton refuse. For cities to be sustainable, urban metabolism must be made 'circular'. Food production

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The search for the sustainable city in 20th eentury urban planning McDonaM's "Sustainable City Within a Sustainable Watershed' (1993): Urban sustainability holistic, diverse, fractal and evolutionary
One of the most sophisticated models of contemporary sustainable urbanism is the work of architect Margot McDonald and colleagues at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. In January 1993, they answered a call from the American Institute of Architects to propose ideas for sustainable built environments that will affect building design, architectural technologies, and community development over the next 50 to 100 years. The ideas would have to fit their physical and socio-economic contexts and be technically feasible. Most importantly, they would have to improve local and global sustainability both socially and ecologically. McDonald's team responded with a visionary proposal to transform Los Osos, a suburban bedroom community on the California coast, into 'a vital ecological city designed around its watershed'. In the process, they framed four principles that serve as performance criteria to compare and evaluate solutions for the implementation of any sustainable community design (McDonald, 1994). First, a sustainable urban system is holistic. It is 'composed of interdependent and interconnected subsystems at multiple scales'. This principle chiefly involves the application of perspective, how planners and architects must shift between smaller and larger project domains, so that the part and the whole are properly integrated. For example, in examining the design of a building, architects must consider how the building is connected with the site and with land use on a city and regional scale. Likewise, in examining land use planning on a regional scale, planners must allow for the consideration of the impact of a single building, and how this, in turn, relates to the whole. This principle is grounded on the esoteric truth that the part and the whole contain information about each other. Only by expanding the inquiry to include a multiplicity of scales are systemic relationships understood (McDonald, 1994). In pursuit of holism, McDonald's team recognized the constraints that a single activity agriculture - is placing on long term land use in the entire Los Osos Valley. To counter the ill effects that petrochemical and fertilizer intense monoculture has brought to the region, which include water pollution, soil infertility, overgrazing and an artificial economic base, they recommended a more holistic and balanced form of resource use in which diverse and indigenous crop species would be reintroduced along with intercropping and organic farming. In this way, agriculture would be brought into a more productive harmony with the larger economic and environmental needs of the community (McDonald, 1994). Second, a sustainable urban system is diverse. 'Decisions should enhance biological, social, cultural, and economic diversity at all scales,' the McDonald team wrote. The value of diversity is now understood within several domains. In life, it is the variety that brings a sense of zest and purpose to endeavours. In American society and other multiracial democracies, it is the cultural, gender and racial diversity that maximizes societal potential. In natural terms, it is the biodiversity that sustains species and ecosystems. In each of these domains, 'diversity is the generator of ... resilience, vitality, and health.' Sustainable urbanism promotes diversity as a key to preserving the continuity and efficient functioning of towns (McDonald, 1994). The Los Osos plan includes provisions for fostering the biodiversity of the water catchment that was the focus of the study. This would be achieved by replanting native vegetation, such as coast live oaks. The oaks maintain the natural balance of the catchment by absorbing water during wet winter months and releasing it during dry spells. By stabilizing soils and thus reducing runoff, restoration of the water catchment would reduce siltation of the bay and estuary that are integral parts of the water catchment ecosystem. Species that seek the estuary and tidal environment or that require natural habitat on land would be replenished (McDonald, 1994). Third, a sustainable urban system is fractal. This concept the sustainability planners have only recently borrowed from chaos theory and the fractal geometry developed by Mandelbrot and others. A fractal system is 'composed of internested and interacting systems whose fundamental qualities, processes, and physical forms appear self-similar at many scales' (McDonald, 1994). McDonald suggests that fractal geometry is not merely a way to design with nature but a way to design like nature. Fractals 'explain some natural phenomena better than classical geometry', she writes. Based on 'the repetition and recursion of geometries at different scales', fractals 'yield a vocabulary for describing nature'. Fractal patterns 'are detected throughout the natural environment', as in 'the complex and repetitious shape of coastlines'. Because fractal patterns 'are so integral to development of the physical environment,' they may be a proper 'means of developing our own human intervened systems'. Their significance seems to lie in the orderly way they integrate smaller and larger systems. Recapitulation of the same pattern at different scales gives natural systems a coherent design. In urban planning terms, fractal elements provide an orderly means of connecting local areas with more 'immense and intricate' urban networks (McDonald, 1994). Applying the fractal principle, McDonald's team viewed the project area within a 'fractal scan' of environments ranging from the molecular to the planetary. They studied Los Osos' place in its

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ecological region as defined by its water catchment boundaries, and then examined how the city is part of a larger network of similar ecosystems on the California Coast and America's West Coast, which in turn occupy a special niche in planetary ecology (McDonald, 1994). Lastly, a sustainable urban system is evolutionary. By this it is meant that 'they seek efficiency through iteration, feedback and chaos over generations'. This principle recognises that 'evolution and change are necessary for healthy and living organisms' and that 'the manipulation of natural systems by the imposition of artificial steady state conditions has led to disastrous outcomes' (McDonald, 1994). To protect future generations, McDonald's Los Osos plan has a number of features that will allow for sustainable development. Agricultural land is used to create a belt of utilitarian open space surrounding the town. Conscious of the impact that sewage has had on sustainable growth in Los Osos, the plan places a needed wastewater treatment facility at the centre of town as a means of re-establishing its civic centre around a functional system that does not export waste and that also provides for recreation and wildlife. Transport based on bicycles and small electric vehicles is envisioned. Housing diversity is called for to restore the inherent efficiency of housing individuals ac,cording to their range of needs. In this way, it Jis thought that Los Osos can evolve and meet the challenges of the future (McDonald, 1994). to imitate the processes of nature, but 'in a more intense and concentrated way'. Lyle advocates the mass plantings of trees to stabilize air temperatures and provide biomass for fuel. Solar thermal devices, photovoltaic converters and wind generators should be integrated into natural landscapes to produce electricity where it is locally needed. The land should be shaped to guide water towards retention and infiltration basins to replenish groundwater supplies, nourish plants and animals, and irrigate crops. Wetlands with certain types of plants and micro-organisms should be constructed to purify polluted water. Micro-organisms should also be used to break down toxic substances in waste and ready it for reabsorption into the environment. Inherently regenerative, these ecological functions could form the basis of a sustainable urban environment into the next century (Lyle, 1094). The path to the sustainable city of the future lies in urban form that will achieve a functional synthesis of urban systems and natural systems.
Conclusion

L yle's 'Green Infrastructure' (1994): Urban sustainability as regenerative urban systems


Many sustainable urbanists believe that urban sustainability will only be achieved when society incorporates the regenerative energy and water flow systems of nature into its cities. Among them is architect John T. Lyle, a designer of cities based on the 'green infrastructure' of 'regenerative systems' (Lyle, 1994). In nature, the landscape supports life. Solar energy is converted into usable forms. ]Food is produced. Water is guided and purified. Waste is assimilated. With the advent of industrialization, an infrastructure of steel, concrete and petroleum was superimposed on the natural landscape. Under this artificial regime, energy is converted from oil and gas by engines and generating plants. Food is produced with the aid of petrol-based chemicals. Waste fills landfills where it is only assimilated over a very long period. This form of infra-structure is not sustainable because it relies on nonrenewable resources and leads to the accumulation of pollutants that cannot be assimilated (Lyle, 1994). Lyle would transform the chemical and concrete foundation of existing cities into 'green infrastructure' designed to utilize the evolved capacities of the natural landscape to support life and economic activity. Cities would be designed

A new theory of urbanization has emerged in the 1990s, urban 'sustainability'. This theory has profound economic, social and environmental ramifications. Among these is the development of urban form that seeks a vital symbiosis of the city and nature. The search for sustainable urban form originated with the 'Garden City' of the 1900s, which sought to integrate the urban and the rural by a return to mediaeval city :form. The 'Ecological City' of the 1970s was the product of a design revolution in urban technics intended to prevent the degradation of regional environmental quality. The 'Sustainable City' of the 1990s pursues an unprecedented synthesis of urban and natural systems on behalf of future generations and planetary ecology. Although the doctrine of urban sustainability is still in evolution, history suggests that 15 general principles of sustainable urbanization can be discerned. The sustainable city ... ... is a garden city that integrates town and country (Howard, 1902). ... possesses the vital form of the mediaeval city (Geddes, 1915). ... has a form nearest organic as possible (Wright, 1935). ... elevates the maternal, life nurturing functions (Mumford, 1938; 1961). ... is designed with nature (McHarg, 1969). ... does not exceed nature's carrying capacity (Canfield, 1993). ... features solar design, natural drainage, edible landscape (Corbett and Corbett, 1984). ... is a permaculture (Mollison, 1978). ... uses transit oriented development to control

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growth (Calthorpe, 1993). ... is compact and regenerative of damaged or derelict urban land (CEC, 1990). ... is made compact to allow surrounding wilderness to flourish (Nash, 1991). ... has a circular metabolism (Girardet, 1992). ... makes no waste, seeks biodiversity, relies on the sun (McDonough, 1992). ... is holistic, diverse, fractal and evolutionary (McDonald, 1994). ... is comprised of green infrastructure (Lyle, 1994). Whilst these principles do not act as cardinal imperatives of urban design, for 'there are thousands of"sustainable cities"' (Pearce, 1994a), they do suggest the physical nature of the sustainable city. The sustainable city is a 'green city' (Gordon, 1990), a 'living city' (Wright, 1958; Cadman and Payne, 1990), a 'topian city' (Berkebile, 1994), a form of city suited to optimal development of the Earth island. References
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