The transformation of single family home settlements is a central issue in the search for a more sustainable city. This residential model remains very popular among middle class households, in spite of the relevant costs and impacts related to its functioning. Local authorities are increasingly concerned with its associated impacts, even when they do not have clear planning strategies. The case study presented is about a municipality that is part of the Catania Metropolitan Area, in Italy. Built up areas cover more than 50% of the municipality’s total land and the prevailing development type is the detached single family home. The existing settlement pattern is essentially an ‘‘automobile city’’ for about 20.000 inhabitants with a very limited presence of services. The analyses conducted show that this settlement is unsustainable, not in terms of insufficient green areas, or permeable soils but because it lacks any urban quality. The resulting impact on the environment is considerable both in terms of greenhouse gas emissions and the contribution to urban water runoff. The paper presents the first results of a consulting activity for the local municipality that is revising its General Master Plan. This activity, conducted by the University of Catania, includes a set of analyses based on land use data and the definition of general planning criteria. The aim is develop a proposal, based on principles of sustainable urban planning, that can effect a change towards a new pattern of urban development characterised by densification, mixed use planning and reduced private car dependence by concentrating new services in pedestrian oriented areas. The challenge of the proposal presented is to define a set of specific rules that can limit the uncontrolled sprawl by contextualising these general and widely accepted principles to local conditions. The work is part of GRaBS (Green and Blue Space Adaptation for Urban Areas and Eco Towns), a project funded by the EU Interreg IV C programme.

The density dilemma. A proposal for introducing smarth growth principles in a sprawling settlement within Catania Metropolitan Area

LA GRECA, Paolo;BARBAROSSA L;IGNACCOLO, Matteo;INTURRI, GIUSEPPE;MARTINICO, Francesco
2011-01-01

Abstract

The transformation of single family home settlements is a central issue in the search for a more sustainable city. This residential model remains very popular among middle class households, in spite of the relevant costs and impacts related to its functioning. Local authorities are increasingly concerned with its associated impacts, even when they do not have clear planning strategies. The case study presented is about a municipality that is part of the Catania Metropolitan Area, in Italy. Built up areas cover more than 50% of the municipality’s total land and the prevailing development type is the detached single family home. The existing settlement pattern is essentially an ‘‘automobile city’’ for about 20.000 inhabitants with a very limited presence of services. The analyses conducted show that this settlement is unsustainable, not in terms of insufficient green areas, or permeable soils but because it lacks any urban quality. The resulting impact on the environment is considerable both in terms of greenhouse gas emissions and the contribution to urban water runoff. The paper presents the first results of a consulting activity for the local municipality that is revising its General Master Plan. This activity, conducted by the University of Catania, includes a set of analyses based on land use data and the definition of general planning criteria. The aim is develop a proposal, based on principles of sustainable urban planning, that can effect a change towards a new pattern of urban development characterised by densification, mixed use planning and reduced private car dependence by concentrating new services in pedestrian oriented areas. The challenge of the proposal presented is to define a set of specific rules that can limit the uncontrolled sprawl by contextualising these general and widely accepted principles to local conditions. The work is part of GRaBS (Green and Blue Space Adaptation for Urban Areas and Eco Towns), a project funded by the EU Interreg IV C programme.
2011
Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation; Low-density settlemnts; Car dependance reduction
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11769/51682
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