Como devem ser feitas as Eco-Towns

Quando a arquitectura e o urbanismo se afastam do homem. Este tipo de desenho urbano e arquitectura tradicional, não é muito apreciada por uma minoria os criticos e pseudo-intelectuais. Mas quem vive nas cidades é o homem comum, e as cidades onde querem viver são assim.

Fui reler os estatutos da Ordem dos Arquitectos e diz assim, dos deveres da OA e do arquitecto:

....Artigo 3.º Atribuições. São atribuições da Ordem:
a) Contribuir para a defesa e promoção da arquitectura e zelar pela função social, dignidade e
prestígio da profissão de arquitecto, promovendo a valorização profissional e científica dos
seus associados e a defesa dos respectivos princípios deontológicos;...
h) Promover o intercâmbio de ideias e de experiências entre os membros e entre estes e
organismos congéneres estrangeiros e internacionais, bem como acções de coordenação
interdisciplinar, quer ao nível da formação e investigação, quer ao nível da prática

....Artigo 47.º Deveres do arquitecto como servidor do interesse público
O arquitecto, no exercício da sua profissão, deve:
a) Actuar de forma que o seu trabalho, como criação artística e técnica, contribua para
melhorar a qualidade do ambiente e do património cultural; ....
c) Favorecer a integração social, estimulando a participação dos cidadãos no debate
arquitectónico e no processo decisório em tudo o que respeita ao ambiente.

In Daily Telegraph, Londres, 15 de Julho de 2008

Poundbury: can a prince change the way we build?
The critics mocked Poundbury - but the public loved it. Now its designers are showing the Government how eco-towns should be done, says Clive Aslet

Initiatives by the Prince of Wales don't usually lack for publicity, but two projects have sneaked into the public domain without so much as a squeak. That has suited the Prince and his advisers just fine.
Both are for new communities - inevitably dubbed Poundbury-by-Sea in Cornwall and a McPoundbury in Ayrshire. They ought to be of the keenest public interest, because they could affect the way developments in the UK are built in the future.
And with the controversy over the government's plans for eco-towns, they are also models for how to build communities that really are sustainable, rather than having sustainability bolted on as a political gimmick. So why the low profile?
The Duchy of Cornwall's Poundbury, often described as a new town but really an extension of Dorchester, has polarised opinion since it was begun in the mid-1990s. The architectural profession poured scorn on it, lampooning what they regard as its toy-town aesthetic. But the people who live there adore it. This has not been lost on the planners.
Conceived 20 years ago, Poundbury caused the planning rule book to be more or less rewritten. It took all of the Prince's prestige, not to mention the charm, guile and determination of his planning team, to push through a development based on traditional building types, mixed uses (putting workplaces near homes) and a preference for walking and cycling over cars. Now imitation Poundburies are springing up around the UK. Developers aren't stupid. They can see that the Poundbury approach pays.
These two developments, at Newquay in Cornwall and Cumnock in Ayrshire, go further. Looking back, it seems obvious that Poundbury, an attractive, high-quality development in Dorset, was likely to do well; Dorset, after all, is full of affluent retirees.
But consider Newquay: the population jumps from 20,000 to 100,000 during the summer, but otherwise this is a depressed seaside town, dependent on seasonal employment. The well-heeled types who have transformed other Cornish resorts fly into Newquay but hurry off to Padstow, Helston and St Mawes.
So the Duchy wants to develop Tregunnel Hill, a site of 100 hectares to the east of the town, with 850 homes, a primary school, shops and offices. The idea is to encourage more people to live and work there year-round, creating more than 800 jobs in the process. Outline planning permission for Phases 1 and 2 is already being sought from Restormel Borough Council.
But the difference between Tregunnel Hill and the eco-towns being brought forward by Gordon Brown (the names of the first 10 should be known by November) is that Tregunnel Hill will be as sustainable as it is possible to be. "Often sustainability is an afterthought," says Tim Gray, the Duchy's development director. "We want to put it first."
The idea is that Tregunnel Hill will be powered by renewable energy (planning permission is being sought for community-owned wind turbines) and for every 40 houses there will also be an energy centre for biomass community heating.
There will be strategies to minimise water use and increase composting, by allowing water to soak naturally back into the ground through permeable paving and courtyard soakaways, and it will also encourage the consumption of local food by creating a roofed-in farmers' market and promoting food education in schools. "Carbon neutrality as a mantra used by government does not take account of the food people eat, which takes up 23 per cent of their carbon footprint," says Gray.
Above all, Tregunnel Hill will differ from the eco-towns through its relationship with Newquay, an existing town with facilities and infrastructure; it is debatable whether the proposed stand-alone developments in the countryside can ever be truly sustainable, because of the motor journeys they generate.
Whereas the reception given to eco-towns by their neighbours has been less than warm (hundreds marched on Parliament last month to protest), the Duchy's patient process of consultation - known as Enquiry by Design - has ensured its proposals are popular in Newquay. About 70 houses will be built a year and 40 per cent of the development will provide affordable housing.
It's a rate of building that may seem agonisingly slow to a Prime Minister anxious to create three million homes, but the Duchy can afford to take a long view. The last thing they would want to do is push too many houses on the market at once, depressing prices.
The Duchy may be green, but they're not stupid. They saw at Poundbury that what other developers might regard as expensive extras - public buildings, high quality architecture - enabled them to sell at a premium.
Then there is the vexed subject of the architecture. Hugh Petter of Robert Adam Architects has drawn up a detailed pattern book of the Cornish vernacular, showing the sort of design features housebuilders might adopt. In addition, they will be constrained to fit in with a masterplan, specifying a hierarchy of house sizes according to the visual importance of the street. So far, so Poundbury.
The new aspect of Tregunnel Hill is the contribution that this approach to design, based on local materials such as granite and slate, will make to the Cornish economy. "We don't want the slate to come from Brazil and the granite from China," says Gray. "We want the warmth of the development to spread through the community."
The plans for Cumnock are in some ways even bolder than Tregunnel Hill. The ex-mining town has been in the doldrums since the Barony colliery closed in the 1980s. Cumnock contains the bones of an 18th-century planned town, but its recent neighbour New Cumnock, a hillside of high-rise blocks, is mostly derelict and empty. Yet for all the challenges, the development has to work: the Prince's charities raised a £20 million loan for the land as part of the deal that saved Dumfries House for the nation last year.
That loan, personally guaranteed by the Prince, must be paid back. Hank Ditmar, director of the Prince's Foundation for Architecture, is confident that it will be. With an airport 15 minutes away, a good train service to Glasgow and 1,000 acres of park surrounding Dumfries House to walk and cycle in, he believes Knockroon, as the development of 330 houses is called, will attract buyers, while training young people in building, craft and horticultural skills.
Like Tregunnel Hill, Knockroon has been subject to an Enquiry by Design, and the look of the place will reflect the local vernacular. What is astonishing about the project is the almost unbelievable political alchemy by which it has been brought to life. Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond is a supporter, having been instrumental in positioning the Scottish Executive to support the purchase of Dumfries House (they gave £5 million towards it).
All manner of Scottish notables and planning gurus have been to see Poundbury and come back reportedly goggle-eyed. "Charlie is our darling," trilled the Ayrshire Post, when the Prince visited Cumnock last year, winning over "a community nurtured by working-class heroes" such as the one-time Secretary of the Ayrshire Miners Association and resident of Cumnock, Keir Hardie.
The Prince's involvement has given new hope to a community that has felt itself to be on the scrap heap and forgotten for the past 25 years. As Ditmar puts it: "People there keep saying, 'We can't believe this has happened to us. Life isn't a Walt Disney movie.'?" But, on this occasion, it is.

POUNDBURY: http://www.duchyofcornwall.org/designanddevelopment_poundbury.htm

5 comentários:

Anónimo disse...

I am not sure whether it would be nurturing to the soul to live in a Walt Disney's movie. I believe that that analogy is spurious indeed and inflicts some damage in what the writer wants to defend.
Otherwise the Prince's attitude has been firm, honest and open minded. He is indeed setting a vision of what can truly contemporary architecutre be: made for living, not for showing off.


Anónimo disse...

Mas o que é que isto tem a ver com Lisboa ? Textos permanentes em Inglês .... Estes posts insistem em apresentar uma pseudo erudição que nitidamente mal disfarçam uma obcecada promoção pessoal !

Anónimo disse...

Caro anónimo

Tem tudo a ver com Lisboa.
São exemplos de praticas bem sucedidas de intervenção em cidades, que resolvem problemas, sociais e de segurança.
Ainda hoje no Publico vem um artigo sobre a habitação a custos controlados ou dita habitação social, que demonstra a urgencia de novas medidas e novas praticas.
Lamento o segundo comentario, infelizmente faz parte dessa abominável minoria falsamente democratica e plural.

Anónimo disse...

abominável minoria .... falsamente.... nmuitos julgamentos de valor .... cuidado .... pela boca morre o peixe.

Anónimo disse...

O anonimo se fosse mais novo e se tivesse a oportunidade de estudar ingles se calhar tinha compreendido o texto.
E obvio que se trata de filmes da walt disney e não disneylandia.
Os filmes WD acabem bem e tem uma mensagem, enquanto que a disneylandia é pura fantasia.
Nao me parece que seja o caso, basta ir ver na net os projectos que no post se fala. Vale a pena.
Alias julgo que depois dos ultimos acontecimentos nos bairros nas zonas das areas metropolitanas do Porto e Lisboa este post é bem oportuno.