Paths towards a healthier city
Ciudades 25, 2022
Ana DÍEZ BERMEJO, Agustín HERNÁNDEZ AJA & Ana SANZ FERNÁNDEZ
Resiliencia urbana: discurso e intitucionalización de un concepto
María Isabel PARDO MIRANDA, Carlos ROSA-JIMÉNEZ & Nuria NEBOT-GÓMEZ de SALAZAR
Ciudad y urbanismo activo. Estrategias e implicaciones en el diseño del espacio público saludable
Rubén RAEDO SANTOS
Ciudades insalubres: una propuesta de medición
María Cristina GARCÍA-GONZÁLEZ, Ester HIGUERAS GARCÍA, Cristina GALLEGO GAMAZO, Elisa POZO MENÉNDEZ, Emilia ROMÁN LÓPEZ
Prevención en salud desde el diseño del espacio público. El proyecto URB_HealthS como experiencia de transferencia de conocimiento
Natalia BOLEA TOLÓN, Raúl POSTIGO VIDAL, Carlos LÓPEZ ESCOLANO
Valoración de la proximidad a las Zonas Verdes Urbanas de la ciudad de Zaragoza como estrategia de adaptación a situaciones pandémicas
Conso GONZÁLEZ-ARRIERO, Esteban De MANUEL JEREZ
Construyendo ciudades saludables con la infancia: el caso del Plan de Movilidad Sostenible de Bollullos de la Mitación
José Manuel MARTÍNEZ RODRÍGUEZ
Viviendas para una ciudad más sana: tres estrategias proyectuales
María Eugenia PUPPO, Carla NÓBILE, Andrea SADER
Urbanismo epidémico. La medicalización de la vida urbana en Montevideo en el primer tercio del siglo XX
Rafael CÓRDOBA HERNÁNDEZ
Resiliencia territorial desde la perspectiva de la vulnerabilidad ecosistémica. Aplicación metodológica al planeamiento urbanístico de la Comunidad de Madrid
José Francisco VERGARA PERUCICH
“Investificación” en Chile: perfiles sociodemográficos de acaparadores de vivienda para arrendar
Fernando De TERÁN TROYANO
Conferencia: Cincuenta años de urbanismo en España
David GARCÍA-ASENJO LLANA
Reseña: Paisajes del comunismo
When this issue of Ciudades was proposed, we were still stunned by a pandemic whose origin, the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, dominated the scene. Even today, it is still posing an uncertain evolution in a time of return to “normality”, when other serious crises are becoming evident: the invasion of Ukraine, energy costs, etc. It might seem that the star issues that were awakened by the pandemic and its initial consequences are now being dampened. But the health factor applied to cities, with its corollaries around the ideas of resilience, public space and urban mobility, should not shrink even in the face of a catatonic European economy. It is true that stagflation is galloping beyond the trumpets with which the “Next Generation” funds were announced, and beyond the will to recover encouraged in the “Great Reset” by the rich of Davos, today redirected to the new commodities business. Europe is losing because it has lost the initiative in an environment of war. However, the 15-minute city, ecosystem services and even sustainable mobility are still relevant. In fact, the pandemic emerged suddenly in an urban context that had been maturing an ambitious and shared project of urban regeneration of which perhaps the New Urban Agenda was the most significant outcome. The disease affected cities by accelerating the process, accentuating the most basic objectives, even recovering from oblivion expectations that certain denunciations had reactivated (empty Spain, the inclusive city…). Today, the desire to abandon the framework established by the pandemic is mixed with the anxiety produced by a global crisis in whose outcome we do not feel like winners.
For all these reasons, this issue of Ciudades cannot be approached without referring to the change that has taken place in what already seems, beyond the names of the ministries, to be a transition that is dragging on and on to where we do not know.
But in any case, the objectives set remain valid, because cities and their citizens continue to demand an improved, i.e., healthier, urban habitat. The disturbing images of empty cities are now repeated in the distance of what was the first focus, in the vast confined Shanghai. We still need to plan for a future that we do not know about, but which cannot catch up with us unarmed, unequipped. The foundations of planning are the issue that has always motivated this journal, and we are also working on it now, in this issue, to protect ourselves from the inertia of the clumsiest ideas and solutions and to provide intelligent (sustainable?) support for the transformation of our territories. This issue is as much about concepts as it is about solutions.
We therefore move from the short-term debate, indicated in the call for papers, to the search for “paths” that may be useful, while insisting that the pandemic has helped us to distinguish what is important, despite having lived immersed in the urgent. We wondered whether we were facing a disruptive event capable of facilitating profound changes. This does not seem to be the case, because the adaptation of our societies is fraught with ambiguities, it is not subject to abstract rational discourse or to instrumental or utilitarian rationality, regardless of whether planning lives in them. The important thing is to broaden the reflection on the habitability of our cities without renouncing the evolution of the sustainable paradigm. The two statements in the call, as we shall see, remain the milestones of a broader debate. First, the capacity of cities to react to and resolve situations of risk or disaster, around the idea of resilience. Second, the potential that can characterise cities to generate well-being, redefining the profiles of well-being from a broad and integrative look at urban health, the health of places, the health of people, and the health of institutions.
The first article in this journal is consistent with this, dedicated to establishing the conceptual framework of the now ubiquitous idea of urban resilience from an applied perspective. Professor Agustín Hernández Aja, from the Technical University of Madrid, has been working for some time on the concept of resilience, which he presented with singular intelligence in his competition to become full professor. Here, accompanied by his collaborators Ana Díez and Ana Sanz, they rethink the idea of resilience from a general and integrating discourse, with a critical perspective on the institutionalisation of a concept that for some is a simple evolution of sustainable principles in contexts of crisis, but which in reality extends towards a more precise dimension, demanding in results and in the real capacity to govern the urban environment with greater social and environmental equity.
María Isabel Pardo, Carlos Rosa and Nuria Nebot, from the University of Málaga, put forward the now recurrent idea of “active urbanism”, defending the valuation of urban space based on its use and its capacity to accommodate healthier urban lifestyles. This is undoubtedly a topic of interest, which broadens the vision of sport and the recreational use of open spaces towards everyday life, reviewing the state of the question by investigating how the design of public space may or may not favour its healthy use by citizens. To this end, different situations and actions aimed at incorporating both the design of public space and mobility strategies into planning are studied, in such a way that spaces can be interpreted from their affinity with their potential to generate health associated with activity.
Rubén Raedo, from the University of Valladolid, proposes a series of composite indicators to measure urban unhealthiness. An approach at the opposite end of the spectrum from the previous text, this is an effort to objectify the threshold that defines what is unhealthy in the city by combining measurable aspects within the logic of indicators associated with urban sustainability and characterising demographic conditions, access to health services and the quality of basic urban services, on a sample of twelve very different cities. An open assessment of the results of a synthetic indicator is possible, which finds a meaningful reference in the comparison.
The European URB_HealthS project team (María Cristina García, Ester Higueras, Cristina Gallego, Elisa Pozo and Emilia Román, all from the Technical University of Madrid) present the methodology and approach of a simple but relevant work, aimed at transferring knowledge. The design of public space as a factor in health prevention and the promotion of a healthier city, once again, is aimed at assessing the quality of urban life in terms of its capacity to promote a healthier use of space. The focus of this international project, supported by three case studies (Alcorcón, Coimbra and Newcastle), is the consultation of experts and the practical application in three situations (pilot courses) of a series of common principles on differentiated objectives and scenarios.
Natalia Bolea, Raúl Postigo and Carlos López, from the University of Zaragoza, propose a methodology for the valuation of green areas based on proximity criteria, applied to the city of Zaragoza and in the context of its adaptation during the pandemic. It is interpreted as an evolution from a vulnerable city to a healthy and sustainable city, with resilience capacity. Addressing the distance factor of green spaces, a correlation of great interest between density conditions, morphology and urban vulnerability is detected in Zaragoza.
Conso González and Esteban de Manuel, from the University of Seville, review the concept of “healthy city” from the double perspective of childhood and mobility, from its application to a town in the province of Huelva where they have worked. Based on participatory research and action, the potential for children to collaborate in a sustainable mobility plan is explored. At the same time, it proposes the collaborative design of a network of school paths that, at the same time, promotes active mobility within the framework of broader urban health objectives.
José Manuel Martínez, from the University of Valladolid, develops his research and professional experience as an architect in collective housing projects. This is a recurring theme, closely linking architecture and society, which with the pandemic has been reborn with some unique nuances, well understood by the author. Firstly, the relationship of dwellings with the outdoors in terms of health conditions, such as sunlight and ventilation, and quality of life, in terms of views and reduction of the confinement effect. Secondly, in the availability of outdoor spaces accessible from the dwellings, patios and terraces. Thirdly, in the need to reconceptualise the functional design of the inhabited space, seeking its activation through the versatile revision of functionalities, partitions and uses.
María Eugenia Puppo, Carla Nóbile and Andrea Sader, from the Universidad ORT Uruguay, introduce the concept of “epidemic urbanism” to explain the evolution of a city, Montevideo, in the first third of the last century. Medicine and social order participated in the construction of the modern state in Uruguay, reflected in urban planning and its normative context, introducing hygienist criteria and shaping public spaces. In a singular process of modernisation, the city acquires a particular role in the advance of what the authors call “medicalisation”, which corresponds to the institutionalisation of education and public health.
In the miscellaneous section we have two texts, one by Rafael Córdoba, from the Technical University of Madrid, which conceptually reviews “territorial resilience” with an approach aimed at the systematic evaluation of “ecosystemic vulnerability” on a territorial scale and applied to the case of the Autonomous Community of Madrid. The second, by José Francisco Vergara, uses the concept of “investification” to describe the evolution of the demographic and social characteristics that have conditioned the evolution of the housing rental market in Chile. Finally, the issue is completed by two contributions in the final section: a review of the book Paisajes del comunismo, by David García-Asenjo, and the text of the conference “Fifty years of urbanism in Spain”, reviewed by the person who gave it in Valladolid in 2019, Fernando de Terán, to whom we are grateful for his accurate and critical synthesis of this recent past, which concludes with a hopeful look to the future.
This collection of texts answers many of the questions we proposed in the call for papers for this issue of the journal. Ciudades thanks the authors for their efforts in a context marked by the difficulties that the pandemic has introduced into our research work, with greater isolation and difficulty of information. Indeed, the pandemic can be seen as an accelerator of change, a catalyst for many of the interests that drive urban planning. It is true that it is time that seems to be accelerating, a historical time burdened by environmental and social challenges that refuse to clear up their uncertainty. A time in which the knowledge that gives support and efficient impetus to urban sustainability and resilience is perhaps more urgent, more necessary. May this journal contribute to the advance in Spain towards healthier cities from a collaborative rationality, even when the echoes of tribal drums and not-so-distant bombings are heard.
Valladolid, May 2022
Avda. Salamanca, 18 47014 · VALLADOLID (España) +34 983 184332 firstname.lastname@example.org