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How Great Cities Happen

Integrating People, Land Use and Transport

John Stanley, Janet Stanley and Roslynne Hansen

Urban planners in developed countries are pushing hard for closer integration of land use and transport. At the same time, gaps in knowledge and understanding are becoming more apparent, as the traditional focus has been on the shape of the city, rather than how it functions as a place to live and visit. How Great Cities Happen addresses this challenge by developing a wider, all-encompassing agenda for more productive, inclusive and sustainable cities.
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John Stanley, Janet Stanley and Roslynne Hansen

Cities are having a profound adverse impact on the environment, a problem compounded by worldwide trends of population growth and a movement of people from rural areas to cities. This chapter offers some key environmental targets around greenhouse gas emissions, the preservation of biodiversity, freshwater and an ecological footprint, most of which need urgent attention if the quality of life for urban populations is not to be greatly diminished. Those most likely to be adversely impacted by a degraded environment are people who are already experiencing disadvantage and social exclusion. Vehicle traffic and urban sprawl are exacerbating many of these environmental problems, an issue increasingly being recognised in some countries, particularly in the UK, Canada and some European countries. Changes in mobility patterns will require the courage to enable a major disruption to land use and mobility options, with a much heavier reliance on public transport (the 20-minute city again). Significant change will also be needed in the energy and water sectors, with the establishment of distributed energy and water systems. It will require new thinking in building and neighbourhood design, as well as a new reflection on the value of natural areas, both within the city bounds and on how the urban footprint impacts outside the city boundary. These changes can be achieved through new approaches to valuing the environment and a more ‘distributed’ governance approach that allows genuine community decision-making for people in their local area.

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John Stanley, Janet Stanley and Roslynne Hansen

The role of land use and transport in achieving good social outcomes is a neglected area. While considerable funding is commonly spent on social disadvantage, this approach largely targets the individual. This chapter considers how land use and transport may be an important influencing factor in the creation of, or alternatively the amelioration of, social exclusion and neighbourhoods with high levels of disadvantage. The chapter examines what might be seen as good social outcomes and offers some evidence on drivers that are important in achieving these outcomes, such as mobility, social capital and attachment to community. A setting that provides interaction with nature, that is free from an atmosphere dominated by cars, noise and pollution, where people enjoy being present and feel safe, is increasingly being shown to have health and broader social benefits. The chapter discusses the model of a city of 20-minute neighbourhoods, where most people can meet most of their needs most of the time by a 20-minute ride on public transport or by active transport. Important in achieving this outcome is the local provision of most services and an increase in urban density, along with mixed-use building and zoning.

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John Stanley, Janet Stanley and Roslynne Hansen

The social needs of people vary with age, gender and capabilities. This chapter illustrates this with the example of children, a group where it is vital to meet their needs for longer-term good societal functioning. A failure to foster the developmental requirements of children has been shown to often lead to escalating disadvantages as that person grows. When a child is very young, their caregivers meet their needs, thus providing an optimum environment for caregivers is of prime importance. This includes good quality services, interpersonal contacts and support structures. As the child ages, their independence grows and their needs change, such as age appropriate entertainment and common spaces and a safe environment. These developmental stages can be restricted in impoverished and infrastructure-poor neighbourhoods. A car-based neighbourhood risks creating sedentary patterns, diminished open space for independent play and a predominance of electronic and solitary play. Land use and transport planning can facilitate optimum childhood development through promoting social interaction and the encouragement of interaction with nature. Designs for children, high-quality playgrounds in natural areas, the removal of vehicles from local streets, the provision of safe public transport, walking and cycling, and the provision of opportunities for a wide adult support network, also facilitated by accessibility and common spaces, all provide conditions which encourage good child development outcomes.

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John Stanley, Janet Stanley and Roslynne Hansen

This chapter draws on material from previous chapters to suggest ways of tackling the many complexities in strategic land use transport planning that have been identified. A good understanding of community goals or aspirations, the achievement of which is the main planning purpose, is the starting point, including a focus on clearly understanding what is distinctive about the particular city. More compact settlement patterns are seen as fundamental drivers of land use development directions, with transport priorities framed to support land use intentions. The chapter has a particular focus on the four areas that the book has identified as ‘new’ elements in good practice strategic land use transport planning: economic productivity (and job accessibility); social inclusion; affordable housing; and urban environmental performance. The key requirement is that long-term land use plans and transport plans, together with strategic plans for other sectors that are closely connected with land use and transport development, are prepared in an integrated way, paying close attention to interactions between these fields of activity and using these interactions to advantage. Implementation plans are discussed, including a focus on governance and funding arrangements, and KPIs for monitoring and performance assessment are identified. The chapter closes by summarising some of the main conclusions from the book.

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John Stanley, Janet Stanley and Roslynne Hansen

This chapter starts with a discussion of vision and goals for city strategic land use transport planning, then looks at the visions and goals set by a number of cities we regard as demonstrating best practice: Vancouver (Canada), Melbourne (Australia), London (UK), Malmö (Sweden), Freiburg im Breisgau (Germany) and Portland (US). A triple bottom line sustainability approach is common to these cities, which all see themselves as ‘green’, but more interesting is the distinctiveness that emerges. Review of practices in the case study cities suggests some key ingredients of a ‘good city’, in strategic land use transport planning terms, such as: engaging the community throughout all stages in the planning process in a meaningful way, as a matter of rights and to achieve better outcomes; using transport to support land use development intentions; integrating ‘top-down’ and ‘bottom-up’ approaches to planning; linking land use planning to structural economic change, to enhance productivity growth and enable a better sharing of the benefits of this growth; embedding planning for housing affordability within integrated land use transport planning for compact mixed-use urban growth; planning being aimed at building strong communities, social capital and individual wellbeing; and recognising the importance of a sustainable environment for both present and future generations (and for survival of other species).

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John Stanley, Janet Stanley and Roslynne Hansen

What makes for a great city in the 21st century? If one aspires to a vision like that of Vancouver, as we do, what does it actually mean and how can a city best realise its vision? Questions such as these are the reason for this book, focusing on cities in highly developed western economies and working from a perspective that sees the idea of integrated planning as a core starting point. This chapter outlines some of the important trends we have observed in urban land use transport planning in recent years, such as: a growing sustainability focus; more attention being paid to structural economic changes and how they affect the spatial structure of cities; the growing importance of neighbourhood, adding a local lens to strategic planning; the interest in compact settlement patterns and in how knowledge of built form and travel interactions can be used to promote this settlement pattern; putting transport in its place, as a servant of land use, rather than letting it determine wider urban outcomes ; and, an increased interest in governance and funding. Our interest is in identifying how the growing knowledge base in such areas can be brought together more effectively, to deliver better urban outcomes. This underlines the vital role we see for a broader, more integrated approach to strategic urban land use transport planning. Subsequent chapters explore improved practice in some detail, with extensive use of case study material.

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Nils Wåhlin, Maria Kapsali, Malin H. Näsholm and Tomas Blomquist

In this chapter we use marketing projects to describe the milieu-network who support the program. The social networks and the broader communications strategy were used not only to promote the local artistic activity but also to attract attention and participation outside the boundaries of the local community. We used social network analysis (SNA) to analyse the qualitative and interpretive side of networks and combine it with short story vignettes to show the nature of the relationships: whether relationships were formal/informal and/or hierarchical/flat. Relational analysis helps to understand the set of rules holding together the action net.
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Nils Wåhlin, Maria Kapsali, Malin H. Näsholm and Tomas Blomquist

This book has been about co-creation, as a strategy practiced for the ECoC program 2014. The purpose of this chapter is, first, to build a conceptual framework based on the empirical observations from the Umeå case study. Second, we offer the beginning of a best-practice framework for co-creation practice in cultural mega programs according to the observations in the case study. We argue that the practice and theory of co-creation in cultural mega-programs is a field that has not yet attracted as much attention as it deserves and that the shortage of academic and best-practice frameworks is holding back the development of this field. During the following short discussion we map the concepts we have observed throughout the chapters and suggest ways to investigate these relationships. Then we construct a best-practice conceptual framework for future practice.
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Nils Wåhlin, Maria Kapsali, Malin H. Näsholm and Tomas Blomquist

This chapter introduces the theme of the book by situating the narrative in an urban context. Through the lens of a ‘cultural turn’ perspective, potential city development avenues for the way ahead are discussed. High expectations are being made in relation to contemporary cities concerning how creativity can raise the imaginative capability among citizens and harness opportunities tied to what we in this book call ‘culture-driven growth’. The underlying assumption is that ordinary people can make the extraordinary happen if given the chance. Urban strategies, nowadays, are beginning to take on this challenge using increasingly sophisticated means by bringing forward ways of organizing that stimulates the sought-after values. In the international context is the European Capital of Culture initiative by the European Union a significant example of such strivings. In this chapter, we outline the characteristics of this large initiative and how these conditions became translated in one of the recent ECoCs – the City of Umeå in Sweden. This case is the centerpiece of our book and having been assessed by the European Union, it has now been forwarded by them as a role model for cities in the future that aspire to the title of European Capital of Culture. According to recent developments of ECoCs, the Umeå strategy of ‘co-creation’ based on the reciprocal dependency between the citizens and the city was formulated in a timely manner and attracted a lot of attention. This provided a good platform for our research project, which this book is based upon, through which we have investigated the pros and cons of such a strategy. The chapter concludes with an explanation of the analytic approach we pursued when conducting our study and how this is dealt with in the different chapters of the book.