Regenerative Urbanism Rising: Next-Generation Practice
This webcast characterizes the current sustainability challenge as a necessary pivot from ad-hoc greening and net negative mitigation to net positive, regenerative urban planning across multiple scales. These new places will form a fundamental, operational part of a new ecological (sustainable) economy, which further underlines their importance. This pivot is already “in play” through innovation occurring across the planning, design, and build professions. Two practice cases will illustrate this pivot. Participants will gain the understanding and resources needed to begin exploring the potential and advance the innovation and practice of next-generation regenerative urban planning in their own cities. The first case is the innovative, turnkey, revenue-generating, integrated utility system (IUS) which is one method of implementing the Restorative City Standard (RCS). The RCS is a whole systems framework used to formulate strategies to achieve city goals that go beyond ad-hoc or net zero sustainability—that would achieve the systems performance imperatives of restorative, net positive, urban sustainability. This approach illustrates the higher value arising from a whole systems approach to engineering and urban planning. This breakthrough innovation will be described further with a study prepared for San Francisco’s Central SoMa Area Plan and EcoDistrict. The second case is that of planning and designing high-performance places across multiple scales, from the building, to the district, to the city and region. This case will illustrate a “toolkit” of old, new, and emerging concepts and practices. The presentation will illustrate how a range of the familiar components of good urbanism and the ecological city, including green infrastructure, can be integrated in an approach that creates higher economic value and placemaking quality that could not be realized otherwise, and that is cost neutral and therefore financially feasible. The toolkit will be illustrated with EcoDistrict projects in Portland (OR), the U.S., and Japan.