Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Conceptual Framework of the EU Project ECOCITY

by Jaroslav Coplák originally published in: ALFA-SPECTRA, 2003, No. 2, Vol. 10 (shortened)


The paper contains essential information on the methodology, organising structures, and scientific objectives of the EU research project ECOCITY. The project is aimed to put forward its own vision of sustainable city of the third millennium, which should also demonstrate its feasibility under the special conditions of the seven selected model areas in several European countries. Though the project follows holistic approach to sustainability, special emphasis is given to issues of sustainable transport. This reflects the facts that the urban structure directly predetermines the transport system and that the mobility of people and goods has a central impact on the quality of urban environment. Therefore the project clamours for compact, space-saving settlement structure interrelated with an environmentally compatible transport system. Its scientific orientation is determined by the objectives of the EU policies and its inspiration sources could be found also in ecological and architectural movements. Similarly to their typical approach, the project Ecocity intends to realise its vision of sustainable city through planning of an ideal physical structure within a spatially limited model area. The paper further describes the Overall Conceptual Framework, which represents the basic theoretical pillar of the project. It embraces a system of main goals, principles, criteria catalogue, and internal guidelines for the further work. Within the current phase of the project, it serves as a common framework for elaboration of the Local Ecocity Concepts in the involved communities.