09-03-09 // CLEAN URBANISM

“Call for Submissions”- Poster for MONU #11, March 2009

Clean Urbanism
By Bernd Upmeyer

When it comes to Clean Urbanism – i.e. an urbanism that is dedicated to minimizing both the required inputs for a city of energy, water, and food as well as its waste output of heat, air pollution as CO2, methan, and water pollution – a lot of proposals have been made recently for the building of so-called “eco-cities” that produce their own energy from the wind, the sun, bio-fuel, or recycled waste. But it has often been denied that such sources of energy, being integrated directly into cities, are highly inefficient, very expensive, and in the case of wind energy, very noisy. Nevertheless, wind turbines in an urban realm, for example, nowadays feature in almost every urban competition entry that requires sustainable energy concepts. Solar panels on rooftops have become state of the art on innumerable new building designs, however inefficient and expensive they are.

The question is: how might we achieve a Clean Urbanism that is socially, economically, and politically, but also environmentally correct? In the final analysis, what kind of soap or detergent do we need to achieve true Clean Urbanism? How can we achieve a Clean Urbanism that does not only look clean, but really is clean? How can the know-how that has been sucessfully acquired on the architectural level over the last 2 decades, be transferred and applied to the urban level? How could cities be organized, orientated in a more intelligent way to achieve Clean Urbanism? How might Clean Urbanism become more than just a lable to brand a city? How could we smarten-up existing cities and transform them into clean cities? How does clean architecture differ from clean urbanism? What does cleaniless actually mean on an urban scale? How can Clean Urbanism be affordable for everybody and become a global concept not only for the upper classes? How could we ultimately save our planet by changing our cities with Clean Urbanism?

This issue of MONU is meant to initiate an advanced discussion and stimulate new and fresh ideas surrounding those abovementioned questions to discover and increase our understanding of how Clean Urbanism could actually work. How can Clean Urbanism become more than just adding greenery onto buildings? How might we zoom out and acquire a global view on Clean Urbanism without getting lost in useless details?

Title: Clean Urbanism
Author: Bernd Upmeyer
Date: March 2009
Type: Call For Submissions for MONU
Publications: MONU – Magazine on Urbanism
Location: Rotterdam, The Netherlands