by Christian Horn
How should the rapid changes in 21st-century society influence the methods of urban planners? How can planners promote sustainable development in light of population shifts from traditional city centers?
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To answer such questions, the French research organization Sustainable Urban Development (PIDUD) started the new year with a binational event. The French-German colloquium "Cities and the Various Time Scales of Sustainable Development" took place in January 2007.
PIDUD is an interdisciplinary program of the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), administered by France's Ministry of Research. PIDUD was created in 2003 to call attention to nonsustainable situations and decisions and to improve the definition of sustainability through international comparative studies.
PIDUD has supported legal and economic analyses and research on various forms of social and economic strata in cities and on how public decisions are negotiated among urban authorities. The colloquium addressed questions about forecasting sustainable urban development in terms of water, depopulation, green areas, housing, and other issues of concern to cities.
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Urban development over a water treatment plant in Barcelona, Spain, 2004.
Photo: © Forum 2004
World Map of Shrinking Cities 1950 - 2000.
Image: © Project Office Philipp Oswalt
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