Guidelines for Reducing the Environmental Impact of the Urban Settlement

By Valeria Montrucchio and Clara Ceppa.

Published by The International Journal of Environmental Sustainability

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According to the projections of the global population growth, in the year 2050 the human beings in the world will be more than 10 billion, of which more than 6 billion will live in the urban area.
In order to solve this huge duty without compromising the availability of natural resources for the future generation, the built environment industry needs to be inspired by good examples of sustainable construction. For this reason the architectural field needs to be improved by a more holistic prospective, considering the building not as a technological machine, but as a living organism, which needs material and energy resources for living, produces waste and is completely integrated into surroundings.
Moreover, starting from the necessity of driving the built environment industry towards a wider prospective, the “systemic design approach” proposed in this paper leads the understanding of the building as a part of a broad complex system, connected with the surroundings through material and energy flows and dependent on these for supplies and for managing its waste. The aim of this research is thus to compare different typologies of urbanization, in order to identify green-guidelines and a new awareness in the construction process starting from the analysis of emblematic case studies from the point of view of the optimization and reuse of material and energy resources.

Keywords: Systemic Design Approach, Urbanization, Case Studies, Resources, Ecological Impact

The International Journal of Environmental Sustainability, Volume 9, Issue 4, December 2014, pp.69-84. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 831.240KB).

Dr. Valeria Montrucchio

Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Architecture and Design, Politecnico di Torino, Turin, Italy

Valeria Montrucchio is a PhD candidate at Polytechnic of Turin's Department of Architecture and Design. She is an assistant lecturer at the 1st Faculty of Architecture of Polytechnic of Turin. She is currently involved in the study of material and energy flows of sustainable buildings, analyzed through the systemic design approach. She received her Bachelor degree in industrial design and her Master degree in ecodesign from Polytechnic of Turin.

Clara Ceppa

PhD and Research Fellow, Department of Architecture and Design, Politecnico di Torino, Turin, Italy

Clara Ceppa is a PhD and research fellow at Politecnico di Torino in Italy. She has focused her attention on the study of material and energy flows to design production processes with zero environmental impact, and on research about packaging. In particular, on eco-friendly packaging, packaging techniques and its crucial communication role to consumers. She is a lecturer for the course “Quality Control of the Multimedia Product” at Politecnico di Torino. She is the author of essays and articles published in books and journals of national and international interest.