In 1973, after the big oil crisis both general public and experts were shocked after the decision taken by the OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) to increase oil price. The expression “end of civilization” was used to refer to the idea of an unlimited growth. In 1972, a report entitled “The Limits to Growth” signed by the “Club of Rome” expressed concerns about the exponential economic and population growth in front of a finite supply of resources. This report was the outcome of a study based on a computer simulation, at MIT and examined the consequences of the interactions between earth and the human systems. In 1961, Jane Jacobs, in The Death and Life of Great American Cities, analysed urban sprawl. During the 1970s, after a first phase of disorientation if not even panic, there was a phase of a more reflective kind of reaction expressed through the declaration of a necessity to revise that model by limiting growth, in a large spectrum of sectors, running from national economies to urban settlements. Urban planning strategies were affected by a new sensitiveness for built-up heritage and natural environment. Urban planning debates were dominated by a tension between those who criticized strategies that characterised the post-war period, such as the strategies that supported “urban renewal” and “slum clearance”, and those who believed in “ecology” and the balance in the interaction between humans and their natural environment.
The “new mobility turn” goes hand in hand with the intention to explore urban planning strategies that aim to contribute to a significant reduction in the use of individual car, and to an increase of the use of public transportation in our everyday life. The session welcomes papers that reflect on these questions:
• Which has been the impact of this evolution vis-à-vis the 1973 oil crisis on how urban structure is interpreted?
• To what extent the choice of reutilizing the stock of buildings, as in the case of the 1974 plan of Bologna, was a real alternative after stopping the urban sprawl?
• To what extent the new models of urban planning that emerged during this period achieved energy-saving?
• How the “new mobility turn” has conceptualised the reduction in the use of individual car, and the increase of the use of public transportation?
• How the ecological crisis is connected to the necessity to explore new ways of re-utilizing the patrimony of the past, and how new technologies can contribute to this?