Solly Angel Speaks on Urban Controversies

at the 7th International Congress of Architecture


Director of Urban Expansion, Solly Angel, spoke at the 7th International Congress of Architecture, in Pamplona, Spain, on “Urban Controversies in the Growth of Large Cities.” Angel addressed two urban controversies.

The first is “the compact-city paradigm vs. the making room-paradigm.” The compact-city paradigm calls for containing urban growth within existing urban footprints, densifying cities instead of permitting unchecked urban sprawl. In contrast, the making-room paradigm holds that rapidly growing cities, now largely confined to the Global South, cannot accommodate their populations simply by densifying their existing urban footprints. So, instead of trying to contain urban expansion and, most likely, failing in the attempt, city peripheries should be prepared for their projected expansion before development gets there.

The second pits the empowerment model against the more established consultancy model, in who should make the plans for cities. The consultancy model acknowledges that, for better or worse, consultants are likely to make much better plans than are local public officials. The empowerment model posits that plans should be much simpler, so that making them does not require much expertise, and that local officials could be empowered to make them with better, minimal training and better access to global data.

learn more

Back to top
see comments ()