Conservation and sustainability in historic cities by Dennis Rodwell

By Dennis Rodwell

This publication bargains with the prognosis, analysis and service matters linked to concrete structures. Definitions : conservation and sustainability -- Conservation : heritage -- city making plans context -- Sustainability : historical past -- Conservation : overseas projects and instructions -- Conservation : uk place and instructions -- Sustainable towns and concrete tasks -- coping with international historical past towns : uk -- handling ancient towns : the bottom-up strategy -- The twist of fate among conservation and sustainability -- The problem and the chance -- resources -- Bibliography -- Index

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The First World War devastated large parts of Belgium and Eastern France. Coupled to this, cities across Europe had inherited from the nineteenth century a legacy of ill-maintained and ill-serviced housing. 28 Conservation and Sustainability in Historic Cities Leaders of the Modern Movement in architecture and planning perceived the principle of separation of uses interconnected by mechanised transport as the answer to the problems of the industrial city and metropolis. This was the primary focus of the 1933 Charte d’Athènes (see also page 12).

16 Bath, England. The Study in Conservation for the city of Bath represented the architectural importance of city today primarily as an ‘urban stage set’. Royal Crescent (built 1767–75; John Wood the younger, architect) is singled out as one of its most important components. Built to a semiellipse on plan, its continuous 200 metre long facade fronts thirty independent houses. Urban Planning Context 41 residential ones for which they had been built, namely, that they could be converted to student accommodation, hotels, and self-contained flats.

The conservation report also had a highly selective approach to historic building interiors. One of the most important issues that the Bath conservation study examined was the question of disused upper floors – a problem that has continued to affect historic city centres across the length and breadth of England since at least the end of the Second World War. Research in Bath confirmed that over forty per cent of the floor space above ground-floor commercial premises was completely disused, and much of the rest was only in nominal use.

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