Social housing in Brazil's Porto Alegre

Measuring quality in urban design and planning

Housing quality represents a key challenge in different areas across the world, with multi-disciplinary and cross cutting implications between urban policies and governance, sociology, psychology, planning, architecture and the built environment.

To address this subject, among others, the University of Huddersfield recently hosted a multi-disciplinary conference, Regional Urbanism in the Era of Globalisation, organised by the University’s Centre for Urban Design, Architecture and Sustainability.

Regional urbanism in Brazil

Dr Ioanni Delsante with the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul's Dr Luciana Miron
Dr Ioanni Delsante with the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul’s Dr Luciana Miron

Dr Ioanni Delsante from the University of Huddersfield and Dr Luciana Miron of Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS) presented a paper at the conference dealing with a project in Porto Alegre (Brazil) named PIEC, which has delivered social housing, community buildings, facilities and public spaces. The paper addresses the need for a shared evaluation of the outcomes of urban projects, taking into account the views of the experts as well as the aspirations of the people living there.

The successes and setbacks of the City Entrance Integrated Program (PIEC) have made it a valuable case study for experts in urban design.  Dr Ioanni Delsante, Reader in Urban Design at the University of Huddersfield, has taken a special interest in the project.

Public space and playground in PIEC project, Porto Alegre (Brazil)
Public space and playground in PIEC project, Porto Alegre (Brazil)

The University of Huddersfield has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Porto Alegre’s UFRGS and Master’s students at Huddersfield have paid research visits to the Brazilian city – which has a population of almost 4.5 million – and Dr Delsante continues to work closely with UFRGS.

Future research with China

The UK and China face major challenges in terms of sustainable urbanisation and urban regeneration, especially in residential and deprived areas.

Dr Ioanni Delsante’s future research will evaluate the effects and outcomes of urban policies, design and planning actions as a major priority, not only in light of the urbanisation process but also in respect of inner cities’ regeneration and transformation.

The timeliness of the research relates to major challenges in both partner countries, the UK and China. Years after the Urban Renaissance initiative, the UK is facing significant issues in terms of sustainable urbanisation and urban regeneration, especially in residential and deprived areas. Meanwhile, China’s 2014 urbanisation plan calls for urbanisation quality, including people-oriented urbanisation and embedding ecologically friendly approaches so as to carry forward cultural traditions.

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