Human settlements represent hybrid environments resulted through complex interaction processes. Components of the natural environment, vegetation, water or fauna have been integrated into urban structures during the history, but accelerated and often chaotic urbanization has disrupted the connection between man and nature in the past decades, exposing the individual to a predominantly artificial environment, but at the same time affecting the natural resources necessary for life.
This is the case of Hunedoara, a former mono-industrial city, currently in a shrinkage process, but having huge resources for recreating a new identity – the Corvin Castle, one of the most visited monuments in Romania and an interesting blue-green infrastructure, the last one least obvious as a resource, but maybe more important on a long run. The industrial history of the city has diminished the vitality of the public space and the relationship between man, the urban environment and the natural environment. The major natural components – Cerna River, the Zlasti Stream, the high vegetation - essential for a functional and healthy urban ecosystem, were degraded by human interventions, being excluded from the recreational offer of the city.
The project aimed to develop a strategy for remodeling the post-industrial urban landscape, based on contemporary principles of urban planning, from the ecological sphere. In order to generate a holistic approach to the project, four landscape restructuring methodologies were proposed for analysis. They come from the field of landscape ecology, describing ways to reintegrate natural processes into the human environment, the field of river restoration and the mechanism of image formation of the city.
Following a methodology developed by the authors, based on different maps overlap, working at different scales, from landscapes to sites, the project focused on defining specific issues to be solved in order to transform Hunedoara in a city with a higher quality of life, based mainly on the blue-green infrastructure. The goals can be achieved by correlating the principles of spatial organization with those specific to ecology and hydrology.
At urban scale, green spaces become interconnected components of a large network that aims to foster human interactions based on assuming responsibility for environmental integrity, while at a detailed scale, the project aimed to correlate the distribution of mineral surfaces with the water trail accumulated at the limestone level and the impact on the natural sources of ground and underground water in the vicinity.
In conclusion, an interdisciplinary approach based on the theories of ecology and urban design can generate an original solution to a problem faced by many former industrial cities, not only in Romania, but also in Europe.
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