Circular design in everyday urbanism: Towards regenerative and restorative dynamic spaces in cities

  • Cristian Suau Ibáñez Studio Pop, founding director, United Kingdom


Our habitats are being rapidly urbanised, renovated and restructured and, in this process, our cultural landscape is being radically altered. This unstoppable process of urbanisation across the globe has foremost implications for the environment, biodiversity, health and wellbeing of residents. The everyday city is a living laboratory that offers dynamic perceptions highlighting strands and synergies between senses, materials and spaces. This article reflects on the environmental effect of ecological design and circular economy on individual’s wellbeing at urban scale, so-called circular city. It deployed urban and ecological design principles to transform neglected spaces into healthy places through integrated grassroot experiments and models that empower local communities in innovative learning environments. For instance, urban greenspaces and community gardens are considered effective innovators in tackling problems associated with the deterioration of urban life such as waste, contamination and urban heat island effects. In the introduction section, this essay establishes a melted pot between the realms of urban planning, design and environmental psychology, particularly how human-caused problems such urban waste or vacant lands affect human health and wellbeing. The selected manuscripts for the special issue 11 of Visions for Sustainability titled “Wellbeing in Daily Built Environments” have emphasised the notion of wellbeing applied to design of the everyday city by interconnecting and balancing psychological, environmental, socio-spatial and cultural challenges. Projects, studies and materials presented in this selection propose a different way of thinking, playing and making our cities. They offer relevant literature and methodological supports from urban, architectural, aesthetics, perception and environmental psychology to inspire readers of this Journal to connect the states of the art in the fields of circular design and environmental psychology and also deepen on our understanding of processes and mechanisms underlying distinctive regenerative and restorative environments. It proposes a framework for understanding the dynamics of circular city, which can assist policy makers and planners to co-develop and design greenspaces with higher liveability and reuse or improve existing ones, ultimately humanising our urban environments and future replications.


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