Session 7

Spatial planning, urban design and resources use. Medellin, Colombia case study
Santiago Cadavid Arbelaez
Alcaldía de Medellín, Colombia

Spatial planning and urban design have a close correlation with the intensity of flows and storage of material and energy resources in built environments. Urban metabolism analysis is indispensable for the proper city planning, according with its particular physicobiotic and socioeconomic conditions.
Urban metabolism considers all anthropogenic processes developed in a built territory and how is the human – nature interactions. A close relationship between urban metabolism, environmental consequences and sustainability challenges should be taken into account for the planning, design and management of sustainable urban development. This interpretation, could be made with the proper use of methodologies of analysis and evaluation of flows of material and energy resources.
This contribution show an application in the context of the Medellín, Colombia. This city is located in a narrow and long valley; population is mainly located on the slopes of the valley. The slopes of the city constitute the areas with conditions less suitable for the occupation and densification; but unfortunately, that is where the most vulnerable population has found habitat possibilities. This work establishes the metabolism promoted by this condition, environmental degradation and identifies critical and relevant factors for the design of initiatives to transition to more sustainable territorial arrangements. Likewise, it is proposed from this analysis, which strategies, mechanisms and management instruments are necessary to induce changes in the occupation patterns of the territory, which are more situaible for lower requirements in terms of material and energy resources