In the face of increasing climate disasters and crumbling infrastructure, Korkut Onaran concentrates on the hyperlocal elements of sustenance and offers a path for self-reliant and vital communities
NEW YORK, Jan. 30, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Renowned urbanist Korkut Onaran announced today the launch of a new website – www.hyperlocalurbanism.com – developed in conjunction with the themes of his new book, Urbanism for a Difficult Future: Practical Responses to the Climate Crisis (2023 Routledge). The website will be a one stop shop for planners and community leaders to get all the direction they need about how to build sustainable and healthy local economies and thriving communities.
“The concept of hyperlocal urbanism represents a new approach to the problems we are facing in society in the wake of disruptions in power, water pollution, and deteriorating infrastructure, all due to increasing climate disasters; floods, fires, drought, mud slides, etc.” said Onaran. “We are not going to be able to plan our way out of these upcoming challenges if we continue to depend only on regional supply systems. We need to localize infrastructure, diversify community services, increase cooperation, and create strong economies at local and hyperlocal scales.”
Onaran’s book – Urbanism for a Difficult Future – is a rare book to make accessible and practical the intersection of design, implementable planning solutions and climate science. The book starts with the premise that, given the lack of political commitment at global scale, holding global warming down to 2 degrees centigrade by reducing carbon emissions is very unlikely, and efforts should be directed to adaptation and practical ways to increase resilience. Planners, community leaders and residents are faced with the urgent responsibility of expecting the worst and planning for it. While there is a plethora of books warning of the impacts of climate change on energy, water, food, waste and production of essential goods, there are only a few offering recommended design and planning strategies for climate adaptation. Urbanism for a Difficult Future offers all three.
“Storms, floods, fires, mud slides, power and water shortages, and disruption in regional supply routes define our new normal – and we need to develop local level infrastructure systems and build strong local economies where essential community services are offered at local scales; that’s the way we can survive through this new normal,” said Onaran. “Solutions need to start at the at hyperlocal scale. The likelihood is high that in the near future we will depend on each other to survive as we did in earlier, simpler, but equally fraught times. When large-scale systems fail diverse set of services within close proximity is required for survival. This can be created and sustained through strong local economies that are highly intentional and prepared.”
Onaran believes localization of the sustenance systems and diversification of local services and businesses are the key to achieving lasting resilience. He walks us through building adaptation villages, zoning reform measures, relocation strategies, social organization models and local governance innovations. He offers straightforward measures for creating a landscape of resilience via pockets of “self-sufficiencies” so that is possible to create resilience that does not depend on large-scale regional sustenance systems which, as we have seen recently, are likely to be disrupted or fail entirely.
The website and the book combine to offer easy to implement, relatively inexpensive and truly effective policy ideas for elected officials committed to achieving strong local economies able to withstand catastrophic interruptions and weather events. The short, super easy to read – only 163 pages – book will appeal to city managers, planning directors, community leaders, policy makers and residents alike. It is applicable for governments at all scales, tasked with keeping citizens safe and communities thriving.
ABOUT KORKUT ONARAN: Korkut Onaran, Ph.D., is an urban planner, architect and scholar with an extensive knowledge of environmental systems and regulation cultures, and practical ways of creating resilient communities in the face of climate crisis. Korkut is the co-founder of Pel-Ona Architects & Urbanists, a Boulder firm offering code writing, urban design, site planning, and architectural services. Korkut teaches at the College of Architecture and Planning, University of Colorado at Denver, as an adjunct, focusing on form-based codes, sustainable urbanism, small town and tourism planning. He advocates achieving resilience via localization and community building. Korkut received his Bachelor and Master degrees in Architecture at Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey, and his Ph.D. in Environmental Studies at University of Wisconsin-Madison. For more on Korkut, visit www.hyperlocalurbanism.com
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SOURCE Korkut Onaran