Our world is undergoing an unprecedented demographic shift of global urbanisation. Cities have been growing and projected to accommodate almost all of the world’s population in 2050. Apart from demographic increase the process of rapid urbanisation inevitably leads to spatial expansion e.g. urban sprawl. These two conditions pre-determine a constantly rising pressure on energy and mobility systems reflecting on the urban sustainability. Aiming to deal with these challenges the existing building stock and transportation networks, which serve the ever changing lifestyles of multiple generations of residents, demand certain adaptations.
The urban concept is developed on the basis of the architectural / technological solution for energy self-sustaining unit (house) and a visionary design able to facilitate energy self-sustaining habitat on urban scale. The essence of the strategy relies on the promotion of distributed energy generation and shared consumption implemented simultaneously via top-down and bottom-up planning approaches. In order to enhance the transport network efficiency an integrated strategy, established on bicycling and shared vehicles, is elaborated linking Honselersdijk with the existing mobility nodes on metropolitan level. On urban level we aim to promote green mobility e.g. cycling and walking as major mode of movement circulation. For this purpose, a plan to pedestrianize numerous service streets within the urban area is executed. This urban mobility strategy seeks for establishment of walkable neighbourhoods contributing to lower vehicle travel and energy use; what is more, it provides new possibilities for extra utilisation of the street environment as community gardening and gathering space.
In particular, our ambition is to develop an urban concept where sustainability is not just about creating energy efficient and comfortable spaces but it is fundamentally about promoting lifestyle balanced with the environment and based on shared communal responsibility and awareness regarding the performance of the urban energy and mobility systems. Related to the P-a-L toolbox an ‘urban toolbox’ is created. This comprises various solutions the municipalities can choose including urban gardening, waste and water management features, street light technologies, etc. The strength of this concept is the combined and enhanced performance of the various tools. The urban part of P-a-L project seeks for extension beyond the scope of the Solar Decathlon experimental architectural design by attempting to make a real difference on a larger scale from self-sustaining house through self-sustaining street to self-sustaining neighbourhood and town. In this sense, the urban concept does not only concern the physical adaptation and the connection of the house with the surrounding public space but rather than this it utilises the design of the house as a technological solution on the basis of which a comprehensive vision and strategy for achieving of self-sustaining habitat is projected. ⌂