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The Art of Medieval Sustainable Urban Design: The case of Toledo

The Art of Medieval Sustainable Urban Design: The case of Toledo

By Serge Salat

Paper given at the Sustainable Building Conference (SB10mad), Madrid, 2010

Abstract: The paper is based upon a quantified analysis of the built and empty spaces configuration and composition, shapes and patterns, in Toledo with a comparison with Turin and with the modernist prototype of City of 3 Million Inhabitants by Le Corbusier. The paper compares the 3 cities morphology with an approach based on urban metrics, street patterns analysis and fractal complexity. Toledo is a good example of bioclimatic urbanism with a skillful use of narrow and high winding streets as well as inner courtyards. We analyze urban morphology as morphology alone is an influential factor on the energy performance and livability of a city that can halve by itself the energy needs. As vernacular architecture and city fabric are more sustainable and climate sound, more adapted to cultural behavior and less expensive than technological approaches to sustainability, the conclusion of the paper is that we can use some characteristics of the historic city fabric of Toledo and adapt them to construct, renovate and rehabilitate districts.

Click here to read this article from SB10mad conference website

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