- Convivial Regions versus Sprawl    click here to open paper content1301 kb
by    Twitchett, Bill | tecri@wanadoo.fr   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
Urban sprawl is a regional affair: subsidiarity, protection of food production... It is also tributary to decisive sub-continental factors and these need to be identified and dealt with in a way that is complementary to an adapted regional approach.
Convivial Regions Versus Sprawl:
examples within Australia and within comparable sub-continents

1) Comparing Sydney, Paris, Cairo - and Dacca
The sites chosen for human settlements. Brief history of transformations and the status quo for each of the examples. Drawing comparisons.
What can be considered as “sprawl” - and is it undesirable ?

2) Comparing post-colonial and traditional development patterns
Australia. Seven federated states, and a federal territory. Predominance of the coastal state capitals, developed as trading posts on the periphery of the island continent inhabited by nomadic people. Contrast between aboriginal and colonial land use. Experiences of centralised and of decentralised governance. Cases of exaggerated sprawl.
Brief comparisons with three sub-continental entities :
- West Africa. (19 nation states). Cases of unbalanced development and sprawl ;
- Middle East. (18 nation states). Mega cities and uncertain national boundaries ;
- South Asia. (7 nation states). Several giant cities and also many cases of their equivalent in terms of human presence.
For these three, neither official overall boundary nor formal structure of coordination. Reference to pertinent maps.
Is a typology attainable ?

3) Quest for alternative solutions
National and sub-continental policies : do they exist ?
Australia : need for essential transcontinental infrastructure and a multiplicity of regions, but established practices make changes difficult.
In all four examples macro ecological realities require sub-continental options. What could be the mechanisms for designation of potentially viable regions ?

4) Potential fruits of concerted change
Significant advantages of new sub-continental infrastructure, enabling, “en amont”, avoidance of sprawl within component regions,
Development of a multitude of responsible and balanced human settlements – without sprawl.
These two scales of conception and of action are complementary and they seriously question the predominant role of many existing national entities

5) Regional action
Several key factors need to be identified and taken into account : choice of densities ; adapted public transport ; protection of accessible food production ; on the spot production of renewable energy ; subsidiarity in governance…and tangible conviviality !
convivial region, sub-continent, subsidiarity
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