WIT Press

Tale Of Two Cities: Urban Planning For The 21st Century Eco-metropolis


Free (open access)





Page Range

15 - 26




734 kb

Paper DOI



WIT Press


A. Villacampa, N. Hedayati


During the first decade of the 21st century, urban planners have introduced new concepts and strategies to design sustainable cities. By the end of that decade, the idea of eco-cities has become a reality and a goal that many European capitals have reached or are about to reach. In contrast with classical urban planning methods, town planning has nowadays focused on sustainability, improvement of life quality and social aspects. The planning of the town focuses more on the user and the sense of community. Large-scale strategies are nowadays combined with human scale and adaptability. The improvement of live quality has to deal now with concepts as low air pollution levels, green areas, good public transport networks, bike-friendly cities and outdoors sports among others. Two representative case studies of these new urban planning principles are the cities of London and Copenhagen. On the first case, the largest European city has suffered a huge transformation to adapt itself to the Olympic Games. On the second case, a small capital with rather more than one million inhabitants is on its way to achieve the title of the most sustainable city in Europe. In the two cases, town-planning strategies have been diverse but the core of both remains sustainability. This paper aims to analyse these two cases comparing their different contexts with the concept of eco-city as a common background. Our main goal is to study contemporary urban planning and identify transformation processes of cities nowadays. The influence of the recession environment in which Western countries are currently immerse has conditioned as well many decisions that involve citizens, public administration, real state investors and urban planners on the same level.


urban planning, sustainable development, London, Copenhagen, eco-city, town planning