Recycling the City: A New Pedagogical Approach to the 21st-Century City

  • Rosa CerveraEmail author
Part of the The Urban Book Series book series (UBS)


One of the major difficulties that humanity currently faces is how to build the cities of today. The exponential and spectacular growth of demographics, the usage of resources, and widespread consumerism have rendered ineffective the architectural models practised in the past. Given this situation we must ask ourselves, what is the role of academia? More specifically, what is the role of architectural education? Many types of architecture are already excluded from the academic educational agenda. Architectonic splendour over the last few decades has added to the brightness of a prosperous segment of society, and it has meanwhile shadowed and hidden the large urban and architectonic downturns that now require attention. The Design Studio of the “University Master in Advanced Project in Architecture & the City” (MUPAAC) offered at the Alcalá University (Madrid, Spain) tackles “urban systems” with the purpose of building “efficient urban cities”. These cities need to balance human, social and environmental parameters, and this is how the concept of “Recycled City” came into being (Cervera Sardá 2011). However, can a city be recycled? The core concept of “Recycled City ” inherently carries the idea of intervention into the existing city, with the intention of adapting it to contemporary demands. To recycle a city means to build “towards the inside” and to consider it as something that is “alive”. Several boroughs in the city of Madrid have served as models upon which work based on the concepts already described has been done. The results have been groundbreaking from a better balanced social habitability and a more sustainable and efficient use of energy.


Recycled city Re-using cities Sustainability in neighbourhoods Architectural education Dynamic cities New urban pedagogical approach 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Alcalá UniversityMadridSpain

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