Important and helpful critique of the #ecocity idea, by Federico Cugurullo, who is based in Dublin, Ireland:
Cugurullo is an Italian geographer who is a lecturer in Human Geography and Sustainable Urbanism in The University of Manchester and also Assistant Professor in Smart and Sustainable Urbanism in Trinity College Dublin (from where I got my architectural degree, due to the old deal with DIT Bolton St).
Federico Cugurullo is Assistant Professor in Smart and Sustainable Urbanism at Trinity College Dublin. His research is positioned at the intersection of urban geography, political philosophy and experimental urbanism, and explores how ideas of sustainability are cultivated and implemented across geographical spaces, with a focus on projects for eco-cities and smart cities.
Federico has done extensive empirical research in the Middle East and Southeast Asia where he has investigated the sustainability performance of supposedly experimental cities such as Masdar City in Abu Dhabi and Hong Kong. His work has been used by the United Nations and the United Kingdom’s Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to foresee future urban challenges and develop preventive policies.
Building upon empirical grounds, Federico’s main theoretical aspiration (also the subject of his forthcoming book) is the development of urban equations for a sustainable urbanism. Other theoretical contributions include the concept of urban eco-modernisation, and the theory of de-composed urbanism and Frankenstein cities.
Before joining Trinity College Dublin, Federico held positions at the University of Manchester, King’s College London and the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Cugurullo states, on his Manchester page:
My research incorporates the tools of different disciplines from the social sciences and humanities, such as urbanism, urban geography, political science and philosophy, into a single method of analysis whose target is the development of sustainable strategies of urbanisation. Empirically, my research looks at projects for new eco-cities with a focus on ideals, materialities, design and supply chains.
From a theoretical and philosophical perspective, my target is to shape new thinking in relation to the dimension and shape of the sustainable city as an open system crossing conventional political borders. I’m also interested in how, within multi-regional urban systems, issues of social and environmental sustainability (social justice, happiness and ecosystem services in particular) can be understood and integrated into policy agendas.
Federico’s research profile: http://tcd.academia.edu/FedericoCugurullo
Smart & Sustainable Cities, TCD Dublin course : https://www.tcd.ie/research/themes/smart-sustainable-cities/
Federico’s work on eco-cities illustrated and animated – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zjZFhWS4DFg
Cugurullo F. (2015), Urban eco-modernisation and the policy context of new eco-city projects: where Masdar City fails and why, Urban Studies. Vol. 53, No. 11 2417-2433
Cugurullo F. (2013) How to Build a Sandcastle: An Analysis of the Genesis and Development of Masdar City, Journal of Urban Technology Vol. 20, No. 1, 23-37
Cugurullo F. (2013), The Business of Utopia: Estidama and the road to the Sustainable City, Utopian Studies Vol. 24, No. 1, 66-88
Cugurullo F., (2016) Frankenstein cities: (de)composed urbanism and experimental eco-cities, in Evans J., Karvonen A. and Raven R., The Experimental City, London: Routledge
Cugurullo F. (2012), Reconsidering Utopia and Dystopia: a matter of perception, in Blaim A. and Gruszewska Blaim L., Spectres of Utopia. Theory, Practice, Conventions, Oxford: Peter Lang
Recognizing and Rewarding Exceptional Performance (RREP) Award for “exceptional contribution, work and commitment”, University of Manchester, June 2016
Italy Made Me Award (Social Sciences and Humanities Category), Best Italian early-stage academic working in the UK, Italian Embassy, London, July 2015