In light of the climate crisis facing our planet, the imperative to adapt, recycle, upcycle and reuse has now come center stage. Every action we undertake must reduce the impact of the human race on earth. In the energy sector, for example, it is common wisdom to reduce fossil fuel use and switch ever-more to renewable energy. Isn’t it time then that the fields of urban development and construction aim at reducing the plundering of our planet’s assets, to prioritize renewal and renewables, and to aim for a moratorium on the perpetual enlargement of our urban footprints?
This issue discusses how urban strategies to adapt, transform, reuse and upcycle can be used creatively at different scales - from large-scale development (as written by Toshio Taguchi about Yokohama), urban landscape and recreation (as written by Bruce Echberg about Australian cities), the reuse of buildings (as written by Paul Meurs et al about The Netherlands) or the recycling of waste material into public art (as spoken by Subodh Kerkar from India.) From Aleppo to Leh to New York, numerous examples demonstrate how and why the notion of renewal and reuse is not only beneficial for environmental sustainability, but also pays rich social, economic and cultural dividends, deepening connections with our past.