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#networkedurbanism: Better Communities, Better Places

Category: networkedurbanism+⚐ EN

My Little Public - See below

My Little Public – See below

Earlier this year we introduced to you #networkedurbanism; now that the “studio report” book is almost ready, we are publishing a series of posts showing some of the projects that the students have developed during the 2010, 2012, and 2013 studios at the GSD.

In this fourth #networkedurbanism post we present to you three projects focused on social issues and placemaking, their main goal is trying to involve the local communities in the construction process of the future of the cities. continue reading

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Ecosistema urbano selected for the second round of the Voronezh Sea Closed Competition

Category: competitions+ecosistema urbano+eu:live+news+⚐ EN

Voronezh and the reservoir - image via prorus.net - click to visit source

Voronezh—which became popular in the late 80s because of a controversial UFO incident—is a city of over 1 million inhabitants, situated 500 km south of Moscow. It is located on the banks of the Voronezh River, which in 1972 was transformed into the Voronezh Reservoir or “the Voronezh Sea” as it is called by the inhabitants —a huge lake, 30 km long and 2 km wide. You can read more about the history of the reservoir here.

During the following decades the population enjoyed the cool water during the hot Voronezh summer, but in 1992 the authorities labelled it as “not fit for swimming” as a result of the increasingly polluted water.

Click on the image to see some cool panoramas of the Voronezh Sea

Click on the image to see some cool panoramas of the Voronezh Sea!

The Department of Natural Resources and Ecology of the Voronezh region recently decided to organize a competition in order to develop a strategy for the future of the Voronezh Reservoir. The competition consists of two parts:

  • An Open Ideas competition meant to gather ideas that show the potential of the lake for urban and nature development.
  • A Closed Competition for teams of landscape architects, urbanists and ecologists that should combine ideas about possible future uses of the lake with technologies for cleaning it up. The strategy should include both a project and proposals for implementation.

We are glad to communicate that we have been selected among the four finalists of the closed competition. Over the following weeks we will be working hard on putting together a creative approach and a comprehensive strategy in a great presentation. More news soon!

Related link: Report of the jury

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Claire Cassanet | eu collaborators

Category: colaboradores+ecosistema urbano+⚐ EN

Today we introduce you to Claire Cassanet, a young landscape engineer who just left the office after four months of internship. We worked and learned together, we cooked together, we enjoyed every day in her cheerful company. We already miss you, Claire! Read on as she describes her experience with us…

Claire!

Claire!

continue reading

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#networkedurbanism: active awareness

Category: networkedurbanism+⚐ EN

New-Chauhaus_654

Earlier this year we introduced to you #networkedurbanism. Now that the “studio report” book is almost ready, we are publishing a series of posts showing some of the projects that the students have developed during the 2010, 2012, and 2013 studios at the GSD.

Today’s three projects are focused on the knowledge—or the lack of it—that we have of our environment and the resources we use. Believing that many poblematic behaviors we have are caused by our low level of awareness, these projects try to find a way to communicate effectively their content and to initiate discussions and reflexions which may eventually lead to environmental improvements. continue reading

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Mad(e) in Mumbai | Urban practice in India

Category: architecture+urbanism+⚐ EN

Mumbai

In 2009 we had the pleasure to lead the final thesis projects of a group of international students taking the Master in Advanced Architecture at the IAAc —Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia.

Among them, we met Kalpit Ashar, who developed as final thesis a project in his home city Mumbai, dealing with informality and social processes. I am happy today to introduce you to the work of MAD(E) IN MUMBAI, and the office established by him together with his partner Mayuri Sisodia. In their own words:

Made in Mumbai

Image: The Mumbai Report

The office provides comprehensive design services in the fields of public institutions, high density housing, environmental infrastructure, community design, landscapes and territorial planning. MAD(E) IN MUMBAI takes its shape in the madness of Mumbai city. This crazy patchwork of ideas, experiences and materiality becomes a repository and laboratory for the studio. It is a departure point for its speculation and practice.

Made in Mumbai

Made in Mumbai

Urban repository – Images: Mayuri Sisodia, Jacob Wilson and Ming Deng

They work closely with the chemistry of the city to discover potential fields of operation. The belief of the practice lies in looking beyond the visible for the unseen and for absurdities of things and places.

Together they have won many national and International design competitions which include Flood resilient Housing Design for Gorakhpur, Revitalisation of Banganga Crematorium, and Regional cultural centre for sustainable community by IAHH and Kalanagar traffic junction Urban Design competition by BMW Guggenheim lab.

Made in Mumbai

Aqueous commune, flood resilient habitats in the city of Gorakhpur

For example, Aqueous communes are flood resilient habitats in the city of Gorakhpur, a city in mid-Gangetic belt. They are Community built initiations that accommodate changing rhythms of Rapti river and make them part of everyday life of its inhabitant. They change imagination of water from an enemy to a friend and celebrate it and make peace with it through design. These aqueous communes multiply along the landscape to contribute to its resilience and develop into an intimately stitched neighbourhood.

Other works by Mad(e) in Mumbai

Other works by Mad(e) in Mumbai

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Sostenibilidad y movimientos sociales: entrevista a David Harvey | eutv

Category: eutv+sostenibilidad+sustainability+⚐ EN+⚐ ES

eutv_654

Como os contábamos en un post anterior, hemos actualizado www.ecosistemaurbano.tv, nuestro canal de vídeos sobre sostenibilidad urbana, integrándolo con nuestro canal de Youtube. Aprovechando esta circunstancia, vamos a rescatar una serie de vídeos, principalmente entrevistas, que hemos re-descubierto y que aún nos parecen interesantes a día de hoy.

Hoy os traemos las respuestas de David Harvey a nuestras preguntas cuando, en octubre de 2009, le preguntamos su opinión sobre el concepto de sostenibilidad.

Harvey es uno de los grandes de la geografía moderna, un pensador e investigador de referencia, con un posicionamiento claro contra las desigualdades e injusticias generadas por el sistema capitalista. Precisamente con una de nuestras citas favoritas de David Harvey comenzamos el artículo Network Design: Dream Your City que publicamos hace poco en la Harvard Design Magazine:

El derecho a la ciudad es mucho más que la libertad individual de acceder a los recursos urbanos: es el derecho a cambiarnos a nosotros mismos cambiando la ciudad. Es, de hecho, un derecho común más que uno individual, ya que esta transformación depende inevitablemente del ejercicio del poder colectivo para reformar los procesos de creación de ciudad. La libertad de hacer y rehacer nuestras ciudades y a nosotros mismos es, sostengo yo, uno de los derechos humanos más valiosos y olvidados.

Es asombrosa la validez casi profética de lo que dice en esta entrevista en concreto, especialmente viendo cómo ha evolucionado el panorama desde entonces. En esta breve entrevista Harvey enlaza la sostenibilidad con la necesidad de emprender proyectos de transformación desde la sociedad civil, llamándonos a actuar desde esa posición:

Mi mensaje es: Pensad en ello, activaos, empezad a trabajar de verdad con los movimientos sociales porque de ahí es de donde van a venir los cambios.

En estos 5 años han sucedido muchas cosas —Primavera Árabe, #15M, #occupy, etc— que confirman la importancia del impulso social como lo veía Harvey: como elemento regenerador de la sociedad y su posicionamiento en relación con el mundo.

Sin más, os dejamos con el vídeo —subtítulos en español incluidos—, ¡disfrutadlo!

 

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#networkedurbanism: turning waste into resources

Category: networkedurbanism+⚐ EN

Inventoring in Amazon warehouse

Earlier this year we introduced to you #networkedurbanism, now that the “studio report” book is almost ready, we are publishing a series of posts showing some of the projects that the students have developed during the 2010, 2012, and 2013 studios at the GSD.

In this second #networkedurbanism post we present to you three projects that deal with the ever more urgent theme of waste reduction, recycle and re-use. These projects took the city of Boston and Harvard’s institutions as a test field for their development but you can easily image the impact of their ideas in any urban environment: turning waste into a new resource and correcting the waste management cycle to reach a cradle-to-cradle level of efficiency. continue reading

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#networkedurbanism: Bicycle Culture

Category: networkedurbanism+⚐ EN

networkedurbanism_bike_654

Earlier this year we introduced to you #networkedurbanism. Now that the “studio report” book is almost ready, we are publishing a series of posts showing some of the projects that the students have developed during the 2010, 2012, and 2013 studios at the GSD.

Here at ecosistema urbano we often talk about urban biking (e.g. here, here) and we are also developing our own ideas to improve both cyclists life and urban quality, like in Get a Bike; but bicycle culture is a growing trend also in the United States (a nice infographic here) and #networkedurbanism students have explored different aspects of it. Biking and urbanism share much more than just cycle lanes; a student used the bike as a personal air quality monitor device; another one developed a device to map road conditions and draw cyclist-targeted maps; a third one focused on the problem of the increasing number of bike thefts. continue reading

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Looking for love again | A creative community project in Alaska

Category: placemaking+urbanism+⚐ EN

‘Looking for Love Again’ is a community development project implemented by the Taiwanese American artist Candy Chang who was invited on 2011 by the Alaska Design Forum to create a public art project on the tallest building in Fairbanks city. The Polaris Building, a landmark of downtown Fairbanks, was during the past an apartment complex, then a hotel, and now it has been abandoned for more than a decade. continue reading

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Travelling Ideas of Open Space Design and Planning | Ecosistema Urbano lecturing in Copenhagen

Category: events+news+⚐ EN

World in Denmark 2014

Next June 12 Belinda Tato will be lecturing in Copenhagen at the 10th International ‘World in Denmark’ Conference, which is hosted by the University of Copenhagen and carries the title ‘Nordic Encounters Travelling Ideas of Open Space Design and Planning’.

The lecture, entitled ‘From ego-design, to eco-design towards network design’ fits among the proposed topics of liveability, welfare and democracy. Belinda will explain the office’s approach and experiences based on the projects we have developed in the Scandinavian countries and many other places across the globe.

Here is a brief description of the topic of the conference:

Landscape architects and urban designers from Denmark and the other Nordic countries have increasingly become exporters of design solutions to places like Beijing, New York and Christchurch, while Copenhagen repeatedly receives awards for its liveability. Nordic planning is often promoted as particularly human, ecologically sustainable and democratic.

However, looking beyond the immediate branding effect, what themes and values, methods and challenges are current in Nordic urban space design and planning in these years? Where are the gaps between imaginary and reality? How does the  nordicness relate to what is going on in other regions and cultures and what does it potentially have to offer? Which movements, paradoxes, conflicts and challenges exist? Where are the blind alleys? And how do these current trends reflect traditions of design and placemaking?

The issue goes beyond Denmark and the Nordic countries. It concerns what it means to intervene in cities and landscapes in a global era. What happens when western designers work in places whose local languages are new to them? How do general ideas about improving cities migrate and mutate, synergize and conflict in the encounter with specific contexts? What are the potentials and losses of producing traditions – such as the Danish or Nordic – in open space design and planning?

Interested? Check the official site and the programme (PDF)