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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)

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Datea: we are all “dateros” l Social Toolbox

Category: social toolbox+⚐ EN

Screenshot of the homepage, datea.pe

Screenshot of the homepage, datea.pe

Website: www.datea.pe
Types: Platform
Topics: Urban issues in general | Mobility and accessibility | Public spaces


Datea, previously known as Todos somos dateros, is a public digital platform, which fosters citizens’ participation in the definition of problems and proposals for the improvement of Lima’s living conditions.

It is an independent project, developed by and from the civil society, and one of the first and more singular ones of its kind. It was born in 2010 thanks to a citizens’ initiative, and it was developed by the social enterprise La Factura in collaboration with Ciudad Nuestra.

The Datea project responds to the context of transformation that the city of Lima is living. Like many other capital cities Lima is facing urban transportation problems due to an excessive use of cars and unsustainable activities of informal transportation businesses, with consequent congestion and pollution. The platform applies relatively recent information technologies which, combined with campaigns in public spaces, create an innovative channel for participation. continue reading

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Empoderamiento y TICs | Entrevista a ecosistema urbano en empodera.org

Category: colaboraciones+cultura abierta+ecosistema urbano+internet+open culture+publicaciones+publications+social software+social toolbox+software social+⚐ EN+⚐ ES

dreamhamar.app por Ecosistema Urbano

dreamhamar.app por Ecosistema Urbano

Hoy publicamos una entrevista que nos realizaron desde empodera.org, una plataforma de impulso para personas e iniciativas que utilizan las tecnologías desde un punto de vista social e innovador para hacer una sociedad más inclusiva y empoderada.

“Ecosistema Urbano: diseñando lugares para mejorar la auto organización de los ciudadanos, la interacción comunitaria y su relación con el medio ambiente”

Acceder a la entrevista en empodera.org

La entrevista se incluyó en la publicación Ciberoptimismo: Conectados a una actitud (pág. 287), una selección de entrevistas y experiencias sobre cómo las tecnologías han cambiado definitivamente nuestra interacción con diferentes temas (procomún, nuevas formas de economía, plataformas abiertas para todos, educación, software libre, transparencia, open government, participación ciudadana, sostenibilidad, etc.).

Aquí podéis descargar el libro español-inglés bajo licencia Creative Commons:
Ciberoptimismo: Conectados a una actitud – Ciberoptimism: connected to an attitude
empodera.org es una iniciativa de la Fundación Cibervoluntarios.

¡Que lo disfrutéis!

The launch of dreamhamar.app. - photo: Christoffer Horsfjord Nilsen

The launch of dreamhamar.app by Ecosistema Urbano – Photo: Christoffer Horsfjord Nilsen

continue reading

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LibreLigne | Urban acupuncture in Libreville, Gabon

Category: city+competitions+ecosistema urbano+landscape+news+urbanism+⚐ EN

Concept draft of the piers as urban catalyzers

Concept drawing of the piers as landmarks

Ecosistema Urbano was recently selected as one of the five finalists in a competition of ideas for the waterfront (Bord de Mer) of Libreville, capital city of Gabon. We were selected by the committee of the Agence Nationale de Grand Travaux du Gabon among many other proposals. In their own words, the proposal “has strong linkages to existing urban systems, improves coastline’s connections and celebrates Libreville culture and history.” Here is a brief descripton of the project:

The main goal of our proposal is to reunite Libreville with the seashore, and extend the life of the city to the waterfront in some specific points. This would be achieved through operations of urban regeneration, adjusted to the existing and to the specific cultural, sociological and economical context. The proposal concentrates visual impact, identity and activity in five nodes, instead of spreading them too thin along the promenade.

Plan of the coastal line of Libreville, in two sections

Plan of the coastal line of Libreville, in two sections

Those five pier-like structures (jetées) are a great way of getting closer to the water, of having a unique view of the city and at the same time of providing space for programs that could work as catalysers of the urban life. They act as unique landmarks, breaking the regularity of the very long promenade and facilitating the orientation of citizens. These points of “urban acupuncture” would drag attention and pull the urban life of Libreville to the seashore, providing a new space for citizens to interact.

Vertical section of the biggest 'jetée'

Section of the biggest ‘jetée’

Section of one of the piers

Section of one of a longer and lower pier structure

Section through the beach

Section through a beach area, where the promenade is reduced to the minimum

The locations and uses of the piers are defined in relation to the city: to its flows, to the activity of the closest neighbourhoods and to the most relevant uses, buildings or public spaces nearby. Following that close relation with the surroundings, each pier has a singular character defined by the size, the shape, the vegetation, the dominant colors and other design factors, but also by the specific set of activities that can be performed in them. This way, we have the pier of Nature, Education, Culture and Music, Local Identity and Water.

One of the pier structures evolving along the day

The use of the structures would change along the day

On the other hand, the linear promenade itself changes the configuration of its section depending, again, on the surroundings. Some key elements are defined in that section: the waterfront boulevard for (unavoidable) motorized traffic, a series of landscape markers (associated with energy production and visibilization), a coastal bike lane, a waterfront promenade, an urban appropriable fringe… This elements are combined, stretched or shrinked, generating diverse profiles and multiple areas of interest.

One of the "pelican" crossings in front of a pier

The crossings in front of the piers would be shared areas for pedestrian and motorists

Thus, while the promenade is kept simple, regular and clean, these structures act as landmarks, dividing the seafront in more aprehensible, walkable sections, and marking the coast like ‘signal fires’ or lighthouses: they provide visual clues to help the passer-by understand his exact location at a glance.

View from one of the piers

View from one of the piers

In addition, based on the rapidly rising mobile market penetration in Gabon, and as a bet on the potential of hyperlocalized digital networks for urban life, the proposal includes a digital application that would work as a geolocated and participatory cultural agenda for the waterfront, showcasing the activities along the line, attracting citizens and visitors, allowing them to search and follow events, and acting as a geographic map or guide.

Tentative screenshots of the application

Tentative mockup for the application, based on the previous proposal for ‘BikeLine’

This proposal was developed in collaboration with the landscape architecture office Uberland.

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Peuplade, connecting neighbors l Social toolbox

Category: social toolbox+⚐ EN

Website: www.peuplade.fr
Types: Platform
Issues: Encounters | Neighborhood initiatives and public events | Commons and services | Sharing culture and experiences | Exchange of knowledge and skills


Peuplade (“Tribe” in French) is an experience launched in Paris in 2003 in the Epinettes (XVII°) district.

Thanks to the enthusiastic involvement of its first partners, Peuplade gained popularity and success, and is nowadays used all over France, Belgium and Switzerland. It is a social project founded by “Les Ingénieurs Sociaux” (“social engineers”), an enterprise which deals with the development of tools intended to offer people, associations, enterprises and institutions the means to give a more human face to interpersonal relationships, to society and to economy.

Peuplade is a space for encounters, exchanges, innovation and initiatives, offered to inhabitants of a same street, neighbourhood or city. continue reading