Comments: (0)

The heart of Asunción starts beating

Category: #followcreative+⚐ EN+architecture+art+city+creativity+news+publications+urbanism+work in progress

14125474_871077849659303_541032608533912949_o

Mural de Guache en el Hotel Armele, sobre Palma llegando a Colón / Foto: @marcosalonsophotography

A few months ago we ended one of the longest, intense and complex projects our office Ecosistema Urbano has done so far, the Masterplan of the Historic Downtown of Asunción, awarded in an international competition and developed with a multidisciplinary team between Madrid and the Mother of Cities, Asunción.

continue reading

Comments: (0)

Public Space for the Extreme: Defining the Extreme

Category: ⚐ EN+architecture+city+networkedurbanism+research+sustainability+urbanism+work in progress

Manama, Bahrein. Photo: Emilio P. Doiztua

Four years ago Ecosistema Urbano held a workshop in Manama, Bahrain, to revitalize and improve the public space around the Bab al Bahrain souk, an area that is historically important for the city but that it is nowadays a mere street crossing rounded by parking lots, without any tree or shadow. The workshop was held in a remarkable temporary pavilion that for a few weeks converted a roundabout into a vivid and often crowded space, a light textile roof offered shadow and protection to the participants contributing to the success of the workshop. The workshop has been also the occasion for us to start a long term project on Bahrain, under the auspices of the UNESCO Arab Regional Center for World Heritage we started a research project mainly focused on the city of Muharraq, its antique public spaces and how could we revive and improve them. This research has been carried on during 2014 and 2015 spring semesters with the GSD-Harvard students and it emerged immediately that one of the main conditions to make use of the public space in Muharraq was the improvement of the extreme environmental conditions that, combined with a low quality design of the space, prevented and discouraged the people to go out and live the remaining public spaces.

Bab Al Bahrain Workshop 2012

Bab Al Bahrain Workshop 2012

Following this same path of research we are now working on a publication to finally release all the knowledge we have accumulated during these years of work, teaching, and research in the form of a book. Our objective is to address the problems that the designers have to face every time they are called to design a public space in an area with a particularly extreme climate (make it extremely hot, arid, tropical, etc.), we would like to provide decision makers, designers and citizens with a solid base of knowledge to help them consider new technologies and concepts to design public spaces optimized for a certain climate, responding to bio-climatic needs and site specific conditions making it more livable, comfortable and accessible.
Beginning today, we start a series of posts dedicated to the design of bio-climatic public spaces, we will periodically publish part of the content we have produced for the book exposing the problems and the good practices that we have found, our concerns, the work of our students, etc. We would like to foster a debate around these themes that might help us developing our book but also raise the awareness around the climatic comfort in public spaces which is a true challenge for architects and designers in many areas of the world.
continue reading

Comments: (2)

Ecosistema Urbano repense la transformation urbaine de Grenoble

Category: ⚐ FR+architecture+art+city+competitions+design+ecosistema urbano+landscape+news+proyectos+urbanism+urbanisme+work in progress

accessibility

Nous sommes heureux de vous annoncer que nous venons d’être sélectionnés pour le projet d’aménagement de la ZAC Flaubert à Grenoble, une grande et excitante aventure de renouvellement urbain au coeur même de la métropole grenobloise. C´est le résultat de notre collaboration avec Sathy, TN Plus, OGI (ingénierie), Res Publica,  et VPEAS.

Il s’agit d’un projet de renouvellement urbain sur un territoire jusqu’alors peu valorisé. La ZAC Flaubert est une zone de transition entre Nord et Sud et entre Est et Ouest de la ville, elle est traversée par de grands axes de circulations qui font de cette ZAC un espace au développement très stratégique. Dû à sa très grande surface (90 hectares) ce projet de grande envergure soulève de multiples enjeux pour la ville et ses habitants. Comment donner une identité à cette zone qui n’est actuellement qu’un assemblage artificiel de micro-identités de quartier ?

 

Le nouveau maire écologiste désire mettre tout en oeuvre pour intégrer les citoyens à la co-construction de cette zone et plus largement à leur ville. Pour ce projet, il a fait l’engagement de ne jamais cesser le dialogue avec les habitants, les riverains et les commerçants au cours de chacune des phases du projet. Il est également question d’élargir le panel à de nombreux acteurs économiques, institutionnels, académiques de Grenoble grâce à des débats et des discussions. L’objectif est d´échanger les points de vues et les différents avis sur l´avenir de Flaubert.

En juin dernier, lors de notre première visite, nous avons pu mieux comprendre les enjeux du territoire et observer de près la vie urbaine.

Notre objectif actuel est d´étudier en profondeur le projet, pour comprendre à quel point il est complexe et pour nous rendre compte des challenges qui nous attendent.

map

La zone de la ZAC dans Grenoble

Un des moments fort de cette visite fût la découverte de la Bifurk et de son “éco-système”, c’est un espace hybride où la vie bat son plein grâce à l’équipe et à de nombreuses associations très actives, qui ont su transformer cet ancien entrepôt industriel en un espace polymorphe où l´on peut trouver une grande diversité d’activités : théâtre, concerts, expositions et même un skatepark.  Juste à côté, “La Plage” est la première plage urbaine permanente construite en France. Dédiée à la pratique de sport de sable elle offre au Grenoblois un large choix de sports des plus conventionnels aux plus insolites.

 

BIFURK

baloncesto bifurk

En face de ces lieux emblématiques de la ZAC, il est question d’implanter la casa “Terra Nostra”, une maison en terre et bois construite par les étudiants des écoles d’architecture de Lyon et Grenoble. C’est une occasion de connecter au projet une infrastructure existante, en créant une espace dédié à l´urbanisation de Flaubert à l´intérieur de la maison.

KODAK Action Cam

Le prototype Terra Nostra

La force de Grenoble est son ouverture d’esprit avant-gardiste : innovante et créative, elle s’inscrit depuis deux décennies dans un programme promouvant une ville plus agréable, plus sociale, plus durable. À l’écoute de ses citoyens et à l’affût des innovations techniques, technologiques, sociales et économique, Grenoble est bien plus que la 11 ème métropole française. Elle est un exemple novateur d’une volonté politique et citoyenne visant à construire autrement la ville de demain. Plusieurs initiatives urbaines et citoyennes singulières ont profondément participé à la mutation de la ville et à sa nouvelle morphologie. Le changement passe par de “grandes actions” mais aussi par de “petites initiatives” qui accumulées donne à la ville une identité propre. La ville soutient chaque année plus de 600 actions qui se regroupent autour de trois grandes lignes directrices : favoriser la participation des habitants, lutter contre toute forme d’inégalités sociales, mettre en avant des territoires les plus fragilisés.

La forte volonté de faire participer les citoyens au renouvellement de Flaubert se place dans la continuité d’une politique ouverte aux  propositions de chacun et à l’écoute de ses citoyens. L´intégration de chaque partie prenante au projet permet de recentrer la ville sur ses usagers, de se focaliser sur la ville “à taille humaine”, faite avant tout pour ses habitants. Ce nouveau regard sur la ville et la re-qualification du cadre de vie qu’il engendre participe fortement à l’attractivité territoriale de Grenoble, souvent surnommée la “Capitale des Alpes”. Grenoble est un véritable laboratoire urbain : en 2005, le conseil a adopté un programme de rénovation urbaine soutenant les opérations de renouvellement urbains au sein de la ville en leur accordant un budget très conséquent. Illustrons cette singularité :

Une ville qui réinvente son architecture

La construction d’un des premiers éco-quartiers français dans l’ancienne caserne militaire de Bonne en plein centre ville ( 5 hectares) est un exemple qui concrétise le désir de concilier ville et environnement. Loisos Sava, architecte en chef du projet prône la réinvention de la façon de construire, offrant à la fois une baisse des dépenses énergétiques, une mixité sociale et une mixité fonctionnelle. Cet éco-quartier de nombreuses fois primé a notamment reçu en 2009 le Grand prix national “Ecoquartier” délivré par le ministère de l’Ecologie, de l’Energie, du Développement durable et de la Mer. De plus, très récemment une vaste opération de révision du Plan Local d’Urbanisme intercommunal (PLUi) en 2015 a été opéré. Une des mesures phares de cette révision est la diminution de la hauteur maximale de construction.

zac de bonne

Une ville accessible et durable

Grenoble est également une ville pour tous, mettant au centre de ses préocupations l’accueil de tous les publics. En effet elle a été classée première ville de France sur le baromètre de l’accessibilité aux handicaps avec une moyenne de 18,7 et deuxième ville européenne. Grenoble a créé un service d’auto-partage de véhicules électriques appelé “CitéLib” en collaboration avec Toyota  qui souhaitait tester ici-même ce système de location unique au monde. Le but est de stimuler la multi-modalité de la ville, en effet ces véhicules 100% électriques servent à incrémenter l’offre de transports publics existants en proposant une solution alternative pour les “premiers et derniers kilomètres”.

Une ville qui s’engage

De plus, Grenoble a su marquer les esprits par une prise de position très forte en 2015. En effet, c’est la première ville européenne à bannir les publicités de ses rues, proposition qui a été soutenu par leur nouveau maire écologiste. La lutte contre la “pollution visuelle” prive la ville d’une manne de revenus importante. Des affichages dédiés aux activités culturelles et aux informations de la mairie remplacent les affichages actuels. De nombreuses autres villes voient en Grenoble un modèle à suivre.

Publicité Grenoble

Une ville innovante

Que ce soit au niveau national, européen ou international, Grenoble se démarque par son goût pour l’innovation. En effet Grenoble a reçu de nombreux prix et certifications à toutes les échelles:

National

En 2014, Grenoble a été labellisée “FrenchTech” ainsi que huit autres villes de l’hexagone. Ce label a pour but de donner une meilleure visibilité à l’international de l’attractivité technologique des villes françaises.

Européen

Grenoble a été, en 2014, sacrée deuxième ville la plus innovante d’Europe après Barcelone au concours pour le prix de la première capitale européenne de l’innovation. Ce prix vise à récompenser la ville qui offre le meilleur «écosystème d’innovation» en connectant les citoyens, les organismes publics, les établissements d’enseignement et les entreprises.

Mondial

Cette «iCapitale» a également été cité parmi les 15 villes les plus innovantes par le magazine Forbes en 2013.

Le quartier de la Presqu’île, au Nord de la ville est spécialisé dans les technologies de pointe. Cette Silicon Valley grenobloise est un véritable pôle d’attraction pour le reste de la ville et participe considérablement à sa renommée. La connexion du quartier de la presqu’île à la ZAC Flaubert constituerait une formidable opportunité pour le quartier objet de notre projet qui pourrait donc créer en son sein de nouvelles dynamiques. Ce n’est qu’une des propositions parmi tant d’autres, aucune piste n’est écartée, l’idée étant de procéder par étapes et de se donner un temps d’expérimentation afin d’envisager plusieurs hypothèses éventuelles.

Grenoble Presqu'île

Grenoble Presqu’île – image: www.grenoble.fr

Pour conclure, autant dire qu’en de nombreux points Grenoble sait se renouveler et imposer une nouvelle façon de penser la ville. Ces exemples inspirants et stimulants placent la barre très haut, le défi est grand et nous sommes honorés d’avoir l’opportunité de participer à l’élaboration de ce laboratoire urbain qu’est la ville de Grenoble.

teleferico-post

À bientôt pour plus de nouvelles sur ce projet ! 

 

Comment: (1)

Ecosistema urbano working for the urban transformation of Grenoble

Category: ⚐ EN+architecture+competitions+ecosistema urbano+news+sustainability+urbanism+work in progress

accessibility

We are proud to share our success in the competition for the Master Plan for ZAC Flaubert in the city of Grenoble. It is the result of a collaboration with Sathy, TN Plus,  OGI (Engineering), Res Publica, and VPEAS. Our candidature has just been selected to lead this great urban transformation and revitalization process in the very center of Grenoble city.

The project deals with the urban transformation of an underused area: ZAC Flaubert. This is currently a 90 hectares transition area at the crossing of a North-South axis and an East-West one, both important for the city. Being a strategic part of the city and its inhabitants, this huge project has various stakes and raises one question: How to give an identity to this area which is now a cluster of micro-identities?

The mayor, from the Ecologist party, wants to integrate citizens in an ambitious co-construction process that would start with Flaubert to spread across the whole city. He is committed to involving residents, shop owners, citizens at each step of the co-construction project. In addition, various other stakeholders are to be involved in the process thanks to different formats such as debates and discussions to exchange points of view and possible visions for Flaubert’s future.

continue reading

Comment: (1)

City Splash! for Copa Cagrana Neue | ecosistema urbano + transform.city proposal for Vienna

Category: ⚐ EN+architecture+city+ecosistema urbano+landscape+news+sustainability+technologies+urbanism



Last November we were selected, in collaboration with Transform.city, to participate in the Neue Copa Cagrana International shortlisted competition in Vienna (Austria). The scope of the competition was the urban revitalization and definition of the Master Plan in the area Neue Copa Cagrana defining an urban proposal and the relationship of this part of the city with the river.
We were selected along with other 8 teams, including renowned firms such as Dominique Perrault, AZPML, or West 8.

The context: Donau City, Vienna

The study area is located next to Donau City, on the left bank of the new Danube Canal, Neue Donau, passing through the city of Vienna. It is a neighborhood of mainly tertiary character with office buildings of great height, developed in the last 20 years, including the Vienna International Centre.

Copa Cagrana – the intervention area, between the Danube and the new urban area with the D. Perrault’s tower

Despite the good connection with the city center, the large number of buildings and the excellent existing natural qualities, the area is almost deserted during day and night. This is mainly due to the lack of variety of uses, commercial facilities and recreational areas.
The proposal develops a series of strategies to revitalize an area that already has the optimal conditions to become a landmark for the city of Vienna:

FOUR OBJECTIVES

1 – Increase density and urban mixture

The proposal aims to incorporate urban, commercial and leisure life at a time when Vienna is starting to look for other forms of identity for the river area. It is important to bring new residents to help to create urban activity throughout day and night, summer and winter seasons by permanent and temporary uses. The mixed-use and residential functions in the first row, including the urban boulevard, have the potential to complete and complement the existing urban fabric and establish, for the first time, the necessary connections to make Donau City a functioning and exciting neighbourhood.

Activity diagram for the different seasons

The project proposes a high density urban prosthesis, combining housing, office, commercial and public space, in order to create an active urban spot connected to the surrounding, improving its identity and multiplying the possibilities of use.
The proposal seeks to make Donau City easier to be understood and perceived, with a clear connection to Danube river and its waterfront. Therefore, the proposal is the missing link to the completion of the Donaustadt and is, at the same time, the necessary catalyst to enable the urban regeneration in the area.

2 – Create new urban spots

Copa Cagrana will be an exciting new urban spot in Wien, which is perfectly connected to the city network thanks to the transport connectivity and subway line. Through the physical proximity with existing Donau City, Donau Insel and surrounding neighborhoods, the area will increase popularity and will offer more attractions to the users.
The newly created waterfront will be an urban catalyser with a variety of urban functions, with uses according to the seasons and day and night time:
The FILTER ZONE is a more quiet area free of commercial activities.
The TEMPORARY ZONE changes according the different seasons, with beach bars in the summer, pop-up restaurants, terraces and platforms, etc.
The WATERFRONT is an enjoyable walkable strip with piers and exciting water activities for summer and winter.

The FILTER ZONE

3 – Renaturing (urban+nature landscape)

A new urban and natural environment intrinsically connected with surrounding nature.
It will be the connecting environment between Donauinsel and Donau Park but also extending its limits over the water landscape of Neue Donau to create a vibrant and diverse waterscape.

 

Masterplan 1:1000

4 – Digital Identity – web app strategy

It is important to create the communication channels in order to advertise and share information about the ongoing activities and as a way to share potential ideas to be implemented. This web APP is thought to work as a social network that provides information for the citizens of Copa Cagrana on what kind of activities they can do on this renewed urban area.
Users will be able to register and create a user profile, with this, they will have the opportunity of proposing activities that will make use of the beautiful surroundings and installations of this urban space. The commercial sector will also have their own space. They will have the possibility of creating a profile which will allow them to publicize their products and business, as well as invite and inform citizens about special deals, offers, events and other celebrations.

 

FIVE NEW URBAN ZONES

Cross Section

Seeking to achieve these four objectives, the proposal creates 5 zones acting together and related to each other:

Zone C+: Infiltration city

The energy of city life will splash towards Donau City and the urban plinth will extend its limits to bring activity and reconfigure the public spaces around the corporative and residential buildings. These urban tentacles will extend urban plinth limits with linear and small scale pavilions, pop-up stores and cafes, etc. reconnecting and renewing the pedestrian pathways of the Donau city.

Elevation

Zone C: Social life city

Zone C proposal is the most powerful urban energy boost, as it provides a large amount of overlapped new programs and public spaces easily accessible at different levels.
Areas:
Urban plinth: fragmented construction from 1 to 4 stories high, multiple programs with predominance of commercial spaces overlapped with public spaces at different levels.
Vertical ecosystems: housing towers with a myriad of different typologies to create a diverse neighbourhood. The housing units help to create a dense neighbourhood with urban life throughout the day.
Urban bridge: On the tenth floor, same level as the top terrace of the existing linear building of social housing, a bridge is creating connections between semi public spaces, with diverse programs within the vertical ecosystems.
Public peaks: the top floor of the different towers is also part of the network of semi public spaces within the vertical ecosystems. These spaces can hold multiple programs and part of their success will be the privileged point of view of the city (terraces, cafes, common spaces,… )

Zone B: nature city

This is a zone where nature is predominant and the urban plinth is melting its limits with the landscape. At the same time, the natural character of this area helps to make the transition between the bigger, urban scale of zone C and both the lower scale of zone B and the waterscape towards Donauinsel, combining natural areas with paths for soft mobility.

Different cross sections in zones A and B

Zone A: Leisure city

Leisure cityscape to allow the transition between the formal city and the vibrant and ever changing new waterscape of zone C+. It will hold multiple permanent uses but also temporary programs and seasonal activities. There are multiple temporary and permanent uses in small buildings with similar language, as well as a new riverside walk that will extend to create a comfortable linear space. The relationship with water and the elevation difference will be resolved with a wooden platform that will act as an urban sofa to relax and enjoy the presence and proximity of the river.

Zone A+: Water city

Vibrant and ever changing waterscape in continuous evolution. It will extend the activities of the new urban spot towards the water.

Masterplan 1:2000

+ water pier: permanent pier, water thematic. Light structure with indoor and outdoor spaces to allow the creation of different bathing experiences. The use will change seasonally, during the winter, outdoor and indoor climatized pools will allow the user to be in connection with the surrounding natural landscape while having a pleasant bathing experience.

The water pier for summer activities

+ ice pier: permanent pier, ice and climbing sports oriented. Light structure with a strong seasonal connection. During the winter, part of the structure will be a huge frozen and faceted vertical surface to practice ice climbing, while the lower platform will host different ice skating outdoor rinks to practice in connection with the water and natural landscape. During the summer the ice surface is transformed into a huge waterfall falling from the upper level into the river.

ice pier_con nieve

The ice pier for winter climbing

+The urban archipelago: big modular and floating ever changing extension of the waterfront. The different seasons and uses will dramatically transform its configuration. This mutant landscape is built with modular floating platforms/barges that can be combined to create larger flat surfaces if necessary. These platforms can be connected to the limit line of the waterfront to extend its surface.

If you want to know more about the proposals you can download the competition panels here:
Panel 1   Panel 2   Panel 3   Panel 4

Comments: (0)

ecosistema urbano at recoded city : co-creating urban futures | book launch

Category: ⚐ EN+city+ecosistema urbano+events+news+publications+urbanism

cover-1

We are very glad to announce that next Monday 11 January 2016 there will be the official launch of the book Recoded City : Co-Creating Urban Futures, written by Thomas Ermacora (@termacora) and Lucy Bullivant Routledge (@Urbanista_org), where some of ecosistema urbano recent projects are featured.

Recoded City is a global survey of participatory placemaking and distributed urbanism, burgeoning movements engaging citizens in advancing visions for their cities and towns, and supporting their well-being through localised design and self-governance.

Co-authored by regeneration architect and impact entrepreneur Thomas Ermacora and writer and curator Lucy Bullivant, Recoded City examines the potential of citizen-led collaborative neighbourhood renewal strategies emerging in the interstices of rigid, top-down masterplanning, which has seen identity stamped out of place. During the years 2010-13 the number of city dwellers increased by 200,000 per day. In our urbanised world it is vital that we make cities which are more resilient, future proofing neighbourhoods by making them relevant to and reflective of the people who live there.

But the top-down city has alienated people. In the modern globalised world extreme forms of capitalism overshadow human rights, and government resources are increasingly depleted. Whether by repairing the damage of natural disaster or healing the pains of uninspired planning, communities are starting to work proactively to pursue a localised placemaking which is more responsive, resource-efficient and holistic in its approach. At the same time architecture has been expanding as a multidisciplinary field.

The authors advocate architecture and urban design which is socially engaged and motivated by a civic duty to help the 90%, not the privileged 10%. In the Recoded City architects are enablers and facilitators, working with citizens for a better future.

See more at www.clairecurtrice.co.uk

The lauch event will take place at House of St Barnabas in London from 6.30 to 9.00 pm.

Limited availability – mail@clairecurtrice.co.uk

If you are in London, don’t miss it!

recoded city

Comments: (0)

ecosistema urbano at 2015 Shenzhen — UABB bi-city biennale of urbanism and architecture

Category: ⚐ EN+architecture+ecosistema urbano+events+networkedurbanism+news+research+technologies+urban social design+urbanism+video


overall view

Between November and December 2015 we spent one week in Shenzhen on the occasion of the 2015 Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture, being invited by curators Alfredo Brillembourg and Hubert Klumpner to be part of the Radical Urbanism section of the exhibition. The brief of this edition of the Biennale is “Re-Living the city”, a reflection about reuse and rethinking existing buildings, the reimagination of our cities, and the remaking of our daily lives by design. The main location of the event was connected to the topic of the Biennale: the former Dacheng Flour Factory has been transformed into a massive container of thoughts and innovative practices in urbanism without hiding its recent past of industrial activity and its uncertain future.

The Dacheng Flour Factory_ Image: UABB

Our installation at the UABB Biennale, called Networked Urbanismdisplays a selection of pilot projects exploring physical and immaterial urban improvement, a critical catalogue of their urban contexts, the understanding of urban complexity and the new tools developed to address it. The colourful multimedia exhibition displays 10 pilots projects, implemented during the past 10 years in different contexts around the world, but also displays 1 mockup, a real scale version of an urban furniture design.

1

The Networked Urbanism Installation reflects the working method: an overall strategic vision that relies on short term punctual and powerful interventions in specific and emblematic spots (pilot projects), rather than long term and high resources urban strategies. Ecosistema Urbano’s projects empower people and engage citizens in the tangible transformation of the places where they live.

The definition and final layout of the installation was an intense process of research and real scale experimentation to find interactions between graphic design, communication, animation and optical effects. We tried to show the common philosophy behind each project in a very visual and communicative way. Each pilot project is communicated with a graphic slogan synthesizing the nature of the intervention and its message, a reference to the city where the project is implemented, and a description of the overall urban strategy.

slogan

3


10 pilot projects

Moreover, a digital layer of information is added to the graphic display. 5 multimedia dioramas provide an intriguing representation of the following pilot projects: Exuma Garden of Dreams, Dreamhamar, Asunción Open Lab,  Voronezh Sea Revitalization, and Encarnación Sustainable Development Territorial Plan.

Diorama for the project Dreamhamar

The other 5 pilot projects presented in Networked Urbanism installation are described throughout short movies displayed as holograms, thanks to a DIY fascinating technique. The videos of the projects Ecobulevard, Air Tree Shanghai, Ecópolis Plaza, Energy Carousel, Escuela Febres intervention in Cuenca , explain with 3d holograms the complexity of this interventions, showing the different layers and their several possible points of view and configurations.

Hologram of Ecobulevar project

1 Mockup
Well centered on the main wall of the space lays the message “Customize public space“, surrounded by drawings of the possible configurations of Madrid Chair. In the central area of the exhibition there are 18 pieces of this flexible and multipurpose urban furniture in red and orange versions allowing visitors to interact and create their own favourite exhibition layout.

Assembly phase of Madrid Chairs

7

The UABB Biennale will be open until March 3rd 2016, if you are planning to visit Shenzhen, don’t miss it!

Comments: (0)

ecosistema urbano at ISU talks #3: Ruralism | international conference in Braunschweig, Germany

Category: ⚐ EN+landscape+news+sustainability+urbanism

Snoehetta_Petter-Dass-Museum_04

Next November 18th, Belinda Tato will be keynote speaker at the International Conference, ISU Talks #03: Ruralism organised by the Institute for Sustainable Urbanism. Other speakers include Snøhetta, OMA/AMO, etc…

The institute is located in Braunschweig, Germany and according to their own definition is part think-tank, part design laboratory, committed to promoting research and scholarship on sustainable urbanism in an international and interdisciplinary setting.

Since October 2012, ISU is lead by Prof. Dr. Vanessa Miriam Carlow, within TU Braunschweig’s Department of Architecture, Engineering, and Environmental Sciences. ISU has worked with partners in Africa, Asia, South America, USA, and all over Europe. ISU has four themes under which its teaching and research projects fall: Space as Resource, City in Society, Impossible Sites, and Urban-Rural Relations.

Here is a brief introduction to the Conference:

In the current city-centred discourse, rural spaces are often dismissed as declining or stagnating. However, rural spaces also play a critical role in sustainable development, as an inextricably linked counterpart and complement to the growing city, as extraction sites, natural reservoirs, providing for ecosystem services or leisure spaces.
The city and the countryside are evermore increasingly mutually reliant. A closer look at the countryside unveils a set of dynamics overlaying and changing rural space, beyond trends of depopulation and shutdown of public facilities. The once remote and quiet countryside is now traversed by global and regional flows of people, goods, waste, energy and information, interrelating it with the larger urban system, even bringing it to the frontlines of regional transformation and sustainability.

The conference proposes the following questions:
– How can the contemporary rural be conceived of and described?
– What new concepts for rural living currently exist?
– How are urbanisation and ruralisation processes connected?
– Can impulses for the design of urban space be drawn from the imagined and practiced connections between the urban and the rural?
– How can we formulate a (new) vision for ‘ruralism’?

More info

Comments: (0)

Ecosistema Urbano en HABITAT III – Naciones Unidas

Category: ⚐ EN+⚐ ES+city+eventos+events+mobility+news+urbanism

12109167_968327099898862_5359354295804962543_n

⚐ ES – Hábitat III es la Conferencia de las Naciones Unidas sobre Vivienda y Desarrollo Urbano Sostenible que tendrá lugar en Quito, Ecuador, del 17 al 20 de Octubre de 2016.

Dentro del proceso preparatorio hacia Hábitat III se organizan las Reuniones Regionales y Conferencias Temáticas que involucran a una amplia gama de participantes para debatir las prioridades de la Nueva Agenda Urbana y las recomendaciones políticas en forma de una declaración final.

La próxima semana tiene lugar la Conferencia Temática Ciudades Intermedias: Crecimiento y Renovación Urbana, en la ciudad de Cuenca, Ecuador. Ecosistema urbano tomará parte en dicho evento, moderando la Sesión plenaria sobre “Crecimiento inteligente: Movilidad, espacio público y sostenibilidad ambiental” el próximo Martes día 10.

El panel incluye a expertos como Francisco Arola, Cátedra UNESCO, Univ. Lleida; Horacio Terraza, Coordinator Emerging and Sustainable Cities Initiative, IADB; Adalberto Maluf, Director del Departamento de Asuntos Gubernamentales y Marketing, BYD Brasil; Jose Cañavate, entre otros.

Más información y programa

A continuación un extracto de la temática:

Ciudades Intermedias: Crecimiento y Renovación Urbana

Los procesos de urbanización y desarrollo acelerado de los asentamientos humanos dieron entre los resultados, a las grandes metrópolis o megalópolis, escenarios poco favorables en los que, a menudo, ha sido difícil alcanzar buenos niveles de calidad de vida. Sin embargo, también han puesto en primer plano a las llamadas ciudades intermedias como centros que acogen la mayor cantidad de la población urbana a nivel global y que son sometidas a continuos cambios en su “nicho” ecológico por su propia dinámica económica y social.

Es en este marco que estas ciudades, también denominadas como ciudades “secundarias o menores”, surgen como “intermediarias” no solo en tamaño y escala, sino fundamentalmente en funcionalidad. Estas ciudades sufren procesos de construcción y reconstrucción que no se equiparan a los trascendentes cambios sociales y culturales, que conllevará asumir también múltiples desafíos, puesto que es preciso “modificar lo existente”, extraer todo aquello que ha sido identificado como “obsoleto” e insertar nuevas estructuras de “soporte vital” para la urbe y especialmente su periferia.

Varios espacios hablan a nivel mundial del “poder de las ciudades intermedias”, como si de ellas dependiera encontrar una apuesta o alternativa a futuro para responder las exigencias identificadas para los próximos años, o si su pronunciamiento fuese una voz calificada a nivel mundial al momento de formular propuestas y soluciones prácticas que funcionen y sean asumidas como buenos ejemplos para alcanzar un desarrollo urbano sostenible en diferentes áreas geográficas y culturales.


⚐ EN – Ecosistema Urbano will be participating in an advisory board meeting next Tuesday,  November 10, in Cuenca, Ecuador, together with several other participants. The event is part of “The Urban Dialogues”, which host a series of e-discussions over the course towards Habitat III (October 17-20, 2016) with the aim of integrating all voices and bringing forward new and emerging thinking in the elaboration of the New Urban Agenda.

The Urban Dialogue on Intermediate Cities will enable people all around the world to join the debate, bringing together a broad range of stakeholders, as well as citizens, to discuss major ideas and issues of topic of the Thematic Meeting to be held in Cuenca, 9-11 November.

The online debate will provide inputs for the Final Declaration.

More info and program

Comments: (0)

looking at the invisible side of cities | the role of relationality in the urban context

Category: ⚐ EN+architecture+city+research+urbanism

Poster_time-frames.psd

Today we publish a text written by Claudia Scholz and Louise Brandberg Realini.

 

What is the surrounding that influences the way we evaluate and imagine a single architectural building? The following text sets the stage for the interdisciplinary research project The role of relationality in urban transformation processes, about the conception of space and time in urban transformation processes. The study was driven by the question how the relational texture of a city influences urban transformations and how these transformations in turn change the city’s relational web over again. The text looks at the definition of the relational texture.

A building can never be isolated from the environment that surrounds it; and that does not merely include the landscape, which visually embrace the site, but also the images born out of diverse associations, all of which are legitimated by reasons of sensations. Memories and affections existing only in our imagination are not less real or of less importance. Their visual absence in the material world does not prevent them from influencing our behaviours and judgments in the same manner as physical objects do. We walk along streets for the most irrational reasons: for a particular bakery, a past encounter or just the way it makes us feel. Sometimes places become associated with an event, and we treasure them for that rather than for their form. Even if the proper buildings are gone, the memories linked to them may live on and continue to influence us. At other times, the arrangement of buildings may have become lived up with meaning. The buildings do not matter themselves but only as a configuration. Space in-between them makes them meaningful.

Beside the ‘invisible’ reality a single site may have, we also need to consider the ‘invisible’ relationships that every site has with its surrounding. Sometimes other sites are used to explain a specific situation; sometimes other sites make important issues more evident. Sometimes also buildings in their development process can be changed by their context, as the situation in itself could alter the building welcoming it to the context or rejecting it. Discussion around apparently unrelated objects may push the development in one or the other direction.

Hence, before intervening with something new in an existing network we need to understand and make sense of the situation we are in, what the surrounding is like beside its emblematic manifestations, its famous monuments, what are the visible and invisible relations, past and present ones, that may act on the new projects. Our thought is that in the ‘invisible’ we find important hints on how to handle transformation processes, set up projects and cues from which a particular architecture, something new, may emerge.
We would like to offer another view on the urban reality that may help to ground projects on the stories, not only the histories, of places. It is a loose framework for the design of architectural intervention, one that includes other views beside the one of the architect, the planner or the investor. The thought is to inspire architects and planners to generate new projects that emerge from within as being part of an existing reality.

The challenge therefore is to come up with something that would surface the underlying and rather ‘invisible’ relationships and reveal the finer nuances of our environment. These nuances escape the conventional reading of space and are not easily captured with the traditional tools of the architect. Synthetic observations rarely illuminate all existing dimensions.

To trace the invisible, the complicity and imaginative gift of the citizenry must be taken advantage of. Thus, we need to interview them about their day-to-day life, about their way of looking at the built environment. Starting with more personal questions as a way to warm up and to get to know each other, then we may question more general questions: What do they see? What do they cherish? Where do they pass day-after-day? Which places serve the people’s well-being? Which are their affective places? Is there something that could improve their quality of life? Afterwards we need to be more specific in regard to specific sites asking rather specifically for their perception of them: Do they know them and what do they think of their relationship to the surrounding? What followed should be a 10 to 30 minutes’ walk, where citizens show us a piece of their city bringing us to sites they like or even dislike, to places they often walk by or find particularly interesting in Lugano.

We end with a wide collection of urban stories: from a child’s accident on the main square, the routine of nightly walks in an inner urban green valley to the last singular tree along the lakeside, that subsequently can be coded to one of the five temporal time-frames (see table time-frame). It offers an understanding for which places may be altered and to which point, what would be welcomed and what would probably be rejected.

The urban stories are not only personal episodes. Many of the stories also belong to others or might have been experienced by others. Hence, they have a higher collective significance and are more present in the collective memory. These ‘collective places’ are not only conventional representative places, but also smaller venues like bars, bakeries and nameless streets.

An emotional colored map will emerge around the objects of investigation, where also series of links among sites become evident. These may help to understand its surrounding and hence, frame future intervention. This vision is another reading of today’s reality, where sites – beyond functionality, form and usability – represent the territory from the citizens’ point of view with its atmosphere, its emerging problems and themes. More than a must follow manual it is ‘food for thought’ that may help architects to take position, build structure and unite diverse parts of reality. It wants to unfold the values of those we build for today. Ignoring them, we risk that our designs are rejected or misunderstood. These values need a continuous assessment because as society change, also our behaviours change. To bring it further and work with digital tools would be a next step to do.

More information:
Scholz, C. & Brandberg Realini L. (2012) Multiple perceptions as framing device for identifying relational places, Swedish Design Research Journal, 2: 38-45
www.urbanrelation.org

Authors:
CLAUDIA SCHOLZ (March, BArch) and LOUISE BRANDBERG REALINI (March, BArch) are both
co founders of CODESIGNERS, a Lugano-based studio for architectural designs, strategies and research. The studio is involved in landscape design, strategic planning and consulting.