If you ever wondered how the North builds, this exhibition is for you. The “Nordic Urban Spaces” shows examples of Nordic architecture and urban planning already implemented that make life in the city better. The Nordic weather tends to be quite extreme, being either a bright and hot summer or a very long and cold winter, so weather particularly affects architecture and urban planning.
This exhibition shows successful, innovative and participatory examples of Nordic construction and planning. The projects not only bring summer into the city (for example, with urban swimming spots) but also provide light and color in winter (for example with brightly colored subway stations). They also try to demonstrate that functionality and sustainability, consideration and elegance are not mutually exclusive.
We are happy to announce that our project Dreamhamar is displayed in the exhibition until the 28th of September. The redesign of the Stortorget Square in Hamar, Norway, through participation and a network design process, took place during Fall 2011. Citizens took part in a collective creative process that helped us shape the future of the square. Our approach was supported by workshops, lectures, urban actions, communication, and participation tools. Dreamhamar was awarded as BEST PRACTICE by the United Nations-HABITAT program in 2014.
If you are in Berlin and want to check it out, go to The Felleshus. This building is the cultural center and event venue of the five Nordic embassies (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden).
Belinda Tato and José Luis Vallejo will be participating in the On Cities Workshop, organised by the Norman Foster Foundation, which will take place this week (18 to 22 June 2018) in Madrid. The workshop will focus on Autonomous Innovative Communities, selecting a district in Madrid as a case-study for a research project that will be developed throughout the week. The On Cities Workshop will include seminars, lectures, one-to-one tutoring and urban architectural tours to learn more about the context of Madrid and it’s districts. During the course of the workshops, participants will have the opportunity to engage with the Norman Foster Foundation’s archive and research projects.
Can each community locally produce all of the energy, food, and clean water needed for basic living—requiring no centralised infrastructure? Can humans transition from ownership to sharing, while living and working in compact, agile, supportive environments? This workshop explores the premise that emerging urban innovations can dramatically reduce resources consumed by cities while simultaneously creating more livable, entrepreneurial communities.
‘We are living in an era of extreme urbanisation and rapid global warming’, states workshop mentor Kent Larson. ‘The challenges of both call for more than mere incremental adjustments.’
After reviewing applications submitted by hundreds of candidates from around the world, the selection committee awarded ten scholarships to students from the following universities and institutions: American University of Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Harvard Graduate School of Design, Cambridge, United States; London School of Economics and Political Science, London, United Kingdom; Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago de Chile, Chile; Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen, Denmark; Technische Universiteit Delft, Delft, the Netherlands; Tongji University, Shanghai, China; Tsinghua University, Beijing, China; Universidad Politécnica de Cataluña, Barcelona, Spain and University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.
These ten students will engage with a group of specialists through a series of seminars and lectures culminating in a five day workshop led by the Atelier mentor, Kent Larson, Director of MIT Media Lab City Science Group and Initiative, and his team. Nicholas Negroponte, Co-Founder and former Director of MIT Media Lab, Cambridge, United States will act as the Chief Advisor of the workshop tutoring the students through the research process.
The Academic Body spans a wide range of practitioners working in different fields interrelated with the City, including: Beatriz Colomina, Director of Graduate Studies, School of Architecture, Princeton University, Princeton, United States; Luis Cueto, General Coordinator for the Mayor in Madrid, Madrid City Hall, Madrid, Spain; Anupama Kundoo, Principal, Anupama Kundoo Architects, Madrid, Spain/Auroville, India; Winy Maas, Co-Founder and Director of MVRDV and Director of the Why Factory, Delft, the Netherlands; Tim Stonor, Managing Director of Space Syntax, London, United Kingdom; Leonor Tarrasón, Director of Environmental Solutions, Norwegian Institute for Air Research, Oslo, Norway; Belinda Tato and José Luis Vallejo, Founders and Directors of Ecosistema Urbano, Madrid, Spain/Miami, United States.
Next Sunday 27th May José Luis Vallejo will be giving a lecture at the Milano Arch Week 2018.
This important event, this year under the title “Urbania“, is promoted by the Comune di Milano, the Politecnico di Milano and the Triennale di Milano in collaboration with Fondazione Giangiacomo Feltrinelli, and includes a rich program of conferences, workshops, installations, exhibitions, performances, events open to citizens to reflect together on the future of the city and the dynamics of contemporary architecture.
Date and time: May 27th, 19:00 h.
Location: Palco giardino – Viale Alemagna, 6, Milano
Tomorrow José Luis Vallejo will be giving a lecture at the Utzon Centre in Aalborg, Denmark, as part of the Utzon(x) Lecture Series).
Since 2010 the international Utzon(x) Lecture Series have arranged lectures and symposiums with the participation of Jacob van Rijs (MVRDV), Juhani Pallasmaa, Mathias Kohler (ETH Zürich), Sigrid Adriaenssens (Princeton University), Dirk van Gameren (TU Delft/Mecanoo), Yoshiharu Tsukamoto (Bow-Wow,9 Jenny Osludsen (Snøhetta) and Nanne de Ru (Berlage Institute) among others.
Location: Utzon Centre, Aalborg, Denmark
Date: November 21st, 2017
Time: 16:00 h
Among other experts and architects that will take part to the event, there are: ENORME Studio (ES), Fosbury Architecture (IT), Luca Montuori (Deputy Mayor for Urban Planning at the Municipality of Rome, IT), Orizzontale (IT), Olga Polishuk (Chief Operating Officer of Strelka Institute, RU), SET Architects (IT), Jean-Benoît Vetillard (FR), U67 (DK), and WikiSpazioPubblico (IT). Moreover, the second day of the festival on Monday, September 25, will be closed by the keynote speech of Koert van Mensvoort (Next Nature, NL).
About New Generation Festival: The 4th edition of the New Generations Festival – Architects VS Rest of the World – proposes an intense programme of discussions, workshops and cultural activities, involving numerous international guests, gathered to reflect on the profession of the architect from multidisciplinary points of view. After successful events in Milan (2013), Florence (2014) and Genoa (2015), Rome will host the fourth edition of the New Generations festival with the aim of creating a community of architects and experts from different disciplines, in order to redefine the role of architecture in contemporary society.
The relation between the new generations of architects and other disciplines is a broad field of discussion that will be addressed via three umbrella topics: (a) Urban Vocabulary & Public Space, (b) New Economies & Values, and (c) Digital Infrastructure & New Media. These 3 topics will be at the center of the debate during the Festival, inviting young architects, city makers, sociologists, economists, public & private institutions, startups, communication and digital media experts, web developers, programmers and many others professionals to discuss and exchange ideas. The discussion will see the participation of representatives from the wide network of the New Generations Platform, which counts more than 80 young practices and more than 500 international experts.
URBAN VOCABULARY & PUBLIC SPACE: cities are changing at a fast pace, is the profession and the way we face urban problems keeping up with this rapid developments? New Urban Vocabulary looks at the way architects are more and more becoming mediators in complex urban processes, proposing new ways of thinking not just in terms of urban planning methods, but ways of working with communities, re-activating and re-claiming public space.
NEW ECONOMIES & VALUES: how did the economic crisis of 2008 affect the profession? What do we mean when we talk about successful, sustainable and collaborative economic models in relation to the design field? Collaborative Economies proposes an investigation of the economic models behind successful, emerging and innovative architectural practices. The aim is to analyse the contemporary workscapes with a specific attention to economic sustainability, unveiling challenges and opportunities of the contemporary workfield.
DIGITAL INFRASTRUCTURES & NEW MEDIA: New Technologies and Digital Media are changing the way we work in an unprecedented way, but what is the impact of those changes on the architectural profession? Which new figures and experts need to be involved in this highly complex process? Digital infrastructures looks at how seamlessly integrated technological systems run in the background of our cities but have the power to fundamentally change both the approach to architecture and the way we experience spaces, creating a base for innovation.
We are honored to announce that Ecosistema Urbano has been recognized as a 2017 Social Design Circle Honoree by the Curry Stone Design Prize.
What is the Curry Stone Design Prize?
The Curry Stone Design Prize is awarded each year to honor innovative projects that use design to address pressing social justice issues. Supported by the Curry Stone Foundation, the Prize highlights and rewards projects that improve daily living conditions of people in communities around the world. The Prize acknowledges work that is considered emerging in the professional and public consciousness.
What is the Social Design Cirle?
This year, in honor of the 10th anniversary, the Curry Stone Design Prize assembled a group of 100 of the most compelling social design practitioners of the last decade, a project called The Social Design Circle. As the organizers of the prize refer: These are practices which have captivated and inspired us over the years, as we’ve built a global community of visionaries, activists and game changers. The Social Design Circle project gives answer to what are defined to be the 12 most urgent questions in social design practice. Each month a new topic is adressed through a new open question. Answers come from different practicioners among the 100 winners. The questions up to date asked are:
Should designers be outlaws? Is the right to housing real? Can design challenge inequality? Can design prevent disaster? Can we design community engagement?
Here follows the report of the jury regarding our work:
We honor Ecosistema Urbano particularly for their progressive ideas on community participation. The group has worked to update the very notion of “community participation” through the development of online tools which encourage global participation on local projects. The group has developed several apps to collect community input throughout the design process. New technologies work to break down barriers which traditionally inhibited the full participation of community. Many of our ‘communities’ today are in fact digital, so the idea of community participation must be updated as well.
In a physical space, the group is best known for their green projects like Ecobulevar – a project of ‘air trees’ in the Madrid suburb of Vallecas. The project is intended to be temporary, but creates the same sort of community space that one would find in an old growth allée.
The air trees are made from repurposed industrial materials such as recycled plastic, greenhouse fabric, rubber tires. They contain rooting vegetation and atomizers that cool and moisten the air in the cylinder and around it (8oC to 10oC cooler than the rest of the street in summer). The cylinders can be used for public gatherings, and solar panels provide electricity for lighting when needed (excess energy is sold back to the grid and helps fund the maintenance of the structures).
This and other sustainability projects like Ecopolis in Madrid speak to a shared sense of community responsibility and interaction.
Moreover, an interview we gave for the occasion together with our colleagues of Interboro constitute the episode 24 and 25 “Tools for urban action” of the Social Design Insight podcast. You can listen to episode 24 here, while the episode 25 will be shared on Thursday June 8 on Curry Stone Design Prize webpage.
We are very happy to announce that our project Open Shore is the winning proposal of Shore to Core, the international design competition to reimagine downtown West Palm Beach as a dynamic, resilient waterfront city! We are thrilled with the great reception that the project has had, and eager to continue its development side by side with the people and the institutions of West Palm Beach.
Ecosistema Urbano | Open Shore | Rain Plaza
Here we share the press release from Van Alen Institute:
Van Alen Institute and the West Palm Beach Community Redevelopment Agency (WPB CRA) today announced Open Shore by Ecosistema Urbano as the winning proposal for the Shore to Core waterfront design competition. The Shore to Core competition invited international designers, planners and architects to envision what the future of the West Palm Beach waterfront could look like over the next 20 to 30 years, taking factors including populations, economies and the environment into account. The winning proposal will serve as a “vision board” for the city’s future, providing a starting point and framework to help the city adapt and make the most of the waterfront.
Ecosistema Urbano | Open Shore | Rain Plaza
Ecosistema Urbano | Open Shore | Plan
Selected from a pool of over 40 international teams and two finalists, Ecosistema Urbano’s winning proposal envisions a healthier and more resilient downtown and waterfront for West Palm Beach—a keystone city in southern Florida with a growing population of people in their 20s and 30s, as well as large Black and Hispanic populations. The competition proposals imagine new amenities that reflect the city’s emerging populations, and Shore to Core’s organizers believe that design is a crucial tool for tackling these evolving needs. The initiative included public consultation, and this input played a role in the jury’s decision-making process.
Ecosistema Urbano | Open Shore | Strolling on the Waterfront
Ecosistema Urbano | Open Shore | Aerial View
Ecosistema Urbano | Open Shore | Flagler Drive and the Cloud Forest Habitat Plaza
Ecosistema Urbano’s winning design answers Shore to Core’s call for a comprehensive, forward-thinking urban plan to make West Palm Beach’s waterfront a year-round destination for locals and visitors alike. The proposal includes what could be the first public bioclimatic domes in the U.S. adorned with hanging gardens. These domes create climatically comfortable spaces 365 days a year, thereby supporting a more socially cohesive city.
The proposal also illustrates how the city’s Banyan Garage could be upcycled into a mixed-use building with both public- and private-sector roles featuring adaptive climates suitable for a range of activities, including a farmers market, coworking spaces, and skyline viewing platforms. Additional amenities include vibrant thematic alleyways—with such features as a rock climbing wall, interactive exhibition space, and immersive foliage—that harness the cultural values and experiences unique to West Palm Beach, while also providing shade and introducing new elevated programming spaces
Ecosistema Urbano | Open Shore | Level 4 Open Air Plaza at Banyan Hub
Ecosistema Urbano | Open Shore | Farmers Market day at Banyan’s ground floor
Ecosistema Urbano | Open Shore | Social green space at Banyan Hub overlooking the downtown
Ecosistema Urbano | Open Shore | Banyan Hub | Section
Ecosistema Urbano will present their proposal to the WPB CRA board in May 2017. The CRA board will identify priority projects within the Banyan Garage and downtown alleyways, and then contract with Ecosistema Urbano. This process will be followed by outreach to the community about the individual elements that are scheduled for possible implementation in late 2017 or early 2018.
“The Shore to Core competition and resulting proposals truly offered insights into how we can plan a strong and vibrant future for our city,” said Jeri Muoio, Mayor of the City of West Palm Beach. “Ecosistema Urbano’s design was applauded by all as enhancing the waterfront and creating new, iconic experiences that incorporate our natural resources, cultural spaces, and inclusive urban atmospheres.”
“Ecosistema Urbano’s proposal addresses social cohesion in a compelling way by integrating locally responsive systems with a welcoming public space that will further diversify the city,” said David van der Leer, Executive Director of Van Alen Institute. “We’re thrilled that West Palm Beach is looking to the future and rethinking how to create a downtown that is uniquely theirs— a downtown that enhances the wellbeing of residents and visitors alike.
The runner-up design finalist, Perkins + Will, created a proposal focusing on community-building with a continuous waterfront park, extended Great Lawn, and the Banyan Garage revitalized as a multi-use civic space. Van Alen has synthesized the work of the finalist teams into a key findings document, “A Shore Thing: Key Findings from the Shore to Core Competition,” that summarizes the shared insights from all three proposals.
The Shore to Core competition has parallel research and design tracks: The aim of this structure is to understand how waterfront cities like West Palm Beach can become healthier, and to create design strategies that will make them more responsive to rising sea levels. The winning research team, Happier by Design, focused on how specific types of public spaces may increase the wellbeing of people who use them, and conducted a pilot study analyzing the health benefits of more complex and engaging urban landscapes.
By testing environmental psychology principals with tactical urban interventions, Happier by Design found that public space designs that boost feelings of fascination foster wellbeing. The research team also recommended that designers focus individuals’ attention on nature and create spaces that are both comfortable and interactive, including such features as movable seating and adjustable lookouts that frame the landscape. The team’s recommendations affirm the dynamic and engaging designs proposed by Ecosistema Urbano. The combination of innovative research and original design in Shore to Core reflects Van Alen’s mission to use research and design to inform the planning of new civic spaces.
Raphael Clemente, Executive Director, Downtown West Palm Beach
Colin Ellard, Associate Professor, University of Waterloo, Department of Psychology
Patrick Franklin, President and CEO, Urban League of Palm Beach County
David van der Leer (Jury Chair), Executive Director, Van Alen Institute
Jeri Muoio, Mayor, City of West Palm Beach
Penni Redford, Sustainability Manager, City of West Palm Beach
Manuel Clavel Rojo, Clavel Arquitectos (substitute for Terry Riley, K/R Architects)
Jon Ward, Executive Director, West Palm Beach Community Redevelopment Agency
Lilly Weinberg, Director of Community Foundations, Knight Foundation
Claire Weisz, Founding Principal, WXY Studio
Nancy Wells, Professor, Cornell University, College of Human Ecology, Design and Environmental Analysis Department
Ecosistema Urbano Team:
A multidisciplinary Madrid and Boston-based team comprised of principals Belinda Tato and Jose Luis Vallejo; Marco Rizzetto, Carlos León, Antonella Marlene Milano, Luisa Zancada, Jorge Toledo, Marta Muñoz, Pablo Santacana, Lola Pouchin, Maria Vittoria Tesei, Andrea Bertrán, Ana Patricia Maté, Lucía De Retes Cascales, Cristina Rodríguez, Elizabeth Kelleher, Lorena Tselemegkou, Luana Scarpel, Silvia Sangriso, Daniela Menendez, Julia Casado, Constantino Hurtado, Andrés Walliser.
To view high-resolution images for this project, including work by the winning team, click here
To view animated images of Ecosistema Urbano’s proposal, have a look here
In this framework we are currently seeking a civil engineer, construction engineer, building engineer or architect, with proven expertise in the field of construction and maintenance of public space to start a collaboration in this research project. Chosen candidate will work on the topic of maintenance of public space side by side with ecosistema urbano. The official language of the project is English and all the documents to be produced should be in English.
+ Graduate in civil or construction engineering
+ Professional proficiency of written and spoken English and Spanish
+ Expertise in the sector of public works and maintenance of public space
+ Well organised person and proven research methodology
+ Basic knowledge of European Union green policies
+ Strong understanding of environmental issues
+ High capacity to work independently and respect deadlines
Candidates should submit their cv to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ecosistema Urbano está buscando un ingeniero civil o de construcción, arquitecto o arquitecto técnico con experiencia probada en el campo de la construcción y mantenimiento del espacio público para iniciar una colaboración en un proyecto de investigación que se está desarrollando dentro del marco de políticas públicas sostenibles de la Comisión Europea. El candidato elegido trabajará sobre el tema del mantenimiento del espacio público junto con ecosistema urbano. El idioma oficial del proyecto es el inglés y todos los documentos de proyecto se producirán en inglés.
+ Licenciado en ingeniería civil o de construcción o arquitectura técnica
+ Máxima competencia profesional de inglés y español
+ Experiencia en el sector de obras públicas y mantenimiento del espacio público
+ Persona bien organizada y control de metodología de investigación probada
+ Conocimientos básicos de las políticas sostenibles de la Unión Europea
+ Fuerte comprensión de las cuestiones ambientales
+ Alta capacidad para trabajar independientemente y respetar los plazos
Los interesados pueden enviar su cv email@example.com
Green Public Procurement (GPP) is defined in the Communication (COM (2008) 400) “Public procurement for a better environment” as “a process whereby public authorities seek to procure goods, services and works with a reduced environmental impact throughout their life cycle when compared to goods, services and works with the same primary function that would otherwise be procured.” GPP is a voluntary instrument, which means that Member States and public authorities can determine the extent to which they implement it.
Public authorities are major consumers in Europe: they spend approximately 1.8 trillion euro annually, representing around 14 % of the EU’s gross domestic product. By using their purchasing power to choose goods and services with lower impacts on the environment, they can make an important contribution to sustainable consumption and production.
Green purchasing is also about influencing the market. By promoting and using GPP, public authorities can provide industry with real incentives for developing green technologies and products. In some sectors, public purchasers command a significant share of the market (e.g. public transport and construction, health services and education) and so their decisions have considerable impact. EU GPP is an important tool as it can contribute to the stimulation of the market for environmentally-friendly goods, works and services and to contribute to the development of a more resource-efficient economy in the EU. The Commission has developed EU GPP criteria for around 20 different product groups.
Here the complete list of 20 product groups considered for EU GPP Criteria, and as you may notice the range is really wide, from Office Building Design, Construction and Management, to Transport or Computer and monitors, to mention a few.
We are now working on the first phase of the project for the development of the EU GPP Criteria for Public Space Maintenance. One of the very first document produced is a Stakeholder Questionnaire aiming to define the scope. The questionnaire has been sent to several identified stakeholders from the supply side (Providers of maintenance services, equipment, public furniture, etc), demand side (public and non-public procurers) and other stakeholders, such as national or local policy makers, environmental organizations, urban planners and designers, citizens organizations, etc.
The scoping questionnaire is available at the following link for all interested parties to contribute: