Monthly Archives: June 2012

Urbanists Talk 3: Gert Urhahn

Finishing with the lecture series “Urbanists Talk” that the NAi has been organized within the 5th IABR Making City, is the turn of Gert Urhahn, who made his speech after  Pablo Allard on June 7th.

Gert Urhahn was Senior Urban Designer for the Municipality of Amsterdam between 1985 and 1990. He founded Urhahn Urban Design in 1991 and have been particularly experienced in renewal strategies for harbour and waterfront related projects. He is specialized in complex assignments where various stakeholders are together aiming to find a sound and tailor-made solution, as a senior designer or as supervisor is a member of the International Federation for Housing and Planning (IFHP) and of the advisory body of the Amsterdam council (ARS).

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Towards an Open Source Urbanism

This blog was created with the idea of trying to make a reflection on issues that are driving a change in the approach to urban planning and the relationship between city and citizen.

Although is part of a larger project that is step by step taking shape, the fact of starting writing had been driven by a number of influences, influences that I would like to explain and recommend in this post.

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Who makes our future?

On June 12th was held at the NAi an interesting debate within the activities of the 5th IABR, entitled:             “Who makes our future?

Debate that served as the presentation of the book “Dutch New Worlds“, a PhD work by Christian Salewski for the ETH Zurich, with the participation of following panel of guests:

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What is Tactical Urbanism bringing to the table?

Tactical Urbanism is a term used to describe small-scale urban actions aiming for a long-term impact. Is about looking for improvements in the liveability of cities in a street, block or building scale.

It includes practices that have been made for a long time, but are particularly important in the current situation, in which prevails the need for interventions of low-budget, bottom-up, involving the citizen.

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Urbanists Talk 2: Pablo Allard

On June 7th took place at NAi the second (and last) lecture of the series “Urbanists Talk”, which this time included the participation of Pablo Allard and Gert Urhahn.

I have decided to separate their interventions to maintain the structure of short entries of the blog, so I will begin with the first of them, Pablo Allard (Gert Urhahn is one of the authors of “The Spontaneous City“, of which I spoke not long ago in an entry)

Pablo Allard is a Chilean Architect and Urban Planner, Dean of the Faculty of Architecture and Art at the “Universidad del Desarrollo de Santiago y Concepción” and Principal at URBANICA Consultants.

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After a time working on projects for cities like Hong Kong or Shenzhen trying; mainly, to understand its scale and its way of working, is possible to get to the conclusion that in terms of mobility, density and even architectural typology, the terms used until now to define a city are becoming obsolete.

We are in front of something different, which stopped being a city, at least just one, to become a multi-nucleus network, a new concept, a syncytium.

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Architecture in “growth-crazy” cities

On May 29 was held at the NAi the debate “Architecture in growth cities crazy: Turkish Approaches for Sustainable City Making” organized by the 5th IABR and the municipality of Arnavutköy, commemorating the 400th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Turkey and the Netherlands.

In order to deal with the question of the rapid growth of Istanbul (one of the test sites of the Biennale) an interesting panel of professionals from areas directly related to the process of making a city were invited:

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The Spontaneous City: Manifesto

Recently published, the book “The Spontaneous City” (Urhahn Urban Design, BIS Publishers) is a strong statement about the future of Urbanism. Though I am still going trough its pages, I think the interesting manifesto that opens the publication deserves a post, since in it I have found many ideas related to an open source urban design.

In the manifesto, the authors propose a change in the traditional urban planning, a new starting point by taking the city as a “marketplace” in which supply and demand from users sculpts urban form.

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Urbanists Talk 1: Jeffrey Inaba

Within the series of lectures “Urbanists Talk”, part of the program of the International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam 2012; on May 3 came to visit the NAi Jeffrey Inaba, founding director of the Columbia Laboratory for Architectural Broadcasting (C-Lab) in which is also editor of Volume magazine, and founder of the architecture firm INABA (Los Angeles).

His speech was preceded by a presentation in the media that highlighted the term city 2.0, and how it is formed by the convergence of technology, automobiles, higher education and political strategies.

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