MAKING CITY_The Exhibition 3

To conclude the review of the main exhibition of the 5th IABR, and with it the series of blog posts dedicated to the event, is time to visit the last group of projects that throw ideas, strategies and doubts about the future of cities.

This time they are focused on issues directly related to the nature of the city; as boundaries, housing mass and density:

APPROACH #7: Cities transcend boundaries

Starting from the premise “cities take no needs of boundaries”, it treats the city limits, arguing that are not needed, something I do not really agree.

I think that the field of regional planning and land zoning must have some limits, to prevent the dispersion of the cities that can lead to a huge drop in their efficiency.

  • Open City Batam (Batam, Indonesia, KRUPUC, ETH, Future Cities SEC, SHAU): A series of workshops investigating the validity of informal structures as an urban principle for the open city.
  • Mid size Utopia (Eindhoven region, The Netherlands): Studies the relationship between mobility and regional development in the the ring around the Randstad.

It finishes with the statement:

MAKING CITY IS: Making cities stronger by making them bigger

APPROACH #8: Housing the masses

From the statement “many houses don’t make city”, the projects treat the subject of residential growth of cities, the danger of creating only housing areas without thinking in the city; and the opportunity presented by this growth to improve public spaces, connections, associated job opportunities and economic growth of the city.

  • 100000 jobs for Almere (Almere, The Netherlands): Urban development consisting of 60,000 households and 100,000 jobs in the young city of Almere, a project that seeks to create a Smart City with collaboration of Cisco, IBM, Liander, Living PlanIT and Philips.
  • Delhi 2050 (New Delhi, India, Office of Chief Government Architect): Collaboration between India and the Netherlands to develop a long term strategy for the city and region of Delhi. It tries to prevent the population growth (which will grow millions in the coming decades) and develop a proposal for infrastructure, traffic, transport, water, health insurance… to accommodate this population.
  • PostConflicto Laboratory (Guatemala, URBANÍSTICA): Productive housing project, led in this case to build a national housing policy after the end of the armed conflict in Guatemala.
  • 50000 New Dwellings (Bordeaux, France, La Communauté Urbaine de Bordeaux): Is a housing development along the axis of the TGV rail link. The project has had 5 teams: 51N4E + Grau, Lacaton-Vassal, L’AUC, Alexandre Chemetoff and OMA, responsible for the proposals to face the challenge to create a new way of housing typology in the city. 
  • Flemish Metropolitan Dream (Flanders, Belgium): A proposal  by Vlaams Bouwmeester in which they propose a new way to create housing typology in Flanders, more efficient than the current one, for 2030, by which time is expected 330,000 new homes.

In this case,

MAKING CITY IS: Cleverly managing the growth of the city

APPROACH #9: Densifying the city

It shows projects that seek to transform city centres in dense and compact places able to attract new residents.

  • MakingCity inner Rotterdam (Rotterdam, the Netherlands, Municipality Rotterdam, dS+V): The city plans to add in the center 20,000 new homes. This project shows the opportunities of this based on the concept “Densification + Greenification = SustainableCity”.
  • Remaking Zurich (Zurich, Switzerland): A project of the ETH Zurich, which is conducting a research on different international housing types to densify the inner city of Zurich.
  • IntenseCity (Groningen, the Netherlands): A series of public campaigns to increase the use of town involving residents, users and private investors.

This concludes the exhibition organized by the NAi, a considerable effort to raise issues of great importance on the need to think about the future of cities.

From my point of view it’s been a good way to organize it. Although it can be very dense for one visit, the structure of the exhibition reflects successfully the issues addressed by the Biennale, getting to be the common thread for the chain of events that has become the fifth Architecture Biennale in Rotterdam.

I hope the readers of this review have found interesting to follow the events of the IABR, on a personal level it has been, so I hope to continue doing this type of event monitoring in the future as there is still much to say, to ask, to try to answer or to make proposals about the development of our cities.

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