Perspectives in Metropolitan Research

16.5 x 24 cm

As laboratories for the future and experimental locations for architectural and social developments, metropolises must face complicated challenges by constantly re-inventing themselves. Complex and dynamic spheres of influence permeate major cities and necessitate communication, critical-constructive modes of thinking, processes for negotiation, and suggestions for solutions. Using unconventional specialized topics, the series Perspectives in Metropolitan Research explores these developments. Each topic is discussed in a processoriented manner, which is supplemented by considerations for taking action.
Perspectives in Metropolitan Research is a joint project of the HafenCity University Hamburg [HCU] and the foundation ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius. The series’s focus reflects the disciplinary collaboration and intellectual approach found at the HCU. The volumes focus on subject matter that reflects the planned, built, surveyed, and lived surroundings and connects these with their social, economic, political, and cultural aspects. The series will release one volume yearly with rotating guest editors.

Recent history of mega-projects has largely been written as a record of disasters. Wellknown examples have turned into icons of planning failures, costly overspending, and excessive delays. Despite these systemic risks inherent in top-down massive interventions into the urban fabric, mega-projects have always played a decisive role in the development of cities. As “self-induced shocks”, they create a state of emergency that effectively leads to the pooling of finances, expertise, and public awareness. In this way objectives can be met that would have been unattainable in everyday practice.

This publication explores, with an international focus, the inherent ambivalence of megaprojects as drivers of urban transformation on the one hand and potential catalysts for uncontrollable dynamics on the other. It elucidates various forms and facets of large-scale construction ventures: as vehicles of urban development, as temporary large-scale events, as management challenges, and as elements of a changing urban development within the context of “eco-cities” and “smart cities.”

Our built environment is the result of multilayered and elaborate thought and design processes. Each of the architecture, landscape architecture, and civil engineering disciplines involved in this process has a wide range of design methods and their own disciplinary culture and history of ideas. New methodological approaches have emerged at the interfaces of these disciplines that require an interdisciplinary debate about designing. The focus of this publication is the current discussion about design, understood not only as the creation of a beautiful product, but as a task of building culture.
Passion for the Built Environment provides new insights and perspectives and illuminates the array of methodological approaches and design options called for by our built environment—from the design to the realization and the finished property.

Hamburg’s early starting point for a higher education of the built environment professionals was the initiation of a building and engineering drawing class (Bauzeichenklasse). Brought to life back in May 1767, for the following 250 years the organization and academic professionalization of the built environment education in Hamburg has undertaken a long and sometimes winding road through several organizations, times, policies. This book is drawing a bow from this first initiative to today’s HafenCity University Hamburg with its pronounced interdisciplinary strategic profile, combining all built environment related disciplines together with a socio-cultural reflection on cities and urban society under one roof.

Science and the City links three perspectives: It shows Hamburg’s organization of the built environment education from a retrospective, provides insights into institutionalized interdisciplinarity at various institutions and underlines the interdisciplinary approach at the HafenCity University Hamburg in particular.