2015

Reframing the Urban: Cities and their global impact

Neil Brenner, Professor of Urban Theory and Director of Urban Theory Lab (UTL) at Harvard Graduate School of Design, talks with Peter Mares, University of Melbourne, about the phenomenon of ”urbanization”. The talk is available as a podcast on urbantheorylab.net.

As more and more people move into cities, we live in an urban age—this is a common assumption. Brenner opposes this definition of the “urban age”, which is based on a binary opposition between city and countryside. He argues instead that it is necessary to look beyond this notion of the rural/urban divide, since it cannot encompass the differences in processes of urbanization. He proposes a redefinition of the concept of “urbanization”, which acknowledges that rural territories—the so-called hinterland—play a fundamental part in supplying cities with resources and are thus essential to the process. Urbanization has already reached the whole planet, not only so-called “urban” regions: ”I do believe that we live in an urban world and in an urbanised planet, but in order to understand the way in which that's the case we oftentimes have to look far beyond the city limits in order to see the ways in which landscapes, environments, territories are being transformed to support the current form of urbanisation.“—Read more at: upclose.unimelb.edu.au

The book Implosions / Explosions, edited by Neil Brenner, looks at processes of urbanization across places, regions, territories, continents, and oceans up to the planetary scale.

Neil Brenner, Professor of Urban Theory and Director of Urban Theory Lab (UTL) at Harvard Graduate School of Design, talks with Peter Mares, University of Melbourne, about the phenomenon of ”urbanization”. The talk is available as a podcast on urbantheorylab.net.

As more and more people move into cities, we live in an urban age—this is a common assumption. Brenner opposes this definition of the “urban age”, which is based on a binary opposition between city and countryside. He argues instead that it is necessary to look beyond this notion of the rural/urban divide, since it cannot encompass the differences in processes of urbanization. He proposes a redefinition of the concept of “urbanization”, which acknowledges that rural territories—the so-called hinterland—play a fundamental part in supplying cities with resources and are thus essential to the process. Urbanization has already reached the whole planet, not only so-called “urban” regions: ”I do believe that we live in an urban world and in an urbanised planet, but in order to understand the way in which that's the case we oftentimes have to look far beyond the city limits in order to see the ways in which landscapes, environments, territories are being transformed to support the current form of urbanisation.“—Read more at: upclose.unimelb.edu.au

The book Implosions / Explosions, edited by Neil Brenner, looks at processes of urbanization across places, regions, territories, continents, and oceans up to the planetary scale.

 

New Series: gmp FOCUS

Our new series gmp FOCUS documents an exemplary selection of buildings by architecture firm gmp—von Gerkan, Marg and Partner. Each volume presents one building by means of detailed texts and photo galleries by renowned culture journalists, architecture critics, and photographers. Among others, the publications focus on the Hanoi Museum of Vietnam, the Chongqing Grand Theater in China, the State Ballet School in Berlin, and the Hans-Sachs-Haus in Gelsenkirchen.

The architecture partnership gmp was founded in 1965 by Meinhard von Gerkan and Volkwin Marg. gmp became known especially on account of its airport architecture: in 1975, Berlin-Tegel was opened as a drive-in airport. It is not only their projects such as the exhibition center Neue Messe Leipzig, the reconstruction and roofing of the Berlin Olympic Stadium, or the Berlin Central Station that have gained international acclaim. In China, they have realized the trade fair and congress centers in Nanning and Shenzhen, as well as the Universiade Sports Center and the Oriental Sports Center in Shanghai. Further buildings include the opera houses in Chongqing, Qingdao, and Tianjin, as well as the National Museum of China in Beijing and the new West Railway Station in Tianjin. gmp has been awarded more than 590 prizes in national and international competitions, of which more than 310 first prizes, and numerous distinctions for exemplary architecture. They have realized more than 370 buildings up until today.

Our new series gmp FOCUS documents an exemplary selection of buildings by architecture firm gmp—von Gerkan, Marg and Partner. Each volume presents one building by means of detailed texts and photo galleries by renowned culture journalists, architecture critics, and photographers. Among others, the publications focus on the Hanoi Museum of Vietnam, the Chongqing Grand Theater in China, the State Ballet School in Berlin, and the Hans-Sachs-Haus in Gelsenkirchen.

The architecture partnership gmp was founded in 1965 by Meinhard von Gerkan and Volkwin Marg. gmp became known especially on account of its airport architecture: in 1975, Berlin-Tegel was opened as a drive-in airport. It is not only their projects such as the exhibition center Neue Messe Leipzig, the reconstruction and roofing of the Berlin Olympic Stadium, or the Berlin Central Station that have gained international acclaim. In China, they have realized the trade fair and congress centers in Nanning and Shenzhen, as well as the Universiade Sports Center and the Oriental Sports Center in Shanghai. Further buildings include the opera houses in Chongqing, Qingdao, and Tianjin, as well as the National Museum of China in Beijing and the new West Railway Station in Tianjin. gmp has been awarded more than 590 prizes in national and international competitions, of which more than 310 first prizes, and numerous distinctions for exemplary architecture. They have realized more than 370 buildings up until today.

 

How Do We Create Cities Together?

„How do we create cities together?“—Richard Sennett, Professor of Sociology at London School of Economics and Political Science, Regula Lüscher, State Senate Department Director of Berlin, Marcos Rosa, architect, Sao Paolo, and Stefan Horn, urban dialogues, Berlin, discussed this question together with Kristien Ring, architect and founder of AA Projects, Berlin.

Richard Sennett’s keynote and the following discussion focused on the relation between top down planning and bottom up initiatives: How can citizens be integrated in processes of urban development? What are the advantages of bottom up projects and what are their limits? How can community projects have an impact on the city beyond the confines of the particular neighborhood?

The lecture and discussion took place at March 31, 2015. The book Handmade Urbanism. From Community Initiatives to Participatory Models, edited by Marcos L. Rosa and Ute Weiland, also focuses on the role of participatory methods in urban development. It presents 15 exemplary projects realized mostly in less favored areas of five major cities in emerging countries, examining the potential of urban transformation embedded in community initiatives.

„How do we create cities together?“—Richard Sennett, Professor of Sociology at London School of Economics and Political Science, Regula Lüscher, State Senate Department Director of Berlin, Marcos Rosa, architect, Sao Paolo, and Stefan Horn, urban dialogues, Berlin, discussed this question together with Kristien Ring, architect and founder of AA Projects, Berlin.

Richard Sennett’s keynote and the following discussion focused on the relation between top down planning and bottom up initiatives: How can citizens be integrated in processes of urban development? What are the advantages of bottom up projects and what are their limits? How can community projects have an impact on the city beyond the confines of the particular neighborhood?

The lecture and discussion took place at March 31, 2015. The book Handmade Urbanism. From Community Initiatives to Participatory Models, edited by Marcos L. Rosa and Ute Weiland, also focuses on the role of participatory methods in urban development. It presents 15 exemplary projects realized mostly in less favored areas of five major cities in emerging countries, examining the potential of urban transformation embedded in community initiatives.

 

Design Award Wüstenrot Foundation

The architecture firm Lederer Ragnarsdóttir Oei received the design award of the national competition of the Wüstenrot foundation “Building culture in Germany” (Baukultur in Deutschland) for the Hospitalhof in Stuttgart—a center used by the evangelical church in Stuttgart for culture, art, spirituality, and education. Among other things, the new building convinced the jury because of its harmonious relation with the existing layout and buildings of the neighborhood. You can find a detailed description and images of the Hospitalhof on LRO’s website.

The Wüstenrot foundation awarded 14 projects in the competition, which will be exhibited between February 24 and March 27, 2015 at BDA (Bund Deutscher Architekten), Zeppelin Carré, Friedrichstraße 5, 70174 Stuttgart.

The architecture firm Lederer Ragnarsdóttir Oei received the design award of the national competition of the Wüstenrot foundation “Building culture in Germany” (Baukultur in Deutschland) for the Hospitalhof in Stuttgart—a center used by the evangelical church in Stuttgart for culture, art, spirituality, and education. Among other things, the new building convinced the jury because of its harmonious relation with the existing layout and buildings of the neighborhood. You can find a detailed description and images of the Hospitalhof on LRO’s website.

The Wüstenrot foundation awarded 14 projects in the competition, which will be exhibited between February 24 and March 27, 2015 at BDA (Bund Deutscher Architekten), Zeppelin Carré, Friedrichstraße 5, 70174 Stuttgart.

 

Jan Gehl—Cities for People

On February 18 the Danish architect and city planner Jan Gehl talked about his principles in urban planning, which focus on the human scale. He presented numerous international projects that have integrated these principles—among others his hometown Copenhagen.

The event was organized in collaboration with the Alfred-Herrhausen-Society to present the first German edition of Gehl’s international bestseller Cities for People (Städte für Menschen).

For more than 40 years, the architect and city planner Jan Gehl has been involved in redesigning or creating new designs for squares, streets, even entire city districts, for the benefit of the residents. He bases himself on insights that he has gained through many years of studying city situations in various countries. By observing megacities in detail himself, Gehl develops methods and strategies for bringing significant positive change to dysfunctional and inhospitable urban landscapes. The most important principle behind Jan Gehl’s urban planning on a human scale is that the urban space has to be experienced at the speed of a pedestrian, instead of from a vehicle. This is the only way to succeed in making both traditional metropolises and rapidly growing cities in developing and emerging countries into “cities for people”.

On February 18 the Danish architect and city planner Jan Gehl talked about his principles in urban planning, which focus on the human scale. He presented numerous international projects that have integrated these principles—among others his hometown Copenhagen.

The event was organized in collaboration with the Alfred-Herrhausen-Society to present the first German edition of Gehl’s international bestseller Cities for People (Städte für Menschen).

For more than 40 years, the architect and city planner Jan Gehl has been involved in redesigning or creating new designs for squares, streets, even entire city districts, for the benefit of the residents. He bases himself on insights that he has gained through many years of studying city situations in various countries. By observing megacities in detail himself, Gehl develops methods and strategies for bringing significant positive change to dysfunctional and inhospitable urban landscapes. The most important principle behind Jan Gehl’s urban planning on a human scale is that the urban space has to be experienced at the speed of a pedestrian, instead of from a vehicle. This is the only way to succeed in making both traditional metropolises and rapidly growing cities in developing and emerging countries into “cities for people”.