RECYCLING CITY Lifecycles, Embodied Energy, Inclusion
Lorenzo Fabian, Emanuel Giannotti, Paola ViganĂ˛ Eds.
We recycle things that are subject to a life cycle. Parts of cities, objects, materials: talking about the city as something that can be recycled makes us think about its rhythms, life cycles, metamorphoses. Recycling cities is an essential strategy that cuts across the scales and themes of the contemporary urban question: the environmental crisis, the progressive divide between rich and poor, forced or denied mobility that points towards new exclusions.
Università Iuav di Venezia Dipartimento di Urbanistica
LIFECYC L ES, EM BODIED ENERG Y, I NCLUS I O N edited by Lorenzo Fabian, Emanuel Giannotti, Paola Viganò
RECYCLING CITY Lifecycles , embodied energy, inclusion L. Fabian, E. Giannotti, P. Viganò eds. LIFELONG LEARNING PROGRAMME, 2011-1-IT2-ERA10-27080 IUAV Venezia L. Fabian, E. Giannotti, P. Pellegrini, B. Secchi, P. Viganò UPC Barcelona A. Cuellar, J. Moreno Sanz TU Delft B. Hausleitner, M. Sanchez, S. Tiallinji, D. Zandbelt KU Leuven C. Nolf coordination of the Intensive Programme P. Viganò ATLANTIS TRANSATLANTIC EXCHANGE PROGRAMME “URBANISMS OF INCLUSION” PARSONS The New School for Design, New York B. McGrath, M. Mitrasinovic, M. Robles-Duran TU Eindhoven OTHER PARTICIPANTS CVUT Prague M. Jedrychowicz, K. Maier, Z. Zavrel Arizona State University C. Barton RESEARCH GROUP “IGNIS MUTAT RES” IUAV Venezia P. Viganò (scientific coordinator), B. Secchi, L. Fabian, E. Giannotti with P. Bagatella, S. Causin Studio 012, B. Secchi, P. Viganò A. Calò, M. Durand, E. Longhin, R. Sega. TRIBU énergie B. Sesolis, L. Jarrige SUPSI Lugano D. Fornari Cà Foscari, Venezia V. Bonifacio BOOK character Fago Off Sans, Foundry Journal graphic nuclearlab.it (F. Radaelli) cover S. Causin (model), M. Andriani (photo) revision/English translation D. Ronayne website www.recyclingcity.it publishing Giavedoni editore, Pordenone ISBN 978-88-98176-01-4
CO N TENT S
Foreword PART 1: L IFEC YCLES, EMBODIED ENERGY, INCLUSION
Elements for a Theory of the City as Renewable Resource Paola ViganĂ˛
Recycling Energy Lorenzo Fabian
Recycling City, Reintegrating Renewables Sven Stremke
The Rich and the Poor, Inclusion and Exclusion Bernardo Secchi
Emplaced Difference Elena Ostanel
Who Recycles the City? Emanuel Giannotti PART 2: REC YCL ING VENE TO REGION
"Soft urban": Changing Settlements and Renovation Processes Monica Bianchettin Del Grano
Territories of Recycling Irene Guida
Every Man for Himself Steve Bisson
Toward No Auto Lorenzo Fabian
User Features of Commuter Transport in the Central Veneto Area and Design Explorations Dao-Ming Chang
THREE CASE STUDIES edited by Andrea Curtoni, Michele Girelli, Verena Lenna, Giulia Mazzorin 114
Reframing Efficiency and Growth in the Città Diffusa Verena Lenna Embodied Energy Carmen Boyer, Claudiu Forgaci, Mengdi Guo, Anna Gutierrez, Johanna Jacob, Sam Khabir, Marta Mezerova, Radka Simandlova, Maya Weinsten The Inverted Città Diffusa Jelisa Blumberg, Junbiao Huang, Elsa Kaminsky, Meredith Moore, Valerie Raets, Maarten Wauters
A Complex Node Giulia Mazzorin, Michele Girelli Re-constructing the Polis Giulia Mazzorin Re-territorialisation Sanne Claeys, Amber Kevelaerts, Vahid Kiumarsi, Katerina Kosová, Jitka Molnarova, Maggie Ollove, Aida Rasti, Tamara Yurovsky Cultural Diversity as Urban Value Michele Girelli CITA: Perfect Ghetto Azadeh Badiee, Jordi Stals, Kyle A. D. McGahan, Michele Girelli, Nelson Lo, Olivia Heung, Rashid Owoyele, Teodora Constantinescu
To Avoid the Closure Andrea Curtoni Fusina 2050 Sarka Dolezalova, Perrine Frick, Jana Grammens, Luke Keller, Marina Martashova, Cecilia Saavedra, Carlos Rafael Salinas, Francesca Vergani PILS: Post Industrial Legacy Site Fernanda Alcocer, Andres Gonzalez Bode, Christopher Colja, Zuzana Krmelova, Joon Kim, Janet Lobberecht, Arthur Shakhbazyan, Bridget Sheerin
Listening to the Territory Valentina Bonifacio
Interacting with Territories Davide Fornari PART 3: REC YCL ING TERRI TO RIES
Recycling New York City Brian McGrath FLANDERS
The 5th Life of the Stiemerbeek Christian Nolf, Bruno de Meulder HOLLAND
Binding Elements Daan Zanbelt AMSTERDAM
Re-Using the Built Material Birgit Hausleitner ROTTERDAM
Recycling Transport Networks Joan Moreno Sanz ITALY
New Energy Scenarios for Italy Edoardo Zanchini PART 4: REC YCL ING AND URBANISM: A NEW APPROACH?
Rehearsing the Future Marcelo Sanchez
Recycling Planning Paola Pellegrini
Quiet and Dynamic Sybrand Tjallingii
Shifted Mission of Spatial Planning Karel Maier
“Recycling city. Embodied energy, lifecycles, inclusion” is the title of the Lifelong Learning Programme held recently at the Iuav University (Venice, 29th June – 9th July 2012), an Intensive Programme in Urbanism and Urban Design funded by the EC that had as its objective to produce innovative thinking on contemporary urban planning, starting from the theme of the recycling, regeneration and recovery of the diffuse city of the Veneto region. An Intensive Programme is a short term study programme aimed at bringing together students and professors from higher education Institutes in the EU. Some fifty diploma and graduate students followed by professors from the schools partnering the programme (the Venice Iuav University, along with UPC Barcelona, TU Delft, KU Leuven, that for some time now have been collaborating in the European Master in Urbanism, EMU) took part in the Intensive Programme. The themes of the I.P. have been integrated into the teaching programs of the partner schools, assuming an experimental designing approach which is in line with the orientation of the EMU. Starting from the group of professors and students that has formed around EMU, the I.P. also turned to the students of the first level masters and to students and professors from other schools: Parsons, the New school for Design, New York; TU Eindhoven, and the CVUT, Prague. The Parsons and TU Eindhoven students participated through the “Urbanisms of Inclusion” program, an Atlantis Exchange Program. The students, who already hold an architecture, urbanism or civil engineering degree, were joined by professors and students from other disciplines, such as anthropology, interaction design, environmental and landscape sciences. The participation of some experts was possible through the research "Ignis Mutat Res", founded by the French Ministeries (MCC, MEDDTL and AIGP ) in which IUAV research group is engaged. The goal of the Intensive Programme has been the construction of a "100% recycling" scenario, exploring the potential, in terms of space and of architecture of the city, of a transformation that reuses and recycles the existing to the full. A “research by design” approach was chosen as the starting point of a reflection on techniques and forms of knowledge which use the project to tackle complex issues. A multidisciplinary approach has been proposed to deal with the economic and social implications of a territorial recycling process. 9
L IFEC YC L ES EMB O DIED ENERGY INCLUSION
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Treviso Castelfranco Veneto
Map of energy consumption The energy consumption map comprises the consumption of fossil fuels (gas, petrol, coal etc.) both for residential heating and lighting needs, as well as mobility, as well as for agricultural or industrial production. This consumption has been deduced examining the relative classes of land use, as shown in the following legend.
1. natural environments, woods, forests, rivers and wetlands minimal consumption related to operations of cleaning, maintenance, protection (deforestation, mowing, weeding, pruning, maintenance) 2. gardens, urban parks energy for the maintenance of parks and gardens (fertilization, pruning, mowing, weeding, maintenance) 3. agriculture energy needed for agricultural activity that involves the consumption of fossil fuels (such as fertilizers, pesticides, work to restore / aerate the soil, planting, irrigation, harvesting, etc..) 4. sports, camping, parking, outdoor deposits energy needed for lighting, maintenance and cleaning of surfaces 5. rural, urban diffuse fabric and discontinuous fabric, slow roads energy required for heating, lighting, ventilation, equipment maintenance, and for mobility 7. consolidated urban fabric, industry, trade, urban roads energy required for heating, lighting, ventilation, equipment maintenance, and for mobility
Source: IGNIS MUTAT RES Research Group, 2012. 12
8. swimming pools, hospitals, large public facilities, largescale production, distribution, trade high energy consumption activities
EL EMENT S FOR A TH EO RY O F T H E CI T Y AS RENEW ABLE R E S O U RC E A Design and Research Programme Paola Viganò*
This work addresses, albeit in a schematic and provisional way, the possibility to conceive the city, the urban space, as a renewable resource and to construct a set of conceptual tools for its design. While the idea of the city as a resource has a long tradition (Jacobs 1969), it has only been explicitly utilized since the 1920s in the North American context (Our Cities 1937;1 Light 2009) when the idea of nature preservation was expanded to also consider the “urban resource”. The shift I propose not only insists on the value and importance of cities as places of freedom, democracy and fertility,2 but suggests that the process of accumulation which is typical of urbanized territories (from overhead capital to social capital) can be “renewable” under certain conditions and that this approach deserves specific investigation and design tools. In reaction to the current crises of the urban environment, my hypothesis supports the recycling and reuse of existing inhabited spaces. Different from other similarly titled research (Greenstein, SunguEryilmaz 2004) it extends recycling beyond brownfield recovery to all brown, grey and greenfields: all space that has been produced and embodies labor - that is energy. Space is here considered as capital. To demonstrate the validity of this hypothesis is not easy, but I propose to provisionally consider it as relevant and to explore what might be its conceptual design frame. In the conclusion I will return to the initial proposition to observe some of the deeper consequences of such a radical approach. First: the 100% recycle scenario In 1975 the National Research Council of the United States started the construction of several scenarios related to the nation’s prospective energy economy during the period 1985-2010 (Nader 1980). The artifice used was to imagine two societies whose lifestyles are related to their energy consumption levels: 72 and 53 quads.3 According to the coordinator of the research, L IFECYCLES, EMBODIED ENERGY, INCLUSION - 13
anthropologist Laura Nader (1980:2), “These portrayals are disciplined exercises, not descriptions of utopian societies”. The 53 quads society “is a high-technology, low-energy consumption society”, work is decentralized and, apart from some technological improvements, the scenario emphasizes the longevity of products following the idea that, more than flows, it is the “stocks of goods that contribute to human well-being” (Boulding 1949-1950). Concerning our focus, this is a way to emphasize the importance of stratified spatial capital inside a global energy concern. At the center of the scenario are “processes intended to minimize resource consumption over time”. The insistence on “tightly meshed technological systems” considered a trend characteristic of the 1970s and the belief that “stability of a technological system depends on the types of external perturbation that occur and on the types of redundancy built in” (Nader 1980:6) sustain the idea that horizontal, interconnected territories are the most resilient from an energetic point of view. The 53 quads society scenario supposes a change of habits and it is supported by interesting figures about percentage of vacation time (Sweden with the highest, US with the lowest) and quality of food (Italy with the highest, US with the lowest), ultimately evaluating the lowered energy use in this “attitudes changed scenario”. The research question driving the scenario is formulated in a way that can still be relevant and operational today: emphasizing the need to understand the agents as well, rather than only investigating the technologies; the role of urban morphology in relation to energy use and the lack of information about it. Cogeneration, bio-energy and a new role for railways and public transport in general are proposed in the text; however there is no implication or use of spatial design as an investigation tool. This is one of the starting points of our current exploration. The construction of energy scenarios proposed in this book questions the future of the energetic crisis, reconsidering established models, profiting from the signals emerging from the ongoing projects and following four integrated goals: -reducing consumption -integrating renewable energy production -recycling energy -valorizing embodied energy.
Diffuse Energy Strategies for an energy model that is based on the progressive reduction of CO2 releases. S. Causin, Diffuse Energy, thesis, IUAV University of Venice. Supervisor: P. Viganò; co-supervisor: M. Bianchettin, L. Fabian. Venice 2011.
For the first three points it is possible to follow and radicalize strategies and objectives already indicated by the European Union for 2020 and 20504, but the fourth goal concerns a more particular preoccupation for a usually marginalized type of energy, the one that is already there, embedded in the urban and territorial space, and possible to recycle. The meaning of the exercise here proposed, the construction of a 100% recycling scenario, is to explore the spatial potential, also in terms of ‘architecture of the city’, of reusing and recycling to the limits the existing situations (dealing with porosity, capacity to host, oversize and redundancy, mix), showing the advantages, but also the possible conflicts, controversies and frictions, for example taking into consideration the risks connected to social exclusion mechanisms. There is a lack of theories to sustain this scenario, which demands further research: some considerations emerge investigating previous positions especially related to the concept of embodied energy. In the 1970s, Bruce Hannon from Illinois University and Richard Stein dedicated their study to evaluating the amount of energy needed to produce different building materials (Stein 1978). In 1976, the report Energy use for Building Construction proposed the evaluation of the embodied energy in the building construction materials in the US. Starting from this research, in 1981 the National Trust in the US published the report New Energy from Old Buildings and the methods to assess the embodied energy were consolidated (Jackson 2005). To these calculaL IFECYCLES, EMBODIED ENERGY, INCLUSION - 15
tions it is necessary to add the energy needed to demolish the element that is being substituted, reinforcing the idea that infrastructures, buildings, existing cities and territories can be looked at as reservoirs of fossil energy. In Architecture and Energy, Richard Stein refers to the simplicity of the new paradigm that ‘only’ requires us “to identify the essentials of our culture and separate them -and ourselves- from the unnecessary and unproductive trappings.” (Stein 1978: 3). The critique is on the functional level, where modern architecture was supposed to generate form from function, but failed, in his opinion, on that same level. Considering all aspects connected to energy consumption he stresses the importance of architectural decisions and of processes of making and assembling, transporting, grouping buildings together, demolishing and dismantling. In those years embodied energy starts to be perceived as a “significant portion of America’s annual energy use” and a “factor in energy use in the United States” (Whiddon 1981: 113). The conclusion of Whiddon’s article in New Energy from Old Buildings seems quite logical, but it opens new questions: “Preservation today has the potential to become an instrument of national energy policy”, an affirmation weakened by James Vaseff in the same book who stresses the strength of the concept mainly “to shape public sentiment” towards preservation, more than to efficiently struggle against aggressive developers (Vaseff 1981: 119). Starting from embodied energy, attention centers on infrastructures, on the urban and territorial support, a key concept in urbanism. Territories can be interpreted again, as Carlo Cattaneo proposes during the mid-nineteenth century, describing Lombardy’s agricultural system and countryside, as an immense reserve, a stock of labor (fatica) or, as Hirschman later states, as social overhead capital (Hirschman 1958). Second: a theory gaze and its tools The previous references to the period of the 1970s, when economic and energetic crises went along with social and urban conflict and radical transformations, are of course not by chance. Although the famous report Limits to Growth was more an epilogue to a fertile period of new ecological awareness than the beginning of renovated practices,4 many of the interrogations of the period that were rapidly expunged in the 1980s and 1990s are resurfacing today. They are differently facetted in ways, but also reveal many similarities, making a new reading of the past intellectual production extremely important. This new reading can help in constructing, as stated at the beginning of this text, a “theory”, where theory is used in the sense of French Nouveau Roman writer 16
Alain Robbe-Grillet, as échaufadage, a scaffold that is dismantled when no longer useful (Robbe-Grillet 1961). The proposed theory turns around three keywords: lifecycles, embodied energy, inclusion.
Recycling Diffusion Semester thesis, IUAV University of Venice, prof. P. Vigano` model by P. Ruaro and G. Bellotti AY 2010-2011
Lifecycles If the city is observed and conceived as a renewable resource, of immediate interest is the capacity or the difficulty of the urban space in overcoming major or minor crises, or long decline. Following the hypothesis of “cities as renewable resources”, a better understanding of change in terms of cycles and processes rather than in terms of definitive breaking points or simple linear development is important. Crises, interruptions, even catastrophes can be inserted into a timeline where they become part of a sequence in which different cycles may superimpose and interact with one another. It is not the “all over again” or cyclic history idea I am stressing here, although L IFECYCLES, EMBODIED ENERGY, INCLUSION - 17
Castelfranco Veneto Treviso
Embodied energy Map The energy here considered, in comparable proportions, represents the energy required for the manufacture of materials and equipment, including energy for their transportation, assembly, maintenance, setup or construction and the possibility of re-use and recycling at end of lifespan. The embodied energy was calculated from the map of land use featuring four indicators: material energy costs, manufacturing energy, ease of recycling, lifespan. Source: IGNIS MUTAT RES Research Group, 2012. 18
1. natural environments, woods, forests, rivers and wetlands Energy used for the construction of protective structures and their infrastructure (trails, dirt roads, embankments, ditches, terraces, protection works, etc..). Low energy cost. Ongoing maintenance for an indefinite timespan.
2. gardens, urban parks, agricultural fields Energy for initial soil preparation, deforestation, drainage, infrastructure, construction of hydraulic works. Medium to low energy cost. Once prepared the soil has a long lifespan even if it needs regular maintenance.
3. networks and basic water infrastructure, gas, rural and slow roads Energy used for the manufacture of materials and for their realization. Medium energy cost. Long lifespan, regular maintenance
4. rural fabric, diffuse urban fabric and discontinuous fabric, slow roads Energy used for the manufacture of materials and for the realization of diffuse urban fabric , buildings and related basic infrastructure. Medium-high energy cost. Long lifespan, regular maintenance
5. industry and energy infrastructure (transmission network) Construction of spaces for energy and technology production and infrastructuralisation. Energy used for the manufacture of materials and for their realization. High energy cost. Lifespan is short due to the rapid obsolescence of the technologies and productive cycles. Recycling is complex due to the pollution remediation work required.
6. Ports, train stations, railway accesses, metros, airports, highways Energy used for the manufacture of materials and for their realization. High energy cost. Lifespan medium-high. Ongoing maintenance: airports, highways, ports must be rebuilt regularly.
7. consolidated urban fabric (residential, offices, trade) and its telecommunications infrastructure. Energy used for the manufacture of materials and for their realization. High energy cost. Building lifespan low due the ever-changing lifestyles and forms of trade, production techniques and technology networks, due to the rapid obsolescence of technologies. Ongoing maintenance.
9. dense urban fabric (residential, office, trade) and its telecommunications infrastructure. Similar to the urban fabric, but more concentrated (the networks are not included in this category).
11. urban road infrastructure Energy used for the construction of urban roads and networks which are normally superimposed on the surface and within the subsurface of the same (electricity, water, sewerage, telecommunications). Very high energy cost. These infrastructures have a long lifespan but need continual maintenance due to the wear of the materials and technological obsolescence.
environmental hazard can be easily integrated in such a frame, but rather the possibility to look at concluding or concluded urban and territorial cycles (typical of urban crises and breaking points) as open for agents to reconfigure new cycles. The relevant question is: what is the agency of space, both as a condition and an actor to develop new lifecycles? What remains on the ground, the leftover, the materials, artifacts and infrastructures that have supported the formation of an economic and social capital are not a minor or marginal constituent of the possibility to open new cycles. For this reason a spatial and not only economic perspective is crucial: dealing with spatial conditions, their representation and geography. A specific set of maps that concern lifecycles must be imagined and integrated into the description of the territory to help the critical understanding of such complex processes. Recognizing and reconstructing lifecycles (economic, social, concerning the materials of the built environment) in the context of the research and superposing them in a timeline can show interesting proximities or possible future synergies. “We recycle things that are subject to a lifecycle” (Viganò 2011). Recycling is not just reusing, but it puts forward new lifecycles.
Embodied energy Each cycle produces its own space, through rationalization processes, technological shifts, led by new and different habits and practices. I propose to look at this immense spatial accumulation and stratification in our urban territories as “embodied energy”. As stated in an easily accessible definition: “Embodied energy is an accounting method which aims to find the sum total of the energy necessary for an entire product lifecycle. Determining what constitutes this lifecycle includes assessing the relevance and extent of energy into raw material extraction, transport, manufacture, assembly, installation, dis-assembly, deconstruction and/or decomposition as well as human and secondary resources. Different methodologies produce different understandings of the scale and scope of application and the type of energy embodied”.5 L IFECYCLES, EMBODIED ENERGY, INCLUSION - 19
In a period of energy scarcity, embodied energy becomes an important factor to consider. Recycling allows saving a substantial part of the embodied energy. It focuses on the physical stratification of what exists. Embodied energy is the energy “trapped” in the body of the territory. Today the evaluation of the embodied energy in the building stock is becoming part of any attempt to minimize energy consumption. This proposition moves beyond, addressing the question as multifold and transcalar. To assess the relevance and extent of embodied energy in an entire urban region, not simply in a house or in a road structure, is a problematic task with undeniable difficulties and ambiguities, although they can in fact be treated and analyzed. There are at least two different ways to work on the territorial embodied energy: one is to use the calculation of the (fossil) energy embodied in each material; the second is to reconstruct the long history of territorial construction, its rationalizations and to evaluate the “immense deposit of labor” (not only materials but also human labor, the question being that human labor counts, even though it is to some extent renewable). In this sense the waves of rationalization and exploitation, both in the traditional city and in the rural landscapes, can be a starting point to understand the production of space in the contemporary territory (Sereni 1961; Lefebvre 1974). A set of mappings can help to visualize the different layers of embodied energy, underlining the idea that it can be considered as a potential (latency, redundancy), as well as an obstacle to further expansion or change. The limit between resistance and resilience blurs: brown and greyfields are the battleground where different ideas of space and coexistence meet and clash. An evaluation of the energy embodied in the territory opens a debate about values (ecological, economic and social), where design can be a formidable tool in showing the possible relations among an heterogeneous mass of materials once connected by a clear rationality and today deprived of a reason to stay together. It is then obvious that mapping embodied energy as well as lifecycles in cities and territories is a way to corroborate a debate on fundamentally different ideas about the world we want. The diffuse perception of the conclusion of economic and social cycles, the renewed importance of the energy contained in a site, and the modification of geographies of social inclusion and of exclusion define an arena for a debate which asks for new spatial representations, concepts and scenarios.
immigrants intensity immigrant population / urban square meters Source: corinne land cover + ISTAT processing: V. Tsioutsiou
Inclusion When parts of a city or portions of a territory go through new cycles the intersection of social dynamics is inevitable, as the influx of new populations and the expelling of others creates marginalization or incentivizes inclusion. This is evidenced, for example, in the violent history of American Renewal (Jacobs 1961; Bass Warner 1972), although animated by a strong commitment to the modernization of urban space. Thus recycling is not synonymous with restoration or restructuring. It does not only consider the material parts of the city but also its social and political dimensions.
L IFECYCLES, EMBODIED ENERGY, INCLUSION - 21
Mapping environmental and spatial justice (environmental risks and welfare distribution - from school to health care and healthy food distribution, to accessibility and connections by public transport) provides useful tools to integrate with the evaluation of embodied energy and lifecycles. When put into an historical perspective, these maps may reveal a strong inertia of space as “space of evil”.6 The apparent impossibility to modify this negative status and role of space, even in the longue durée of urban phenomena, or the sudden opening of new porosities to profoundly re-shape its characters raises further interrogations about space as condition and as an agent. From this point of view, inclusion means redistribution of resources, territorial isotropy and social mix. Conclusions If we accept the idea that the city is a resource and that it can be recycled in parts or as a whole, then cities in their making and unmaking are “renewable resources” and the recycling of cities is an essential strategy to cut across the contemporary urban question: the environmental crisis, the progressive divide between rich and poor, a forced or denied mobility. The theory of the city as renewable resource, as a heuristic device, guides investigations starting from a new set of diachronic and synchronic mappings, through constructing hypothesis and scenarios inside the complex topic of energy, life-styles and territories. In the background of this “theory” are several design experiences that have proposed a series of themes and statements about the project of the contemporary city. In the experience of “Grand Paris and the after Kyoto metropolis” it is the idea of a “Porous City” that shows the necessity of understanding and designing new degrees of connectivity and porosity (working at the same time on the porosity of fractures and on the porosity of materials). In that research, energy became the starting point of the 100% recycling scenario (Secchi and Viganò 2011). In the second experience, a vision for Brussels 2040, the concept of “Horizontal Metropolis” (Secchi and Viganò 2010) reveals the dispersed contemporary condition as an asset for increased horizontal spatial, economic and social relations inside what is still considered peripheral, suburban or non-urban territory. Instead of going back to village-like situations or at the other extreme towards absorption into a bigger unity, the Horizontal Metropolis utilizes strategies of valorization of the existing embodied energy and proposes the hybridization and percolation of the different qualities of the diffuse city in the compact urban condition and vice-versa (Bruxelles 2040, Lille 2030, but also “the project of isotropy” in the metropolitan area of Venice). The No-car scenarios developed in these cases are a first attempt to evaluate the consequences in energetic terms of the radical 22
reduction of car use without decreasing individual mobility and valorizing a new network of public transport (Viganò 2012). It is on the basis of these studies, and of a cumulative idea of research that the experience led with the “Recycling city” workshop adds new insight. Notes
* Paola Viganò, IUAV University of Venice, firstname.lastname@example.org 1. In Our Cities (1937), cities are declared to constitute the nation’s basic support, while at the same time being identified as its main problem. 2. “There is democracy in the scattered few, but there is also democracy in the thick crowd with its vital impulse and its insistent demand for a just, participation in the gains of our civilization. There is fertility and creation in the rich soil of the broad countryside, but there is also fertility and creativeness in forms of industry, art, personality, emerging even from the city streets and reaching toward the sky” (Our Cities, 1937: VI). 3. A quad is a unit of energy equal to 1015 BTU, or 1.055 -1018 Joules. United States used 71.2 quads in 1975. The actual consumption is 98 quads, instead of the 72 quads hypothesis used in the first alternative society. 4. http://ec.europa.eu/clima/policies/package/index_en.htm. 5. See also: Johnson 1970. The book is an anthology of papers presented at 13th National Conference of the U.S. National Commission for Unesco (Nov. 1969, San Francisco, California). It is dedicated to Aldo Leopold, the father of land ethics. 6. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Embodied_energy. 7. See the ongoing research by Kaveh Rashidzadeh, From Geographies of evils to a Geography of Evil. Poverty and Urbanisation in the Paris region, PhD in Urbanism, XXV cycle, University IUAV of Venice.
- Bass Warner Jr., S., 1972, The urban wilderness. A history of the American city, New York, Harper and Row. - Boulding, K., 1949-1950, Income or Welfare, in “Review of Economic Studies”, 17 (2). - Greenstein R. & Sungu-Eryilmaz Y., 2004, Recycling the City. The use and Reuse of Urban Land, Cambridge, MA, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. - Hirschman, A. O., 1958, The Strategy of Economic Development, New Haven and London, Yale University Press. - Jackson, M., 2005, Embodied Energy and Historic preservation. A needed Reassessment, in “APT Bulletin, Journal of Preservation Technology”, 36 (4). - Jacobs, J., 1969, The economy of cities, New York, Random House. - Jacobs, J., 1961, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, New York, Random house. - Johnson, H. D., 1970, No Deposit-No Return. Man and His Environment: A view Toward Survival, Reading, MA, Addison-Wesley Publishing Company. - Lefebvre, H., 1974, La Production de l’espace, Paris, Anthropos. - Light, J. S., 2009, The Nature of Cities, Baltimore, John Hopkins University Press. - Nader, L. et al., 1980, Energy Choices in a Democratic Society, Supporting Paper 7, Washington, National Academy of Sciences. - Our Cities. Their role in the national economy, 1937, report of the Urbanism Committee to the National Resources Committee, Washington. - Robbe-Grillet, A., 1961, Pour un nouveau roman, Paris, Les Editions de Minuit. - Secchi, B. & Viganò, P., 2010, Bruxelles et ses territoires, Plan Régional de Développement Durable. Elaboration d’une vision territoriale métropolitaine à l’horizon 2040 pour Bruxelles, first report. - Secchi, B. & Viganò, P., 2011, La Ville poreuse. Un projet pour le Grand Paris et la métropole de l’après-Kyoto, Geneva, MetisPresses. - Sereni, E., 1961, Storia del paesaggio agrario, Bari, Laterza. - Stein, R., 1978, Architecture and Energy, New York, Anchor Books. - Vaseff, J., 1981, Using the Embodied Energy Argument in Local Planning Controversies, on D. Maddex, New Energy from Old Buildings, Washington, The Preservation Press. - Viganò, P., 2011, Re-cycling Cities, on P. Ciorra & S. Marini, eds., Re-cycle: Strategies for the Home,the City and the Planet, Milano, Electa. - Viganò, P., 2012, Tubi e spugne 3. Scenari, on L. Fabian & P. Pellegrini, eds., On Mobility 2, Venice, Marsilio. - Whiddon, W.I., 1981, The Concept of Embodied Energy, on D. Maddex, New Energy from Old Buildings, Washington D. C., The Preservation Press.
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Potential of Energy Map The â€œenergy potentialâ€? measures the unused energy potential (including energy produced as a by-product and likewise unused) of the normal activities that are associated with land use. The qualitative scale proposed is based on energy density (mechanical, thermal, etc.) retrievable with the current state of technology.
1. roads, borders minimum potential 3. diffuse urban fabric energy recovery of organic waste and plants and gardening activities (biogas) and fuel from household waste (heating and district heating) 4. dense urban fabric energy recovery from organic waste (biogas), household waste (incineration, heat recovery, district heating), waste water or air used (heat recovery) 5. farming with compost energy use of organic agricultural waste (biogas by anaerobic digestion) 6. farming with dry waste energy use of dry agricultural waste (pellets and combustion of straw) 7. forests energy use of woody biomass produced from forestry maintenance activities (incineration, heat recovery and t production: chip waste recovery / branches / bark briquettes or pellets) 10. sites for producing electricity heat recovery as a by-product of thermoelectric generation (district heating network)
Source: IGNIS MUTAT RES Research Group, 2012. 24
- water water, for its heat storage capacity, can reduce energy consumption in both summer and winter. In this sense it is potential, but is not considered here because it is closely linked to the concept of proximity.
REC YCL ING ENERGY Lorenzo Fabian*
Energy from recycling, recycling energy Energy refers to power, in particularly the capacity of a body, a material or a system to produce work activity. Recycling in turn refers to the activity of placing a body, a material or object back into circulation after a period of relative stagnation to be subsequently reprocessed. If though the word recycling is associated with energy, different and in a certain sense innovatory frameworks of meaning can be found. A first meaning, perhaps closest to that generally understood, is that of energy as a secondary product from the activity of recycling, exploiting urban waste as fuel for the production of energy. The anaerobic systems for the production of biofuel from organic waste or the biomass plants for producing thermal and electric energy from dry waste from agriforestal activity also belong to the same category. A second meaning though, switching the two terms around, enables the reflection on the possibility of recycling energy that would otherwise be wasted, increasing the efficiency of the current fossil fuel power stations. The results can, for example, be the recovery of thermal energy that is habitually dispersed from a thermoelectric power station through the creation of teleheating systems; or through the recycling of thermal energy dispersed by industrial activity and that could be reused via the organization of mixed urban tissues. All these are operations that go in the direction of improving energy efficiency and enable a view of the territory as a huge storage area of potential energy. Fields, forests, rivers, towns, thermoelectric stations can become energy sources to be exploited or enhanced (see Potential of Energy Map). These strategies all the same bring with them some dangers that the territorial project should be able to recognise and avoid. The first danger, associated with the possible exploitation of waste for producing energy, is that of attributing an excessive value to waste material as such, not posing an obstacle to the accumulation of the same because it is considered precious for its fuel value. The second, closely linked to the former, is connected to the fact that the agricultural or forestry activities, if directed by strictly and L IFECYCLES, EMBODIED ENERGY, INCLUSION - 25
exclusively energetic logic, can lead to a serious impingement of food production and biodiversity. The third and perhaps the most serious danger is that none of the abovementioned strategies be accompanied by a rethinking of the general energy and economic paradigm built up over the last century. A model of energy production, of economy and definitively of the territory that is based on intense growth understood to be continuous and on energy (fossil or renewable) substantially conceived as inexhaustible. The entropy law and territorial infrastructures There is all the same a third declination that combines the terms energy and recycling starting from the value that can be attributed to the objects that are the result of man’s activity. This can be of some interest because it forces a radical revision of the selfsame concept of energy for productive purposes. The underlying assumption to this meaning is that an object, an infrastructure or a building also represents an energy deposit. This stock , often called embodied energy, is the result of the sum of all the energies used in order to complete a material asset and those which would be required for the elimination, disassembly or demolition of the same (see Embodied Energy Map). If embodied energy can be taken to mean energy trapped in the body of the territory, the infrastructural water, mobility and energy networks, that give form and substance to the territory of the Veneto can often be seen to constitute extremely important energy stock. They are in fact from this point of view true deposits of fossil energy (Viganò 2012),1 what Carlo Cattaneo indicates as “immense deposits of toil and effort” and to which Nicholas Georgescu Roegen attributes an intrinsic economic value because deposits of “energy no longer available for other functions” (Cattaneo 1972; Roegen 1971). Starting from his writings entropy law and the economic process, Roegen (1971) intuits that a close relation exists between the economic model, natural resources and the process of energy production. Roegen sustains that the economic science, like all projective or planned sciences (that are future oriented) is inevitably subject to the inexorable nature of laws of modern physics. In particular the economy is subject to the second law of thermodynamics, for which each activity and process irreversibly consumes a given amount of energy freely present, accelerating the inexorable process of maximum entropy, or that is state of immobile universe. Any process that manufacturers goods and material things impoverishes the future availability of energy and hence impinges on the possibility or producing new goods and material things. Embodied Energy Map (Extract) Source: IGNIS MUTAT RES, 2012 L IFECYCLES, EMBODIED ENERGY, INCLUSION - 27
These reflections have some important consequences. They call into question whether growth can continue and power itself. They imply the acceptance of the economic crisis as innate in the processes of producing wealth in a world with limited resources. They attribute great value to solar energy: the only source of energy in relation to the life of man that can be considered as theoretically inexhaustible. This extended use of the concept of energy, shifting the reflection from a purely energetic or economic level to the physical world, enables the deposit of materials that today give form to the diffuse city of the Veneto as a reserve, also an energy reserve, from which to start for a broad process of recycling the territory and its structures. At the same time though, in establishing the inexorable nature of entropy, Roegen also implicitly establishes that recycling cannot always be applied everywhere and indiscriminately. Recycling too has its costs, both in energy and in economic terms. This is why the objects and assets that populate the world should be attributed their correct value; carefully rating those to be maintained, reused or recycled. This consideration implies a different attribution of value to that deposit of signs such as the territorial infrastructures, (water, road, energy) that more than any others have demanded a great consumption of time and energy in order to be built, supporting the functioning, the structure and the criteria of evolution of the urban space. In the lines below we concentrate our gaze on the energy infrastructures of the central area of the Veneto and on the possibility of their being recycled, this too in the light of the ambitious European objectives in 2020 and 2050 in terms of containment of consumption, reduction of emissions, increase in the production from renewable resources and the general increase in efficiency.2 In fact the energy infrastructures (dykes, thermoelectric stations, transmission networks, transformer boxes, storage areas) modify and use a space, the reconceptualisation of which can have important repercussions on the urban project of the diffuse city. Landscape of energy. Energy rationalisation in the Veneto Region The energy infrastructure in the Veneto region, as in many other areas of Italyâ€™s northeast, came into being at the beginning of the nineteenth century, and for many reasons coincides with the development of electrical energy. The assumption is that, broadly speaking, three phases of infrastructuralisation can be seen to emerge that correspond to three major rationalizations of the energy model in the Veneto region. The first model, consolidated dur28
ing the nineteenth century, features a closed system based on the localized production of energy in the place of consumption. The second, which evolved during the twentieth century, corresponds to a centralized and strongly hierarchical system that came into being thanks to the realization of large dorsal distribution networks concentrating the production of energy in a few large stations, initially almost exclusively hydroelectric, subsequently thermoelectric. The third model, for the time being merely hypothetical and still under development, seems to emerge through the possibility of widespread production offered by the new technologies for distributed power generation and smart grid transmission lines. The underlying assumption is that there is a precise and specific relationship between energy patterns and urban and territorial structure, and hence the three rationalizations of the energy system can be seen to correspond to three different phases in the construction of the diffuse city of the Veneto region.
Energy from water 1. The closed system During the nineteenth century the industrial development of the Veneto came about thanks to specific energy sources, that often coincide with the selfsame factory. This is the case of the mills that where turned into small textile factories; or the large works set up aside the rivers and canals, and that are important energy reserves. A type of autonomous production, that can be schematised as a closed, non-interconnected circuit, and that takes place in a close and deep relation with the hydro infrastructure (the presence of water) and the topography (steeply sloping changes in ground level). This energy model also led to the creation of a geography of industrial production between the eighteenth and nineteenth century that in the Veneto does not follow the classic principles of urban concentration witnessed in the rest of Europe. The ironworks, the factories and the textile mills that took part in the progressive industrialisation of the territory of the Veneto in the nineteenth century initially found a convenient location along the foothill strip north of the main cities of the Veneto, along the river courses and close to small urban centres. Here they were able to count on energy that was at first mechanical, then hydro-electrical, and on a sizeable population, featuring a poor social tissue and an agricultural craft type economy. L IFECYCLES, EMBODIED ENERGY, INCLUSION - 29
Exemplary of this process is the progressive rise of the Valdagno district and more in general the industrial district of the upper Vicenza area, that developed during the nineteenth century, headquarters for over a century of the historic Marzotto group brand: water infrastructure, topography and energy models all contribute to creating a system of production based on a widespread entrepreneurism and a polycentric organisation of the territory (Roverato 1996). Energy from water 2. Construction of the transmission network This criterion of rationality was challenged in the twentieth century through the emergence of a model that is based on the concentration of energy production. It also corresponds to the progressive realization of a transmission network scaled to the entire region. This system, that began to emerge from 1905 onwards, is mainly due to the Società Adriatica di Elettricità (SADE) and the figure of its founder Giuseppe Volpi. The model can be schematised as a large transmission network that unites the main geographical features of the Veneto area: the mountains and the lagoon. They also correspond to the two main systems of electricity production of the modern era: hydroelectric and thermoelectric. thermoelectric plants hydroelectric plants The first network location, also in terms of chronological order, are the hydroelectric power plants built between the nineteenth and twentieth century on thermoelectric plants of the Veneto – Friuli regions, the performance hydroelectric plants the mountains of which was increased in time with the capacity to build ever bigger dykes and artificial basins.
production of electricity
production of electricity
water production of electricity
An energy model based on concentration production of electricity For the operation of hydroelectricturbine and thermoelectric plants, the accumulation and concentration of large amounts of water and fuel oil has been essential. pumps Diagrams by the author.
CO2 emissions pumps water production of electricity production of electricity
production of electricity production of electricity water
production of electricity turbine
production of electricity
CO2 emissions thermoelectric plants pumps
hydroelectric plants pumps
production of electricity
production of electricity water
This corresponds to a positivist attitude that, thanks to the confidence in the technological advancement, sees nature and water as ductile, pliable entities. In the first half of the twentieth century the Alps became a formidable machine for energy production; the Piave becoming one of the most artificialised rivers of Europe; SADE a world leading electrical company. The second network location corresponds to the industrial port of Venice, located as willed by the same Volpi from 1917 onwards at Marghera, between the lagoon and the mainland, where large amounts of electricity produced in the Alps were conveyed to be consumed by the growing industrial center (Munarin 2002). The Rise of Thermoelectric Starting in the second half of the 20th century, hydroelectric power, which had seen constant growth until then, and which before the Second World War represented the majority of energy generated and consumed in the Veneto, began to give way to a model based on the importation, refinement and application of fossil fuels. The era of hydroelectric power also saw its symbolic end with the Vajont disaster in 1963, in which a landslide on Mt. Toc resulted in the deaths of nearly 2000 people. Porto Marghera, Fusina and the Po Delta soon became of strategic importance in generating power for large areas. Their accessibility by sea made it possible to gather large quantities of oil, and their large water reserves were ideal for cooling the installations. During the 1990s, just seven thermoelectric power stations produced 90% of the Regionâ€™s electric energy. This energy model, based on large hydroelectric and thermoelectric power stations, enabled the Veneto to maintain total energy self-sufficiency until the year 2000. Decline of the concentration model There are many important dates and events which at the turn of the millennium seemed to signal the progressive decline of the concentration energy model from economic, environmental and safety standpoints. 1. In response to climate change, the Kyoto protocol of 1997 mandated a conversion of the fossil fuel-based energy model. At the same time, a change in the geopolitical balance of powers and the energy crisis, resulting from the attack on the Twin Towers in 2001 and the spreading awareness that the oil peak had been reached, posed a serious challenge to dependence on fossil fuels and low cost energy, from a strategic standpoint, in addition to the economic one. 2. In Italy, nuclear energy generation ended abruptly with the referendum of 1987, held one year after the Chernobyl disaster. The four Italian nuclear power plants were shut down, and with them the countryâ€™s corresponding L IFECYCLES, EMBODIED ENERGY, INCLUSION - 31
An energy model based on concentration The regionâ€™s energy production is entrusted to a few large thermoelectric and hydroelectric plants. The crosses indicate the thermoelectric plants, the circles the hydroelectric plants, the power lines are in orange.
research and technology industry. During the 2000s, alongside a new worldwide rise in nuclear energy, it was seriously considered in Italy whether to open new nuclear facilities. However, the controversial law providing for the planning of new sites was repealed following the Fukishima incident of 2011 and definitively discarded with the referendum of June 2011. The Japanese disaster also redefined nuclear policy at international level. Germany and Switzerland, for example, decided to abandon construction of new plants and begin gradually phasing out existing ones. 3. In the Veneto, the energy model based on a few large thermoelectric and hydroelectric stations suffered an irremediable setback in 1998, when an EU court sentence declared illegal the emissions of the Porto Tolle facility (the largest thermoelectric facility in the Veneto and in Italy as a whole). Located on the Po Delta, this site alone supplied 30% of the region’s energy needs. At the same time, with changes to the climate, increasingly long droughts and the establishment by the Basin Authorities of minimum environmental flows in the rivers downstream, Alpine hydroelectric dam facilities are finding it more and more difficult to trap enough water to maintain maximum output. Since 2000, the reduction to Porto Tolle’s generation and that of the dams has also led to the loss of the Veneto’s energy autonomy. 4. Comparing the gross production of energy with the consumption for 2002, the Regional Energy Plan for the Veneto shows that the location of the production plants is incoherent with the distribution of the energy consumed. This reflects the limitations and the problem of the difference that exists between the current dispersed settlement structure model and the traditional location of the big thermoelectric and hydroelectric plants. 5. The most serious blackout in Italy’s history occurred on September 28th, 2003, when for nearly 12 hours the entire country was left without electric current due to a tripped power line on the Swiss border. The event shed light rather suddenly on the fragility of a system based on a hierarchical distribution grid and a near total dependency on supplies from abroad. These events, along with a new sensitivity to environmental issues, sanctioned the progressive decline of an energy system based almost exclusively on fossil fuels and the paradigm of energy production concentration. Diffuse energy3 Contemporaneously with these events, and in large part in order to offer effective operational responses to the crisis of the fossil fuel-based energy model, the 2000s saw the rise of energy generation in Italy from renewable sources, heavily incentivized by the various laws and tax deductions that fall under the umbrella of feed-in tariffs. The future of renewable energies, even without a L IFECYCLES, EMBODIED ENERGY, INCLUSION - 33
national energy strategy, appears to delineate the possible establishment of a new energy paradigm based on distributed generation.4 The Veneto in particular, precisely because of its dispersed settlement structure and the weak hierarchies that characterize the territory, seems from this perspective to welcome the possibility of experimenting with alternative modes for creating heavily interconnected and diffuse infrastructures inspired by the isotropy paradigm (Viganò 2008).5 The expression “diffuse energy” is used to illustrate the potentialities of strategies aimed at the production of distributed electrical energy through the multiplication of potential energy operators and the spread of small systems throughout the territory. This model of energy production is opposed to the traditional Italian one that is based on a few large hydroelectric plants concentrated in a few locations. The expression is also used to indicate that the diffuse production of energy would cohere with the organizational principles of the Città Diffusa and the hierarchically weak urban conditions featured in territorial dispersion. According to this principle, the objective of energy saving and energy efficiency might be reached through the design of a new energy distribution network based on the principles of dispersion, flexibility, and the interaction of production and consumption of energy that reorganizes the redistribution of power throughout the territory (Rifkin 2002). On this topic, certain experiences in the territory of the Veneto, especially around Camposampiero, are of some interest, also for their repercussions on regional planning.6 These involve experiments with new ways of generating
Diffuse Energy Strategies for an energy model that is based on the progressive reduction of CO2 releases. S. Causin, Diffuse Energy, thesis, IUAV University of Venice. Supervisor: P. Viganò; co-supervisor: M. Bianchettin, L. Fabian. Venice 2011. 34
electric energy, based on the region’s diffuse population. Energy production, traditionally concentrated in the hands of a few large entities, in this scenario becomes a viable form of entrepreneurship. New small operators are distributed throughout the region. Municipal governments, trade unions and collective buying groups in the field of renewable energies participate in different ways to effect a paradigm change based on the use of renewable energies and diffuse energy generation. In so doing, they join thousands of citizens who, spurred by the incentives provided for by feed-in tariffs, have decided to retrofit their homes for redistributing the potential energy generated by installations of solar thermal or photovoltaic panels.7 In this scenario, the lowconcentration urban development, as well as the resulting sprawling coverage area, stands to become a resource for the production of large quantities of renewable energy. Some recent research and experimental designs have shown how the same principle of diffuse energy generation could also be applied to the water and mobility systems (Fabian and Pellegrini 2012). On a large scale, these designs and experiences prefigure an enormous potential for a vast and diffuse process of recycling the materials and infrastructures that make up the diffuse city as it exists today. Notes
* Lorenzo Fabian, IUAV University of Venice, email@example.com 1. See: P. Viganò, Elements for a theory of the city as renewable resource, in this selfsame publication. 2. By 2020 the EU “climate package” requires a 20% reduction of CO2 emissions (target year 1990), and a 20% increase of energy efficiency and renewable energy production that covers at least 20% of the entire EU needs. In line with this process, Roadmap 2050, a study promoted by the European Climate Foundation, has as its objective the analysis of the ways needed to reduce greenhouse gas emission by 80% by 2050 (target year 1990). 3. This paragraph continues and develops certain concepts dealt with in: Fabian 2012. 4. See: E. Zanchini, New energy scenarios for Italy, in this selfsame publication. 5. On this count see also the exhibitions: Il progetto dell’isotropia. Una mostra, una ricerca, un progetto, curated by Lorenzo Fabian, Bernardo Secchi and Paola Viganò, held at University IUAV of Venice. http://www.extremecities. net/isotropia. 6. See on this count the projects experimentations on the Camposampierese in this selfsame publication. 7. See: V. Bonifacio, Listening to the territory, in this selfsame publication.
- Cattaneo, C., 1972, Scritti 1839-1846, in Carlo Cattaneo, Opere scelte, edited by Castelnuovo Frigessi D., Turin, Einaudi. - Fabian, L., 2012, Extreme cities and isotropic territories. Scenarios and projects starting from the environmental emergency of the central Veneto “Città diffusa”, in “International Journal of Disaster Risk Science”, vol.3. - Fabian, L. & Pellegrini, P., eds., 2012, On Mobility 2, Riconcettualizzazioni della mobilità nella città diffusa, Venice, Marsilio. - Munarin, S., 2002, L’urbanizzazione di Porto Marghera, in Zucconi G., La grande Venezia. Una metropoli incompiuta tra Otto e Novecento, Venice, Marsilio p. 50-57. - Rifkin, J., 2002, The Hydrogen Economy, New York, Penguin Group. - Roegen, N.G., 1971, The entropy law and the economic process, Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press. - Roverato, G., 1996, L’industria nel Veneto. Storia economica di un “caso” regionale, Padua, Esedra. - Viganò, P., 2008, Water and Asphalt. The Project of Isotropy in the Metropolitan Region of Venice, in “Architectural Design”, vol. 78. L IFECYCLES, EMBODIED ENERGY, INCLUSION - 35
Renewable energy landscape in Germany Source: courtesy of LaNaServ/Detlef Stremke 36
R EC YCL ING CI T Y, RE I N T EG R AT I N G R ENEW ABLES Sven Stremke*
Introduction The depletion of fossil fuels, in combination with climate change, necessitates a transition to sustainable energy systems. This transition implies the reduction of energy demand and the replacement of fossil fuels by renewable energy sources. In his discussion on energy transition, the former SecretaryGeneral of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development stressed that “the whole concept of human settlements needs to be rethought, including […] the broader issues of land use and urban planning” (Strong 1992: 493). The demand for energy is partly determined by the spatial organization of the built environment. The supply of renewable energy requires space and shapes landscapes. The transition to sustainable energy systems thus not only presents a great challenge to sustainable development in general but to environmental designers in particular. This book chapter concerns the fact that, in the near future, large shares of energy will need to be provided by renewable sources. My research is motivated by the need to increase the assimilation of renewables while, at the same time, reducing the demand for energy. In order to develop truly sustainable energy systems, they have to be well integrated in the landscape. Consequently, I define sustainable energy landscape as a physical environment that can evolve on the basis of locally available renewable energy sources without compromising landscape quality, biodiversity, food production, and other lifesupporting ecosystem services (Stremke and Dobbelsteen 2012: 4). One question of particular interest to environmental designers is how to transform the present-day, fossil fuel depending environment into a sustainable one. What are the principles by which sustainable energy landscapes can be designed, and how to organize the design process? The study of both literature and existing renewable energy landscapes has revealed several knowledge gaps. Generally applicable, energy-conscious design principles are scarce. L IFECYCLES, EMBODIED ENERGY, INCLUSION - 37
Two key sources of insights for the formulation of energy-conscious principles - ecology and thermodynamics - have been neglected. Moreover, the scale of the city and regions has not yet been fully explored in energy-conscious planning and design. The longterm character of transforming large territorial systems deserves more attention. The objective of my research is to advance the planning and design of sustainable energy landscapes. The following four questions guide my work: (1) What can we learn from natural ecosystems? (2) What can we learn from the Second Law of Thermodynamics? (3) How can we conceptualize the region in energy-conscious design? (4) How to incorporate trends and uncertainties in regional design? Whereas the first three research questions relate to design principles (i.e. substantive knowledge), the fourth question concerns the design method (i.e. procedural knowledge). Three different approaches to research and design are being pursued in my work. (I) Research for design: The â€˜translationâ€™ of knowledge from ecology and thermodynamics to define energy-conscious design principles. (II) Research of planning and design: The study of existing planning and design methods to advance regional design procedures. (III) Research-driven design: The design of sustainable energy landscapes based in part on research. Substantive knowledge First, the field of ecology was studied to reveal how natural ecosystems make optimum use of renewable energy. Natural ecosystems tend to increase assimilation of renewables and optimise energy flows as they mature. Concepts such as system size and sources/sinks are highly relevant to energy-conscious planning and design. Ecosystem strategies such as energy cascading, differentiation of niches and symbiosis provide additional insights on how to design sustainable energy landscapes. It is important to note that the design principles that have emerged from ecosystem studies should inform, and not determine, decision-making (also see Stremke and Koh 2010). In order to address the second research question, I have studied the First and Second Law of Thermodynamics and the application of second-law thinking in engineering thermodynamics, industrial ecology and architecture/urban planning. The literature review showed that technical engineers have succeeded in reducing primary energy consumption through the application of second-law thinking. Over the past decade, architects and urban planners have begun to embrace the Second Law of Thermo-dynamics for reducing energy 38
System size, from concept (left) to energy-conscious design for the municipality of Margraten in South Limburg, The Netherlands.
consumption in the built environment. Exergy is a key concept in secondlaw thinking. Exergy is defined as the maximum amount of work that can be produced by an energy carrier as the carrier comes into equilibrium with its environment (Connelly and Koshland 1997). The work capacity of energy carriers depends on their quality, as well as on their location and time. My second-law perspective on the design of sustainable energy landscapes resulted in the formulation of additional design principles and ‘exergy-conscious’ interventions (also see Stremke, Dobbelsteen and Koh 2011). Sustainable energy transition is constrained by several issues. Among the issues that can potentially be solved through energy-conscious planning and design, I have focused on the following three: (1) periodic fluctuations in energy supply, (2) relatively low energy density of renewables, and (3) limited capacity to utilize available energy. Can ecological and thermodynamic concepts help to overcome those constraints and develop sustainable energy landscapes? Regional case studies in South Limburg and Southeast Drenthe show that descriptive scientific concepts can not only inform the design of sustainable energy landscapes, but also help to mitigate some of the ‘problems’ of renewable energy sources. The case studies also illustrate that the spatial L IFECYCLES, EMBODIED ENERGY, INCLUSION - 39
planning department of the province to start matching energy demand and supply (e.g., by locating new housing developments near the existing heat sources). Figure 7
Demand and supply of cold and heat in the province of Groningen
Source: Based on Dobbelsteen et al. (2007b) Mapping of exergy sources (i.e. excess heat) and sinks in the northern province of Groningen, The Netherlands Source: Stremke, Dobbelsteen and Koh, 2011
organization of landscapes not only determines where renewable energy is assimilated and used, but also influences how much energy is assimilated at which quality and at what time (also see Stremke and Koh 2011). Energy transition receives more and more attention in architecture and urban planning. At the regional scale, however, there remain significant potentials to reduce energy demand and increase the assimilation of renewables. Several concepts from systems theory are important to the understanding of â€˜regionâ€™ in the context of sustainable energy transition. Every region is an open system; energy, matter and information are exchanged with other systems. Once the size of such a system is beyond its energetic optimum, additional energy is required to maintain that system. Optimum system size depends on the quality of energy carriers and energy infrastructure, among other factors. The concept of hierarchy is especially useful to the understanding of energy regions. Every region consists of several subsystems but is also part of larger super-systems. 40
Regional energy systems can be optimized best when energy can travel in both directions and across regional borders. Apart from advancing the discussion on the design of regional energy landscapes, the Southeast Drenthe case-study shows that a regional approach can help to bridge the gap between (inter) national targets and local interventions. At the regional scale, however, the level of complexity rises (for more details see Stremke 2010: chapter 7). Procedural knowledge How to deal with critical uncertainties in longterm regional planning and design is discussed in separate papers. Many scholars stress the need to compose visions, as opposed to spatial plans, when it comes to longterm transformation of large territorial systems. A review of methodological frameworks from strategic spatial planning, design-oriented planning and landscape design provided the key building blocks for an advanced approach to regional design. The so-called five-step approach aims to facilitate the composition of longterm visions by integrating current projected trends and critical uncertainties into the design process. As common in spatial planning and landscape design, the study commences with the analysis of present conditions. Today’s physical reality is, however, not the only ‘starting point’. Rather than starting with a single topographic map, visions are composed on the basis of a ‘near-future base-map’ and a set of ‘scenario base-maps’. Each vision depicts one alternative future and identifies interventions that can help realizing that future. The design procedure is organized in five steps: (1) analysing present conditions, (2) mapping near-future developments, (3) illustrating possible far-futures, (4) composing integrated visions, and (5) identifying robust interventions. Employing the five-step approach does not necessarily result in a regional plan but in a set of visions and a list of robust interventions. This ‘way of designing’ presents an alternative means that is capable of facilitating the commitment of decision-makers and the development of strategic policies, and motivating citizens to participate in the sustainable transformation of their region (also see Stremke et al. 2012a). The five-step approach has been employed to envision several sustainable energy landscapes for Margraten, a large municipality in the South of the Netherlands. The case study shows that the five-step approach was useful both for composing longterm visions and identifying energy-conscious interventions. Moreover, the case study illustrates that self-sufficiency can be reached in Margraten, even on the basis of already available technologies. In order to cope with the fluctuations in energy supply and demand, it is important to employ a mix of renewable energy sources and technologies. As hypothesized earlier, environmental designers can indeed contribute to L IFECYCLES, EMBODIED ENERGY, INCLUSION - 41
Methodological framework of the five-step approach that can be applied to create longterm visions for sustainable energy regions. Source: Stremke, 2012
Visualization of a sustainable energy landscape as proposed in the municipality of Margaten, The Netherlands. Source: courtesy of Kees Neven and Arjan Boekel
sustainable energy transition by investigating, illustrating and evaluating possible energy-conscious interventions in the physical environment (also see Stremke et al. 2012b). Conclusion My work set out to explore and advance the design of sustainable energy landscapes. Embracing systemic thinking, inspired by the study of ecology and thermodynamics, contributed to a growing body of knowledge on the design of sustainable energy landscapes. We (speaking broadly and not ad hominem) must strive to be energy-conscious at all design scales, beginning with the selection of building materials and reaching all the way to the spatial organization of land uses at the regional scale. Throughout this book chapter, I emphasize the need to develop sustainable energy landscapes. This is because I am convinced that the transition to renewable energy will occur anyhow, with or without participation of environmental designers. Ensuring that this transition takes place in a sustainable manner should become an objective to building engineers, architects, urban designers, spatial planners, and landscape architects. The development of sustainable energy landscapes deserves special attention both in the professional as well as academic discourse while offering many possibilities for designers to broaden and deepen the theoretical knowledge base of the domain. Notes
* Sven Stremke, Wageningen University, Sven.Stremke@wur.nl
- Connelly, L. & Koshland, C., 1997, Two aspects of consumption: using an exergy-based measure of degradation to advance the theory and implementation of industrial ecology, in “Resources, Conservation and Recycling”, n. 19. - Stremke, S., 2010, Designing Sustainable Energy Landscapes: Concepts, Principles and Procedures, PhD thesis, Wageningen University and Research. - Stremke, S. & Dobbelsteen, A. V. D., eds., 2012, Sustainable Energy Landscapes: Designing, Planning and Development, Boca Raton, Taylor & Francis. - Stremke, S., Dobbelsteen, A. V. D. & Koh, J., 2011, Exergy landscapes: Exploration of second-law thinking towards sustainable landscape design, in “International Journal of Exergy”, n. 8. - Stremke, S., Kann, F. V. & Koh, J., 2012a, Integrated visions (part I): Methodological framework for long-term regional design, in “European Planning Studies”, n. 20. - Stremke, S. & Koh, J., 2010, Ecological concepts and strategies with relevance to energy-conscious spatial planning and design, in “Environment and Planning B”, n. 37. - Stremke, S. & Koh, J., 2011, Integration of ecological and thermodynamic concepts in the design of sustainable energy landscapes, in “Landscape Journal”, n. 30. - Stremke, S., Neven, K., Boekel, A. & Koh, J., 2012b, Integrated visions (part II): Envisioning sustainable energy landscapes, in “European Planning Studies”, n. 20. - Strong, M. F., 1992, Energy, environment and development, in “Energy policy”, n. 20.
L IFECYCLES, EMBODIED ENERGY, INCLUSION - 43
Under the High Line, New York 2009 (photo by F.Radaelli) 44
THE RICH AND THE P O O R , INCLUSI ON AND EXC LU SI O N Bernardo Secchi*
Driven by the new attention for environmental problems and the “new urban question” a collection of new words is invading the subject of urbanistics. These are not necessarily new to a broader segment: some of them have a long history in the studies of the city and the territory, others have different, perhaps less recent origins within other fields of study. In the order in which I have set them out they tell of the greatest problems that the city and the territory have had to face and they speak to us of possible future scenarios (Secchi 2010). Often used allusively and rhetorically they are hard put, in most cases, to construct accurate and convincing projects, to cross the different dimension of the urbanistics project in a fertile manner, to build a participatory study program. These notes wish to make a small step towards the deconstruction of two important terms: inclusion and exclusion. A deconstruction that enables a more rigorous interpretation, minimum requisite for the construction of an articulated research-study program that does not lose the extension of the assumptions that underlie the same. In the background the other terms used during the I.P.: ‘lifecycle’, ‘embodied energy’, ‘recycling’. The worry that has led to the laying down of the following lines is that the outcomes of any policy intent on improving environmental conditions might be appropriated by the richest and most privileged part of society. Over and beyond the intentions of those who propose the same, policies may have perverse effects in time contrary to those expected. Urbanists know this full well. The rich have always practiced a policy of “distinction” in the sense given to the term by Pierre Bourdieu (1979). ”Distinction” is a term with a long history in our western culture and has always been an adjective very much present in the vocabulary of the rich and the middle classes. A policy of distinction often takes on the characters of inclusion and then, even if this should not necessarily be the case, becomes a policy of exclusion. The urban space, in its different forms, can perhaps facilitate and pose an obstacle to both inclusion and exclusion; eiL IFECYCLES, EMBODIED ENERGY, INCLUSION - 45
ther resist or accommodate the same and turn the same into resilient behaviour. From the end of the eighteenth century onwards, with the emerging of a sizeable middle class, in England and subsequently in other countries of Europe, as it is known, an entire system of values in terms of inhabiting the city was modified. Domesticity began to take on ever greater importance and in most European and north-American cities the world of the middle class was split in two: into a sort of exterior, the world of work, commerce and business, the city and, in an interior one, the world of the home and family, the compass case including all the accessories steeped in the velvet conjured up by Benjamin (1982) in his writing in the twenties. The narrative of the nineteenth century is full of characters that distinguish and separate or aspire to clearly distinguishing and separating between these two worlds. The crucial moment, in England, the same as in France and then the other European countries, perhaps comes around the mid nineteenth century when the bourgeoisie, followed by most of the middle classes, strongly affirmed the values of privacy, of comfort and decorum. Starting from the home or dwelling (Crowley 2001; Flanders 2003). Abandoning the idea that ones residence would represent ones status, as it was for the aristocracy of the d’ancien régime, or that it was the place for ostentation and “luxury” against which the Protestant rigour of the emerging bourgeoisie polemicized, more attention began to be paid to the relations of the body with its immediate environment: cleanliness, heat and light, but also the articulation and separation of the different spaces in the home or dwelling and their being adapted to the new ritual of receiving guests, in the bourgeois version of the old aristocratic tradition of the salon (Craveri 2001). From the dwelling the quest for comfortableness expanded to the main places of sociability: the theatres, the hippodromes and sports-grounds, parks, gardens and tree-lined thoroughfares, to venues for parties, cocktails, dinners, as well as museums and exhibition spaces; in the city as in the great fashionable holiday resorts or in the great “hunting lodges” spread across the land; spaces where networks of acquaintances, cultural, political or economic alliances were set up; where the bourgeoisie defined itself as a class and built, in the term of Pierre Bourdieu, its own social and cultural capital. The Paris of Haussmann, like Victorian London, the area of the Viennese Ring and, a little later on, in the bourgeois Milan of Beruto one finds formal, plastic representations of the same. A century later the structure of the society in many European and western regions had changed. The group of the rich had become relatively smaller and their distance from the poor had increased; the much larger group of the middle class was trying to mingle with that of the rich on one extreme, while being thrust towards the world of the poor at the opposite extreme, covering an equally vast spectrum of situations. The city too had changed. In many of the 46
European and western regions the compact city with its suburbs was countered by the phenomenon of spatial dispersion in its various different forms, phenomenon that had become too evident not to be taken into consideration by urban policies and by the selfsame people involved, that could not but be considered different from the suburbs produced by the industrial cities. As a consequence of the policies of distinction, identification and of recognition in some policy areas one has the differences of separation and exclusion. The rich residential quarters of the Paris of the third Republic, Victorian London, fin de siècle Vienna or Beruto’s Milan were and still are very different from a ‘gated community’ even if many buildings seem to resemble the condominios fechados of Sao Paulo (Pinçon and Pinçon-Charlot 2007), the same way as the American suburbs or the European areas of dispersion are very different from the stigmatised quarters of Seine-Saint Denis, from the canal zones of Brussels and many other cities. Europe has a long history of cities and in the complexity of the “palimpsest” of the European territory many aspects of our world and its possible future appear out of focus, tawdry, worn and more difficult to recognize. All the more difficult appears connecting their characteristics to that of their inhabitants. Distinction and exclusion are inseparable aspects in building a modern city, this does not mean they are so in the same way throughout the contemporary city. Up to fairly recent times the rich often preferred building their city in areas not precedingly urbanised: along the upper fifth Avenue of New York as Edith Warton told us, in the 16th arrondissement in Paris, Belgravia in London, along the Ring in Vienna. Also to the west of Moscow the Roubliovka, today is one of the richest part of the city where the new rich and powerful live in villas delimitated by zabor, was initially a hunting reserve under Ivan IV, place of Stalin’s dacia, residence of Soviet bureaucrats during the thirties of the twentieth century and before that of artists. In this area, in Paris as in London, one could build homes and dwelling spaces of the size one wanted, places for socialising, tree-lined thoroughfares, comfortable gardens and squares and aboveall obtain a social homogeneousness of the inhabitants by excluding those that were different. Part of the existing city has been left to the world of work, to offices and to trade and the poor have been left the ‘bad lands’ (Dikeç 2007), the areas that over the years, for a series of reasons, have taken on a bad aura; damp, swampy and easily floodable areas, geologically unstable, close to cemeteries and hospitals, at any rate close to places of detention, to the railway, the motorway viaducts or metro, to the big industries and closed between noisy infrastructural barrier, or “beyond the city walls” and poorly served by public transport, at the bottom of the valley, windswept and that catch little sun, where in the past the bidonvilles had risen, or more simply, far away from the city center and the places where the rich live. The social homogeneousness of the city of L IFECYCLES, EMBODIED ENERGY, INCLUSION - 47
the rich has recently come to be countered by the evident substantial diversity of the city of the poor, inhabited by profoundly different populations in terms of origin, culture, religious practises and levels of education. In a period of intense population shifts on a planetary scale, the world and the city hence appears inhabited by subjects that are irremediably different; the inequalities also being the result of irreducible conflicts between the different (Bronner 2010). The distance between the modes and projects via which, in the preceding periods of European urban history, dominant groups had managed to represent in the city and in the public space their own system of values, their own style and their own ideal of a social order and what has in turn happened, on the same ground, in the last decades of the twentieth century, is enormous. The diffuse city is a clear representation of this. Despite the efforts made in recent years to throw light on the multidimensional character of inequality, to not bring it solely down to differences in income and riches, it should though be clear that inequality is difference, just like equality is homogeneousness, they are terms that refer to different levels of reality that, notwithstanding, interact with each other by resonance. And it is probably true that to understand the inequalities and the modes for contrasting the same one need also pass by way of the study of the role performed by difference. Carefully concentrating on the geography and the history of different idiorythms, Roland Barthes (2002) drew attention a few years ago to common daily practise; an attention that is not new, that sinks its roots in previous reflections (Secchi 2000; 2005), but that, starting from the beginning of the eighties, the years of â€œdisillusionmentâ€? of the generation of â€™68 (Donzelot 1984), sees many studies research with insistence into the everyday, the ordinary and the specific. A return that has appeared, at least in a first instance, deeply affected by the recovery of a common public spirit, of a common way of feeling and speaking of things, far off from the wording, the grammar and the syntaxes typical of institutionalised knowledge. Perhaps it was one of the many cyclical movement that mark the history of western culture (Hirschman 1982). The study of the day-to-day seems to reveal some paradoxes of the welfare state, instilling the doubt that the policies that went as much as they could in the direction of the egalitarian distribution of affluence, ended up by senselessly repressing the differences between individuals, social groups and their lifestyles. This also led to a rigidifying of the economy and the society within rules that have emerged from obsolete interpretations of both one and the other, ending up by not grasping and not giving space to the innovation that comes about through the participation of the single individual or groups in the construction and the running of a city, and that might end up by constituting enormous and costly bureaucracies that rationed the resources and proposed to redistribute the same. 48
All this has made the task of the urbanist and the city project enormously more difficult. It has allowed one to understand how the solution to the problems of the contemporary city carries out a crucial task by necessarily tackling the history and the articulation of urban mentalities and imagery, area over which the difference and the modes by which the contemporary city becomes at one and same time welcoming and accommodating but also reason for mistrust and conflict. It has helped us to understand, with scholars of various stances and leanings such as Henri Lefebvre (1947), Karel Kosic (1968), Agnes Heller (1970) o Philippe Ariès (1977), the reasons and the risk of the pervasive closing oneself up in the “private”, amidst the intimacy and the familiarity with the dayto-day, of the “looking after oneself”. It has led to questioning the methods and the scientific statute of modern western urbanistics the way they have come to be configured right down the first half of the twentieth century. Studying a part of the diffuse city along with a compact and - all things considered - recently formed city, two tesseras that is of the urban palimpsest of a European region, is an opportunity to try and answer the initial questions; that is asking oneself whether the urban space, in its different forms, facilitates or acts as an obstacle to both inclusion and exclusion; whether it offers resistance to the same or accommodates and transforms the same into resilient behaviour. Notes
* Bernardo Secchi, IUAV University of Venice, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ariès, P., 1977, The family and the city, in “Daedalus”, 106, 2. Now in: Essais de mémoire, 1943-1983, Paris, Seuil. - Barthes. R., 2002, Comment vivre ensemble. Cours et séminaires au Collège de France, 1976-1977, Paris, Seuil. - Benjamin, W., 1982, Das Passagen-Werk, Frankfurt, Suhrkamp Verlag. - Bourdieu, P., 1979, La Distinction. Critique sociale du jugement, Paris, Les Editions de Minuit. - Bronner, L., 2010, La loi du Ghetto. Enquête dans les banlieues françaises, Paris, Calmann-Levy. - Craveri, B., 2001, La civiltà della conversazione, Milano, Adelphi. - Crowley, J. E., 2001, The invention of Comfort. Sensibilities and Design in Early Modern Britain and Early America, Baltimore, The John Hopkins Univeristy Press. - Dikeç, M., 2007, Badlands of the republic. Space, politics an urban policy, Oxford, Blackwell. - Donzelot, J., 1984, L’invention du social. Essai sur le déclin des passions politiques, Paris, Seuil. - Flanders, J., 2003, The Victorian House, London, Harper Perennial. - Heller, Á., 1970, A mindennapi élet, Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest. English ed.: Everyday life, London, Routledge & Kegan Paul 1984. - Hirschman, A. O., 1982, Shifting involvements. Private interest and public action, Princeton, N.J., Princeton University Press. - Kosic, K., 1968, Moral und Gesellschaft, Frankfurt, Suhrkamp Verlag. - Lefebvre, H., 1947, Critique de la vie quotidienne, Paris, L’Arche. - Pinçon, M. & M. Pinçon-Charlot, M., 2007, Les ghettos du Gotha. Comment la bourgeoisie défend ses espaces, Paris, Seuil. - Secchi, B., 2000, Prima lezione di urbanistica, Roma-Bari, Laterza. - Secchi, B., 2005, La città del ventesimo secolo, Roma-Bari, Laterza. - Secchi, B., 2010, Understanding and Planning the Contemporary European city: a new urban question, Department of Landscape and Urbanism, Aarhus School of Architecture & Centre for Strategic Urban Research.
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Padua station area map by E. Ostanel with G. Accardo and C. Catalanotti 50
EM PL ACED DIFFERE N CE Elena Ostanel*
Cultural values and sense of collectivity are two aspects often at odds, and reconciling them may prove quite difficult. This is particularly true when it comes to urban space and its use, since public space is the main arena of encounter, exchange, and confrontation among different cultures (Balbo 2012). Following the globalized process of migrations, the emergence of diversity in Italian urban landscape contributes to re-question taken-for-granted uses and meanings of the urban texture. Italian cities (including small and medium-sized cities) become places where immigrants try to make sense of their baffling world by mapping and remapping landscapes through representations and practices. Italian cities are places where complexity is a substantive feature of today’s and as a consequence difference has become more evident. Urban public space is the stage for unremitting encounters of individuals, and their cultures, where people interact and negotiate in the ‘spaces of interdependence’ (Amin 2008) such as squares, streets, parks that make up peculiar character of urban space. Even if ‘shared spaces’ in the contemporary city give opportunity of encounter between strangers, the act of tolerance towards difference diverge from attitudes such as respect and recognition. At the same time the ‘embodiment of difference’ is able to perform a sort of ‘emplaced prejudice’ (Valentine and Sadgrove 2012) that in many cases fuels the politics (and policies) of fear. In any case, the question of space is at the core of the construction of difference. Through the formation of ‘spatial identities’, stereotypes contribute to the fragmentation of urban space and different cities provide different resources for particular ethnic groups to construct themselves in space, and these groups therefore do so differently (Amin and Thrift 2002). To this extent, ethnicity is constituted through the manipulation of urban space and different ‘fragments of the city’ provide different resources for the ‘territorialisation of difference’ thus questioning urban inclusion as well as social cohesion.
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Even when the space apparently seems to be free-for-all and accessible to whoever wants to step on it and spend time there, intangible lines of division between isolated ‘cultural public spheres’ may fragment it. ‘Spaces of difference’ become ‘comfort zones’ where to create and benefit from a ‘spatial capital’ (Cancellieri 2011). Through the construction of territories, newcomers enlarge their portfolio of places (Kesztenbaum 2008) where to catch symbolic as well as material resources to cope everyday life. In this sense, spaces perform as ‘zones of comfort’ where living and acting with reassurance and confidence. Back to the question of stereotypes, the emplacement of difference involves uses and representations that may be unfamiliar to the residents, thus perceived as a menace to the wellbeing of the local urban society. In fact, public spaces are neither deterministic places of fear nor automatic place of encounter. They are social and political open fields, within which the physical as well as the symbolic dimensions both play a fundamental role. Public space is filled with signs, symbols and markers that are variously interpreted by socially positioned and culturally distinct people. As a result, ‘public spaces mean completely different things for different groups’ (Lownsbrough and Beunderman 2007). To this extent, the contemporary city fosters an emplaced prejudice (Valentine and Sadgrove 2012) that can lead to social and spatial exclusion: people – be them natives or migrants - may seek to translate their cultural public sphere into physical territory necessitating the exclusion of those who do not fit in it, do not ‘belong’ to that specific group, or those perceived as breaking established conventions of behavior and taken-for granted-norms (Balbo 2012). When looking at the contemporary city and its urban public space the question appears to be how much the notion of public space fits into the growing diversity and the multiplicity of ‘public spaces’ entailed by the cultural diverse city of globalization. If public space is not limited to the formal areas of gathering planned and built for this purpose by city leaders and urban planners, the increasingly complex and heterogeneous mix of urban population has multiplied the demand for public spaces, that often stop being places of freedom and opportunity and end up to be defended with lines of demarcation. Starting from these assumptions, urban public spaces in Padua, Mestre and Marghera have been assessed. The article is the result of a field research based on qualitative methods, such as participatory observation of public spaces, indepth interviews to key informants, press release and public discourse analysis and renewal project and municipality resolution analysis. The research1 has been funded by the European Integration Fund and implemented in deep collaboration with Padua and Venice Municipalities. The following section aims at discussing the question of accessibility to public space inquiring the ambivalence between ‘spaces of comfort’ and ‘urban exclu52
sion’. To conclude, the article aims at reflect on ‘urban policies’ that govern ambivalence and complexity of urban space through the ‘containment of ethnicization’. Visible minorities between comfort and exclusion: the role of urban imaginary This section aims at discussing the features that make urban public space accessible and comfortable for diversities. Starting from the case study of Padua that can be useful as a comparison with Via Piave in Mestre, the railway station is an area of comfort for immigration2 that consider this part of the city as physically, economically and socially accessible. At one hand the neighbourhood is a place not only to ‘consume” but also to ‘inhabit’: the railway station ‘urban unit’3 (the total population is 2.000) is mostly inhabited by old Italian families and migrants constitute the 22% of the total population, while the same percentage at city level is 14%. The majority of migrant inhabitants are the Chinese that represents the 8% of the total migrant population. We could say that public spaces at the railway station are at the same time ‘infra spaces’ in the mist of private residences. The formal and the informal ethnic economy in the railway station create shopping spaces that no longer end in the store but form ‘a continuum’ in which the street, footpaths, as well as traditional public spaces are embedded (Kärrholm 2012). As a consequence the concentration of ethnic activities fosters a specific form of sociability in the footpaths/squares that contribute to the ethnicization of urban space. Finally, the railway station is considered as a reference point by newcomers due to its physical accessibility: being an hub for public transport as well as highly recognizable it is a perfect meeting point. As concerns Mestre case study, the participatory observation shows how migrants only partially identify themselves with the hierarchy of places inherent in the residents’ perception and their use. Piazza Ferretto is only partly used by migrants (i.e. Bangladeshi men chatting, ‘badanti’ working next to the theatre) while other ‘marginal’ spaces are re-signified as meeting point (i.e. Piazzale Donatori di Sangue) where newcomers can socialize without the obligation of consumption. Differently Piazza Candiani is a specific area of comfort for counter-cultures (i.e. punk, rappers, emo’) and marginalities (i.e. junkies) very differently from Piazza Ferretto that is the reference point for the native middle class. Piazza Mercato in Marghera is an area of comfort neither for the natives nor for the migrants, being planned for main events and the market. The use of public space in this sense is submitted to the events management of the city without leaving space for non planned use of public spaces. To this extent, immigration is defining geographies of permanence (such as soL IFECYCLES, EMBODIED ENERGY, INCLUSION - 53
ciability, housing, entrepreneurship etc.) in places where natives are only ‘passing by’. In other words Piazza Candiani as well as the Padua and Mestre railway stations have been abandoned by natives while immigrants re-signifies places such as Giardini dell’Arena (Padua) being a centrality for caregivers or Piazzale Stazione (Padua) being a reference point for sub-Saharan Africans. In any case consumption is a key issue in emplacing ‘the comfort’ both for natives and migrants. Migrants shape urban space in the railway station areas in Padua and Mestre to their own needs by opening shops supplying ethnic goods and offering services tailored to their culture and traditions not provided by the hosting society. This give rise to a specialization of space and consequently to the emergence of a certain ‘image of the city’ (Lynch 1960). Differently Piazza Ferretto in Mestre hosts very classy boutiques, thus shaping specific accessibilities to the city centre. In any case the formal and the informal ethnic economy in the railway station as well as the formal economy in the city centres create shopping spaces that form ‘a continuum’ with footpaths, as well as traditional public spaces (Kärrholm 2012), thus questioning the very notion of ‘public’ space. These re-signified places provide symbolic as well as material resources to the newcomers. They are hubs for the individual as well as for the communitarian dimension of the self. In this sense, space plays a fundamental role in the identity construction process. Through the construction of territories, newcomers enlarge their portfolio of places (Kesztenbaum 2008); in other words they strength their spatial capital (Cancellieri 2011). As an example, the railway station in Padua is a multidimensional urban spaces where to keep in touch with friends and other people speaking the same language and cultural codes as well as spaces where to find job and other key information. On the other hand, if we agreed that backstage spaces are strongly shaped by the relationships created with some constitutive outsides (Deridda 1981), the research on spatial accessibilities must focus on the relation between centralities and the margins. Concerning this, the research demonstrates how the ‘image of the city’ (Lynch 1960) plays a fundamental role in the demarcation of spatial accessibilities. According to Oliver and Wong (2003), prejudice contributes to self-selection of accessibilities in urban space. In other words, the contemporary city tells us that differences in public space are synonymous with distrust, simply because these unfamiliar behaviours question the taken-for-granted sensory landscapes of everyday life. The presence of diversity (not only the ethnic one) involves uses of space that may be unfamiliar to the residents, thus perceived as a menace to the wellbeing of the local urban society. More specifically, the migration imaginary structures desires and anxieties able to shape the understanding of ‘other54
ness’. Amin talks about the emergence of a ‘phonotypical racism’ as the practice of fitting bodies into a vicariously fashioned iconography that triggers powerful negative feelings (Amin 2008). To this extent, the ‘emplacement of prejudice’ leads to a relevant spatial question while addressing social differentiation. The public discourse plays an important role in making difference into matter. As an example, the analysis of the media discourse about the railway station in Padua as well as Mestre conveys the construction of ‘an extra world’ represented by these elements: ‘disorder, mobilization and repression’. The image of the railway station contributes not only to the demarcation of accessibilities but also to the definition of a collective syndrome of ‘criminalization of the presence of difference’. The symbolic dimension of accessibility is related to the question of visibility: an ethnic oriented public space is not anonymous and as a consequence more visible and ‘tangible’ in the local population imaginary. The containment of diversity: the role of urban policies Within this section, the case study of Padua will be used to inquire the governance framework of diversity. Generally speaking, the research demonstrates a governance framework based on the principles of ‘defense’ and the ‘containment of ethnicization’. Strategies and techniques by which a society is rendered governable (Foucault 2004) cannot be confined to police control: the municipality’s resolutions as well as the urban renewal projects are techniques used to build up governmentality in the railway station neighbourhood. As an example, the railway station is constantly controlled by the simultaneous presence of the police and the military s as allowed by the article 7-bis of the enactment number 92 of year 2008: this decree low provide the Mayors with special powers as concern the urban security. As a consequence Padua introduced the army to support to the police in the territory control in specific problematic areas. The constant presence of the military forces contributes to the representation of the neighbourhood as a ‘battleground’ among natives and newcomers. Likewise the resolutions made by the Municipality from 2005 to 2010 specifically govern the openings of shops in the neighborhood motivating this control in the name of ‘urban security’ and ‘hygiene standards’ control’. Ethnic shops are considered as a ‘manifold of undocumented’ and according to this they are controlled (using the sanitary justification) and eventually temporary closed. On February 2012 a specific resolution made by the Municipality, in accordance with a regional decree, stated that ethnic activities could not be hosted in the railway station as well as in Arcella4 neighbourhood. Moreover, the analysis of the neighbourhood renewal project as well as some L IFECYCLES, EMBODIED ENERGY, INCLUSION - 55
interviews directed to the Municipality’s managers revealed other interesting issues: through the regulation of mobility around the railway station the project aims at reducing assembly in public spaces as well as to increasing the visibility (‘removing any shady areas’) of people in order to have a better control over them. The Municipality decided to remove possibilities of ‘placement’ in the urban space (as an example, steps in Piazzale Stazione have been covered with spikes to prevent people sitting on them). The renewal project does not deal directly with the immigration question, but generally speaking is aimed at facilitating the act of ‘passing through’ while inhibiting the use of public space. Differently, the public discourse portray an image of ‘invasion’, ‘occupation’, ‘decay’ linked to the presence of immigration, thus strengthening the urban fragmentation. When analysing local policies, I am aware about the contextual importance played by the dialectic between immigration (national level) and migrant policies (local level) and about the difficulties of local policies in governing global contradictions. I totally agree with Ash Amin saying that ‘people have to enter into public space as rightful citizens, sure of access to the means of life, communication and progression. Without this guarantee, now so severely tested by a market-oriented society and related forms of corporatism, interventions in public space will amount to no more than tinkering on the edges’. Given this, local policies and interventions can perpetrate a politics of sanitazion, only aiming at the embalming of the bodies and the creation of an anaesthetic landscapes. ‘Revanchist’ policies against minorities with regard to public spaces (Smith 1996) not only reproduce stereotypes through the ‘institutionalization of ethnic containment’ but at the same time go against the ‘right to the city’ (Lefebvre 1968) theorized as the act (and right) of manipulating the urban. Moreover, if spaces of difference are hubs for migrants, a politics of sanitization works for the disruption of spatial capitals that newcomers are building in the fragments of the city. Urban policies should be ‘positioned at the margin’: this means taking into account the relationship between central and marginal spaces and the processes that make a space a backstage for other activities. As said before, Deridda writes about the importance of ‘constitutive outsides’ in the making of urban exclusion. Knowledge to inform policies, as the research demonstrate, should question the factors pushing towards a specific ‘territorialization’ of difference, understanding the comfort of being in certain spaces more than others for different social and ethnic groups. At the same time, exclusionary forces, both special and social as well and symbolic, must be taken into account. As Soja (1996: 56) said the space (thirdspace) is the production of history, time and power relations when they encounter everyday life. The policy process should start 56
assuming this complexity, with the aim of informing innovative planning initiatives able to recognize the difference and to enhance bridge-building processes. Notes
* Elena Ostanel, SSIIM Unesco chair, IUAV University of Venice, email@example.com 1. The research was part of the Project “Mediare.com. Percorsi di comunità attraverso la mediazione”. 2. The research highlights that the railway station is a centrality particularly for Senegalese, Nigerians, Moroccans, Tunisians and Chinese communities as well as ‘badanti’ from East Europe. A Focus Group conducted with these communities has analysed main uses and practices of public spaces in that area. 3. The administrative jurisdiction is called “unit”. 4. Arcella is a neighborhood in Padua next to the railway station with a high percentage of foreign residents as well as ethnic oriented activities.
- Amin, A., 2008, Collective culture and urban public space, in “City”, vol. 12, n°. 1, April. - Amin, A. & Thrift, N., 2002, Città. Ripensare la dimensione urbana, Bologna, Il Mulino - Balbo M., Cancellieri, A., Marconi, G., Marzadro, M. & Ostanel, E., 2012, Contemporary Urban Space and the Intercultural City. Accessed on 10/06/2012 at http://www.unescochair-iuav.it/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/position-paper.pdf - Bauman, Z., 2001, Community. Seeking Safety in An Insecure World, Cambridge, Polity Press. - Bloomsfield, J. & Bianchini F., 2004, Planning for the Intercultural City, Stroud, UK, Comedia. - Cancellieri, A., 2011, La città e le differenze. Battaglie per il senso del luogo e valorizzazione del welfare space, in “Bollettino della Società Geografica Italiana”, n.1. - Cancellieri, A. & Ostanel, E., 2012, Methods and planning for spaces of difference, not published. - Deridda, J., 1981, Positions, Chicago, University of Chicago Press. - Deutsche, R., 1996, Evictions. Art and Spatial Politics, Cambridge, MA, MIT Press. - Dewey, J., 1934, Arts as Experience, in The Latter Works, 1925-53, Carbondale, Southern Illinois University Press, vol. 10. - Foucault, M., 2004, ÐSécurité, territoire, populationÐ: Ðcours au Collège de France, 1977-1978Ð, Paris, Galimard. - Garfinkel, H., 1967, Studies in Ethnomethodology, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, Prentice-Hall. - Goffman, E., 1967, Interaction Ritual. Essays on Face-to-Face Behavior, Garden City, NY, Doubleday. - Isin, E. I. & Siemiatycki, M., 1999, Fate and Faith. Claiming Urban Citizenship in Immigrant Toronto, in “Joint Centre of Excellence for Research in Immigration and Settlement - Toront”, Working Paper No. 8. - Kärrholm, M., 2012, Retailising space. Architecture, retail and the territorialization of public space, London, Ashgate. - Kesztenbaum, L., 2008, Kinship and Demographic Behavior in the Past, in “International Studies in Population”, Vol. 7, II. - Latour, B., 1998, The politics of explanation: an Alternative, in S: Woolgar, ed, Knowledge and Reflexivity. New frontiers in the sociology of knowledge, London, Sage. - Lefebvre, H., 1974, La production de l’espace, Paris, Anthropos. - Lefebvre, H., 1968, Le droit à la ville, Paris, Anthropos. - Lownsbrough, H. & Beunderman, J., 2007, Equally spaced?, Report for Demos, accessed on 10/03/2012 at http://www.demos.co.uk/publications/equallyspaced - Lynch, K., 1960, The Image of the City, Cambridge, MA, MIT press. - Madanipour, A., 2010, Whose Public Space? International case studies in urban design and development, London, Routledge. - Oliver, J. E. & Wong, J., 2003, Intergroup Prejudice in Multiethnic Settings, in “American Journal of Political Science”, Vol. 47 (4), October. - Smith, N., 1996, The New Urban Frontier. Gentrification and the Revanchist City, London, Routledge. - Soja, E. W., 1996, Thirdspace. Journey to Los Angeles and other real-and-imaginated places, Oxford, Blackwell. - Thrift, N., 2004, Driving in the City in “Theory, Culture & Society”, Vol. 21 (4/5). - Valentine, G. & Sadgrove, J., 2012, “Narratives of encounter: reflections on the contact Hypothesis”, Paper presented at the International Conference on Living with Difference, Leeds, 12-14 September.
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Field trip with the mayor of Villanova di Camposampiero. (photo by Yan Guo) 58
WH O REC YCL ES THE CI T Y? Three case studies in the diffuse city Emanuel Giannotti*
Recycling dynamics The idea of recycling cities and territories starts from the need to carefully consider the embodied energy contained in the constructions: buildings, infrastructures, territorial works.1 In a period of crisis and scarcity, merely paying attention to the operational energy is not enough. One need also consider the energy that, directly or indirectly, was required to realize the constructions. This has some important indications for the design phase. Aboveall, it directs the choice of materials and building techniques and requires a reflection as to the lifespan of the buildings and the infrastructures. As well as that, and this is the most interesting aspect, it forces one to carefully consider all that already exists. Considering both operational and embodied energy, often recycling existing constructions allows a greater energy saving than realizing new ones, even if highly performant (Secchi and ViganĂ˛ 2011). From an urban and territorial point of view, this prospect radicalizes the idea of transforming the existing city, throwing new light on some past proposals, such as the theory of modification or the metaphor of the territory as a palimpsest (Gregotti 1984; Corboz 1983). The attention for embodied energy places the onus on the material components of the transformation, that is on the constructions and on the physical city. All the same, recycling does not stop here. It takes an economic significance in a period in which the credit crunch has considerably contracted the possibility for sizeable investments. It crosses the environmental question, because it leads to a more careful use of resources after a period in which they were exploited as if they were unlimited. It may also foster an increase in biodiversity, starting from the flora and fauna now found in a particular locus. It has to consider the cultural component, that is the individual and collective memories deposited in a place and the symbolic values that have been attributed to the same. Lastly, a project that starts from what is L IFECYCLES, EMBODIED ENERGY, INCLUSION - 59
already there can also carefully consider the social networks that have been stratified, starting from the associative fabric, the capabilities of each and everyone, but also from the conflicts and the forms of segregation. Recycling hence places a renewed attention to context, this though outside a conservative idea (Giannotti 2012). Starting from what exists does not mean that we are condemned to keep everything. It is more a question of finding out about the urban and territorial dynamics of change, carefully choosing what is to be jettisoned, what is to be kept and what is to be modified. Within this perspective, the time aspect becomes extremely important. Analyzing an urban or territorial portion, one needs to study not only the visible and immanent aspects, but also to reconstruct the processes that have defined the forms of settlement (Gambi 1973). In this way the incremental transformations can be highlighted, but also the sudden leaps, that have produced speedy changes. Thus the idea of recycling makes an explicit reference to a succession of different lifecycles, that is the various phases of use of a territory, according to a series of rationalities, traditions and economic systems (ViganĂ˛ 2011). The attention to the dynamics what is more underlines the need to consider the forces at the basis of the processes of change, finding out about the interactions between private developers, administrations, political forces and the civil society.2 This prospect also opens questions that created a lively debate during the Intensive Programme. How does one favour inclusive dynamics in order to create a more open and just city? Which are the important actors for the urban transformation? What is the role of the technicians and in what way should they relate to the various actors involved? Public support and participatory processes The twentieth century was the age of the welfare state. The solid nets of social protection that were built over several decades have played a central role in structuring the city. Their importance is manifest if one thinks of the housing policies, the widespread distribution of services and facilities or the project for the public space, that has often been understood as the connective tissue of the democratic society (Munarin, Tosi, Renzoni and Pace 2011; Di Biagi 2009; Secchi 2005). Within this framework, the role of the technicians was well defined. Urban and territorial design, even if it remained open to many different disciplines, had solid roots and aboveall, was strictly linked to the action of the public administration. Relations between the authorities and technicians have never been easy and straightforward. All the same, they constituted the framework of reference within which the city project was inscribed. 60
Over these last years, many have described the progressive erosion of the welfare state and with this the “city’s falling apart” (Donzelot 2008; 2009). This has led to a greater freedom of the individual, who is no longer compelled within well defined limits of society. On the other hand, the system of social protection constituted a solid support, that enabled each and everyone to face the countless uncertainties of existence (Castel and Haroche 2001; Castel 2003). The slow erosion of this support is delineating a very uncertain situation, that, among other consequences, is also changing the approaches to urban planning and design. The evermore scanty public resources have reduced the possibility of the administrations to intervene directly on the city. This has gone hand in hand with a growing diversification of society, ever less structured in large homogeneous groups. In this context, the urbanists have lost a clear interlocutor, that has splintered into a host of different subjects: private developers, citizens’ associations, administrations on different institutional scales, government agencies and NGOs (Bianchetti 2008; 2011). Faced with this situation, many have invoked the need for rethinking the discipline and the tools pertaining to the same. There is a strong tendency to repropose participative processes and the need to actively involve the inhabitants, which goes hand in hand with a general mistrust of public administrations. The frequent cases of corruption on the Italian scene only have reinforced these convictions. In the same way, the economic crisis has contributed to increasing the suspicion clouding the international institutions, involved as they are in a financial system that appears to have little to do with the real economy and with people’s needs. Starting off again from below, from the small, from the simple things is a need at the basis of many recent projects (Mosco 2011). They occupy left over spaces, via temporary objects and small installation or through the creation of vegetable gardens and green areas. The magniloquent architecture that showed off procacious forms and precious materials today suddenly appears aged and out-of-date. A new sobriety features in projects published in the architectural magazines, where the use of ‘poor’ materials and simple technologies is paramount.3 These projects try to engender actions from below and to stage participative processes of selfconstruction. They invoke a direct democracy, in which it is the selfsame citizens who determine the environment in which they live. They propose to transform the building site from a sectorial and specialised area into a place of participation, where building becomes “a pedagogical and cultural act” (Bouchain 2010; 2006; Frey 2010). The will is that of experimenting starting from concrete experiences, but L IFECYCLES, EMBODIED ENERGY, INCLUSION - 61
with the ambition of being able to show a different world of doing and interrelating. Looking at this type of scheme, that goes from urban activism to temporary installations, it is only natural to ask if they have the strength and the capacity to prefigure a different reality, in which the public good becomes â€œcommonâ€? and where active participation defines a different type of city and society. The doubts as to an idea of this kind are of at least two types. On the one hand there is a concrete need. Many of the schemes mentioned in fact rest on the supporting structure of the welfare state, using public properties and spaces, or being able to access financial and technical resources provided by the authorities. On the other hand there is a basic problem for the experiences that propose building the community starting from the smallscale, which means tackling the diversities and differences that for this very reason, are without universalistic ambitions. Dealing only with some parts or some groups, equal rights for all cannot be guaranteed and hence there is a risk of being discriminatory, in the absence of a common and shared framework. If considered under this light, the support built by the welfare state and the role of the public administrations appear essential for urban transformations, if the objective is that of creating processes of inclusion. What should be reviewed is the role of the authorities, that must be able to permit (and, rather, foster) a direct participation by the inhabitants and the civil society. The ways of going about this though remain an open point. In this sense, the cases tackled during the Intensive Programme, that are featured in the second part of this volume, present various processes of interaction between private undertakings, collective actions and schemes carried out by the public authorities. Below I briefly present the principle aspects of the same. 1. Camposampierese, between individual actions and collective schemes The Camposampierese Confederation groups together eleven municipalities.4 It is located at the heart of the diffuse city of the Veneto: a territory featuring a settlement dispersion that has often been described as the result of individual actions. In this sense, the farm tenancy, very common up to the half of the twentieth century, can be considered the basis of this form of settlement. Not only because, starting from the years of the economic boom, the dense tissue of dwellings and productive sheds has grown on top of an agricultural weave. But also because farm tenancy represents a form of individualism, in this case rural, that has been at the basis of this diffuse form of entrepreneurialism that has characterised the Veneto and the Camposampierese area in particular. 62
Camposampierese. Different house types. (photo by M. Maffei)
All the same this form of individualism also configures a collective action, at least in two ways. On the one hand, the pattern of single trajectories defines a communal pattern (or habitus as Bourdieu would say). On the other, the individual choices are a response, albeit non deterministic, to precise public policies, that have favoured small enterprises through incentives, licenses and loans (Pizzorno 1974). In this sense, the diffuse city is not only an outcome of individual choices, but it is the indirect result of local urbanistic regulations and the prevailing of some forms of rationality on a regional scale. In particular, it is interesting to note the correspondence between some forms of settlement typical to the various lifecycles of the diffuse city and the different energy schemes that have followed on from each other in time.5 The almost autarchic, independent model of farm tenureship, that satisfied many needs of the extended family, can be related to a closed energy system, where production occurred in the same place as that of consumption. The typical detached house constructed from the fifties to the seventies in turn was in someway allowed by a concentrated energy model, based on large power plants and a widespread distribution network. It is in fact devised in terms of structural grids, the two most important being the road and the power network. The management of waste and drinking water were, at least in a first phase, settled by the use of cesspools and artesian wells. In the same way, the radiator heating system existed alongside syL IFECYCLES, EMBODIED ENERGY, INCLUSION - 63
The CITA complex (photo by M. Girelli)
stems typical to farmsteads, such as the fireplace and the cheap stove, used to heat only specific rooms. Starting from the end of the seventies, energy regulations made this kind of houses obsolete, demanding ever greater grades of insulation and incentivating the installation of systems that exploit renewable energies. These measures would appear to favour selfsufficiency, and hence individualism, but all the same entail connection to the power network, that guarantees the redistribution and the energy balance. The insulated house with photovoltaic panels hence corresponds to a diffuse and interconnected system of production. This tension between selfsufficiency and the need to be connected up to the network shows that individual choices cannot be described as spontaneous, inasmuch as they inevitably fall within and relate to a broad social and political context. The tension between the two terms (individual choices and public decisions) was also mirrored in the work of the students, who tackled the Camposampierese area with two opposing yet complementary approaches. The first, according to a top-down logic, concentrated on the recycle of the territorial infrastructures. The second in turn started from some social microdynamics to create new synergies across the territory. 64
2. CITA, the role of the public in a conflicting neighborhood Mestre railway station is an important mobility node and junction. All the same, the contiguous residential quarters are shoddy and run-down, and, over these last years, have drawn a considerable number of foreign occupants. The CITA quarter is perhaps the most paradigmatic example. Built between 1968 and 1976, it has the features of private building speculation, being very dense while offering few facilities. The high and compact buildings contrast with the urban tissue of Marghera and they are closed in on three sides by the motorway slipways, by the aqueduct and by an abandoned area. Originally the flats in the complex were designed for medium-to-high income families. Starting from 2003, a rapid replacement of the resident population occurred. The cause lies in the aging of the original inhabitants and, aboveall, in the sale of the publically owned flats, started up in the same years (Marzadro 2011). This rapid process of replacement, that to all intents and purposes can be considered a new lifecycle of the quarter, highlights two key points. Firstly, the difficulty of starting up the conversion of large buildings, especially when they are split up between many owners. In this sense, the hurried divestment of the publically owned property can be seen as a lost opportunity, that could have enabled a project for requalification, for example intervening on the configuration of the flats, many of which are too large in size. The second aspect concerns the interaction between the various subjects, that in the case of the CITA quarter has often been conflictual and has witnessed the involvement of a complex amount of actors. Right from the early eighties, the lack of facilities and the high service charges triggered off an ongoing dispute between the inhabitants and the propertiesâ€™ administrators. More recently, the sale of publicly-owned flats has exarcerbated the preceding conflicts and has opened new ones with foreign inhabitants. Within this situation, the municipal administration has always played a marginal role and only in some cases it has undertaken action. One of their recent interventions was the attempt to promote a dialogue between the different inhabitants of the quarter, so as to overcome misunderstandings that are often due to a cultural and linguistic differences.6 This undertaking has brought some important results, demonstrating the importance of public administrations. Nevertheless, they appear minute when compared to other dynamics, like that triggered off by the divestment of the public property as well as that outlined by the mega-projects that are intended for the area, in particular the new high-speed train station. L IFECYCLES, EMBODIED ENERGY, INCLUSION - 65
Fusina. The abandoned site of Alumix. (photo by Yan Guo)
In proceeding with the Intensive Programme, the students started off right from the station project. They tried to pinpoint the processes deserving greater attention on the minute scale via two opposing perspectives. A group tried to re-establish physical and social connections in a fabric now extremely fragmented. The other group in turn considered the isolation of the quarter as an opportunity to increase the urban intensity, turning the CITA into a true and proper multicultural quarter. 3. Fusina, a rejected territory Fusina is located between the industrial area of Marghera and the barene or sandbanks of the southern lagoon, where the old course of the river Brenta has its outflow. It can be considered a typical case of â€œdrosscapeâ€?: a rejected territory, under various points of view. Aboveall, because it has undergone a sizeable process of divestment, that has only left a few production activities still running, like the Andrea Palladio thermoelectric power station. Many industrial areas lay abandoned, where some ruins not without a certain charm remain, but also a series of considerable environmental problems, like land and water contamination. Different reconversion projects have been proposed in time, like the new passenger terminal, that should have become a new entrance for Venice, or the logistics platform that, according to the agreement signed in 2010, was to have been built on the area of the Alumix buildings. 66
Fusina though is a rejected territory also because it is used as a huge dumping site. This area in fact hosts the mud and silt dredged from the lagoon and over the coming years this activity should intensify. The urgency in increasing the draught of the access channels of the industrial area of Marghera led in 2004 to the nomination of a special commissioner. In 2008 a general plan for Fusina was approved, in order to increase the treatment and storage of the mud and silt. The project included operations of environmental recovery and the creation of new green areas, in order to mitigate the strong environmental, economic and social impact.7 Despite this situation though, Fusina has not been rejected by its inhabitants. Heedless of the pollution, many still fish in the river Brenta and in the lagoon. As well as that, the inhabitants seem to be particularly fond of a small beach that, alongside the current campsite, looks towards Venice. These practises, at first glance marginal, mirror an unexpected use of the area and the inhabitants attachment to the same. They opposed the project drawn up by the special commissioner and the other activities that use Fusina as a service area.8 Hence Fusina can be seen to be home to two conflicting and asymmetrical logics. To re-establish a dialogue between the two was one of the problems tackled by the students during the Intensive Programme. A group of students has adopted a short term perspective, devising a process that aims at creating awareness and involvement. The second group in turn imagined a longterm scenario where Fusina will be reconverted to renewable energy. Both proposals have tried to create a new landscape where production and leisure activities intermingle, opening up the possibility to re-inhabit this territory. Conclusions The three case studies show different processes of transformation in which many agents intervene, through forms of complex, often conflictual interaction. A recycling project has to be able to relate with these dynamics, inasmuch as it always has to deal with an existing situation, where both opportunities, but also diverging interests are present. However the way on goes about doing this is in no way clearly defined. Referring though to the work done during the Intensive Programme some considerations can be put forward. Firstly, it is interesting to note that the students interpreted the concept of â€œembodied energyâ€? in the broadest, almost metaphoric sense, as the body of resources deposited in a locus or given place. To this end the phase for reading not only the physical, but also the economic, symbolic and social L IFECYCLES, EMBODIED ENERGY, INCLUSION - 67
components has been fundamental. In the brief time available the students surveyed the opportunities present on the site. Starting from these they delineated “opportunistic projects”, throwing light on new potentialities, often suggesting unexpected scenarios. This requires observatory and listening skills as well as imagination, but also a shrewd choice of the point of view to be adopted. If on the one hand you need to lower yourself into the reality you are dealing with, to be able to glean the minute aspects and the needs of the persons involved, on the other it is important to remain detached and outside the same, so as not to lose the view of the whole and not to be confined within small problems. This position, that has to be independent and critical, can enable an inclusive project, in the measure in which one does not take the side of a specific group, but rather one seeks a vision that synthesises the different interests into a whole. In this sense, inclusion is understood aboveall as involving the greatest number of stakeholders. To attain this one should know how to dialogue, and this via an understandable language. All the same, the main means available to the urbanist is the project of spatial dimension, which is the very one in which friction and conflict arise. A good spatial project manages to hold together divergent uses and functions, but aboveall, it proposes new visions and shows how things could be otherwise. In this way it is perhaps possible to overcome the conflicts, redefining the forces in the field and creating a common ground. Notes
* Emanuel Giannotti, IUAV University of Venice, firstname.lastname@example.org 1. See: P. Viganò, Elements for a theory of the city as renewable resource, and L. Fabian, Recycling Energy, in this selfsame publication. 2. Worries of this kind hark back to at least the seventies, when planning posed the problem not so much of drawing up and defining plans, but that of locating processes of change (Crosta 1973; 1984). 3. On this count see the issues of “Domus” and “Abitare” published on 2012. 4. www.unionecamposampierese.it. Last accessed on 12/10/2012 5. See: L. Fabian, Recycling Energy, in this selfsame publication. 6. The FEI project ”altrimenti nella città” [otherwise in the city], coordinated by the Venice municipality Immigration Service. 7. www.ccpv.it. 8. Vallone Moranzani, il progetto decolla, in “Gazzettino”, 20 May 2012.
- Berger, A., 2006, Drosscape. Wasting land on urban America, New York, Pricenton Architectural Press. - Bianchetti, C., 2008, Urbanistica e sfera pubblica, Torino, Donzelli. - Bianchetti, C., 2011, Un pubblico minore, in “CRIOS” n. 1. - Bouchain, P., 2006, Construire autrement. Comment faire?, Arles, Actes Sud. - Bouchain, P., 2010, Construire ensemble le grand ensemble, Arles, Actes Sud. - Bourdieu, P., 1994, Raisons pratiques. Sur la théorie de l’action, Paris, Seuil. - Castel, R., 2003, L’insécurité sociale. Qu’est-ce qu’être protégé?, Paris, Seuil. - Castel, R. & Haroche, C., 2001, Propriété privée, propriété sociale, propriété de soi, Paris, Fayard. - Corboz, A., 1983, The land as palimpsest, in “Diogène” n. 121. 68
- Crosta, P., ed., 1973, L’urbanistica di parte. Ruolo sociale del tecnico e partecipazione popolare nei processi di pianificazione urbana, Milan, Franco Angeli. - Crosta, P., ed., 1984, La produzione sociale del piano. Territorio, società e stato nel capitalismo maturo, Milano, Franco Angeli. - Crosta, P. & Graziosi, S., eds, 1977, Chi decide la città. Meccanismi e agenti di urbanizzazione nell’area milanese, Milan, Clup. - Di Biagi et al., 2009, Città pubbliche. Linee guida per la riqualificazione urbana, Milano, Bruno Mondadori. - Donzelot, J., ed., 2008, Quand la ville se défait. Quelle politique face à la crise de banlieues, Paris, Points. - Donzelot, J., 2009, La ville à trois vitesses et autres essais, Paris, Ed. de la Villette. - Frey, P., 2010, Learning from vernacular. Pour une nouvelle architecture vernaculaire, Arles, Actes Sud. - Gambi, L., 1973, Una geografia per la storia, Turin, Einaudi. - Giannotti, E., 2012, Recycling. A renewed attention to context, in E. Giannotti & P. Viganò, Our Common Risk, Milano, Et Al., pp. 120–125. - Gregotti, V., 1984, Modificazione, in “Casabella” n. 498/9. - Habraken, N. J., 1972 (1962), Supports. An alternative to mass housing, The architectural press, London. - Marzadro, M., 2011, La CITA: da complesso edilizio a quartiere urbano, research report, IUAV University of Venice. - Mosco, V., 2010, Absolutely romantic. A new generation of Italian architects, in “A10”, n. 42. - Munarin S., Tosi M. C., Renzoni C. & Pace M., 2011, Spazi del welfare. Esperienze luoghi, pratiche, Macerata, Quodlibet. - Pizzorno, A., 1974, I ceti medi nei meccanismi del consenso, in F. Cavazza & S. Graubard, Il caso italiano, Milan, Garzanti, pp. 315-338. - Secchi, B., 1989, Un progetto per l’urbanistica, Turin, Einaudi. - Secchi, B., 2005, La città del ventesimo secolo, Rome-Bari, Laterza. - Secchi, B. & Viganò P., 2011, La Ville poreuse. Un projet pour le Grand Paris et la métropole de l’après-Kyoto, Geneva, MetisPresses. - Viganò, P., 2011, Recycling Cities, in P. Ciorra & S. Marini, eds, Re-cycle. Strategies for the Home, the City and the Planet, Milan, Electa, pp.102-119.
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REC YCL ING VENE TO REGION
Valentina Tridello "Viaggio in Italia: Conselve _ city phalanges" Course of Urbanism held by P. ViganĂ˛ AY 2011-2012 IUAV University of Venice 72
“S OF T URBAN”: CHA N G I N G S E T TLEMENT S AND R E N O V AT I O N PROCESSES Viaggio in Italia: a journey through the Veneto region. Monica Bianchettin Del Grano*
The journey begins in May 1953 and ends October 1956. Working for Italian state television, Guido Piovene crosses Italy and “entrusts to the radio waves, […] an inventory of Italian things as he is writing them” (Piovene 1957: 7). Viaggio in Italia was published in 1957; it is a journalistic-literary report, a description of a country on the road to economic recovery.1 “He started with Bolzano and carried on region after region, city after city. The journey lasted three whole years. An unprecedented undertaking that led to an unprecedented book, as scrupulous as a survey, as faithful as a photograph, as circumstantiated as an indictment. The Italy that Piovene visited and described is that of the fifties, between reconstruction and the economic boom […]. In his journey, Piovene manages, like an anthropologist, to make Italy’s national character emerge, the unchangeable one, that stands up to fashions and the tumult of history”.2 The spirit of observation, the curiosity for the social and urban characters, for the changes underway or undergone, for the stability of some elements and the signs of change have been taken on as presupposition of the works of students in the course in urbanism Viaggio in Italia held by Paola Viganò.3 The period in which the reading of the changes in territories familiar to them takes place covers the last twenty years: the street, the quarter, the town or city in which they reside. Their studies do not as a priority examine the town plans but take an urbanism approach that is born out of field studies, from processes of acquiring the knowledge necessary to imagine a project of a town or city starting from that selfsame town or city and the changes that occur in the same. The view is close to that of Piovene’s report, though it pays particular attention to the relation between permanence, persistence, new elements, and social, geographical and urban resilience and resistance. A close-up view that reveals the small and not-so-obvious changes, more easily recognisable by those who live in the area, and that recomposes the same within more evident transformations. RECYCL IN G VEN E TO REG ION - 73
Manuel Minto, Riccardo Pellizzari "Viaggio in italia: Mirano_urban hybrids" Course of Urbanism held by P. ViganĂ˛ AY 2011-2012 IUAV University of Venice
The description begins from the differences noticeable in the aerial photos, in those of the beginning of the nineties and the current ones, and continues using several research tools: sketches and diagrams that rework maps and documents of the town plans, photographs of the past and present, videos, reports, articles that appeared in the national and local newspapers. To these are added the interviews with the inhabitants and family recollections that include opinions on the present day and on the past and that reveal troubles and desires, dreams, demands for a different town or city. Some themes recur more frequently: immigration, the decline and reconversion of industrial areas, the destiny of the shopping malls, new urban practices, the requalification of central areas or disused spaces. Hypotheses have arisen that indicate hoped for and possible future transformation strategies. It must be said that the case studies are not homogenously distributed right across Italy; they are mainly concentrated in the Veneto (region in which the majorities of the students reside), on the plains and flatlands of the provinces 74
of Venice, Treviso, Padua and Vicenza. The areas studied comprise both large cities as well as dispersion settlement systems. The homogeneousness of the geographical distribution has enabled some first considerations to be deduced as to the modality of change and as to the current physical and building consistency of the urbanised territory, as well as on the forms of contemporary dwelling. a. Dispersion is no longer a phenomenon that shows growth; rather it seems to have substantially concluded. This element emerges from many case studies and involves small urban centres, cities of a modest size and thin linear settlement called “filaments”. Widespread processes of building densification, of filling in of voids start up processes of transformation in the intercluded urban areas and in the peri-urban fringes. It is the conclusion of the lifecycle of a settlement model; a conclusion strongly associated with the economic crisis, to the emergence of other lifestyles, different needs and demands. Living in the detached houses of the “diffuse city” was a very common ambition in the eighties and nineties. Today the non central urban areas with green spaces and children’s play areas, quiet, well served by public transport, with bike paths, commercial facilities, kindergarten and primary schools are the most sought-after. It may seem obvious, but it wasn’t so up to twenty, even ten years ago. The economic crisis has had important influences on the changes in urban values and the hierarchies of the same. Living in a detached house in a semirural, lowly urbanised area is today costly and complicated. Due to the lack of a capillary system of public transport, for example, one needs to have a car for each adult component of the household: to bring the children to school, to reach ones workplace, the shopping mall, the nearest town or city with services and facilities, sports and leisure areas. The change also reflects the needs and the structure of a different family, where both parents work. In the buildings of dispersion dwellers are aboveall people sixty years of age. When they built their homes they were couples with children, generally the mother did not work; the conditions were hence different. b. The new quarters and the largescale allotments show some inadequacies in the planning standard parameters. Large green areas and playgrounds are empty spaces for much of the day: there one meets dog-owners, grandparents with their grandchildren, early morning and late afternoon joggers; they are more frequented at the weekend. These quarters are mainly inhabited by commuters that work in the nearby towns and cities, and families evermore often comprising one or two people or young couples with a child. The spatial approach of the planning standards as it is applied does not respond to the RECYCL IN G VEN E TO REG ION - 75
Anna Scarabello "Viaggio in Italia: Albignasego _ Guizza Quarter: re-create" Course of Urbanism held by P. ViganĂ˛ AY 2011-2012 IUAV University of Venice
needs and habits of the residents; one needs to rethink the form and the distribution of the same, avoiding simple quantitative solutions and imagining news relations between built-up and open space in which the shared space is associated with a better quality of residency. On other occasions though the building growth is accompanied by the completion of services for the community (the gym, the swimming pool) that structure the expansion in the bordering residential areas. This leads to a richer social stratification, a variety of family nuclei and age ranges, a better overall quality of life; all much-appreciated factors both for people living there for a short period of time as well as for those who were already living in these areas before the expansion and urban densification. The facility of connection via the public network and a good road network have led to the successful creation of some new quarters located between the big cities and the closely lying small towns and villages. This type of settlement, evolution of a widespread smallscale system, reflects all the 76
Anna Sanga, Riccardo Bettin "Viaggio in italia: Padua, Station Area_ Divided and shared spaces" Course of Urbanism held by P. Viganò AY 2011-2012 IUAV University of Venice
characteristics of the new residential area: green spaces, play areas, areas that are quiet, safe and secure, comprising basic services (kindergarten and primary schools, small businesses). Those that live in these quarters use public transport, the main road networks, cycle paths to reach services of a higher level and ones workplace. Consequently, housing in these areas is very much in demand. These cases bear witness to the change from a semirural lifestyle in areas of low urbanisation to a “soft urban” lifestyle in structured settlements. RECYCL IN G VEN E TO REG ION - 77
c. In the small and medium-sized towns and villages urban requalification work is underway, aboveall involving the historic squares or piazzas. But these processes of urban redesign have not led to a real revitalisation. The daily practices of use of the public space are different than in the past, even the recent past: those that live in these towns and villages generally work in other urban contexts, small retail is thin on the ground and the large malls and leisure and service areas are located elsewhere. Consequently the squares are often empty or frequented mainly by the elderly and people belonging to the foreign population. The most interesting and successful experiences concern the large central areas that involve piazzas, parks and historic villas and public facilities; these urban systems now constitute a new and current asset for the city and its inhabitants. d. In turn the large towns and cities are undergoing phenomena of urban reconversion associated with the conversion of central quarters and bordering productive areas and the consistent presence of immigrant population. The reorganization of vast central urban areas is due to the growing presence of immigrants that have settled in these areas following on from phenomena of decay and aging of the building stock, the closing of small businesses and the transfer of trade to the outlying areas of the city. It is substantially a commercial conversion in which the reuse of empty or abandoned buildings also takes on non conventional forms: the small church becomes an ethnic restaurant the same way as an industrial building becomes an Islamic centre, for example. [fig. 4, 5] The economic crisis has also led to the reconversion of disused industrialartisan areas that, even if not bordering the town or city are sufficiently close to the central urban areas and well connected to the same. Gyms, discos, high schools, hotels, health service facilities, businesses find their new location here. These areas, where public and private spaces mix, are used throughout the day and constitute forms of different centrality that do not substitute but accompany the historic centres. The â€œinternalâ€? transformations of the building stock are forms of urban recycling in which the plain continuity of use is associated with the invention of the function; independent from the type of building this opens up potential alternatives of use for the urban building stock and the space surrounding the same.
* Monica Bianchettin, IUAV University of Venice, email@example.com 1. A few years after ENI president, Enrico Mattei, commissioned to Joris Ivens L’italia non è un paese povero [Italy is not a poor country]: a journey-testimony and TV film made in 1960, with the collaboration of the Taviani brothers, Valentino Orsini, Tinto Brass and a comment by Alberto Moravia. A documentary on the changes caused by the spreading of methane gas, it draws from the discovery of methane gas at Ferrandina, in Lucania (southern Italy) and expresses the conviction of those who had already understood that the country had the moral and industrial resources to achieve that great economic transformation that would take place in the following years. See: http://www.eni.com/vintage/sito_cinema/ITA/italia.htm 2. See the preface by the publishing company to Piovene 2003. 3. “Viaggio in italia” was a course in urbanistics held by Paola Viganò in 2011-2012 at University Iuav of Venezia. Teaching assistants: Monica Bianchettin Del Grano and Stefano Peluso.
- Piovene, G., 2003, Viaggio in Italia, Milan, Baldini Castoldi Dalai (original edition: Milan, Mondadori, 1957).
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Networks. Water and Asphalt. Students: Giovanni Bellotti, Alberto Favero, Paolo Ruaro. Place: Santa Maria di Sala (VE) This picture clearly shows main territorial infrastructural networks, their mutual interactions and how they influence the disposition of buildings in the diffuse city grid plan. 80
TERRI TORIES OF REC YC L I N G Recycling the Veneto Region’s Diffuse City Irene Guida*
This paper presents the results of Integrated design workshop held at IUAV by Alberto Ferlenga (Architectural Design chair), Chiara Ferro (Building Conservation Professor), Claudia Tessarolo (Architectural Technology Professor), and Paola Viganò (Urban Design Chair), during the fall semester of the academic year 2010 – 2011. As part of Paola Viganò’s teaching team, I selected some students projects, to develop a more general reflection about the meaning of recycling the new territory of Città Diffusa, translated here as ‘Diffuse City’. Resilience emerged clearly as a main character and resource of the Veneto, due to the small actors’ capacity to locally play their role, adapting to largescale systemic change. Introduction The diffuse city and territory as mutually implying concepts Like the many inquiries already developed in our scholars’ community (Fabian and Viganò 2010; Viganò 2009), this is also a case of research by design.1 Before showing the selected projects, I will clarify the boundaries of the inquiry underlying the course, by defining its hypothesis. Some words need a better definition to fully understand the overall meaning of the Recycling Cities research study, as specifically declined in the Veneto region (Viganò 2011). ‘Diffuse city’,2 and ‘territory’3 are generally used in our research work as conceptual platforms, from which a whole research style irradiates. They mutually imply each other. The ‘diffuse city’ is a term which describes and recognizes a whole set of urban phenomenon usually named as ‘sprawl’.4 While ‘sprawl’ implies a negative outlook over the future of this settlement and identifies it with a sort of urban disease, or with the ultimate stages of decay and death of the traditional city, by using ‘diffuse city’, the speaker is already affirming the strong urban potential of this new form of scattered settlement. The difference between the use of ‘sprawl’ or ‘diffuse city’ hence lies in the prejudice underlying the two terms, which is negative in the first case, and positive in the second, and refers ultimately to the meaning of the urban form; a static, self RECYCL IN G VEN E TO REG ION - 81
Students: Bogomolov, Martini, Pasquali, Stangherlin. Place: Borgoricco (PD) This project proposal reflects on the superposition of two different network, the high speed one, and the finer mesh of local streets. It represents a a possible domestication of an impersonal viaduct.
referring, and forever given urban form is the opposite of a temporary pattern, a living trace left on the ground by an evolving process, continuously defined by a social contract. When we say ‘diffuse city’ we adopt the latter meaning of urban form. By referring to this second meaning of urban form, we also make another big choice, about what we mean by land, or ground, or the support and substrate of every transformation. Indeed, if we understand the urban form as evolving and not fixed, then the transformation’s substrate is not the modernist tabula rasa; on the contrary the main subject of study is the physical support of transformations (Secchi 1986). Therefore, describing the diffuse city, we constantly refer to another strong idea, that is the notion of ‘territory’. We use the word ‘territory’ as opposed to ‘land’, because the term territory also includes the power relationships, both physical and non-physical, which the land is subject to. Spatial devices which also include adjustments made as the result of political choices, economic relationships and physical infrastructural objects, are the means that ‘make’ the territory as part of an ongoing process. Territory, if seen as stated above, that is the body of a whole society and can also be described as the embodied energy which the physical infrastructure and land contains, as a result of the toil of many generations. Concluding this first part, we can state that the concept of ‘diffuse city’ is the opposite of ‘sprawl’, because its use involves a positive outlook towards scattered settlements. If we describe those settlements as diffuse city, then we are 82
Students: Bellotti, Favero, Ruaro. Place: Santa Maria di Sala (VE) Recycling smaller buildings is easier if they are located in a still vibrant mesh of streets. Each building has a supposed â€œcontractâ€? with its surrounds, recycling is all about rewriting the conditions of this contract.
referring to territory, instead of referring to land, as the main support to settlement transformation, because as we strive to state, urban form is not a static one-off feature which lasts forever, but it is a dynamic concept, also related to social and ecological interactions. The point I am trying to make is that integrating territory and recycling, there is a shift, from land as palimpsest, to territory as an ecological support, which means integrating ecology within a prospective attitude that is aware of social, economic and historical changes. Selected Projects XL Networks and S, M, L buildings5 The first question is why and how we selected those projects. They were selected because they provide proposals that feature and connect up the various scales involved. They are able to connect small scale transformations, involving individual choices of small actors at a local scale, with systemic changes, that relate to collective social changes and regional transformations. That is to say, these projects recognize territorial infrastructure and building infrastructure as mutually dependent. The projects chosen have been ordered into six groups, according to the objects and the scale addressed. Some projects would be impossible to conceive without a close description of the main infrastructural networks of the region, and specifically the water and road networks. Some others projects offer close-up views of single prototypical buildings, and have been partitioned RECYCL IN G VEN E TO REG ION - 83
Students: Arzilli, Busato, Denardi Place: Melaredo – Pianiga (VE) Fostering natural processes can be part of a recycling project. In this proposal, students refer to Gilles Cléments Third Landscape idea of waste as source of a new lifecycle for this building and its territory.
according to the scale of the objects to be recycled: big, small, medium, and large objects. This partition stresses another character of the diffuse city, which is the lack of extra-large objects. The only extra-large object to be seen here is the body of the diffuse city, that is to say, its very territory. Re – Cycle(s) Paola Viganò had in mind three different ideas of Recycling, considering three meanings for the word “Cycle”. 100% Recycling means total recycling where every transformation permits reusing the embodied energy contained in every artifact, considering it as what resulted after an energetic transaction (Secchi and Viganò 2009). Here a com84
Students: Giona, Marocchin, Seccarello Place: Mira (VE) Recycling large buildings demands a huge effort. This building has been conceived of as a large infrastructure, to be re-used as it is, though slightly changing its meaning as a space by a new programming and through small but significant structural changes.
plete reuse of this energy is conceived, bearing in mind that it will enter into the next lifecycle as energy matter that will foster another transformation, and so on. In this case no waste is left, because each and every piece has already been conceived of as part of a further lifecycle. Consequently the territory is equal to an energy field, there being no separate definition between anthropic and non â€“ anthropic transformations. Here there is the risk of reducing territory to a banal energetic machine, where energy efficiency becomes the main and only real problem to be solved, and where the perfect state is administered by a type of totalitarian energy police, while the designer becomes a sort of guardian of the perfect energy cycle. To put it more clearly, the question is whether the urban designer should design energy efficiency as a product, hence aiming at RECYCL IN G VEN E TO REG ION - 85
satisfying the desires of the select and lucky few who might be able to afford it, or if he intends redesigning the territory to enable the better social possibilities of energy efficiency. And if the latter is the case, who will sustain the costs this entails? Who will draw advantage from it and which subjects will adapt to which objects? On the other hand, the opportunity offered by this approach lies in the idea that energy efficiency does not mean absence of design, but quite the opposite, it requires an enhanced design effort. In order to have the students reflect upon this issue, they were asked to study and write a short essay reviewing the book “Cradle to Cradle” (McDonough and Braungart 2002). Students reading it reflected particularly on the design consequences of thinking of objects as part of lifecycles, considering form as a temporary organization of matter, not as a fixed, permanent pattern. The other two ideas of Recycling in turn regard the idea of reversing the energetic and life deceiving phase of the cycle, turning the same into a potential. Put in other terms, one can consider limits to growth as positive, thinking how to restart within the current constraints or limits, instead of thinking how to shift those limits forward in terms of time, space and energy. In asking a group of students to make a critical reading of the “Death and Life of Great American Cities“,6 this second point of view emerged, as the opportunity to see new cycles, where common opinion is only able to see the decay phase as something to be avoided. Here one is invited to see a city in term of its metabolism. Following Jane Jacobs’s approach, urban problems are also constituted by ecological ones, and the role of small actors is the key to understanding real connectivity and significance of that unique piece of city as part of a wider urban and natural puzzle. Lastly, a third group reflected upon the radical idea of starting from waste,7 from the leftovers of territorial rationality. It is by putting hierarchies into economical and ecological relationships, and thus rationalizing fluxes of matter and energy, that territory assumes a given pattern and cities take on their urban form. But any rationalization process involves waste. It is from waste that new possibilities arise, because waste is a form of yet-to-be-exploited energy and it is crucial to future alternative rationalities, that is to say, it is waste that has the power to enable resilience in highly rationalized formal patterns. This attitude implies a strong effort detachment from the aesthetics of waste, in its primary meaning. If we don’t think aesthetically, but ethically, waste becomes much more fertile in terms of future research approaches. Indeed any reference to cycles without waste, always refers to utopian or future projects; but what about the present-day situation? We cannot deny the current presence of waste. And it is not just a matter of liking or disliking the appearance of the same, but it is 86
much more about being aware of its very presence and taking action using this unavoidable presence as a starting point. Conclusions Summarizing the results of the research study we can state that the idea of diffuse city implies a conceptual shift from a static image of city as built environment and infrastructure, towards a dynamic idea of territory, which includes both living matter, artifacts and fluxes of energy. The students’ work selected has been partitioned into six categories to help show how these conceptual tools become spatial via design. If we think in spatial terms then it becomes clear that territory is subject to lifecycles. We have proposed three categories of lifecycles to describe three types of recycling, namely: 100% recycling, death and lifecycles, waste cycles. Each category deals with waste, or that is to say, with entropy, in a different manner. Why does recycling matter to us? Recycling is the lens through which we can project three different families of problems, the economic and ecological, physical, and social problems, immediately obtaining strategies, visions, and simple tactical actions, which allow us to imagine a future, which is equally distant both from the rhetoric of decadence as well as from unlimited growth scenarios (Meadow et al. 1972). Recycling territories implies taking responsibility for the limited resources as given, and it also implies undertaking the task of redistributing and unleashing the embedded energy8 already contained in our cities and territories, shifting from a flat concept of city as urban spaces embedded in agrarian lands, towards a complex and multidimensional idea of territory, including fluxes of matter, energy, and information.9 More than planners, urban designer spatial skills become crucial here, because it is only by a spatial rendering and description of those fluxes, that immediate, tactical actions and negotiated strategies become real; as well the designers’ personal involvement is not a matter of public relations, but a tool to develop social capital, as part of a resilience oriented project. Notes
* Irene Guida, IUAV University of Venice, firstname.lastname@example.org 1. Design, here, is a researcher’s tool delivering a specific form of knowledge. See: Viganò 2010. 2. In order to follow the development of the diffuse city concept, see: Secchi 1984a; Indovina 1990; Viganò 1999; Munarin and Tosi 2001; Indovina 2009; Guida 2011. 3. Territory instead is a comprehensive concept, as discussed by Elisabeth Grosz (2008); Bernardo Secchi (2007b) shows how this concept can lead to a different meaning of landscape and public space, too. See also; Vanautgaerden 2005; Viganò 2008. 4. William Gibson (1984) writes “The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel”, criticizing the ecological monotony of the American Sprawl, where he envisioned the matrix of cyberspace. He was at the same time criticizing urban Sprawl, but also showing the virtual capacity of it to generate new species of spatiality. See also: Bruegmann 2006; Shane 2007. A defense of urban sprawl, in form of a memoir, can be found in: Waldie1996. RECYCL IN G VEN E TO REG ION - 87
5. The reference to Rem Koolhaas’s famous giant book S, M, L, XL is ironical. Here it is used to stress how much the overall organizational pattern of territory matters, more than the self-referring possibilities of single objects. 6. Jane Jacobs’ s major critique toward modern planning is that it reduces the city to flat, homogeneous zones, setting needs and strategies according to a statistic average, which never reflects the actual life of the city. Instead, she advocates for a wider idea of urban planning, capable of including diversity, thus addressing, as life sciences do, the real life’s processes of the city; «Cities happen to be problems of organized complexity, as the life sciences», she writes (Jacobs 1961: 452). This is why we cannot avoid thinking of Jane Jacobs as of an urban ecologist. This strong ethical commitment also involves a new and radical idea of conservation, which is neither buildings’ conservation, nor environmental conservation, but conservation of a whole ecological environment, to which the action and physical body of the writer also belongs. Indeed she presented herself at first as an activist. Ironically, during the eighties and nineties, her wits became ready – made slogans for inheritors of “City Beautiful” planners; reversing her idea of conservation, they turned the right to the city into a sort of carnival and revival of the urban settlement; “New Urbanists” enhanced suburban gated communities with decorative urban characters and, using popular participation as means of exclusion, they achieved the major accomplishment of that idea of modernist planning, criticized by Jane Jacobs. See: Olmo 2000; Genestier 1992. European scholars, as well as american planners, never took too seriously Jane Jacobs’s assimilation of urban environment to a natural phenomenon. See: Mumford 1962. 7. Students noticed the aesthetic value given by Alan Berger (2007) to wasted lands and their landscapes, opposing it to Gilles Cléments’s approach (2004), where they observed a more explicit political content. 8. The concept of embodied energy is deeply connected with the idea of territory as relevant field to understand the urban phenomenon, if we include in “urban facts”, not only objects, but also inhabitants’ practices, psychological perceptions of space, and a different meaning of history, and if we think of history as what results from changes, and not as an archive of monuments. Aldo Rossi (1966), described functionalism as the opposite of spatial structuralism. If the support of functional city is a tabula rasa, the support of the architecture of the city is territory. Territory emerges analyzing incremental transformations of city’s spatial structure. And space, here, is not intended as mere extension, but as leftover, still and always changing, of urban life. Understanding structures and modification’s processes, it is understanding the architecture of the city. And, maybe, since what is left from past are only monuments, or the statements of the ruling classes, it is the legacy of minorities that the changing structure of the city is telling us, or what is left unsaid by the monuments (See: Deleuze and Guattari 1975). Understanding the space structure’s incremental transformation, means understanding also all the revolutionary moments when cities changed, shaped by new actors into new urban facts. It is by reading territory that we can understand the life-cycles of the city. In this sense there is a continuity between spatial structuralism, reading the city as a palimpsest (Corboz 1983) and urban elementarism (Viganò 1999). This continuity leads us to think of life-cycles of cities and their territories. 9. http://www.beslter.org/
- Berger, A., 2007, Drosscape. Wasting Land in Urban America, Princeton, NJ, Princeton Architectural Press. - Bruegmann, R., 2006, Sprawl: A Compact History, Chicago, University of Chicago Press. - Clément, G., 2004, Manifeste du Tiers Paysage, Paris, Sujet/Objet. - Corboz, A., 1983, The Land as Palimpsest, in “Diogenes” n. 31. - Deleuze, G: & Guattari, F., 1975, Kafka. Pour une littérature mineure, Paris, Gallimard. - Fabian, L., & P. Viganò, eds., 2010, Extreme City. Climate Change and the Transformation of the Waterscape, Venice, IUAV press. - Genestier, P., 1992, Déclin d’un grand livre, in “L’Architecture d’Aujourd’hui”, n. 279. - Gibson, W.,1984, Neuromancer, New York, Ace Books. - Grosz, E. A., 2008, Chaos, Territory, Art: Deleuze and the Framing of the Earth, New York, Columbia Univiversity Press. - Guida, G., 2011, Immaginare città. Metafore e immagini per la dispersione insediativa, Milan, FrancoAngeli. - Indovina, F., 1990, La Città Diffusa, Venice, IUAV-Daest. - Indovina, F., 2009, Dalla città diffusa all’arcipelago metropolitano, Milan, Franco Angeli. - Jacobs, J., 1961, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, New York, Random house. - McDonough, W. & Braungart, M., 2002, Cradle to Cradle. Remaking the way we make things, New York,
North Point Press. - Meadows, D., Meadows, D. & Randers, J., 1972, The Limits to Growth, a report to the Club of Rome’s project on the predicament of mankind, New York, Universe Books. - Mumford, L., 1962, The Sky Line: Mother Jacob’s Home Remedies, in “The New Yorker”, 1st December. - Munarin, S. & Tosi, M. C., 2001, Tracce Di Città. Esplorazioni Di Un Territorio Abitato: L’area Veneta, Milan, Franco Angeli. - Olmo, C., 2000, Prefazione in J. Jacobs, Vita e morte delle grandi città, Turin, Edizioni di Comunità. - Rossi, A., 1966, L’architettura della città, Padua, Marsilio. - Secchi, B., 1984a, Il Racconto Urbanistico, Turin, Einaudi. - Secchi, B., 1984b, Le condizioni sono cambiate, in “Casabella”, n. 498/9. - Secchi, B., 1986, Progetto di suolo, in “Casabella”, n. 520. - Secchi, B., 2007a, Le condizioni sono cambiate #2, in “d’Architettura” n. 37. - Secchi, B., 2007b, Rethinking and Redesigning the Urban Landscape, in “Places” vol. 19, n. 1. - Secchi, B. & Viganò, P., 2009, Le Diagnostic Prospectif de L’agglomération Parisienne. Accessed on 06/30/2012 at http://www.ateliergrandparis.com/aigp/conseil/studio/STUDIOlc01.pdf - Shane, G., 2007, Recombinant Landscapes in the American City, in “Architectural Design” 77, no. 2. - Vanautgaerden, L., 2005, The territory as a dual mandate for urbanism, in Proceedings II PhD Seminar: Urbanism & Urbanization, Barcelona, vol. 2, pp. 661-674. - Viganò, P., 1999, La città elementare, Milan, Skira. - Viganò, P., 2008, Water and Asphalt. The Project of Isotropy in the Metropolitan Region of Venice, in “Architectural Design”, vol. 78. - Viganò, P., 2010, I Territori Dell’urbanistica: Il Progetto Come Produttore Di Conoscenza, Rome, Officina. - Viganò, P., 2011, Recycling Cities, in P. Ciorra & S. Marini, eds., Re-Cycle. Strategies for the Home, the City and the Planet, Milan, Electa. - Viganò, P., et al., 2009, Landscapes of Water. Un progetto di riqualificazione ambientale nella città di Conegliano, Roveredo in Piano, Risma. - Waldie, D. J., 1996, Holy Land. A suburban memoir, New York, Norton.
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Production areas near Padua (photo by S. Bisson, 2012) 90
E V E RY MAN FOR HI MS E LF What future for Veneto’s industrial areas? Steve Bisson*
Having spent the last 10 years studying and analyzing different areas and local production systems in the Veneto, particularly those of the provinces of Treviso, Padua and Vicenza, I like to claim that the challenge of land reclamation is not so much a possibility as the lead thread of all urbanism on the cutting edge. These “gray areas”, with their belching twentieth-century smokestacks, represent more than 40% of what has been built. Whether we like them or not, as a matter of fact they constitute a landscape, if not an essential feature of the Veneto’s territorial poeticism which we see every day through our car or train windows, at times with a certain bitterness. This endemic presence is evidenced by population fragmentation and dispersion statistics. Data gathered in 2008 (Confindustria Vicenza 2009) leave no room for doubt: in the area surrounding Vicenza, 1,150 zones, amounting to 85% of industrial use land, are located within 500 meters of an urban area with a population greater than 1,000 inhabitants. There’s no question that the ubiquity of such a development model should motivate experts to carefully study the co-existence of these two systems, as a foundational element in any reclamation policy seeking a renewed urban balance. The aquifer recharge zone, which feeds the many springs located to the immediate north of Vicenza, is home to 70% of industrial land, equaling approximately 7,200 hectares subdivided into more than 900 zones. The re-organization of industrial areas is inextricably tied to their relationship with the landscape and culture systems, both of which are found throughout the region. More than half of industrial lands lie within 2 Km of a nature reserve, while 66% of industrial lands are less than 500 meters from one of the 700 Venetian villas kept on record by the Province of Vicenza. A third of industrial lands are located less than 500 meters from an area governed by landscape zoning restrictions. Only 27% of industrial lands are far away from any valued lands or buildings. This datum should prompt a reflection on the risks, but most RECYCL IN G VEN E TO REG ION - 91
importantly, on the opportunities for exploitation and interaction that can derive from the present urban context. Data like these and more like them, make it clear that the solution lies beyond cosmetic surgery for industrial areas and sticking to topiary design manuals. At this point in time, the same skepticism is deserved by the aspirations of a considerable portion of the fantastical land use policies announced following the new regional law n.11 of 2004, which under the imposing figures of various acronyms theorize futuristic scenarios of moving industry to vast, highly eco-efficient zones. These scenarios are appealing but difficult to make reality, as we well know.1 I would just like to recall on this topic the words of Domenico Luciani, who has dedicated himself scientifically to the problem in a way few others have: «We Veneti are - and have always been - made in such a way, anthropologically, culturally, as to remain “little” microcosms. Proof of this is found in the fact that this structure, this urban suit of armor, this teeming swarm of little urban centers, was not thrown into crisis even by that great wave of transformation of the second half of the twentieth century. All the microcosms with between 1,000 and 25,000 inhabitants grew in parallel with numbers proportional to their size and at a higher rate than the larger cities. What has been recorded, basically, is an unwillingness on the part of our region to be sucked into or absorbed by large, compact urban organisms. This is a historic, demonstrated and irrefutable unwillingness. This is the real issue we are faced with. Therefore, if we wish to understand what kind of society we are to become, we must start with the society we are and have been» (Luciani 2009: 173). That said, it is in any case necessary to look for solutions, scrutinize proposals and assess scenarios, as was attempted in the “Re-cycling City” Intensive Programme. How can we create in those industrial areas a public town or city that reduces that sense of disorientation and displacement that we observe in so many? How can we restore dignity to these spaces through concrete actions that foster integration with the surrounding territory? How can we recover the ideal of factory design as territory or land design? To begin with, we must leave behind the fragmented vision of the territory or land as divided into zones and try to re-appropriate these zones, to colonize them with new ideas, and where laws and regulations prevent this, try to change those laws. The debate, if we still need it at all, needs to be re-oriented toward the definition of rules of the game set to foster rather than to prevent change (which doesn’t necessarily always mean growth). This re-orientation is inevitable, as well-documented by various analyses on the ‘latent’ needs of 92
businesses (Confindustria Padova 2007; Unindustria Treviso 2005). This is a phenomenon expressed in the need for kindergartens, recreational areas, public services, environmental and energy infrastructures, parking spaces, car parks and other demands that call attention to a need for synergy that threatens the foundations of the very concept of industrial area. In other words, these areas are suffering from a sickness whose cause is not to be found in the past but in their attitude toward the future. What is needed is a goal; that is to say, we all agree that these areas should undergo some kind of rejuvenation, that in a certain sense they must, but we don’t know anything about what to do with them. The cause is the lack of any goal, a settlement spontaneism which today continues to manifest itself in various forms: from factories left to rot in the aftermath of predatory buyouts to squatting that ultimately ends with abandoning the occupied buildings and letting them fall into ‘post-nuclear’ type states of nature. These examples vividly exemplify the lack of any vision and thus an imminent crisis of thought. At times in industrial areas we observe the existence of a ‘second life’, almost surreal in terms of what is normally expected or allowed, real processes of disobedience that shake the foundations of conventional understandings of what industry is or should be. In these actions one should see not a disaster but signs of a development that has already begun. Finally, we have a problem that enables us to look beyond! These actions, when they are more innovative than local preservation systems (regulations that prevent observing what is actually happening), the various local territory-narcissisms (plans that identify districts, industrial zones etc...) and other paranoid forms of collective thought, offer us a chance for feeling optimistic because they can be so ‘contagious’ as to transform their immediate surroundings as well. We too, in the field of urbanism, should begin to use a language constructed like grapevine branches, with words that latch onto concrete things. This means that if we want to talk about the environment, accessibility, architecture, we need to clear the muck of dogma from the tools with which we set to work. This is demanded, for example, by research I have conducted on the environmental, safety and energy costs of businesses (Unindustria Treviso 2006). We need to lend substance to the words we use - and clarity, first of all. Waste management, water treatment, emissions, health risk assessment and energy saving, landscape and ecological networks represent just a few of the aspects that make sustainability an increasingly vast and costly objective. It is a goal that requires pursuing restrictive standards and the introduction of management solutions that include inter-business ones. Such requirements are as much a condition for buildings as they are for land, both during RECYCL IN G VEN E TO REG ION - 93
Production areas near Padua (photo by S. Bisson, 2012)
construction and once a facility is fully operational. Things like controlling conditions both inside (temperature, humidity) and outside (ventilation, noise) have an impact on the health and well-being of people. Attention to sustainable design models extends from the buildings themselves to their neighboring spaces, and to standards areas as well. These uncultivated, isolated spaces that mean nothing to anyone can be incorporated into recognizable, unified projects, open and useful spaces. Parks and gardens are considered a system that cuts across industrial zones, functioning as a space for recreation and fresh air and an alternative for traveling on foot or by bike. Those listed are all potentially valid hypotheses, but for some reason I canâ€™t find them in hundreds of industrial areas that I have documented. And so it is permissible to think that there is a risk for urban planning to trap itself within an elusive and strictly wishful model, and for designs to translate into so many simulacra. In order to avoid this dĂŠrive, people dealing with industrial areas should think of them as objectively individual, each with its own unique problems and potentials. In the vast majority of cases the municipalities donâ€™t even know which businesses reside within their territorial boundaries, or what 94
they produce and how. Industrial areas are considered en masse by those who live with them. In a situation like the current one, in which collective life is splintering, indifference is no longer possible, much less adapting to the reality and attempting to stay positive. We have to think differently. Improving the land’s accessibility represents another fundamental priority for local development and well-being. The province of Padua, like much of central Veneto, is distributed in such a way that it virtually precludes the possibility of getting around without a car, leading to a chaotic flux of people and goods that negatively affects the environment as much as it does local concerns’ competitiveness. This is compounded by an equally serious phenomenon of spontaneous and irrational urban development sprouting up around existing infrastructure, compromising efficiency, safety and possibilities for improvement. What can we do? We can expect to witness in future a reorganization of accessibility through an improved connection between urban centers and the network of transit hubs. Compared to the past, in which the land structured itself independently of considerations of location optimization, is it still possible to enhance the interaction between subject and space? I am convinced that the change is possible, if we are able to create the conditions for entrepreneurs to express themselves and in so doing enable an influx of benefits to their surroundings. And this happens when businesses are told what they can do, rather than what they cannot do. Finally, in addition to the environment and accessibility, there is another lens through which to look: architecture. Still to this day «in industrial areas the prestige of what is produced there does not reflect the image which these places project on their surroundings. There is a gap between the value contained and that of the container, on which it would in fact be quite easy to intervene. For this reason, one should not forget the good example set by concerns that have fostered the need to transmit their company image through a decisive and bold design, almost as if the entire architecture were an exercise in marketing through different means; new buildings and complexes capable of communicating a fresh and precise business identity by making use of technology and strong affinities with the product: spaces that, while preserving their original structure, are modified to be clean, protected and able to satisfy the growing demands of research and development; new choices that reflect the desire to re-organize a business’s operations around a natural or familiar backdrop as an integral part of the employee experience and an inspiration for increasingly creative production» (Confindustria Vicenza 2009: 7). Again it occurs to me that the job of the planner is not to police but to think in terms of possibilities. RECYCL IN G VEN E TO REG ION - 95
Production areas near Padua (photo by S. Bisson, 2012)
Environment, accessibility and architecture represent a few of the possibilities to confront in order to enhance the identity of industrial areas and remedy the faceless mass of factory walls. But what really matters is how to organize ourselves for what comes after, in a phase of change with respect to a system or a collective unconscious that is cracking at the seams. What can municipal governments do at a time of serious crisis? What good has outrage over industrial sprawl brought us? Itâ€™s like a fat man who complains that he weighs over 100 Kg, forgetting about when he used to weigh 50. What we are witnessing in many governments is almost a sort of hysterical reaction to the feeling of collapse, like a spider that senses the storm and goes back into its hole. Prey to a collective fear, they begin to decry an industrial bulimia in which they themselves are accomplices. The point, however, is not who is responsible, but to understand whether these very same institutional figures have some idea of what these areas should look like after, and consequently whether they have the strength to intervene now. A benign tumor is one thing, but aggressive cancer is quite another. If thereâ€™s still something to be done, then the words of Italo Calvino (1972) come in handy for assuaging the pain: ÂŤThe first is easy for 96
many: accept the inferno and become such a part of it that you can no longer see it. The second is risky and demands constant vigilance and apprehension: seek and learn to recognize who and what, in the midst of the inferno, are not inferno, then make them endure, give them space». Notes
* Steve Bisson, email@example.com 1. «Therefore, even if planning new zones for large industrial, logistics or commercial structures were carried out with accessibility and their burden on local infrastructure in mind, or respecting the criteria of sustainably developing ecologically equipped zones, the problem of revitalization, recovery or re-use of thousands of small, sparsely distributed zones would remain for a whole series of reasons. The first: there are concerns, even multinationals, which even though they find themselves in disadvantageous locations or ones at a distance from the major transit hubs, will not move, and even when they do, prefer somewhere close-by in order to avoid losing human and social capital. A second reason is that business activity largely consists in small enterprises (artisans, construction outfits, storage providers, and recently, associations, professional practices, extra-EU workshops and many others) which subsist by local means and for local ends. This constellation of microbusinesses, which is also that which populates the many dislocated and deteriorating areas, does not enjoy the luxury of being able to move on to more central locations, nor does it wish to benefit from the advantages of managing services, because it operates on a logic quite different from the typical industrial ones. A third factor, which pleads the case for more attention to diffuse reclamation, is the fact that, if zones and properties are going to be phased out, it will most likely primarily concern the many small areas rather than the already well-connected large centers, in which real estate values create the conditions for a market that more or less spontaneously re-balances supply and demand» (Bisson 2009: 19).
- Bisson, S., 2009, Principi per indirizzare la crescita delle aree produttive compatibilmente con quella del territorio, in Confindustria Vicenza & Camera di Commercio di Vicenza (edited by S. Bisson), Territorio e imprese. Principi per indirizzare la crescita. - Calvino, I., 1972, Le città invisibili, Turin, Einaudi. - Confindustria Padova & Camera di Commercio Padova (edited by S. Bisson), 2007, Kit aree produttive. Ricerca sul fabbisogno insediativo delle imprese padovane. - Confindustria Vicenza & Camera di Commercio Vicenza (edited by S. Bisson), 2009, S.P.R.I.N.T. Studio per la Riqualificazione Industriale e Territoriale della Provincia di Vicenza. - Luciani, D., 2009, Dialoghi sullo sviluppo sostenibile, in Confindustria Vicenza & Camera di Commercio di Vicenza (edited by S. Bisson), Territorio e imprese. Principi per indirizzare la crescita. - Unidustria Treviso, 2006, Indagine sulle spese ed investimenti delle aziende della provincia di Treviso per l’ambiente e la sicurezza. - Unindustria Treviso & Provincia di Treviso, 2005, Q.U.A.P. Qualità Urbanistica delle Aree Produttive. Linee guida per gli interventi nelle aree produttive.
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TOWARD NO AUTO The regional railway network as a support for recycling the territory Lorenzo Fabian*
Introduction Territorial infrastructure and in particular the infrastructure of mobility are often considered among the main ordering criteria for territorial development and land use. Starting from some recent study experiences carried out with the IUAV University of Venice the assumption to be explored is the regional railway network and the capillary networks overlying the same might be the facilities from which to start up a thorough review and restructuring of the territory with important consequences for issues like energy, the environment, while not stopping there. A greater efficiency of regional railway transport can in fact also mean an efficient “support” for the existing settlement structure and at the same time an action involving the “recycling” of the selfsame settlements within a different spatial hypothesis. The reasons for a research study For some years now our research study group has been exploring and looking into the constitutive elements of the area of the central Veneto. Along with Bernardo Secchi and Paola Viganò (who in these years have coordinated the research activity) we have concluded that a study of this territory would be useful starting from its infrastructural stock, with a special attention to the water-, the mobility and the energy network.1 If the “territory is a palimpsest” (Corboz 1983), the infrastructural networks are often elements that in a clearer manner reveal the structure, the pattern of evolution of the same and the main criteria of rationality. The reasons of a research study that centres reflection on the territorial mobility infrastructure are at the same time specific and general. They are specific because they relate to the close connection that historically links the territory of the Veneto to the territorial infrastructure, in particular to the water and road infrastructure. At the same time they pertain to the more general reasons that involve the relations that can often arise between mobility infrastructures, the energy model and the development of the territory. On this they also have some relevancy with the planning themes of an “urbanistics after the end of economic growth”.2 RECYCL IN G VEN E TO REG ION - 99
1842 Km 50
Km 50 Km
Development of the Veneto railway system
• car and motorbyke
CAR VS TRAIN
Analysis of the distribution of different transport types for commuter traffic between municipalities shows a predominant use of private means in the central area of the Veneto which alone absorbs approximately 78% of total commuter transport demand. The remaining 22% of commutes are absorbed by the various local public transport options. Of these, rail travel covers only 7% of commuter transport demand. 1 00
Source: Towards “No Auto “ research, D. Chang, L. Fabian, B. Secchi, P. Viganò. 2012, Iuav University of Venice
The term growth, in fact associated with the term of infrastructure, harks back to the economic idea of infrastructure as a fixed social capital and by extension, to the role that has often been attributed to that infrastructure such as that of a fundamental element capable of sustaining, or at times even triggering off processes of economic development.3 The assumption is that this interpretation of the infrastructure as a support for economic growth also corresponds in the Veneto as in Italy, starting from the second half of the twentieth century, to an idea of growth and a model for mobility (for things and people) designed around individual motor transport and associated with the easy and apparently inexhaustible availability of a huge amount of fossil energy. Carbon Mobility The microhistories regarding the development of the Veneto railway system have shown how most of the infrastructure was built up (in the Veneto like in Italy) in just a few decades, between the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. In the last century the Veneto railway mainly featured operations of divestment associated with the smallscale modernisation of the infrastructural base and the rolling stock without though reviewing the general paradigm of functioning. As far as commuter mobility on a regional scale is concerned, this has basically remained unchanged, harking back to a period previous to the advent of the general use of the private car. One has evidence of the assertion of a model of mobility based on fossil fuel starting from the sixties of the twentieth century when as a consequence of the mass use of cars the use of the Veneto territory expanded, some of the areas of the territory specialised, the same as the mobility infrastructure that from spaces of mixitĂ¨ became almost exclusively specialised in vehicular motor traffic. At the same time as the assertion of this criterion of rationality one has a progressive banalisation and weakening of the grain, the complexity and the articulation that featured in the lesser infrastructural support. The minute water and road substrate, once a powerful device for hydrogeological control (Fabian 2012), slowly but progressively became the main criteria of distribution for the energy network, the support of growth (economic but also pertaining to building) and for soil surface sealing. The energy and mobility contributed notably in an integrated manner to giving form and substance to the landscape of the diffuse city of the Veneto of the end of the twentieth century (Indovina 1990; Munarin and Tosi 2001). The recent reports in the news and the devastation related to the hydrogeological problems and climate change that have hit the territory of the Veneto, combined with the deep economic and energy crisis, have thrown light on the RECYCL IN G VEN E TO REG ION - 101
MOGLIANO VENETO STATION
NOALE - SCORZE STATION
trains stopping 96
trains stopping 27
trains stopping 44
2491 passengers (getting on)
108 passengers (getting on)
785 passengers (getting on)
2456 passengers (getting off)
128 passengers (getting off)
820 passengers (getting off)
No Auto spaces: starting with a radius of 2km, some car-free zones have been designated from which to begin a project of progressive phasing-out of the private car and a redesign of the public space.
intersections rail crossing
Interchange car / train /public space interchange
Source: Towards “No Auto “ research, D. Chang, L. Fabian, B. Secchi, P. Viganò. 2012, Iuav University of Venice 1 02
paradigm that has just been described. If the great flood that hit the Region in 2009 on the one hand has allowed the territory of the Veneto to be interpreted as an extreme place (Fabian and Viganò 2010), on the other hand, these selfsame occurrences have thrown light on the need for care and maintenance of the infrastructural support that in time has become a common asset (Giannotti and Viganò 2012); deposits of embodied energy to be maintained, exploited and enhanced (Viganò 2011). In particular the studies, the scenarios and the project experimentation that in these contexts have been drawn up, start from the conviction that the emerging of a new urban question also brings with it the need to reconceptualise the infrastructural mobility support. A new paradigm that is able to deal with the exhaustion of the reserves of cheap fossil energy, with an environmental and economic crisis and with the emerging of a new demand for mobility is needed that also for these reasons is capable of reneging on the use of the privately owned car. Toward “No Auto” In this context, the research commissioned by the Italian railways4 has provided an occasion for exploring in concrete terms the capacity of an isotropic and diffusely urbanized territory such as that of the Veneto to accommodate a sustainable mobility project and address energy issues. This research, which had the objective of experimenting with the concrete possibility of transferring to the railways a substantial amount of intercity automotive traffic, was commissioned on the basis of a low presence of regional rail transport in metropolitan and urban areas. Rail travel, in fact, once the only mass transit system in the region, is today perceived as less efficient, less comfortable and slower than traveling by car, especially with regard to mobility between short and medium distances.5 Comparative studies of the various Italian and foreign rail networks have shown how the problem with regional Italian and Venetian railway systems, when compared to foreign systems, does not primarily concern infrastructure. Much more important are a different and more efficient functioning, along with a negative perception of the system and a culture which seems to prefer individual forms of transport. The latest Aci-Censis report on the transit habits of Italians shows that today, since the economic and energy crises began, and also in part due to a widespread awareness of environmental and climate change issues, new models for personal mobility seem to be emerging with ever greater persistence. Bicycles, in particular, are becoming increasingly important (Censis 2011). The scenarios and experimental designs developed in this context have taken into account the concrete possibility of transferring to trains and bicycles part RECYCL IN G VEN E TO REG ION - 103
2012, bike compartments on “Copenhagen S-train”. Towards “No Auto “ research, D. Chang, L. Fabian, B. Secchi, P. Viganò. 2012, Iuav University of Venice. Source: BIKES ON A TRAIN http://pricetags. wordpress.com/2011/08/30/annals-of-cycling-27-2/
of automotive traffic, acting on a radical change in the habits and lifestyles surrounding mobility, in such a way facilitating the inevitable transition from an individual mobility system based on fossil fuels to a public system based on renewable energies. On the bases of this premise, connections between railway and other mobility networks take on particular importance: train stations, footbridges, pedestrian underpasses, train crossings and cross-platform interchanges. Around these points, starting with a radius of 2km, some “No Auto” zones have been designated from which to begin a project of progressive phasing-out of the private car and a redesign of the public space. High access “No Auto” spaces are inhabited by a high proportion of the residents of the Veneto’s diffuse urban landscape.6 In these zones, bicycles could potentially play a fundamental role, becoming the primary individual transport system for the area, and that around which the rest of the public transit system is designed. The topic of bicycle use is addressed in an essay that is now almost thirty years old, entitled Energie, vitesse et justice sociale [Energy, speed and social justice], in which Ivan Ilich writes: “Man on a bicycle can go three or four times faster than the pedestrian, but uses five times less energy in the process. [...]The bicycle is the perfect transducer to match man’s metabolic energy to independence 1 04
of locomotion. Equipped with this tool, man outstrips the efficiency of not only all machines but all other tools as well” (Illich 1973). The experimental designs proposed transpose on the Veneto certain experiences in Austria, the Netherlands and Denmark, where the potential of a combined use of bicycle and train travel has been thoroughly tested. These designs are based on a very simple premise: short-distance mobility should provide the user with a single means (the bicycle) which enables reaching the final destination from one’s home. In the same way, also in the design imagined for the diffuse city of the Veneto,7 bike trains provide carriages equipped for bicycle use, and the Italian railways could thus become in such a way could become a carrier for bike sharing: the train ceases to be the primary means and instead becomes a tool in a service of bicycle traffic. Rail travel, understood in this way, represents only a break in a longer journey by bicycle, which from one’s home, through car-free spaces, train carriages and stations and bike paths along reclaimed river banks, enables reaching even very distant locations using a high speed and well-connected system. Reclaim the streets: bike, train and shared spaces. The project of mobility designed around the integrated use of bike and train is not, however, a matter of energy concerns alone. Low-carbon mobility is, as Ilich again reminds us, as much, if not most importantly, an opportunity for reclaiming space as well as social equity, because “[...] high quantas of energy are as irresistibly degrading to social relations as they are destructive to the physical environment” (Illich 1973). While mass adoption of the personal car has transformed streets into singleuse and self-referential spaces, the current project of transforming Italian train stations, known as “Grand Stations”, is turning some train stations, once an integral part of the urban fabric, into self-encapsulated “perfect ghettos”: wholly enclosed, equipped with every comfort and service, but incapable of maintaining any kind of relation with their surroundings. For this reason, the “No Auto” space is not only a space imagined for sustainable mobility. It represents a serviced place in which the complex of impermeable surfaces currently occupied by cars (carparks, garages, rest areas, petrol stations, train stations etc.) can become a foundation on which a process of “recycling” public spaces of the contemporary landscape can take place. The street, freed of cars, could once again assume a spatial dignity, returning to that which in the cities of southern Europe it always was: not simply a space of transit, but a public space in every sense, a point of encounter and social interaction. “No Auto” spaces, and the streets and train stations within them, are places for the design of an integrated territorial infrastructure that are non-specialized and not limited to any particular sector. They are spaces of relation, public spacRECYCL IN G VEN E TO REG ION - 105
es, no longer ghettos, that enable the construction of a sustainable system of public transport that integrates efficient switching between different means. Metropolitan railways lines, abandoned rails and bike paths are fundamental components of this system. Notes
* Lorenzo Fabian, IUAV University of Venice, firstname.lastname@example.org 1. The researches began with the Landscape of Water research programme in 2005 (Viganò et al. 2009); continued with Water and Asphalt, The project of Isotropy in 2006 (Viganò 2008; Secchi 2011) and with On Mobility (Secchi 2010; Fabian and Pellegrini 2012); proceeded to the Extreme City Project (Fabian and Viganò 2011). 2. See the conference Urbanism after Growth, held at Polytechnics of Milan (14/06/2012), organised by A. Lanzani, C. Merlini and F. Zanfi. 3. Even if not always there is a direct relation between the development of the infrastructural facilities and economic growth (Hirscmann 1958), what it seems useful to underline here is that this interpretation of the role of the territorial infrastructures has conditioned a sizeable part of the urban development of the Italian and Veneto territory in the twentieth century and more evidently so in the postwar period. One thinks of part of the infrastructural policies for the Italian South, up until when the Cassa del Mezzogiorno existed, and the role attributed even not too implicitly to the infrastructures of the Objective law of the second Berlusconi government over the last ten years. 4. The research was commissioned in 2011 by the Office of Strategic Models of the General Directorate of Strategies and Planning of the Italian state railways (Ferrovie dello Stato spa). The research was conducted by Agostino Cappelli, Daoming Chang, Lorenzo Fabian, Alessandra Libardo, Franco Purini, Bernardo Secchi, Paola Viganò and Paolo Zoffoli. 5. Analysis of the distribution of different transport types for commuter traffic between municipalities shows a predominant use of private means in the central area of the Veneto which alone absorbs approximately 78% of total commuter transport demand. The remaining 22% of commutes are absorbed by the various local public transport options. Of these, rail travel covers only 7% of commuter transport demand. 6. In particular, calculations made by comparing census data from 2000 and 2010 with data concerning land use and the isometric and isochronous curves calculated on the mobility network of the Veneto region show that 62% of the population resides less than 5 minutes by car from a train station, while 41% resides within 2 km of one.
- CENSIS, 2011, XIX rapporto aci-censis 2011, il triennio che sta cambiando, il modo di muoversi, Rome, Aci Censis. - Corboz, A., 1983, The land as palimpsest, in “Diogène” n. 121. - Fabian, L., 2012, Designing with water, in E. Giannotti & P. Viganò, Our Common Risk, Milan, Et al Edizioni. - Fabian, L. & Pellegrini, P., eds., 2012, On Mobility 2. Riconcettualizzazioni della mobilità nella città diffusa, Venice, Marsilio. - Fabian, L. & Viganò, P., eds., 2010, Extreme City. Climate Change and the Transformation of the Waterscape, Venice, IUAV Press. - Giannotti, E. & Viganò, P., eds., 2012, Our Common Risk, Milan, Et al Edizioni. - Hirschman, A. O., 1958, The Strategy of Economic Development. New Haven, CO, Yale University Press. - Illich, I., 1973, Énergie, vitesse et justice sociale, in “Le Monde”, 5 juin 1973. - Indovina, F., ed.. 1990, La città diffusa. Venice, IUAV–Daest. - Munarin, S., & Tosi, M. C., 2001, Tracce di città. Esplorazioni di un territorio abitato: l’area veneta, Milan, Franco Angeli. - Secchi, B., ed., 2010, On Mobility. Infrastrutture per la mobilità e costruzione del territorio metropolitano: linee guida per un progetto integrato, Venice, Marsilio. - Secchi, B., 2011, Isotropy vs. hierarchy, in Ferrario V., Sampieri, A. & Viganò, P., eds, Landscapes of Water, Rome, Officina. - Viganò, P., 2008, Water and Asphalt. The Project of Isotropy in the Metropolitan Region of Venice, in “Architectural Design”, vol.78. - Viganò, P., et al., 2009, Landscapes of Water. Un progetto di riqualificazione ambientale nella città di Conegliano, Roveredo in Piano, Risma. - Viganò, P., 2011, Recycling Cities, in P. Ciorra & S. Marini, eds., Re-cycle: Strategies for the Home,the City and the Planet, Milano, Electa, pp. 102–119. 1 06
USER FEATURES OF COMMUTER TRANSPORT IN THE CENTRAL VENETO AREA AND DESIGN EXPLORATIONS Dao-Ming Chang*
Introduction The study of railway network user habits is a fundamental part of the research commissioned by the Italian railways.1 By using the data of the ISTAT census 2001, commuter mobility has been studied in order to understand how the railway network is exploited as a daily transport for the population. The central area of Veneto, with the dimension of 30 km by 30 km, and a population of around 1 million, is taken as an example. The daily commuting population is around 225.000, which means namely that a fifth of the population does home-to-work trips and back everyday. The transport facilities are divided into three categories: train, local public bus transport and private motor vehicles. Indeed the use ratio of the different modes of commuter transport is quite uneven, showing a huge gap between public and private mobility. A mere 7% of commuters use the train. Local public transport accounts for another 15%, while private vehicles instead play a dominant role, being used by 78% of commuters, a feature that is more typical in the diffuse city of the Veneto. What is interesting is the geographical distribution of the train users. They are the population that lives close to/along the railway network, within a corridor giving higher accessibility to train stations. Isometric and isocronic zoning According to the previous study, almost half the population lives along or within the train station proximity corridor. Hence another analysis was made with the zone of accessibility as a controlled variable. The territory was divided into three accessibility zones: the isometric zone of 2 km from the train station being defined as a very high accessibility area; the isocronic zone of 5 minutes from the station using any kind of motor vehicle being defined as a high accessibility zone; and the rest of the territory being regarded as a weak accessibility zone. In fact, in the 30 km by 30 km area of the central RECYCL IN G VEN E TO REG ION - 107
Salzano 1 08
Design exploration around Salzano Robegano station. In red the “No Auto” space. Source: Towards “No Auto “ research, D. Chang, L. Fabian, B. Secchi, P. Viganò. 2012, Iuav University of Venice
Veneto, 62% of the population was seen to live in high accessibility zones and 41% in the very high accessibility zones. This means that this higher accessibility corridor entails great potential demand of train users. Especially in the 2 km isometric zone, where one can reach the station by bike within 5 minutes, where a completely car-free zone can be conceived. The exclusion of private vehicles can be accompanied by strategies of requalification of the public space. Different analyses show interesting features about the potential use of the train in the 2 km isometric zone, despite the fact that the use of the car is always very high. In this area, the railway network becomes as competitive as local bus transport while in general, train-using commuters are barely more than half those using local transport. Another feature makes the “No Auto” concept more imaginable: as much as 61% of the 16500 train users in the central area of Veneto live in the 2 km isometric zone. Expectedly, the higher the accessibility to the train station the more intense the use. However, considering the ratio between the actual number of train users and all the commuters, in the 5 minute isocronic station zone the share is out of proportion. On average the ratio of train users to commuters using other transport is around 1/50. This means that potential future train user commuters number 50 times the number of train using commuters today. The number can reach 100 times the figure for current users in the stations at the periphery of the urban core such as Castelfranco, Padua, Mestre, and Treviso. We can imagine that with a higher frequency, better comfort, good intermodal integration between home and the station, the railway network could be made very competitive considering the huge demand. Design exploration on the space of higher accessibility: Salzano and Castelfranco Veneto In the previous analyses we understood that the isometric zone of 2 km from the station, which represents a zone of very high accessibility, has the potential of being turned into a car-free zone, where the movement of inhabitants depends completely on public transport plus bicycle. The bus system would work as a support for the railway network rather than competing with it. Along the Mestre-Castelfranco axes, two representative cases, Salzano and Castelfranco Veneto, have been chosen. RECYCL IN G VEN E TO REG ION - 109
= 5 min
= 2km = 5min
= very high accessibility
popolazione 1018723 624167 415648
TOWARDS NO AUTO The No Auto space lies within an isometric area of 2km, featuring the abandoning of the private car in favor of bicycle transport, in turn perfectly integrated with regional railway transport. Source: Towards “No Auto “ research, D. Chang, L. Fabian, B. Secchi, P. Viganò. 2012, Iuav University of Venice 1 10
Veneto central area population 1.018.723
very high accessibility
T. Individuale 176216 100129
The station of Salzano is located outside the urbanized area, between two small towns, Salzano and Robegano. Apart from the remote location, it is a typical case of commuter transport in the region, there only 244 passengers take the train from here everyday while the total number of commuters in the isometric area is 5273. The objective of the project is to eliminate the private car as much as possible and to use bus and bicycle as a combined transport system. In the 2 km isometric zone the station is within 5 minutes using ones own bike or via a bike sharing system. While in the 5 minute isocronic zone, a bus loop is proposed guaranteeing a 15 minutes wait plus travel time. Introducing the bicycle as a principal form of transport also opens the way to other design themes in requalifying the transportation infrastructure in the immediate vicinity of the station. A safe pedestrian and bicycle passage across the railway is integrated with the station. The existing parking would be adapted to include other services such as bike parking and car sharing. The “No Auto” zone would also lead to a new organization of public space. Inside the zone, the public space would be requalified for pedestrians, bicycle and bus traffic, while cars can reach the edge of the zone using alternative roads. The water network would also be used for bicycle transport, connecting one car-free zone to another. Castelfranco Veneto represents another typical case: It is a medium-sized city in the Veneto region with around 30.000 inhabitants. In terms of transport, Castelfranco Veneto is an intersection of different railway lines and highways. The train station, situated near the center, attracts around 4500 commuters per day. However, the railway line constitutes a barrier that divides the city in two parts: the historical monuments and quarters dating back to medieval time to the north, while a typical urban sprawl lies to the south of the railway, mainly made up of residential areas and industry, built in the second half of the twentieth century. Therefore, the design theme of Castelfranco Veneto is not only to propose a “No Auto” area but to also penetrate the barrier crossing the city, to create more permeability, to connect up the different parts of the city and facilitate the movement of the population throughout the territory. Therefore, the train station becomes an intermodal platform where the passengers can switch between different modes of transport, namely train, bicycle, bus and carsharing. The station platform is well connected with the foot- and cycle bridge. In the case of Castelfranco Veneto, the “No Auto” zone reinforces the northsouth axis where the important public facilities are located. Thus the main monuments such as the castle, the park, the hospital, and the multi-functioned station platforms are well connected with a system of public spaces. Notes
* Dao Ming Chang, IUAV University of Venice, email@example.com 1. See on this count L. Fabian, Towards No Auto. The regional railway network as a support for recycling the territory, in this selfsame publication. RECYCL IN G VEN E TO REG ION - 111
T H R EE CA SE STUDIES Between the high intencity and the low intencity.
RECYCL IN G VEN E TO REG ION - 113
REFRAMING EFFICIE N C Y A N D G ROW TH IN THE CI T TÀ DI F F U SA Verena Lenna
Camposampiero is a municipality of the province of Padua and part of the Camposampierese confederation, a worthy representative of the spatial and productive logic of the territory of the Città Diffusa. Indeed the distinction between small and big enterprises in the Veneto region is very subtle and rarely related to the dimensions of the warehouses or number of workers: 48% of the sheds in the Padua area cover less than 3.000 sqm and 63% have less than 25 workers. The organization of the territory reflects the capillary nature of the productive system, working in synergy with infrastructures – the water and road networks - and residential needs: a cultural landscape reflecting the local entrepreneurial spirit. In the current economic situation this consolidated structure is challenged by the need to reduce human and fuel costs as well as energy dispersion. RECYCL IN G VEN E TO REG ION - 115
Camposampierese, areas in transformation
The need to have a more efficient accessibility to the main transportation infrastructures, to develop synergies among resources, different production phases and devices, is leading to the progressive coagulation of single productive platforms, encouraged also at the level of territorial planning. within this framework, 2011 saw the founding of the Confederation of Camposampiero, comprising 11 municipalities with an average of 1 enterprise every 10 inhabitants, having as one of the main objectives the development of a new territorial logic capable of maintaining and improving on the current level of competitiveness.t 1 16
Recycling the Città Diffusa The restructuring of the productive system in the Veneto region on the one hand implies socio-cultural changes due to an aging population and the continuous influx of new migrants; on the other it is facing the competitiveness of global economy trends. This requires and results in a process of spatial reorganization. The pursuit of efficiency has gradually led towards a clustering of economic activities around common logistics structures and in proximity of the fastest mobility networks. If previously the family was at the origin of a productive system which had in the sprawled organization of space a cultural and functional component based on an entrepreneurial approach, in the present moment the paradigm of growth and the crisis of the family based economic fabric are pushing towards a landscape basically made of homogeneous productivity platforms. Slowly erasing the constitutionally hybrid quality of the Città Diffusa. Considering Camposampiero as case study, in the perspective of a recycling oriented approach, two crucial themes are being explored and specified in relation to the Città Diffusa: efficiency and growth. How can these paradigms reorganize the territory? How can the territory redefine these paradigms? RECYCL IN G VEN E TO REG ION - 117
Profiles of the new citizens In the domestic worker and carers sector in 2010 in the Veneto, 85% of those registered were migrants, 68% coming from east European countries. These are mostly women between 40 and 50 years old, working to send back money to the families in their home countries. Other relevant data concern the increasing forms of entrepreneurship among migrant citizens, the figure standing at 3% in 2000 and 7% in 2010. Lastly, from the point of view of taking up residency, thanks to easier procedures to legalize their presence, Rumanian nationals have recently shown themselves more inclined to build their future in Italy. Source: www.inps.it 1 18
The efficiency of diversity The Energy driven scenario focuses attention on the grid of Roman origin, exploring the potential energy embodied in the gradients it creates while organizing flows and activities. Fundamental is thus the acknowledgement of the crucial role of the grid in order to preserve the non homogeneous character of the CittĂ Diffusa, challenged both on regional and interregional scale as well as on the scale of the capillary organization of daily rhythms. Perhaps efficiency could be redefined by a synergical dialogue between these two worlds, thus demanding a careful preservation of differences and the spatial modes of their coexistence. This implies a balanced hierarchy of structures and systems to produce and recycle energy, organizing concentrations within a wide mesh; coordinating distribution and controlling consumption at the more capillary levels. Beyond growth Inverting the CittĂ Diffusa means shifting the attention from the organizing structures to the organized materials, from the grid to the backstage of the daily activities it organizes, with their social and cultural. In a territory structured by an entrepreneurial attitude the reflection on growth becomes essential as the current forms of competitiveness are menacing the very qualities that make the CittĂ Diffusa unique: the unstable balances between slow and fast, wet and dry, dispersed and condensed. Originally human activities designed the grid: currently the risk is the reshaping of activities and flows - together with men and society - according to a globalizing performance of the grid. Maybe this is the time to question growth and redefine it according to the specificities of the Veneto region: focusing on the conditions that allow the evolution of those balances, finally casting aside the obsession for quantities.
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Different rationalities of Diffusion The productive and inhabiting logics of the CittĂ Diffusa determine the intersection of different rationalities working at different scales. The water system and the mobility network articulate and create margins of proximity between the larger scale of production and connection and the scale of daily needs and uses of the territory. 1 20
EMBODI ED ENERGY
Carmen Boyer, Claudiu Forgaci, Mengdi Guo, Anna Gutierrez, Johanna Jacob, Sam Khabir, Marta Mezerova, Radka Simandlova, Maya Weinsten
Camposampiero is a sample of the diffuse city of the Veneto. It is the result of a series of rationalization processes, which have made the territory more efficient for living and producing. Our hypothesis is that currently a new process of rationalization is needed in order to make the territory efficient for new ecological needs, new lifestyles and new ways of production. First of all we thus analyzed the territorial condition of the Camposampiero area, which is situated in the last remnants of the Roman grid plan (720x720m) in the wetlands of the Veneto plain, close to the spring lines. In particular we examined spatial strategies developed to maximize efficiency. Water system and agriculture. In the last centuries the wetlands were modified for a more efficient distribution of irrigation and draining. To improve the efficiency of the agriculture the fields have been organized to maximize yield, through long plots orientated north-south. The houses and warehouses are situated in the extreme ends of the plot to obtain the maximum suitable area for agriculture. Mobility and industry. More recently, to address the necessities of industry a new model of mobility has been developed. It is made up of the high speed roads that provide accessibility to the territory in certain points. This new network is superimposed on the existing grid. Thus slow mobility operates independently and has become more fragmented.
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SPATIAL CONFIGURATIONS CORRESPONDING TO A SELF SUFFICIENCY ORIENTED USE OF RESOURCES AND MAXIMIZED EFFICIENCY OF FLUXES ORGANIZATION
treatment of water
hierarchies optimizing the mobility system
spatial organization of biomass
landscape of food selfsufficiency
Camposampieroâ€™s spatial structure and organization, a result of an accumulation of subsequent uses, has reached a turning point. Environmental-, mobility- and energy consumption issues and changing social structures are putting the future variability of the territory to the test. At the same time, emerging trends and new inputs have the power to infuse new potentialities. How can we recycle the territorial organization to use the maximum embodied energy and to adapt it to more efficient flows? How can we integrate the emerging social and economical trends to engender new potentialities? how can efficiency be redefined via the specificities of the CittĂ Diffusa? In order to answer these questions, we tested the capacity of the Camposampiero area. We questioned the efficiency of the territory, especially in the light of the present energy consumption and production, also including the food and water systems as part of the overall balance, simulating the space needed to produce the amount of energy currently consumed. To gauge the magnitude of the space required for these modes of renewable energy production, we explored different extreme scenarios of total selfsufficiency. What...if...? 100% of energy were to come from the sun? 100% of energy were to come from biomasses? 100% of water were cleaned and recycled? 100% of the food were locally produced? the system of mobility were able to maximize its efficiency at the different scales? Each of these scenarios is characterized by a specific spatial pattern and creates new (productive) landscapes, while guaranteeing the spatial continuity. This results from the specific spatial requirements, networks and hierarchies through which each resource is produced, distributed, consumed and recycled.
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SPATIAL CONFIGURATIONS CORRESPONDING TO A SELF SUFFICIENCY ORIENTED USE OF RESOURCES AND MAXIMIZED EFFICIENCY OF FLUXES ORGANIZATION
photovoltaic spatial concentration
photovoltaic spatial distribution
thermal panels organized in the Città Diffusa
Energy synergic landscape
We imagined how each of them could work in order to maximize efficiency. The mobility system should stress specialization and hierarchy. Food should be produced according to logics encouraging biodiversity, such as for example permaculture. The areas suitable for biomasses are the flooded areas on the large scale or in the agriculture lands on a small scale. Biomass is also a good tool to integrate new activities. Thermal panels work better on an individual scale, while photovoltaic panels could be concentrated near factories and/or located on agricultural land. Water treatment, apart from contributing to improving the functioning of the whole territorial logic - encouraging individual as well as local responsibility - could on a local scale contribute to the energy balance via cascade proceedings. The spatial exploration of the different scenarios proposed has been carried out separately, in order to test limits and potentialities. But of course these scenarios are not exclusive: being compatible, they need to be combined and to work in synergy in order to achieve the balance between production and reduced consumption. Besides, each system demands the participation and cooperation of different kinds of actors - from citizens to institutions - organizing new activities and sharing different knowledge, thus representing a relevant domain of social construction for the new CittĂ Diffusa.
Actual energy consumption Italy: 309 TWh/year 314 TWh/year (2050) Veneto 30 TWh/year
Camposampiero surface = 21,07 km2 density = 556,52 hab/km2 habitants = 11.726
Camposampiero 52 GWh/year 5 MWh/person/year
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Scheme of the Smart Grid proposed for the Camposampierese.
The Smart Grid system Italy is one of the biggest energy consumers in the European Union. The Veneto region has natural gas and oil resources, but the region is well poised to rely on clean energy rather than fossil fuels. Within the Camposampiero area biomass and solar power can be produced and harvested on a scale large enough to serve communal needs, while hydropower can only be produced on a smaller, individual scale. With these resources the municipality has the capability to be self-sufficient in a time of crisis. In order to efficiently distribute the energy to the individuals we devised a smart grid system to connect homes and businesses. The smart grid in the Camposampiero region is a system for monitoring the production, distribution and consumption of electricity and water by individuals as part of a larger city structure. Homes and businesses in Camposampiero are connected wirelessly through a grid that monitors and controls electricity and water usage. Electricity is distributed across the grid through demand-response, a system of checks and balances where energy consumption is reduced in response to increased burdens on the grid or in times of shortage. Energy is fed to the grid through a series of ecologically friendly sources such as geothermal energy, solar panels, wind power, hydropower. Residents are also able to harvest their own energy through solar panels and water through reservoirs, cisterns and a grey water filtration system. The excess energy collected by individuals can be sold back to the city for energy credit. If the entire region of Camposampiero were able to produce more energy than they consume through reduction, decreased consumption and individual production, this energy could be stored in a compressed air container. Compressed air containers are a very efficient method of storing energy, they require no fossil fuels and do not emit any harmful CO2 gas into the atmosphere. These containers could be housed in the abandoned warehouse facilities in the industrial areas of Camposampiero. Solar panels could be placed directly outside and on the roof of the facilities to increase energy storage. Structures that are not being used for storage could serve as training facilities, educating the population, migrant communities, and youth on the technicalities of clean energy production, distribution and storage while providing handson learning. In this way Camposampiero can achieve an efficient way to use embodied energy and inclusion in a self-sufficient manner.
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CANAL MAIN ROAD RAILWAY HOUSING FACTORY PUBLIC EQUIPMENT
OPEN SPACES BIOMASS FOREST
BIKE + PEDESTRIAN ELECTRIC TRANSPORT REGIONAL TRAIN INDIVIDUAL UNIT IMPERMEABLE/PERMEABLE BOUNDARY
Territories for energy synergies The territorial system of the CittĂ Diffusa has the great opportunity to become an energy producing landscape. Each component of the territory, be it surface, building or activity is re-conceived through the filter of energy requirements: reduced consumption, production and storage. Firstly, in order to reduce consumption in a structure of dispersion, reaching an efficient mobility is one of the main goals. Our proposal is to keep the main road for electric transportation, ie electric cars and buses. Important intersections, access and distribution points, points in proximity to public space can be identified as specific nodes. These nodes can be facilitated by a sustainable model of public transport (bus, car, bike, and pedestrian), closed off to parking, and may feature an electric recharge and supply station. The canals are obviously included in this main network. Next we look at how to feed the energy needs of this cluster and how to manage its waste production. Two axes, in term of connection and relations, become evident. The north-south highlights the desired synergy between residential areas and the industrial areas. Grey water can be reused and recycled through a grey water filtration system. The collected waste can be separated, recycled or composted. Finally, energy can be stored in compressed air containers and fed back into the system to satisfy local demand. This relation works principally in the west-east axis. Along the north-south canal we can zoom in on a strip of biomass lands in the territory. This strip has to be organized in terms of energy yield as well as in terms of public spaces, pedestrian and bike paths, and transversal connections. Due to the biomass production system, this landscape strip changes in size and color according to the growth of the various types of vegetation. Diversity and flexibility are the important points here. Just in terms of proportions, this biomass strip (3,7 km by 300 m) could supply the electricity for the densest area of the town (1000 inhabitants). Focusing on the scale of the neighborhood, self-sufficient streetlights, rain
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water storage and pedestrian/bike path networks would greatly improve the current situation, just by using the existing infrastructures. A large open space would allow rainwater storage. Each housing unit should have its own rainwater storage facilities and its own thermal panels; rainwater is collected by the public water infrastructure. Energy production and waste treatment areas are easily integrated, respecting the existing structure, and instead of imposing a new lifestyle on the inhabitants, an improvement of the quality of life is suggested by using these implementations as new opportunities.
Energy producing landscape The second test site is meant to explore the possibilities for maximum energy production and the specific spatial qualities of the productive landscape. The three main issues addressed here are production, storage and integration. The 1x1km study area, located south of the center of Camposampiero and along the major north-south infrastructural line, is one of the largest industrial clusters in the region. The site is occupied by two types of built structures. On one hand, households and small consumers are uniformly spread across the study area while, on the other, industrial facilities tend to cluster into shared industrial platforms. In other words, the cluster logic of the new production seems to overlap the structure of the CittĂ Diffusa. In order to define the effectiveness of energy production, the following aspects must be taken into consideration. First, production clusters are part of the grain of the CittĂ Diffusa, but also connected to a larger, regional network, through the north-south infrastructural line. The proximity to regional infrastructure becomes more and more important for efficient largescale production in the region. Secondly, the new energy grid includes all the consumers in an interconnected energy exchange network, called
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water network soft surfaces hard surfaces clustered production - industry diffused buildings diffused production - agriculture biomass
the public garden and storage
the ‘smart grid’. Again, production clusters are part of and feed this local network, but they also reach out to a regional network. Thirdly, energy storage is shared locally between small and large consumers. It is spread across the territory but most of it is concentrated around production areas. Therefore, open areas around platforms include both field production (biomass, agriculture, etc.) and storage. However, energy efficiency is not the only issue here. Spatial and natural diversity is equally important to integrate these clusters into the life of people inhabiting the Città Diffusa. It is a matter of acknowledging the identity of a productive landscape, a new lifecycle where the smallscale and largescale cohabit by the means of integrated networks and diversity. More exactly, diversity of mobility networks, food production, agriculture, local resources and population are central factors in the description of the new productive landscape. Bicycles, biomass fields, public transport, public facilities, sports activities, temporary uses, all contribute to production and interact with each other.
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SOCIAL DYNAMICS INFLUENCING THE SPATIAL DYNAMICS
Traditional supportive family structure
Disconnection by education change to small-scale industries
Immigration generating exclusion clustering of industries
Toward social synergies generating inclusion clustering of activities
The CittĂ Diffusa has not only an abundance of materials, but people with strong entrepreneurial spirit, knowledge, and shared identity. 1 34
An abundance of material resources along with the entrepreneurial spirit and knowledge of the community.
TH E INVERTED CI T TÀ DIFFUSA Territorial recycling strategies beyond growth Jelisa Blumberg, Junbiao Huang, Elsa Kaminsky, Meredith Moore, Valerie Raets, Maarten Wauters
A ‘recycling beyond growth’ scenario for Camposampiero explores and reinterprets the polycentric character of the Città Diffusa. Over the past decade, economic decline has strongly pushed this character toward a shift from a diffuse tissue into a tissue of high and low intensity as a means to maintain competitiveness. The research and imagined future presented in this scenario starts from a reading of the diffuse territory as a complex system of miniature centers of diverse intensities that generate a mixed, dynamic and connected territory. To imagine an alternative scenario as a growth model for a competitive diffuse city - anchored upon high intensity tissue and perhaps therefore fragmenting this logic is inverted within a new hypothesis: The diffuse city can be recycled through facilitating new socio-cultural and productive activities in the low intensity tissue whose local systems are in need of a new lifecycle. Through the spatial and social inclusion that new activities in the low intensity tissue can generate, we can tap into the embodied energy of this tissue that was once ‘the‘ quality of the diffuse city and whose transformative capacity has today perhaps been overlooked. The hypothesis of this activity driven scenario - that acknowledges the productive logics of the territory and the entrepreneurial spirit - is one of ensuring future resilience and new synergies in the face of change. A hypothesis of no growth, a hypothesis of balance. In the case of Camposampiero, this hypothesis is locally grounded for quality in productivity is here considered more important than quantity. This unique quality has moreover buffered Camposampiero in the crisis. The imagining of a future scenario for the town started from the smallest scale where 3 important processes were observed: changing family compositions, an increasing migrant population and the dispersed presence of small industrial clusters at the end of their lifecycle. Within this reality, the scenario explores a strategic recycling of some of these clusters into structures that can accommodate contemporary needs and that can generate spaces for confrontation, interaction and inclusion. Hereby we imagine a new comfort, a social comfort that balances identity and inclusion within a competitive productive logic.
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Clustering toward high density tissue
Dispersing in low density tissue
Some trends in the current condition The following different processes are presently intersecting in the territory of CittĂ Diffusa, affecting the composition of the population; the mentality and culture; the space of their activities on the other. The traditional family structure, which was in the past also a productive unit, organizing the scale of manufacturing and agricultural activities, is currently changing. The latest generations, thanks to advantageous economical conditions provided by the previous generations, have acquired their education and professional skills in the more renowned Institutions and universities, competing with globalized life and career models. Less interested in the management of the family led activities, they prefer to build their lives in more vibrating urban context, often abroad, leaving their aging parents in the sprawled space of their houses and production facilities. In parallel, the migratory movements on the one hand provide individuals in their working age, often replacing the local population in the kind of professional activities the local population no longer wish to carry out; on the other hand building their new families in Veneto, the new citizens replace the youngest sectors of the population, balancing the negative growth trend and engendering a cultural regeneration. Some recent researches show that more and more migrant individuals arrive in Veneto with a firm entrepreneurial disposition. At the same time, mainly female individuals coming from east of Europe come to work in Italy with the aim of providing economic support to their families in their home countries, and are oriented on going back. In spatial terms, if on the one hand we can observe the progressive densification of productive platforms, condensing logistics and other services, on the other hand small facilities located in less connected areas try to resist, drawing on and enhancing the qualities of the territory, at the origin of the creativity embedded in their products; or, being abandoned, provide a crucial potential for the recycling of the economic and territorial system of the CittĂ Diffusa.
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Traditional supportive family structure
Immigration generating exclusion clustering of industries
Disconnection by education change to small-scale industries
Agricultural land and argricultural buildings
Industrial platforms and highway
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Recycled small industrial clusters structuring an inclusive territory 1 40
Development addition concentrations
Inverting the Città Diffusa The scenario illustrated in these pages intends to give value to the hybrid quality of the territory as a condition of uniqueness, able to face the global economic challenges because of the inclusive nature implied in its spatial organization and changing social structures. The inverted Città Diffusa proposes to recycle the abandoned structures and buildings of the Città Diffusa as a sprawled infrastructure able to reactivate the hybrid qualities of the territory: becoming the crucial organizing devices of new forms of entrepreneurship based on the transfer of knowledge from the local, older generations to generations of new citizens; creating the spatial conditions for building solidarity networks able to encounter the cultural, social and physical needs of the inhabitants.
Social synergies generating inclusion
clustering of activities
Public facilities / activities RECYCL IN G VEN E TO REG ION - 141
5 3. KM 5 1.
Proximity model of activities
Activities in public recycled clusters 1 42
FARM INHABIT ANT
single family home
single family home
low intensity high intensity
clustered industry INHABIT ANT
single family housing
Activity distribution in the CittĂ Diffusa RECYCL IN G VEN E TO REG ION - 143
NEW ACTIVITIES RECYCLING EMBODIED ENERGY WORKING FARM
ELDERLY HOUSING BOCCE BALL COURTS
MULTI FAMILY HOUSING
SME INDUSTRIAL SHED
‘PICK YOUR OWN PRODUCE’ FARM CENTER
FARMING CENTER AND WORKER HOUSING
SINGLE FAMILY HOME
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Design of public space within an activity cluster 1 46
Recycled small industrial clusters RECYCL IN G VEN E TO REG ION - 147
A CO MPLEX N ODE Giulia Mazzorin, Michele Girelli
Mestre train station is the object of a big renewal project proposed by Italian railways. The scheme aims at upgrading the current spatial and infrastructural potential to the level of an advanced multimodal node, organizing the intersection on the national/international scale of the high speed train system, the regional scale served by the SFMR and the metropolitan scale featuring the new tram system. The scheme also proposes the renovation of the areas in proximity to the station, the proposals for conversion mostly involving large commercial and service buildings. The project seems to be designed for contrast the prevailing economic trends and to fulfill the needs of this part of the city, since numerous streets on Mestre side and given areas of Marghera, especially the CITA neighborhood, are considered â€œdifficultâ€? areas lacking in services with run-down, degraded public spaces. These areas have been progressively settled by a migrant population, their presence also being the result of speculative policies regarding real estate availabilities and values. Issues related to social and living conditions of the inhabitants in this part of the city are progressively being brought to light by undertakings promoted by local community based organizations and no-profit RECYCL IN G VEN E TO REG ION - 149
Mestre: areas in transformation / high speed train
water roads railway housing industries
associations. The scheme claims to improve the efficiency of the station and enhance its representative role, but also wishes to contribute to the reactivation of the abandoned functional parts of the railway system, the existing public spaces and some vacant sites along the railway lines. The project constitutes an opportunity to intervene on the existing urban tissue and mediate the social conflict that has emerged in these latter years due to the rapid population change and the resulting cultural differences that have emerged.
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Natural pound Cultural center
Artisan Theater Gardening
Sports Murales Informal library
RE-CONSTRUC T ING T H E P O L I S
As the art of public political encounter and democratic negotiation Giulia Mazzorin
La ‘Pensée Unique’ has become the monolithic academic canon and standard political recipe of an international elite of economists and policy analysts. This combines with a cosmopolitan cultural-economic elite of corporate managers, financial fund managers, consultancy businesses, service providers and the like. A national political elite, both left and right of the traditional political spectre, finds in these arguments an excuse to explain away their inadequacy to link political programmes with an increasingly disenfranchised and disempowered civil society. (Swyngedouw, 2002)
It is important to specify that this is just the starting point of an ongoing research I am involved in, and the general framework into which students were plunged while developing the project as an experimental exercise of immagination. Initially the reasons why the students decided not to go along with largescale urban intervention expected for the high speed railway station of Mestre/ Marghera and the surrounding areas will be explored. Then the attempt to reformulate the process of “taking decisions” for city transformations, incorporating a bottom-up approach that counters the traditional top-down neoliberal practice of urban planning will be explain. “Neoliberalism represents a strategy of political-economic restructuring that uses space” (Gray 2006) as its “privileged instrument, re-imagining and recreating urban space primarily for the investor, the developer, the business person or cash-laden tourist” (Swyngedouw 2002). This is a possible interpretation when we look at the “the emblematic urban interventions that are staged and erected as attempts to reconfigure the urban socio-cultural along with the economic, and physical fabric” (Swyngedouw 2002). If we consider some largescale urban development projects (UDPS) like the Amsterdam-Zuid project, Rotterdam‘s Kop van Zuid, Bilbao‘s Guggenheim Museum, the Abandobarra redevelopment, the reconstruction of Potzdammer Platz in Berlin, not to mention London and Barcelona‘s attempt to reposition themselves as global cities, despite their differences, we can recognise an extraordinary degree of similarity in them (Swyngedouw, Moulaert and Rodriguez 2002). In order to respond to the rules of a globally connected neo-liberalized market, all those projects align their local dynamics to an international economic system with the aim of attracting investment capital. In terms of innovation, public investments are no longer directed to state subsidised projects and the promotion of local areas, eliminating the possibilities of specific development projects. The risk is that in the process of reorganizing urban space, in the current situation gentrification will affect marginalised citizens, increasing the RECYCL IN G VEN E TO REG ION - 153
immiseration of the lower-income groups, generating inequalities, new barriers and benefiting the social elite. As Neil Smith (2002) theorized, gentrification is the neo-liberal urban strategy hidden behind the beneficial cladding of urban regeneration, where private interest replaces social interest. Deterioration and economic depression of areas strategically located within the city can be seen as the result of public and private decisions of disinvestment rationally planned in order to produce specific outcomes. Learning from Smith’s analysis of gentrification, where it is explained that “the rent gap is the disparity between the potential ground rent level and the actual ground rent capitalised under the present use”, (Smith 2002) we can understand that, in terms of profit, the bigger the rent gap, the more the developers can satisfy their economic interests. For that reason the success of the largescale Urban Development Projects (UDPS) depends on the growth in the market value of the built environment through its implementation, and this mechanism ultimately produces a process of social exclusion and marginalisation that leads inevitably to processes of displacement. Obviously those dramatic effects cannot be explicit and that’s why “state practices have increasingly raised objections featuring questions of blight and obsolescence against buildings and areas seen as appropriate for redevelopment”(Weber 2002). Our case study matches all those (speculative) conditions. First of all, the railway station itself represents a profitable interest for its potentiality to be at same time a metropolitan, regional, national and international intersection node. Secondly, the areas of Mestre and Marghera which surround the station and the railway line are strongly disconnected from each other and mostly inhabited by marginalised groups of migrants and low-income citizens often in conflict with each other, and regarded with prejudice by the remaining population. Thirdly, along both side of the railway line a process of ongoing disinvestment can be seen in the abandoned part of the railway system, in the deteriorated public spaces, in the vacant sites and in some obsolescent buildings. Consequently to what we said, it seems that the fate of that area may follow in the footsteps of the projects listed above with the local people cut off from the benefit of the regeneration thanks to the exclusionary decision-making process. What if we, as architects and urbanists, try to invert this monolithical economic rationalism which always puts residents before ready-made choices? What if we radically criticised this orientation and dedicated ourselves to designing possibilities for constructing different urban futures? “We have moved away from the avant-garde, which operated in the periphery by criticising institutions from a distance” (Cruz 2011). Instead we engage a critical dialog with the institutions, considering the specificities of that part of the city as potential components for new development, proposing a radicalisation of 1 54
localities. Looking at those specificities we can see that the areas of Mestre/ Marghera feature a constellation of micro-economies belonging to migrant populations living there or in the Veneto Region. The proximity with the station allows a fast accessibility to the streets in the surrounding areas where those activities are located and this responds to the different needs of the migrant groups. Furthermore, looking carefully at and through those marginalised realities we can recognize the emergence of new socio-economic and cultural practices, where new forms of urbanity are experimented by the local residents together with grass-roots associations and community based organisations. Those new “configurations are taking place as catalysts to produce a new collective imagination”(Cruz 2011) where new forms of living, working and expressing oneself are experimented with, where new economies foster, not responding to the vagaries of the market but to the real needs of local population (Swyngedouw 2010). Starting with the visualisation of those new practices and the different actors that are performing them, considering problems, conflicts and needs as “constitutive of the social condition and the naming of the urban spaces that can arise from the same” (Swyngedouw 2010), we can start to imagine and to design new ways of collaborations between the civil society, the institutions and the other actors involved in the new development. “This is not to suggest that we architects - and urbanists - have to become social workers” (Cruz 2011) but that we can be inspired by other existing procedures in order to re-formulate our protocols to produce new urban spaces. Finally, the production of space can be the opportunity for the representatives of the top-down approach to start a conversation with the representatives of the bottom-up approach, where “a particular demand is not simply a part of the negotiation of interests, but aims at something more, and starts to function as the metaphoric condensation of the global restructuring of the entire social space”, (Zizek 1998) where the civil society can start to exercise its right to the city. References
- Brenner, N. & Theodore, N., eds, 2002, Space of Neoliberalism. Urban restructuring in North America and Western Europe, Oxford, Blackwell. - Cruz T., 2011, Creative Act of Citizenship: performing neighborhoods, Lecture at the Symposium in Ramallah, organized by ArtTerritories.net, July 22-23. - Gray, N., 2006, Constructing Neoliberal Glasgow: The Privatization Of Space, in “Variant”, n. 25. - Smith, N., 2002, New Globalism, New Urbanism: Gentrification as Global Urban Strategy, in N. Brenner & N. Theodore. - Swyngedouw, E., 2010, Post-Democratic Cities. For Whom and for What? Paper presented at the Regional Studies Association Annual Conferences, Pecs, Budapest. - Swyngedouw, E., Moulaert, F. and Rodriguez, A., 2002, Neoliberal Urbanization in Europe: Large-Scale Urban Development Projects and the New Urban Policy, in N. Brenner & N. Theodore. - Weber, R, 2002, Extracting value from the city. Neoliberalism and urban redevelopment, in N. Brenner & N. Theodore. - Zizek S., 1998, For a Leftist Appropriation of the European Legacy, in “Journal of Political Ideologies”, n. 3 (1). RECYCL IN G VEN E TO REG ION - 155
RE-TERRI TORI AL I SAT I O N Re-immagining the fragmented city Sanne Claeys, Amber Kevelaerts, Vahid Kiumarsi, Katerina Kosovรก, Jitka Molnarova, Maggie Ollove, Aida Rasti, Tamara Yurovsky.
Hypothesis By networking the embodied energy of local spaces and peoples through the opportunity of high-speed railway connections, we can combat the effects of the crisis and facilitate an alternative socio-spatial model. The development of a high speed rail station in Mestre and Marghera may offset a process of gentrification that will cause displacement for local inhabitants. To combat the negative effects of the ensuing rail station, a different approach has to be introduced. This project seeks to upcycle existing frameworks, human diversity and human potential to establish multidimensional layers within the urban fabric. By networking the embodied energy of local spaces and peoples through the opportunity of high-speed railway connections, we can combat the effects of the economic crisis and facilitate an alternative socio-spatial model. This inclusionary network aims to activate, enable and ultimately empower a latitudinal citizenship. This process will start immediately and run in parallel with the top-down structures already in place. These processes can occur with the acknowledgement that while the biggest financial benefit for private investors is in economically lucrative projects (i.e. apartment buildings, hotels) in the immediate station area. However; the economic crisis has stalled current development of land therefore creating opportunities for current vacant spaces to be put to immediate, temporal use with little capital investment. Through a strategic selection of space designed through a participatory process, the residents of Mestre and Marghera will be able to create a shared network. This creates the possibility to gradually formalize their role as actors within the political, social and economic processes of a global urban-scape.
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11th Century_the ancient Mestre core 14th Century_the new canal to connect Venice 18th Century_Marghera fortress
19th Century_ the railway 20th Century _the bridge to Venice
20th Century_ the garden city 20th Century _the Cita housing complex
21th Century_ city shape
Patchwork City A fundamental historical step in the growing of the two cities of Mestre and Marghera, the main infrastructure of the railway constitutes a physical division between the two areas. The result is a globally connected metropolitan area that though is disconnected locally. 1 58
GLOBALLY CO NNEC TED
+ LOCALLY DI SCO NNEC T ED
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PHASE_1 re-territorialization Local people together with the associations interested on this area are to start a process of appropriation of vacant sites through cleaning and reclamation in order to permit accessibility to the area.
2030 mid-term development
PHASE_2 mid-term development The activity decided as a result of negotiations between bottom-up and top-down actors takes shape and the camp-site is set up.
PHASE_3 long-term development The project becomes more formal, with the participation of the authorities in the creation of the lake. One sees the first effects of schemes involving local residents and the authorities.
2030 mid-term development
Strategic plan_ park The strategic plan of this area (as well as the following ones) consists in three project phases through which local people, small private investors, the authorities and land owners negotiate space, time and uses in order to decide how to develop the area. Different uses coexisting in the articulation of a multifunctional area that can be really attractive for cultural, leisure and sports activities. Through those interventions we allow the emergence of different scale economies.
leisure activities sports camp-site new cultural center
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STRATEGIC SPACE: TRAD
PHASE_1 re-territorialization The inhabitants start a process of appropriation of the vacant site.
PHASE_2 mid-term development Transitional zone that if maintained by the residents can be used uniformally by them for open air activities and grass-roots art exhibitions such as murals.
PHASE_3 long-term development Through a collaboration with the institutions, the area becomes more formal. 1 64
Strategic space_ trade market and transition zone What we suggest here is that some part of the buildings that have to be renewed will be managed by groups of resident people in order to activate a flea-market, gatherings, exchange of skills and traditional ceremonies.
flea-market gathering exchange of skills thee cerimonies
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STRATEGIC SPACE: TRAD
PHASE_1 re-territorialization The inhabitants start a process of appropriation of the vacant site.
PHASE_2 mid-term development The activity decided through the negotiation between bottom-up and top-down actors starts to be shaped and the market starts to function.
PHASE_3 long-term development The area becomes more formal. 2020
Strategic space_ food market The station is seen as an area for traveling, encounters and transit and will be easily accessible on a regional scale. A food market would respond to the needs of local marginalised residents.
travelling meeting point crossing
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Inhabitants of Cita 1981-2010 3000
2000 1500 1000
2001 Total inhabitants
National diversity in CITA complex CITA complex houses nearly 2.500 people, 30% of them being citizens, immigrated in the last ten years. CITA has the highest percentage of immigrants in the Venice Municipality with an average of 10% of the total inhabitants. The new citizens-immigrants are mainly from Bangladesh 48%, China 15%, Romania 8.8% Moldovia 7.9% and Ucraina 1.6%. To this is added an extra 15% of other nationality.
Concentration vs dispersion During the workshop, two studentsâ€™ groups chose to compare concentration and dispersion devices to confront the spatial consequences of the two opposite approaches.
Inhabitants end 2010 Italian Foreign Total
Venice 241.603 89.2% 10.8% 29.281 270.884 100%
Marghera 23.671 82.3% 5.092 17.7% 28.763 100%
Source ISTAT and Servizio Statistica e Ricerca Municipality of Venice
1.719 804 2.523
Cita 68.1% 31.9% 100%
CU LTURAL DI V ERSI T Y AS U R BAN VALUE Michele Girelli
The CITA housing complex, located in the proximity of Mestre train station, the south side being in the Marghera precinct, was built starting from 1968 for middle class workers. Its inhabitants in the past where employed primarily in two sectors “banking - insurance” and “public administration – services”. Presently the CITA quarter hosts some 2,500 people, 30% of which immigrants mainly from Bangladesh and China, this percentage is the highest in Venice Municipality. The proximity with public transport, good connections between Mestre and the island of Venice in approximately 15 minutes and the relatively low housing prices are reasons that make this area an ideal location for immigrants who work in the Venice tourist industry and in the Marghera industrial district. If on the one hand the area is well connected on a larger scale, locally a strong barrier between Mestre and Marghera exists, constituted by the railway line. The location of CITA, beside the railway, connected to the station by a tiny tunnel, the surrounding barriers that fence the area and the building typology make it a sort of island in the morphology of Marghera. From this condition one of the groups, rather than working on ‘spatial connections’, considered that the condition of isolation could became an opportunity to test spatial consequences of a centralized approach. If on one hand the neighborhood is considered a ‘problematic’ place, on the other, it features a great cultural diversity and can be seen as a resource for the city. In this sense the strong multicultural identity of the CITA quarter, together with the physical barriers that surround it, represent the occasion for a conceptual inversion, where spatial segregation could instead became a positive value charged with diversity and possibility for self organization, turning the area into “perfect ghetto” which can bring multicultural value to the Venetian mainland and, on a larger scale, to the Veneto region as a whole. The research is oriented towards pinpointing potential assets and designing spatial tools able to support a different development model, forced to draw on limited funds, which would exploit diversity and cultural resources of the neighborhood as well embodied energy. Exchange, self organization, temporary appropriation and incremental processes of transformation of both private and public spaces are considered powerful means for social inclusion that require the design of appropriate spaces and policies. RECYCL IN G VEN E TO REG ION - 169
CI TA: PERFEC T GHE T TO
Azadeh Badiee, Jordi Stals, Kyle A. D. McGahan, Michele Girelli, Nelson Lo, Olivia Heung, Rashid Owoyele, Teodora Constantinescu.
Hypothesis By engaging a variety of stakeholders, and by prioritizing issues of inclusion, a different development model can be produced in which the definitions of lifecycles and embodied energy include the social and human dimensions of urban space. Approach We believe that if we can consider diversity as a driving force towards a more sustainable and ethical development model, it can produce a value for urban space that goes beyond effectiveness in purely economic terms. We believe that the paradigm can be revised via minimal and incremental interventions that do not cause the negative aspects of gentrification, in particular displacement and exclusion of low income groups that make the city rich with diversity through contributions that may not be readily recognized. In this way, our project seeks to bolster the “urban value” of the city, a space which is uniquely diverse in culture, ethnicity, language, capabilities, and ways of life. Faced with the challenge of designing a “perfect ghetto”, the group recognized certain factors that fell outside their ‘perfect’ paradigm, that though could all the same be included in and even enhance the project. The concept of a ghetto includes certain factors - uniquely similar populations, exclusion from the larger community, a top-down development of space, and a bottom-up or self-organizing system of social dynamics. Stepping away from designing a disconnected space, we used these components to conceptualize our project which focused on the impending development of the Venice-Mestre train station. Our centralized approach aimed to establish the train station as a center that provides local services to Mestre and Marghera and regionally through the improvement of the national train infrastructure. By increasing the value RECYCL IN G VEN E TO REG ION - 171
Four strategies A concentrated approach proposes to valorize existing assets: the train station, the tunnel connection, the spontaneous growth in the park area, the housing block vacancies.
of current train station through low-cost and incremental interventions we hypothesized that a purely commercial development should be disincentivated. Our aim is rethink the project for the station as a place with the required amenities without excluding the needs of residents where the station is situated. The original plan for the train station development does not consider the real needs of inhabitants nor does it consider potential of cultural diversity of the area. The new high-speed service proposes the area as a transit point, whereas our proposal would turn Mestre/Marghera into a place that could eventually grow into a location of interest not only for tourists, but also for its current residents, both for the areas populated by migrant groups as well as for Italian citizens who live there or who are in transit from other areas of the country. With inclusivity as our main goal, our proposal includes public art forms, the connection of public services, public programming, interaction design, entrepreneurship, and the introduction of an informal market place. All these undertakings have the intent of fostering cultural exchange that can make the space one that is rich in “urban value” in which these exchanges can create a unique mixture that is dependent on the fluctuation of actors and participants in the train station. The distance between the parties involved can be exploited as beneficial becoming a source of prosperity instead of a source of exclusion, exacerbating poverty and disparities. The ‘perfect ghetto’ approach has the aim of incorporating the valuable diversity of people and cultures as a resource for creating a different sense of place and community. Spatial tools The station becomes a place of exchange and interaction, which extends outside the physical boundaries of the station itself. While the redevelopment of the train station mainly features service buildings and commerce we want to promote a different productive model that can take advantage of cultural diversity, able to include the needs and behaviors of different groups. Besides small schemes involving the renovation of existing space, we also propose the redevelopment of new buildings, conceived to allow incremental transformation coherent with contemporary economic ‘adjustment’ and a real need for new commercial spaces.
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Temporary use of vacant flat and ground floor shops
Service exchange Since the privatization process in beginning of nineties started up by the INPDAP, the government agency assigned to sell the public property in CITA several public properties have remained empty. In particular shops, storage at ground floor level and apartments at the different levels have been kept vacant despite the inhabitantsâ€™ need community spaces, amenities and services. Making use of all spaces that lie vacant at the ground floor in CITA housing block and proposing some public spaces on a vertical dimension within the four towers could provide a support for activity and would reinforce a sense of appropriation among the inhabitants. The selfsame CITA inhabitants are to act as community service providers.
Block services Making use of all spaces that lie vacant at the ground floor in CITA housing block and proposing some public spaces on a vertical dimension within the four towers could provide a support for activity and would reinforce the sense of appropriation by inhabitants. RECYCL IN G VEN E TO REG ION - 175
Wharehouse temporary use The lot that formerly hosted factory facilities, now abandoned, can easily be turned into a park with minimum intervention. 1 76
Park exchange The big vacant lot, that is currently fenced off and that produces a rupture between the CITA quarter and the station could be turned into a park. The spontaneous growth in the lot previously used for productive activity and currently abandoned, with minimum intervention, along with the refurbishing of existing warehouses, could lead to the creation of small public amenities for open air activity. The park would become a spatial device where leisure activities such as sports, hobbies and personal skills can be exchanged or shared, enhancing a sense of belonging to the territory and social inclusion.
Park activities Exploiting the existing natural growth, with the refurbishment of the existing warehouses and the creation of small public amenities for open air activities. RECYCL IN G VEN E TO REG ION - 177
Market exchange What if the train station were used as the location for a local street market? The area adjacent to the platforms could host a local market during the day. Small amenities could be implemented to facilitate the display of food and other products. The high flows of people in the station could encourage the opening of small businesses and activities run by local groups. The cultural diversity of the inhabitants would provide an occasion to combine local products with more â€˜exoticâ€™ ones in the same market, this taking advantage of public transport network, providing an occasion for local inhabitants and commuters to find high quality, even rare products. This particular area would become an opportunity for exchange where our proposal reaches beyond seeing the market as a mere trading place. The idea is to create a place of exchange for culture, skills, services and local products. Thus the market could become a place appropriated by people via different activities.
Railway platform market the railway platforms can be occupied by a local market during the different hours of the day. Small amenities could be implemented to facilitate the display of food and other products. The high flows of people in the station would facilitate the opening of small temporary entrepreneurial activities run by local groups. 1 78
Cultural exchange The access to the station via the existing tunnel, the only connecting element that crosses the infrastructure. The tunnel design would provide opportunity to improve the connectivity with the station as well as offering a support for exchange of the cultural diversity between the various groups that inhabit the area. Bearing in mind that neighborhood diversity is a resource for the entire city and knowing that each ethnic or cultural group would use the same space differently, we propose a mosaic of unique places that make it easier for the different nationalities take over the area and display the specificity of each cultural group. By providing minimal physical infrastructures with a high level of flexibility such as screens and showcases the tunnel can be enhanced by the characteristics of each culture.
Cultural tunnel The tunnel design becomes an opportunity to improve the connectivity with the station and become a support for exchange the cultural diversity of the groups that inhabit the area. RECYCL IN G VEN E TO REG ION - 179
CITA housing complex
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TO AVOID THE CLOSU R E Toward new forms of energy, labor and social relations of production Andrea Curtoni
Recycling cities requires us to reflect on everything that has a lifecycle in regards to the materials that compose the city and the territory, but also to the criteria used for their selection, organization, use, maintenance, abandonment and demolition. But what are the materials that constitute cities and territories? Fusina identifies an area in the mainland of Venice along the lagoon shoreline, more precisely part of the municipality of Marghera, on the mouth of Brenta river. The peculiarity that has led us to take it as a case study is the complexity with which these different materials are juxtaposed: the lagoon with its unique ecosystem and the economies related to fisheries and aquaculture; the vast artificial expanses prepared for industrial purposes with gigantic power plants for energy production; a narrow and long strip of land with huge electricity pylons; the agricultural landscape in the mainland structured by water and asphalt; the old course of the river Brenta which the Republic of Venice over the centuries has made significant hydraulic interventions for the maintenance of the lagoon; the little village of Malcontenta; the one hundred hectare phytoremediation facility RECYCL IN G VEN E TO REG ION - 183
as a final step for the sewage processed at the Fusina wastewater treatment plant; an artificial island of accumulated residues and deposits dredged from the canal system; a terminal with its large parking area for three hundred coaches and more than one thousand cars; the Camping Fusina Tourist Village with mobile homes, maxicaravans and the main facilities designed at the end of the â€˜50s by the Venetian architect Carlo Scarpa; the army camp; all this nearby if not above a large amount of land contaminated by all thinkable types of pollutants and metals, where prohibitive recovery cost pose an obstacle to reclamation. How can you begin a new cycle for an area considered, since the beginning of the twentieth century, the symbol of the revival of Venice as an industrial city? What future can be imagined for a port once able to compete with other cities in the Mediterranean and whose decline was marked by pressures arising from the 1970â€™s fuel crisis and that for thirty years has represented the end of an industrial cycle? A series of recent projects propose Fusina as the future point of access to Venice. The strategy of updating the role of the port of Venice at a national and international level would mean the rethinking of the entire lagoon system, implying on one hand protecting the shoreline of the historical center of Venice from the heavy nautical traffic; on the other the creation of the spatial and infrastructural facilities for reclaiming the polluted lands of the cityâ€™s industrial pole. The ex industrial SAVA area, previously specialized in metalworking activities, is an example of the transformations underway in the Marghera port area towards a progressive introduction of logistics, commercial and other tertiary activities. The placing of the Fusina electroduct underground and the proposed project to transform the Vallone Moranzani corridor into a linear park opens up new possibilities for the whole area, but also raises some environmental concern, notably the intention to create a big landfill in the area for the material deriving from canal dredging and excavation work. To the south, the wetlands of Cassa di Colmata will very soon become accessible, thus fulfilling the need for a green area expressed by the local inhabitants. In the framework of the debate on the processes of industrial conversion, new ecological cycles are thus being imagined, designing the landscapes of new cultural and natural synergies. Prior to discussing some questions regarding Fusina that emerged during the Intensive Programme, I will introduce some issues related to labor, energy and inclusion that surely need further considerations given the recent episodes and occurrences in Porto Marghera. In November 2009 ten thousand Vinyls workers entered into a wage guarantee fund. The 150 meter high beacon scaled and occupied three times by the workers has become a symbol of what Porto Marghera represents today and what remains of the petrochemical complex, once among the most important in Europe. They scaled the beacon at Christmas 2010, then in October 2011 and they occupied 1 84
it for two months in February 2011, the reason was always the same: to prevent the planned closure. Even in the days of writing, Thursday, October 4, 2012, four workers from Vinyls Porto Marghera have occupied the bell tower of San Marco in Venice to protest against the five-month delay of their wage guarantee fund. One has to ask oneself what the crisis of the Marghera model consists of. The abandonment is not merely due to economic factors, but is also closely linked to the crisis of an energy production model and to the profound redefinition of the social and working structure that this model presupposed. This model, which is now in crisis today, was largely evident in the act of founding of Marghera, when in 1917 the president of SADE Giuseppe Volpi signed an agreement for the construction of the port and of a working class residential area. The construction of the residential district in 1919 produced a plan along the lines of “garden city”, a reality that was trying to synthesize work and production, solving the problems of the inhabitants of Venice who were crammed into overcrowded homes in poor hygienic condition. The reference model was the Ford labor division and the centralized mode of production. Likewise we should pose the question of how the transition towards renewable energy and a decentralized mode of production will affect people’s working patterns and structures? In this juncture of financial, energy and climate crises, the end of a lifecycle cannot be “simply considered one of finite resources, or that there is a technological path out of this” (Abramsky, De Angelis, 2009). Despite the fact that both resource, scarcity and technology are important factors, as many observers notice we should focus our attentions on the use, production, and distribution of energy as occasions for questioning RECYCL IN G VEN E TO REG ION - 185
Andrea Palladio electric power plant / abandoned industrial building ex-SAVA
social relations regarding production. Under the twin slogans “save the planet” and “save the economy” we cannot omit discussing the current energy crisis from a perspective that considers technology and energy within the social relations that they are part of. “Social relations of production based on enclosures and exploitation are not exclusively associated with oil, coal and nuclear energy” (Abramsky and De Angelis 2009). The question is whether a new post-petrol regime will emerge and if so as to the form this will take. The two projects proposed by students address the issue of conversion of a former industrial area in Fusina by opposing two complementary views. The first related to a shortterm strategy addresses the question of what can be immediately done on a site considered polluted and declared off-limits to the public. The second longterm strategy instead wonders about a possible future of the area in relation to the new possibilities offered by the production of energy from renewable resources and the re-use of existing, currently dispersed, energy flows. Both strategies propose a reflection on the temporal dimension of the project and its implementation in phases. Against a generic and hypocritical closure of the site by the institutions for security reasons, some simple strategies of communication and display of soil status try to encourage people to consciously reclaim the spaces along new and different paths. These new paths are “paths of risk” that also give information on the socialization of the costs of the externalities that accompany the decline of an industrial system. In the longterm scenario the question is asked as to which new ecological cycles will redesign the landscapes of new cultural and natural synergies within the framework of the Venice lagoon? References
- Abramsky K. & De Angelis M., 2009. Introduction: Energy Crisis (Among Others) Is In The Air, “The commoner”, n. 13. RECYCL IN G VEN E TO REG ION - 187
Porto Marghera and the Venice Lagoon
FU S I NA 2 0 5 0
Sarka Dolezalova, Perrine Frick, Jana Grammens, Luke Keller, Marina Martashova, Cecilia Saavedra, Carlos Rafael Salinas, Francesca Vergani
Premise Like many post-industrial sites, Fusina was once a center of regional industrial activity that is now largely abandoned and uninhabitable due to the high levels of pollutants on site. Because of this, Fusina has dwindled into a state of complete disrepair and struggles to remain relevant to Mestreâ€™s post-industrial future. In light of this, the world and especially Europe is in a state of transition from fossil fuels to energy derived from renewable sources. The implications of this transition to Fusina are remarkable as it currently provides 20% of Veniceâ€™s energy via fossil fuels. Hypothesis We propose to develop Fusina at two different scales: one of region, where a comprehensive system of interdependent renewable energy sources are created to meet demand; And second, one of a local scale: where the proposed system of renewable energy production is explored at a larger scale in relation to the remediation of Fusina.
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? 1 90
Regional vision We envision the realization of this energy landscape occurring at two different scales: the regional and the local. Based on the productive capacity for renewable energy of Fusina and Mestre, it was necessary to expand the scope of our project to fulfill energy goals stipulated by the Kyoto Protocol and European Union by 2050. In doing so, our team envisioned a new dimension of the lagoon by closing it to large craft and allowing the dredged canals to return to their natural state. This in turn allowed for sections of the lagoon to be repurposed for the production of renewable energy.
"What...if...?"Low Carbon Scenario The graph compares the actual amount of energy produced from fossil fuels with the amount of energy that could be produced by reusing the large industrial platforms as energy fields for different renewable sources. From left, in blue the amount of energy produced with the use of photovoltaic panels, in red with the use of algae, in green from biomass production.
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Porto Marghera and the Venice Lagoon Green areas are the lagoon salt marshes. In red the new platforms for energy production, located in relation to the specificity of the territory: on the outlet of the rivers in the lagoon for osmotic energy and close to the salt marshes as algae farms.
The Lagoon is conceived as a vast reservoir of different forms of renewable energy like from biomass, algae and from the tidal flow. The lagoon shoreline instead can be site for the production of osmotic power available from the difference in the salt concentration between seawater and river water. In this scenario Fusina can be transformed into a high density energy production-transformation site connected to the smart grid system in the mainland and in the lagoon.
Regional Scale The new â€œsmart-gridâ€? as decentralized and diffused model for energy production in the Veneto region, can be expanded in the Venice Lagoon, finding new synergies with this unique territory. RECYCL IN G VEN E TO REG ION - 193
existing site, new connections
renewable energy remediation expanding natural system 1 94
Local vision On a local scale, Fusina is coping with challenges that reflect the site’s dwindling capacity to retain relevancy within the region. Simultaneously coping with issues of remediation and renewable energy conceived of in our masterplan. This promotes inclusion of the region’s residents while tackling issues of embodied energy and the area’s lifecycle.
remediation, use, and energy
utilizing existing resources reimagining Fusina’s use
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F USIN A 205 0 we proposes to cope with Fusinaâ€™s challenge through simultaneous remediation and energy production over the course of one hundred we proposes to cope withone Fusinaâ€™s years. This proposal is but part challenges through simultaneous remediation of a system of renewable energy and energy for production over the course of production the Mestre region. one hundred years. This proposal is but one part of a system of renewable energy production for the Mestre region.
F USIN A 205 0
Re-use of existing infrastructure
Programming according to pollution in the area TOOLBOX
Re-use of existing infrastructure
Programming according to pollution in the area
Adaptation of existing structures
Develop closed energy loops
3 2 1 Re-use of existing infrastructure
Programming according to pollution in the area
Adaptation of existing structures
Develop closed energy loops
Sequential spatial transformation
Interaction design in the digital space
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Phytoremediation techniques Source: Urban Design Studio, 2011/2012/ University IUAV of Venice, prof. Paola Viganò. Students: A. Tamiazzo, N. Zanatta, A. Zotti 1 98
Remediation strategies The remediation of Fusina will primarily occur through phytoremediation and the use of wetlands to extract heavy metals from the soil. This process permeates the entirety of the site and is the basis for developing the site incrementally.
Methane Trash mountains
CO 2 Hot water
As Hg Al
Sustainable synergies combining energy production with remediation processes and waste disposal RECYCL IN G VEN E TO REG ION - 199
Energy concept The proposed renewable energy system seeks to address the issue of energy waste by converting waste into usable forms of energy. An example of this is the extraction of heavy metals from remediation fauna that could be sold for profit to continue remediating the site.
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Waste water treatment
As Hg Al Biogas
Electric energy production
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PILS is an experimental, edu cultural reinterpretation of ab Post Industrial Sites.
PILS is an experimental, educational and cultural reinterpretation of an abandoned post industrial site
PIL S: POST I NDUSTRI AL LEG AC Y SI TE Fernanda Alcocer, Andres Gonzalez Bode, Christopher Colja, Zuzana Krmelova, Joon Kim, Janet Lobberecht, Arthur Shakhbazyan, Bridget Sheerin
Fusina represents a post industrial landscape whose decline was marked by industry pressures born from the 1970â€™s fuel crisis, consequent aluminum price declines and the final straw, high indebtedness which saw to closure and partial dismantling in 1993. Most visibly, spectacularly large and smaller industrial infrastructures still occupy the site, however a legacy of these operations still remain: the presence of an array of high concentrations of pollutants that render reuse a challenging task. These below surface contaminants represent a hidden and cost prohibitive hurdle to reactivating the site and as such, it has sat dormant for over twenty years. PILS, our strategic design concept of cost effective, engaging, and resourceful utilization of the currently use-less site, was conceived and designed for short term interventions with an eye to the possibilities for longterm solutions. PILS is a physical or on-site interface and digital platform which encourages and facilitates researchers, educators, artists, and visitors to interact on and with the site by gathering, interpreting, and sharing information about this area, its history and its future. The goal of PILS is to re-imagine, to make visible, and to motivate change for the future potentials of abandoned brownfields and through their legacy that we have inherited, to build stronger connections to both the communities they affect locally and in similar contexts around the world.
Main principles are Awareness Education Connection Containment Remediation Land and infrastructure repurposing RECYCL IN G VEN E TO REG ION - 205
Post-Industrial Legacy Objects
Bikeway Sensor Walk
Solar PV Area
Solar PV Area Research Center
On-site Collection Ponds
On-site Collection Ponds
Visitor & Education Center
Post-Industrial Legacy Objects
Post-Industrial Legacy Objects
Bikeway Sensor Walk
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Distribution of the pollutants in the area Ex-SAVA, to a depth of 3.5 meters Source: Urban Design studio, 2011/2012, university IUAV of Venice, prof. Paola ViganĂ˛ students: A. Tamiazzo, N. Zanatta, A. Zotti 2 08
PILS: Inclusion Inclusion is integral to the PILS project. In the immediate, PILS proposes transparency of information, with knowledge comes awareness, with awareness comes the possibility for change and innovation. Through a digital platform and small physical interactions, both tourists and locals become active participants in the transformation of the site by contributing to and learning from the history of this industrial space and the legacy it has left behind. This legacy marks the simultaneous creation of great prosperity and hidden deprivation. While major cities like Venice run on and thrive because of the energy and engineering produced in places like Fusina, these same places create devastating harm to the biosphere, including human health. By collecting stories online and enabling citizens to monitor contaminants, participants begin the important work of drawing awareness to this post-industrial site in Fusina, subsequently including more people in the conversation of how to plan the future of the site. The longer term goal is to scale the project outward, to begin to connect the many post industrial sites regionally, nationally and even globally by getting the people who are affected by them to start talking. The connections create many opportunities for collaboration; from researchers sharing data and developing new technologies in remediation, to artists re-imagining the possibilities of these un-useable spaces, to helping to give a larger voice to the communities and people that live near and are affected by brownfields throughout the world.
mapping a global network PILS Global Network
Venetto Region, Italy
Deltares, The Netherlands
U.C. Davis Davis, USA
PILS- FUSINA Common Forum Orleáns, France
Universitá di Padova Padova, Italy
CA´FOSCARI Venice, Italy
GLOBAL CCS INSTITUTE
Organizations/Foundations PILS Sites
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New structures for the access to the site
The re-use of industrial tanks Isolated pools can be filled with purified water from the nearby greenhouse
New educational paths to contaminated areas and remediation sites 2 10
PILS: Lifecycles Embedding inclusive functions into the site is a key strategy in kick-starting new lifecycle potentials. Starting with easy-to-implement interventions we propose to reuse the remains of existing structures to accommodate simple public functions, such as cafes and exhibition spaces, which expands and enriches the current limited touristic and social amenities available. This will re-attract declining numbers of young visitors and start the process of community forming. Since the metal structures are in quite poor condition we propose to use only first levels of buildings made of concrete. By connecting them with an elevated walkway we intend letting the people enter and appropriate the site using its least polluted walkway. At the same time it gives the opportunity to observe the process of remediation of the site and therefore these walkways add an interactive dimension to the experience. Possibilities for activating endogenous potentials that could â€˜kick-startâ€™ a new lifecycle within the site, could act as a keystone for a much wider repurposing and recycling of adjoining petrochemical and declining industries. Size, industrialhistory and iconic location of the site by the Venice Lagoon and in eyesight of Venice offer multi-scalar potentials. Inclusive functions of the site can become a good start for its new lifecycle. Starting from easy-to-implement interventions, we propose to reuse the remains of existing structures to accommodate simple public functions such as open cafes or exhibition spaces, which attracts visitors and start the process of forming the community. Since the metal structures are in quite poor condition we propose to use only first levels of buildings made of concrete. By connecting them with an elevated walkway we let people enter and appropriate the site using its least polluted spaces. At the same time it gives the opportunity to observe the process of remediation of the site, therefore adds another interactive dimension to the experience.
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Establishing new synergies between Fusina and Mestre: a new heating network. 2 12
PILS: Embodied Energy Reuse of embodied energy in the 600m long Aluminum smelter building, large cylindrical structures and fuel tanks and smaller ancillary administrative all contribute to a strong industrial visual aesthetic and convey a history of heavy industry production. The embodied energy in physical legacy infrastructures is often incredibly high, owing to historically cheap and perceptibly plentiful fossil fuel supplies. Coupling such low fuel costs with considerably cheaper raw building materials resulted in some mammoth industrial infrastructures. Today such infrastructures would be unfeasible propositions. As such we propose to reuse the 600m long aluminum smelter building, large cylindrical fuel tanks, and some ancillary administrative buildings on site. In the reuse of the same, we are acknowledging Fusinaâ€™s past identity as an important location of Italian heavy industrial activity and we also wish to strengthen its fascinating industrial visual appeal. In addition to reuse of embodied energy from physical infrastructures, we explore energies contained in industrial process flows. On the Fusina site scale, this would involve piping hot waste-water from the nearby Andrea Palladio Power Station into the Aluminum Building. This provides inputs for a low energy phytoremediation laboratory from which required cleanup plants could be grown on site and the process of waste-water treatment could take place. On a larger scale, this creates a connection to industry waste heat flows and importantly establishes a market for these flows. We propose Fusina as a southern terminus for a heat network that would connect other networked heat producers in the Marghera Industrial Zone to a residential heating network for Mestre.
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Fusina Beach, 2012 (photo by C. Colja) 2 16
L IS TENI NG TO THE T E R R I TO RY Small explorations of Mestre and Fusina seen from the inhabitants' point of view Valentina Bonifacio*
The first days of the Intensive Programme a few interviews were carried out in two of the field sites in order to get a glimpse of th e local dynamics and highlight ongoing conflicts. Fusina – Residual industrial site or urban beach? On the 6th of July a small group, comprising three students and an anthropologist, engaged in an exploratory trip to Fusina. Given the lack of public transport in the area, we left Venice by car. Our field-trip began with an exploration of the surrounding area. A small settlement, Malcontenta, is in fact located in proximity of the ex-industrial area. We wanted to first of all explore how the nearby settlements faced the question of environmental pollution in the area. In Malcontenta we headed straight for the main bar, where we informally interviewed the waiter and the bar owner. The latter told us of the close ties the local people had with the lagoon for recreational and fishing purposes, and that people on weekends often go out in their boats to hunt for shellfish and wild asparagus that grow on the small surrounding islands. He added that many local people kept boats with powerful engines despite the fact that people are more wary of consuming lots of gasoline due to the crisis. He also directed us to an area by the sea where a series of boathouses were located (a place which we never found), which by his accounts was very beautiful. When directly questioned as to the extent of the pollution of the lagoon, he said that local people would never give up their weekend recreational pursuits in the lagoon area. Nevertheless he also seemed to imply that the activities there were a “boyish” or “family” affair, and that young people in general turned to other pursuits. As we continued towards Fusina itself, we encountered a camp site, a small kiosk and a vaporetto stop on the lagoon. The kiosk owner told us that in RECYCL IN G VEN E TO REG ION - 217
summer a huge quantity of people visited that place for recreational purposes during the weekend, and they all came by car (often forming a long line of cars). We then decided to look for the place indicated as the local ‘beach’, which turned out to be a small rectangular area covered with dry grass and located just next to the vaporetto stop. There actually were a few people sunbathing there, even if we visited it on a weekday, and to our surprise some of them had even brought sunbeds and beach umbrellas. Therefore, the fact that the sea was hidden behind a balustrade and that it looked dark and polluted (to our eyes) wasn’t an impediment to the perception of the place as a beach. Talking to a beachgoer sitting on his towel in the small rectangular area we learnt that alternative beach locations required at least a 40 minutes car-ride, and that this beach was the best option for local people if they only had little amount of time available. Furthermore, we were told that the number of younger people frequenting the area was waning, and particularly so over the last three years. This was attributed to the opening of new night-life areas such as the ‘Molo 5’ (located midway between Fusina and Mestre) and the Marghera Estate Village, a cultural and social venue. La CITA Our small exploration also brought us to the LA CITA housing estate. The peculiarity of this estate is that it hosts a mixed population of middle-class exemployees and groups of immigrants (especially from China and Bangladesh). The first encounter was with the director of the immigration office in Venice, Gianfranco Bonesso, who explained to us that he became involved in the area due to a dispute between Italian citizens and sectors of the immigrant population. The dispute revolved around the (non) payment of service bills in some of the buildings, and required the mediation of a third party that could negotiate with the municipality. The encounter took place inside a room that was the only communal space inside the entire housing estate, and that was used for meetings amongst the inhabitants. These meetings though were not spontaneously organized by the inhabitants but were promoted by the immigration office. The only form of local organization relied on the figure of a “stair-keeper” for each of the buildings composing the estate. The immigration office was trying to promote a better integration of the different categories and nationalities living there in order to prevent further conflict. During the meeting we got to know the coordinator of a local mosque that the Bangladeshi community had finally managed to open despite the initial hostility on the part of the local non Muslim population. By promoting encounters between Catholics and Muslims living in LA CITA, the immigration office managed to create an atmosphere of greater tolerance 2 18
and acceptance. A further encounter took place with a mediator of the immigration office in Mestre. Mohammed Salhi described to us the difficult situation of the immigrant population in Italy (citizenship is very difficult to attain), but highlighted the fact that in Venice the situation was perceived as better than in other municipalities, because of the encouraging approach adopted by the local authorities. He also said that there are about forty associations in Mestre that represent a variety of immigrant groups: Ukrainians, Bangladeshis, Senegalese, Chinese, etc. Not all of them are fully active, but some of them truly stand as a point of reference for the community they represent. Salhi also presented the fact that the local immigrant population had gathering spots in different part of the city according to ethnicity or nationality. For instance he showed us a shop on the map in a small square where Africans meet up and drink beer together, and a park where Eastern European oldpeople carers generally gather. Parks were widely used by most of the groups and people expressed the need for a place where they could organize parties and celebrations. Later on during the Intensive Programme, we put forward the hypothesis that a market would be a good occasion to boost the local economy and facilitate reciprocal knowledge and interaction. We subsequently visited the offices in charge of giving permission for this kind of activities in Venice and we had the confirmation that it was quite easy to get a permit for certain kinds of markets, but only if the markets were mobile. Conclusions Our small explorations in Fusina and LA CITA raised very different questions. This difference – apart from being dependent on the different dimension of the two settlements - is mainly due to the social composition of the two places. LA CITA seemed in fact to feature a juxtaposition between “new” and “old” inhabitants, a theme which catalyzed our attention and that of the people we listened to. In Fusina the main theme was the creation and conservation of a recreational area in close relation to the lagoon. Before drawing a few conclusions, I consider it important to underline that the time of the year when the field trip was carried out – a very hot summer – deeply influenced the content of our ‘discoveries’ around Fusina. All the interviews, in fact, happened to be focused on recreational activities that could be carried on in summer. Moreover, summer was perceived as a period of intense recreational activities and time for nightlife and entertainment. In every way the “leisure season”. Our main topic of enquiry in Fusina, the existence of a very polluted exRECYCL IN G VEN E TO REG ION - 219
industrial site in the area, was not at all perceived as a problem by the local inhabitants. Despite the fact that people were surely aware of the former industrial character of the area and its related problems of pollution, local people still thought that the products of the lagoon (shellfish and plants) were safe. The relationship with the lagoon seemed to be untouched by the proximity of an industrial site, and was valued as one of the main ‘identity making’ activities. A big surprise was the discovery of ‘the beach’, and more in general of Fusina itself as a popular leisure area. On the other hand, young people were losing interest in the ‘beach’ and were drifting over to the more lively places such as night clubs and cocktail bars elsewhere, structures completely absent in the area under examination. The way we saw it there was a complete lack of leisure infrastructure – apart from a tiny kiosk – and the area had a general rundown feel about it and that of having been abandoned by the local authorities. It is thus remarkable that far from being an isolated and forgotten place Fusina is frequented by a mixed population of tourists (there is a camp site close to the vaporetto stop) and people living in the surrounding settlements. Therefore, the place would deserve a greater attention on the part of local authorities and urban planners in order to boost its capability to host a variety of leisure infrastructures. From the experience in LA CITA we learnt that there is an ongoing tension between local population and migrant groups in different parts of Mestre and Marghera. Our main research question was then how to improve the interaction between migrant and non-migrant population by transforming the “periphery” (LA CITA can in fact be considered to be on the outskirts of Marghera) into “centre”. In particular, we ended up focusing on the connections between LA CITA, Mestre and Marghera and on the possibility to open an informal and flexible market in this area that could function as a connection between the two cities and the adjacent green areas. Notes
* Valentina Bonifacio, Cà Foscari University, firstname.lastname@example.org
INTERAC T ING WI TH TE R R I TO R I E S Davide Fornari*
The Intensive Programme Recycling City was the occasion for guiding the participants in the development of concepts of interactive devices, services or ambients that aimed at fulfilling the so-called “third energetic model”. This model is described as a diffused system that enables production, distribution, saving and recycling of energy thanks to new technologies for electric generation, new distribution lines, and the ICT applications. We proposed a theoretical and methodological framework for the definition of design concepts encompassing interaction design as a way to impact energetic and environmental issues. Interaction design has been, since its establishment as a discipline in the late eighties, a hybrid field of research, as it is the result of the merging of software and hardware: interactive physical objects at any scale. Interaction design has gradually invaded everyday life through the diffusion of ICT applications embedded to technological devices. Interaction design per se can hardly be defined as sustainable or inclusive: devices generally consume a large amount of energy, in the form of lithium batteries, and are made of polluting raw materials; moreover, they request previous instructions for most of the users. We offered to participants the scenario of ambient intelligence, which is envisioned by many as the future of technologies in general. “Ambient intelligence” has been defined by researchers in different ways. Typical definitions are: - a developing technology that will increasingly make our everyday environment sensitive and responsive to our presence; - the presence of a digital environment that is sensitive, adaptive, and responsive to the presence of people; - a digital environment that supports people in their daily lives in a nonintrusive way. These definitions highlight the basic features that are expected in ambient intelligence solutions. An ambient intelligence system must be sensitive, reRECYCL IN G VEN E TO REG ION - 221
sponsive, adaptive, transparent, ubiquitous and, not lastly, intelligent. There are many contexts where ambient intelligence can have a great impact on our lives (e.g. house and home, education, transport, entertainment, work and health) and many applications and projects where ambient intelligence technologies have been used. Our approach to the design of ambient intelligence investigates how, in the near future, interaction based on sensors can be developed and integrated into daily life, influencing the planning of our living spaces as well as our habits and activities. In addition to practical benefits related to the development of sensor based applications and data networks, the research into future scenarios can supply examples of services and products making use of hybrid realities to develop possibilities beyond those that can be produced with traditional interface graphics based on display. The projects developed by participants encompassed the inclusion of interactive features in urban design, which help overcome behavioral limitations that are typical to a functionalist approach. Interaction design, interactive installations, services, devices and environments represent the potential open and available to users: in this case the citizens. The concepts include instruments, techniques and functionalities which improve and enrich the environment through devices, ambients and services. Nowadays the distinction between devices, ambients and services is disappearing in as much as the various design areas affect each other to create environments in which everything is interconnected. Ambient intelligence goes beyond the paradigm of a display, involving domestic objects, wearable and transportable gadgets, information spread via web, thus increasing the contexts of use of intelligent environments. A product, environment and/or service of ambient intelligence, planned to respond to direct interaction with the user, employing dynamic digital, electronic or environmental input, should take into account some simple principles described in the literature on interaction design and â€œsmart technologiesâ€?: it must be interactive, non intrusive, technologically simple and preferably modular. The projects of the participants employ mixes of devices, services and the environment for fullfilling two important issues in design at any scale: inclusiveness and sustainability. Devices are objects with specific properties and functions, allowing the user to interact with it. An object/device can be something that has a particular body, shape and colour and can be regarded as having physical as well as cognitive aspects. 2 22
We may speak of a device when an object is an instrument or tool to aid our activities, especially when it is part of a system which influences the dynamics of daily life or vice-versa. The functions inserted in technological communication devices such as mobile phones or computers, have an enormous influence on how people experience their surroundings. As activator of the interaction between us, the information and the remote and/or close environments, the device is the physical object which permits the interaction and the contact between us, information systems and environments. Services imply a system or a process which furnishes to the person a holistic experience. It is an intangible product which may integrate tangible elements. The design of a service is the result of combined planning comprising aspects such as management, control of production processes, communication and transport flow, and attempts to meet the requirements of new models and infrastructures to sustain and facilitate the activities and processes in integrated production systems. Service planning is scrupulous in incorporating new business models which favour the adoption of new socio-cultural values by society. Ambient is a set of factors, elements and resources which surround persons and which interact with the persons who use them or move in them. When technology is integrated in an environment and communicates through devices, digital archives or with other remote areas, we may speak about an interactive ambient. But when spatial interaction is reduced to a defined and limited dimension within a defined time interval, the close environment becomes ubiquitous and reduced to the space within which a certain activity is carried out, the interactive ambient is between us and the output system, and consequently coincides with the interface of interaction. Ambient design transcends the object and tries to make technology more user friendly, more closely connected to the human body, to movement and to human sensory perception. A space which becomes an interactive ambient is not limited to a particular place but may be recreated anywhere. An inclusive product or system is universally adaptable to the needs of all users. While most conventional interfaces are designed for the majority of people, inclusive solution projects are accessible also by persons with different types of ability (physical or cognitive handicaps), thus permitting everyone to use technology as an aid to managing daily tasks or as an interface in dealing with computerized society. This means that a project is RECYCL IN G VEN E TO REG ION - 223
considered inclusive not only if it is designed for a certain type of user, but also if it is adaptable or is able to autonomously adapt to different requirements. Alongside such approaches as universal design and design for all, inclusive design aims at overcoming accessibility barriers produced by challenges of a socio-economical, physical, cultural or social diversity e.g. computer illiteracy, dyslexia, ageing population, ethnic divide. The same aim is pursued in application fields such as assistive technology and in design challenges such as home automation, research areas in which technology helps to overcome impediments in the use of certain devices or in the physical or virtual access to places. In interaction design, choosing inclusion as the chief design feature implies: - encouraging participating design methods (in which people are involved in the design process) combining observation and assessment of usability and approaches to user-centred design; - considering technology not only a physical but also a psychological (cognitive) and emotional (affective) support, and consequently favouring interfaces which are not too intrusive yet meet the expectations of people. Sustainability is found in objects and services which meet the criteria of assuring medium and longterm welfare of the social, economic and/or environmental ecosystems. The criteria for sustainability refer to the formal aspects of use and behaviour of an object or of a system which incorporates technology. In the evaluation of the formal aspects, an object or system is considered sustainable when production and disposal processes have a low environmental impact, i.e. when they do not pollute or create conditions of economic or social disparity, meaning, when environmental well-being equals social well-being and vice-versa. Considering the aspects of use, objects or systems are deemed sustainable when they permit or facilitate actions and processes which are compatible with projects that do not compromise the development of future generations. As far as behavioural aspects are concerned, sustainable is everything that promotes and stimulates individual and collective life-styles which are sensitive to environmental problems, social changes, economic crises, and which are beneficial to cultural diversity, and above all, to the diversity of our planet. Services such as car-sharing, community gardens or shared work premises, and systems which promote local production, all go in the direction of sustainable life-styles, as do also cooperation services which bring together people or activities in a common interest. Within the range of sustainability are all those products and systems which 2 24
support innovative models for production, consumption, economics and society, based on such fundamental concepts as saving exhaustible resources, autonomous production, promotion of local rather than centralized production. By using infrastructures that generate energy from renewable sources, houses contribute autonomously to energy production, thus promoting sustainable life-style. In the same manner open source, peer to peer and do-it-yourself (DIY) kit are platforms which allow people to recycle codes, resources, materials and electronic components to produce goods autonomously. Sustainability cuts across all planning activities which promote greater awareness on the part of the user of his role as producer and consumer of goods and resources. For this reason systems which monitor energy consumption in the home and the city, or measure the atmospheric pollution in the living area are also part of this category. The concepts produced by the participants encompass in different ways to the features of inclusion â€“ by involving secluded areas in the public discourse, reducing ethnic divides â€“ and sustainability, by promoting environmental awareness on energy consumption and making polluted areas attractive. Notes
* Davide Fornari, SUPSI Lugano, email@example.com
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REC YCL ING TERRI TORIES
Archival photograph of the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange, June 1981 Courtesy of the archives of the NYSE. 2 28
REC YCL ING NEW YO R K CI T Y Brian McGrath*
New York’s fiscal decline in the 1970’s was radically reversed in the wake of financial deregulation and electronic trading in the 1980s. No architects and urbanists at that time anticipated the transformations the introduction of new digital technologies would unleash into the 21st century. The 1980s was followed by three decades of the irrational exuberance: the dot.com boom and bust, Rudolf Giuliani’s Zero Tolerance policing, the attack on the World Trade Center, mounting evidence of the irreversibility of climate change, the financial meltdown of 2008, and the occupation of Wall Street last year. This chapter unfolds the process of the recycling of New York City’s urban form in three stages of design research following of the introduction of electronic trading on Wall Street: damage control, where new forms of practice engaged with the “urban leftovers” in the wake of massive gentrification in the 1980s; seizing the means of production involved the beginnings of digital design practice in the 1990s, and finally the possibilities of the twittering social activism of today which began at the start of the 21st century creating new forms of inclusive urbanisms based on broad civic participation in design activism. 1980s: Design as Damage Control The recent massive recycling of the New York City territory was triggered over a weekend in June 1981. Between Friday at 4:00 PM and Monday at 8:00 AM, old wooden desks, files and paper trading cubicles were removed from the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange, and a spider’s web of fiber optic cables, computer terminals and display screens was lowered from construction scaffolding above. That Monday morning, the course of the city and the world’s future changed as workers arrived to work ready to unleash the future with the new tool of electronic financial trading. Urban development in New York had plummeted during the fiscal crisis of the mid-70s. The city’s infrastructure was collapsing, crime was rampant, and the RECYCL IN G TERR I TORIE S - 229
Recycling the New York City interior: From exhibition and catalogue Room in the City that brought the issue of new forms of inhabiting New York into public debate, April-May, 1987
City Gallery, Department of Cultural Affairs, catalogue published by Princeton Architectural Press, drawing by Brian McGrath.
Infill with a void: attached double duplex housing project with garage workshop for Brownsville, New York, from Vacant Lots, exhibit coordinated by the Architectural League of New York
catalogue published by Princeton Architectural Press, 1989, drawing by Brian McGrath.
new metabolism of the air-conditioned, artificially lit office tower exhausted the regional power grid, resulting in a massive blackout in 1977. I have retroactively catalogued the first decade of my own design research in New York in the 1980s as a practice of damage control in the face of digital globalization of capital. Like in the New York Stock Exchange trading floor, urban transformation can begin in the interior. For a young architect practicing in the 1980s, old row houses, tenement apartments on the Lower East Side, prewar apartments on the Upper West Side subdivided during the Great Depression, and old industrial lofts were recycled for artists, performers, and young professionals producing a space to re-inhabit New York at the end of the 20th century. The next scale of recycling New York in the 1980s involved research on ways to engage small-scale entrepreneurship and community based development on infill housing on the thousands of city-owned vacant lots. I joined a group at the Architectural League of New York and New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development to organize a design research study project called Vacant Lots. We organized scores of young architects to work on prototypical solutions on ten city-owned vacant lots in poor neighborhoods throughout the five boroughs of New York City. The Lower East Side was one of the first battlefields of gentrification in New York with community gardeners pitted against housing advocates as the city tried to capitalized on the new value of the vacant land so close to an expanding NYU and Wall Street. With Architects for Social Responsibility, several local universities organized student projects; exhibitions and publications to develop a discussion on How the Lower East Side could support both new housing and gardens. The area of most massive area for recycling in New York is its 520 miles of mostly industrial waterfront. The Municipal Art Society, in 1988, sponsored a competition to re-imagine the Hudson River Waterfront once the massive landfill project of Westway was defeated through appeal to the Clean Water Act. My own proposal advocated stabilizing fragments of industrial warehouses for cultural uses such as an open-air galleries, theaters, fish hatcheries and recreation spaces, that in some way anticipated both the contemporary Hudson River Park and the Highline, but also recognizing that many of these activities were already taking place illegally. The project Transparent Cities is a boxed set of acetate maps each showing an elemental layer of New York from a particular historical period of time. The
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Model detail of the proposed new housing typologies that preserve over thirty community gardens and informal light industrial workplaces in Alphabet City, Lower East Side of Manhattan. Jim Agresta, Dan Cummings, Bill Harley, David Robinson, Santo Barraco, Patrick Lodbel, Lycel Villanueva, Robert Grimaldi, Wanda Munoz, Madeline Ruiz, Mark Duffy, Brian Gillen, Laura Pecora, and Joe Santos, supervised by Brian McGrath.
transparent Cities (SITES Books) Drawings by Brian McGrath
book illustrated the idea of that the new high-tech reoccupation of Manhattan, was in fact the superposition of a new layer of the city. The idea was to represent the city not as a fixed plan, but as a landscape in flux, changing slowly or abruptly according to technological change or social desire. The city of global financial trading was atop the industrial city, which in turn was built within a colonial landscape. The plates can be juxtaposed and superimposed in any order, producing new discoveries with each overlay, much like the experience of the recycling city. August 1991: Seizing the Means of Production By 1991, the personal computer was entering the drafting rooms of most architectural offices, and the classrooms of Parsons School of Design and Columbia Universityâ€™s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. GSAPP made the boldest move, introducing the paperless studio, while Parsons embraced a more integrated media approach combining hand and computer tools. At the same time, the New York student body suddenly became globalized, as students appeared in the New York classrooms from around the world, but linked to their friends back home through the Internet. RECYCL IN G TERR I TORIE S - 233
Small and medium size business distribution center, Sunset Park, Brooklyn, Image by Brian McGrath, 1995.
Four curved housing slabs replace all the tenement units demolished by the Port Authority in constructing the Lincoln Tunnel, Port Authority Bus Terminal, and approach roads. Brian McGrath, 2000
The computer was changing not just the trading floors and offices of Manhattan but reterritorializing the entire region, as new, just-in-time digitally monitored distribution centers changed retailing and consumption patterns, much manufacturing was outsourced to China, and vast areas of industrial New York became obsolete and neighborhoods isolated from affordable goods and services more easily provided at the edges of the city region. Envisioning East New York with the Department of City Planning took on the whole territory between the end of the glacial moraine in southeast Queens, to the flat flood pain draining into Jamaica Bay that constitutes one of the most impoverished areas in New York City. With the Department of City Planning and the Van Allen Institute, I participated in a design research project to incorporate big-box retail into New York neighborhoods and waterfronts, this project for Sunset Park in Brooklyn. The new global distribution logistics constitutes a new ecosystem, and this project refocused the question away from contextualizing a big box, to providing a modern â€œsmartâ€? distribution space for small and medium scale local businesses. With Design Trust for Public Space, I developed a housing proposal for Hells Kitchen Neighborhood Association that began to apply those new tools in an analytical way. Combing through the annual reports of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey since its founding, I counted the number of residential units demolished, and used a parametric design to rebuild the same number on Port Authority land on the right of way of the Lincoln Tunnel Approaches. The design also included vertical gardens and water collection devices to help mitigate the vehicular exhausts from the tunnel. A pivotal project in transforming my design practice to take advantage of 2 34
both 3D modeling and the Internet, is Manhattan Timeformations, an interactive web site developed for the Skyscraper Museum and The New York State Council on the Arts in 1999. The project helped me to understand more clearly the historical context of the structural changes to the New York, American and global economy that followed in the wake of that weekend in June of 1981. The 3D model is a graph of high-rise office building construction in Lower and Midtown Manhattan between 1890 and 1990. Moving from bottom to top you see the increase in office building speculation in concert with the rise of the stock market in the roaring 1920s before the collapse of the Great Depression in the 30s and World War II. Moving up we see the emergence of Midtown Manhattan as the central business district of a new consumerist American economy. New glass towers housed the corporate headquarters, advertising firms and the TV Broadcast companies between Park and 6th Avenues. The second construction collapse can be seen in the steep decline during the 1970s. The decline is reversed in 1981, just at the moment of the introduction of electronic trading. Finally we see the trajectory of what Tom Wolfe called the Bonfire of Vanities, as the normal slope is reverse due to over speculation in the new technologies and de regulations, with another collapse, due to over speculation, by 1990. What I discovered in this project was that it is during the economic busts when innovation happens. Air conditioning, glass curtain walls, automatic elevators and fluorescent lighting accompanied the world economy changed following World War II, and the inventing of the mediated consumer economy. And of course, I have already demonstrated the impact of the introduction of the computer into the workplace in the 1980s. The reception to Manhattan Timeformations when it was posted on line was quite remarkable as first nascent digital art organizations, journalists, scientists and only later architects and urbanists responded to it in very different ways. It was through this project that I began to understand the role of digital design as social media; something Beatrice Colomina so clearly expresses when she demonstrates that architecture became modern only when it was mediated. Digital drawing enabled me to continue my interest in an art practice and I had opportunities to participate in exhibitions, residencies and media performances. Timeformations became a type of memorial itself after 9/11 as it still had the twin towers of the World Trade Center in its virtual skyline. Reaching a vast unseen audience via a web site alerted my to the global social impact possible in digital design.
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Manhattan Timeformations 3D model that gives time a dimensionâ€“ one year in time is scaled at one hundred feet on the vertical z-axis of the model.
Model by Brian McGrath, interface by Mark Watkins, 1999.
September 2001: Networked Design Activism In a design proposal for Queens Plaza in 2001, again for the Department of City Planning and the Van Allen Institute, I was able to explore the possibilities of embedded digital sensing in public urban space. In the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, security and environmental monitoring were combined in the project with news and cultural event displays combining digital sensors with electronic display devices. Today at Parsons and The New School we are committed to employing strategic transdisciplinary and transnational design thinking as a way forward to social and environmental change. Our students from Architecture, Lighting Design, Transdisciplinary Design and Design and Technology were able to participate in the Recycling City Intensive Programme due to the Urbanisms of Inclusion Transatlantic Exchange. This book and Intensive Programme Recycling City is emblematic of that mission. This short personal history of design futures in New York outlined a trajectory from the introduction of electronic trading on Wall Street in 1981 to the occupation of Wall Street via digitally fed social activism in 2011. The present passes into embodied memory before 2 36
Embedded sensors and interactive media displays at the transit hub of Queens Plaza. Brian McGrath and JosĂŠ Echevarria, 2001
it becomes historical time. Digital design developed in New York in the three decades between these two events, but has yet to fully engage the implications of neither that first Monday on the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange, nor in the realization of an equitable and environmentally sustainable urban design future. Although Iâ€™ve focused on a personal perspective of pro-bono design research in New York over the past three decades, the digital globalization of capital has affected all our ivies. In conclusion I would like to point to a few ways I hope we can work together with our students in the future. I have great hope in this generation but growing up with the complex social networking tools as a part of everyday life. The political demonstrations around the world in the last few years demonstrate the power of youth when given access to critical public platform. Perhaps this new power can create the inclusive urban design practices we need to recycle our cities. Notes
* Brian McGrath, PARSONS The New School for Design, firstname.lastname@example.org
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TH E 5 TH L IFE OF THE ST I E ME R B E E K Christian Nolf,* Bruno De Meulder*
Located in the region of Genk-Diepenbeek, the Stiemerbeek is one of the countless creeks that flow anonymously across the dispersed urban Flanders. Successively used, abused and disused during the 20th century, the Stiemerbeek illustrates how small streams that once played a central role in settlement formation and domestication of the territory, got relegated to the backstage of urban experience. Yet, it appears that these small rivers are about to be resurrected. In recent years, water management policies in Flanders and Europe have evolved from downstream, reactive and centralized solutions to a source oriented, preventive and decentralized (more manageable) approach. To reduce the concentration of problems in the lower parts of the catchments, it encourages the maximum infiltration, retention and storage of rainwater upstream. Hence, smaller water systems and urbanized regions are especially called upon to contribute in this effort. The Stiemerbeek flows from north to south in the upper part of the Demer River basin. Along its 16km long and 50m drop, it crosses three specific geographical conditions. The upper part runs in a valley eroded into the sandy Kempen plateau. Most water there is seepage, rainwater that naturally resurges after infiltrating in the surrounding plateau. The central part of the creek is a wet plain, almost flat and also subject to important seepage. In the lower part, the Stiemer joins the Demer, an (initially) multi-branch river marked by seasonal variations of flow. Each part of the creek faces issues symptomatic of the water management crisis in Flanders: in the upper part, drought of the catchment basin and saturation of a combined sewer system; in the central plain, threatening pressure of invasive urbanization and water pollution due to the saturated sewer system upstream; in the lower part, an increased risk of flooding along the Demer River. If â€˜floodsâ€™ are the most natural phenomenon given the variations of flow, the so-called risk is rather related to the recent injudicious urbanization of the valley with vulnerable programs. RECYCL IN G TERR I TORIE S - 239
THE PRODUCTIVE RIVER VALLEY
THE MINING DEVICE
THE TRANSPORTATION CORRIDOR
THE SEWER SYSTEM
Chronicle of alterations. A historical reading of the region during the 20th century identifies four successive assignments for the valley. A selection of inherited landscape features from these previous ‘lives’ can be optimized today to address new water management, ecological and recreational challenges. 2 40
All these water problems are not just local issues or coincidental accidents but have become generic all over Flanders. Their accumulative effect is jeopardizing the sustainability of the entire water system. To solve them locally is the most efficient contribution to a general improvement. This decentralised approach at least makes the solutions rather small scale and consequently quite feasible. Chronicle of alterations The bottom line to address the mentioned problems is clear. For an increased infiltration, retention and storage, room must be made for the water. The point is that this room has to be provided at the right place and in a sound way. In that regard, a detailed analysis of the water system is necessary. Fragmented by largescale infrastructures, constricted in concrete profiles and polluted, the creek appears today as profoundly altered, halfway between a straightforward engineering work and hopeless bricolages that were adapted piecemeal as responses to situations. A systematic historical reconstruction helps to identify the logics that have led to this state. Rather than a continuous evolution, the transformations of the water system results from a succession of four specific and often contradictory interventions. a) Originally, the Stiemer played a central role as a productive river valley. It was the sole oasis of resource in an elsewhere arid desert of heath. The valley concentrated in its upper part the few settlements and (subsistence) agricultural activities, helped by rudimentary mills, dams and irrigation systems. In the central part, transversal retention dikes were placed from the 12th century to make water reservoirs. Connected in a cascading system, they were also used for fish farming. Disused today, the ponds got converted in a natural reserve. The rest of the plain, too marshy to be useable, would only get colonized from the late 19th century with a grid of drainage and levees defining agriculture plots sized for families. This primitive landscape, responding to extremely poor geographic conditions, demonstrates however a sharp optimization of soil and topographical features. b) The discovery in the early 20th century of coal reserves in the Kempen abruptly changed this situation. In a few years, the remote and underdeveloped region acquired an (inter)national importance. Concentrating 3 out of the 7 Kempen coal mines, the upper basin of the Stiemer was transfigured. Massive facilities, spoil heaps and garden districts for the mine workers started covering the heathland. At the same time, ground collapses consequent to underground mining activities ruined the delicate set of levels that organized RECYCL IN G TERR I TORIE S - 241
3 water-based strategies are developed in each part of the Creek Valley
1. Inverted Valley reclaims and diverts the natural and artificial features of the upper valley to develop its ecological and recreational potential.
2. Collecting Gardens reinterpret the agrarian grid to serve urban water management issues and structure the dispersed urbanisation.
3. Flood Chambers optimize an old dike system to accommodate the coexistence of water storage and vulnerable programs in the river valley.
the uses of water. The Stiemer creek, connected to settling basins and evacuating polluted process water, was reduced to a device harnessed for mining activities. c) The exportation of the coal produced required massive transportation infrastructures. In a first phase, this motivated the completion in 1930 of the Albert Canal. The east-west canal linked and links the mines to the port of Antwerp and to the metallurgical industry in the Meuse basin. Fed by the waters of the Meuse and passing transversally over existing rivers, the canal is a completely independent water system. However, together with the railway loop junction, it created and creates a strong physical barrier that cuts the valley into fragments. The construction in the early 1970’s of a highway network only added to this fragmentation, especially so the insertion of a north-south motorway junction in the middle of the Stiemer valley. From a place of convergence, the Stiemer valley has been turned into place of separation between the different (post-mining) neighbourhoods. d) The valley finally underwent profound modification in the early 1980s with the elaboration of a municipal sewer system. A new concrete gulley, flanking the two main collectors of the sewer system, was also used to drain the ‘natural’ creek. Channelled and piped, the separated creek led to the drying out of the valley. Furthermore, only 30 years after its construction, the system can now be considered saturated. Collecting a mix of wastewater and surface water (from roofs, roads and paved surfaces), the combined sewer network is under increasing pressure from the ever expanding urbanized area. In case of heavy rainfall, the collected water exceeds the capacity of the sewer collectors and overflows into the creek. It provokes peak discharges and diffuse and extensive pollution in the river system. The key to prevent this problem is the separate drainage of rain and surface water. 5th Life The Stiemerbeek is today a latent project. Its location at the heart of the diffuse, but nevertheless almost completely urbanised area is seen as an opportunity to reconcile urban water management along with ecological and recreational functions. In collaboration with the municipalities of Genk and Diepenbeek, the Province of Limburg and the Flemish Land Agency (VLM), the OSA (KULeuven) and Arck (UHasselt) teams have devised an innovative approach. Rather than the nowadays conventional restoration of the mutilated valley, the project is conceived as a form of fifth life. It selects, reinterprets and optimizes some features of the inherited landscapes to address the RECYCL IN G TERR I TORIE S - 243
new challenges and at the same time improve the spatial quality of the living environment. This intention has been divided into in three strategic projects focusing on the upper, the middle and the lower part of the creek. Inverted Valley In the upper part, the project reverses the current logic of water confinement. As an alternative to the (saturating) piped combined sewer system, a new network of swales collects rain and surface water among the dispersed urbanization. Facilitating infiltration, the swales partially reactivate the natural seepage mechanism, while the excessive water is slowly drained towards the valley. The valley is re-profiled in its entire width, integrating planted (filtering) basins, retention basins and shallows riverbeds conveying water downstream in a decelerated way. Relieved of most of the rainwater, the 1980â€™s concrete gulley into which the creek was channelled is to be reclaimed. Slightly overhanging in the middle of the valley, it is topped by a bicycle path. The new path is not only reverses ones way of experiencing of the valley, offering a unique perspective on nature and its seasonal contrasts. It also makes the connective potential of the valley operative. It conveniently links all the key facilities of the town of Genk (town hall, sports centre, reconverted mine sites like C-Mineâ€Ś), currently disconnected from each other. The roads crossing the valley are also to be reclaimed. Most are quiet, motor2 44
ists preferring the faster motorway connection. Decreased, re-profiled and exclusively dedicated to soft mobility, these roads become pathways that give access to the recreated valley. At the same time, they can play a role as retention dams for the creek that partially functions as a cascade of ponds. Collecting Gardens In the central part, the project focuses on the grid that structured the wet plain in the late 19th century. Primarily intended for agricultural purposes, since the Second World War the grid of ditches and embankments has been incrementally appropriated by detached houses, resulting in a highly banal and monofunctional area. In response, the â€˜Collecting Gardensâ€™ project combines water management and spatial structuring ambitions. It takes advantage of the slightly overhanging position of the roads and urbanization on the embankments to separately collect surface water in the lower part of the blocks. This new water system takes on various forms and functions in the different parts of the central plain. On the edges of the natural reserve (the former cascading ponds), elongated ponds articulate the transition between nature and the invasive urbanization. In the half-built residential area in the middle of the reserve, collecting ponds outline existing clusters of houses and give nature a prominent structuring role. It enables the perception of a consumptive occupation of nature and shifts to the privileged impression of living in a park. Lastly, In the more generic blocks, collecting ponds are placed in the leftover inner voids. These voids, long neglected, are now to be used, in the intention of the authorities, as a response to demographic growth. To anRECYCL IN G TERR I TORIE S - 245
ticipate an opportunist infill already at work in some urbanization cases, the new water system frames space for (building) plots and collective spaces, the blocks being interconnected to form a network. The excavated soil for the new ponds is used to prepare a base for potential new developments, implicitly suggesting more compact building typologies. Optimizing the microrelief of the underlying agricultural landscape and reinterpreting the traditional practice of cut & fill that shaped the central plain, the new water infrastructure instils size and collectiveness, quality and diversity in the existing banal diffuse urbanization. Flood Chambers In the lower part of the Stiemerbeek thereâ€™s an urgent need to develop a controlled floodplain. Peak discharges coming from the increasingly paved northern area are threatening the floodplain, made even more vulnerable after the straightening of the Demer in the 1960â€™s. The flooding of a university building in November 2010 is a recent example of the potential risk. The reclamation of space for the water must however consider the existing uses and activities in the valley. Next to the university and business park, a few settlements, some agricultural activity and a horse breeding centre are present in the area. To accommodate the coexistence of these land uses with 2 46
water, a landscape of chambers has been created. On the basis of the parcel limits and ancient meanders, large catchment chambers have been created which increase the flow of the creek. Within the chambers dikes have been raised, or in some cases old retention dikes have been restored and planted with trees. The various heights of the dikes define distinct degrees of ‘floodability’ and storage capacity of the (sub)chambers. This leads to the generation of a flexible and dynamic landscape, varying from season to season and able to cope with more extreme water conditions. At the same time, the chambers give structure and direction to the existing (and if need-be future) urbanization. From being misplaced, this urbanization becomes embedded in a spatial, water landscape framework. Recycling the accidental landscape The case of the Stiemerbeek illustrates the radical transformation of a piece of territory during the 20th century. It is very representative of the Flemish and Belgian condition, where a very permissive planning tradition has allowed the arbitrary superposition of uncoordinated, local and supra-local, public and private developments. This accumulation of contradictions has generated an accidental landscape that makes Flanders almost unreadable. But at the same time, this accidental landscape can be seen as a tremendous reservoir of features, awaiting re-interpretation to serve new territorial demands. In the case of the Stiemerbeek, successive waves of transformations have left in their wake massive manipulations of topography, oversized infrastructures and a generalized and widespread urbanization. The water system, playing only an accessory role in the transformations of the last century, has passively stored that deployment of energy as a receptacle. It can now take advantage of it. The idea of territory as a palimpsest is more than a metaphor here. It is a tangible reality that can, to paraphrase Marot’s notion of ‘sub-urbanism’ (2003), become the basis of a project. The transformation has moved soil, raised embankments and defined new concavities. By introducing new horizontalities, the present assignment for water infiltration, retention and storage can optimize these manipulations and give them a new meaning.
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* Christian Nolf, KU Leuven, email@example.com * Bruno de Meulder, KU Leuven, firstname.lastname@example.org This case study is developed in Christian Nolf’s doctoral research ‘Sections of Flanders’, which is part of the ‘Water Research in Urban Flemish Landscapes’ funded by the FWO (Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek). Promoters: Prof. Kelly Shannon (ASRO KUL), Prof. Bruno De Meulder (ASRO KUL), Prof. Oswald Devisch (Arck PHL) and Prof. Patrick Willems (Hydraulics Laboratory KUL) The strategic projects were partially developed during the ‘International Urban Design Workshop Stiemerbeek’ in Genk, directed by Christian Nolf, Bruno De Meulder and Huig Deneef (VLM) from 23 to 31 March 2012 in Genk, Belgium. Participants were: Bram Bijnens (B), Bruno De Meulder (B), Huig Deneef (B, VLM), Oswald Devisch (B), Phebe Dudek (B), Cecilia Furlan (It), Joep Goshen (NL), Stijn Hermans (B, VLM), Haodong Hu (Cn), Jeanne Mosseray (B), Christian Nolf (B), Conor O’Brien (Irl), Valerie Raets (B) Brian Steegmans (B), Liesbet Thewissen (B), Philip Thoelen (B), Yen van der Voort (B), Chris van der Zwet (NL), Daniel Veestraeten (B).
- Corboz, A., 1983, The land as palimpsest, in “Diogène” n. 121. - De Meulder, B. et al., 1999, Patching up the Belgian Urban Landscape, in “Oase. Architectural Journal”, n.52, pp. 78-113. - Marot, S., 2003, L’Art de la Mémoire, le Territoire et l’Architecture’, Paris, Editions de la Villette. - www.integraalwaterbeheer.be
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BINDING ELEMENT S Typical projects for Dutch urbanized regions Daan Zanbelt*
Introduction In Mid-Size Utopia the relation between mobility and regional development is researched by design. Mid-Size Utopia’s are the cities and villages surrounding the Randstad Holland. Once they were attractive cities of around 100 thousand inhabitants that offered all a family could wish for: a pleasant, quiet and safe living environment. A central city in a green countryside. But this is no longer reality. These cities have regionalized. They are in each other’s sphere of influence. Villages have become defacto suburbs. The city’s fringes are no longer peripheral but centrally positioned in the region. These regions of Mid-Size Utopia are dynamic and attractive which makes them potential magnets for future growth. That is both a blessing and a threat. Incoherent networks Mobility networks have failed to meet this regional development and scaling up of spatial behavior. In Holland there are national and local networks. But networks inbetween are missing. As a consequence, there is no logical place for such typical regional amenities as stadiums, retail parks, university campuses and hospitals. These are too big for the fine-grain urban tissues and not big enough to deserve a highway exit or intercity station. So they land everywhere, starting to mess up these attractive regions. It also means that national and local networks are ‘abused’ for regional trips. Resulting in traffic conflicts in narrow village streets, clogged highways and packed intercity trains that are used for short distances. In fact local networks form together incoherent regional networks. Tweaking the mobility networks The expected spatial growth therefore needs steering in the right direction. What is required is an actual physical upscaling from city to region, with RECYCL IN G TERR I TORIE S - 251
the mobility network serving as a new structuring element to guide the urbanization process. In order to do so, transport networks are divided into three categories: road networks, rail networks and slow networks. For each network typical projects are invented through research by design. By tweaking and tuning their spatial and functional cohesion. Not by proposing complete new networks. That would be too complex and too costly. Together the three typical regional networks present a natural framework for further development of the Mid-Size Utopia regions. Road Networks Rings The regional road network consists of two structures, ‘rings’ and ‘ladders’. Rings are where roads from the vicinity lock into the city’s road network. On the ring, the city upscales to larger buildings and shows its best (and newest) side. Think of a stadium, campus, headquarter, multiplex cinema or congress centre. The street profile is wider than that of an urban street. At its 2 52
heart, separated by a central reservation, are two pairs of lanes with a speed limit of 70 km per hour. It has parallel services roads with a sidewalk, cycle lanes and car parking space. Since it is important that these new regional structures become addresses too. To which buildings and complexes oriented themselves. Besides being a physical connection, the ring is a place in its own right. It is a space where many spend time on a daily basis. It therefore deserves a well-groomed design, without noise barriers, footbridges, fencing lined with barbed wire or blank walls. It is the place where city life takes on a new guise. The ring has not just an urban but also a rural character, since large-scale recreational or green facilities have a place here too, such as a park, zoo or cemetery. Ladders The second type of road network is the ‘ladder’, which consists of a motorway of national and international importance with running parallel to it a regional route linking two cities. The ladder holds out a place for space-devouring regional functions such as university campuses, airfields, golf courses, leisure parks, business parks. Access roads, perpendicular to these two axes like rungs of the ladder, connect the motorway with the old town centre. The entry to Deventer from the A1 is a good example of this. These access roads may develop into impressive new urban environments. Where the region’s top brands advertise themselves. Urban Gateways The potentials of both ring and ladder bring into view a number of area developments that stand out in two ways. First, investments in infrastructures are fully used by intensifying the best accessible places with regional programs. These areas evolve in what we call Urban Gateways, tapping into both the local and regional demand. Second, they are often emblems of urban recycling, the redevelopment of disused industrial or military grounds. This gives every opportunity to create within existing built-up areas new and intensive urban ‘pockets’ which combine a substantial program with a high level of facilities and optimum connectivity. Additionally, these areas have a rich history that makes them authentic and attractive. Places with their own story to tell are more easily distinguishable than anonymous business parks along the motorway. The urban recycling aspect makes urban expansion and the need for new infrastructure a less urgent issue and keeps brownfield sites at bay.
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CS (Central Stations)
Rail Networks Growing lines Regional public transport networks come in three typical spatial appearances: the star, the ring and the line. These networks are build up in lines that each are resilliant enough to work as a structuring element of the emerging region. This is unlike a standard bus line, which may follow a different route 2 54
tomorrow. Robust forms of public transport are predicated on greater travel frequency and comfortable vehicles and station environments. Therefore they attract spatial developement. One strategy is to convert existing railway lines into light-rail and tram links (i.e. Rijn-Gouwelijn and Randstadrail). The other is to refit the most intensive bus lines into tram lines, as in university towns of Utrecht and Groningen. Public transport projects often suffer from high ambitions. That is why we propose to go about it in stages: first a bus in its own lane, then a longer, more comfortable bus type and lastly a tram. And if the development should stagnate, so what? There still is the bus to take. Sub stops The rail network is well-developed in many of the regions. Yet it is still not equipped for intensive regional travel behaviour. The trains are heavy and run at a low frequency. At the same time many station areas, particularly in villages, are used extensively instead of intensively. One solution is to develop additional program around these nodes. Stations in the rail network have the opportunity to expand and specialize to make it a destination too. Whether with a school complex, swimming pool, an events field or a recreation park. These give the network greater diversity and make it more attractive to use. This may sound obvious, but it is not happening nearly enough in MidSize Utopia. Internationally this typical project is known as transit oriented development (TOD). Notable examples in the Netherlands being the Randstadrail light-rail link and the Stedenbaan project. CS (Central Stations) There is a lot happening in and around the central stations of medium-sized Dutch cities such as Zwolle, Den Bosch, Breda, Arnhem and Eindhoven. A typical feature is that the rear sides of stations are being developed into a second front. There is space for new major programs that are unable to fit into the town centre. These places were freed when industry moved out and a share railwayyards was relinquished. This turns station areas into Urban Gateways, entrances to the region, and an example of urban recycling. Slow Networks Green arteries Slow networks are mainly allocated for leisure traffic. They bring together the best of both worlds, city and landscape. Green arteries such as tree-lined avenues and parks hitch the urban structure through fringe zones to the area RECYCL IN G TERR I TORIE S - 255
beyond. These green arteries make the city attractive and it is more enticing to go out for a while. The task is to design missing links in this green structure. A walk round the block can be part of a slow network, so that a breath of fresh air on the countryside starts around the corner. Sonsbeek Park behind Arnhem’s central station is a good example, weher an city park gradually blends into the National Park of the Hoge Veluwe. Soft Zones In some cities, the drive to achieve hard edges rich in contrast between city and landscape has left green space literally back-to-back with buildings and infrastructure. There are few connections to speak of, so that city-dwellers have a hard time leaving the city to indulge in recreation. This sharp division is the perfect excuse to embark on the next city expansion scheme: ‘Just one last compact expansion’. It isn’t the last, of course. A better solution is to introduce a gradual transition zone between city and countryside. These Soft Zones give urbanites a recreational zone where they can hike, bike, garden or sport. Every now and there a house can be build. The gentle gradient from city to landscape makes vast urban expansions impossible. Only gradual and small-scale developments can take place. To make Soft Zones succesfull robust spatial frameworks need to be defined, along which gradual development may take place. Regional Parks If you want people to get out, they need a destination. Here Regional Parks come in. These parks offer programs that lure citizens out of their home. That give them the opportunity to explore the countryside, visit the local farm, go cycling, sailing or even skating, weather permitting. Often these parks are former official buffer zones that get transformed into multi-purpose regional parks with a pancake house or ice cream stall. There is space for nature too, say as a quiet zone. In the Randstad they call them metropolitan parks; outside it, ‘regional park’ is a more appropriate term. Ultimately these parks are stepping stones to larger regional landscapes such as the Hoge Veluwe, the Biesbosch wetlands and the IJssel delta. These are unique and need protecting against urban developments of any kind. With these three networks for road, rail and recreation and a handful of typical projects, spatial design can play a decisive role in bringing coherence in the emerging regional space. By tweaking existing networks. Notes
* Daan Zanbelt, TU Delft, email@example.com RECYCL IN G TERR I TORIE S - 257
 NIEUW WEST  CENTRUM
fig.1 Location of the areas of investigation: Amsterdam Nieuw West and Amsterdam Centrum Source map data: DRO 2012 2 58
RE-USING THE BUILT MATE R I AL Potentials for programmatic continuity and change Birgit Hausleitner*
Introduction The future development of the European city is less a question of extension but rather one of reusing and recycling the already existing built material. Thus the existing build substance has to cope with a permanent change in uses and related changing requirements. This text presents how different grain size of user units in Amsterdam influences the recycling of built material in the process of urban (re-)development. A user unit is the built space that is under the direct control of one single user, be it an individual, a group of individuals or a company. The urban tissue of an area can be dominated by either small or big user units, combined either homogeneously or with a variation in size. Changing requirements Changing needs are based on changing spatial requirements and qualities by already existing uses or by the appearance of new, not foreseen uses. An example for the first are increasing apartment sizes or the demand of businesses for bigger units. Examples for the latter are caused by changing economic or environmental conditions. In the context of changing needs it is interesting to study what built material is re-used for what kind of use, which demand of uses causes a change of the user unit size and how this affects the urban system on the micro scale. This essay is based on observations taken during fieldwork and interviews with different stakeholders in Amsterdam. Both, fieldwork and interviews were undertaken to identify, whether a certain built material was filled with the same program, and where the program changed. Two types of tissues [Fig. 01] were investigated: The first type is the closed urban block tissue of Amsterdam Centrum [Fig. 02], which was constructed until the 17th century. The second type is the tissue of Amsterdam Nieuw West [Fig. 03], which RECYCL IN G TERR I TORIE S - 259
BUILDINGS PLOTS INNER CITY WATER
fig.2 Built tissue Amsterdam Nieuw West Source map data: DRO 2012
fig.3 Built tissue Amsterdam Centrum Source map data: DRO 2012
fig.4 Residential use Amsterdam Centrum (photo by B. Hausleitner)
fig.5 Shopping and retail in Amsterdam Centrum (photo by B. Hausleitner)
is characterised by open configurations of buildings and open space. The development of Amsterdam Nieuw West was based on the General Extension Plan of Amsterdam in 1934, planned according to modernist principles of urban development and built after WWII. The inner city closed block configurations were a place of different combinations of uses on small scale and in close proximity. In the modernist tissue instead working facilities were scarcely interwoven with the residential tissue. By distinguishing small and big grain in both tissues it becomes visible that in the process of recycling, the built material of the two tissues is reused in different ways. User units and their grain size In both tissues the median value of the area of the cadastre units does not differ substantially: while in Amsterdam Centrum it is 90m2, in Amsterdam Nieuw West it is 115m2. The difference in the mean and standard deviation value shows that Amsterdam Centrum has a more homogeneous grain (mean=215; Ă?=1407) than Amsterdam Nieuw West (mean=667; Ă?=5048). Based on this, a building block in the historic tissue is assembled by many cadastre units of different size, each containing one main building; in contrast, in the modernist tissue a built island is often made out of only one cadastre unit, which contains more buildings with more or less the same footprint. However, the crucial difference lies on the fact that cadastre units in the city centre contain in average four user units, whereas the modernist cadastre units contain a multiple of it. Recycling of the user unit In both types of tissue two different types of recycling can be identified: On one the hand continuous small grain user units without changing the size of the individual user unit, on the other hand the recycling of the user units that follows an up-or down-scaling of the size of an single user unit. The recycling of the first category is frequently present in both tissues. In this category either a continuity in use with change in user(s) exists or a unit absorbs new uses. Empty small scale units can be re-filled with new uses, if a space is fit for it. Sometimes the void is filled by temporary uses, which a unit does not have to be fit for completely. The latter are often noncommercial or low budget uses. The second category, up- and down- scaling of the user and/or cadastre unit, has different consequences for reuse. Upscaling of the size of the user units in the historic tissue takes place without changing the size of the cadastre units. The down-scaling of cadastre units in the modernist tissue goes along with both, a constant size of the user units or up-scaling of user units. RECYCL IN G TERR I TORIE S - 261
former working unit
former living unit
working: hairdresser living
of fig.6 A business located in an apartment (photo by B. Hausleitner)
fig.7 (a-b) A business location turned into an apartment in Amsterdam Nieuw West (photo by B. Hausleitner)
Reuse of continuous small grain user units User units in closed building blocks of the centre are re-used more frequently and usually remain hosting a similar type of use, either for residential [Fig. 04] or business functions [Fig. 05]. Apartments are usually located on the upper floors, businesses on the ground floor, in the main shopping streets also on the first floor. The refilling with a similar use is mainly caused by zoning regulations, and not in the limitation of the fitness for only one specific use. This kind of reuse does in general not affect the urban system as whole, because it does not change the order from public to private. Private uses continue to be located in the private realm, whereas public uses stay directly connected to the public realm, thus the micro-zoning from public to private remains the same. In the modernist city small scale user units also absorb new uses, besides the frequent reuse with similar uses. The usual location of uses is analogue to the city centre, apartments are located on the upper floors, whereas businesses are occupying the ground floor level, which in the modernist tissue is more restricted to specific places. Results from recent fieldwork (Hausleitner 2012) has shown that this typical placement of uses is slightly changing. An infiltration of businesses in what were formerly apartments took place on different levels above the ground floor [Fig. 06], while some business locations on the ground floors are used for residential purpose [Fig. 07a&b]. Whereas the configuration of the modernist tissue allows the business locations turned into apartments to create a semi-private buffer between the private and public realm, the situation is more complicated for businesses, which embed themselves in an apartment that might be located on the fourth floor of a residential building. Even though most spaces on the upper floors of residential buildings were not designed for hosting a business, they are still fit enough to accommodate various businesses. In this case different challenges appear, which result in a dissolution of the border between the public and private sphere besides different safety requirements for businesses and apartments. The least interfering with a residential use is a home office with only one person working there. The next step includes businesses like cleaning companies, which has employees coming in during the start and end of the day. Businesses with direct client contact, as for example hair dresser, are the most interfering with a residential use, because employees and clients enter a space, which did not belong to the public sphere before, throughout the whole day.
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fig.8 (a-b) Void above Red Light windows and project proposal possible reuse Source: Boundary Unlimited 2012
BUILDINGS CONNECTED BUILDINGS BROKEN WALLS fig.9 Up-scaling user units: Connected buildings from different cadastre units in Amsterdam Centrum Source map data: Stadsdeel Amsterdam 2012
Up-scaling and temporary down-scaling of grain size In the historic closed blocks two aspects can be observed, which both result in an up-scaling of the size of the user unit and affect the fragmentation and grain of the built material as well as its filling with new use. The first is a clustering of one use, which is economically very viable, like prostitution in the red light district in Amsterdam. The red light windows are of such high economic benefit, that the staircases, which enable the access to the upper levels, are also transformed into rooms with windows. This process makes the upper levels hardly accessible, which results in the accumulation of continuous small scale voids. Therefore, the upper floors of buildings remain widely empty if the main use is not changing in the ground floor. As a reference the project proposal [Fig.08a&b]. of Boundaries Unlimited (2012) in Amsterdam proposes to solve this issue by accessing the upper levels of one block from one access point, which leads to a development of the empty spaces of a block as whole. In this way the sequential accumulation of empty small individual user units offers the possibility to develop one big patch, adding complementary user units of bigger size, which can be occupied by a variety of different uses, might it be for residential or business purpose. The second type of up-scaling in the centre was caused by the need for increased size of user units, mainly for businesses and retail. The increased size of user unit was achieved through breaking through walls between buildings belonging to different cadastre units and merging thus two or more user units into one [Fig. 09]. It allowed different or bigger businesses to locate their offices or shops in the centre, which the usual fine grained tissue would not have supported. This was very common until the urban development department of Amsterdam Centrum altered their zoning plan (Stadsdeel Centrum 2011), to no longer support this process. The decision was taken based on the understanding that small scale user units are an important characteristic of the inner city of Amsterdam, which caused by the up-scaling were often reduced to a mere subdivision of the facades. In Amsterdam Nieuw West a down-scaling of cadastre units is recognizable, which often comes along with up-scaling of individual user units. The splitting of areas, which were built by housing corporations as one unit, into more cadastre units, is primarily done when individual user units are to be sold to turn them into private ownership. The up-scaling of user units is here caused by a need for bigger apartments, which is due to a generally increased living quality and requirements of the inhabitants.
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fig.10 Empty office buildings Source: Bing 2012
Other than partial vacant small scale individual units, large empty office buildings (Fig.10) represent a big grain mainly located in the modernist tissue, which currently is not easily refilled. This type of building is specifically constructed to host bigger units often occupying more than one floor. During the last decades too many office buildings were built, and amplified through the economic crisis many buildings are currently vacant. The transformation of whole buildings into residential buildings is commonly seen as the best option (Remoy 2010), though not easily financed. The costs for necessary enhancements due to fire regulations, quality regulations regarding noise, air quality or enhanced requests for higher floor heights as well as the need for parking space still prevent many buildings to be transformed and reused. As the big units cannot easily be filled by individual small user units without adaptation of the construction, many buildings could be observed to be filled with temporary uses like creative offices or artists, which also accept less good working conditions as long as the rental price stays low. Prospects of reuse Smaller user units in general seem to be reused easier and more frequently without big effort in transformation. Though, there is a need for bigger units as well. As needs are constantly changing, it is not useful to optimize a space for a specific use, but rather provide a flexible system, which allows an absorption of new uses. It seems easier to combine two neighbouring units of similar basic structure than to divide one bigger user unit into two. If the grain size, which a unit is embedded in, is changing due to up-or down- scaling, also the involved actors are changing and more complex decision taking is affecting the direct scope for individual users. From the up- and down-scaling examples can be seen that the infiltration of new uses is better facilitated, if separate access is provided for the 2 66
individual units. In the case that the access is not directly related to the public realm, conflicts might arise. Even though the appearance of small businesses, for example in the modernist tissue, represents a possibility to increase the mix of uses, at the same time it blends the public and private realms. If strangers use the semi-public hallways or lift of a multi-storey residential building in order to access a business, residents can perceive this as an intrusion in the collective space, which belongs usually only to the residents. Summarizing, the observations allow three conclusions. Firstly, smaller units are more frequently recycled. Secondly, the recycling of buildings, respectively user units, profits from the possibility to be combined with or divided into neighbouring units in order to provide different sizes of user units. And finally the infiltration of units with different uses shows the necessity of flexible transition zones between units, which can extend either the public or the private realm. Notes
* Birgit Hausleitner, TU Delft, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Bing Maps, 2012. Online accessed 26.07.2012. - Boundary Unlimited, 2012. Accessed on 26.07.2012 at http://boundaryunlimited.wordpress.com/ - DRO (2012). Dienst Ruimtelijke Ordening. Online accessed 04.05. 2012. - Hausleitner, B., 2012, Kansen voor kleinschalige bedrijvigheid in Amsterdam, in â€œS+ROâ€? n. 4/2012, p.20-23. - Remoy, H.T., 2010, Out of office, a study of the cause of Office Vacancy and Transformations as a means to cope and prevent, Amsterdam, IOS Press. - Stadsarchief Amsterdam, 2012. Online accessed 06.04.2011. - Stadsdeel Centrum, 2011, Conceptnota Beleidsaanpassingen Bestemmingsgebied 1012, Gemeente Amsterdam. Sector Bouwen en Wonen, Afdeling Ruimtelijk Beleid.
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Afsluitdijk (Noord-Holland, the Netherlands). (photo by J. Moreno) 2 68
REC YCL I NG TRANSPO RT N E T WO R K S From transport nodes to urban places Joan Moreno Sanz*
Introduction Nowadays, transport networks are being transformed in order to become more efficient. In fact, the processes of updating have a direct effect in land uses, especially around transport nodes: train stations and traffic junctions. Recycling the space of the mobility involves considering its dual nature as a transport node and urban place, in order to discover its urbanity. It depends on the convergence of three aspects: urbs (physical aspects), civitas (social inclusion) and mobilis (high connectivity). The urban planning tools for making it possible are based on diversity of interaction from the morphological and social points of view. Traditional urban corners are an example for integrating both mobility and architecture. They are an urban element where the balance between dynamism and permanence takes place. In contemporary metropolitan areas, new corners emerge close to intermodal transport nodes. At present, recycling these new metropolitan corners, in terms of the urban project, is an opportunity to reconsider the relation between mobility and territory, embodying their energy and favouring social inclusion. What are the criteria for turning a transport node into an urban place? Is there urbanity in the space of contemporary mobility? Transport logic. Transport networks are usually designed to ensure safety for users, drivers and commuters using public transportation, as well as to ensure efficient mobility, in terms of saving time and energy. Thereby these transport networks have their own logic of design mainly related to economic and technical parameters.1 According to Euclidean geometry, a straight line would be the shortest path between two points, but in terms of energetic efficiency it depends on the lie of the land. The territories crossed by infrastructural networks are not a neutral factor (image on the left) when designing a network.2 The territory crossed by the same, as a physical reality, offers passive resistance to mobility. Depending on the strength of this resistance, an area of friction emerges alongside the infrastructural elements, tracks and nodes: the space of mobility. RECYCL IN G TERR I TORIE S - 269
Land use transport feedback cycle of Sprintstad. Source: Nefs 2010
Mobility versus urban planning. The objective of this area of friction is managing the relationship between the transport dynamics and the territorial synergies. The influence between mobility and land use is reciprocal. According to the feedback cycle3 (image on top) increasing the density of the land use close to the transport nodes has an impact on transport demand. On the other hand a higher intensity in transport, public or private, would promote urban pressure on transport hubs. Intensity increases accessibility and density increases socio-economic activity. Both are communicating vessels in order to manage the relationship between mobility and urban planning. The efficiency of the territory will depend on the balance between its liquid and stable condition. Extreme transport node. What happens when the logic of transport dominates the territory? Nowadays, metropolitan areas are full of networks for transporting people, goods and energy through urban areas and peri-urban landscapes. The configuration of the transport networks, both road and railway, depends on the speed and the mode of transportation, in terms of transport design, and land occupation or centrality, in terms of urban planning. When the infrastructural route prevails over the territory the solutions would be able to become extreme and irreversible on the urban scale. Beyond solving conflicts of fluid dynamics one needs to consider the qualities of the resulting urban space. It should be balanced in its condition of transport node and urban place. 2 70
Node – Place model. Source: Bertolini 1999
Node – place model. (image on top) A node, in terms of mobility, can be defined as a physical area where transport networks are connected. It is the area of maximum interaction between transport networks and territory. But, what is an urban place? What is the correspondence between the transport node condition and urban place condition in a certain area? According to the node-place model (Curtis Renne and Bertolini 2009), in a Cartesian coordinate system the accessibility of the node is located in ordinate and intensity and diversity of activity are located in abscissa. The goal of this x-y diagram is determine the functionality of a node location showing its human interaction. It is related to quantitative criteria of the population who might use the node or the activities which might take place there. Extreme situations can lead to a breakdown of the transport node – urban place. The balance between both runs along the mid diagonal line. Urbs + civitas + mobilis. But what are the tangible and intangible values that enable transport nodes to be turned into urban places? Where does the urbanity of transport nodes lie? Two words were used in Latin in order to designate the concept of city: urbs and civitas. Urbs was related to its physical scale: buildings, streets, public spaces, etc. And Civitas was related to the political and social aspects of the city, meaning summarily “all free citizens”. Urbanity4 is made up of built places that are lived in. Yet a previous concept needs to be taken into account: mobilis. Without accessibility and connectivity, the condition of node, urbanity cannot take place. So the concept of urban place depends on the interaction between built, lived and connected scales. Embodied urbanity. Public urban spaces are physical, embodied with social interaction, democratic places where social inclusion occurs. They are democratic and built scenarios that accommodate human activity apart from density parameters. RECYCL IN G TERR I TORIE S - 271
The transport networks embody mobility in the territory: both urban and rural. Urban spatial structure is also made up of streets, boulevards, avenues, etc. in one word: connectors. Finally one has activity, not necessarily based on economic criteria, embodied social dynamics or interaction. To sum up, instead of restricted, monofunctional and disconnected urban spaces, urbanity takes place in freely accessible public spaces that feature a diversity of human activity and variety of connections. Urbanity tools. By isolating and listing civitas, urbs and mobilis, one is speaking of social interaction, physical aspects and transport flows; we can conclude that they are necessary but they are not enough in order to create urbanity: sense of place. Then, what are the qualities that a transport node should contain as an urban place? Democracy, the node is an open place for integrating diversity of users whatever their origin, sex, or religion. It is a framework for social inclusion instead of social segregation. Multifunctionality, the node is a place for developing a variety of activities. It is a place where mixticity is considered instead of functional segregation, as promoted by the Modern Movement. It is not a place exclusively for living or shopping, it involves several activities which share a space. Multiscalarity, the space of mobility participates in both scales: that of the territory and the human being. Large scale versus domesticity. Domesticity is a strategy for social inclusion. It includes the individual perspective in a collective space in order to integrate different sensations. Permeability, the space of mobility is a built reality. It is not a chance intersection in the middle of nowhere. Permeability in architecture should be controlled on the ground level in order to improve interaction between the inside and outside, economic activity and human flow. Integration, instead of segregated mobility where each mode of transport requires a special truck promoted by the Modern Movement depending on the speed it travels at . Space of mobility integrates several types of locomotion but especially civic movement: bicycle lanes and pedestrian routes, in order to make it liveable. Connectivity, the space of mobility is a place for a variety of connections instead of isolation. The more different connections it has, the more potential interaction is created.5 Identity, the space of mobility is a place for common identity. It is necessary a physical element or a usual event in order to create a sense of community in the said places. No-place. Contemporary mobility makes the human being lose his perception of the territory (Sennet 2002). Specialized transport networks disconnect man from the 2 72
environment. The landscape from the carriageway or the railway appears cold and documentary-like. Drivers and public transport commuters become passive members of the audience instead of active members who belong to this physical reality. There is no collective identity without contact or interaction. The space of mobility is also known as the no-place par excellence. It is a space where human contact does not take place. The interaction is limited to an individual experience. Creating collective identity in the transport nodes does not mean necessarily hiding infrastructural networks but integrating them. Cab mobility be integrated with sense of place? This is not a contemporary problem. This conflict was resolved in previous historical periods like with Eugène Hénard’s roundabout (Hénard 1984). This infrastructural element combines transit design, social activity, physical identity, public space in an urban place. Places where mobility and social activity are contained, particularly in urban corners (Solà-Morales 2004). Urban corners have this double condition: they are transport intersections as well as places for human encounter. Another example is the xamfrà (urban corner) designed by Ildefons Cerdà in the Plan of extension of Barcelona.6 The xamfrà in the Eixample is the result of embodying technical movement in architectural shape, according to social, cultural and economic activity in the urban intersection. Rotterdam centraal The Rotterdam Centraal railway station was included in the Nieuwe Sleutelprojecten, second generation of the Dutch national key projects (1998), in addition to Arnhem Centraal, Den Haag Nieuw Centraal, Breda Stationskwartier, Utrecht Centraal and Amsterdam Zuidas. The aim of this program was to improve the competitiveness of the Randstad-Holland in the new European economical and political framework. To sum up, it looks for strengthening Dutch urban centres by updating the surroundings of the public transport nodes. The new railway station will become a transport node at national and international scale. 320,000 commuters per day will pass through Rotterdam Centraal in 2025, according to the most optimistic estimates. It is going to be an efficient transport hub which will integrate: a bus station, a tram station, a metro station, a parking for cars and another subterranean bicycle storage facility for 5,200 bicycles. One of the aims of the project is to restore the urban network (connectivity) between Provenierswijk – Blijdorp (northern neighbourhoods) and the Lijnbaan as the commercial and cultural district in downtown. We focus our attention in two urban design strategies: considering design at human scale and interaction between man and architecture.
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Rotterdam Centraal Source: Tomei 2005
Delftse Plein. Team CS: a collaboration of Benthem Crouwel Architekten, Meyer en Van Schooten Architecten, and West 8 urban design & landscape architecture b.v. (2004)
Domesticity & Interaction First of all, the human scale (domesticity) is focused on the design of the ground and the first floors, the most accessible levels. Both levels are designed according to the interaction between man, public space and buildings. Secondly, the territorial scale involves a different type of elements: towers or skyscrapers. In a landscape without natural relief, there is a perceptual dialogue between these artificial landmarks and the territory. Secondly, the permeability in the ground and first floor makes it possible to build interactive faĂ§ades. The key is the control of the different degrees of permeability depending on the public space that is located in front of the building. Conclusion The space of mobility is the physical, accessible, and perceptual area that relates the infrastructural network to the territorial matrix. Urban rules establish restrictions on planning, according to security criteria (traffic conditions), comfort (noise, atmospheric and perceptive pollution) and future expansion projects. These limits show the hard connections between the logic of design of transport networks and the region. The transportation network consists of elements of continuity and discontinuity: Nodes, stretches and links. The role of each one depends on centrality, accessibility and connectivity with the surrounding environment. Constellations of nodes establish centrality and cohesion with metropolitan areas. Metropolitan corners as areas of opportunity and interaction and are located on the crossroads of the regional network (SolĂ -Morales 2004). What nodes should be strengthened? What are the criteria? We generally use quantitative indicators such as frequency 2 74
of the service, density of traffic, population who uses the node, density of activity, number of connections, municipalities in the corridor, etc. “Urbanity is the interaction of structured elements”. (van Eesteren). Urbanity does not depend therefore on quantitative parameters such as density of activity, density of users, etc. There are also qualitative parameters like mixticity, heterogeneity, etc. To sum up: nodal urbanity depends on the interaction of multiple users, constituting different activities on different scales and in a built place with various options of access. Notes * Joan Moreno Sanz, UPC Barcelona, email@example.com 1. According to Professor Estanislau Roca Blanch from the Department of Urbanism and Regional Planning (UPC-BarcelonaTech) the basic technical parameters of design are: service, project speed, maximum slope, minimum radius, maximum bank, minimum visibility, and finally concave and convex K. See: E. Roca, D. Mòdol & M. Franco, 2004. 2. The Afsluitdijk, enclosure dam (Fig. 1), connects the provinces of Noord Holland and Friesland over a length of 32 kilometres in the Netherlands. It was built in 1933 and it separates the Zuiderzee (salt water inlet of the North Sea) and the Ljsselmeer (fresh water lake). Even in apparently neutral territories as the water landscapes, infrastructural design depends on the unobvious territory. It is based on geology and flows in the ocean. 3. Sprintstad Project is a simulation of the urban development in train station areas in the province of ZuidHolland, related to mobility. The project is developed by Delta Metropolis Association and the TU Delft in collaboration with NG-Infra. See: http://www.deltametropool.nl/nl/index 4. Manuel de Solà-Morales (2004) theorized about urbanity as mixticity of activity and diversity of users. 5. According to the theory of Nikos Salingaros (2005), the quantity and types of connections should be extremely high. He distinguishes architectural connections from human connections. Architecture is related to urban shape and physical elements, on the other hand human connections are complex and cannot be simplified. When the connections are similar then it exist a competence between them. The limit of connectivity is to reduce the number of connections to usefulness. 7. Ildefons Cerdà (1967) wrote: “Publicity is the soul of the companies. Every wants to be placed in crossroads, where the storekeepers, they overload their sideboards in order to attract attention to passers”.
- Auge, M., 1992, Non-Lieux. Introduction à une anthropologie de la surmodernité, Paris, Le Seuil. - Bertolini, L., 1999, Spatial development patterns and public transport: application of an analytical model in the Netherlands, in “Planning Practice and Research”, n- 14 (2). - Cerdà, I., 1867, Teoría General de la urbanización: y aplicación de sus principios y doctrinas de a la reforma y ensanche de Barcelona, Madrid, Imprenta Española. - Curtis, C., Renne, J. L. & Bertolini, L., 2009, Transit Oriented Development: Making It Happen, Surrey, Ashgate. - Dupuy, G., 2008, Urban networks - Network urbanism, Amsterdam, Techne Press. - Folch, R., ed., 2003, El territorio como sistema; Conceptos y herramientas de ordenación, Barcelona, Diputació de Barcelona. - Font, A., ed., 2004, L’explosió de la ciutat: morfologies, mirades i mocions sobre les transformacions territorials recents en les regions urbanes de l’Europa Meridional, Barcelona, COAC Publicacions. - Hénard, E., 1982, Etudes sur les transformations de Paris et autres écrits sur l’urbanisme, Paris, L’Equerre. - Jacobs, J., 1961, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, New York, Random house. - Nefs, M. et al., 2010, Gaming the Interrelation between Rail Infrastructure and Station Area Development: Part1 – Modeling the Serious Game ‘SprintCity’. Proceedings of the Next Generation Infrastructures, Conference, Shenzen, China. - Roca, E., Mòdol, D. & Franco, M., 2004, El projecte de l’espai viari, Barcelona, Edicions UPC. - Salingaros, N., 2005, Principles of urban structure, Amsterdam, Techne. - Sennett, R., 2002, Flesh and Stone: the body and the city in western civilization, London, Penguin books. - Solà-Morales, M., 2004, Ciutats, cantonades / Villes, carrefours, Barcelona, Ed. Lunwerg. - Solà-Morales, M., 2008, A matter of things, Rotterdam, NAi Publishers. - Tomei, K., 2005, Over Holland, Schiedam, Scriptum Publishers. RECYCL IN G TERR I TORIE S - 275
Distribution Of 100% Renewable Municipalities In Italy 100% renewable municipalities 100% electrical municipalities 100% thermal municipalities Municipalities that satisfy 99 to 50% of energy needs thanks to renewable resources Municipalities that satisfy 99 to 50% of thermal needs thanks to renewable resources Renewable municipalities 2012 LEGAMBIENTE report Source: Legambiente 2012a 2 76
N EW ENERGY SCENA R I O S FO R I TALY Edoardo Zanchini*
In order to understand the new outlook for renewable energy, it is necessary to take a close look at the regions concerned. The numbers are striking: more than 400 thousand power stations have been installed – ranging from small to large and generating energy from a variety of sources – distributed across more than 95% of Italian municipalities (Legambiente 2012a). But while the speed of these developments has in recent months been at the center of attention, in part due to their economic impact, ongoing structural changes and potential but as yet unrealized prospects for city and land have received less attention. The current process is in fact profoundly different from that set in motion by the “old” renewable energies – the large hydroelectric dams and geothermal plants – , which accompanied Italy’s initial industrialization, and which to this day represent an essential contribution to our energy system. What is emerging in increasingly clearly defined terms is a new energy model that profoundly differs from that constructed during the twentieth century with fossil fuels, large power plants and oligopolies. It’s as if Herman Scheer’s dream of making solar power the linchpin of an energy and economic system that is innovative and democratic, bringing more and more autonomy to local areas, were demonstrating its feasibility through so many local Italian and European stories. It is significant that this process has involved all renewable energy resources – from photovoltaics and solar thermal to hydroelectric and high- and low-enthalpy geothermal, as well as biomass and biogas plants integrated with central heating grids and heat pumps – although with a distribution that reflects the resources available in each place. But what brings home the structural change here is the growing contribution of these solutions in terms of output. In 2011, the output of clean energy in Italy exceeded 26% of electricity consumption and 14% of total consumption, but with increasingly impressive output peaks during certain times of year and hours of the day,1 demonstrating how these installations have recently RECYCL IN G TERR I TORIE S - 277
become increasingly reliable and competitive. Another change worthy of careful assessment concerns energy consumption, which has shifted from industry to the residential and service sectors, which is to say buildings, in such a way creating new opportunities for envisioning the most suitable response to the various demands of homes, offices and businesses, through design that aims to satisfy these (reduced) needs for electricity, heating and cooling with this more sensitive collection of efficient and renewable energy power stations. A fascinating new development in these processes lies in the possibility of defining different development programs for power stations through planning that places value in local, environmental and climatic resources in order to serve energy demands. The silent revolution that has taken place in recent years can now take a different direction, representing a real prospect for changing the energy system in the country and city. Something of this can already be read in what has been happening everywhere from the Alps to Sicily, with power stations of varying size and energy source, from the interior to the large urban centers, precisely because the available resources in each local context differ. There are two lenses through which to look at the future energy outlook. The first is that of energy autonomy, which is to say rethinking buildings, neighborhoods and regions in such a way as to meet consumption needs (reduced through energy efficiency interventions) through renewable sources of heat and electricity. The second lens is that of a new energy grid model, because in this scenario it would be necessary to completely reconsider infrastructures and take action to enhance, integrate and manage them in a manner completely different from that of the past. This is the discussion currently underway in Germany, where huge investments are being made in order to guarantee the exchange of electric energy with the grid and to reroute large outputs during daytime and nighttime, when consumption habits and the contribution of the various solar, hydroelectric, wind and biomass sources vary dramatically. Finding a balance is an extremely delicate matter, considering the production cycles of wind and solar energy in the different parts of the country (and for this reason weather forecasts have become fundamental). Supergrids will soon be needed in order to reroute the electric output of the large wind farms in the North and Baltic Seas or the solar power stations of North Africa. Smart grids will have to be used in order to manage the exchange of electricity and heat with dispersed consumption and production. Cities will have to be re-designed with modern electricity and heating distribution grids, making for a more efficient management system that fosters distributed generation, exchanging power with the grid and battery power storage for home utilities and businesses. 2 78
The true novelty in this new scenario lies precisely in the possibility of imagining the most suitable response to the diverse demands of homes, offices, businesses and factories through the right combination of renewable power stations and efficiency projects, in such a way bringing closer together the demand for energy and its most efficient mode of production, as is already happening today in cases that deserve careful study. There are 20 municipalities in Italy that are 100% renewable, and so which manage to completely cover the heating needs of resident families, through the output of solar thermal and biomass stations (connected to a central heating grid), and also with various renewable electricity generating stations.2 An example is the municipality of Sluderno, in the province of Bolzano, with many different installations throughout its territory: 960 meters of solar thermal panels and 512 kW of photovoltaics on the rooftops of homes and businesses, 4 micro hydro installations generating a total of 232 kW, a 1.2 MW wind generation station managed as a consortium together with the community’s four neighboring municipalities. Homes are heated by co-generation biogas plants and local biomass plants, which have a combined power output of 6,200 thermal kW, connected to a central heating grid. These examples are illustrative of the fact that we have reached a tipping point, in which some of the concepts of research and debate of recent years – distributed generation, uniting energy demand with more efficient generation, smart grids – find concrete, testable cases. While the idea that there is no one solution to the global energy and climate crisis – in the sense of a one-resource (renewable or otherwise) or one-technology solution – is now widely accepted, the feasibility of an outlook for planning the most effective response through diverse and integrated solutions involving renewable resources and energy efficiency (solar thermal power stations, photovoltaics, biomasss plants integrated with heat pumps, micro co-generation stations, condensing boilers, central heating grids etc.). Would it be possible to rely on the construction industry in this pursuit, making it, along with clean energies, the linchpin of a new sustainable energy revolution? In time of profound redefinition of the construction sector, due to the economic crisis, it has become essential that we accelerate this new orientation. The available data show the growing importance of consumption by residential buildings in Italy, which are now responsible for 53% of electricity consumption and 35% of total energy consumption. Detailed analysis on the state of buildings, on the other hand, is scarce, but spreading awareness and technical knowledge among the various operators of the sector (designers, builders, managers, tenants) is all the more important in light of the fact RECYCL IN G TERR I TORIE S - 279
Diffusion Of Solar Photovoltaic In Italian Municipalities Source: Legambiente 2012a
that Directive 31/2010 sets a timeline for radical change: as of January 1st, 2021, all new properties, public and private, must be â€œenergy neutral,â€? which is to say that they must either make heating and cooling systems unnecessary through adequate building envelope performance or power those systems using renewable energy. An important contribution to our understanding of the state of Italian construction was provided by a recent Legambiente report (2012b). A team of experts took a sort of thermographic tour that enabled them to collect up-to-date radiographic information on Italyâ€™s buildings. Thermal imaging of 200 buildings in 21 cities enables seeing through the buildings in order to understand how they are constructed and reveal 2 80
insulation defects. These studies have proven indispensable for determining the best way to intervene in structures, consumption and HVAC systems, and which planning concepts should be used in doing so. The images are able to show the differences in temperature of the surfaces of buildings, and thus the insulation defects, heat channels and failures of design and those of construction that lead to plaster falling off walls and the infiltration of water and humidity. The consequence, unfortunately all too familiar to those who inhabit these buildings, is that it is hotter than necessary in summer and colder in winter, and therefore, in addition to discomfort, also a greater expense for finding relief from that discomfort through air conditioning. These studies further confirm the urgent need for research that seeks plans of action for improving the energy, environmental and stability characteristics of Italyâ€™s buildings. At this point in time, there are no longer economic or technical reasons to preclude or postpone the objective of construction with (near) zero energy consumption or generation from efficient and renewable energies. But to reach that goal, the centrality of architectural design must be reinstated, so as to avoid a predominantly HVAC-based response in favor of seeking out and experimenting with those solutions most capable of combining performance and quality of life in diverse urban and climatic environments. In this trajectory, it is precisely energy which is in a position to become the linchpin of change and create the conditions, including economic ones, for widespread reclamation of urban spaces and structures. Careful attention will have to be paid to the different forms of urbanization in the Italian territory, as well as its demands and motivations, in order to imagine its progressive transformation and adaptation to climate change. Notes
* Edoardo Zanchini, Legambiente, firstname.lastname@example.org 1. See TERNA data on production referred to April 9th 2012, Easter Monday, when between 1 and 2 pm 64% of electricity produced in Italy was from renewable resources. In the same moment in Sicily renewable resources supplied 94% of electricity requirements (In Sicily the daily average, including evening and nightime, is 60%). 2. While a theoretical parameter is used for the electrical part â€“ in most cases the systems put energy into the grid which the users take from the grid â€“ it is at any rate significant because it shows how one can satisfy the need of families via renewable resources installed on roofs across the territory, thus bringing energy demand and production closer together.
- Legambiente, 2012a, Comuni Rinnovabili 2012. Accessed on 22/10/2012 at http://www.legambiente.it/ contenuti/dossier/rapporto-comuni-rinnovabili-2012 - Legambiente, 2012b, Tutti In classe A. Accessed on 22/10/2012 at http://risorse.legambiente.it/docs/tutti_ inclasse_A_2.0000002287.pdf
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REC YC L I N G A ND URBANISM : A N EW AP P RO AC H ?
REHEARSING THE FU TU R E Marcelo Sanchez*
Crisis The current crisis afflicting Europe, mainly perceived as economic, is far from over and in all likelihood will not subside in the near future. Beyond a sectorial scope, the correction of failed deregulation cycles and financial excesses based on speculation, underlies the urgency to deal effectively with the immediate longterm global consequences of current models of industrialisation and urbanisation. Specifically the exploitation of resources (food, energy, materials) and alteration of lifecycles (climate, biodiversity and water) of the biosphere. The length, complexity, and ultimately the recovery from this crisis will be different depending by whom and by what means it is identified and characterised Modern capitalist economy functions through the production of waste where programmed obsolescence guarantees continuous consumption. The expenditure of resources is essential to the process of economic growth, profit and development. The built-in obsolescence of a consumer product stimulates this production and consumption cycle. Based on the concept of linear metabolism (resource, extraction, production, accumulation, consumption and waste), inputs unrelated to outputs are magnifying negative impacts and degradation of ecosystems. It can even be argued that ‘waste constitutes the suppressed other of capitalism’ (Angélil and Siress 2010) though subsidised by externalised social, environmental and energy costs. In the same way, this logic is applied to the built environment where during the last century ‘growth has become an expectation’ (Oswalt 2005). Buildings, landscapes and cities are left abandoned or demolished due to an incompatibility between form and activity. This tension imposes considerable detriments on the territory. We are talking about an urbanism that is difficult to define but easy to characterise: residual land uses, inefficient typologies, disused infrastructure, and disconnected communities. REC YC L ING A ND URBAN IS M: A N EW AP P ROACH? - 285
A reform from within The crisis is imperatively calling for a renewal of spatial planning systems and practices to cope effectively with the consequences of both global and local change (social, economic, cultural and political),and confront the extreme complexity of urban and regional systems. As an alternative, Viganò (2011) has emphasized the relevance of a broader understanding of the concept of ‘recycling’ as a renewed approach to operate within these challenging conditions: an ample understanding of the process of territorial transformation observed as expressions of rhythms and lifecycles. As ‘recycling indicates the opportunity of working with what already exists’ (Giannotti 2012), the ingredients for urban change would be already inscribed in the city itself. To reconfigure the socio-ecological system that constitute urbanisation, cities could find transformative possibilities embedded in the same processes that constitutes them: space, time, place and nature (Sassen 2009). However, recycling existing urban areas requires a clear understanding of the tradeoffs embedded within a design intervention, especially if our goal is to produce sustainable living environments. Interventions on existing urban areas often involve disruptive paths to deal with the demands related to future growth and change. This continuous cycle of change has exceeded the current spatial planning systems and practices revealing their limited capacity to overcome the future uncertainty. Authors like Ratcliffe (2002) identified the major shortcomings of the current planning approach towards the future, which is often described as a ‘predict and provide’ model. First, traditional planning techniques were developed in a linear and incremental world; these do not have the flexibility needed to address multi-faceted and rapidly paced change. Second, projections as the main methods for supporting urban decision-making are criticized for: (a) under-representation of uncertainty, that affects robustness of plans based on them; (b) being ‘unvaried’ and not giving much attention to the complex interactions within and between urban dimensions; (c) focusing on measurable variables, such as economic, demographic and environmental, and underplaying the less tangible ones, like the social, cultural and political side; and (d) rejecting the imagination by attempting to concentrate on what will be, rather than what could be (Cole 2001). Futures methodologies can provide a fresh, systematic, imaginative and innovative approach that would assist urban planners, decision-makers and communities in exploring possibilities and envisioning and creating their desired future. The methods used in territorial foresight are not “new” in the strict sense, as they have been under development and in practice for several decades, nor are they replacing the more conventional forms of forecasting and 2 86
planning. Nevertheless, their use is gradually spreading and they are increasingly becoming a decisive part of some planning exercises. This trend is due to the fact that todayâ€™s rapid social and technological changes are exerting pressure on the rational planning systems, whose precision and usefulness require long periods of relative stability. Foresight methods, on the other hand, work more in real time and are more agile in capturing the ongoing transformations of a given environment. Amongst the foresight tools that may match the former attributes, scenario design seems to be an attractive, effective approach for formulating urban visions and strategies. Scenarios: disturbing the present For most foresight practitioners, scenario development is the archetypal product of future studies because it is deeply creative and can handle uncertainty. Consequently, the validity of scenario design, a technique used widely for almost 50 years, has been documented by several authors (Godet 2001; Heijden 1996; Schwartz 1991). The conceptual history is complex and has been influenced by a number of companies, institutes and schools: RAND Corporation, Stanford Research Institute, Shell, SEMA Metra Consulting Group and many others (Godet 1987; Ringland 1998; Heijden 1996). Scenarios, as a prime technique for future studies, have long been used by planners, managers, and analysts as powerful tools to help decision making processes in the face of uncertainty (Mietzner and Reger 2005). Scenario building is a process to critically interpret the existing reality and envision multiple, plausible and uncertain futures (Heijden et al. 2002) to rehearse future decision making to reflect on possible action. In this way, scenarios prepare planners and designers to be better equipped to recognize these forces, make decisions today, and adapt to changes tomorrow (Wilkinson 1995). â€˜Scenarios help us to think about how places/institutions will operate under a variety of future possibilities and they enable decision-makers/ civil society to detect and explore all or as many as possible alternative futures in order to clarify present actions and subsequent consequencesâ€™ (Albrechts 2005). The set of scenarios includes structurally different, but plausible ways that futures may unfold (Avin and Dembner 2001; Heijden 1996; Myers and Kitsuse 1999; Godet 1987). Individually, a single scenario may reflect one possible future; combined, the scenarios demonstrate the multiplicity, complexity, and unpredictability of forces shaping the future. Furthermore, scenario building embraces a systems-thinking and a strategic-planning philosophy helping to identify forces beyond our control, and helping us plan for a range of potential futures acknowledging those forces (Dalton 2001). Moreover, Salewski (2010) outlined the narrative character as an added value to the REC YC L ING A ND URBAN IS M: A N EW AP P ROACH? - 287
scenario building. Narratives imply cause-effect relationships as part of the logical description of a possible future. These are important tools to explore and communicate the stories and ambitions of how the future might unfold. These stories and images become the context of planning, a testing ground of ideas with an incentive to enhance the decision making process. According to Ratcliffe (2002), from the vast experience of scenario building made by academics and practitioners some significant characteristics can be outlined. Firstly, scenarios can present alternative images in contrast to the expected extrapolation of trends from the present, a constant approach in many engineering fields. Secondly, the process of scenario building embrace qualitative perspectives along the application of quantitative data. Thirdly, based on the previous two characteristics, scenarios can facilitate the recognition of discontinuities in order to be considered and evaluated. Fourthly, during the scenario building process the decision makers are hence required to evaluate their basic assumptions. Lastly, scenarios enhance the learning process through a common vocabulary and common concepts that facilitate communication of conditions and options in a complex environment. In short, scenario building facilitates the production of robust strategic choices. Finally, Salewski (2010) suggests six major functions of scenarios: (1) scenarios as planning devices, (2) scenarios as option generation devices, (3) scenarios as predictive devices, (4) scenarios as analytical devices, (5) scenarios as communicative devices, and (6) scenarios as romantic (narrative) devices. Whatever the potential major function of a scenario will be, it is clear that foresight is complementary to the planning and design processes: providing new elements and values, empowering local agents and providing legitimacy and efficiency to territorial strategies. Future thinking is about being able to connect to desirable future possibilities while serving that possibility in the now: a platform to a more anti- fatalistic, creative, pre-active, proactive, enabling, flexible and open planning and governance culture that provides focus, sets new targets and generates its own challenges (Albrechts, 2005). Recycling the Veneto The work presented in this publication is the result of multiple scenario construction exercises developed in the framework of the â€œRecycling Cityâ€? Intensive Programme by an international and multi-disciplinary team of students and mentors. These scenarios address a field of research between the technologies of sustainability, the economics of globalisation, social transformation, and morphologies of territory in the Veneto Region. To imagine alternative futures became a learning process to recognise the specific conditions of power, diversity and inequality of three contrasting cases. The proposed strategies explore the relation between 2 88
environmental awareness, proactive citizen engagement, accessibility and inclusion, social and cultural relationships and the use of space, and the achievement of energy autarky. On one hand, the most valuable insights provided by the Intensive Programme, was the identification of the importance for a paradigm shift premised on circular urban metabolisms. A reorientation that undoubtedly requires changes in prevalent political and economic mechanisms to include the longterm costs of urban development and to halt the displacement of the negative effects to the public domain. On the other hand, the attention given to issues regarding a planning culture characterized by its flexibility and capacity to change (rethink-recycle-restart) lies at the foundation of the human concern for an enlargement of the freedoms and choices that can be made available in the future. A reframed mindset willing to explore new concepts and ideas of structurally different alternative futures can make worthy contributions to the expansion of these choices. Notes
* Marcelo Sanchez, TU Delft, email@example.com
- Albrechts, L., 2005, Creativity as a Drive for Change, in “Planning Theory”, n. 4 (3), pp.247–269. - Angélil, M. & Siress, C., 2010, Re: Going Around in Circles, in I. Ruby & A. Ruby, eds., Re-inventing Construction, Berlin, Ruby Press, pp. 248–264. - Avin, U. & Dembner, J.L., 2001, Getting Scenario-Building Right, in “Planning”, n. 67(11), pp.22–27. - Berkhout, F. & Hertin, J., 2002, Foresight futures scenarios: developing and applying a participative strategic planning tool, in “Greener Management International”, n. 37, pp.37–52. - Fawcett, W., 2011, Investing in flexibility: the lifecycle options synthesis, “Projections - MIT Student Journal of Planning”, n. 10, pp.13–29. - Giannotti, E., 2012, Recycling. A renewed attention to context, in E. Giannotti & P. Viganò, eds., Our Common Risk, Milano, Et Al. Edizioni, pp. 120–125. - Godet, M., 1987, Scenarios and Strategic Management, London, Butterworth. - Heijden, K. van der, 1996, Scenarios: The Art of Strategic Conversation, Chichester, Wiley. - Heijden, K., van der, Bradfield, R., Burt, G., Cairns, G. & Wright, G., 2002, The Sixth Sense: Accelerating Organisational Learning with Scenarios, Chichester, Wiley. - Mietzner, D. & Reger, G., 2005, Advantages and disadvantages of scenario approaches for strategic foresight, in “International Journal of Technology Intelligence and Planning”, n. 1(2), pp.220–239. - Oswalt, P. ,2005, Introduction, in P. Oswalt & E. Beyer, eds., Shrinking Cities, Volume 1: International Research, Ostfildern, Hatje Cantz Verlag, pp. 12–17. - Ratcliffe J., 2002, Imagineering Cities: creating future ‘Prospectives’ for present planning. Conference paper presented at Turkish Real Estate Seminar III, 2 - 4 May 2002, Istanbul. - Ringland, G., 1998, Scenario Planning: Managing for the Future, Chichester, Wiley. - Salewski, C., 2010, Dutch New Worlds, Zurich, ETH Zurich. - Sassen, S., 2009, Cities are at the center of our environmental future, in “S.A.P.I.EN.S”, n. 2(3). - Schwartz, P.,1991, The Art of the Long View, New York, Doubleday Currency. - Viganò, P., 2011, Recycling Cities, in P. Ciorra & S. Marini, eds., Re-cycle: Strategies for the Home,the City and the Planet, Milano, Electa, pp. 102–119.
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Fusina (photo by Yan Guo)
REC YCL ING PL ANNIN G Two different positions Paola Pellegrini*
Two distinct positions on what type of project is effective for recycling the city and promoting urbanisms of inclusion emerged from the works of the Intensive Programme and from previous encounters between the partners of the Atlantis Programme,1 that is to say – simplifying – the VenetianEuropean and the US position.2 In synthesis the former position expresses faith in the usefulness of traditional urbanism and its tools, the latter indicates the need to replace if not to abandon this set of tools. For “traditional” in this case we mean the discipline that deals with giving form to space and that expresses itself through drawings (plans, sections, perspectives), defines an architectural program and uses, and puts the project within a codified system of territorial planning tools and steps. The split between the two positions – which this essay emphasises in order to highlight the contrast, while the majority of the Atlantis exponents have hazier and more cautious positions – is certainly not new, one could say it re-appears cyclically during the course of the history of the capitalist city and above all in moments of crisis; the same way that urban activism seems to recur in cycles. According to the first position the designer – planner or architect - studies the urban context, the issues it raises in terms of the possibility of recycling and of spatial justice and imagines solutions and devices to be included in planning tools that have a juridical value (such as the city plan or a different form of spatial planning). It is generally a top-down process: designers provide the community with their technical skills and define strategies, illustrate the possible future and the type of architectural program that could respond to the demands of the population and work via the precise design of things: park, offices, distribution of social housing, public transport, public facilities REC YC L ING A ND URBAN IS M: A N EW AP P ROACH? - 291
and services. The project – or the proposals among which the community can choose - can include a re-conceptualization of the issues raised, the creation of new devices and a complete re-organization of space. The goal, above all in the case of projects in favour of communities subject to social and spatial marginalisation and environmental decay, is to show the type of space the users can aspire to and the project possibilities that the users might be able to appropriate, for example to contrast processes of gentrification. In this sense the spatial project may change the relations between the individual and the urban space because not only it does involve space, but it is also a cultural project and a means for explaining how to re-qualify. This position often implies the idea that the role of the technicians can only be marginal in dealing with problems of inclusion and of spatial justice. When faced with situations of social distress and segregation the architects’ and planners’ knowledge and knowhow may well appear marginal, because the issues are so essential and urgent (to produce food, seek housing, establish relations with the neighbourhood…) they regard spheres that are different from the disciplinary one, and the knowhow possessed by the inhabitants to tackle the same is already sufficient. This position often includes processes of population participation in defining the project, provided the latter do not express themselves in a radical way; indeed it is considered that the results that the generally disordered actions of urban activism produce are not fully understandable, this too in the light of the experience of the participation, protest and demands of the seventies, generally judged as illusory and a failure.3 The idea is that re-proposal today of past experiences would tend to be seen as forms of regression. The second position seeks effective modes for promoting processes of inclusion and for intervening in recycling the city. The initial assumption of this approach, that clarifies the search for new design tools, is in first place the fact that traditional planning design, that has its basis in the judicial motivation of the welfare state, has no future because governments are dismantling the welfare state; secondly, the idea that today in the contemporary city the object of action of the planning designer must be to deal with unequal distribution of power, everyday life, environmental decay, organisational practices… Working on the definition of the form of space is considered not effective and useful to tackle these problems. The city is understood as a product of social action, the expression of a system of relations of power and production as meant by Lefebvre and Harvey.4 Hence different tools to those of technical design and planning apparatuses 2 92
are required to produce laws and find funding, but also to act on the level of political representation of the local community. This position proposes to base itself on the experimental method of participatory action research and to make the inhabitants the actors of the transformations following a bottom-up process. Differently to the preceding position the planner goes along with, follows and supports. After having established close relations with the community, the project consists in operating generally on a small or very small scale, in defining urban tactics of requalification, sequences of events, temporary spatial devices to be used as public facilities, communication devices to increase the community awareness regarding a theme. The project with these objectives is multidisciplinary, that is what is produced it not mostly pertinent to spatial design, but involves participation protocols, graphic design and communication tools to facilitate relations with users. A consequence of the bottom-up approach is that the projects tend to follow the goings-on and the issues of the interlocutors and are not very ambitious and not very provocatory in imagining the future. The second position regarding what type of project is effective for recycling the city and promoting urbanisms of inclusion can on the one hand be brought back to the tradition of Urban Ecology (Light 2009), that is of the theory production by the Chicago School and the subsequent urban sociological studies with the common aim of “studying social group and their interaction inasmuch as influenced by that physical-psycho-social-cultural environment that is the urban agglomeration”;5 on the other hand it can be brought back to the ecologists of the urban systems (Pickett 2011), dealing with the biological heterogeneousness and the contribution of men-citizens to the ecosystem, the construction of “natural cities” to reduce the environmental impact of the urban regions. This position seems to reflect the planning culture of the USA that has recently, as Patassini (2007) explains, offered a variety of practices that combine formal mechanisms with informal ones, multilevel and multi-factorial processes with hybrid statutes; practices that facilitate participation and that generate social capital, but that do not have a legal value and have to hence find how to assert their importance and legitimacy in the society. This latter position decidedly investigates the role of the architect-urban planner, if it can be said to be included or not in the urban issues dealt with (and at what cost and at what level of involvement), if the competency of the architect-urban planner is pertinent and relevant at all to tackling the issues. So the project also establishes moments of urban activism to increase the REC YC L ING A ND URBAN IS M: A N EW AP P ROACH? - 293
incisiveness of the action and so that the planner becomes a full actor of the transformation.6 In this way though the result risks being hybrid: architects or activist-volunteers? Spatial experts or spatial workers (instead of social workers)? Technicians or political representatives?. This second position, in order to be effective, demands a long process of community involvement7 and commitment by the designer, but often the timelines and the programs of the institutions that promote the same – for example the university institutions and the sequence of courses, the duration of contracts – and those of the local community are different and the processes of empowerment and transformation may be hampered by discontinuities. The objective of the Atlantis program is the promotion and the comprehension between Europe and the US of the languages, urban culture, different institutions, but also the analyses and the confrontation of subjects considered important for the contemporary city, research methods and the different ways of how one constructs an urban project. The exchange in this sense has been very fertile. Both these positions intend reframing the issue of the new urban question, in the latter case getting rid of traditional tools considered obsolete, trying to be pragmatic and radical through the operations on a micro scale and fostering organizational practices in response to the needs expressed by the local community. In the first position it is to be done by changing the overriding project approach, that is cultivating utopia through a radical exploration of the future, imagining things that are not immediately possible and constructing illustrated stories to tackle contemporary uncertainty. Both positions agree on the fact, proposed to discussion by Bernardo Secchi, that history teaches us that after great crises cities are not the same as they were before (as examples Paris after the French revolution, the American suburbs after the ‘29 crash) that great crises tend to change cities. This change has to be planned. It is not merely a question, to attain the said end, of merely recycling the material parts of the city (pieces of city, objects, materials) along with its social and political dimensions, but of considering whether some parts – and which - of the knowledge-base of urbanism are worth recycling.
* Paola Pellegrini, IUAV University of Venice, firstname.lastname@example.org 1. The Atlantis Programme is a partnership of KU Leuven (Belgium) and Parsons The New School for Design (United States) as lead-partners and TU Eindhoven (The Netherlands), IUAV Venice (Italy), UC San Diego (Unites States) and Morgan State University in Baltimore (United States) as partners. The partnership should provide a comparative framework to exchange and enable effective new and innovative urban concepts, research methods, knowledge and action in academic, policy and community contexts. 2. The essay refers to the discussions of the “Urbanisms of inclusion” panel, of the Final Review of the “Sunset Park” studio, held May 2012 at the Parsons The New School of Design, NY, and the discussions on the definition and the contents of the projects during the IP Recycling City IP July 2012 at the IUAV University, Venice. 3. Bernardo Secchi is of the idea that, even if the experiences in the seventies were generally a failure, they helped provide a close-up view of the city and understand that strategies needed to be defined. 4. Here references to the neo-Marxist tradition, Respatialized Marxism, are evident. It is interesting the attention drawn to the social-economic disparities in the US context, where a discussion at national level on the relation between public and private and on the distribution of wealth is very difficult. 5. Giovanni Astengo (1966), listing “Urbanistica” quotes Denis Szabo (1933) on this count. 6. Urban activism has deep roots in New York and in New York it has also recently continued the tradition of urban guerrilla activity, guiding the protest action Occupy Wall Street. 7. Here the word community is used in the normal sense meaning people, group, without any shade of meaning of group-individual confrontation as often meant in Italian.
- Astengo, G., 1966, Urbanistica, in Enciclopedia Universale dell’Arte, vol. XIV, Venice, Sansoni. - Light, J. S., 2009, The Nature of Cities: Ecological Visions and the American Urban Professions, 1920-1960, Johns Hopkins University Press. - Patassini, D., 2007, Culture del planning, 2005 – 2006, in IUAV University, Venice 1991– 2006 academic inauguration, Venice, IUAV. - Pickett, S. T. A., et al., 2011, Urban ecological systems: Scientific foundations and a decade of progress, in “Journal of Environmental Management”, n. 92, p. 331 – 362.
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Fusina (photo by Yan Guo)
QU IE T AND DYNAMI C Guiding models for an ecological approach in urban planning and design Sybrand Tjallingii*
The July 2012 Intensive Programme in Venice confronted us with a number of planning and design issues in different parts of the mainland Veneto. In different ways these issues are all related to the confrontation between quiet and dynamic worlds. The Camposampiero site in the CittĂ Diffusa area is a mix of rural and urban qualities and is presently under the pressure of increasing traffic and transport due to the growing flow of business. This creates conflict with the quiet rural setting of gardens, trees, woodlands and small communities which is one of the main reasons why people live in the area. The Mestre station area will be subject to extensive conversion work to accommodate the highspeed rail connection. Against this background one has the lively activity in the squares, streets and parks of the immigrants and the local people. The Fusina area is a part of the harbour of Marghera where some big industrial activities have collapsed and others are looking for new perspectives. There is tension on the western fringe with the camp-site and an interesting greenway along the banks of the Brenta. In this essay I will focus on the confrontation between the dynamic and quiet worlds. What can we learn about this issue from similar confrontations in other urban landscapes? How do the issues affecting the Veneto relate to the guiding models of the Two-Network Strategy that has emerged as a more general planning strategy for the confrontation of quiet and dynamic worlds? The toolkit of guiding models embodies lessons learnt from spatial planning practice. New design studies will be able to add new experiences and these may improve the existing guiding models or add new ones to the toolkit. The Two-Network Strategy, two guiding models the layer model and the two-network strategy Experiences from planning projects of the past may be summarised in so-called guiding models, conceptual models that may guide the process of design. In the said process a plan takes shape and is adjusted to the details of the local REC YC L ING A ND URBAN IS M: A N EW AP P ROACH? - 297
landscape and the local users. The guiding model does not prescribe a form but entails suggesting a general underlying structure. The Two-Network Strategy takes the networks of water and traffic as carrying structures of territorial development. How does it relate to other conceptual tools? For example the layer model that distinguishes between a ground layer, the landscape ecological and cultural basis of the landscape that has developed by the interaction of nature and culture, the network layer, that structures the urban landscape through the technical infrastructure, and the occupation layer, that represents the existing land-use and buildings. For the sake of analysis this is a useful tool that helps us to understand the existing situation as a basis for planning and design. The layer model, however, is not an action model. It does not guide the structuring of activities, processes and driving forces. Here is a role for the slow-lane and fast-lane principle that leads to the action oriented two-network strategy. The social aspect of slow-lane and fast-lane is that people want to be close to services and shops, for convenience and excitement. But at other moments they also want to be away from busy urban life to experience quiet and green for recreation and inspiration. In the words of Christopher Alexander (1977) â€œâ€Śhow vital it is for a town to give people both intense activity and deep and satisfying quiet.â€? The economic aspect of the slow-fast dichotomy is on the one hand the increasing importance of heavy infrastructure for the industrial and commercial activities that have to survive in a competitive global economy. On the other hand, however, it becomes increasingly important for enterprises to follow the preference of their employees for the proximity of a green and quiet residential and recreational landscape. The ecological aspect of distinguishing
Regional Carriers model. 2 98
between fast-lane and slow-lane worlds is that differentiation and production require different environments. Biodiversity requires an abiotic maintenance of diversity using the ecological potential of the local situation. But the ecology of production requires adapting the local soils, vegetation, hydrology and climate to the production objectives. Industrial ecology can further explore the optimal conditions for recycling in combination with production. In urban planning, there are strong arguments to create a zoning of the fast and slow worlds, not the traditional mono-functional zoning but a multifunctional spatial organisation. There can be no fence between the two worlds of course. They need each other and should be planned as a polarity of magnetic fields that prevents conflicts and supports a synergy of activities. The guiding models are based on the experience that the water network can be a carrying structure for the slowlane world and the traffic network can play this role for the fast-lane world. This leads to the two-network strategy. two guiding models 1. The Regional carrier model aims at creating a robust framework of carrying structures with a flexible infill of regional development under conditions of complexity and uncertainty. Guiding principles: Working with nature: starting with the regional drainage network (sources, drains, river valleys, floodplains) as a basis; adapting the transport network to this basis. Synergy of activities: in the fast-lane world synergy between the transport network (black), industrial and commercial land use (purple) and bulk production agriculture (yellow); in the slow-lane world combining green spaces (green), multi-functional agriculture (orange), and the water network (blue); Residential use (red) is preferably in-between both worlds. 2. The Activities model is grouping activities in order to prevent conflicts and seek synergy. Guiding principles: Working with nature: creating conditions for effective use of industrial ecology (fast-lane) and regional landscape ecology (slow-lane). Synergy of activities: as described in the regional carrier model. In the process of design there will be local and situation bound opportunities. In the fast-lane world competition and market driven organisations will dominate. In the slow-lane world, non-profit public or private organisations will take the
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lead. The design of existing cities with a structure of built-up lobes and green wedges fits very well in this approach, but there may be many forms that can be adapted to the role of blue-green structures recommended here. Forms can be different, what matters is the carrying structure. Some guiding models for water and traffic flows As the networks of water and traffic are used here as carrying structures, it is good to look at these networks from the perspective of the flows that they are supposed to structure. Water guiding models upstream and downstream in catchment areas At the regional level, the important issue is the dependency of downstream from upstream activities, both in terms of water quantity and quality. In history, the upstream parts of the rivers have often provided the energy for the first industries. Many of them are still situated there, use more or less water and pollute it more or less. Today, also upstream agriculture with its use of fertilisers and pesticides creates downstream problems. 1. The Connection model aims at creating good conditions for downstream water quantity and quality by mutual adjustment of land use and water management. Guiding principles: Working with nature: making water flow from clean to polluted; use of natural pure water springs sources, wetland purification. Synergy of activities: the preferred sequence of activities is: D-drinking water production, N-nature, F-forestry, L-leisure, R-residential, A-agricultural, I-industrial. The model presented here is appropriate for an upland situation with hills and valleys. It is based on a series connection of activities through the water system. In lowland situations there may be more options for parallel connections leading polluted water to a parallel stream where it can be treated more effectively.
Connection model. 3 00
In case the land use cannot be changed the water should be purified the water before it is discharged to the river. Rainwater in urban landscapes At the level of the urban district, the issue is both the prevention of floods and shortages. This means balanced management of rainwater, surface water and groundwater. The traditional approach was to remove rainwater rapidly. In old cities, drainage is often combined with wastewater sewers. Heavy rainstorms cannot be coped with by the sewers and, as a result, sewer overflows pollute surface waters. This approach shifts the problems to ones neighbours downstream and leads to shortages in summer. The approach adopted here Is solving the problems within the system by keeping rainwater clean and keeping it longer. 2. The Circulation model prevents run-off problems and creates seasonal storage. Guiding principles: Working with nature: peak- and seasonal storage in surface water, wetland purification. Synergy of activities: water management combined with all the activities in green spaces of the urban green structure and the green edges of the city. This model is appropriate where groundwater tables are shallow and the clay or peat soils do not allow for infiltration. In these cases storage in groundwater is not possible and surface water can store the rainwater, both the peaks and the seasonal surplus. Existing urban areas have little space for the storage so the circulation model carries the water to parks or to the urban fringe where space and water-fluctuations create storage capacity. Wetland treatment is part of the storage pond. In residential areas this treatment will be enough to restore water quality. From the pond the water is pumped up to make another round. In this way the seasonal storage can feed the system in dry periods. In Mediterranean or arid climates evaporation may be high so storage in groundwater is preferred. But if this is not possible, also an additional source of supply can be added: the reuse of purified wastewater. In the model the black arrows indicate the drinking water-wastewater flow. The circle indicates a small technical or constructed wetland treatment facility. Traffic guiding models transport needs and the urban landscape The need for transportation is not easy to steer. Globalisation has increased transport flows all over the world. Regional planning cannot stop that process but can concentrate business areas and logistic centres to avoid unnecessary new developments and stimulate the reuse of old, polluted and underused inREC YC L ING A ND URBAN IS M: A N EW AP P ROACH? - 301
dustrial areas. The access and ring roads model aims at creating conditions for attractive green environments with residential quality on the edges of the city so that people can live close to green and close to urban services and jobs. This may reduce the transport need for those who want to live â€˜in the greenâ€™ and work in the city. 1. The Access and Ring Roads model aims at organising effective traffic flows, but keeping it away from green edges. Guiding principles: Working with nature: the green edges principle: space for the use of landscape ecological potential for creating attractive green edges. Synergy of activities: access roads and outer ring combine with industrial/commercial areas; inner rings in tunnels prevent noise nuisance, may handle air and water pollution and can carry a variety of urban programmes on their roofs. Networks for cars, public transport and bikes Traffic cannot and should not be reduced in all parts of urban systems. It remains the nervous system of cities. But the choice of transport means is important. Many cities struggle with strategies to reduce car traffic in their inner cities to create better conditions for pedestrians. Apart from public transport, stimulating bike use is an attractive option. This may also include electric bikes or small, low-speed electric motorcycles. The green cycling track model (not shown here) seeks to combine densely built lobes with optimal public transport with an attractive network for the movement of bicycles based on the bluegreen network of the city. The corridor model seeks to reduce congestion by functionally separating long distance and short distance flows. From a spatial point of view concentration is desirable. The model indicates how corridors can create effective investment in noise and pollution control and in bridges and tunnels to reduce the barriers. 2. The Corridor model seeks to improve the regulation of traffic flows; reducing congestion and pollution and creating conditions to overcome traffic barriers. Guiding principles: Working with nature: Concentrating traffic axes to create conditions for bridges and tunnels to overcome barriers and create a continuity of the blue-green network; concentrate investment in noise and pollution control. Synergy of activities: separating traffic flows functionally and concentrating them spatially; the corridor model may lead to upgrading of some roads to corridors. This creates conditions for downgrading other roads with speed reduction and space for cyclists and pedestrians.
Access and Ring roads model.
Guiding models and learning These descriptions of guiding models all start with guiding principles, indicating the direction of search. The guiding model is further elaborating the concrete spatial and functional structure in a category of cases. Here, there are always two guiding principles, the first formulates the working with nature principle. This is the search for sustainable solutions, not based on conquering nature and freely adapting it to our needs, but rather adapting our needs to the carrying capacity and processes of nature. The second principle seeks to achieve synergy between activities. This is choice for the combination rather than the separation of functions. However, the combination should be effective. If a planning situation does not suit to one of the guiding models, we return to the guiding principles in order to search for other means to act in the same direction. The collection of guiding models, of which I have discussed here only a few, is contained in a toolkit. This gives the designer the freedom to choose a tool if it fits the planning situation. It enables also a further process of learning: existing tools can be improved; new tools can be added to the toolkit. The important thing is that learning is part of the profession of planning and design. Notes
* Sybrand Tjallingii, TU Delft, email@example.com
- Alexander, C., Ishikawa, S. & Silverstein, M., 1977, A Pattern Language, New York, Oxford Univ. Press. - Tjallingii, S. P., 2005, Carrying Structures, urban development guided by water and traffic networks, in Hulsbergen, Klaasen, & Kriens, ed., Shifting Sense, Amsterdam, Techne Press, p. 355-369. - Tjallingii, S. P., 2012, Water flows and urban planning, in: vanBueren, vanBohemen, Itard & Visscher, eds. Sustainable Urban Environments, Dordrecht/London/NewYork, Springer. - Zaccariotto G., Ranzato, M., & Tjallingii, S. P., 2009, Water sensitive design tools for urban landscapes. Conference paper, Blue + Architecture, Venice, September 2009.
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SH IF TED MISSI ON O F SPAT I AL PL ANNING Response of the planning profession Karel Maier*
The discipline of “urbanisme” or “Städtebau” has derived from architecture to improve the quality of urban environment. This happened in the period of unprecedented growth of cities and industrial conurbations as a result of industrialisation. City and national administrations strengthened and they were unquestionable representatives of public interest, with urban and regional planning as its forerunners. Planners did not have to care about resources for public interventions at those times of affluence, urban and regional planning being a showpiece of social state. The profession of planner enjoyed wide respect: planners themselves believed they could heal the ills of society by providing people with quality housing, public spaces and facilities. The first cracks in the polished image of planning emerged when big ambitious projects of new towns, urban motorways and power plants were completed and found inhuman, disturbing and sometimes even environmentally disastrous. Moreover, planners who presented themselves as wise organisers of the future for a new modern world, failed to forecast the environmental and energy crisis of the 1970s. The general shortage in public budgets that followed these crisis resulted in overall privatisation and deregulation, and often also in severe restriction of public expenditures for planning. Neo-liberal concepts replaced advocates of state control, favouring spontaneous market forces. Planning was criticised as bureaucratic, time- and money-consuming, ineffective and old-fashioned obstacle to individual initiative. This all immersed planning as an activity and planners as a profession in crisis which has not been fully overcome by these days. Paradoxically, in certain cases this was business that insisted that planning was necessary to enable the market to work by establishing transparent rules for stakeholders´ actions. In other cases, planning was found indispensable for coordination of big infrastructure investments, and also to protect the environment against pollution. The spatial planning agenda has increasingly become a supranational concern, namely on the level of EU (Faludi 2009; CEC 1999; CEC 2006). REC YC L ING A ND URBAN IS M: A N EW AP P ROACH? - 305
Nowadays it is generally accepted that the changed social and economic environment, as well as dramatic change of physical environment and availability of natural resources including energy, will also affect the mode and mission of spatial planning. The message of new mode and new mission of planning has been generally agreed among scholars but the practice of planning is sometimes still rather conservative. The planning profession will have to prove its value for the societal needs. In the expected future age of scarcity, planners should be prepared to “make more from less”: to utilize embedded energy of all resources available from the site to accomplish the desired urban quality for living. As a complement to spontaneous market forces, and as an instrument for management environmental change, planning should deal with and envision longterm effects of actions and activities. For that, lifecycles of structures, infrastructures and natural elements have to be considered vis-à-vis human needs and lives. Instead of urban expansion, which was the case in the period of growth, recycling of structures, land and facilities will be typical issue for planning in the upcoming period of no-growth and, possibly, shrinkage. The complexity and growing scope of planning issues, and diminishing resources and authority of public authorities makes inclusion and participation of numerous stakeholders, including civic society, an active feature of a planned change. This inserts additional requests on the list: planning process as well as the very plans must be also comprehensible and persuasive enough to be accepted by stakeholders and the public (Healey 1997). The future tasks will need much more investigation and deeper surveys than ever before to squeeze out the relevant information for developing a sound strategy. Volatile economic conditions and growing social disparities of post-social states affect the requirements for planners´ work. Instead of ideal images of future “good cities” (Lynch 1981), urbanists – planners are requested to develop the vision and to show the path leading to sustainable use and sustainable life (however unclear the concept of sustainability may be – cf. e.g. Guy and Marvin 1999, Jepson and Edwards 2010): flexible enough to adapt to emerging constraints, and strong enough to maintain the direction leading to the aim. While a longterm sustainability remains the central objective of planning change, immediate feasibility and sustainable implementation of the interventions becomes a key issue. Hence we have come a long way from the embellishment of the town or city carried out by state and/or municipalities, and are now heading towards a complex and comprehensive territorial / spatial management (Maier 2001). Planning tools are also undergoing change, and the results are more true to life. They extend from “hard” regulations and prescriptions for execution 3 06
of a plan to wider scope of tools. The extended toolbox of planning should also comprise feedback information mechanisms and principles for the decision-making during the implementation in order that plans can cope with changing constraints and potentials involving the economy, and changing social environment. The Intensive Programme reflected the above-mentioned new challenges of planning and changes of society, economy, natural constraints and energetics. Though the undertaking was planned and staged in the historic scenario Venice, the sites for the investigation and for consequent developing of planning visions and strategies were located in much less famous and less attractive places outside the city, on the mainland. Each of the three sites has had a long history of preceding usage. Camposanpiero is a rural township in fertile agricultural landscape that has been irrigated since the Roman times by a grid of channels. Now when agriculture can provide living only for a small fraction of local population, the region lost its attractiveness for its original residents. As a result, Camposanpiero is becoming a (transitory?) destination for migrants from less developed parts of Europe and Mediterranean. The I.P. participants sought for re-use of the ancient and recent infrastructures in the on-going change of use and population. Mestre â€“ Marghera represented urban district of industrial satellite of Venice that was recently affected by decline. The barrier of railway station and urban motorway separated Marghera from the centre of Mestre, which brought to the site immediate to the barrier ethnic communities of migrants who enjoyed the island-like location immediate to the city centre as an employment opportunity. Now with the refurbishment of the station, prospects for better access emerge, which brought forward projects for new offices and commerce development, which threaten the existing resident communities. The task for planning is to change the image of the site and find a sound and sustainable compromise for conflicting interests of stakeholders and local residents. Fusina is a vast site of industrial wasted land, a backyard of the Venice region. While in the cases of Camposanpiero and Mestre â€“ Marghera the essence of the improvement strategy consisted in social stabilisation of local population, the industrial wasteland of Fusina has no permanent residents; however it is seasonally crowded by tourists staying in the camp. As such, the revitalisation strategy may rely rather on visitors to the relics of industrial past, at least for the period of transitory use. It remains a question for future whether there will be demand for some kind of permanent settlement there, and whether it will be (apparently in more distant future) feasible to convert the former industrial land at least partly to residential use. REC YC L ING A ND URBAN IS M: A N EW AP P ROACH? - 307
While the characteristics of the sites cover all basic types of post-industrial environment, the approaches applied for the development of revitalisation strategy show several similarities. They seek for identifying and using embedded energy – soil fertility strengthened by ancient irrigation system, former industrial waste as resource of raw materials, potential of improved access and cross-cultural contacts. Lifecycles of buildings in Camposanpiero and Mestre – Marghera should be considered especially for the immediate period of the following decades while the service lives of infrastructures in all the sites may extend well beyond human lives. The inertia of infrastructure corridors as well as service life of structures are factors that support the principle of recycling rather than abandonment of disused and building entirely new structures. Recycling of previously wasted materials in Fusina may become a prime source for future production economy. Finally, resource scarcity in future and the concept of revitalisation rather as a process than an act will make necessary for all the cases shared governance and shared responsibility among governments, private businesses and civic society. The sound strategies may be developed by informed and visionary planning professionals; but the only chance for their successful and sustainable implementation rests upon their acceptance by stakeholders and local people. The I.P. of urbanism was attended by advanced master-degree students from several continents, who are currently studying at five European schools of architecture and one US University. The selection of the sites and, even more, the key themes of comprised energy, lifecycles, inclusion and recycling represented the key issues that students and young academics should be prepared to cope with. The mixed multi-university teams proved to be an effective “cross-fertiliser” that may open the minds to new questions and ideas. The buzzwords of the key themes indicate how far the upcoming issues of urbanisme / spatial planning move beyond the traditional “Städtebau”: the discipline derived from architecture, and as such rooted in fine arts and building construction science. On the other hand, neither a restriction of spatial planning to mere social science which would underestimate physical quality of environment including ecology will satisfy the societal needs. The new challenges require for professionals that would be able to find, evaluate and use data, make relevant information from them and use this body of information for creative planning response to problems. Moreover, the qualification of planner should encompass also communication skills: the ability to listen to all parties of the planning game, and to convey findings from planning and outcomes of designing process to them. In the informational city (Castells 1999) and for informational society, information 3 08
and its communication are the central issue and value of planning. The scope of the knowledge, skills and abilities required for an urbanist – planner is thus immense. Obviously, it cannot be taught in traditional way of general instructions and training for particular tasks. Even if a student would be capable to “swallow” all the knowledge and skills related to the profession, s/he may not be able to work creatively with the information. Apparently, the planning profession needs urgently a basic shift of objectives of university programmes: from specialised training within the discipline towards attaining wisdom via education and enhancing creativity, and receiving communication skills. Notes
* Karel Maier, CVUT Prague, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Castells, M., 1989, The Informational City, Oxfors, Cambridg, MA, Blackwell. - CEC, 1999, European Spatial Planning Perspective (ESDP). - CEC, 2006: ESPON: Synthesis Report III – Territory matters for competitiveness and cohesion, Ministry of Interior and Spatial Development, Luxembourg. - Faludi, A., 2009, A Turning Point in the Development of European Spatial Planning: the Territorial Agenda of the European Union and the First Action Programme, in “Progress in Planning” vol. 7 (1). - Guy, S., Marvin, S., 1999, Understanding Sustainable Cities: Competing Urban Futures, in “European Urban and Regional Studies”, n. 6. - Healey, P., 1997, Collaborative Planning, London, Macmillan Press. - Jepson, E. J. & Edwards, M. M., 2010, How possible is Sustainable Urban Development? An Analysis of Planners´ Perceptions about New Urbanism, Smart Growth and the Ecological City, in “Planning Practice and Research” vol. 25, n. 4. - Lynch, K., 1981, Good City Form, Cambridge, MA, MIT press. - Maier, K., 2001, “Plánování v post-plánované spoleÐnosti: Kdo potÐebuje urbanisty?” [Planning in PostPlanned Society: Who Needs Planners?], in “Urbanismus a územní rozvoj” n. 1/2001. - Rapoport, A., 1999, The Writings of Amos Rapoport 1964-2000, Milwaukee, University of Wisconsin.
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2011-1-IT2-ERA10-27080 This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
European postgraduate Masters in Urbanism UPC Barcelona, TU Delft, KU Leuven, IUAV Venice.
ATLANTIS, Urbanism of Inclusion A transatlantic exchange program PARSONS New York, TU Eindhoven, CVUT Prague. RESEARCH GROUP “IGNIS MUTAT RES” 2012 IUAV Venice, Studio 012, TRIBU énergie, SUPSI Lugano, Cà Foscari Venice.
IUAV UNIVERSITY OF VENICE Research unit The New Urban Question Fondamenta dei Tolentini, 191 30135 Venice, Italy www.iuav.it
Giavedoni editore, Pordenone ÂŠNovember 2012 ISBN 978-88-98176-01-4