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INCREMENTAL NETWORK Learning from the informal cities of Latin America

Francesco Stumpo Guillen Master of Architecture ‘15 Wentworth Institute of Technology Graduate Thesis Prospectus Fall 2014


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Francesco Stumpo Guillen Prof. Linda R. Weld Wentworth Institute of Technology Master of Architecture ‘15 Graduate Thesis Prospectus Submitted 12/10/2014

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Thesis Prospectus

INCREMENTAL NETWORK: Learning from the informal cities of Latin America Table of contents - Claim - Abstract - Thesis Statement - Working Hypothesis - Proposal - Manifesto: Blade Runner in the tropics

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[Re] programming the context: Latin America

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- Present vs. Vision - Latin American Cities: The failure of the post-modern and the contemporary urban crisis - Formal vs. Informal: Disrupt in the city and the rising of the self-made - Informal becomes the formal - Case study: Tower of David vs. Maison Domino - New growth order: Opportunity in emerging cities-territories - Emerging cities - Trend scenario & Challenges - Smart Growth & Recommendations - Macro study: 8 studies - Qualitative Analysis - Micro-selection: 2 cities

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01. Yona Friedman Collage

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[Re] connecting strategies: Emerging Laboratory

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- Pre-emptive vs. Recuperative - Revise co-relation: Informal settlements start in the landscape - Utilize landscape as the medium: Landscape to the city, ecology to the urban - Learning from the informal strategies: Positive vs. Limitations - Informal Armature - Irregular Structures

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[Re] inserting a result: Incremental Network

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- Incremental (ism): As mediating tool to mitigate the formal and informal growth - Incremental Network - Urban Design: Guidelines for Speculative Landscape- Urban - Architecture: Incremental Neighborhood - Infrastructure: Urban catalyst for socio economic empowerment - Conclusion: Incremental Network – as the best practice towards a sustainable growth

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Thesis Prospectus

INCREMENTAL NETWORK: Learning from the informal cities of Latin America Claim Several decades ago most of the world’s largest urban agglomerations were found in the more developed regions, but today’s large cities are concentrated in the global South. Yet in the rapidly urbanizing world, the importance of this growth-success is not just that an ever-growing population lives in cities, but how they live in cities. To place matters into perspective, by 2030, an estimated 5 billion people will live in cities, and about 2 billion of them will live in self-made dwellings. Inherently this brings a sense of urgency: So as architects and planners how do we react to these present realities?

02. Julia King’s collage superimposition over Rem Koolhaa’s Advancement vs. Apocalypse : Architectural icons of the last 10 years.


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Thesis Prospectus

INCREMENTAL NETWORK: Learning from the informal cities of Latin America Abstract Abstract The context of this thesis is based the recognition that, Latin American cities have been victims of their own success, growing in an unplanned and disorderly manner. Today these cities are in crisis and are no longer growing like they used to, and as Alfredo Brillembourg and Hubert Klumpner explain, “they are shaped by the dichotomy of the formal urbanization and the informal uncontrolled sprawl.”

Arguably this holistic approach makes the possibility of interventions particularly complex: How does design adapt the positive qualities of the growth of informal urbanisms? Can the landscape act as the mediator, thus becoming socially inclusive and sensitive to the environment? Can the result be the catalyst to informalize the formal?

Yet is it possible to replace this exhausted growth paradigm with a more equitable one? With this comes the most important challenge to act preemptively in the emerging city of Latin America.

03. (Right) Favelas in Jaguaré, Paulista, Brasil

04. Urban Think Tank

05. Urban Think Tank (Above) 05. Favelas in Jaguaré, Paulista, Brasil (Right)


This thesis therefore investigates the means by which architecture, landscape and urban infrastructure can act as an incremental network to create new corners of growth in the emerging cities of South America. This way there is a new urban model that integrates the landscape to the city, and the ecology to the urban by converging growing communities and underutilized landscapes under one incremental framework.

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Thesis Prospectus

INCREMENTAL NETWORK: Learning from the informal cities of Latin America

Working hypothesis

How can we create a new model of [living infrastructure] that brings growing communities and existing landscapes together and acts [pre-emptively to the future urban growth] of the emerging Latin American city?

Thesis Statement

An incremental network that mediates [the formal-informal developments] can create new corners of growth in the emerging cities of South America, integrating the ecology to the urban by converging growing communities and underutilized landscapes.

Proposal

Develop a guideline for a preemptive planning of a selfconstructed neighborhood that connects and weaves into the urban landscape of two potential emerging cities in Latin America. This incremental network re-organizes the natural and built environment and implements a new incremental framework of growth.

06. Archigram’s Plug-in city. 07. Archigram’s Oasis 08. Yona Friedman. 09. Yona Friedman. 10. Bladerunner (1982). 11. Kwoloon City, China. 12.13. Archigram’s Plug-in city. 14. Yona Friedman


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Thesis Prospectus

Manifesto: Blade runner in the tropics

I reject any architecture that acts in isolation I reject any design that attempts to do more by doing more Do we really need more aquariums? Informal urbanisms are the urban transformation Ecology to the city becomes the new context Acupuncture shapes urbanity Unconventional demands to be adaptive Living infrastructures are the housing for the future Houses grow, and modify the growth of the city The new Megapolis is organized by informality Incremental cities become radical cities Can we now imagine the new city?


15. A city shaped by an incremental framework is a collage-city, a living city, and a complex city (2014). Francesco Stumpo. 13


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(re) programming

[CONTEXT] Latin America

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[Re]programming CONTEXT: Latin America

Introduction: Present vs. Vision

Around 1805, Friedirch painted two oil canvases and titled them “view from the artist‘s studio, right and left” (Fig. 16 and Fig. 17). Without much effort, these paintings reflect his developing interest in representing contrary states and address the issue of perception. Both depictions are looking at the same window with a view of vessels in the water, but the contrast rests on the different angles at which he sees the two. With Friedrich’s paintings we see how the left-hand window is seen at an angle; the right-hand one is viewed straight on. It is a very elegant demonstration of the simple yet all-important point that things look different depending on the angle from which you observe them. Similarly I would like to argue that today; cities worldwide are shaped by a “Friedrich vision” by their own development and growth, which is arguably occurring at different angles (and rates). This reality is even more evident in how developing cities in Latin America have grown over the past decades, with a left-hand view developing in one manner – towards

the formal city; and a right-hand view developing as the informal city. Similarly to Friedrich latter painting “Wanderer above the sea fog” (Fig. 18) composed in 1818, I believe that as a human kind we are at point were it may look like there is a mastery of the landscape but in reality we are still facing the insignificance of the individual within it. As described by the historian John Lewis Gaddeis this painting depicts a contradictory impression, since “we see no face, so it’s impossible to know whether the prospect facing the young man is exhilarating, or terrifying, or both.”(1) Although he might not have intended it, the initial depictions of the artist’s studio window, provides a critical revision of the perception of space and our perspectives, even in a twenty first century context. It’s here where one can draw a parallel between the current status of architecture, urbanism and our culture towards the contemporary city

of the developing world. Yes, several decades ago most of the world’s largest urban agglomerations were found in the more developed regions, but today’s large cities are concentrated in the global South.(2) Arguably, much like Friedirch’s paintings is about time we provide a critical revision of our cities, and in this case understand the multiple perspectives occurring in one window, one city, and one territory at once. Architecture and urban design have an extremely important role in defining the cities of tomorrow; as both professions have the capacity and reach to network the overall face of the environments in which we dwell, as well as to become the bridge that connects citizens, users, city planners, developers and governmental agencies at large. Today both professions need to play a more pressing role in mediating the gap between the formal and informal dichotomy-reality of emerging cities in Latin America.


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01. Gaddis, John (2002), The Landscape of History: How Historians Map the Past, Oxford Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press. 02. 2014 Revision of World Urbanization Prospects. United Nations. Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 2014. 18 17


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[Re]programming CONTEXT: Latin America

Latin American Cities: The failure of the post-modern and the contemporary urban crisis

“In the contemporary world in which over 80% of the population lives in towns and cities (and the rest will not be long in joining them, as the only way to guarantee their economic and social progress), cities are fantastic machines making it possible to transform solitude into exchange and ignorance into progress” (3)

There is an urban model common to most Latin American cities: the network from which these cities grew (4): A grid layout typically set by a river, with a central area where people could congregate. Influenced by models like New York’s Commissioners’ Plan of 1811 (Fig. 19) or Barcelona’s Cerda Plan of 1859 (Fig. 20), this model was replicated again and again as many cities grew and became the new urban model for Latin America. (5) (Fig. 21)

development because of the impact it has on landscape, environment, social components, existing cities and infrastructure.” (8)

This successful process of Latinurbanization is considered “historically recent” occurring within the last century and as cities grew larger they attracted people from the surrounding rural areas, and even from other continents. Quickly the trend shifted from rural-agricultural settlements, to a more city-industrialurban one, across countries of South America. Much of these cities’ success was based on the agglomeration and diversification of economic activities, still

prevalent nowadays. Today 198 of these cities, generate more than 60 percent of the region’s GDP (6), and are truly the economic engines of the continent. South America is considered the second most urbanized region in the world, and has close to an 80 percent of its entire population living in cities.(7) Yet, the importance of this success is not just that an ever-growing population lives in cities, but how they live in cities. Here is were I began questioning architecture’s role within the Latin American context after witnessing the failure of postmodern cities like Caracas, Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro; resulting in the proliferation of a parallel model of urban growth (where urban dwellers have willingly constructed their own informal settlements) as an aftermath of the unplanned growth over the years. As Leonardo Robleto explains, “the (informal) urban phenomenon should be regarded as one of the most important characteristics of modern urban

In other words, Latin American cities have been victims of their own success, growing in an unplanned and disorderly manner. Today these cities are in crisis and they are no longer growing like they used to. According to Mike Davis, author of “Planet of Slums”, it is estimated that no more than 20 percent of housing in Third World countries is of planned and legally constructed nature. Perhaps this leaves eighty percent of housing as not legal, or fitting within the formal framework. Beyond the shortage of housing and quality public spaces, these metropolises also have shortages at all levels as well, from mobility and personal security to environmental issues, sanitation problems, pollution, violence, demographic density, and climate change variances. (9)


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03.De Sola-Morales, Manuel. “Cities and Urban Corners.” The

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Barcelona Metropolis Mediterranean Monographs: Forum Barcelona (2006): 131-35. Print. 04. “Our vision for cities in Latin America and the Caribbean” Vimeo video, 8:59 posted by Ciudades Sostenibles, May 2014, https://vimeo.com/97248104. 05. ibid. 06. “Our vision for cities in Latin America and the Caribbean” Vimeo video, 8:59 posted by Ciudades Sostenibles, May 2014, https://vimeo.com/97248104. 07. 2014 Revision of World Urbanization Prospects. United Nations. Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 2014. 08. Robleto, Leonardo. “The Call For A Post-Informal Landscape Urbanism” Scenario Journal. PennDesign. Philadelphia, June 28, 2012. Web. 09. Zwoch, Felix. “Informal Urbanism: Five versions of the In/ Formal” Informal City: Caracas Case. Ed. Alfredo Brillembourg, Kristin Feireiss, and Hubert Klumpner. Prestel Verlag, 2005. 46. Print. 21 19


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Tomás José Sanabria, argues that, “If one starts to closely observe the city... The human body and the urban body are exactly the same. The circulatory system and the viability of a city are accurate. The liver and garbage collector are quite similar. So as one makes comparisons, one can really conclude there are no major differences between these professions, since they are both social services.” (12)

As suggested by the Emerging and Sustainable Cities Initiative (as part of the Inter-American Development Bank’s effort to aid positive city growth worldwide) in Latin America and the Caribbean, these are some of they most pressing issues in the contemporary city of South America: (10) a.1 in 4 people live in informal settlements or slums. b.Less than 20 percent of the sewage is treated

Is it possible to replace this exhausted growth paradigm with a more equitable one? What happens when the modern city does not adapt to its people? After decades of neglect, poverty, corruption, and social upheaval most Latin American cities have become an example of “modern-cities that have deteriorated beyond all measure and therefore have failed to adapt to its inhabitants.” (11)

c.Rivers that once fed the cities have died d.Water has to be brought increasingly distant locations

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e.Social meetings places have become dangerous or non-existent.

10.“Our vision for cities in Latin America and the Caribbean” Vimeo video, 8:59 posted by Ciudades Sostenibles, May 2014, https://

f.Cities carbon dioxide emissions are escalating alongside with climate changes making them more vulnerable.

vimeo.com/97248104. 11.Anderson, Jon Lee. ‘Slumlord: What has Hugo Chavez wrought to Venezuela?’ The New Yorker, New York. January 2013. Web. 12.Sanabria, Tomas Jose. ‘Four perspectives’ an Interview by the Central University of Venezuela’s Architecture and Urban Planning. Caracas, 2010. Web.


22. 23 de enero, Caracas. 23. South American at night, satellite image. PlanetObserver/Photo Researchers, Inc. 24. Collage showcase of density in the continent, Francesco Stumpo. 25. La Vega, Caracas. 26. 27. Aerial view of Caracas, Sucre Municipality.

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[Re]programming CONTEXT: Latin America

Formal vs. Informal: Disrupt in the city and rising of the self-made

Consider the informal city, one billion people live in slums, the modern city is in crisis, the population will double by 2020, only the present matters. – Urban Think Tank

By understanding this failure of the post-modern Latin American city, we are now presented with two realities: the formal and the informal city. Furthermore, we need a vocabulary, to avoid preconceptions and to develop and engage in entirely new perceptions about these cities. (13) a. Form - relating to an established hierarchy; shape and structure; outward appearance or essence. b. Formal - pertaining to customary or conventionality; rigorously observant of forms; lacking in ease; free of outline or arrangement. e.g. Formal City, Formal Urbanism. c. Informal - not done or made according to a recognized or prescribed form; not according to order; unofficial or disorderly, e.g. Informal City, Informal Urbanism. Moreover Robert Neuwith suggests that “housing deficits conversely

are alarmingly high, and as long as public and private housing investment continues to fall behind demand, slums and shantytowns will remain the only viable alternative for thousands and even millions of people. Estimates suggest that on average informal settlements represent between 50 percent to 70 percent of Latin American cities´ urban footprint.” Today the entire region is a victim of lack of approaches and solutions for its society. Representing a clear paradigm of how the city and the government (as the city planner) have failed over the years to generate proposals to meet the needs the city demands in housing and urban planning.

13. Oxford English Dictionary. 2nd ed. 20 vols. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989.


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28. These striking photographs show the scale of poverty - and affluence - that live shoulder-to-shoulder in Mexican cities. The bright whites and colourful roofs of the wealthier homes are a graphic contrast with the dull concrete just over the wall. Kieran Corcoran. Publicis, Mexico City. 29. Bogota, Province of Usaquen, Colombia. 29 23


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[Re]programming CONTEXT: Latin America

Informal becomes the formal

Informal inhabitants account for one third to one half of the populace in mega-cities in Latin America, Africa and Asia. - Gwendolyn Wright (14)

In other words the informal urbanism has become the new form (norm) for the growing cities of the south. These informal settlements are usually characterized as poor areas that come about outside the framework of any legal urban planning, usually constructed by means of self-made housing that attempts to tap into the existing services and infrastructures of the city. By following this model people have had to adapt to the narrow city fabrics and old structures (thanks to the lack-of architectural agency and planning) to therefore develop their own informal dwellings in the most unexpected ways. In numerous territories across Latin America we can witness how urban dwellers have willingly constructed their own Informal City. As Leonardo Robleto explains, “this urban phenomenon should be regarded as one of the most important characteristics of modern urban development because of the impact it has on landscape, environment, social components, existing cities and

infrastructure.”

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Marcos Negron, a professor from the Central University of Venezuela’s Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning studies the relationship between the political and social strife (population growth, economic disparity, etc.) and the relation to architecture. Here he suggests that the bigger problem is that even thought these circumstances affect all inhabitants, is not always in the same degree. Instead, “favelas or slum neighborhoods” situation only affects its inhabitants, which gives rise to an obvious (and bigger) form of discrimination because, particularly in urban terms, their standards are significantly lower than in the rest of the city, despite the extent of damage evident in the entirety of the city. (16) 14. Wright, Gwendolyn. “Urban Transformation: Informal Cities, Multiple Realities.” In Brillembourg, Feireiss, Klumpner. 78-82 15.Robleto, Leonardo. “The Call For A Post-Informal Landscape Urbanism” Scenario Journal. PennDesign. Philadelphia, June 28, 2012. Web. 16.Negron, Marcos. ‘Del Barrio a la ciudad.’ El Universal Caracas. October 2013.Web.


30. Aerial view of Caracas, 2008. Urban Think Tank 25


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[Re]programming CONTEXT: Latin America

Case Study: Tower of David vs. Maison Domino and the Dom-ino Effect

“If you have no squatters, your city has no hope”

When we usually think of a “housing prototype” that can address housing shortages, we often do not think back to old models like Maison Domino (Fig. 32), nor look to reinvent and re-occupy existing buildings, like the Tower of David (Fig. 31)

“Domino looms as a representation of our slum-like megalopolis, illustrating the industrialization of housing construction and the vernacular appropriation of itself as a generic mode.”

Arguably, architects and planners replicate the status quo, and as Bjarke Ingels points out “our role is to challenge this every day.”(17) Informality on the other hand, can be seen as a condition of complex, non-linear systems in which patterns overlap, intersect and mutate in unexpected ways and that somehow looks to challenge our notion of architecture. The goal of this short case study is to set up a productive dialogue about the relevance and the role of the informal city in the today’s world and architecture. So for a chance, let’s understand how the informal acts as laboratory for the study of adaptation and innovation, in this case in illegally-occupied-tower

in South America, that acts in a similar manner of a project envisioned 100 years ago by one of the most important architect’s of our times. One important question that arises with both case studies alike is: What could happen when architects and planners leave, and places become appropriated by people? First, it’s Le Corbusier’s development of what’s perhaps considered today, one of the most influential emblematic projects of twentieth-century architecture, Le Maison Domino. A housing prototype made of horizontal slabs and pilotis that reduced the building to its minimum bare structure. (18) (Fig. 34,35) Even though innovative and never conceived before, the domino system was never produced but became the precursor to the concrete structural frame, one of the most used building systems of our recent times. Today, however, according to Justin McGuirk,

– Reinhard Goethert

The second case is the Tower of David (Fig. 33) perhaps the ultimate symbol of Caracas city planning’s failure over the years, represents the ultimate conditions of what is a self-made settlement. The tower, a 45-story-tall office building, sits right in the center of Caracas and it’s considered among the top ten tallest buildings in the city. It was almost complete when it was abandoned following the death of its developer, David Brillembourg, in 1993, and the collapse of the Venezuelan economy in 1994. (19) About eight years ago (around 2008) people started moving into the abandoned tower and began to build their homes right in between every column of this unfinished tower.


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17. Ingels, Bjarke. “Worldcraft.” Future of Storytelling video, 6:05, September 9, 2014, https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=pyNGDWnmX0U 18. McGuirk, Justin. “Maison Dom-ino?.” Dezeen Blogs, entry posted March 20, 2014, http://www.dezeen.com/2014/03/20/ opinon-justin-mcguirk-le-corbusier-symbol-for-era-obsessed-withcustomisation/ (accessed December 6, 2014). 19. Baan, Iwaan. Brillembourg, Alfredo. McGuirk, Justin. Klumpner, Hubert. Press release ‘Tower of David – Gran Horizonte’ Exhibition at the13th International Architecture Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia ‘Common Ground.’ August 2012. Print.

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36. Tower of David. Iwan Baan (2014) 29


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[Re]programming CONTEXT: Latin America

What is radical about Dom-ino is that it is merely the beginning of a process, one completed by residents themselves. It is, in other words, the abandonment of total design. The architect is no longer a visionary, just a facilitator. - Justin McGuirk

Even though recently evacuated by the government (20), this occupation that lasted approximately around 6 to 7 years was home for a community of more than 750 families at one point. Throughout the time invaders occupied the building it was considered an “extra-legal and tenuous occupation” that some have called the “world’s biggest vertical slum”.(21) If this tower was considered a real slum or not is another discussion, but most importantly this improvised occupation raised one important question: What’s the role of architectural agencies and city planning regulations Caracas? Even after events like this, it’s still not very clear. Lastly, the unfinished building represents, among many things, the consequences of a lack of architectural agency, and how sooner or later people will start to generate their own spaces and dwellings to be a part of the modern city at any cost. Moreover, the short lived results reflect how these inventive inhabitants, for instance, were able to

find opportunities in the most unexpected cases or places. As Alejandro Cegarra captures in his photojournalist work, (Fig. 37, 38, 39) “for the inhabitants of the tower this is their way to make revolution, it is a way to combat the social parameters that placed them as dysfunctional community.”(22) It’s remarkable to see the design decisions that they’re making everyday, like constructing a new sidewalk, building a new wall, or improving airflow. Arguably, by studying the Domino House in comparison with the Tower of David one can understand how both structures are quite similar (structurally) and in the intended or non-intend result. On one hand, one showcases what was envisioned as an ideal model of living to the bare minimum, while the latter one reflects how inhabitants would adapt in various ways to this open framework. Would this have happened if Maison Dom-ino had ever been built? We will never know.

If anything the idea is to continue the conversation towards understanding what an open framework can catalyze, and what could happen in reality,.


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20.Domonoske, Camila. “Fall Of The Tower Of David: Squatters Leave Venezuela’s Vertical Slum” NPR International. July 23, 2014. Web. 21.Baan, Iwaan. Brillembourg, Alfredo. McGuirk, Justin. Klumpner, Hubert. 22.Cegarra, Alejandro. ‘Venezuela summary: The david tower’ Street Photo Blog. October 2013. Web 39 31


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[Re]programming CONTEXT: Latin America

New growth order: Opportunity in emerging territories

The issue is not urban poverty. The issue is not the larger, over-arching thing. The issue is for us to recognize that these are neighborhoods - this is a legitimate form of urban development - and that cities have to engage these residents, because they are building the cities of the future. - Robert Neuwith.

Since previous paradigms and urban plans haven’t successfully addressed the formal or informal urbanism dichotomy; the success of these cities’ future planning and development needs a more balanced scheme. Today we are a point were we need to demand that urban design, architecture and infrastructure, work together under one scope, to truly make a meaningful impact in the cities of the future. Yet, is it possible to replace this exhausted Latin American growth paradigm with a more equitable one?

Sustainable Cities Initiative (as part of the Inter-American Development Bank’s effort to aid positive city growth worldwide) in Latin America and the Caribbean, there are close to 140 cities considered emerging cities. (24) These recognized emerging territories are growing demographically and economically, at rate of 2 or 3 times faster than the national average. (25) So what does this mean for the future emerging city? In difference to previous centuries, today there is an important choice to be made.

Consequently the seemingly unstoppable tide of rural-to-urban migrants (23) is only making these emerging cities more complex requiring new strategies that cater to this growth and its subsequent impacts.

It’s here where we can take the opportunity to propose new models for sustainable urban growths for the developing world, (26) in these emerging territories of Latin America.

New territories in South America are facing (or will very soon) the same challenges mentioned earlier in the larger metropolises of the continent. As suggested by the Emerging and

Emerging Cities Throughout the process of understanding urban growth of emerging cities in Latin America it became essential to utilize the Emerging and Sustainable Cities Initiative’s methodology and reports of various cities (27) to further comprehend the complexity of how these cities are going to develop, and how they should develop (acknowledging their study through the year 2030). After considering historical growth trends, existing density patterns and future growth projections, ECSI has made a clear effort in all reports to emphasize two alternative scenarios of future growth: a. Trend scenario b. Smart growth scenario


23.Robleto, Leonardo. “The Call For A Post-Informal Landscape Urbanism” Scenario Journal. PennDesign. Philadelphia, June 28, 2012. Web. 24.According to the Inter American Developing Bank, an “emerging city” is considered any urban area that has around 100,000 to 2 million people. 25.“Emerging and Sustainable Cities Initiative” Youtube video, 4:34 posted by BIDCiudades, April 11, 2013, http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=BM2yzGK5vl8 26.“Our vision for cities in Latin America and the Caribbean” Vimeo video, 8:59 posted by Ciudades Sostenibles, May 2014, https:// vimeo.com/97248104. 27. Emerging and Sustainable Cities Initiative offers the possibility to download approximately 10 reports about “Urban footprint studies and growth scenarios” of different cities in Latin America. Available at http://www.urbandashboard.org/IDB/Study

40. Collage City (Video produced for Mini-conference) Francesco Stumpo. 33


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[Re]programming CONTEXT: Latin America

By simply comparing the two projected models, “one can understand how the impact of future growth patterns can be evaluated in terms of additional land needed for development, the required extension of infrastructure, and increased susceptibility to natural hazards.” (28)

Trend scenario

Challenges

Based on previously described historical housing development patterns in most cities in Latin America, the trend scenario reflects less-compact, more land intensive residential development. The majority of this growth scenario falls into the low-density category, and a large proportion of these developments will be informal squatter settlements, “suggesting lower construction standards and higher vulnerability to hazards for buildings and residents alike.” (29) And as suggested before, the expansion of some of these new neighborhoods falls into areas with “bad geology”, susceptible to pluvial flooding and landslides.

1. In multiple cities, growth is manifested as the occupation of forest and agricultural land, which are already been drastically reduced in areas year by year, with more migration to cities annually.

41. Mar de Plata, Argentina - ESCI 2014

2. Cost of infrastructure extensions to support new developments, becomes increasingly high. 3.The continued growth of the urban footprint will also contribute to ongoing issues such as traffic, air and water quality, solid waste disposal, and crime. 4. No restrictions of hazard vulnerability or plans for urban and natural linkages.

42. Salta, Argentina - ESCI 2014


As Hans Van Ginkel explains “Even if we usually think of cities as something bad, we had better be prepared for this urban future. The question remains: what kind of city?” (30) The emerging Latin American city following a smart growth scenario be the laboratory to replace the modern and post-modern (exhausted growth paradigm) with a more equitable one.

Smart growth scenario

Recommendations

On the contrary, the positive speculative growth scenario represents a more sustainable future for the city, which reflects development patterns guided by a more organic urban growth framework. Arguably these cities need higher minimum density, as well as lower proportion of total growth in low-density development. Moreover, as further developed by ECSI, (31) this framework of policies and armature should include the following:

1. A more compacted urban pattern 2. Reduction of infrastructure extension 3. Discourage development in hazardprone areas 4. Promote the protection and expansion of natural areas that provide essential functions such as protection from hazards, climate regulation, and recreation.

28. Historial and Current Urban Footprint and Future Urban Scenarios. GeoAdaptive and Inter-American Development Bank. 2014 29. Historial and Current Urban Footprint and Future Urban Scenarios. GeoAdaptive and Inter-American Development Bank. 2014 30. Brillembourg, Alfredo, and Hubert Klumpner. “Bladerunner in the tropics: Imagine the New City” In Brillembourg, Feireiss, Klumpner. 248-260. 31. Historial and Current Urban Footprint and Future Urban Scenarios. GeoAdaptive and Inter-American Development Bank. 2014

43. Salta, Argentina - ECSI 2014

44. Cuenca, Ecuador - ECSI 2014 35


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[Re]programming CONTEXT: Latin America

Macro-study: 8 cities This macro-study looked to analyze a wide range of emerging cities across the continent. Utilizing the Urban Dashboard, from the ESC Initiative, this tool helped understand the growth patterns, tendency scenarios and smart growth scenarios in these localities. The goal of the analysis was to expand on the parameters and conditions studied throughout the region and to showcase the various findings of the urban growth patterns in a way that reflects the similarities and differences across the region.

MEXICO Campeche La Paz, BCS Xalapa JAMAICA Montego Bay GUATEMALA Quetzaltenango NICARAGUA Managua COLOMBIA Monteria Barranquilla ECUADOR Cuenca BOLIVIA Cochabamba PARAGUAY Asuncion ARGENTINA Mar de Plata Parana Salta CHILE Valdivia

45. Diagram of selected cities for macro-study. Francesco Stumpo


PARAMETERS

EMERGING CITIES

Urban footprint overtime La Paz, BCS 2

Population Density

Montego Bay 4

Current trends scenario Escenario Tendencial

Managua 6 Smart Growth Scenario

Escenario Inteligente

Barranquilla 5

Susteinable Growth Scenario

Cuenca 5

Escenario Sostenible

Optimium Growth Scenario

Cochabamba 7

Escenario Optimo

Asuncion 6

Municipalities

Mar de Plata 6

Green Areas

Parana 7

Informal Settlements

Salta 3

Low Density

Valdivia 6

Areas of risk Protected Areas

46. Parameters and cities, Francesco Stumpo.

47. South America: Density. NASA 2014

48. South America: Land use. NASA 2014

49. South America: Wild zones. NASA 2014 37


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[Re]programming CONTEXT: Latin America

Qualitative Analysis After selecting the necessary parameters, it became evident to develop an urban growth comparison over time. Following are some of the trends and characteristics observed across the continent:

Barranquilla

Cuenca

Growth tendencies Urban sprawl of the years

Cochabamba Salta

Densification of city centers

Parana

Recognition of protected areas (of risk, of preservation, etc.) Furthemore, this thesis investigation will analyze in more depth two cities in order too continue the exploration of this emerging territories.

50. Diagram of selected cities for macro-study. Francesco Stumpo

Asuncion

Valdivia

Mar de Plata


Barranquilla, Colombia

Urban Footprint (1985)

Urban Footprint (2001)

Urban Footprint (2011)

Urban Footprint (1985-2011)

Density (2011)

Current trend scenario vs. Sustanaible Growth scenario

Urban Footprint (1987)

Urban Footprint (2005)

Urban Footprint (2010)

Urban Footprint (1987-2010)

Smart growth

Areas of risk

51. Barranquilla, Colombia: Barranquilla is a city and municipality located in northern Atlåntico Department, of Colombia. Considered the largest city and port in the northern Caribbean Coast region, with a population of 1,885,500 as of 2011 in its metropolitan area, which makes it Colombia’s fourth most populous city.

Cuenca, Ecuador

52. Cuenca, Ecuador: The city of Cuenca, in the Azuay province, is located in the South Central Region of Ecuador. The city is located about 2,500 meters above sea level, in a valley of the Andes, with average temperature of about 15 degrees. The population of the Cuenca canton is approximately 350,000 inhabitants in the urban center.

39


40

Cochabamba, Bolivia

Urban Footprint (1994)

Urban Footprint (2004)

Urban Footprint (2011)

53. Cochabamba, Bolivia: Cochabamba is a city in central Bolivia, located in a valley bearing the same name in the Andes mountain range. It is the capital of the Cochabamba Department and is the fourth largest Urban Footprint (1994-2011)

Current trend scenario vs. Sustanaible Growth scenario

Informal settlements and open dumps

Urban Footprint (2002)

Urban Footprint (2011)

city in Bolivia with approximate population of 1.938.401.

Asuncion, Paraguay

Urban Footprint (1992)

54. Asuncion, Paraguay: Asuncion is the capital and largest city of Paraguay. With its location along the Paraguay River, the city offers many landscapes; it spreads out over gentle hills in a pattern of rectangular blocks. The Asunci贸n metropolitan area has more Urban Footprint (1992-2011)

Current trend scenario vs. Sustanaible Growth scenario

Parameters combined (2030)

than 2 million inhabitants.


Mar de Plata, Argentina

Urban Footprint (1985-2011)

Current growth scenario

Density (2011)

Areas of risk

Sustanaible Growth scenario

55. Mar de Plata, Argentina: Mar del Plata is an Argentine city on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, 400 km (249 mi) south of Buenos Aires. Mar del Plata is the second largest city of Buenos Aires Province. Mar del Plata is one of the major fishing ports and the biggest seaside beach resort in Argentina, with a population of 614,350 as per 2010.

Parana, Argentina

Urban Footprint (2002-2006)

Urban Footprint (2006-2013)

Urban Footprint (2001-2013)

Current trend scenario vs. Smart Growth scenario

Density (2013)

Preserved ecology and areas of risk

56. Parana, Argentina: Paraná is the capital city of the Argentine province of Entre Ríos, located on the eastern shore of the Paraná River, opposite the city of Santa Fe, capital of the neighboring Santa Fe Province. The city has a population of 247,863.

41


42

Salta, Argentina

Urban Footprint (1985)

Urban Footprint (2001)

Urban Footprint (2011)

57. Salta, Argentina: Salta is a city located in the Lerma Valley, at 1,152 metres (3780 feet) above sea level in the north west part of Argentina and it is also the name for the capital city of the Salta Province. Along with its metropolitan area, it has a population of 619,000 inhabitants, which makes it the second most populated city in Current trend scenario

Sustanaible Growth scenario

Current trend scenario vs. Sustanaible Growth scenario

Urban Footprint (2001)

Urban Footprint (2013)

the northwest of the country.

Valdivia, Chile

Urban Footprint (1994)

58. Valdivia, Chile: Valdivia is a city and commune in southern Chile, located in a central point of the country. Is the capital of the Valdivia Department and it has a population of approximately 127,500 inhabitants. The geography of the Valdivia area consists of wetlands and alluvial terraces. Several rivers, such as Cau-Cau, Calle-Calle and Cruces, join near the city forming the larger Density (2013)

Current trend scenario vs. Optimum Growth scenario

Combined parameters

Valdivia River.


[Re]programming CONTEXT: Latin America

Micro-selection: 2 cities The ‘city’ happens on the ground, just as it does for the thousands of dwellers out there. Therefore the next challenge will be to look for those circumstances that exist in two emerging cities that can be utilized and re-oriented to further empower these dwellers to construct their city in a different way. While looking closer at the possible conditions that exist in a place, this investigation will be interested in identifying dislocations, gaps, and surpluses in the existing infrastructure (just as residents do as a matter of survival, since this is where change begins. Arguably this will offer the opportunity to look for problems and circumstances with a specific focused, to truly start understanding the influences that would shape the proposed “incremental network.”

59. Francesco Stumpo 43


44


(re) connecting

[STRATEGIES] Emerging Laboratory

45


46

[Re]connecting STRATEGIES:

Recuperative vs. Preemptive

Today most infrastructures follows city growth rather than facilitating and opening up new growth centres within and outside city’s core? (32) Planning happens systematically “posterior” as a recuperative and securing action. (33)

Recuperative

Preemptive

Today most of the research in the informal settlements happens as an “after-thefact”(34) or “recuperative-condition” because most of the settlements in Latin America are already established. One could argue that they follow a retroactive approach(35) that offers interventions in already consolidates informal settlements so as to promote formal aspects. Petare in Caracas, Rosinha in Rio de Janeiro o Neza in Mexico City are informal settlements that have been present for the past decades, have received considerable retroactive improvements and continue to grow until his day. This notion could be considered the practice of “slum interventions”.

Usually anticipates future informal growth by providing a parameters of spaces or regulations around which new development grows. This I argue is the most valuable one, since it looks to create a more responsible architecture from its conception, influenced by emergent aesthetics in recognized territories. To an extent, this approach considers how communities could tap into, in co-relation to the city infrastructure for a more adequate and healthy “dwelling-city” growth over time. A preemptive design looks to prevent future growth so as to preserve the newly design communities at the same time.

Similarly to Leonardo Robleto’s opinion, I agree that “the idea is not to indicate that the recuperative approach is a the wrong approach, such initiatives like these projects should continue to happen in Latin America and beyond… However, a new mindset must be brought forward, which deals with the growth of informality”. I believe that these new approach should mediate the polarization of the formality and informality. Bridge the gap between the two, and bring a sense of city between these growing communities.


60. Proyecto Paz, Caracas, Venezuela. 61. Almere Housing Plan, Netherlands. 62. Favelas in Rio, Splash, (2009). 63. Growing House Prototype, Caracas, by Urban Think Tank (2004). 64. Spain Library, Plan B Arquitectos, Medellin, Colombia. 65. Growing House Prototype, Caracas, by Urban Think Tank (2004). 60

61

62

63

64

65

32.Bhabha, Homi K. “Mumbai on My Mind: Some Thoughts on Sustainability.” Ecological Urbanisms. Ed. Mohsen Mostafavi and Gareth Doherty. Baden, Switzerland: GSD, Harvard U and Lars Muller, 2010. 78-83. Print 33.Bhabha, Homi K. “Mumbai on My Mind: Some Thoughts on Sustainability.” 34.Robleto, Leonardo. “Pre-emptive versus retroactive: The Beginning of a Post-Informal Landscape Urbanism” Scenario Journal. PennDesign. Philadelphia, August 14, 2012. Web. 35.Robleto, Leonardo. “Pre-emptive versus retroactive: The Beginning of a Post-Informal Landscape Urbanism.”

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[Re]connecting STRATEGIES:

Revise co-relation: Informal settlements start in the landscape

“Slums begin with bad geology.”

Despite the inherent inflexibility of the city as an entity, let’s not forget that all this growth (of formal vs. informal) occurs on the landscape plane, (37) impacting what already are cities with emerging infrastructure and underdeveloped territories (Fig. 66,67. It’s here were we can develop strategies that can be implemented using the green and natural spaces, to foster adaptive actions to allow the city to confront climate change and help organize the green elements of the city.

living in swamplands.

As John Beardsley and Christian Werthmann suggest, “it’s here were landscape can be conceived both as the primary problem in these communities and as the main opportunity for intervention an improvement.” In third world cities, urban green spaces often are overlooked and undervalued for their contribution to resilience to climate change and other environmental services they can offer to the cityscape.

As Leonardo Robleto explains, “landscape is usually an afterthought, a plane that gets conquered by human intervention: yet landscape can become the incubator for disaster when it is ignored. (38) As Robleto continues to argue, informal settlements are usually found in places with troubled ecology, like seen in the following cases: In Argentina, informal settlements are found along the banks of the Reconquista River, which gets heavily polluted with open sewage and creates an immediate health hazard. In Caracas’ slums are majorly located on the steep slopes surrounding the city, where any rainfall only fills the inhabitants with fear of an impending mudslide and active fault lines only add to what many believe is a brewing perfect storm. In Nigeria, Ajegunle for example, there is an estimated population of 1.5 million

(36)

– Mike Davis

Without a doubt, informal settlements aggravate the ecological and health problems of the urban poor in multiple ways, but they can also serve as laboratories for innovation and new urban interventions. It’s in these settlements where the green spaces can play a major role, which may be embodied in the form of environmental goods and services involving landscape and urban elements to adapt and respond to the needs of the community and climate change.


66. Sector La Vega, Caracas.

36.Davis, Mike. Planet of Slums.London: Verso Publishing, 2006. Print. 37. Robleto, Leonardo. “The Call For A Post-Informal Landscape Urbanism” Scenario Journal. PennDesign. Philadelphia, June 28, 2012. Web. 38. Robleto, Leonardo. “The Call For A Post-Informal Landscape Urbanism.” 67. Outskirts of Bogota, Usaquen. 49


50


68. (Right and left) Examples of a case study carried in the southwestern fringe of Medellin, identifying existing conditions and possible where the poorest people look to build their homes. Adam Achrati, 2014. 68 51


52

[Re]connecting STRATEGIES:

Utilize landscape as the medium: Landscape to the city, ecology to the urban

“Any landscape architect knows that the landscape itself is a medium through which all ecological transactions must pass since it is the infrastructure of the future.” (39) – Richard Weller, Australia

In many ways landscape is already (inherently) the mediator within this context, as it represents the opportunity to activate an essential part of the city infrastructure. Green and open spaces within the urban environment are frequently overlooked and undervalued for their potential role in aiding cities to become more resilient and resistant or for the ecosystem services they can provide. As part of the proposed approach, the aim is to explore the role of the green network infrastructure as an adaptive strategy for the city and simultaneously an organizer of the natural processes - not only in the built environment. In other words, as described by Benedict & McDonald, “the green infrastructure is defined as the interconnected network of waterways, wetlands, woodlands, wildlife habitats, and other natural areas; greenways, parks, and other conservation lands; working farms, ranches and forests; and wilderness and other open spaces that support native

species, maintain natural ecological processes, sustain air and water resources and contribute to health and quality of life.” (40) Deliberately or not, the world is moving towards a less formal, more flexible order, and here is where the activation of the green infrastructure is critical to the future of the city and its design, as it can become a medium for sustainability and health. An ecological-urbanistic approach can be a critical framework for the of the city and its design: it provides a framework for addressing challenges that threaten humanity, such as global warming, rising sea level, declining oil reserves, rising energy demands, and environmental justice, while fulfilling human needs for health, safety, and welfare, meaning and delight. If we take a closer look at the landscape in cities like Boston, Chicago or Barcelona, we can see a commonality in the green infrastructure among all of them. In these cities these spaces are

a valuable asset to protect. We can see how all cities are working with their surrounding green elements, as they employ a co-relation and connection to the city in one way or the other: Landscape is recognized as the essential part of the city infrastructure Greenway as a connector and activator of the peripheries Landscape tied to the social structure of the city

39. Waldheim, Charles. “Landscape as Urbanism.” The Landscape Urbanism Reader. New York: Princeton Architectural, 2006. 35-53. Print. 40. Allen, William, Leigh Anne McDonald, Mark A. Benedict, Keith O’Conner. “Green Infrastructure Plan Evaluation Frameworks”Journal of Conservation Planning Vol. 1 (2005) The Conservation Fund, Chapel Hill.


69. (Right) Example of Paisajes Emergentes Work, Luis Callejas, LCLA Office, 2012. 53


54

02


70. Examples of a case study carried in the city edges of Barranquilla, Colombia. Emerging and Sustainable Cities Initiative Report about Barranquilla’s Historical and Current Urban Footprint and Future Urban Scenarios, 2014.

Considering landscape as the most informal of all mediums of the city, it can be utilized as a medium-catalyst of how informal growth happens, or where is going to happen. Arguably this is already happening in cities like Port-au-Prince, where growth is now being pushed out of the city core; or in the contrary in Caracas, where settlements are still occurring in the hillside and peripheries of the metropolis. Here is where it is important to understand that as cities continues to grow, the development on the periphery of the urban area will begin to have an impact on these transition zones between urban, rural and mountainous landscapes, either way. Therefore it will be important to maintain the urban gradient between these areas to maintain the landscape character of both.

and able to respond to climate change. The network of green infrastructure can be an autonomous and flexible system that does not add a burden to the existing infrastructure but rather to serve as a way to mitigate the effects between the built and un-built environments. The landscape itself can assume various roles as a cultural amenity and distinguish the recognized areas from other cities and regions of the country, as a productive landscape. The edges of the city should be further studied and preserved. The importance between the rural and urban landscape should not be underestimated and can lay an important role within the Latin American culture.

The network of green infrastructure can be adapted and incorporated into the urban environment as an integrated system, enabling the city to be adaptable 55


56

[Re]connecting STRATEGIES:

Learning from the informal strategies: Positive vs. Limitations

“Most architects get architectural ideas out of other architecture. I thought this was the wrong process. I mean, it should be part of your education, but… painters… don’t only get ideas about art by studying older paintings. Suddenly they are confronted with some experience or fact, and something completely unprecedented takes place” (41) – Hans Hollein

After understanding that most (if not all) of informal settlements start at the landscape, the goal is to set up a productive dialogue about the relevance and the role of the informal city in the today’s world. With that it’s necessary to continue to acknowledge some of the limitations and positive aspects of these informal realities:

do not even appear in maps, census or official city records. Any information about these areas is difficult to find, and even then can be out of date or incomplete.

Limitations Invaders may be saying “así somos, así vivimos y convivimos”. Can one think about a city where there is less government and more communities with autonomy? – Alejandro Cegarra

The first question that arises in most cases, it’s why, above all, would a squatter decide to submit itself to such deplorable conditions? What is it about living in the city under such precarious conditions that makes it desirable? As an example, Venezuela, like in any developing country, the capital is the largest city in the main economic, social and cultural engine of the nation. Still over the years, and yet with its multiple

negative limitations, Caracas represents the greatest amount of services and opportunities and therefore job opportunities for a large amount of the population. As the rural continues not fully consolidated, the trend has been to pursue the migration to the city. Moreover, as the rural immigrants come to the city – thanks to family ties, job opportunities and desire to be a part of the larger economic system – these people seek for land occupation, illegal appropriation or pirate-occupancy to start constructing their own dwellings. In other words, squatters will occupy or settle in areas of risk or undesirable sites such as cliffs, unstable mountain edges and areas prevalent of flooding. With that comes an inherent set of circumstances that can be understood as the following: (43) 1.No recognition by the city: Everyone else in the city often ignores informal settlements in the city. Sometimes they

2. Insecure land tenure: Since land occupation does not follow a formal process, land tenures or security is always doubtful. Arguably, it depends on multiple factors, among some: location, community organization and resourcefulness. Conceivably it depends on how much the government overlooks and secures territories in and around the city edges, but in this context it’s assumed that occupancy happens without much (to non) governmentwatch. 3. Lack of access to basic services: Inherently, informal settlements lack basic services that include: Potable water, sewage treatment, electricity, garbage collection and any sort of roads or considerable access.


“If you want to fix a stair, you have to consult everyone on the alley, from the color of the paint to the extent of the improvement. It can become overpowering and frustrating, but it showcases how small decisions affects daily lives in the barrios.” “Your problem is my problem.” “Necessities arise and are fixed” (44)

4. Inadequate Housing: As housing is developed in the already mentioned circumstances, outcomes do not tend to be much more than unstable or risky structures developed by inhabitants themselves. There is a clear willingness of improvement over time, but as investigations have pointed out 5. Insufficient living space: As the occupancy framework constitutes and grows, dwellings and construction is always changing. Negatively, this usually brings more occupants than desirable, while at the same time the living spaces become considerable reduced in and outside dwelling units. Positive Lacking zoning regulations to protect residential environments, informal cities are characterized by the close human intersection and a mix of activities which most experts consider desirable in any neighborhood. – Gwedolyn Wright

41. Lefaivre, Liane. “Everything is architecture” Harvard Design Magazine, Spring Summer, 18 2003. 42. Thanks to Robert Cowherd for restating the importance of not over-romanticize the noble savage character of organic architectural community formation and instead take a hard look at the realities of the zero-sum game playing out on the slopes of Latin American slums. 43. Beardsley, John and Christian Werthman. “Improving Informal Settlements: Ideas from Latin America.” Harvard Design Magazine 28, Can designers improve life in Non-Formal Cities?, (Summer,

On the other hand, these urbanisms that seem unregulated, lacking of form and are certainly unofficial, are open networks to learn how more organic systems are generated and understand what’s in their conditions that make them so desirable. While these communities are highly disadvantaged, they do present examples of brilliant forms of ingenuity, and prove that indeed we have the ability to adapt to all manner of circumstances.

Spring 2008) 44. 45. Many thanks to Helena Carpio for the stories about her personal experience while documenting narratives for “Fighter Project” during the summer of 2014 in Petare, Caracas, Venezuela.

1. Open grid: One of the most remarkable aspects of informal growth is the sort of

skeleton framework that opens up, where people find their own foundation where they can tap into. 2. Flexible: Behind this always-changing manmade topography, one can see how each specific area becomes its own framework for the inhabitants to create their homes in an organic, intuitive way that responds directly to their needs. 3. Barrios are participative: one individual, and one individual cannot make decisions alone. If anything it’s the realization of communal efforts and therefore communal communications. (45) 4. Sense of community: In the informal settlements, every community is different: each parcel, organized community or neighborhood has it’s own character, distinctions and even social infrastructure. Similarly to the Barrio Gotico (Gothic Quarter) emerged in Barcelona, where guilders, ceramists and artists each had their own street or corner among the larger city. 5. Structures are adaptable and interchangeable: In difference to formal developments, infrastructure in the informal settlements represents an opportunity of growth, investment over time and adaptability. Inherently this comes with time and therefore it responds to the user over the years, in contrast to typical top-down approach where infrastructure comes first and use later.

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[Re]connecting STRATEGIES:

Informal Armatures

David Gouverneur’s (Landscape Architecture professor at PennDesign in Philadelphia) research is understood as Informal Armatures. It consists of the development of a preemptive design of areas where the city is expanding, in contrast to a recuperative improvement of informal settlements, understood as “acupunctural” interventions.

Definition

Protectors, Buffers

Attractors

In other words, Informal Armatures would constitute public infrastructure around which self-constructed settlements could arise in a more sustainable and healthy condition.

Seeking to protect specific pieces of land from development: (Fig. 71)

Resources and amenities serving future development: (Fig. 72)

Environmental Protection Control of Expansion Water and Waste Management Agriculture Passive Amenities Recreation

Initial provision of water Energy Food Materials Security Sanitation Transportation Recreation

As explained by Gouverneur, “the basic premise of the Informal Armature approach is to find a middle ground between the existing uncontrolled informal development and the top down intervention (be it governmental project or formal private development).” The goal for this “armatures” is to operate between the effective but uncontrollable laissez-faire (46) informal growth and the calculated (but inefficient) status-quo model of formal development processes. Ultimately this hybrid model acts as a guide and supports an existing power structure of community leader or informal developer leading the process of settlement. 46. A policy or attitude of letting things takes their own course, without interfering. Oxford Dictionary (2014).

71.

72.


Custodians

Productive patches

Neighborhood patches

Economic drivers or public uses: (Fig. 73)

Areas intended for settlements: (Fig. 74)

Separators Recycling/Construction Sites Waste Management Manufacturing Real-Estate Operations Parks Metropolitan Services Sports Mix-used Packages

Subject to squatting Pirate Development Sites and Services Programs Mixed Formal/Informal Operations Local Centralities and connectors

73.

self-constructed

Public stewards managing the settlement and enforcing protector patches and buffer zones: (Fig. 75) Stewardship of Public Turf Icons Managerial Centers Informaton Governance “The Garden Keepers�

74.

75. 59


60

[Re]connecting STRATEGIES:

Irregular Structures

“The irregular structures are interesting not only for the wealth of forms that occur, but by the advantages of its use in construction, allowing an unusual tolerance for imprecision. This circumstance makes them accessible to the amateur builder, someone without specific knowledge or sophisticated tools. The fact of simplifying construction techniques can have important consequences from a social point of view.” (47)

Informal Armateurs Strategy Published in his first manifesto around 1958, Yona Friedman proposed different strategies and actions geared to the adaptation of architectural creation to modern user requirements concerning social and physical mobility. In this study, Friedman points out “that architectural knowledge cannot be the exclusive property of professionals and specialists, and suggests writing guides

76. Yona Friedman’s Manifesto, 1985.

(‘manuals’), which explain topics related to architecture and urban planning in clear and simple terms.” (48) Similarly to David Gouverneur’s strategy about Informal Armateurs, Yona Friedman’s Irregular Structures can serve as a starting point to start catalyzing the proposed Incremental Network.

47.Friedman, Yona. Pro Domo. Barcelona, Spain: Actar, 2012. 48.Friedman, Yona. Pro Domo. Barcelona, Spain: Actar, 2012.


Manual 1 (Fig. 77) The irregular structures can be constructed easily But it is hard to draw them on paper They do not follow any easy capable rule But they could be presented as methods on site It is important to indicate that these structures do not demand precision They allow a certain degree of negligence in their implementation, with is inherently incompatible with any professional work Any person can construct them These structures cannot be represented as a whole, not even through models They can only be experienced in real life On site The irregular structures are open for improvisation For their continuous transformation They do not have a final shape Open processes That defines a “soft” architecture That adapts to a “soft” society

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Manual 2 (Fig. 78) The (architectural) consequences for a “soft” society Consist, first of all, of who takes which decisions Morally, it should be the interested person, the inhabitant. Technically, this is the most difficult. The natural method to follow is that of “trial and error”, open to posterior corrections. For the user to carry through, the corrections demand to be not very complex. The trial and error is only feasible at a 1:1 scale, “on site.” It’s more than just a game. The corrections are usually improvised (As everything in life) The irregular structures are specially appropriated For a continuous process of adjustment, Even to the detail of a collective structure As well as family dwellings. This mobile architecture implies irregular and random organizations. The (object) architecture evolves with the progress of the inhabitant The society is no longer a mechanism, but a process Without an ultimate result.


Manual 3 (Fig. 79) Give than the irregular structures have to be tested in scale, We can construct 1:1 models in cardboard With rolls With boxes. This scale models express the physical qualities of the forms, The aesthetics qualities of the object And can be utilized even as ephemeral structures. The scale cardboard models Facilitate the process of the “trial and error� Other materials can be used, like wire mesh rolls That could be molded by hand The constructions made with this mesh Are less ephemeral This wire mesh can be combined with plastic sheets And be utilized as refugee.

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(re) inserting

[RESULT] Incremental Network

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[Re] inserting RESULT: Incremental Network

Incremental (ism): As mediating tool to mitigate the formal and informal growth

“The time has come to approach architecture urbanistically and urbanism architecturally” (49) – Alison Smithson

Arguably the context and the strategies previously described in this scenario, leads us to the result of ‘incremental (ism)’ as a tool to implement this ‘new growth order’ in various ways. This strategy is presented as a methodology “that understand that ‘citiness’ is found not as a final product but on-going project rooted in experience and engagement.” (50) The idea is to create some quite concrete, material and tangible, where these corners of continuous incremental growth become the paradigm or urban, architectural, civic and cultural diversity. As Julia King states, “incremental encourages the contributions of people to shape and affect their environments by being active components of making place, the process of incremental improvements, addition or development offers these opportunities which are lost in large scale one-stop projects.” More importantly, incremental architecture considers organic patterns that have emerged over time, as well the preservation of existing social networks.

49.Smithson, Alison. Ed. Team 10 Primer Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1968. 50.King, Julia. “What is the Incremental City?.” Incremental City, entry posted February 9, 2013, http://incrementalcity.wordpress. com/2013/02/09/what-is-the-incremental-city/ (accessed November 4, 2014).


80. Households in Savda Ghevra, Julia King (2012) 67


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[Re] inserting RESULT: Incremental Network

Incremental Network

Flexibility is the common ground among these approaches, a model of organic development that challenges the assump¬tion of traditional Western planning that man control his surroundings. - Gwendolyn Wright

An incremental network is concerned with the behavior of large-scale assemblage over time, based on the performance, community inputs and outputs and the mediation of force and resistance. Similarly, Christopher Alexander’s approaches in A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings and Construction, explains that “cities emerge gradually and organically, almost of their own accord (...) if every act of building, large or small, takes on the responsibility for gradually shaping its small co¬-rner of the world larger patterns will appear.” Therefore this incremental network demands for architecture and urban design to be less concerned with how things look like and more invested with what they can do. The aim is to also contra rest what’s happening in today’s private and public developments worldwide since “today most infrastructures follows city growth rather than facilitating and opening up new growth centres within

and outside city’s core.” (51) Ideally this framework can be catalyst for a “radical re-categorization of architecture”(52), removing all boundaries between it and other fields, and to promote the endless process of connectivity. This way projects are no longer just constructed as an object but more like a space that acts as an interface between nature and architecture, a frame made from filters and shades where anything can happen, either public or private. To an extent, the idea is to synthesize these three important lines of work – urban design, architecture and infrastructure, under one scope – the incremental network. Moreover, as Alexander explains, “the city understood as a collage consisting not only of different largescale interventions but also of a huge number of transformations at the scale of the individual house, strengths social

networks and favours urban integration of local neighborhoods; so, the collagecity is a living city, a complex city.” (53) Considerably an incremental network, is conformed by the following structures: Urban design: Guidelines for Speculative Landscape Architecture: Incremental Neighborhood Infrastructure: Urban Catalyst empowerment

for

socio-economic

51. Bhabha, Homi K. “Mumbai on My Mind: Some Thoughts on Sustainability.” Ecological Urbanisms. Ed. Mohsen Mostafavi and Gareth Doherty. Baden, Switzerland: GSD, Harvard U and Lars Muller, 2010. 78-83. Print 52. Lefaivre, Liane. “Everything is architecture” Harvard Design Magazine, Spring Summer, 18 2003. 53. Alexander, C., Ishikawa, S., Silverstein, M., Jaconson, M., Fiksdahl-King, I, and Anghel, S., 1997. A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, and Construction. New York: Oxford University Press.


81. (Right) Gego, Esfera, 1976. 69


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[Re] inserting RESULT: Incremental Network

Urban Design: Guidelines for Speculative Landscape

Through the research of understanding the role of urban design (including observation, speculation and consultations of reports by organizations like Emerging and Sustainable Cities Initiative and United Nations Habitat) several recurring issues have been identified relating to the general urban growth of the emerging cities (of Latin America). The suggested are some of the recommendations that could shape the future landscapes and areas of expansion where this incremental network could be applied. In combination with the ESC Initiative and other sources of information, the following are some of the recommendations that can guide the process of these “new growth order� (54) in the landscape:

Urban and natural linkages: - Create inventory of existing protected and unprotected open space, highlight functions of existing parks and forests (recreation, habitat protection, etc.) prioritize acquisitions of additional land and continue land preservation. - Set goal of meeting World Health Organization recommendation of 10-15 m2 of open space per inhabitant. - Limit or prohibit development on existing agricultural lands.

which can increase and improve the biodiversity of a region and the overall quality of the environment. - The landscape provides cultural values for the city, distinguishing it from other cities and regions of the country and is a valuable asset. In addition to the aesthetic qualities provided by green spaces, these also contribute to the well being of the residents, their sense of community as well as an important economic value (recreation and tourism).

- A multi-scalar approach should be taken into consideration during the planning phase where the implementation of a conjunction of urban and natural systems can work as integral component connecting the larger ecosystems around the city. - A system of interventions can also serve ecological functions by connecting natural areas within and around the city,

54.Historial and Current Urban Footprint and Future Urban Scenarios. GeoAdaptive and Inter-American Development Bank. 2014


82. Superstudio Collage (1975)

Development & hazard vulnerability

Growth dynamics of the city

- Restrict development by defining boundaries of high-susceptibility areas and defining allowable land uses.

- Increase availability of low income housing near existing development and public services.

- Require new development to treat storm water on site or connect appropriately to larger proposed networks throughout the city.

- Encourage higher density development in already developed areas, as well as undeveloped areas.

- Provide relocation assistance to residents. Demolish unsafe structures to prevent further use. - Establish a boundary around the city identifying forested and agricultural land which can be conserved and serve as a buffer for new development.

- Set minimum density requirements in certain zones. - Identify areas for redevelopment and adaptive reuse of existing infrastructure.

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[Re] inserting RESULT: Incremental Network

83. Informal settlement corridor, Caracas, 2013.


Architecture: Incremental Neighborhood

The implementation of a guided incremental typology for a neighborhood achieves an organic co-relation between the landscape ecology and the city urbanism, as it provides a more adequate and healthy model of growth.

Following are key precedents that highlight the potentials and benefits of a “neighborhood scale” framework shaped by an incremental housing.

In informal settlements inevitably houses are going to grow, transform and evolve. Therefore, and in contrast to other models, this strategy encourages selfmade incremental dwellings, to shape a more responsible architecture that is influenced by emergent aesthetics. It’s in this process where dwellers are involved in pre-construction, construction and post-construction process. Houses are growing, changing the growth of the city, day by day.

Incremental Housing Strategy (20082009) by Filipe Balestra and Sara Göransson.

Quinta Monroy (2004) by Elemental.

Growing House (2004) and Empower Shack (2014) by Urban Think Tank.

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Case Study: Quinta Monroy (2004) by Elemental

‘Elemental is a Do Tank. Our field of action is the city. Elemental seeks an approach to urban life in contexts of scarce resources, whether in the housing field, public space, transportation, using the city as a source of equality, here and now.’ - Andrés Iacobelli and Alejandro Aravena

Alejandro Aravena’s Elemental Studio’s philosophy and projects strive to initiate large-scale housing projects and public infrastructure to encourage social development and fight the cycle of poverty in Chilean cities. (55) This particular project, Quinta Monroy, approaches the housing problem with an alternative solution (to most common public housing projects) which is to provide the community of Iquique with a half built house, and has the particularity to be extendable in time following the extension of the family or the need for more space.

shared spaces are informally created and take place despite the lack of spaces provided solely for this purpose. People congregate under or in front of the steps, as well as in or around parking spaces.

In general the project’s success is clear because it introduces a housing prototype that will increase over time, reversing the trend of most public housing structures, which arguably depreciate their value over the years. (56) The project also provides relative predictability and safe construction results, but it also allows for customization.

1. A response to a need of safe and affordable housing on the outskirts of Santiago de Chile.

Even though based on communal living,

4. The development of a process rather than a predetermined project, in order to create a useful exchange for all stakeholders.

The Elemental approach is considered an evolving and upgradable house for a limited budget, which considerably is the case of almost all public housing projects worldwide. The concept of the house is based on several elements:

2. The involvement of the local residents in the construction process, from the beginning. 3. The improvement of living standards, but also its social, economic, environmental impact at a bigger scale.

55. uiros, Luis Diego. “Emerging from Dystopia: Latin America’s Latest Lessons.” ACSA 101 “New Constellations/ New Ecologies” Guerilla Ecologies: Tactical Interventions 56.Aravena, Alejandro. Elemental: Incremental Housing and Participatory Design Manual. Hatje Cantz, 2013.


Typology

Fund Distribution

Form and Organization

84. GUTTLAB 路 global urban and territorial threat laboratory, 2014. 75


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Approach

Modular Construction

Site Redevelopment

85. GUTTLAB 路 global urban and territorial threat laboratory, 2014.


Outcome

Appreciation, Adaptability and Reproduction

02

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Case Study: Incremental Housing Strategy by Filipe Balestra and Sara Göransson (2008-2009)

The pilot project for this Incremental Housing Strategy began in Netaji Nagar, a portion of an inner-city slum called Yerawada, located in Pune, Bombay. Houses in these urban villages are usually divided in two categories: “Kacchas” as the temporary structures built with materials from the site and lack basic services; and the “Puccas” which are more durable dwellings made out of reinforced concerte and brick, with more permanent conditions. (57) In Netaji there are 106 Kacchas and 109 Puccas. (58) The proposal of Balestra and Goransson’s plan was shaped by intense workshops with the community where ideas were presented and debated using tools such as house models and drawings. As well as focusing on the individual houses, the strategy was to promote a holistic approach for upgrading the whole neighborhood, and not just individual dwellings. This includes adjusting existing cluster sizes to allow for more open space and for very narrow lanes to

be widened for better flow. (59) Learning from existing typologies, three house prototypes were developed for the families to choose from. Similarly to the previous example, with Elemental’s approach, the major aim of these proposals was to provide structures that can be adapted to individual needs while allowing future expansion.

57. King, Julia. “Unthinking housing for the urban poor.” Incremental City, entry posted September 8, 2012, http:// incrementalcity.wordpress.com/2012/09/18/unthinking-housing-forthe-urban-poor/ (accessed November 4, 2014). 58. Urbanoveau. “A weekly dose of architecture: Incremental Housing Strategy” Archidose Blog, entry posted on May 25, 2009, http://www.archidose.org/May09/25/dose.html (accessed December 7, 2014). 59. Urbanoveau. “A weekly dose of architecture: Incremental Housing Strategy.”


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87. Housing typologies, neighborhood scale and scope of intervention. Filipe Balestra and Sara Gรถransson (2008-2009) Archdaily.com 79


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88. Aerial view perspective of Netaji Najar, Prune, Bombay, India. Filipe Balestra and Sara Gรถransson (2008-2009) Archdaily.com


02

89. View of Incremental Proposal for Netaji Najar, Prune, Bombay, India. Filipe Balestra and Sara Gรถransson (2008-2009) Archdaily.com 81


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Case Study: Housing-Neighborhood Prototypes by Urban Think Tank

Growing House (2004) In this housing prototype for the housing shortage in the city of Caracas, Urban Think Tank envisions the experimental design “as an emergency housing tower build over existing built structures offers those with extremely limited financial resources in a completely different way of looking at residential development.”(60) This project acts an entrepreneurial village development, based on the concept of the flexible “growing house.” The concept is similar to that of “sites and

services” in India, but laid out vertically. In other words, the intention here was to design the concrete frame, electricity, drinking- and wastewater services at each level, and then allow the users who will inhabit the apartments to fill in block closures and complete the designs.

explain, “this idea was inspired by both the real examples of squatting in buildings under construction and by the 1980’s New York artist loft scheme that left raw space to be fitted out by the user.” (61)

Expanding a concrete frame vertically and using a steel shelf-type system in between the floor gives the design flexibility for future adaptation. As Alfredo Brillembourg, and Hubert Klumpner

60. “Growing House,” Urban Think Tank, accessed December 7, 2014 http://u-tt.com/researchIdeas_DesignIdeas_02.html 61. Growing House,” Urban Think Tank. 90.Growing House Prototype, Urban Think Tank, 2004.


Empower Shack (2014) South Africa continues to experience a housing crisis. With a shortage of over 2.5 million housing units nationwide, approximately 7.5 million people are locked out of the formal property market. (62)

The Empower Shack project aims to introduce an integrated approach to the upgrading of South Africa’s growing informal settlements, merging design innovation with community-driven spatial planning and livelihoods programming. Arguably, this initiative is not simply about improving the lives of individuals through higher-quality dwellings. (63) It is convinced that an innovative pilot scheme that influences architecture and infrastructure towards a new direction

in regards housing construction. The project has components:

policies

three

and

intersecting

1. The development and roll-out of a cost-effective, resilient, two-story housing prototype, featuring shared sanitation facilities. 2. The development of custom digital and micro financing tools to support a participatory settlement upgrading process. 3. A series of including an model, urban management

expand local economic opportunities and ensure the long-term sustainability of the project. Initiated in 2013, the project has already resulted in the construction of a first housing prototype onsite. The remaining 67 units on the project site will be upgraded with an improved housing prototype within the life of the proposed funding program. (64)

parallel pilot programs – income-generating solar agriculture, and a waste social enterprise – to

62. “Empower Shack” ETH Zurich, Swisspearl Summer School, accessed December 7, 2014. http://www.empowershack.com/ about 63. Hudson, Dany. “urban think tank introduces the empower shack to the slums of western cape.” Design Boom Blog, entry posted March 8, 2014, http://www.designboom.com/architecture/ urban-think-tank-empowershack-slums-western-cape-382014/ (accessed December 7, 2014) 64. “Empower Shack” ETH Zurich, Swisspearl Summer School. 91. Empower Shack by Urban Think Tank (2014). 83


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Infrastructure: Urban Catalyst for socio-economic empowerment

As stated previously, after focalizing the future design project in one of the selected cities, the idea is to continue to understand existing local-conditions; where the specific political, financial, social, topographic, physical, and other contexts will shape the ultimate result. (65) After identifying problems as well as potential solution strategies, it’s fundamental to intersect those circumstances with the realities of the existing social, physical, and economic infrastructures. Its here where it will be necessary to recognize “urban catalysts”(66) for the kind of change this thesis is proposing. In the efforts of promoting de-centralized planning strategies, is necessary to ask the following: What kind of infrastructures (catalysts) already exist that can be reoriented or reconnected in new ways?(67) Perhaps looking at: (i) Water as a resource; (ii) permaculture as tool(68) or even (iii) social infrastructures for empowerment.

The following precedents are examples of projects (some of which where showcased in MoMA’s Design and Architecture Series: Small Scale, Big Change: New Architectures of Social Engagement (October 3, 2010–January 3, 2011) that utilize existing or new infrastructure in an alternative way, that look to catalyzing change and empowering communities.(69) In general, all these projects manage to bring innovative architecture to underserved communities. In one way or the other these built projects address the functional requirements of their designs but also aim to have a broad positive effect on the communities they work in, as the built environment in engagement with the social, economic, and political facts aims to transform communities beyond the boundaries of their extent. In addition to new modes of participatory design, these projects incorporate site-specific ecological and socially

sustainable practices, including the exploration of both new and traditional materials.(70) If anything, this incremental network looks to engage communities to incorporate innovation and social change.

65. Thanks to Marc J. Neveu for restating how the informal development in cities has now become massive with some similarities across borders but arguably they are quite different and that the richness of a research comes not from a broad based approach, but a more finely focused look. 66. Urban catalysts can be defined, as new redevelopment strategies comprised of a series of projects that drive and guide urban development. Urban catalyst is a term developed by Philipp Misselwitz, Philipp Oswalt and Klaus Overmeyer (2003). 67. Many thanks to Jonathan Foote for pointing out the importance of this investigation to further ground the future “incremental network” design proposal. 68. A program like food networks in cities has not yet being much explored could potentially be an interesting new typology. Thanks to Zenovia Toloudi for the recommendation. 69. “Small Scale, Big Change” MoMa’s Small Scale, Big Change: New Architectures of Social Engagement. Accessed December 7, 2014. Small Scale, Big Change” MoMa’s Small Scale, Big Change: New Architectures of Social Engagement.


92.Urban interventions: Architecture as a mechanism of inclusion. Carolina Uechi, Master of Architecture, University of Maryland, (2014). 93. Local Garden, framework for Food Network. 94. Water re-use Billboard “Billboard In Lima, Peru Creates Drinking Water Out Of Thin Air” Lima, Peru. 95. METI – Handmade School (2004–06) Rudrapur, Bangladesh. Anna Heringer and Eike Roswag 96. Orquideorama, Plan B Arquitectos, Medellin, Colombia. 97. Casa Familiar: Living Rooms at the Border and Senior Housing with Childcare (2001–present) San Ysidro, California. Estudio Teddy Cruz

92.

93.

94.

95.

96.

97. 85


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Conclusion: Incremental Network – as the best practice towards a sustainable growth

“Learning from extreme conditions in the developing world is a powerful source of creativity” (71) - Marie Aquillo

As cities (in Latin America) continue to grow it’s becoming more necessary to revise the current models of growth and ultimately propose more holistic solutions that aim to accommodate present realities. As Luis Diego Quiros suggests “in current times where resources are limited and the role of architects is beign re-evaluated, it seems urgent to re-think the ways in which the profession can promote change.” (72) As previously mentioned, growing Latin American cities represent an incredible opportunity to re-think urban planning and city growth. An incremental network has the potential to mediate the formal and informal developments, as it has the capacity to create new corners of growth in these emerging cities; integrating the ecology to the urban by converging growing communities and underutilized landscapes. Arguably cities are continuing to be order by and built around networks of gray infrastructure (streets, roads, sewer and other infrastructure). But the speeded-up emerging territories – like the suburbs, rich or poor, of the first world – are territories without corners, without physical or social intersection; they are, however, the places with the greatest potential and future demand. (73) And in spite of the stiff nature of gray infrastructure, the intention is that the proposed “incremental network” strategy utilizes open and green spaces as flexible networks that can aid in providing a more adaptable network for cities, allowing them to be more

resilient to the effects of climate change, urban growth and other factors. A valuable contribution by Shlomo Angel and his team “Making Room for a Planet of Cities” supports speculations based on a wide research on urban expansion. One their most important conclusion is that urban population growth cannot be contained and we must make adequate room to accommodate it; they recommend drastic measures, like buying land and conditioning it to basic urban levels in order to let self/construction spark. So could an incremental network be a guideline to mitigate this pressing issue? Using a holistic approach that encompasses three scales (urban design, architecture and infrastructure) an incremental network manages to: (i) Develop a preemptive design in areas where the city is expanding; (ii) Revise the current relationship with urban growth and the preservation of the landscape; (iii) Provide guidelines that promote more sustainable and efficient growth of new communities; (iv) and demonstrate that ecological-urbanistic approach can be a critical framework for the of the city and its design. More importantly an incremental framework looks to: (i) Foster more compacted urban development with high density (ii) reinforce connections towards existing communities (and infrastructure). (iii) Integrate efficiently the use and conservation of resources within the framework, like:


energy and water management, use of materials (construction and waste) and protect natural, agricultural lands and soils, while promoting mixed uses of the land; (iv) create mix-used development where proximity to various sectors is available; (vi) minimize motorized dependency and favor shared modes of transportation; and ultimately (vi) preserve and create networks of open and public spaces, cultural amenities and key natural zones where green spaces can serve multiple functions for the benefit of the urban ecological environment and the inhabitants. In conclusion, the proposal is to develop a guideline for a preemptive planning of a self-constructed neighborhood that connects and weaves into the urban landscape of two potential emerging cities in Latin America. This incremental network re-organizes the natural and built environment and implements a new incremental framework of growth.

71. Aquillo, Marie. Ed. 2011. Introduction in Beyond Shelter: Architecture and Human Dignity. New York: Metropolis, p.10. 72. Quiros, Luis Diego. “Emerging from Dystopia: Latin America’s Latest Lessons.” ACSA 101 “New Constellations/ New Ecologies” Guerilla Ecologies: Tactical Interventions 73. De Sola-Morales, Manuel. “Cities and Urban Corners.” The Barcelona Metropolis Mediterranean Monographs: Forum Barcelona (2006): 131-35. Print.

98. Teddy Cruz sketches, Cruz Studio.

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Incremental Network: Learning from the informal cities of Latin America  

A Thesis Prospectus submitted to Wentworth Institute of Technology, M.Arch '15, Fall 2014.

Incremental Network: Learning from the informal cities of Latin America  

A Thesis Prospectus submitted to Wentworth Institute of Technology, M.Arch '15, Fall 2014.

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