Category: Urbanization & City Planning

Paul Pholeros: How to reduce poverty? Fix homes

 

In 1985, architect Paul Pholeros was challenged by the director of an Aboriginal-controlled health service to “stop people getting sick” in a small indigenous community in south Australia. The key insights: think beyond medicine and fix the local environment. In this sparky, interactive talk, Pholeros describes projects undertaken by Healthabitat, the organization he now runs to help reduce poverty—through practical design fixes—in Australia and beyond.

Teddy Cruz: How architectural innovations migrate across borders

 

As the world’s cities undergo explosive growth, inequality is intensifying. Wealthy neighborhoods and impoverished slums grow side by side, the gap between them widening. In this eye-opening talk, architect Teddy Cruz asks us to rethink urban development from the bottom up. Sharing lessons from the slums of Tijuana, Cruz explores the creative intelligence of the city’s residents and offers a fresh perspective on what we can learn from places of scarcity.

Facets of Alster Lake, Hamburg

 

The Alster is a right tributary of the Elbe in Northern Germany. It has its source near Henstedt-Ulzburg, Schleswig-Holstein, flows somewhat southwards through much of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg and joins the Elbe in central Hamburg. In total, the Alster is 56 km (35 mi) long and has an incline from 31 m to 4 m above sea level. Its drainage basin is about 587 km(227 sq mi), being regarded to most beautiful and widest scenery of nature in Hamburg.

The Alster Lake is Hamburg’s most important waterscape and landscape feature, which is divided into two parts, Inner Alster (Binnenalster) and Outer Alster (Außenalster). While the Elbe river is a tidal navigation of international significance and prone to flooding, Alster is a non-tidal, slow-flowing and in some places, seemingly untouched idyll of nature, in other places tamed and landscaped urban space. In the city center, the river forms two lakes, both prominent features in Hamburg’s cityscape.

 

History

Hamburg was founded at the mouth of the Alster river in the 9th century and used it as a port. The water was used to flood the moats of the fortifications. The Alster has been dammed since 1190, originally to power a watermill. In 1235 a further dam was built for a second mill, which changed the shape of the river to be like a lake. In the 15th and 16th century, an Alster canal was built to connect Hamburg with Lübeck. The canal was about 8 km (5.0 mi) long and built from the Alster to the Beste, a tributary of the Trave river, at Sülfeld. Because of the difficulties in holding water, especially near marsh areas, the 91 km (57 mi) long waterway from Hamburg to Lübeck was navigable from 1529 to 1550 only. Hamburg expanded along the shores of the Alster, and several locks were constructed to make the river navigable. Until the 19th century water transport with barges were used up to the town of Kayhude. The barges—transporting building material, fuel, and foods—were staked or hauled.

 

Ecological and Economic Value

The Alster is the most favorable spot for the Hamburgers to do water sports, sightseeing, recreation, and park-sauntering in the city centre. It is navigatable some 9 km upstream from the mouth. Alster Touristik GmbH (ATG), a subsidiary of the Hamburger Hochbahn, provides public and touristic transport on a fleet of Alster ferries in the city of Hamburg. Along the entire course within Hamburg, rowing or paddle boats are available for rent. In general, the Alster is assessed to be clean, even though the section below the lock at Rathausschleuse and closer to the port may have the occasional floating debris. Hamburg’s Alster and its lakes and canals are famous for its white swans, cared for out of public funds since the 16th century.

 

Text source: Wikipedia

Source: TU Vienna

6 Most Sustainable and Energy-Efficient Designs for the Future of Urban Housing

Regarding the continuation of our built environment, lately climate change has been an important and concrete issue that needs to be addressed in every aspects of our daily life. Irresponsible natural resources exploitation has lead us to the excessive production of greenhouse gases emitted by human activity, inducing anthropogenic climate change (Global Greenhouse Warming). As the real consequences, we now frequently face global warming,… Read more →

Why the buildings of the future will be shaped by you: by Marc Kushner

“Architecture is not about math or zoning — it’s about visceral emotions,” says Marc Kushner. In a sweeping — often funny — talk, he zooms through the past thirty years of architecture to show how the public, once disconnected, have become an essential part of the design process. With the help of social media, feedback reaches architects years before a building is even created. The result? Architecture that will do more for us than ever before.

Photo credit: Iwan Baan

The Elevated High Line Park, New York

High Line Park, or The High Line,  is a 1.45-mile-long (2.33 km) New York City linear park built in Manhattan on an elevated section of dilapidated New York Central Railroad called the West Side Line (Green & Letsch, 2014). In 1934, as part of the West Side Improvement Project, the High Line opened to trains, to transport meat and dairy products… Read more →

Genre de Vie: The Moment You Would Start Pedaling

The concept of ‘genre de vie’ (way of life) was introduced by geographer Paul Vidal de la Blanche in the beginning of the 20th century. The philosophy is about the belief that the lifestyle of a particular region reflects the economic, social, ideological and psychological identities imprinted on the landscape.

 

“In the past few years a growing number of cities worldwide have been (re)discovering the use of the bicycle. Sustainability plays a large role in the motivation behind the revival of the bicycle and takes on different challenges, placing itself in a new and relevant social position. The question then remains whether or not the revitalization and new positioning of the bicycle could contribute to the livability of society.

The documentary Genre De Vie researches the present effects of this form of transport and the lifestyle that is attached to it though research into already existing initiatives that play a crucial role in the revitalization of the bicycle. By taking a global perspective the documentary makers form a clear view on the transformation of cities and urban living. Concentrating also on the effects of the bicycle from a socio-cultural standing point within the individual is central.” – Vimeo

 

Photo credit: West 8

Jenfelder Au: A Climate Resilience Project in Hamburg, Germany

Water has been critical to where cities originate their development, and to the standard of living of their inhabitants (L. Mumford, 1961). However, too much or too little water can have devastating consequences (Iain White, 2013). According to Iain White in his article about regional ecology and resilience, maximized use of hard surfaces that generate run-off and by the development of… Read more →

Photo credit: Arlene Nathaia

Emerging Mutualistic Relationship Between Parklets and Neighborhood Businesses

Urbanist William H. Whyte says, “There is an elemental point about good spaces: supply creates demand. A good new public space builds a new constituency. It gets people into new habits – such as alfresco lunches – and induces them to use new paths…” A Concept of Pedestrian Overspills Parklets are essentially small plots of pedestrian overspill, could be in a… Read more →