2013 Strategies For the Post-Speculative City

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  • ItemOpen Access
    Strategies For the Post-Speculative City : Proceedings of the 4th AESOP European Urban Summer School, Madrid, Spain, September 2013
    (AESOP, 2013) Arana, Juan; Franchini, Teresa
    At this 3rd EUSS, an initiative from the Netherlands government, which challenged young planners to find solutions to contemporary spatial planning problems, was integrated into the School: the Young Planning Professionals Award (YPPA). This is an annual, 3-year international competition (2012-2014) funded by the Directorate responsible for planning at the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment (mI&M). Its aim is to stimulate thinking and promote innovative ideas on how spatial planning in Europe can adapt its form and methodologies to take on the present-day challenges and transformations facing our human settlements. The underlying thinking is that it is largely the younger generation (< 35) of planning professionals who will have to come up with the answers, as it is they who will have the responsibility to plan and develop those settlements in the near future. The winners get free participation at the EUSS and present their papers at a special YPPA session. The papers of winners and runners-up of YPPA form part of the EUSS publication which is also generously supported by the mI&M grant. The theme of the Award is related to the theme of the EUSS, so for 2012 it was ‘Adapting cities to scarcity: new ideas for action. Trends, perspectives and challenges of spatial development in a phase of de-growth and decline in Europe’. This is the publication of the fourth EUSS held in September 2013 at the Universidad CEU San Pablo Polytechnic School, in Boadilla, Madrid, Spain on the theme ’Strategies for Post-Speculative Cities”. It includes the papers of the two winners of the 2013 YPPA – Clenn Kustermans and Veronika Kovacsova - on the topic ‘Ensuring climate resilient cities: innovative ideas for effective measures in a low-level investment environment’.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The European Urban Summer School (EUSS) and the Young Planning Professionals Award (YPPA)
    (AESOP, 2013) Mironowicz, Izabela; Martin, Derek
    In 2010, the Association of European Schools of Planning (AESOP) launched a new annual event: the European Urban Summer School (EUSS) for young planning professionals. AESOP wanted to bring together young professionals and experienced academics and practitioners across Europe to discuss spatial issues. AESOP’s aim was to facilitate a better trans-European understanding of planning issues, promote an exchange of ideas and foster a debate on the most important planning topics. These aims corresponded with AESOP objectives set out in the AESOP Charter. AESOP offers its teaching resources at EUSSs. Members of AESOP – European universities teaching planning – host the event. The EUSS is not a commercial venture. It is meant as a platform of debate to be run on as low as possible fee for participants. Tutors do not get any fee for their work.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Introduction. Concept and issues of the EUSS 2013
    (AESOP, 2013) Franchini, Teresa; Arana, Juan
    At a time of abrupt changes, when the old urban models are quickly becoming obsolete and inefficient, there is an opportunity to look into the future to envisage new strategies. We intend to work on the wounds inflicted on the city by speculative urbanism: there is a need to bring into question the existing model of urban growth, working from the present situation towards new visions to recycle our cities. This is the opportunity to put forward proposals to challenge uncontrolled urban growth; to review the situation of the new suburban territories, and to regenerate the consolidated fabric of the inner city. Conversely to speculative planning, new strategies may consider how to enhance citizen participation in the making of the city. Would a bottom-up urbanism be possible that deals in a more responsible manner with people’s needs? Instead of simplistic speculative solutions we need a multiple and diverse urbanism, capable of adapting to complex situations. New strategies may include reusing the city, rethinking the territory, generating activity, diversity, complexity and density. The 4th European Urban Summer School (EUSS), hosted by the Polytechnic School at the CEU San Pablo University in September 2013, has been an invitation to develop new ways of thinking of, and tools to respond to emerging issues about the future of post speculative cities. It aims to bring together postgraduate students, emerging and experienced academics and young and established design and planning professionals from all over Europe (and further away) to develop a better understanding of some of the most pressing contemporary issues related to the built environment and to amplify and strengthen the links between planning, design-relevant research and professional practice.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Strategies for the post-speculative city. Redressing the balance in favour of sustainable development
    (AESOP, 2013) Ryser, Judith
    Every cloud has a silver lining. The ghost quarters1 on the fringes of Spanish cities - ruins before their time due to frenetic property speculation - are shied by people. They want to live in urban environments where they have access to jobs and urban life, which is more crucial than ever during the economic crisis. Alternative ‘shelter’ is unsavoury though, as evidenced in the slums of the southern outskirts of Madrid, or in overcrowded garages and sheds around Heathrow airport and in the East End of London. This raises the question of whether it is possible to revitalise the speculative quarters in the middle of nowhere into liveable environments and to harness unused spaces within the city by turning them into liveable places. They offer designers a great opportunity to rethink urban regeneration according to ‘nested’ sustainable principles encompassing the environment, the economy and social wellbeing.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Housing in The Netherlands
    (AESOP, 2013) Martin, Derek
    Housing policy in the Netherlands is an interesting example of how a traditionally (especially post World War Two) well-organised national structure of providing affordable and adequate housing has dealt with the transformations brought about by the neo-liberal wind of the past two decades. It has to be said at the outset that, because of this strong structure, speculation has almost totally been eliminated in the Dutch system. So this paper is not about housing in a post-speculative society but about how the Netherlands has continued to avoid speculation in housing even after the quite radical withdrawal of the public sector from this structure since the 90’s. The totality of the housing system has withstood these quite profound changes and the recent financial crisis reasonably well, the social housing sector more than the owner-occupancy sector, which has felt the impact not only of the gross irresponsibility of the financial sector but also of the shortsightedness of the major political parties who put short-term electoral gain before sensible policies.
  • ItemOpen Access
    State of the art in strategic physical planning
    (AESOP, 2013) Leboreiro Amaro, Alberto
    The urban reality of Europe is metropolitan, and good governance of Europe’s metropolitan regions is crucial for the future wellbeing and prosperity of Europe. The total population of the European Union is estimated at about 533 millions inhabitants, with 73% living in urban areas. The Urban Audit of Eurostat identifies 127 Larger Urban Zones with populations of over half a million. These are Europe’s metropolitan regions and areas. A Metropolitan Region is defined by at least 50,000 inhabitants in its core city and 500,000 inhabitants in the entire region (BBR, 2005; DATAR, 2004). From an economic point of view, deregulation policies are applied to the liberalised markets of metropolitan areas. In the global context, competition is emerging between all the cities and globalising cities require internal restructuring based on the information revolution. In the new information society there is a need to modify the spatial network which is concentrating people and activities in cities and financial centres, but dispersing activities in their peripheries. The Metropolitan areas are the engine of European development, the centres of economic, political and cultural life. They are also the centres of political and economic management, expressed in a highly developed infrastructure of specialised services. Acting as external challenge the globalised economy is characterised by the flow of people, goods, capital, services, ideas and information, as well as relationships between organisation and interaction. Metropolitan regions face serious structural transformations, economically, politically and territorially. (Blotevogel 2005a, OECD 2001, Sassen 1991). It is necessary to reconsider the process of evolution of both core cities and the periphery, the urban environment and rural space.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Madrid’s urban planning background. Some anti-speculative measures. The1985 Master Plan
    (AESOP, 2013) Leira, Eduardo
    The European Urban Summer School deal mainly with the consequences of the latest Madrid dealt planning decisions. Their consequences are what B. Ynzenga calls the “nightmare”. The students took a trip around the no-man’s land to see them. The EUSS course worked on what may be done with them. The situation will be difficult to mend. Those decisions were taken in the Madrid 1997 Plan. They were more than a “dream”, more properly a delirium. Those decisions emerged as a result of a previous evolution. Madrid, in respect to other major European metropolises is perhaps the youngest one. It has grown at the rate of developing countries, what Spain was, in fact, in the middle of the 20th century. It is therefore convenient to have at least some glimpses at the history of Madrid or, in a more colloquial sense, Madrid’s Story.
  • ItemOpen Access
    From dream to nightmare: Madrid Eastern Strategy "mending or pushing through"
    (AESOP, 2013) Ynzenga Acha, Bernardo
    The present paper deals with the rise, fall and possible futures of the Madrid Eastern Strategy, arguably the largest urban operation undertaken in Spain in the last decades; probably the largest in Europe. The Eastern Strategy is the name given to a development proposal extending over close to 60 km2. (5.865 Has. 14.492 acres) on the southeastern fringe of Madrid. It was part of the 1997 General Master Plan of Madrid (Plan General de Ordenación Urbana de Madrid -PGOUM). It was designated for 158,000 dwellings and an expected population of about 450,000 people. The Plan also included other, smaller but not minor operations elsewhere which were supposed to attract their share of future population and push additional potential growth significantly. However and in dire contrast, when those decisions were made the total population of Madrid was less than three million people, and declining2. These numbers depict a panorama of unbounded development optimism, remote from demographic and urban realities.
  • ItemOpen Access
    (AESOP, 2013) Arana, Juan
    Through the production process of the contemporary city, the left over spaces become, in opposition to the spaces of the formal city, a key aspect to understand our urban space. In its various forms urban waste space is inscribed in the cities as defining a fuzzy inner border. Its shape or lack of it equals to the negative of the city. It often marks the middle ground between urbanisation and the countryside, between infrastructures or between uses. As such, it is an intermediate space, a space that mediates between different spatial situations or a transition in time. In continuous transformation, its form and character are by definition imprecise. It shares qualities with the urban and the rural realms together with a very definite character on its own. In the absence of a defined function, residual spaces are occupied by residues, playful, ephemeral or marginal uses. Its universal use is that of the informal gathering of waste, as if fulfilling a spatial necessity of the urban context to expel out of its limits waste materials and activities unsuited for the formal city. In this way, they follow the logic of the excremental defined by Slavoj Zyzeck for the Untouchables “Not only dealing with impure excrement, their own formal status within society is excremental” (Zyzek 2002). Gilles Clément designates as Third Landscape the space left over by man to be colonised by nature (Clément 2003) He makes a political comparison when he relates the Third Landscape to the Third State paraphrasing Abbé Siéyès’ famous question: What is the Third State? Everything. What has it been until now? Nothing. What does it ask? To become something.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Madrid urban panorama: big projects for an expansive era
    (AESOP, 2013) Cueva, Covadonga Lorenzo
    Caused by the economic expansion that put Spain among the European leading countries, Madrid could overcome its historic deficiencies, and was able to renew its potentiality during the last decade until the economic crash by turning itself into an economic and cultural capital of international stature. While urban development has been appropriating peripheral territories, defining a new structural organisation, the city took advantage of economic buoyancy to improve its infrastructure. Flagship projects were the treatment of the M-30 highway to recover the banks of the Manzanares River as civil space, and new urban services, such as the Terminal 4 of Barajas airport. Besides, big companies built new headquarters, economic fortresses in the form of autonomous cities on the urban fringe, or spectacular skyscrapers along the Castellana axis in the centre of Madrid. The current economic crisis in Spain is an opportunity to analyse all those projects and try to understand the present situation to rethink new ways of improving the urban panorama of Madrid. In 2007, the structure of the city broke up to be reconfigured through multiple interventions. The growth of the Spanish economy surpassed that of Germany fourfold according an article published in the Financial Times. A study of rating agencies placed Madrid among the five first economic countries of the world according to a criterion that considers political, social and demographic factors, including development potential. The nine Spanish companies placed among the world’s 500 largest have their headquarters in Madrid, putting it into the sixth position in one of the rankings of global cities.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Madrid Think Tank
    (AESOP, 2013) Lahoz, Carlos
    It is crucial to begin this article by making a reference to an undeniable reality: We are in a time of CRISIS. Having this word on mind, if we think about the nature of the term crisis itself, it is curious to see that while the Greek word (κρίσις) from which crisis is derived stands for a situation dominated by change, other cultures, older than the occidental ones, have come to deepen its meaning and implications. This is the case of China, where the ideogram for crisis is composed of two characters, one means danger and the other opportunity. This philosophy, this way of approaching reality, is what has driven the creation of the MADRID THINK TANK. Depending on how we face dangers or take advantage of new opportunities will be our future. However, we lack the tools to predict the future. Therefore, our only option is to propose bold solutions capable of addressing and providing answers to the different challenges and work for society to understand and endorse them.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Spanish coastal landscapes after the speculative tsunami
    (AESOP, 2013) García García, Miriam
    During 1997-2006, Spain led the European real estate explosion. This stage has been seen as the largest increase of urbanised space throughout Spanish history, transforming the landscape as no other natural or artificial phenomenon had done before, especially in coastal areas. That is why many authors called it the speculative tsunami. The construction fever ended when the real state bubble burst in 2008 and now is the time to analyse the causes and effects of an economic and social model organised around brick and mortar, without any respect for environmental, urban or landscape aspects. It is necessary to show the logistics that have fuelled real estate speculation to reach these limits and also the resulting spatial effects, with the aim to offer some possible ways of intervention to restore its territorial outcomes.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Landscape oriented urban strategies
    (AESOP, 2013) del Pozo, Cristina
    This presentation is set into the contemporary discourse of landscape which has shifted during the twentieth century from being considered as just a scene to a dynamic system undergoing processes. Landscape evolves from the pictorial to the instrumental, operational and strategic. This dynamic condition gives it the ability to create itself and can be introduced into the basis of landscape design. This shift emphasises the interactions between natural, cultural, economic and social processes, and landscape can be characterised both spatially and temporally. The transformation of these processes is an inspiration and a model for the new urban condition. Projects that reflect the emerging trend of orienting urban form through the landscape will be reviewed. We will also look at urban expansion and renewal projects that incorporate this approach and become instigators of a set of interrelated dynamics between the social, the economic, the ecological and the cultural. This specificity enables the landscape to articulate with the urban, and through its dynamic to understand how cities are formed, are revitalised and evolve over time.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Uses of public spaces and urban revitalization
    (AESOP, 2013) Echave, Cynthia
    Cities are bringing together activities and services that define a particular urban life. The morphological characteristics of the urban structure, the distribution of activities, socioeconomic capital and mobility are some of the main aspects that condition life styles and have an impact on the wider urban context. Ecological urbanism has arisen as an alternative management process for cities, with emphasis on both efficiency and liveability in guiding urban contexts towards less environmental impact and greater quality of life. Applying sustainability criteria in urbanism has become inherent to planning and urban management in many cities. These cities have devised sustainable urban policies and are in the process of implementing them. Most of the measures are focused on reducing environmental impacts and improving quality of life. A holistic vision of applying sustainability criteria means that planning is focussing on prevention and adjustment in response to fundamental issues: sustainability and impacts due to climate change and resource consumption, as well as requirements derived from the information and knowledge society. Regarding the adjustment to climate change, measures applied to improve urban mobility are having a substantial repercussion on the need to reduce energy consumption and toxic emissions to the atmosphere associated with transport. Mobility also affects concerns about citizen’s health, not only in terms of accidents but also because of pollution which may lead to respiratory diseases.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Urban permeability: on plants and plinths
    (AESOP, 2013) Kovacsova, Veronika
    Human civilisation is becoming ever more urban. With the growing densification in our cities, green and open (public) spaces are put under pressure. As the number of built, non-permeable surfaces (such as asphalt and concrete) increase, storm water absorption, biodiversity and a pleasant microclimate in our cities is threatened. All non-permeable materials contribute to extreme water conditions in the city (low ground water level or flooding) and to the ‘urban heat island’ effect. Alongside with this development, the number and quality of public spaces is put under pressure. How do we provide the necessary built urban environment (housing, infrastructure) of a growing city, and at the same time enhance and offer lively, inclusive public spaces with a comfortable microclimate? Climatological factors such as sun, temperature, wind and humidity largely influence our behaviour in, and usage of public spaces, and they even determine why we like to stay in certain places more than in others. They have an effect on how we feel, how ‘comfortable’ the circumstances of being outdoors are. Human comfort is a subjective concept. In a public urban environment it has to do with people’s acceptance of spaces and their conditions. In this paper, I will introduce and highlight the concept of urban permeability, influencing not only human comfort but also climate resilience in urban spaces: open, breathing, absorbing and cooling green spaces in cities, on the one hand; accessible, inclusive, lively plinths and the public space formed by and in-between them acting as catalysts of social interaction on the other hand.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Après nous le déluge? Climate adaptation and urban development in Antwerp, Hamburg and Rotterdam
    (AESOP, 2013) Kustermans, Clenn
    Fear of water is embedded in our human minds. This natural reaction (based on the indisputable knowledge that we cannot survive in water) has been portrayed in many forms of classic and modern culture. Although Biblical examples and Hushpuppy lived as nomads in an ever-changing world, the majority of the world consists of permanent urban structures. Cities are normally perceived as strongholds of culture and prosperity, and must therefore be protected against external threats such as water. Despite a growing consciousness of shortening production chains and reducing energy consumption, port cities are still the turning wheels in national and international economies. While their economic importance remains unscathed and local populations are growing, port cities are increasingly challenged by major climate changes. Port cities have always intertwined with water, and they therefore encounter the advantages and the disadvantages of water. Of all climate implications, water level rise is perceived as the most important one for port cities. Besides the rise of the general sea level, the unpredictable occurrence and implications of storms have increased too. Longer and more intense periods of drought and heavy rainfall inland lead to flooding of the main rivers on their way to the sea. These climate changes necessitate new water protection measures.
  • ItemOpen Access
    A different perspective on architectural design: bottom-up participative experiences
    (AESOP, 2013) Cimadomo, Guido
    The weight of the financial and real estate components in the present crisis, and their impact on millions of people give a renewed importance to the right to housing and the wider right to the city. The paper of architects in planning the city is also changing due to new social relations and the empowerment of citizens, and we have not to forget that scarcity is a great impulse for social and technical innovation, among them architecture. Henry Lefebvre’s “The right to the city” (Lefebvre 1968), can be considered the starting point for the understanding and reconnaissance of the right to urban life, transformed and renewed (Paquot 2012). At the present moment, the idea is growing that to change the life would be necessary to change the city, and the same concept of “right to the city” should be filled with new contents. The right to the city can be related with the right to freedom, to the individualization of sociability, the right to habitat and to live. The right to the work and to the appropriation, the right for inhabitants to meet, and also the right to reject be quitted from urban space by a social and economic organization moving to segregation and discrimination. It has been developing for almost 40 years, with a renewed interest at the beginning of this century, evolving to the more contemporary “right to configure the city”.
  • ItemOpen Access
    University implantations as factors of transformation. Towards excellence of urban environments and promoters of innovation for the post-speculative city
    (AESOP, 2013) Campos Calvo-Sotelo, Pablo
    The quality of the University is directly connected with the quality of its urban & architectural spaces. Any educational environment, especially the one involving elements of Architecture, ought to express a special engagement to its specific natural, social and urban context. Some principles are critical when planning a University precinct, to follow coherent guidelines before starting any campus design. As a first approach, the interference of foreign styles improperly understood should be avoided, in particular those whose origin, essence or formal display would not fit into local cultures (Chaabane, & Mouss, 1998). Universities have the essential mission of providing an integral formation for human beings. Analysed throughout history, this university mission has also included the raising of good citizens (Nussbaum, 1998). With all these convictions in mind, the key objectives of higher education have to be hosted in an adequate urban and architectural body. This requires special emphasis on the proper arrangement of the physical spaces in which the important enterprise of human formation has to take place. University architecture incarnates an interactive dialogue between buildings and individuals. Its planning process has therefore to exceed a mere provision of available spaces. The clear artistic intention of the design of the university complexes must be a mandatory requisite, which entails that open spaces are as taken in account as much as the built volumes (Gaines, 1991).
  • ItemOpen Access
    Digital society and smart territories
    (AESOP, 2013) Manuel, Jorge; García, Martín
    At present, the massive use of information and communication technologies (often called ICTs) is changing everything faster than ever. We are living in a new revolution era that will bring us from the industrial society, characterised by the intensive consumption of energy to the digital society which uses information as a power to transform. These changes will affect every single aspect of our lives and, in the near future, no matter what our profession will be, we will need to understand, deeply, how to adopt and use these technologies. Our ability for adopting digital services will be crucial in the path to a successful professional career, even if our personal way of life is not very “digital” we will work, with and for digital citizens, and digital companies. It is not an option. We need to digitalise as much as we had to mechanise in the past, because it will help us to build a better world, and improve people’s living conditions. It is important, therefore, for everyone to understand what lies beyond this technology, and have a good understanding of what to do, and how to do it to incorporate these technologies in our field of expertise. As we will look forward, collaboration between professionals will be key for creating value in the future. For a better collaboration, a closer look at the ICTs and a better knowledge of the digital world could be useful.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Methods of measuring and assessing the sustainability of urban developments
    (AESOP, 2013) Ryser, Judith
    Sustainability, discussed in the sister paper in the context of regeneration and gentrification, is a very broad concept and goes way beyond the rescue of the planet. In its broadest sense it implies an equitably shared environment which becomes increasingly urbanised. There are tensions, exacerbated in cities, between the diverse needs and wants of those who use them, residents (citizens, voters), the working population, visitors, transient people, etc., compounded by subjective perceptions of such needs and wants. Sustainable development, management, maintenance and use of the city would require a system of government capable of upholding the principles of social and spatial justice to secure an equitable use of cities by all. It would require custodians of the collective good and the public interest, a method of holding decision makers to account, a public participation process which guarantees citizens a say, and third party vetted procedures to share out finite public assets equitably between all stakeholders while keeping the city open to all.