Over the timespan of just one generation, the planet’s pace of urbanisation has dramatically increased. New challenges have emerged which deeply question the validity of the post-war planning paradigms. What is the impact on the work of the urban designer, and how can the profession prepare itself for the future? A night with several leading practitioners, working in different European cities.
For his book, Designing Change, Eric Firley, a professor at the University of Miami School of Architecture, interviewed twelve leading practicing urban designers from three continents. Firley wanted to know how their profession changed over the last decades and which they consider being the big challenges to come. During this event, we focus on two of those challenges: participation and density.
Paola Viganò is a professor at the IAUV in Venice, one of the first architecture schools of Italy, head of the Laboratory of Urbanism at the Technical University of Lausanne, and she leads a Milan-based urban design and architecture office. Viganò in Designing Change: ‘If cities are considered not natural, it will hinder us to understand the profound relationships that the city has with the rest.’
Regula Lüscher is, since 2007, the head of the planning and building department of Berlin. Lüscher in Designing Change: “Regarding my own convictions, after twenty years of work in the public sector -first for nine years in Zürich and now here in Berlin- I have come to realize that an unrestricted market economy and forces of globalization, for exemple in the form of real-estate speculation, make it almost impossible to defend land against individual interests in favour of the common good and the needs of minorities.”
Ton Schaap is senior urbanist at the city planning department of Amsterdam. He established his name by working on the design of the Eastern Harbour District Amsterdam. Schaap on his website: “What can be connected and what can better be separated is the first question. Urbanism imagines the possibilities people can use. Realized urbanism takes away all the other opportunities, urbanism is an important activity. ”
Menno van der Veen is the moderator of this event.
Image: © Wuestenigel/ Visual Hunt