Integrated Urban-Social Programs (PIUS) and Casa Analco (FABUAP). Two projects in the periphery and the centre of the city in search of citizen participation

Adriana Hernández Sánchez DOI: https://doi.org/10.1344/waterfront2021.63.5.01

Cover Image

Abstract

This work exemplifies a search for participation for the promotion of urban-architectural projects both in the center and in the periphery of a Mexican city such as Puebla, where twenty years ago few activities were developed in which the main actors were the inhabitants. Fortunately, in recent years it has been possible to carry out specific actions where participation is a key part of having a less technical vision on the part of architects, urban planners and heritage conservators.


The first project is the Integral Urban Social Program in which, through a municipal action, an attempt was made to implement a participatory process in sectors considered to be of extreme poverty where municipal government programs tried to impact the areas called PIUS. An important part was the Participatory Design process that mobilized the main universities of the city through young architecture students to carry out a series of projects where the condition was to have contact with the communities.


In the case of the Casa Analco project, a university initiative in the historic centre of the city in a very traditional neighbourhood (16th century) with problems of deterioration, abandonment and insecurity, with which the university-neighbourhood link is currently promoted and in where space has been the pretext to promote university participation in the rehabilitation of a building, but at the same time in a rapprochement with the neighbourhood.


Through these two cases it is confirmed that it is possible to make participation possible through a process that must be adapted to each place, these experiences leave a series of reflections in different areas, from which a basic process can be broken down to encourage it through organization, promotion, awareness of the work team, knowledge of the place, time, evaluation, management and adaptability.

Keywords

Puebla; México; participation; centre; periphery; process; management.

From Densely Filled Vistas to Empty Piazzas. City Images Interpreting the Oscillating Dynamisms of Urban Reality

By -Zoltán Somhegyi DOI: https://doi.org/10.1344/waterfront2021.63.4.01


Cover Page

Abstract

Cities have been inspirational for the creators of visual art works long since, first as mere secondary, additional motifs to indicate the “urban” environment of the main scene, then as subject-matters in their own right. Those images could depict both imaginary and actual cities of the past and of the future, including mythological and Biblical locations, documenting distant lands and fantasizing on the appearance of utopian cities. In some of these aspects, the history of city representations shares significant similarities with the history of landscape depictions. 


In the present paper, however, I aim to focus on a curious and particular detail in this pictorial tradition. Following and further investigating a brief reflection by Michel Makarius from his 2004 book on Ruins, I would like to compare the visuality and aesthetic effects of dense and empty cityscapes, of which two classical examples could be the capriccios – imaginary views of cities completely filled with aesthetically pleasing elements, including magnificent remnants of the Antique heritage – and representations of cities in which their emptiness is highlighted to such extent that the observer tends to assume that the real subject-matter of the image is not the city, its buildings, forms and physical components but exactly its being “empty”. 


These “extremities” on the broad range of cityscapes, i.e., the densely-filled and the extremely depopulated are, however, not merely historical sub-genres of long-gone centuries. These typologies have survived to this day, in various versions and with diverse accents; what’s more, they seem to be more relevant than ever in understanding not only the nature of these artistic representations and their aesthetic references, but also in learning more of our contemporary reality itself. It is enough to think of the numerous ways in which artists approach the convoluted issues and challenges of urban life today, with the classical references and visual vocabulary in mind, either unconsciously creating occasional parallels or using them as explicit forerunners to their own works. The density of the global megapolises are represented in artistically novel ways often with socially critical overtones, while the images of empty cities – not long ago, for example, during the recent pandemics and lockdowns – are again resulting in aesthetically inspiring and insightful works incentivizing us to reflect on the oscillating dynamisms of our present urban realities. Therefore, it is particularly beneficial to observe such renderings of our cities and hence to raise more our awareness of the multiple global issues that are often very strongly manifested in the everyday life in large metropolises. Pieces of art thematising the extreme forms of city life can become very efficient ways of constantly reminding us of our duties of taking care of both our cities and our life.

Keywords

representations of cities; dense cityscapes; empty cities; aesthetics of urbanity

Tactical urbanism for the pandemic

An urban perspective of the pandemic in Panama

José Antomio De Gracia

Abstract

The following essay seeks to highlight the effects of the pandemic on the way we inhabit and build cities. We understand that before the outbreak of the social-health crisis of COVID-19, as in many places in Latin America, Panama was at a time when its urban, social and economic model had entered a phase of exhaustion and is now escalating at an even higher level. The pandemic has revealed the negative effects of urban sprawl, segregation of housing and disappearance of public space that now become an obstacle to controlling the spread of the virus.

Continue reading Tactical urbanism for the pandemic

Public Art in Āb-o-Ātash Park, Tehran

A new issue of On the w@terfornt, Vol 62, No 6 (2020)

Exploring Design, Site and Subject Matter vis-à-vis Public Art Engagement: Case Study of Āb-o-Ātash Park in Tehran

Negar Zojaji

Abstract

This article is the result of an exploratory research on public art in Āb-o-Ātash park in Tehran. It investigates the way the three elements of design, site, and subject matter affect audience engagement with public
artworks.

The research has been conducted through qualitative methods, namely unobtrusive observations and surveys. Artworks have been identified based on specifications extracted from discourse analysis of the concepts of publicness and authorship in public arts.
Thereafter, characteristics of the visual samples have been processed through cluster analysis with respect to design, site, and subject matter in order to be compared, and related to the results of observations of audience engagement.

The results propose a correlation between subject matters of the artworks and audience engagement in Āb-o-Ātash park.

Keywords

Tehran; Āb-o-Ātash; Design; Site; Subject matter; public engagement

When public art sucks, an insult to citizenship and I’m not talking about graffiti, I’m talking about Madrid under COVID19

A. Remesar

The COVID19 pandemic has left thousands dead, hundreds of thousands of infected people, a health system on the brink of collapse; the discovery that an important part of the fundamental services are those that have little social consideration and less salary and have had Spaniards confined for 10 weeks – just now the confinement measures begin to flex.

While a supportive citizenship applauds essential services every night at 8 p.m., and organizes solidarity networks to alleviate the “hunger queues” and the devastating effects the pandemic has and will have on popular classes, fleeing the war language used by the political class that has not yet understood that YES the virus understands borders, those of social class. Citizens have clearly understood that this is not a war, that this is not about heroes.

In this context two monuments have just been unveiled in Madrid. One responsibility of the Madrid City Council devoted to those who died during the pandemic – as if the pandemic had ended. The other monument is the sculpture “Heroes of COVID19”. 

(c) El Mundo
(c) EL MUNDO

The City of Madrid monument is a cauldron designed by architect Carlos Rubio Carbajal, located on an island at the beginning of Calle Alcalá towards Sol square. The cauldron is a circular piece of black steel almost two meters in diameter, like a large plate, placed on a prism also of steel. At the foot of the prism a commemorative plaque. As a scenic background of the monument the Fountain of Cibeles and the Palacio de las Comunicaciones – it was the headquarters of the Spanish post office-, an example of the “Monterrey” style of the beginning of the twentieth century and today the seat of the Region of Madrid.

It is precisely in this palace that the regional president inaugurated on May 20th the unfortunate monument “Heroes of COVID19” by the sculptor Victor Ochoa. Formally the work is a real waste, mixture of bronze and resins. Bronze that looks like a cow manure, translucent resin that being kind we would identify with the cinematic “Casper”, but which is rather a bad Orphic representation of the classical moiras or parcas.

It is precisely in this palace that the regional president unveiled on May 20th the unfortunate monument “Heroes of COVID19” by the sculptor Victor Ochoa. Victor Ochoa acknowledges that this work had been in his studio for several years and, how cheaply demiurge, intends to convince us that this work was a premonition. As social networks point out, foreboding nothing, it’s a “botch-up”, a “shit”, an insult to the consciences of good people.

Commercial opportunism of a sculptor – sculpture is not a commission, it is a donation from the sculptor – which was formed in my Faculty, the Faculty of Fine Arts at the University of Barcelona. What a shame.

Very timely, the networks note that the work seems more “an allegory on management of the crisis by  Diaz Ayuso ” the regional president who, with the arrogance that characterizes her, threatens the public by saying that this will not be the only tribute that the victims of the coronavirus will have in the region and announced a contest of ideas in which architects will be able to participate , sculptors and entities from the world of culture and architecture to build a memorial in memory “to the victims and heroes who have fought against Covid-19.

We repeat, it’s not about war, it’s not about heroes. It is logical that the symbolic thought of the reactionary right and the far right cannot comprehend it and use the empty rhetoric of the homeland and heroism and the expression of an outdated figuration.

Supportive citizenship doesn’t deserve this. Supportive citizenship does not deserve pain and suffering to be used at the present dramatic moment as a political tool of the most despicable populism.

For the reader who understands Spanish I would recommend following the video of the aesthetic teacher Félix Duque “Several Apostilles: a monument to the “heroes” of the covid that is scary” in this direction https://youtu.be/VGoRK98gyfA

Public space: the use of vertical and air planes

Journal of a Gadabout (14) by Dr. A. Remesar

The public space is structured in four planes: that of the ground, the vertical (not exclusively of facade); the plane of the air and a fourth plane that can be called zenital. The most studied is the horizontal plane, built from infrastructures, elements of urban service (lighting, vegetation, signage, etc.) and interfacing with urban systems (water, electricity, gas, etc.), with the omnipresent elements of paving. (see)

The study of the vertical plane is reduced to the analysis of the facades, although the vertical containment of public space goes beyond the facades. (see)

Continue reading Public space: the use of vertical and air planes

On the w@terfront: 2 news issues

vol 60 nr. 2 . Urban cohesion Improving connectivity between Baró de Viver and Bon Pastor (II)

water60_02_00-1.jpg

Industrial estate: enhancing urban cohesion with sustainable criteria

André Luis Berri, Typhanie Cosmao, Miguel García, Paula Pinilla

 

Contemplating the territory as a network of social relations that transcends geographical boundaries and / or administrative, can approach conceptual schemes that complicate the territory, especially when it is perceived through participant observation and various secondary sources such as primary, the need to connect neighborhoods to achieve a closer territory, compact and sustainable land use planning, in which the polygon is bound no longer as a physical and social border, but as joint bridge between Bon Pastor and Baró de Viver.

Therefore, the industrial area of Barrio Bon Pastor and its strategic location, is a pretext to bring Baró de Viver and Bon Pastor closer. Closer involves knowing both physical barriers and social and hence make urban socio interventions that would mitigate levels of spatial partner and project into a scenario that make visible their practices and implications for the productive and commercial sector for the city segregation, as that tends accessibility and therefore connectivity between Baró de Viver as Bon Pastor and these while the rest of the city.
An intervention in the public space of the industrial estate involves binging and converge both residential dynamic and productive that allows viable processes of urban regeneration, with the premise of urban cohesion, can encourage the scheme of inverted mobility, where the priority is pedestrian, bicycle lane followed, public transport and therefore the private motor transport. In addition to this initiative to prioritize non-motorized mobility, it aims to link through practical design and actions that promotes energy efficiency, as the introduction of arboreal individuals and other local plant elements contribute their textures, smells, colors not only reconfigure the space, but serve to filter the environment, friendlier landscape change and comfort, but additionally granted the estate developments around sustainability.
These urban changes shall aim to maintain the productive and industrial structure as one of the objectives of the Municipal Action Plans, but improving its public space to facilitate urban connectivity and therefore the social and urban cohesion between the two neighborhoods assuming the transition of the industrial estate as a space that commitment to environmental efficiency.

Industrial Estate. “sewing the territory”
Flavia Andolfi, Norka Gouro, María Celeste Pereira, Ma. Fernanda Rojas

This paper explains the process of urban improvement of the Industrial Estate located in Bon Pastor, a neighborhood that is located in the District of Sant Andreu, next to Baró de Viver. To better understand what is the current situation at the urban level we have to go back in time to the year 2004, when for the first time interventions of urban regeneration begin under the Law of Neighborhoods, a law that seeks to improve the quality of life of the inhabitants from Barcelona. These interventions are programmed through comprehensive intervention plans that respond to the local and specific needs of each neighborhood. Due to this, many conflictive areas of Barcelona have been improved, and what is proposed in this dossier, is the urban improvement proposal of the Bon Pastor Industrial Estate, particularly isolated from the territory that surrounds it.
The current situation reflects the need to implement a series of measures to improve the public space; analyzing the problems that define which are the opportunities and potentialities of the territory, for example, how the width of facades of the industries and also of the roads would allow remarkable interventions.
The objective of the project is to “sew the territory”, physically connecting it with the network of public spaces of the adjacent neighborhoods through an integral improvement of the horizontal and vertical planes of the Industrial Estate. Another key point of the proposal is accessibility, taking into account that Design For All has contributed to make Barcelona a city accessible to all, good practices are also taken into account for its application in the area.
The proposed changes are intended to maintain the productive and industrial structure of the polygon by boosting its urban connectivity and transforming it into a bridge between neighborhoods, which aims to renew it with criteria of environmental sustainability where citizen participation is fundamental.

Vol 60, nr 3 . Urban Cohesion. Besòs River Walk

water60_03_00011.jpgPaseo de Ribera. A connection space (2016)

Robinson Balcazar, José Manuel Nieto Aravena, Orlando Sánchez Armería

 

Baro de Viver and Bon Pastor are two of the seven neighborhoods that make up the San Andrés district of the city of Barcelona. These neighborhoods are the result of the evolution of a series of urban processes that have as their beginning the migratory waves to Barcelona at the beginning of the 20th century, with the achievement of the problem of social housing at the beginning of the same century and the construction of social housing estates commonly called “cheap houses”.
These settlements were built in 1929 by the architect Xavier Turull, and located in the peripheral areas of the city in isolation without any connection to services and equipment.
Over time, these neighborhoods have experienced a series of processes that have intensified their peripheral and marginal status in the rest of the city. At present, the residential areas of Baró de Viver and Bon Pastor are immersed in areas whose use is predominantly industrial, contributing to the deterioration of the public space and the neighborhood. Added to this, there are a number of projects such as the Ronda Litoral and the road junction of La Trinidad, which increase their condition of segregation and isolation.
Within the framework of the urban design project management workshop, the aim is to address these problems, elaborating proposals for public space, which contribute to improving the condition of the same, and which favor connectivity between the neighborhoods and the city.

Paseo de Ribera. A belvedere for the city

Carla Díaz, José Antonio De Gracia, Thyago Dantas, Laura Cedrés

 

This paper describes the design process of the public space of the Ribera del Besòs Riverwalk, in the stretch between Barò de Viver and Bon Pastor neighborhoods in the Sant Andreu district. The antecedents of the neighborhoods are exposed, their current situation, the problems detected, the development of the project, the final result obtained supported with plans, sections and views.
From the very beginning a very clear space of rupture is detected in the territory: the existence of the Litoral round interrupts the continuity of the urban fabric with the margin of the Besòs river. This produces a certain segregation of neighborhoods with respect to the rest of the city, due to the fragmentation of the urban fabric that forms barriers in certain sectors and prevents fluid access to the riverbank.
Taking this as one of the main points to improve, we propose a public space design project based on a walkway where three spaces are distinguished:
INTEGRATION SPACE. It is intended to give an answer to the rupture in relation to the city-river relationship, covering the Ronda del Litoral through the creation of a walk that is both visually and spatially related to the river and that allows the union between both margins as well as along the river.
SPACE OF CONTINUITY. A linear, directed and dynamic turn is proposed, which accompanies the flow of the river and connects the existing public spaces. In this way a link of spaces that form a readable urban structure is created and perceived through pedestrian mobility, spatiality and landscape

MULTIPROGRAMATIC SPACE. It seeks to achieve an environment where you can walk, observe nature, go by bicycle and practice various recreational, urban and residential activities