by Agnieszka Gralińska-ToborekContinue reading From activism to fine art
On December 18 the Kings of Spain, accompanied by the Minister of Health, the president of the Madrid Region, the mayor of the capital of Spain and other representatives of institutions, unveiled the monument “The Tree of Life” a sculpture by Jaume Plensa.Continue reading The “great” and “important” are also wrong
An urban perspective of the pandemic in Panama
José Antomio De Gracia
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
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
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
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.
Tehran; Āb-o-Ātash; Design; Site; Subject matter; public engagement
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”.
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
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)
vol 60 nr. 2 . Urban cohesion Improving connectivity between Baró de Viver and Bon Pastor (II)
Industrial estate: enhancing urban cohesion with sustainable criteria
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.
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
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
The liberalization of commerce between the metropolis and the colonies allowed Barcelona to trade with the Caribbean islands, enabling a commercial flow and capital accumulation processes that would lead to the installation of Indian manufactures and, subsequently, the gradual installation of factories based on the use of the Steam energy. The industrial strength of Barcelona led to the creation of the Royal Board of Trade that encouraged trade while creating a series of schools necessary for the training of the specialized staff claimed by the new industry.
The paper explores how enlightened thinking about city making, will develop a set of legal and administrative provisions that will impact on a substantial change, both of housing and urban form.