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.
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.
representations of cities; dense cityscapes; empty cities; aesthetics of urbanity
The aim of this research is, from a historical perspective, to establish a possible relationship between the themes of the Biennials of Chilean Architecture and the Exhibition Montages, during the 43 years since its foundation.
From this communication project, carried out by the College of Architects, a categorization of the exhibition spaces in relation to the theme of the Biennial has been deduced through conceptual models defined as metaphor, literalness or materiality.
This study tested which latent factors exist that could significantly impact the citizens-based performance assessment of the Neighborhood Renovation Service Office (NRSO) which is a renovation facilitating policy. Two hundred residents of Urban Deteriorated Areas (UDAs) in Fallah & Yaftabad neighborhoods, were interviewed by questionnaires. To analyze the outcomes of the questionnaires, first, an Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA) for identifying underlying factors for assessment of the mentioned policy and subsequently Ordinal Logistic Regression (OLR) for modeling the factors concerning performance assessment were employed.
The residents who had more familiarity with the plans and policies evaluated the renovation office performance more positively. Also if NRSOs want to be assessed as more effective in their intervention they need to empower their interacting community’s socioeconomic factor. The OLR model showed that the sense of place is another significant underlying factor in this regard. However, residency duration despite converging as a factor in EFA did not show any significant impact based on the OLR model.
citizens-based assessment; renovation facilitating policy; Neighborhood Renovation Service Office (NRSO); Urban Deteriorated Areas (UDAs); Ordinal Logistic Regression (OLR)
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.
Christo (Christo Vladimirov Javacheff), dead in 2020 and Jeanne-Claude, proposed in 1975, dead in 2009, one of their interventions on the Monument to the Colon of Barcelona. As they point out on their website, “All the unfinished projects of Christo and Jeanne-Claude failed because permission was denied with one exception, the Monument wrapped in Christopher Columbus, Barcelona Project, which began in 1975. Having received two denials, permission was granted by Pasqual Maragall, the mayor of Barcelona, in 1984″.
Elke Loeffler (Senior Lecturer at the University of Strathclyde, Scotland, and Director of the non-profit organization Governance International.) and Tony Bovaird (Emeritus Professor of Public Management and Policy at the University of Birmingham, UK, and Chief Executive of Governance International), are the editors of this new book by Palgrave.
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.
“Operation Mercedes”: Monument to solidary citizenship
Jordi Henrich, Antoni Remesar
The COVID19 pandemic, which is wreaking havoc on global public health, has also meant the adequacy – temporary so far – of the work procedures in university education, both in what affects the teaching and in relation to to the activities to be developed by the students. The program of the Project Workshop subject of the Master in Urban Design at the University of Barcelona, planned to focus the project activities on what we can call “Operation Mercedes”, a private urban regeneration project in the Barcelona’s neighborhood of Bon Pastor, consisting of converting 90,000 m2 of the former Mercedes-Benz factory site into a residential and office complex. According to the General Metropolitan Plan (1976) in force in Barcelona, this site is classified as 22a, that is, “Industrial Zone” and since 2007, when Mercedes-Benz stops operating in this factory, it has been one of the few reindustrialization areas in Barcelona . Its sale to the investment group Conren-Tramway, at the end of 2018, once again resuscitates neighborhood fears about the use of these 9 Ha. Within the framework of the research project HAR2017-88672-R. and the collaboration agreements with the Bon Pastor’s neighborhood association, for a few years we have been introducing themes of public space in the territory, in the subject “Project Workshop” of the Master in Urban Design. Two goals. The first one to explore ideas for solving problems regarding public space with students -mainly foreigners-, operating the Workshop as a “Laboratory of Ideas” while this activities serve as non-curricular practices. Second objective: to contribute project ideas to the residents of Bon Pastor for the management and negotiation of the various actions to be carried out in the neighborhood. For this reason, the Workshop work for the 2019-2020 academic year was planned to explore the possibilities of public space in this new Urban Regenration operation. The works of the workshop are developed in multidisciplinary teams responding to the previous training of the students. When the confinement in Spain is decreed in March, we saw almost impossible the development of the planned activities in an online mode. That is why it was decided to vary the topic, focusing it on a Monument to Solidarity Citizenship -which will allow a more individualized approach to work-, but maintaining the territorial reference of the Mercedes-Benz site.
The COVID 19 pandemic, detected and officially notified on December 31, 2019 in the Chinese city of Wuhan, has left to date: 408,481 deaths and 7,174,925 infected distributed in 188 countries of the world, of which the most affected are : United States, United Kingdom, China, Spain, Italy and Brazil, according to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University (June 2020). In the short term, this pandemic has become the leading cause of death, surpassing malnutrition, homicides, cancer and other serious diseases. In this context, the majority of countries declared a state of health alert, being mandatory. During the months that the state of absolute isolation lasted, the old cinematographic technique called split screen (split screen), starred in an unexpected resurrection, becoming the vehicle that allowed us to communicate but also to create and consume culture. The split screen or “split screen” is undoubtedly one of the most prominent protagonists of the corona virus pandemic that humanity faced as of December 31, 2019, when the news of this was officially notified serious illness from the Chinese city of Wuhan. Almost as old as the cinema itself, the split screen became the tool that allowed us to feel the closeness of our families, work colleagues, fellow students and teachers. It allowed us to express our solidarity, support and company in moments as complicated as those we lived through during the long period of quarantine in hmost countries in the world.
The COVID19 crisis has redefined the way of life, production and work methodologies: however, during this period, the positive attitude of citizens has contributed significantly to overcoming the first part of the crisis, supporting the arduous work of farmers. , cleaners, transporters, bus and subway drivers, replenishers, supermarket cashiers, policemen, health workers, and health personnel, who have formed a first line of struggle to contain the virus and to this is added the discipline of the confined citizenry who have attacked their routines to show support for the courageous dedication of those who have allowed us to maintain everyday life in our lives. The development of activities in the period of the COVID19 crisis, has redefined the way of inhabiting spaces; Obviously, the adaptation to new circumstances is a challenge, since the idea of public and private is reconceptualized.
Monumento en positivo. No es ni a las víctimas, ni a los héroes. Es la conmemoración de un momento/acción específico, que reúne todo lo demás. El aplauso de las 20hrs es la instancia en que la ciudadanía se agradece y anima a sí misma • Las 20:00 serán el elemento central en la significación del monumento. Desde su concepción temporal o geométrica, la idea es conmemorar este acto ciudadano • Lo que hoy es evidente u obvio, en 20 años puede no serlo tanto Por otro lado, la abstracción conceptual exacerbada puede llevarnos a la perdida de legibilidad del monumento, característica fundamental del mismo (la conmemoración debe ser comprendida). El objetivo es lograr que el monumento pueda evocar, no solo un momento cronológico, sino un momento humano