Volos in the Extremes
international urban design master class
26 – 31 October 2013, Volos, Greece

“Volos in the Extremes” is an international Urban Design Master Class open to students towards the end of their studies, recent graduates, and professionals, in architecture, urban design, and related design/project-oriented fields concerned with the study of the city and urban intervention. The master class is organised through the collaboration of an international team of professionals and academics. It is hosted by the Department of Architecture, University of Thessaly, in Volos.

The point of departure for this master class is the challenges faced by the city in response to the global economic crisis. As the predominant model of development, in Greece and around the world, is severely challenged, we are presented with a unique opportunity to re-invent it: to shift from growth to sustainability, from market-dependency to self-sufficiency, from individually-motivated consumption to publicly-useful production, a whole new paradigm is longing to emerge. How will the city respond to it? And how can urban design and programming contribute to this very emergence?

Through a 6-day programme of group work, site visits, lectures, and social events, the master class, organised into units, will produce a set of urban design proposals for different areas of Volos. Units focus on different geographies of the city, ranging both in scale and location, from building typology to the structure of the urban grid, and from the city’s water edge to its peripheral ‘strip’ extensions. Seen in its entirety, this set of final projects will constitute an extensive and thorough urban intervention proposal for the whole city.

Considering the crisis as a trigger for the re-invention of the city itself, we invite participants to use the tools of city-making in proposing radical urban scenarios for an uncompromised future. We shall aim at nothing less than a pragmatic utopia.

 

 

fees
140 euros for registrations by 30 September
200 euros for registrations after 30 September

for further information and registration details download the master class programme
http://www.urbantranscripts.org/documents/UT2013_01_udm_programme.pdf

for enquiries contact
designmasterclass@urbantranscripts.org

facebook page
http://www.facebook.com/urbantranscripts
Volos in the Extremes is an Urban Transcripts initiative under the auspices of the Department of Architecture, University of Thessaly, with the support of the Architects Association of Magnesia, the Union of Greek Architects, the Architects Association of Thessaloniki, and the Municipality of Volos – Municipal Centre for History and Documentation.

The IFHP (International Federation for Housing and Planning) celebrated recently one century of active engagement with cities and human settlement issues. Hosted by the Bartlett School of Planning, UCL, the IFHP 100 Centenary London Congress took place on 8-11 June bringing together a pluralism of international voices and perspectives. Participants coming from around the globe shared their experiences regarding urban growth. And this was one of the key elements of the Congress; discussions were based on ‘experiences’, on living examples-manifestations of urban prosperity or decay and of the shifting from the one to the other. From the challenges of urban growth, the visions and intentions – up to the policy making, the planning and the outcomes in terms of housing and social justice over time, one could trace the complexity of urban planning and the dynamics of public, private and civic sectors in the socio-economic processes of cities’ emergence.
The Congress Themes included resilient citiessmart citiesinclusive cities and cities in transition. Cases of regional planning, of masterplanning and of soft-urbanism, retrofitting and conviviality; issues of governance, infrastructure, land ownership, resource distribution and profit; climate resiliency; ‘smart’ as the new ‘green’; ‘garden cities’ versus ‘eco cities’; these were all topics discussed highlighting the ever-changing needs of urbanity and bringing to the fore the critical need for long term planning. Does the achievement of long term and adaptable solutions lie, as Charles Laundry (Comedia-Urban Futures Think Tank) suggested, in the divergence of our focus from the composition of laws, rules and regulations to the formation of frameworks, guidelines and suggestions? Food for thought…
For those more interested in the particularities of this event,

61 degrees in the shade!

No wonder my equipment failed! It had to be re-calibrated again for me to continue using the same equipment in Abu Dhabi to measure external Globe temperature!

I’m coming to the end of a 4-month field trip to Abu Dhabi. I have worked very closely with some key government departments who have been extremely supportive of my attempt to understand how Abu Dhabi can save on energy costs. And there are some very creative measures that can be taken to do so.

The leadership of Abu Dhabi are very brave as they learn from the lessons of Fukushima. Japan is completing the three suspended Nuclear power plants (2 in Aomori, and one in Shimine) and will then create a program to phase out all atomic power generation by 2040.

The opportunity for Abu Dhabi is to build safe Nuclear power to cater for the growing built environment. Some readers might say, why does Abu Dhabi need Nuclear power? Despite being rich, the leadership has recognized that oil will eventually run out, an alternative fuel source will secure the growth of the Emirates and pave way for a more sustainable expansion.

http://www.thenational.ae/news/uae-news/environment/study-finds-abu-dhabi-is-too-cold-for-comfort