Transformation of Urban Landscapes

Transformation of Urban Landscapes
22. July 2020 Cara Turett

Adria Goula

The lecture course addresses the transformation of urban landscapes towards sustainable inward development. The course reconnects two largely separated complexity approaches in «spatial planning» and «urban sciences» as a basic framework to look at a number of spatial systems considering economic, political, and cultural factors. Focus lies on participation and interaction of students in groups.

Starting point and red thread of the lecture course is the transformation of urban landscapes as we can see for example across the Swiss Mittelland – but in fact also globally. The lecture course presents a theoretical foundation to see cities as complex systems. On this basis it addresses practical questions as well as the complex interplay of economic, political or spatial systems.
While cities and their planning were always complex the new era of globalization exposed and brought to the fore this complexity. It created a situation that the complexity of cities can no longer be ignored. The reason behind this is the networking of hitherto rather isolated places and systems across scales on the basis of Information and Communication Technologies. «Parts» of the world still look pretty much the same but we have networked them and made them strongly interdependent. This networking fuels processes of self-organization. In this view regions emerge from a multitude of relational networks of varying geographical reach and they display intrinsic timescales at which problems develop. In such a context, an increasing number of planning problems remain unaffected by either «command-and-control» approaches or instruments of spatial development that are one-sidedly infrastructure- or land-use orientated. In fact, they urge for novel, more open and more bottom-up assembling modes of governance and a «smart» focus on how space is actually used. Thus, in order to be effective, spatial planning and governance must be reconceptualised based on a complexity understanding of cities and regions, considering self-organizing and participatory approaches and the increasingly available wealth of data.
  • Course 103-0448-01 G
  • 2 Lessons per Week
  • 3 Credits
  • Language: English
  • Offered in: MSc Landscape Architecture, MSc Architecture, MSc Civil Engineering, MSc Science, Technology, and Policy, a.o.