Urban Design at ETHZ - ETH Zurich

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Study with flashcards and summaries for the course Urban Design at the ETHZ - ETH Zurich

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Cape Town Governance

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Cape Town Environment/ Housing

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Berlin Environment

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Athen Enviroment/Housing

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Caracas/Bogota Environment 

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Berlin Social

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Berlin Governance
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Athens Social

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Cape Town social

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Caracas/Bogota governance 

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Athens Governance
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Zurich social

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Urban Design

Cape Town Governance
Masterplanning Segregation 

Apartheid city
The British people built Cape Town with Segregation and Apartheid planning laws. More and more acts passed in the government to try to push ethnic groups out of the central parts of the city. Between 1948-1994 Apartheid was the main planning policy. Another Act to push black people out of South Africa failed and active resistance overthrew the Apartheid Government and revised the planning acts in 1991. Overcoming the Race and spatial segreis a big challenge for South African cities.

Urban Design

Cape Town Environment/ Housing
Developement Through Distribution

Ownership and Housing Rights
Post Apartheid saw an influx of millions of previously excluded people to cities like cape town. The government launched housing projects, focussed on fast single houses for the poor, yet the waiting list surpassed 29 years.
New approaches were needed to not only provide adequate housing but also economic growth and facilities. All of this as well as homeownership is to encourage the emergence of a new middle class ensuring a strong voter base.
Many programs of interest: Breaking New Grounds (BNG) - new housing with infrastructure and social and economic facilities. Insitu-upgrading - upgrading informal settlements. Empower shack - densification, re-blocking, integrating built environment infrastructure and social livelihoods. 

Urban Design

Berlin Environment

Critical Re-Construction of Identities

After the reunification of the City many problems in the urban frabric arose as well as the remaining scars left by the wall. In 70s and 80s initiatives and ideass arose to bring back the traditional urbanism as well as create an identity for the city. A way that was managed with was Conservative building structures and a „dress code“ for facades to tame the wild and layered with history berlin.
Example the urban general model (leitbild) of 1999 foresaw the re-urbanisation and re-vitalisation of the inner-city area, supported by chef planner Hans Stimman, is a very reconstruction focussed plan, focussing on re-discovering old patterns in eg. the Leipziger Platz or Hans Kohlhoff‘s Alexanderplatz proposal.

Urban Design

Athen Enviroment/Housing

Post olympic Urbanism
Mega event as Generator

The olympic bidding manual has set sites and venues a city needs to prepare for an Olympic Event with other infrastructure to support it. This can be an opportunity but also liability and poses the question how to plan and/ or how to change the site after the event for local needs.
With most venues at the edge of athens, it proved difficult to maintain them.
major Impact of Olymics : 1. Creates a big interference and momentum in the urban planning of the City, in the process of preparation creates many challenges and opportunities 
2. the city is forced to deal with rearrangements of the urban fabric and built environment  to win the bid

Urban Design

Caracas/Bogota Environment 
The Hybrid City

Barrios
Professionals have to explore and discover the richness of these zones and make a valid model for housing development.
Informal has become the most pervasive element in the production of the city of Caracas, the barrios are a complex adaptive system, permanently recreating itself.
The structures are built with future expansions in mind, in small scale investments and gaining terrain fast. Full of culture, its increasingly adopted in the formal part of Caracas too.

Urban Design

Berlin Social
Temporary Urbanism

Urban Pioneers are individuals actively partaking in small-scale projects, operating with the abundance of space and creativity yet lack of money.
Such temporary projects are of big importance for re-imagining and appropriating the city and urban space. They function as triggers for new types of urbanism and functions. Especially after the fall of the wall temporary, spontaneous and often illegal use of wasted urban land or empty buildings has been in the discussions in the city. The Senate Dep. of urban planning however realised their importance, and compiled them as tactics in the development for a creative city hub.
Ex. Mobile Kitchen Monument by Raumlabor Berlin or Badeschiff.


Urban Design

Berlin Governance
Mega Scale Planning

The legacy of a delayed metropolis 
Berlin was behoind the world cities Paris and London, problems of ghe typical industrial city such as overcrowding and hygiene plagued it. Ideas emerged in late 19th century but only in 1908 a competition was launched for Great Berlin, won by Hermann Jansen. After 1920 ideas of modernism came, shortly taken over by Hitler and Albert Speer, starting to plan Germania. After the cold war Berlin lost its international significance, becoming a showcase for east or west (Hansaviertel and Stalinallee) 
The city remains a wild laboratory of urban strategies, never being able to reach the full vision intended by planners.

Urban Design

Athens Social
User Generated Urbanism
Small scale Change

multiple Grassroots initiatives  and young architects, artists and activists arise with ideas to bring back streetlife and tackle the fragmentation of public space with small scale and user generated solutions.
Such as : Self managed parks (in Exarcheia, residents took over former parking lot and transformed it into a green area), occupation movements and alternative economy networks. ( urban plantations, citizen participation etc)
The financial crisis hit the city hard, leading to urban decay and homelessness. This shape the current dynamic in the city, redefining architectural priorities.

Urban Design

Cape Town social
Cooperation and Dialogue 

Breaking New Ground
Access to infrastructure is a human right in South Africa.
Management strategies for infrastructure are necessary to adequately meet basic needs and to create a more inclusive design in informal settlements.
What counts as basic needs should be questioned however and framed in an inclusive manner. As an example, public lighting greatly affects the everyday life of residents, andy many tools can help us find adequate solutions with residents.

Urban Design

Caracas/Bogota governance 
Oil and the Automobile City

Expansion Plans
Cities everywhere have gone through enormous urban expansion with the invention of the automobile.
The fragmented urban and social fabric of Caracas are the results of arbitrary forces and events like oil based economy, rural and foreign migration, and the modern architectural movement. Thus Caracas went from rigid Spanish grid to an organic and chaotic and spontaneous city.
Along with prosperity through oil came new isolated houses, traffic problems and therefore a big focus on extending the highways thus shaping the landscape.
Until recent years there was also a neglect in other forms of transportation.

Urban Design

Athens Governance
Developer as Architect
Building regulation

The history of architectural developed can be traced through the Polykatoikia ‘multiple houses’. The changing building code between the 1930s and 21st century had a direct impact on the form of the Polykatoikia.
The private  person was therefore the developer and architekt of the city, gradually expanding or rebuilding to fit the new regulations. A law made it possible for landowners to trade ground tax fee for built indoor space made it possible for small low  budget  construction companies to build on a plot without paying the landowner for it but in exchange offering a part of the resulted space. most important laws in 29, 55 and 85.

Urban Design

Zurich social
Formalizing Informality
Micro/temporary programs

Informality in the west European  cities is regarded positively. Regarded as creative and lively, attracting the Creative class - Richard Florida. The creative class is the breeding ground for economic growth. Zurich tries to foster and improve such informal spaces through different approaches. For example legal facilities for temporary uses in open spaces and brownfields ( Stadion Hardturm), events in public spaces, financing for small businesses etc. 
This however can backfire, see Nagelhaus under the hardbrücke, or the Letten Viadukt that underwent a major urban transformation, going from small shacks to a market hall and well established local businesses offering goods in high price ranges. Also Europaallee or Labitzke Areal.
This shows how a replacement through formal architecture can hurt creatives. The comunities are used as a marketing strategy for urban branding.

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