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From Knowledge Places to Knowledge Spaces

The results of out studio on creating a knowledge campus in Riga have been published in Dreams and Seeds – The role of campuses in sustainable urban development. Thanks to the European Union and Interreg Central Baltic for their support of the Live Baltic Campus project.

Below an excerpt of the project text.
Knowledge Mile Riga: Co-designing four universities into a collaborative network

The proposal to create a Knowledge Mile stems from an architectural design studio at the RISEBA Faculty of Architecture and Design, Riga. During the spring 2017, ten students and three tutors explored the future of academic campuses by researching global, regional and local case studies as they pertain to education, research and innovation. The chosen territory falls within the geographical scope of the Live Baltic Campus project activities in Riga and that of the prospective development of the main national academic campuses. Imaginative spatial scenarios in the proposal were meant to be reflexive and alternative rather than in line with formal planning policies. The proposal rethinks the development plans of existing academic campuses – the University of Latvia, Riga Technical University, RISEBA and Riga Stradins University – into a more coherent, dynamic knowledge network.

Nampula City Development Strategy Framework

Nampula is Mozambique’s second largest urban centre and considered the ‘capital’ of northern region. It is also one of the economically most dynamic cities of the country due to its location in the centre of Nampula Province – the most populous and prosperous of Mozambique – in the heartland of highly productive agricultural areas, at the cross roads between the East-West Nacala Development Corridor linking land-locked Malawi and Zambia to the port of Nacala, and the North-South corridor linking Tanzania with the rest of Mozambique. Due to these facts Nampula has been growing rapidly from 53,970 inhabitants in 1970, to 158,099 in 1980 and 306,074 in 1997; it is now estimated that the population of the is around 600,000 inhabitants, showing an annual growth of over 5%, which puts a tremendous pressure on urban land, infrastructure and municipal services. At the same time the surrounding District of Nampula is the fastest growing in Nampula Province. This explosive urban growth has been and continues to be mainly unplanned, so that more than 80% of the population live in high density squatter settlements with appalling housing, environmental and living conditions and generally deprived of the most basic infrastructure and services, and is potentially preventing successful investment projects if no proper territorial planning strategy is thought through.

Since 2008 the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) has been supporting the municipality and district of Nampula, together the Faculty of Architecture and Physical Planning (FAPF) at the Eduardo Mondlane University (UEM) and with the financial support of Cities Alliance, in preparing a city-wide slum upgrading plan (CWSUP) and a city development strategy (CDS) which covers the surrounding Nampula District to cater for the urban growth in the medium to long term, hence preventing the formation of new slums in the peri-urban areas and providing more favourable conditions for investment.

On November 12th, Thomas Stellmach of TSPA will lead a workshop with stakeholders from communities, the private sector and the local government of Nampula to validate the priority projects of the City Development Strategy Framework. The report is set to be released in early 2017.

A Masterplan won’t solve anything

Russian cities usually have a functioning city administration, often a strong civil society, and s strong framework of urban regulations. Yet, when we look at the current state of the urban environment, they are very much the opposite of an attractive, liveable city.

Thomas of TSPA and Anton Shatalov of Proektdevelopment, a young innovative office which forms part of the fledgling Siberian urban design scene, explore this question using Krasnoyarsk as an example. The conversation was hosted by gorodprima. Read the full dialogue (in Russian) here: “A Masterplan won’t solve anything“.

The Passenger City Workshop Report

The report of The Passenger City workshop held at Augsburg University of Applied Sciences’ International Design Week last year has been released.

Book “Interior Tales” published

A new book by Black Square Press about drawings, movies, architecture and the power of narrative with visual essays by 2A+P/A, Fala, Microcities and TSPA.

Interior Tales, edited by Francisco Sanin and Davide Sacconi, is a question on instruments that create a city of nowadays. The book is based on research developed at Syracuse University School of Architecture, London.

“A metabolic process is operating in the city, manipulating and giving form to our own way of dwelling in space before shaping space itself. In such a condition, it is crucial to challenge and rethink the grand modernist project of housing and imagine radical alternatives to the ways in which architects can intervene in the city.”

Get a copy here.

Maitland could become the place to be for all African people in Cape Town

How can density become a tool for an inclusive and sustainable Cape Town?

Read Brittany Morris’ interview at future cape town with our colleague Ali Saad on the project we did as Uberbau together with NL-Architects as part of the Density Syndicate initiative.

With an Oculus Rift above the Techno Club

“With the Oculus Rift above the Techno Club” is Jasper Massink’s article about his professional and personal experiences during his internship at TSPA and in Berlin in general. Currently on the title page of archined [Dutch]. Read the full story here: Met de Oculus Rift boven de Technoclub: persoonlijke en professionele ervaringen in Berlijn.

Hey Jasper – we’re glad you survived that night!

TSPA at brand eins

‘Wie willst Du leben?’ (How would you like to live?) is the title of the october issue of the German brand eins economy magazine. TSPA has contributed to Wolf Lotter’s reflection on contemporary living conditions: Room to move.

Urban Design in the Arab World

“Aleppo 2025 City Development Strategy: A Critical Reflection” published

Uberbau (from which TSPA emerged) conceived a spatial development strategy for the City of Aleppo commissioned by the German development agency GIZ in 2011. The goal was to develop spatially-driven solutions to guide long-term sustainable development. Thomas Stellmach’s (TSPA) and Ali Saad’s (Bureau Ali Saad) critical reflections on the planning process and the limitations of traditional planning methods in Aleppo and their call to acknowledge existing dynamics as the base for defining future qualities and for steering urban development, have now been published in Ashgate’s Urban Design in the Arab World, edited by Robert Saliba.

UN-Habitat International Guidelines on Urban and Territorial Planning (IG-UTP) released

In the context of rapid urbanisation and resultant inadequate spatial distribution of people and activities, UN-Habitat has recently released its guidelines on urban and territorial planning, a global reference framework for national governments, local authorities, civil society organizations and planning professionals. The guidelines promote more compact, socially inclusive, better integrated and connected cities and territories that foster sustainable urban development and are resilient to climate change. Their drafting was supported by Thomas (TSPA) along many professionals from around the world.

UN Habitat IG-UTP [9MB]

Bauwelt Cover Story on ‘Metropole Ruhr’

Bauwelt’s cover story features Thomas’ and Ali’s work on Germany’s Detroit – ‘Metropole Ruhr’. In Kiosks this Friday.

CRE200 Stadtplanung published

Chaosradio Express Podcast Folge 200 is online – Tim Pritlove interviews Thomas on urban planning (german language).

Die Städte spielen seit dem Übergang des Menschen von Jäger und Sammler zum Ackerbau die entscheidende Rolle in der Entwicklung der Menschheit und ihre Bedeutung nimmt im 21. Jahrhundert weiter zu.

Städte stehen heute vor der Herausforderung, die großen ökologischen, ökonomischen und gesellschaftlichen Probleme der Zeit abzufedern und neue Innovationen zu gebären, um das Wachstum und den Klimawandel zu bewältigen.

Im Gespräch mit Tim Pritlove erzählt der Architekt und Stadtplaner Thomas Stellmach von der Geschichte der Städte seit dem Alten Orient über die Antike, dem Römischen Reich, dem Mittelalter, dem Barock, der Renaissance bis zur Moderne und schildert die aktuellen Herausforderungen der Stadtplanung.

[download as mp3]

Sustainable Urbanisation in Asia released

Have a look at the latest UN-Habitat publication on how to achieve Sustainable Urbanisation in Asia Thomas contributed to.

Rapid urbanization — together with climate change — is emerging as the most challenging issue of the twenty-first century. As the region with the highest percentage increase in urban population over the last two decades, Asia faces fundamental economic, social and environmental challenges to its continued development. However, well planned and effectively governed and managed cities can provide the solution to many of these challenges. With the right economic policies and more equitable growth, poverty and slum reduction are achievable goals. Putting cities on the right path now can result in thriving, dense, green, resilient and sustainable cities.

[PDF download 4.5MB]