|Cities of Change Addis Ababa|
|Monday, 09 May 2011 07:55|
TRANSFORMATION STRATEGIES FOR URBAN TERRITORIES IN THE 21ST CENTURY
The Urban Laboratory – Addis Ababa, a research initiative launched by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETHZ) in collaboration with the Ethiopian Institute of Architecture, Building Construction and City Development (EiABC), sets as its objective the identification of strategies for the sustainable development of urban environments.
The publication Cities of Change: Addis Ababa prioritizes the transformation of existing territories, rather than upholding an a priori vision of an ideal city and its attendant practice of working with a “tabula-rasa”. Accordingly, one of the key aspects of the work encompasses scenario planning: designing processes for potential future conditions according to varying constraints. Urban design as a discipline is reframed in view of an understanding of the city as a dynamic system, one delineated by stocks and flows of resources – with specific attention given to the fluxes of people, energy, water, material, capital, space, and information. While putting emphasis on the specific case of Addis Ababa, the research brings to the forefront general questions of method and procedure that can be transferred to other ‘cities of change,’ whether in the developing or the developed world.
With 1 book, 3 collaborating partners, 7 chapters and 13 articles, the publication follows a series of prime numbers. Whether one may read the book from the beginning to the end, whether it may just be the interest in one chapter of stocks and flows or one article of the distinct authors from Ethiopia, North America and Europe, the publication Cities of Change: Addis Ababa leaves space for different interpretations and specific interest.
The research was undertaken within the Department of Architecture and the Network City and Landscape department of the ETH Zurich in the context of the Master of Advanced Studies Program in Urban Design, led by Marc Angélil and Dirk Hebel. Both have taught architectural and urban design at universities in Europe and the United States, and their research focuses on contemporary urban transformation. Over the last three years, their interest has centered on Ethiopia – one of the fastest growing nations in the world. The publication Cities of Change: Addis Ababa documents the research and exposes findings to critical observations by invited authors. Dirk Hebel is currently the Scientific Director of the Ethiopian Institute of Architecture, Building Construction and City Development.
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|Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 May 2011 14:20|