Regenerating Urban Architecture for Cohesion and Sustainability
Kick-Off Keynote Forum, UIA 2017 Seoul
Monday, September 4, 2017
Cristiane Muniz, Wilfried Wang, John Peponis, Sung Hong Kim
Living in the inner city is at present affected by economic, social, and environmental uncertainties. In many world megacities, the lower middle classes are forced to move to the haphazardly built peripheries because of the changes in property ownership, real estate speculation and development, and skyrocketing rents. The gentrified urban enclaves for the higher middle or upper classes become grow and proliferate. Those who choose suburban bed-towns have to commute further and longer for working in the inner city. In many developing countries, the underprivileged class and ethnic minorities are left behind in the poor informal sectors of cities.
At the same time, living and working with different people in the inner city is more and more important to economic vitality, amid conflicting pressures and policy agendas: compactness vs expansion, densification vs decentralization, or automobiles vs pedestrians. The city has to be more inclusive and sustainable. Urban futures depend on who lives in the inner city and how. The protection and extension of ‘urban-ness’ and ‘urban commons’ are the major challenges for future cities.
Today, there would appear to be little room for architects to intervene in shaping policies and few architects are engaged in large-scale planning. But architects, as professionals, can still make significant and necessary contributions for living in better cities, one building and one site – small or large - at a time. The first step is to understand the urban realities, and to explore the innovative possibilities within those constraints.
“Urban Futures: Living in the Inter City,” the kick-off keynote forum of ‘UIA 2017 Seoul, Soul of City’, will discuss the experiences, lessons, ideas, and endeavours from different cities and regions. At a time when managing and reversing man-induced climate change is imperative, how can the architecture of inner cities contribute to environmental quality? How can urban morphologies and building typologies related to ‘open-ness’ and ‘inclusiveness’ of different people and lifestyles? How is the urbanism of pluralism attainable by regenerating urban architecture? How can individual building design influence the formation of public space in the face of gentrification and commercialization? How can buildings be inserted into urban infrastructures to upgrade informal sectors of megacities, and keep neighborhood networks working? To what extent can architects turn the motivation of short-term private profits into the realization of long-term public benefits?
Four speakers – Cristiane Muniz, Wilfried Wang, John Peponis, and Sung Hong KIM - will present specific cases and examples from Latin America, North America, West Europe, and Asia, and open up a discussion on the role and leadership of architects in a globally connected world in which we face interrelated local and global problems - the key agenda of UIA world congress.
una arquitetos, São Paulo, Brazil, http://www.unaarquitetos.com.br/
Hoidn Wang Partner, Berlin; Deputy Director Architecture Section, Akademie der Künste, Berlin; O'Neil Ford Centennial Chair in Architecture at the University of Texas at Austin, http://soa.utexas.edu/people/wilfried-wang
Professor, School of Architecture, Georgia Tech, www.arch.gatech.edu/people/john-peponis
Sung Hong KIM
Professor of Architecture and Urbanism, University of Seoul, sonomad.tistory.com
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