• From Form‑Trans‑Inform to Atelier d’Architecture Autogérée. A Discussion with Doina Petrescu and Constantin Petcou

    Summer 2021

    Interview: Alex Axinte

    Co-founded by Constan­tin Petcou and Doina Petrescu, atelier d’architecture autogérée (aaa) is “a collective platform of research and action around urban change and emerging cultural, social and political practices in the contemporary city. aaa initiates and supports strategies of ecological transition involving citizen locally and internationally. aaa acts against global crisis (ecological, economic, political, social, etc) by creating the conditions for citizen to participate in the ecological transition and adopting resilient ways of living. aaa functions within an open interdisciplinary network, where different viewpoints cross each other: architects, artists, students, researchers, pensioners, politicians, activists, residents, etc.

    aaa is an international reference in the field of participative architecture and urban resilience, aaa’s projects have been exhibited at Venise Biennale 2012 and 2016, MoMA New York, Berlin Biennale, Pavilion d’Arsenal Paris, Untied Nation Pavilion Geneva, etc. For its activity, aaa has received international recogni­tion and numerous awards across the years including the International Resilient Award Building for Humanity (2018), The Innovation in Politics Award for Ecology (2017) being one of the “100 projects for the climate” selected by the public at COP21 (2015). (Alex Axinte)

    The passages bellow are extracted from a series of conversations I had during several days with Doina Petrescu and Constantin Petcou. At their studio, at home, in cafes and metros or visiting their projects located in different Paris suburbs, we spoke about their beginnings in Romania, about their current practice atelier d’architecture autogérée (aaa) and about future plans. While still in school, within the social and political context of 1980’s Romania, they were involved in initiating groups and networks, they engaged in experiment and innovation, building after graduation an alternative practice through a critically approach of architecture.

    Visiting aaa. Drawing by Alex Axinte

    Alex Axinte: Let’s start from the time when you were professionally and humanly trained in Romania within the socialist education system of that time. Has this contributed to what your practice became?

    Doina Petrescu: Certainly it was a seed there, which wasn’t enough by itself, but it was important because this prepared us to face practical situations, knowing everything that a traditional architect should know. And this thing was a solid base, for knowing how to build, knowing about materials, knowing about structure, knowing history, you can see now that this is not taught in schools anymore, that these became specializations, you specialize in such things. We learned them all. And somehow this general formation counted a solid base, as a foundation. On top of this you can add other more sophisticated things, you may try to position yourself, you can take a stand, and you can develop certain interests. So this was one of the good things. Other good thing from the school, not necessarily different from the school, but one that we took or created in the school, was some sort of parallel school, of which Constantin can say more because he initiated it, adding the fact that the school allowed us the freedom to do other things.

    Constantin Petcou: I did two interesting things in school: first is that I walked a lot through Bucharest and I took the street as a teacher. I had also good teachers, but I studied a lot vernacular architecture. And second is that I initiated a group, a sort of school in school, which was called Form-Trans-Inform and which was based on knowledge theory, and other theories as well. [Stratford H, Petrescu D & Petcou C (2008) Form-Trans-Inform: the ‘poetic’ resistance in architecture. arq: Architectural Research Quarterly, 12(02)] Basically it was a transdisciplinary group: there were students from scenography, we had interactions with others too, we also organized some events in Club A, we invited philosophes, art critiques, until they spotted me and wanted me to enrol in the party…

    “Inner Gesture“ – happening, Baneasa 1982, team: Constantin Petcou, Constantin Gorcea, Florin Neagoe, Lavinia Marșu, Doru Deacu, Sorin Vatamaniuc, Constantin Fagețean ©Form-Trans-Inform

    AA: What vernacular Bucharest meant?

    CP: It meant some fabulous neighbourhoods, because many they were self-constructed, this being usual in mahalas (ie. popular neighbourhoods). The inhabitants were partly self-sufficient: they were already controlling the household climate, having a lot of courtyards covered with vine, they were trying to produce energy, and there were quite a lot of wind mills, they were trying to produce food by raising pigeons in big cages , which were flying all around… It was like in Garcia Marquez. If you were really sensitive to space and wind and light, you were blown away by how much you could see and feel…

    AA: Is this something that you were looking for also in Paris, or you rather came with this type of looking from Bucharest?

    CP: In Paris you don’t have such a thing. I think it was a root that we came from there.

    DP: Yes, and we applied this later in projects like R-Urban and other projects which we developed later. It was a lesson we have learned, we have understood from those conditions. Also, we still kept having this sensibility to “read” spaces’ potentiality. For example you see a square and some trees: you realise that there is a place there with a certain urban quality and in Bucharest there were many such places with very special qualities due to the urban typologies and ways of living. This mahala type of living was actually a sensitive urban typology.

    Constantin rises on his tops and waters the plants hanging from the studio’s ceiling. We flip through black and white magazines in which there were published some of their projects receiving prizes in paper architecture competitions. They tell me about how they became involved in organizing exhibitions, about working with clothing, about publications which didn’t make it past the 1st issue and where many articles finished with ‘to be continued’. Than, they continued with their architect’s life in Romania before ’89: Doina working in sistematizare (state planning) and Constantin as ‘mister Design’ in a factory of clothing and shoes. Here, with found materials, they worked together for redesigning an office space as a sort of ‘participative deconstructivist’ manifesto, quite provocative at the time. Doina goes out in the courtyard and ransacks bended over some compost containers. Here are their pets, some big earthworms which just received banana peels as their favourite meal. After ’90 they left for Paris guided by the idea to continue their postgraduate studies and than to come back.

    “Catarg towards Ithaca“ –“Honorable mention“ at Shinkenchiku Residential Competition, Japan, 1986. Echipa de proiect/Project team: Constantin Petcou, Doina Petrescu, Mircea Stefan, Victor Badea

    *The Design section atelier – Valceana Leather Factory, 1988. Project team : Constantin Petcou, Doina Petrescu ©ConstantinPetcou

    AA: It is a fairly quite spread perception, that architecture is architecture and politics is politics. We are doing our job, we design, we build. If this supports an ideology or not, this is not architecture’s business. How architecture became for you a political acting?

    DP: I think that in a way it was the context that forced us when we started. We started from scratch. And we had to invent ways of negotiating to gain access to space, to gain access to ways of practicing architecture, and we quickly realized that such a negotiation is political and that actually you need to learn to speak with people caring political responsibilities. But at the same time, we realized that the very fact of asking, of doing the practice differently is a political act. There were some things we refused to do, such as the conventional capitalist practice. We wanted to facilitate the inhabitants’ access to space, for any city inhabitant, we wanted to open urban spaces that are closed and that are controlled either by the municipalities or other institutions, and this is already a political act. We managed to ensure access to space, and afterwards, slowly, the self-management of the space, which was also a process, by persuading people that they have to become responsible if they want to use the space, that they need to learn how to manage it, to get along, to organize. This is in fact what Deleuze and Guatarri are calling micro-politics, meaning politics at the level of the subject, transformations at the subjective level. [Deleuze, G. and F. Guattari (2004), Anti-Oedipus, London: Continuum] We always worked with people. Our architecture always included this subjective and social architecture into the project. The fact that we formed a social group around the project, that people have changed, that they changed their interest, all these are for us part of architecture.

    AA: Do you tend towards consensus in your projects?

    CP: We don’t really use the word consensus. It is about temporary equilibrium. In any such a project, as there are many people involved, and here we speak about governance, co-management and self-management, there are various interests, there are people with different cultural backgrounds – some are employed, others not -­ and people with more or less time. So they cannot have the same vision over the use of space, over the type of activities, and then you need to reach some agreements, some temporary, partial deals, which should not suffocate the others and allow others to emerge. What we do is to give the inhabitants the opportunity to appropriate a space, an equipment, a way of organising time together, of organising the neighbourhood’s life, which are ecological, solidary, all this obviously with some guidance. Because the majority of inhabitants of the banlieue are very much excluded. And we are offering them an emancipatory space, or, in Guatarri’s language, a re-subjectivation capacity, very useful in today’s society which excludes many. [F. Guattari (1977), La révolution Moléculaire, Paris: ed. Recherches] In such spaces they gain new qualities; someone is a gardener, someone else takes care of the chickens, somebody else of the compost, one of the kitchen…

    DP: This is actualy the micro-politics.

    CP: Including until the kids’ level. I remember when we were at the Ecobox I had a lot of keys and a kid asked me, mais Constantin, you have keys from every space in the neighbourhood?! Can you open any space? And obviously that I answered yes, because, for his imaginary it was very important to know that you can open spaces, that you can make this urban space to evolve, which has become now more and more expensive, inaccessible and segregated. Such imaginary is fundamental for the “right to the city”, it is to know that, even for a kid, space could be negotiable, accessible and welcoming, that there are no barriers and walls. Actually, we don’t make walls: we make doors, windows, bridges… this is the kind of things we are building.

    Steering to the passers-by, Doina recollects her diploma project for which she collaborated with an ethnologist to design something which today could be called an ethnological cultural hub. Once arrived in Paris, after a master, they began teaching, being among others the co-founders of Paris-Malaquais architecture school. Step by step, they began to act as citizens, teachers and architects in the neighbourhood where they were living: La Chapelle. This is how aaa started. In the same time, they kept on teaching and initiating projects also in Romania, in Brezoi, but which got stuck. Constantin starts the fire in a small godin in the Agrocite, located in southern Paris, at Bagneux, which is a sort of ecological prototype spatializing aaa’s concepts: short circuits, popular ecology, urban resilience.

    Mobile modules – EcoBox project, 2003. Project team: Constantin Petcou, Doina Petrescu, Denis Favret, Giovanni Piovene ©aaa

    *Eco interstice “Passage 56“ – street view, 2007, Project team: Constantin Petcou, Doina Petrescu, Raimund Binder, Sandra Pauquet, Nolwenn Marchand ©aaa

    AA: 100 years after Bauhaus, 50 years after the May ’68 revolt and 30 years after the fall of the Berlin wall, within the current global capitalism crisis, all Bauhaus’ principles of how to live and work together are becoming again relevant. In this context, how legitimate is still Bauhaus’s questions if design can change society, and what it means to be modern today?

    DP: So all these ideas are reaching some sort of anniversary and one needs to take them together, one cannot take only Bauhaus ideas, but also other ideas which came after in order to understand what can design do today: participation, global democracy, ecology. Design need to remain open, as Ezio Manzini was saying: ‘design when everybody designs’. There is an acknowledgement of the fact that we are all designing, in our own way, we design our life, we design our decisions. How can you put all those things together in a strategic way, at a moment when the society and the humanity need to take some decisions, need to be prepared for a civilizational change, otherwise we become extinct? I think design has a role in this, by helping, by mediating, by formulating questions, decisions, or solutions together. And how to do design together is the big question, and there is not only one way of doing it, there are many ways. We also need to imagine what are these places where ways of designing together are possible. Which are the new institutions, the new mediating agents? – all these seem to me to be the questions of our times.

    Constantin confesses that Bauhaus changed his life, when, after an exhibition, improbable for that time, where 1:1 modernist furniture was exhibited, he quits the arts high school in Iași and joined the architecture school.

    CP: I am sure that design has an immense capacity to change society until even distorting it (see the tablet, the iPhone…). As architects, we are working a lot in a broader sense of design, and that’s why we are trying to launch not just projects, but also movements like One Planet Site or R-Urban which can be adopted also by others, because we have the capacity and the responsibility, so you have the capacity, but you have also the responsibility to act. It’s like a doctor. If you are in a plane and someone is sick, you have the capacity and responsibility to act. This is the case for us architects: we acted here in the neighbourhood we are living because there were many difficulties. The planet is now in great difficulty and you need to act. We know how to design, to project into the future, to find money, to create a horizon of hope, a model which becomes interesting for others too, so we have this capacity to design, in a broader sense, complex, temporal and functional. All these including re-balancing how much technology, how many resources, how much mutualisation, how much governance, all these are in fact design.

    DP: For example, with R-Urban we proposed a resilience strategy as designers. We have used design and the organization and shaping of space, of making visible specific practices, as a catalyst. We succeed in a way to organize a social group around the project, by giving it also a political dimension, again, by using architecture’s capacity to make visible, to make real the idea of short circuits for example. People could finally see what happens if you collect rain water, where it goes, that you have to think differently about space to make passive heating, and that you need to think differently about the heating system if you want to reduce the fuel consumption. That by using space in a certain way, in 1 year time you will have this amount of reduction of carbon emissions, which is much better than the national rate. So, all these things can be made visible through the way you design their experience. We didn’t just design a building, or a site, but we designed a usage and a way of creating an activity there.

    “ R-Urban “ – Diagrams on the ecological transition principles 2008. Echipa de proiect/Project team: Constantin Petcou, Doina Petrescu cu Nolwenn Marchand, Sara Carlini, Clémence Kempnich ©aaa

    ““Agrocité”—micro-farm for urban agriculture and ecological training, Colombes, 2013-2014

    “Recyclab”—social economy hub, urban waste recycling and eco-design, Colombes, 2013. Project team: Constantin Petcou, Doina Petrescu, Clémence Kempnich

    “Agrocité”—micro-farm for urban agriculture and ecological training, Bagneux, 2019. Project team: Constantin Petcou, Doina Petrescu, Anna Laura Bourguignon, Alex Gaiser, Rémi Buscot, Juliette Hennequin

    AA: So you could say that this means modernity now?

    DP: The concept of modernity is very much contested in fact, but in a way you could say that this means a hope for the future.

    CP: Modernity I think it had the quality of promoting progress, a democratic progress for all, through small prices, standardization, through in fact what they knew back then. And I think that these ideals remain somehow valid. Such as fablabs are in a way a continuity of this progressive modernist ideal of making accessible and democratic the use to technology. And it’s good. But the problem is the excess. When standardization becomes excessive and exploitative. I think modernity needs to be revisited, keeping what is good, like democracy, ethics, progress and others, and readapting it. Because modernity couldn’t address at that time the problems of limited resources issues, climate change, extractive capitalism, or extinction of species; those problems weren’t visible back than.

    AA: What is the relation with technology in your projects?

    DP: We document and present all our technological devices with an interface accessible to the users and we make them with means that makes them transferable and reproducible. I think we need to take into account the democratization of technology and the fact that the reproduction is not made by the industry, but by the masses, everyone being able to take part. What is important is to keep a degree of creativity, of appropriateness, of participative innovation possible at all levels. All these technological devices were conceived together with experts. The grey water filtration system was made together with a specialist in phyto-remediation. What we brought new is that we designed the first prototype used in urban contexts. This approach is also situated, is specific for a certain situation, you work with the specialist to find the solution there, and afterwards you integrate also local and traditional knowledge. For example, for the phyto-remediation device it was very cool that we built it with a team of Romanians having a construction company in France. Due to the fact we were in a flooding area, we needed to raise the device above the ground by 1 meter and we didn’t know how to build it. And then, the team of Romanians which knew how to make… barrels, manage with what we had, with found boards that were boarded like for barrels… and this is how we made the phyto-remediation device. This shows that all skills and ways of knowledge are useful in a certain situation.

    They choose together the tomatoes, than Doina the aubergines and Constantin the potatoes from a temporary market installed in the Paris former mortuary house. This is now a cultural centre, open to everyone and full of life. Recently they participated in the biggest architectural competition organized by the city of Paris which offered some difficult sites for development – “Reinventer Pars”. The brief was very close to the R-Urban model. They haven’t officially won, but their proposal was very good and this is how they were able to develop it in a different location. The project is called Wiki Village Factory (VWF) and is a cluster of technological and social innovation of 7000 sqm which aims to become a sort of central node in the R-Urban network towards developing the city 2.0 (ecological and collaborative).

    “Wiki-Village-Factory” – cluster of social and ecological innovation, Paris, 2016. Project team: Constantin Petcou, Doina Petrescu, Benjamin Poignon, Pierre Marie Cornin, Grégoire Beaumont © aaa-REI-Deswarte

    AA: With WVF for example, how important is for you the materiality and the aesthetics? Or is the program more important?

    CP: Aesthetics for as is a result. You need to take care for the building to be well integrated in the context, you need to express well what’s going on. For example, the coop spaces are trying to make you to wish to collaborate with others; it’s not just like any other office. The ground floor, we try to have it open towards the neighbourhood, despite it is a difficult neighbourhood.

    DP: I would say that aesthetics are trying to express not necessary the programme, but what is important in the program and beyond the program. We are using architecture tactically if you want, as a way of exposing and communicating principles of functioning, of governance, of construction and the ethics of using a building today.

    CP: We are exposing the ecology of the building in fact, and this is beyond function. In order to become more ecologic. This is to make you use fewer materials, less insulation, but count on the passive insulation of the building’ skin. We also succeeded in convincing them to have dry toilets. This will be the largest building with dry toilets in Europe. We will build a special device, like a large scale prototype, which doesn’t exist right now. In fact, although they are on a tight budget, they will put more money into this than into usual toilets, because also the developer and everybody want this aspect to be exemplary. And it will be quite vegetal, with urban agriculture; we will try to remediate the grey waters. All the principles that we are using in R-Urban hubs will be implementing as much as we can also here.

    AA: So, the city 2.0 should look differently because it values and creates hierarchies in a different way?

    DP: Yes, it is important to create a new discourse, but also governance is important, social and ecological governance, that is what we try to express through architecture. There are many layers which add up to the modernist functional layer. And there is also the idea of being reversible, the fact that a building needs to evolve, to adapt, to disappear if necessary after a while, so it is not built to last hundreds of years. Because we need to leave room for future generations to build the architecture they need, don’t we?

    #ville #écologie #participation #auto_gestion #urban_planning

  • CFP: Queer(ing) urban planning and municipal governance

    "Despite a decade of research, LGBTQ+ urban planning issues have yet to be ‘mainstreamed’ and evenly integrated into the everyday work of municipal governance. Through theoretical reflection and methodological innovation, this special issue critically scales up the existing LGBTQ+ urban planning scholarship from neighbourhoods to city-regions and empirically extends research frameworks to surface the messy materialities of municipal governance for sexual and gender non-normative subjects. This collection builds on a legacy of queer planning scholarship that both questions the heteronormative assumptions foundational within urban planning texts and practices (Forsyth, 2001; Frisch, 2002) and addresses the need for inclusive queer spaces (Doan, 2011; 2015). Beyond the empirical particularities of gayborhoods and their institutions, this special issue engages with municipal governance by focusing on plans and policies that address LGBTQ+ needs for infrastructure provision, social services and community facilities access, housing and economic development, community-event financing, public safety, social inclusion, and civic participation.

    This special issue invites critical interdisciplinary engagement with the following questions within three thematic areas:

    1) Socio-spatial regulation
    > How have bylaws, licenses, zoning, and plans regulated LGBTQ+ lives in cities and suburbs within and beyond gayborhoods?
    > How have families, gender, and sexuality been normatively constructed in community development plans and housing policies?
    > How have urban redevelopment priorities and/or policing strategies (re)produced LGBTQ+ exclusions in public spaces?
    2) Queering plans and policies
    > Where does LGBTQ+ knowledge, networks, and less commodifiable lived experiences fit into social inclusion policies or community plans or municipal agendas for creative, livable, digital, and sustainable cities?
    > To what extent do queer and transgender competencies inform muncipal urban planning and policymaking?
    > What conflicts, impediments, and contradictions are found in municipal urban planning and policymaking responses to queering planning?
    3) Governance coalitions and activisms
    > How do LGBTQ+ activists rework and resist municipal logics to build community resilience?
    > When does LGBTQ+-inclusivity exceed social planning to engage with an (in)visibility politics that may impact upon the tangible materialities of infrastructure?
    > What tensions, disconnects, and misrecognitions are generated through the integration of LGBTQ+ and QTBIPOC activists into local participatory urban planning processes and planning discourses?
    The special issue guest editors Alison Bain and Julie Podmore welcome titles and abstracts (approximately 300 words) for papers based on original research results that have not been published elsewhere of a maximum length of 6,000 words (including title, abstract, tables, figures, and references list). Please note that during the revisions stage, authors may extend the article length to a maximum of 8,000 words to address the reviewers and editors’ comments (Instructions for Authors). The deadline for submitting abstracts is May 31, 2021, with confirmation of participation by the end of June 2021. Authors will be required to submit manuscripts for preliminary review by the guest editors by December 1, 2021, with submission to the journal for peer-review by January 31, 2022.

    Urban Planning is an open-source peer-reviewed journal indexed in the Web of Science-ESCI and Scopus (CiteScore: 2.9), that ensures permanent and universal free readership access to articles worldwide. The cost of production and full access are offset by a research article processing charge of €900 (plus VAT if applicable) except in the case of scholars working at an institution that has joined Cogitatio’s Institutional Membership Program (Institutional Members). Authors who demonstrate financial need and cannot afford the article processing charge can apply for a waiver during the initial article submission process (Publication Fees).

    For all inquiries and submissions please contact the guest editors Alison Bain (abain@yorku.ca) and Julie Podmore (jpodmore@johnabbott.qc.ca).

    Julie Podmore, PhD
    College Professor & Chair, Geosciences, John Abbott College
    Affiliate Assistant Professor, Geography, Planning and Environment, Concordia University

    John Abbott College
    21275 Lakeshore Road
    Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, QC Canada
    H9X 3L9
    (514) 457-6610 x5496

    #CfP #queer #urban_planning #ville #LGBTQ

  • Viet reclamation project near reserve raises concern

    Worries over $12.6b tourist city’s impact on ’green lung’ as well as further erosion in Mekong Delta
    A sprawling development on reclaimed land off Vietnam’s southern coast is expected to create jobs and raise millions in tax revenue for the state, but experts warn that environmental factors could sink the project and cause irreparable harm in the long term.
    Can Gio Tourist City, an upcoming 217 trillion dong (S$12.6 billion) project 70km from central Ho Chi Minh City, will boast luxury homes, a 108-storey skyscraper, a golf course and a cruise port if it is completed.


    #vietnam #development #urban_planning #environment #cangio_tourist_city

  • How much electricity does a country use? Just ask cell-phone users. - MIT Technology Review

    Socioeconomic data is generally expensive and difficult to gather. The most important data generally comes from censuses and reveals the size of the population, its geographical distribution, its age and gender structure, and a host of other details.

    But a census requires significant, costly planning, carefully analysis, and a relatively stable society. That makes such studies hard to do in the developing world, where countries are often by afflicted by poverty, war, disease, and famine.

    So economists, sociologists, and policy experts would dearly love a cheaper and faster way to gather data. And in recent years, just such a method has emerged thanks to mobile phones.

    Mobile phones have spread widely in the developing world, more quickly than other services such as electrification. In Senegal, for example, only 24% of households are electrified, and yet 75% have mobile phones, with people presumably charging them from car engines, from neighbors, or wherever they can.

    Today, we get a partial answer thanks to the work of Hadrien Salat and colleagues at the Future Cities Laboratory in Singapore. These guys have analyzed mobile-phone data from Senegal and say it has the potential to help infrastructure planning for the entire country.

    It can also be used to estimate factors such as electricity usage even when it includes just a fraction of total inhabitants. “Our aim is to use the resulting data to reduce the logistic costs of gathering information for infrastructure planning in developing countries,” they say.

    The results offer some interesting surprises. For example, they find that mobile-phone activity is not strongly correlated with the population density found in the census. However, mobile-phone activity is strongly correlated with electricity consumption. Indeed, it is a significantly better indicator than population density.

    At first sight that is something of a puzzle. But Salat and co explain the result by suggesting that electricity consumption is the result of a range of interlinked activities that are better correlated with mobile-phone usage than with the density of people alone.

    #Géolocalisation #Recensement #Développement #Urban_planning #Infrastructure

    • Résumé de l’article source sur arxiv (le texte est accessible en pdf) :
      [1907.04812] Mobile phone data’s potential for informing infrastructure planning in developing countries

      High quality census data are not always available in developing countries. Instead, mobile phone data are becoming a trending proxy to evaluate population density, activity and social characteristics. They offer additional advantages for infrastructure planning such as being updated in real-time, including mobility information and recording visitors’ activity. We combine various data sets from Senegal to evaluate mobile phone data’s potential to replace insufficient census data for infrastructure planning in developing countries. As an applied case, we test their ability at predicting domestic electricity consumption. We show that, contrary to common belief, average mobile phone activity does not correlate well with population density. However, it can provide better electricity consumption estimates than basic census data. More importantly, we use curve and network clustering techniques to enhance the accuracy of the predictions, to recover good population mapping potential and to reduce the collection of required data to substantially smaller samples.

      Figure 2 Curve profiles and network structure. (a) Number of calls per hour aggregated at national level for each day of the year. (b) Yearly average of the number of texts per hour of the day sent from each tower. (c) Network structure limited to edges corresponding to at least 2000 text messages sent in January.

  • Le Corbusier’s “contemporary city” (1925) | The Charnel-House


    The use of technical analysis and architectural synthesis enabled me to draw up my scheme for a contemporary city of three million inhabitants. The result of my work was shown in November 1922 at the Salon d’Automne in Paris. It was greeted with a sort of stupor; the shock of surprise caused rage in some quarters and enthusiasm in others. The solution I put forward Was a rough one and completely uncompromising. There were no notes to accompany the plans, and, alas! not everybody can read a plan. I should have had to be constantly on the spot in order to reply to the fundamental questions which spring from the very depths of human feelings. Such questions are of profound interest and cannot remain unanswered. When at a later date it became necessary that this book should be written, a book in which I could formulate the new principles of Town Planning, I resolutely decided first of all to find answers to these fundamental questions. I have used two kinds of argument: first, those essentially human ones which start from the mind or the heart or the physiology of our sensations as a basis; secondly, historical and statistical arguments. Thus I could keep in touch with what is fundamental and at the same time be master of the environment in which all this takes place.

    #architecture #paris #le_corbusier #projet_fasciste #aménagement_urbain #urban_planning #futurisme

  • « Le projet de transformation de la gare du Nord est inacceptable »

    La SNCF, associée à Auchan (via sa filiale Ceetrus), publie depuis quelques mois des dessins et des discours lénifiants sur son projet de transformation de la gare du Nord, qui créerait plus de 50 000 m2 de surfaces construites nouvelles, dont un immense centre commercial de près de 20 000 m2 et des bureaux, le tout rebaptisé pour la circonstance « lieu de vie ». Ce projet est inacceptable, et nous demandons qu’il soit repensé de fond en comble.

    #capitalism #urban_matter #urban_planning

    • La SNCF, associée à Auchan (par le biais de sa filiale Ceetrus), publie depuis quelques mois des dessins et des discours lénifiants sur son projet de transformation de la gare du Nord, qui créerait plus de 50 000 m2 de surfaces construites nouvelles, dont un immense centre commercial de près de 20 000 m2 et des bureaux, le tout rebaptisé pour la circonstance « lieu de vie . Ce projet est inacceptable, et nous demandons qu’il soit repensé de fond en comble.

      Il s’agit d’abord d’une grave offense aux usagers du transport.La gare du Nord est le principal pôle d’échanges de France et d’Europe : 700 000 voyageurs par jour, dont 500 000 pour le seul trafic de banlieue. Le premier objectif d’une réorganisation de la gare doit être de leur offrir un lieu et un moment d’échanges aussi confortables que possible, dans des parcours quotidiens souvent harassants. Obliger des centaines de milliers de personnes à traverser des espaces commerciaux devient insupportable lorsque ce cadeau au commerce se paie de parcours allongés et inutilement compliqués. Or le projet prévoit d’interdire l’accès direct aux quais tel qu’il se pratique aujourd’hui. Qu’il aille à Soissons (Aisne) ou à Bruxelles, le voyageur devra d’abord monter à 6 mètres de hauteur dans le centre commercial, tout à l’est de la gare, puis accéder aux quais par des passerelles, des escaliers et des ascenseurs. Cela veut dire : plus de distance à parcourir, des temps d’accès nettement augmentés. Indécent.

      Ce projet est aussi une grave erreur urbaine. Implanter une telle masse de commerces et d’activités à la gare du Nord, dans un ensemble fermé sur lui-même, dans une zone déjà saturée de trafic, à une station de RER de Saint-Denis, coeur de l’agglomération des neuf villes de Plaine Commune, est une atteinte à la volonté de rééquilibrer les activités dans Paris, et plus encore dans l’espace du Grand Paris. Faut-il rappeler que les centres commerciaux récents sont à la peine partout : Le Millénaire, à Aubervilliers (Seine-Saint-Denis), végète, comme Aéroville, à Roissy (Val-d’Oise). On comprend l’attrait que représente pour Auchan l’énorme flux de la gare du Nord, mais cette captation se fera au détriment des territoires desservis par la gare. Absurde.

      Les volumes existants dénaturés

      Ce projet est inacceptable sur le plan patrimonial. La gare du Nord est l’une des six gares mythiques de Paris, sans doute la plus illustre et la plus belle. Chef-d’oeuvre de l’architecte Jacques Ignace Hittorff, qui la conçut en 1864, elle figure à l’inventaire des Monuments historiques. Outre qu’il prévoit de raser purement et simplement la lumineuse gare d’échanges créée en 2001 par l’architecte-ingénieur Jean-Marie Duthilleul (moins de vingt ans après sa construction : apprécions le coût économique et écologique !), le projet dénature complètement le volume magique des halles d’Hittorff. La mise en place de passerelles et la construction de dalles générales au-dessus même de l’actuelle plate-forme transversale se surimposent brutalement aux espaces existants, sans respect pour leurs qualités architecturales. La majestueuse façade nord composée par Hittorff pour faire face au boulevard de la Chapelle est elle-même barrée par une immense passerelle couverte. Inacceptable.

      Enfin, ce projet met en péril la gare des Jeux olympiques de Paris en 2024.La gare du Nord est la plaque tournante des transports d’accès aux grands sites du nord de Paris et au village olympique. Il est ridicule d’affirmer que les travaux envisagés pourraient être terminés à cette échéance, alors même qu’un permis de construire vient seulement d’être déposé et que les travaux devraient être conduits sans arrêter les flux considérables de voyageurs quotidiens passant par la gare, flux qui vont augmenter encore en 2022 avec la mise en service de la branche ouest du RER E. Si ce projet n’était pas stoppé, la France risquerait de se trouver privée d’un instrument essentiel de la desserte des sites.

      La gare du Nord n’a pas besoin de ce projet pharaonique. Des transformations aussi efficaces, beaucoup plus légères en coût et en temps, peuvent lui être apportées pour qu’elle remplisse son rôle premier, celui d’une gare, en commençant par dégager la grande plate-forme transversale et le hall du Transilien des kiosques commerciaux qui, depuis quelques années, ont pris la place des voyageurs et compriment l’espace laissé à ceux-ci. Il faut arrêter ce projet et s’attacher à composer en ce lieu, dans le respect de son histoire, un espace civilisé de mouvement et de rencontre.

      Note(s) :

      Marc Barani, architecte, Grand Prix national de l’architecture 2013 ; Barry Bergdoll, historien de l’art et de l’architecture, Columbia University et Musée d’art moderne de New York ; Patrick Bouchain, architecte, Grand Prix de l’urbanisme 2019 ; Karen Bowie, historienne de l’architecture ; Roland Castro, architecte ; Jean-Louis Cohen, historien de l’architecture et de l’urbanisme, professeur invité au Collège de France ; Bruno Fortier, architecte et urbaniste, Grand Prix de l’urbanisme 2002 ; Michael Kiene, historien de l’architecture, université de Cologne ; François Loyer, historien de l’art et de l’architecture ; Jacques Lucan, architecte, historien, professeur à l’Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne ; Ariella Masboungi, architecte et urbaniste, Grand Prix de l’urbanisme 2016 ; Jean Nouvel, architecte, Praemium Imperiale 2001, Pritzker 2008 ; Dominique Perrault, architecte, Praemium Imperiale 2015 ; Philippe Prost, architecte ; Andrew Saint, historien de l’architecture, professeur émérite à l’université de Cambridge et à l’University College de Londres ; Nathan Starkman, ingénieur et urbaniste, Grand Prix de l’urbanisme 1999 ; Jean-Louis Subileau, urbaniste, Grand Prix de l’urbanisme 2001 ; Laurent Théry, économiste, urbaniste, Grand Prix de l’urbanisme 2010 ; Pierre Veltz, ingénieur, sociologue, Grand Prix de l’urbanisme 2017

  • Ceci n’est pas une rue: Brussels to adopt whimsical new street names | Cities | The Guardian

    « An artist’s impression of part of the proposed Gare Maritime regeneration. The competition is part of an initiative to generate interest in the project. Illustration: Courtesy: Tour & Taxis »

    « A new neighbourhood is being built around the Tour & Taxis industrial area in Brussels. Photograph: Simon Schmitt - wwww.globalview.be »

    In Brussels, the home of surrealism, city officials have given their blessing to rename a street in homage to one of René Magritte’s best-known paintings.

    Ceci n’est pas une rue (This is not a street) is inspired by The Treachery of Images, painted in 1929 by the Belgian artist, who lived in Brussels for decades.

    It was one of nearly 1,400 suggestions made by the public in response to an initiative to generate interest in a regeneration project in a former industrial district in the north of the city.

    #art #urban_matter #urban_planning #planification_urbaine

  • Atlas of the Functional City. CIAM 4 and Comparative Urban Analysis — gta Verlag — Institute gta — ETH Zurich


    J’adorerai avoir cet ouvrage.

    he legendary conference held in 1933 on the topic of the ’functional city’ by the Congrès Internationaux d’Architecture Moderne (CIAM, 1928-1959) was the fourth of the organization’s 11 meetings. In reports specially prepared for the congress, 34 cities were recorded cartographically using a predefined scheme to allow comparative analysis. The ’Atlas of the Functional City’ brings together all of the surviving materials of the conference for the first time, presenting them systematically and placing them in an international urban planning context.

    #architecture #urban_matter #urban_planning #aménagement_urbain #ciam_4

  • Moscow’s big move: is this the biggest urban demolition project ever? | Cities | The Guardian

    In the 1970s, machinist Yevgeny Rudakov was living in a communal apartment with 30 people in north-central Moscow where “there was always a line for the toilet”. He was also in line for his own flat, through the institute where he worked.

    Finally his turn came, and he and his wife were given a two-room flat at 16 Grimau Street. Built in 1957, the four-storey, 64-flat building is considered the first “Khrushchevka”, a kind of prefabricated, low-rise flat block that was erected in the tens of thousands across the USSR and came to be called after then-Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev (The colloquial term has come to apply to almost any late Soviet five-storey residential building.)

    #moscou #urban_matter #russie #architecture #urban_planning #urbanisme

  • Contestation ou négociation à Jakarta ? Deux quartiers face aux projets urbains de la métropole

    #Jakarta, métropole et capitale de l’État indonésien, s’insère dans le contexte néolibéral de concurrence entre les espaces et les villes. Ces modes de production et de gestion urbaines n’ont pas permis jusqu’ici la réduction des #inégalités dans la métropole, voire participent à la mise en tension de l’accès aux ressources, posant la question des modes de #gouvernance en œuvre dans cet ensemble métropolitain. Cet article met en perspective deux espaces et les acteurs concernés à des moments différents de l’avancée du projet urbain. L’objectif est de faire apparaître les moteurs de la #négociation et de la #contestation en fonction du statut légal des populations concernées et du #foncier, de la taille de la communauté impliquée et des principes guidant l’#aménagement_urbain. À l’échelle locale, la conception top-down dominante de la production de la ville s’avère moins pertinente qu’à l’échelle de l’agglomération. À ce niveau, les logiques de la #gouvernance_urbaine montrent de nouveaux #rapports_de_pouvoir, d’#affrontement et de #négociation. Les usages contestés du sol font émerger des modes informels de gouvernement mais aussi des arrangements au quotidien face aux logiques officielles d’aménagement qui contribuent à la production des inégalités et de la précarité dans la ville. À #Budidharma (Jakarta-nord), un groupe de familles aidé par des ONG parvient à négocier avec l’entreprise propriétaire et le gouvernement local afin d’éviter son éviction totale. À Bintara (Bekasi), des habitants résistent difficilement face à un projet de complexe résidentiel grâce à des statuts fonciers encore flous. Le départ des populations occupant le terrain semble imminent. Ces deux études de cas permettent d’interroger les pratiques des citadins « ordinaires » et des responsables des aménagements urbains entre individualisation des rapports sociaux et mobilisation collective.

    #Indonésie #urban_matter

  • İstanbul’un Mega Projeler


    On yıldan bu yana planlanan ve uygulamaya geçirilen, farklı büyüklüklerde olsa bile, kent doğası ve kimliği, kentsel kalite ve kentsel hafızadaki etkileri açısından “mega” olduğunu düşündüğümüz projelerin, metropol alan üzerine yayılmış İstanbul üzerindeki etkilerini görmek istedik. Bu site, tanımlanan bu projeler uygulandığında,"Yarının İstanbul’u"nun nasıl olacağını göstermeyi amaçlıyor.

    #istanbul #cartographie #urban_matter #urban_planning

  • #Laszlo_Moholy-Nagy – Dynamic of the Metropolis (Sketch for a film) – 1921/1922

    “The intention of the film “Dynamic of the Metropolis” is not to teach, nor to moralise, nor to tell a story; its effect is meant to be visual, purely visual.
    The elements of the visual have not in this film an absolute logical connection with one another; their photographic, visual relationships, nevertheless, make them knit together into a vital association of events in space and time and bring the viewer actively into the dynamic of the city”
    Laszlo Moholy-Nagy

    cc @reka

  • Alain Bertaud | The study of urban spatial structures


    Alain Bertaud ( 阿兰·柏图 ) is an urbanist and, since 2012, a senior research scholar at the NYU Stern Urbanization Project. At the moment, he is writing a book about urban planning that is tentatively titled Order Without Design. Bertaud previously held the position of principal urban planner at the World Bank. After retiring from the Bank in 1999, he worked as an independent consultant. Prior to joining the World Bank he worked as a resident urban planner in a number of cities around the world: Bangkok, San Salvador (El Salvador), Port au Prince (Haiti), Sana’a (Yemen), New York, Paris, Tlemcen (Algeria), and Chandigarh (India).
    Bertaud’s research, conducted in collaboration with his wife Marie-Agnès, aims to bridge the gap between operational urban planning and urban economics. Their work focuses primarily on the interaction between urban forms, real estate markets and regulations.

    As an urban planner, my goal is to translate the theories (and sometime the jargon) and equations of urban economists into approaches and methods which can lead to concrete decision making in the everyday world of an urban planning office. The following reports and papers, always produced at the request of a municipality or of an urban investor (mostly the World Bank), illustrate these new approaches and methods. I have written these reports and papers over a long period. I am updating this site regularly with new work. However, I am keeping the older reports available on this website because it is always interesting to know how priorities and strategies have changed over the years.

    #urbanisme #urban_planning #urban_matter #cartographie #visualisation #ville #structure_spatiale_de_la_ville