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Densities

Tutors: Erik Van Daele, Roeland Smits
Academiejaar 2020-21
Engagement: Urban Cultures

Alle City/All Land [AC/AL]

urban figures within hybrid landscapes

The future is urban (POPIN, 1994). Besides cities, also smaller municipalities in Flanders are challenged by densification-processes which are mostly solved by exporting dense inner-city models or building typologies. These classic typologies do not always harmonize with these peri-urban conditions where water management, soil conditions, social behavior end ecological infrastructures differs severe from classic inner city-cores. Research by design will be used to explore alternative densification processes, using alternative (read: more hybrid) housing typologies and rethinking classic urban tissues which are more adapted or even more related to these open space structures.

Description

In Flanders, cities like Antwerp, Brussels, Kortrijk are bouncing their administrative boundaries and oblige smaller adjacent municipalities to participate in the regional (Flemish) policy-objective to cope with the population growth. Although it seems a very simple assignment, it soon becomes clear that simply copying dense urban models or typologies (as fe. the figure of a building-bloc or high-rise (apartment) buildings, … ) is not adequate to the complicated context of these peri-urban area’s with their seemingly unordered heterogeneous landscapes and the juxtaposition of all kinds of uses. Densification therefore, needs to be rethought with new urban models and building typologies.

The studio’s aim is to explore whether peri-urban conditions can lead to alternative densification processes. Alternative forms of living (fe collective housing) and (open) urban structures will be investigated. By mapping the peri-urban condition, research by design will be used to question densification as a tool to create a different kind of urbanity.

Output

In 2013 the city of Antwerp and 13 municipalities were the first to organize an interregional collaboration ‘De Zuidrand’. The objective was to explore how a regional (Flemish) policy-objective to house 120.000 new households, horizon 2030, can be implemented in the southern part of the Antwerp region. As a complement for the ‘building block book’, which is an instrument for the city to deal with inner urban developments, the interregional collaboration was working on a new policy supporting manual for more peri-urban developments. Today, it is clear that this manual is not only a necessity for larger urban area’s but also for smaller municipalities within the Flemish landscape, (fe. around the Kortrijk region). Even more, the landscape of these sub-municipalities turns out to be more complex than first thought. Therefore, the reading and mapping of these rich landscapes needs further exploration. The studio’s aim is to complete the Antwerp manual (which was by the way never finished) for the whole Flemisch region, to make up a compendium of strategies for new architectural typologies and urban figures within these complex hybrid landscapes.

Team members AOB Alles Stad/Alles Land

Roeland Smits, Erik Van Daele, Bart Van Gassen, Steven Geeraert en Maarten Gheysen