IT’S TIME FOR NEW UTOPIA’S, the future is now!
Healing the City 2021 – 2050
Master dissertation studio presentation, 21-22, Ghent
Luc Eeckhout architect – urban planner – visiting professor KU LEUVEN
We urgently need new future prospects. A collective ecological utopia that we can believe in together. A view of a better, healthier, and safer environment for all of us. Do you dare to search for this ecological utopia?
Climate breakdown, mass extinctions, and extreme inequality threaten the earth’s rich tapestry of life and leave our own fate increasingly uncertain. At a time of such social, political and ecological upheaval, it’s natural to dream of a utopian world in which these problems are no more – in fact, people have been doing it for centuries. The Conversation – utopia isn’t just idealistic fantasy
2. RESEARCH AND DESIGN
A vision for the future arises from specific research. Research points to today’s urgent questions. The solutions show us the path to tomorrow. Do you dare to research for a better future?
3. MAN SEEMS TO HAVE LEFT NATURE
We often forget that WE ARE NATURE. Nature is not something separate from us. So, when we say that we have lost our connection to nature, we’ve lost our connection to ourselves.
4. RESEARCH AND CLIMATE
Climate change is the fundamental design problem of our time. Not style, not fees, not education, not community, not health, not justice. All other concerns, many of them profoundly important, are nonetheless ancillary. The threat climate change poses is existential, and buildings are hugely complicit.
5. CLIMATE CHANGE NEEDS SYSTEM CHANGE
Humanity’s 21st century challenge is to meet the needs of all within the means of the planet. In other words, to ensure that no one falls short on life’s essentials (from food and housing to healthcare and political voice), while ensuring that collectively we do not overshoot our pressure on Earth’s life-supporting systems, on which we fundamentally depend – such as a stable climate, fertile soils, and a protective ozone layer.
6. NATURE IS COMING BACK
Poorly conceived design divides us in urban areas from our wilds and has contributed to seeing nature as something isolated from us. Yet reinvigorating our bond with nature is a challenge architecture and urban design are well placed to address.
Architects and designers have control over our built environment; by changing the way we design cities and buildings to connect to rather than disconnect from nature, we can change our proximity to nature and shift our physical relationship to the environment.
7. THE GHENT PRINCIPLES
In this studio, we work within a clear framework, by applying the Ghent Principles, we change possible solutions. The Ghent principles will make your ecological utopia future proof. Start by reading and studying the 10 Ghent principles.
#1 Start the future now: learn, innovate, experiment
#2 Create the new healthy default for 2040
#3 Strengthen the commons, move from me to we
#4 Put nature first – nature becomes the key player
#5 Interconnect your project with the urban fabric
#6 Create proximity and design super locality
#7 Plan change, design for the future
#8 Encourage function mix and mixed use
#9 Close cycles and avoid waste
#10 Create a cascade of positive impact
8. EXAMPLES OF AN ECOLOGICAL UTOPIA
Existing utopian examples show us the way. They tell us that we must dare to think radically and innovate. We are looking for ways to do things differently, especially for daily needs such as energy, water, food, mobility.
9. LINKS, BOOKS, ARTICLES
It is not possible to succeed without your personal research and without building your personal vision. So, start your research today. It will change your life and your vision of life forever.