The Europan 15 celebrates its 30th birthday this year. The European competition for innovative spatial development for young architects under the age of forty wants to rethink the city and promote joint approaches to new solutions. Through a network of 250 cities and 20 countries in Europe, space and funds are released each year for innovative projects. This year’s theme:The productive city 2.
With this, Europan repeats the target of the 14th Edition in 2017 and joins the effort to do justice to urban development in its complexity and social significance. The closing date for entries is the 29th of July and will be followed by the publication of the final list of participants.
Achieving harmony between architecture, neighborhoods and the city as a whole. While at the same time conserving resources, is a challenge that architects face. Transition processes are just as important as ecological house building.
Europe and the productive City – 2
In this context the applicants should think about the synergies between the city and productive places. This may concern as well the development of part-spaces embedded in between the surfaces of living and production and includes residual areas or abandoned urban structures. Also the “Changing Metabolism” will be emphasized. The aim is to establish circulars cycles.
In the sense of a circular economy, resources are to be returned to the cycle through recycling or reprocessing. Existing material is to be used more effectively in the sense of the Sharing Economy. Car-Sharing offers and tool rental services can be cited as concrete examples.
While in the spirit of Open Innovation the development of products opens up to a broader spectrum and involves its users, at the local political level this can strengthen co-determination and cohesion in society with Open Source grassroots democratic citizen platforms such as Decidim in Barcelona.
The relationship between function and use and the city as an ecosystem are part of the social considerations. The interaction of old and new, the citizens and their environment are the focus of Europan. The productive citywants to see itself detached from the dualistic perspective and regards the city of tomorrow as a place of synergies.
The productive city : Resources, mobility and equity
Common solutions: The focus is on three main topics. Resources – In the context of efficiency, consumption and pollution, the question is how to deal with them and how to distribute them. To create proximity in the urban space, to reduce distances and barrier-free places of the productive city are the set goals to enable a greater mobility. Equity confronts the problem of how spatial equality can contribute to social justice and how both can be connected. The focus is on the harmony between urban and rural areas, as well as rich and poor.
Europan 2019 joins the progressive search for sustainable space approaches for the 15th time and thinks the city of tomorrow.
Subdividing spaces – With each having its particularity
The areas to be developed are in turn divided into three different space sizes: XL, L, S
The size XL denotes the widest handling space, which can also affect spaces between cities and includes the relationship between urban and rural areas. The relationships between different cycles at the regional and local level are taken into consideration.
The size L concerns urban districts, whereby the thoughts mainly revolve around urban quarters. These are areas that naturally stand out from their surroundings. The micro-level S deals with the interventions that are quickest to implement and also only have a temporary effect.
EUROPAN 15’s participating cities
“In Central Europe, former industrial cities are popular with Europan participants.”
In France, Marseille is one of the front-runners with its dilapidated quarters. With Romainville and Champigny-sur-Marne two banlieues from the Paris area participate. While the choice of Auby a small town of 7600 inhabitants in the structural weaker north of France, which at the same time is the largest zinc producer in the country, surprises. And also the French-speaking Charlerois in Belgium joins the formerly highly industrialized cities that welcome these spatial developments.
In Germany, in addition to Selb (Upper Franconia), the towns from the Bergisches Land: Hilden, Ratingen, Solingen and Wülfrath participate together to design a “Bergische Siedlung“. Both arable land and old industrial sites will be developed. The special: All sizes of the subdivisions are represented in this project.
Update (18.02.2020, Oliver): The winners among the participants for the German locations can be viewed on the official website. In addition to the names, the boards with detailed development plans are also available there. For the Selb site, the results can be found here and for the Bergische Kooperation site here.
The cooperation “between Rhein and Wupper” emphasizes strongly the move of those cities with formerly strong textile and metal industries. Within the framework of one of their pilot projects, forward-looking neighbourhood developments are being supported. And the selected areas are located in a zone that is being considered for an expansion of public transport.
The European competition for young architects is not without reason a pioneer of new architecture. Thinking about the city of tomorrow. The productive city has thus integrated like no other concept: living and working in a healthy environment. But the choice of locations is also well thought out. By revitalising old industrial sites, real added value is created. Building today the architecture of the future: This is Europan15.
This article got actualized the 18.02.2020 by Oliver / Update This article got atualized the 02.04.2020 by VIncent
Munich. The urban planning for the “Kreativquartier“, an urban and creative neighboorhood is progressing. People want to get hip, live creative… and you have a big housing shortage. Is there a change in sight?
For 15 years the idea matured to build a creative district on the former area of the Luitpoldkasernen and its surroundings. This is to consist of four room subdivisions: Creative field, creative laboratory, creative park and creative platform. Seen from the air, the four partial districts form an L. The area extends over approximately 20 hectares – which corresponds to 28 football pitches.
The guiding principle: to combine living, working, culture, art and knowledge.
This Wednesday (22.05.19) another milestone was set: The development plan for the two southern ones of altogether four partial districts was pronounced. For the areas of the future Creative Park as well as the Creative Platform, the next stage is now underway.
While the development plan for the north-eastern creative field has already been in force since 2017 and is intended to create living space for 385 apartments, the creative platform and park with additional living space will follow.
On the ninae-hectare site, 341 apartments are being built by and for the municipal utilities of Munich (SWM) and is part of its “expansion offensive for company apartments”. Within this framework, the municipal utilities intend to build up to 2,500 apartments for their own employees by 2030.
The residential area is planned as a perimeter block development so that there will be space on the ground floor for commercial activities, but as well child care places. The existing listed buildings are to be renovated and in harmony with the new buildings of contemporary architecture.
The decision also allows for a building permit for the extension of the university, while the Faculty of Design is already located at Lothstraße 17. In addition, commercial use is in sight: With the “Munich Urban Colab”, for example, a start-up and innovation centre for Smart City Solutions is to move in and strengthen Munich as an IT location. According to the Süddeutsche Zeitung, this is to accommodate more than 250 start-ups and is operated by UnternehmerTUM, which is the start-up centre of the Technical University of Munich.
And what else?
The industrial monuments of Jutier– and Tonnenhalle, two approximately 100 meter long concrete structures from 1926, are to be completely repaired. In addition to the construction of an underground car park, the main aim is to create spaces for and the creation of art. In addition, the city council has commissioned investigations into various interventions about the street Dachauerstraße. The possibility of adding a tram station and rearranging the traffic flow should be investigated. Nonetheless, the urban planning for Munich’s Kreativquartier shall catch our attention in the future.
Ireland. Vacancies, expensive rents and slumlords are driving more and more people into homelessness. Dublin is particularly affected. This summer, various grassroots initiatives began to defend themselves and draw attention to the housing crisis. The background to a summer of occupations.
Wiliam Murphy, photographer from Dublin, lived in San Jose, California, in 1979 when he visited San Franscico on a weekend and witnessed homelessness on the streets for the first time in his life.
For him – shocking and unusual, because in 1970 it was customary for the Irish state to guarantee people a roof over their heads. Many of his colleagues lived in Cremlin, Bellyfermon and Cabra. This was to change, however, when the state handed over the construction and maintenance of social housing to the private sector.
After his return to Dublin: Discovering the homelessness
It was in 2007, after his return to Dublin. He began to notice the increasing number of people sleeping ruff. In front of the shops in the city centre and elsewhere. Back then he fell on tears at his workplace because his colleagues either didn’t believe him or claimed they were drug addicts.
But since then the problem has worsened. To a point where it is no longer possible to talk down the problem of homelessness.
Thanks to his experience abroad, Murphy has found parallels with the housing situation between San-Franscico and Dublin. Both being cities which aren’t affordable for the working-class.
The current homelessness problem leaves him with a bitter aftertaste. Especially since he himself was affected five years ago and had to fight to pay off his mortgage on his apartment. Murphy archives the streets of today’s Dublin with his camera.
Observing the looming housing crisis
When I was in Dublin at the beginning of July last year, some situations caught my attention:
On the one hand, the many tourists and language students who led an exuberant life between learning English and bar hopping. And on the other hand the high number of homeless and homeless people, who stood in contrast to the huge number of empty and barricaded houses.
According to the Focus Ireland charity and government surveys, the number of homeless people in Ireland in 2014 was just under 4,000, rising to almost 10,000 in four years. Individuals and families in private tenancies suffer. In October (2018), 1700 families, including 3725 children, went to emergency shelter. But the number of unreported cases is probably much higher. Many people get caught up in their social network of friends and acquaintances (- couch surfing). However, these cases are not recorded in the statistics.
The housing shortage has steadily worsened since the economic crisis in 2008. Among other things for the purpose of the legislative decision to cut funds for social housing between the crisis and 2014 by 72% and to bet on private landlords. As a result, the budget fell from 1.34 billion to 390 million euros.
A paradox of Dublin’s real estate – No affordable apartments despite rampant vacancies
The vacancy is easy to see – between the barricaded windows, decaying facades and high barriers of these buildings. The following year, when the Housing Agency published a vacancy report for Dublin, 38,000 vacant properties were listed. Since then, according to TheGuardian, the number has fallen to 30,000 vacant properties by 2018. Yet the number of homeless people has increased. Which is why, people have to sleep on the streets despite such a large amount of unused residential space.
Grassroot initiatives organizing the resistance against Irish housing madness
However, the affected citizens do not admit defeat and begin to point out the grievance by creative methods. The Irish Housing Network (IHN), for example, called in the summer, for vacancies throughout Ireland to be marked with yellow posters. On a yellow background, the outline of a family under a roof is displayed and joined by the sentence: “Shame on you – this could be a home“.
The problem of vacant buildings, which are either in very poor condition and have been waiting for years for a new development or remain unused for speculative reasons, characterizes the urban landscape. Dublin, with its high rents, is lucrative for real estate sharks, who are driven up by vacancies.
Providers such as AirBnB also take Irish housing away. As the owners, in addition to a high profit margin, do not have to adhere to the classic tenancy law. Dublin, as a university and language school city, is particularly affected. But the 1300 holiday apartments and 1100 rooms listed by InsideAirBnB are only the tip of the iceberg.
In the clutches of Irish Slumlords.
Particularly bad landlords are known in linguistic usage as slumlords. They are the Irish version of the French “Marchands de sommeil”. These rental sharks rent rooms with six to eight beds for up to 450 Euros per capita. Mostly this concerns people in precarious situations who do not have the possibility to defend themselves. These overcrowded sleeping quarters are not maintained by the slumlords. Fire protection deficiencies and mould on the walls are part of their everyday lives.
Those who end up in such dubious tenancies rarely receive the prescribed rental book. In this the personal data of the owner must be noted, as well as a listing of the past rent prices show. It is intended to protect tenants from arbitrariness. But in the absence of rigorous implementation, this rule is disregarded in many cases. Those affected find themselves in a dilemma. Because they depend on accommodation, they do not always have the means to assert their rights.
A small Twitter survey conducted by the Dublin Central Housing Action, which supports people in housing need and is part of the TBTC Dublin (“Take Back The City Dublin”) movement, found out that 87% of 650 respondents had not received a rental book:
Determined to face rental sharks and defend tenants
Every month we collect our rent and Paul Howard or one of his friends comes by to collect it – altogether 4200 € in cash..
An affected tenant at Mountjoy Square about the payment of the rent
The six tenants at Mountjoy Square in Dublin 1 found themselves suddenly on the street at the end of last year. Expelled from their apartment on 13 December and nowhere to go. The owner had changed the lock on the front door and put all their belongings in plastic bags on the street. Previously they had gone to court against their landlord. The state of the apartment, with a broken window and mold on the walls being depictable. But as well a preceding arbitrary rent increase from 650 to 750 Euros, had become too much for the former tenants. The eviction, which took place in winter, is considered illegal by Slumleaks.
Dublin’s Housing networks answering the crisis
Direct Action Methods for empowering the rights of tenants
The activists of the grassroots movements use direct action methods to draw attention to the deplorable conditions. Posters and banner campaigns, food distribution and temporary occupations belong to the activities of the militants. Direct action, which can also be understood as a synonym for civil disobedience, describes the possibilities of using pacifist approaches to point out social problems and initiate public debate. As in the case of “Take Trinity Back,” a student protest that broke out in March 2018:
The Trinity College board had intended to introduce additional costs of 450 euros for retaking exams. This was followed by students protesting and occupying the historic “Dinning Hall” for three days. When the occupation was dissolved, 1000 students came and cheered on their fellow students. The university management struck a conciliatory note and let go of his plan. The occupation of the university building represented the first breeze which would spread to the streets of Dublin. Spring was over, but things were already boiling at other places…
The beginning of a summer of occupations
May. A few blocks from Mountjoy Square: The residents of five houses in Summerhill Parade 33-39, Dublin 1, were evicted from their rooms. These, who shared the accommodation with up to twenty other tenants per house and are to a large extent of Brazilian origin, were unable to name the owner of the houses in an interview with the Irish Times. The residents were supported by various grassroots initiatives including the Dublin Central Housing Action, Take back Trinity, Brazilian Left Front and four other local movements.
August 7th – In protest, the groups begin to occupy Summerhill Parade 35 and draw attention to the local housing problems.
For months now, the Dublin Central Housing Action has been organizing a Facebook campaign against Pat’ODonnel. This and his investment fund, the “Co Ltd Retirement and Death Benefit Plan” – a pension fund of 67 members. At the beginning of August, a spokesman told the Irish Times that the O’Donnels did not own the properties in the Summerhill Parade. However, in mid-August, Pat’ODonnel filed a lawsuit against the occupiers on behalf of his pension fund.
In the video the squat is officially declared, as one of the activists gives a speech about the situation of the people and demands a purchase right of the city on Pat O’Donnel’s house.
The words are not heard and ten days later the activists leave the building in a demonstration, marching with a banner: “Build homes, not profits“.
August 17 – The court decided to evict them. 750 metres and a few bends further, the activists from Take back the City (TBTCDublin) marched into a vacant house on Frederick Street North 34, owned by an insurance company and standing empty for three years.
25 August – On the occasion of Pope Francis’s visit to Dublin, activists proclaim a Saturday of action in which the house is occupied exclusively by women and children. The activists see this as a reminder of the fact that single parents and their pupils had to do forced labour in the Magdalenen laundries until the late 20th century. A national trauma for which the Irish state apologised to over 10,000 people as late as in 2013.
After 25 days – Facing the eviction but standing the ground
11 September – Two weeks earlier, the court had once again ruled in favour of the landlords. But the house remained occupied. More and more people started supporting TBTCDublin.
Suddenly that Tuesday evening at about seven o’clock, a sprinter with no numberplate on the front appeared and masked persons emerged. The privat hired contractors tried to gain access to the house and only calmed down when the local police arrived and took over.
Five of the activists were brought to the police station on Store Street in a rabid manner. According to the newspaper Thejournal, which reported in detail about the eviction, up to 100 demonstrators gathered in front of the house. Later, the demonstration moved outside the police station, whereupon three of the activists were released. Nevertheless, the house project was ended.
In solidarity with TBTCDublin, squatting took place throughout Ireland, such as in Waterford, where activists held a 24-hour occupation of an empty building in the city.
Paris – differences between income classes deepens.The newspaper Lemonde explored this question in an interview with sociologists Monique Pincon-Charlot and Michel Pincon. These two, close to the anti-capitalist left. are researching among other things the state of social and urban segregation.
Specially in Paris the population has changed drastically since 1954. Whereas 34.5 percent of the population were in middle or higher occupations at the time, this figure had risen to 71.4 percent by 2010. This is due on the one hand to the de-industrialization since 1962, the banlieues and the global importance of Paris as a financial sector.
Rich and rich remain among themselves. In the “Beaux Quartiers” such as the 16th and 17th or suburbs such as Neuilly sur Seine, the wealthiest city in France, worlds of their own are formed and thus also a gap between the poor and the wealthy.
While Paris, as a cultural capital, offers its inhabitants many spectacles, exhibitions and places to go out, and is one of the first cities in the index of cities with the best standards of living, the situation is different a few steps behind the motorway that separates the city from its agglomeration:
The newspaper La Gazette des Communes looked into the question of the extent to which inequalities exist in the Greater Paris region and summarised them in a map. The Banlieues Argenteuil, Aulnay-sous-Bois, Montreuil and Saint Denis had a poverty rate of at least 20 percent at the end of 2015. Saint-Denis even exceeds the others with a rate of 35%. And that with a share of social buildings, that is around 33 percent.
In Saint Denis, north of Paris, a couple earns on average 2154 € per month. Singles are doing best with an average of 1487 € and still live at the minimum.
These are in stark contrast to the areas in the west of Paris, like La Defense, where more than half of the municipalities fail to meet the statutory quota of 20-25 percent of social buildings. Instead, suburbs like Neuilly Sur Seine, with a 5% share, prefer to pay fines and maintain their homogeneity.
After Paris, the rest?
In the light of the Grand Paris and its expansion of the infrastructure, one has to wonder to what extent the suburbs will be gentrified. Even though some municipalities, especially in the north, have so far taken measures to maintain diversity among the population, many students from the middle class are now moving to the suburbs.
It is not without reason that the left-wing medium StreetVox is concerned about developments in the Seine Saint Denis in the shadow of the 2024 Olympic Games. For example, commercial buildings, housing for students and migrant workers were destroyed. While the companies and students moved, this is not the case for the housing of the migrant workers. This, which had housed foreign workers since 1972, was replaced by a social building. But also the magnetic attraction of the Olympic Games on investors is a key question. We reported previously on JPMorgan and its AdvancingCities initiative.
The Olympic Village, which will accommodate a large number of Olympians with 17,000 beds, will later be converted into 22,000 apartments, 900 student accommodations and 100,000m² of commercial space. The newly created apartments will be marketed as condominiums with standing and will probably not be affordable for the average population of the Seine Saint Denis.
Paris / France. The “Ligue des droits de l’homme” (LDH / League of Human Rights) condemns the police violence during the demonstrations of the Gilets Jaunes (Yellow West). In their press release of 18 January 2019, the non-governmental organisation denounced the French state for deliberately intimidating the population. Among other things, it suggests that participants in unannounced demonstrations bear their share of the responsibility for the riots.
Since the beginning of the Gilets-Jaunes movement, there have been around 5500 arrests, over a thousand convictions and thousands more police warrants. An indeterminable number of these were preventive and based on an inadequate legal situation. Vice already reported on this from the court case after the riots on December 1st, 2018 (Act III), when the strongest riots occurred in the French capital.
A protester is showing a banner at the ActX (19/01/19) of the Gilets Jaunes in Paris. On the photo you can see an edited version of an artwork by Shepard Fairy (Obey). Which by the way, is one of the beloved paintings of the french president Emmanuel Macron. Foto by Urbanauth
The widespread use of flashball throwers (LB40) and GLI F4 dispersion grenades is the main complaint of the League of Human Rights, as well as the NGO Defender of Rights (Défenseur des droits). During Act III, we were able to determine that a large number of Lacrymogène and dispersion grenades were thrown by the state. On a lot of our video material you can see bangs of the GLI F4, as well as irritant gas which lies like fog on the streets. According to the figures of the newspaper Liberation there were about 10.000 grenades and more than 1400 shots with the LB40 on this December day. However, the real number is probably higher, since only the police units CRS and CSI were included in this count and not the BAC, which are rumoured to shoot at faces of demonstrants.
But also at all further acts (III, IV, XIII, IX, X) at which we were on site, we could confirm the substantial use of such operational weapons.
According to the LDH, in 2018 nearly 1700 people were injured or even mutilated by the use of such so-called non-lethal weapons. Among them are women and men with torn hands and/or wounds on their belly and faces with irreparable consequences.
An 80-year-old woman from Marseille, who wanted to close the windows to her apartment during the riots, was struck by a dud and died in hospital as a result of an operative shock.
While the LDH strongly condemns violence on both sides, it is particularly concerned about state violence, which restricts freedom of expression and the right to demonstrate and is damaging to democracy. There have also been attacks on journalists, while filming people have been intimidated.
In their video, the NGO cut together the most striking police riots against demonstrators. These image clips showing violent scenes, went through all social media channels during the Yellow West movement.
The video also shows that the regulations on the use of such weapons were not respected in some cases. The police are not allowed to shoot at the face or the intimate area and are obliged to throw GLI-F4 grenades at ground level, because of the small amount of explosives inside.
It should be noted that also pupils are affected by the police violence by flashball throwers. As in the case of the school protests against the educational reforms and the parcoursup in Grenoble, where a 16-year-old schoolgirl was seriously injured in the face by a flash ball.
But while intimidation continues, the question is whether this violence is justified. And if so, doesn’t it generate the same level of counterviolence?