Habitat Unit

May 17, 2018 | 6.00 pm | Floating University Berlin, Lilienthalstraße, 10965 Berlin-Kreuzberg 

Die Nachwachsende Stadt – Urban Systems

Architects and planners are increasingly confronted with new challenges: Fossil energy resources as well as non renewable materials are on the decline, the effects of climate change and pollution threaten our living conditions and environment and lead to migratory movements and conflicts worldwide. Global urbanization and construction processes are among the largest greenhouse gas producers. At the same time, our increasingly urbanized societies offer a chance for a radical rethinking of these processes. Only if we succeed in making the global urban transformation sustainable and socially inclusive, we can secure our planetary survival.

The event-series for architects and planners 'DIE NACHWACHSENDE STADT' is a part of the design studio 'Die Grosse Tranformation' and offers an introductory overview on four topics on transformations towards sustainability - urban systems (May 17, 2018), climate adaptation (May 24, 2018), green economies (May 31, 2018) and governing transformation (June 7, 2018).

Session 1 – Urban Systems

Cities are complex system of flows of resources (globally, regionally, locally). These systems particularly pose a risk to global ecobalance. Number 11 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) states that “better urban planning and management are needed to make the world’s urban spaces more inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.” How can we rethink urban systems to turn them into key drivers of the transformation towards sustainability?

Urban Talks #21_Poster

This event consists of four short input lectures and a joint discussion, bringing together diverse perspectives on urban systems.

1. Saskia Hebert (Transformation Design, HBK Braunschweig)
Urban transformation design: how to act in fucked-up systems
This input focuses on the role of design in urban transformation processes. Can futures be designed for the better in a sustainable manner at all? Or will the effects of design interventions always be more or less random reactions to well-intentioned creative acts into otherwise independently evolving autopoietic systems? What is actually »the better«, which we aspire?

Dr. Saskia Hebert was trained as an architect in Hamburg and Berlin. She founded her office subsolar* architektur & stadtforschung together with Matthias Lohmann in 2000. In 2012 Saskia received a doctorate and established the „lived/space/lab" at the University of the Arts in Berlin. Since 2015 she is a guest professor for Transformation Design at Braunschweig University of the Arts. In what she calls „Urban Transformation Design", she experiments with participative and transdisciplinary formats between research, education, and practice, and recently co-edited the „FUTURZWEI Zukunftsalmanach 2017/18" with its focus on the city.

2. Ramana Gudipudi (PIK Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research)
Cities as urban metabolism
Cities like biological organisms thrive on natural resources while releasing waste and other pollutants as byproducts. Harboring more than 50% of global population, generating 80% of the global GDP while consuming approximately 70% of global energy supply, cities are recognized as nuclei for global sustainability and climate change mitigation. This talk presents the current challenges cities globally are facing and identifies key areas for urban transformation and sustainable development from an urban (systems) metabolism point of view.

Dr. Ramana Gudipudi is an urban planner by profession with more than 9 years of combined experience in research, planning, and implementation of sustainable urban infrastructure projects with a focus on climate change. He is currently working as a researcher at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) on the topic "Cities and Global Sustainability". His research focus is on identifying key entry points for local actions that improving emission and resource efficiency in global cities. Prior to his research work at PIK, Dr. Gudipudi worked as a Junior Advisor at the German International Cooperation (GIZ) assisting the Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India in planning, financing and implementing large scale urban infrastructure projects in 6 Indian cities.

3. Maria Rosa Muñoz (Wuppertal Institute, climate questions)
Urban Systems – Casestudy Quito
The complexity of urban systems has always been one of the main hurdles for urban planning and management. However, the challenges that the 21st century has posed on cities (urbanization, climate change, globalization, digitalization, etc.) have increased their complexity significantly. Hence, the need for integrated urban approaches has become more important than ever. In this light, the speaker will explain with concrete examples, how the social, economic and environmental aspects of a city are interlinked and how these interconnections should be taken into consideration for an effective urban planning and management. The talk will specifically address the linkages between urban segregation, urban sprawl, housing, transportation, and air pollution.

María Rosa Muñoz Barriga is an economist from Ecuador. After working for four years as a research fellow at the Research Institute of the Municipality of Quito on a series of urban topics, she moved to Berlin to study Urban Management at the Technische Universität Berlin. At present, she works as a research fellow at the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment, and Energy on projects related to cities and climate change with a focus on sustainable urban mobility.

4. Stefan Kreft (HNE, Eberswalde University of Sustainable Development)
Fabulous MARISCO
Stefan Kreft presents the results of the Fabulous MARISCO Workshop, worked out in the first week of the Floating University. In this workshop participants ventured into the world of ecosystem management. Their aim was to visualize the complex web of causes and effects influencing local ecosystems and social systems and the services they provide. In a final step the model was enriched with illustrations which serve for the following five months as a basic form of communication about the space as well as to gradually collect, map and contextualize ideas and results of the Floating University.

Stefan Kreft is a private consultant and, since 2006, researcher and lecturer at the HNE Eberswalde University of Sustainable Development in Brandenburg, Germany. He is a biologist and holds a PhD in natural sciences. His priorities include ecosystem-based, participatory, adaptive conservation management planning and international knowledge transfer in nature conservation. He has addressed climate change adaptation in manifold activities. Stefan Kreft is also especially interested in development cooperation. He has worked in projects of regional, national and international scope in South America, Africa, Asia and Europe.

May 17, 2018 | 6 pm

Floating University Berlin
Lilienthalstraße, 10965 Berlin-Kreuzberg


Dr. phil. Anna Steigemann

Moritz Ahlert 

Raum A 622

T + 49 – 30 – 314 – 21906
F + 49 – 30 – 314 – 21907