GSD Course Bulletin - Fall 2010 - STU-01501-00

COURSE DETAILS


01501: Rethinking Real and Virtual Infrastructures in the 21st Century: Innovative Boulevards in Lisbon (STU 0150100)

Urban Planning and Design
Option Studio - 8 credits - Limited enrollment
Tuesday Wednesday 2:00 - 6:00  

Instructor(s)

Joan Busquets

Course Description


FRAMEWORK.

The modernization of Lisbon traditional city to a large extent involved the creation of linear spaces-avenues-associated with new economic and social activities, introducing different uses: strolling, leisure, an emblematic space for parades and festivals, a place for commerce, and so on. This gave way to new concepts of design for these linear spaces: Broad Streets, boulevards, malls and esplanades, among others.

Many of these spaces have been obscured or transformed by their incorporation into the road networks introduced after World War II to prioritize private mobility, generating traffic layouts based on ring roads and freeways that are imposed as a structure for growth but also for transforming the existing city. This leads to the creation of large gaps between districts with the subsequent abandonment of public space.

BACKGROUND

Lisbon is a good example of a city built around its Baixa, or downtown, with radial avenues (including the Marginal road along the river) that organize the territory, which was gradually urbanized to form residential and industrial fabrics, regular streets and city blocks. The layout of the avenues includes squares at their ends, and at the points where they change direction or meet other avenues. This forceful radial system is complemented by a circular or interconnecting layout of avenues. The connections with the left bank were provided by a system of ferries and boats called cacilheiros.

The seventies ushered in motorways as a form of easy communication of the territory that also used the existing avenues as means of drawing traffic flow into the old centre. New bridges span the river and structure a very large regional and metropolitan hinterland that triples the population and economic activity of the city proper.

The substantial improvement of public transport by means of an efficient Metro system and the railway (at its different scales), and other emerging forms of digital and virtual communication are changing the overwhelming dependence on private transport and once more suggesting the advisability for our cities of linear spaces of relation and civic value. Rethinking the forms of use and design of these large linear spaces of relation within the city is a core theme that will also promote the location of other uses for the abandoned central spaces of the traditional city. We could say that "yesterday is tomorrow", but we have to address and design the new urban forms.

STUDIO OBJECTIVE AND PEDAGOGIC AIMS.

The studio will focus on the development of well configured strategies that can effectively tackle the continuous transformation of the site. From a mix use area into a new centrality in the growing external downtown of Lisbon.
The studio will specifically focus on the following issues:

A.?The rethinking of heterodox condition of new urban economies.
B.?Understanding spatial consequences of this continuous changes process.
C.?Formalizing possible patterns to rationalize and enhance the transformation process.
D.?Explore design strategies for searching new models of centralities in cities like Lisbon.
E.?Define new programs and uses that can generate a well synthesized city fragment that is well connected to the city at large and provides fresh and innovative spaces. Yesterday's Broad Streets can become tomorrow's innovative Boulevards

The studio will serve as a exploration of a variety of strategies that range from Urban Landscape to Urban Architecture allowing for Urban Design to act as a platform that synthesizes these diverse scales into a comprehensive urbanistic project.

STUDIO STRUCTURE.

Studio The studio will be made up of three investigations at three discrete scales which then will add up to one comprehensive project:

Part 1. Lisbon's emerging morphologies and regional network

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