GSD Course Bulletin - Fall 2011
01401: Rivercity Gothenburg (STU 0140100)
Option Studio - 8 credits - Limited enrollment
Wednesday Thursday 2:00 - 6:00
Martha Schwartz, Emily Waugh
Gothenburg is a water city, but it no longer has any connection to the water. Once a bustling port and industrial corridor, Gothenburg's Gota Alv river is now dominated by hyper-scaled transportation infrastructure. Seas of parking lots, roadways, railway lines, ferry terminals, port infrastructure, and defunct industrial land now completely cut off the city from the river, visually, physically, and mentally. Once described as 'The Los Angeles of Scandinavia', Gothenburg is a fragmented archipelago-all of its incredible assets (distinct historic neighborhoods, diverse population, natural resources, and enviable green-space network) are hidden by its sprawling, disconnected layout and massive swatches of vacant land. Even the river itself divides the historic city-center on the south bank and the industrial / suburban area on the North. Gothenburg is growing. Nearing its 400 year anniversary in 2021, the city continues to grow with immigration from Europe and North Africa and will continue to be a draw as warming global temperatures open up new shipping routes through the North, potentially re-activating Gothenburg's port. Without a central focus, the city will continue to spread outward, further diluting its population, culture, and tourist draw.Gothenburg will be under water. Already subject to flooding in the in the spring, the Gota Alv is projected to rise with global sea level change, leaving most of the city center below sea level. The Rivercity Gothenburg studio explores the ability of the designed landscape to provide an identity, a sense of place, and a physical connection for a growing 21st Century city. Under the auspices of RiverCity Gothenburg-an ambitious initiative by The City of Gothenburg to densify and re-connect the sprawling city-center to the river-students will strategize and design a landscape-based solution that will connect the north and south banks of the Gota Alv and provide a public space that offers a 'Gateway to Gothenburg', solidifying a much-needed identity for the city and an entry point to Western Sweden. Students will be called upon to understand the multiple and complex layers of infra-structure, river ecologies, economic factors, social issues, history, and climate change issues that will impact and shape the trajectory of change that the students will suggest in their design efforts. Students will be working with the medium of the designed landscape (topography, vegetation, materials) to design their final projects.