Territorial Intelligence in Landscapes of Production

In this millennium of intense urbanization, design and its value will strengthen around the assurance of data gathering and its argumentation as evidence of complex territory’s spatial problems. Design’s new challenges are not confined to aesthetics, but must also address the capacities and tools of design and knowledge of the complex nature of problems. Urban planning and design must find adequate responses that utilize new instruments and measurements to cognize these challenges, while acknowledging that building evidence is ever more critical to achieving genuine progresses towards real and effective problem solving.

The seminar will pursue such issues in the city of Calama in the Chilean Atacama Desert, where emerging economies have resulted in the incremental accumulation of social/spatial problems. Calama is the gateway for the world’s copper and other minerals, yet is home to the lowest life-quality standards in Chile. Once a large urban oasis, this area of Chile is today minimized and menaced. In 2011 the Elemental, led by Alejandro Aravena, delivered the Calama Sustainable Urban Plan, a proposal for coping with the historical deficit in investment. The seminar seeks, through territorial intelligence evidence based design, the diverse and distinctive dimensions for functional landscapes of production, through the following research domains:
· Global and Indigenous Economic Development: the paradox of a territory stressed between the most profitable extraction global businesses spatially linked to local indigenous people caught in the struggle for development.
· Built Environment and Resilience: infrastructures and structures have progressively moved toward resilient or non-responsive territorial outcomes before the processes and services of extraction.
· Socio Cultural Conflicts and Patterns: the uneven geography of growth within extraction settings, where the real needs of daily life in local contexts are permanently submerged under the mining boom.
· Energy and the Urban Environment: the provision of energy for the production of extraction and the subsequent urban environment degraded condition has remained largely invisible.
· Infrastructures and Mobility: extraction requires impressive infrastructure provisions and increasing services mobility for the most extreme industrial processes of extraction.

The seminar looks to provide new insights and foster innovations into an evidence-driven approach to territorial critical questions through a spatial analysis and GIS-integrated applications workshop and a pending research field trip to Calama and Santiago, Chile. Calama and its surrounding territory will serve as the landscapes of production for exploring answers to the increasing and foremost stresses to territories of development, and will result in a future collaborative publication with participants and guest scholars.

Students will tentatively travel to Santiago and Calama, Chile, March 14-22. This trip is not confirmed, and is pending outside funding.

Note, if the trip takes place, students selected for the 5360 in the online limited enrollment lottery will be term billed $300, in addition to the costs of meals and incidentals. Students are responsible for obtaining the necessary visas. One set itinerary is made for the trip with no modifications. If students wish to modify the itinerary, it may be possible for them to do so in direct contact with the travel agent, and the student is responsible for any change fees incurred. Students will need to sign a travel waiver in the Department of Urban Planning and Design and register their trip with Harvard Travel Assist.

Enrollment is limited to 12.
Students must have basic GIS knowledge and research capabilities.