Transversal Grounds: Engaging Infrastructure, Landscape and Heritage for Lima?s New Urban Commons

In developing countries, heritage sites in urban settings often collide with urban growth and economic expansion.  Lima has more than 385 archeological sites within its urban tissue, the capital city with the most pre-Columbian heritage sites in the Americas.  However, their sacred significance and historical value have been lost, neglected, and enclosed by walls; these endangered sites appear as black holes in the city, gravitationally attracting the encroaching urbanization.

These ancient sacred sites must be reimagined as woven into the fabric of community life with innovative projects that protect their legacy while reducing Lima’s public and green space deficit.  For generations to enjoy, their conservation must shift from protective walls and law-enforcing to community appropriation and stewardship.  Design is critical to creating a new social imaginary capable of giving a new urban meaning to these places.

The studio will investigate how to deal with multi-scalar complexity, blurring boundaries between architecture, landscape, and urban design. The case study research will focus on a large archeological site in the heart of Lima, where the municipal zoo cohabits with two major university campuses with no student housing. We will imagine the future of zoos, university campuses, and public spaces as an opportunity for transforming heritage sites and coping with Lima’s critical food and water insecurity.

We will learn from the diffuse, ancient underlying city to reinvent the 21st Century commons through innovative, hybrid urban infrastructures, productive landscape and architectural spaces, intensifying city life, and ensuring an urban food hub system in this ever-growing megacity.
This studio will welcome students in the Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Urban Planning, and Urban Design programs.