Degree Project ASBM01 Master in Sustainable Urban Design 11, 12 and 15-17 May 2023
We welcome you to presentation days for Degree Project in ASBM01 - Master in Sustainable Urban Design.
Presentation will take place in A-building, Full Scale Lab, Sölvegatan 24, 223 62 Lund.
Antonia Jacob - Wasserstadt - a place of coexistence
Global challenges such as climate change, resource scarcity, population growth, and migration will inevitably change the way we live. Cities are conglomerates of many and, thus, are often perceived as a threat to wildlife and plant life. But what if we harnessed the potential of cities as conglomerates of people, hubs of innovation, and sustainable transportation networks?
A connected society has the power to bring about change. As connectedness to place develops, so does awareness and mindfulness. This dynamic can be an important tool for sustainable urban design and must be considered when creating new neighborhoods or improving existing ones.
Perhaps the most important way we can address the challenges of living, using, and planning unconsciously for decades (or centuries) without consideration for the ecosystem in which we live, is to live in coexistence. The concept for "Wasserstadt - a place of coexistence" can be traced to the concept of "Existential Sustainability." The relationship between sustainable actions and our existence over time demonstrates the importance of preserving historical and cultural heritage, nurturing the present, and creating a livable future for generations to come.
This project takes place in Hanover, Germany, on the former industrial site of the Continental company. The spatial design of the Wasserstadt is closely linked to the environment in which it is located.
The three-legged strategy of:
1. Repair the fabric and existing structures of historical value
2. Highlight the identity of the place
3. Connect urbanity and nature
translates time-related sustainable actions into design and makes sure that the development addresses the needs and interests of the engaged-and-affected community of the existent, surrounding neighborhoods. The unique site identity plays a critical role throughout the design process: canals and scattered nearby habitats will continue to thrive, and a new social center will emerge. Whereas the former industrial site cut a hole in the urban fabric, the new infrastructure highlights the site's historic heritage and creates accessible and inclusive public spaces.
August Grundtman - Defossilise Väster Testing a fossil free urbanity for the debate
Humanity is facing one of the greatest challenges ever. Climate change and global warming is a great risk and our consumption and dependency of fossil fuel are important causes of this accelerating issue.
My thesis aims to design an entry for the debate about what urban areas in a fossil free future might be like. I’m investigating how an urban environment that requires as little transportation as possible, with as little added energy as possible, can be created in an existing area through a set of strategies and design principles. The project is framed in a scenario where fossil fuels don’t exist and the design applied on the Väster neighbourhood in Lund, Sweden.
In my defossilised Lund, people have got their time back. Work is next door, children can walk by themselves to the neighbourhood school and food is grown and processed within reach. The neighbourhood streets are taken back from the car and turned into a versatile public space. There’s no longer a need for tedious, stressful commutes and everything you need for your everyday life is withing walking and biking range. Consumer goods, bikes and household items are to a great extent manufactured locally or in the region from recycled materials and can be repaired within a stone’s throw from home. Everything is within human range and reachable by human power.
Eleni Tamiolaki - Rethinking Public Squares - Athens, Berlin, Copenhagen
Since ancient times, public squares have played a significant role in the social and political life of towns and cities. They were designed as open spaces for public use, allowing people to meet, communicate, and demonstrate, and as centers for commercial and civic culture that reflected historical transformations.
However, nowadays, public squares are often nearly abandoned urban voids, rather than centers of social interaction and fermentation. Capitalistic development, the rapidly increasing privatization and individualism, the continuous densification of the built environment, and the lack of co-presence have weakened the use of open public space. As a result, urban squares are often used as open parking lots by individuals, metro stations, extension-spaces for food service, or they mainly keep a symbolic, past-mongering character. Monumental fountains and sculptures, unsustainable materials, rough surfaces, lack of trees, poor lighting, and other problematic elements create an old-fashioned and unfriendly experience for users of public space.
This project presents the redesign of three public squares in Athens, Berlin, and Copenhagen. The redesigns were informed by extensive critical analysis, typological categorizations, and observations of historical public squares in the aforementioned European cities. Participatory planning methods, such as questionnaires and interviews, were also used in the design process to encourage the social aspects of urban planning.
The central intention of the project is to holistically reconsider the design of public squares and suggest a socially sustainable planning approach that takes into account people's common needs, as well as different design requirements based on site-specific characteristics such as cultural identity, surrounding functions, microclimate, topography, etc.
Elise Estunger - Physical Activity - Gyllins Trädgård in Malmö
There is a clear connection between physical activity, health, and well-being; the built environment is essential in encouraging physical activity. Being physically active has a lot of benefits; for example, it improves sleep and mental health, reduces the risk of diseases such as diabetes and stroke, it improves functional and cognitive health, amongst other things. To achieve these positive effects on our health, adults need at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity daily; for children, it is 60 minutes daily. Recent research has shown that Swedes sit still too much, which increases the risk of ill health; a survey study by Folkhäsomyndigheten shows that large proportions of Sweden sit still most of the day. Every fourth Swede sits still at least ten hours daily (Idrottstatistik 2022).
Planning for pedestrians and bikes helps create a more active community in the city. For people to use the bike as the primary means of transportation in everyday life, cities need to offer attractive and safe bike lanes and lanes that include different kinds of users, such as people on their way to work as well as children on their way to school (Smart City Sweden 2022). To help people be more physically active, communities and counties need to take action to provide everyone with more opportunities to be more active in everyday life. Urban design is one aspect of making cities healthy and more active.
This thesis explores how physical activity can be encouraged in the built environment, in this case, Gyllins Trädgård in Malmö, Sweden. What can be done at this site to encourage the nature parks visitors to become more physically active?
Idrotsstatistik. 2022. Stillasittande
Smart City Sweden. 2022. Healthy cities & physical activity
Floris Meeuwse - A climate adaptive design for Maashaven
Rotterdam as a city has water running through its veins. Its location along the river Meuse allowed it to flourish. On the contrary, this location also poses a threat to the low-lying city. Maashaven is a former harbour basin that got slowly surrounded by the city. The land surrounding the water is not protected by dikes, making it more prone to flooding. In a dense city where land is scarce, these unprotected areas became dense living areas. Currently, about 50.000 people reside in these unprotected areas.
With climate change and the rise of the sea level, the safety of people living in these unprotected areas is under threat. The question that I investigated within the project was how we could live safely in these areas in the long term.
Currently, the river is dredged to keep it at a depth of 18 meters at its deepest point. By stopping this dredging, the natural process of sedimentation will take over. This will lead to a shallower river. Some effects of this are the flooding risk being decreased and the river getting a more ecological character. In addition to the undeepening of the river, there will be water safety measures on a building scale. The buildings will either float, be placed on poles, be placed on a raised plateau, or have an interior solution.
In addition to water safety measures, buildings on the site will also be fitted with green roofs, water storage, and smart electricity options such as a power nest. The addition of green in the site will benefit both biodiversity and microclimate. The location with strong public transport will be enhanced with new connections, creating a strong location that allows for high density and a mix of functions.
If we strategically include the post-disaster recovery process in the renewal process of a selected area within the city in order to be a more sustainable region, what will the result be?
Post-disaster recovery is a multi-dimensional process that requires a deep understanding of the relations between different terms, theories, practices, and disciplines.
Considering the post-disaster recovery as a long process including several phases itself rather than just providing a physical construction, the thesis focuses on improving temporary living by seeing it as a whole process, analyzing the short and long-term impacts of the disaster, and developing strategies to tackle them. It mostly focuses on looking at this phases beyond the terms of shelter and housing to wider its values and applications by including the value of tradition or a sense of comfort while questioning ‘‘temporary’’ as a term.
This thesis mainly emphasizes the vital need for temporary housing and the importance of the site selection strategies for temporary housing regarding the post-disaster recovery process in the context of Türkiye after earthquakes.
While rethinking this process and illustrating the relation between disaster recovery and urban design, the design proposal focuses on integration strategies of the post-disaster living scenarios into the urban design at the earlier stages to test the practicality. It emphasizes the potential of strategic site selection and development on a district scale. This process will align with the post-disaster scenarios as well as develop the daily urban life of the specifically chosen site.
This thesis project focuses on carrying out a design interventions at different scales and a specific design proposal that improving collective living culture through sustainable urban design strategies. Also, it facilitates psychosocial recovery while encouraging survivors to have an active urban life again by creating social places for survivors in the temporary housing area and in the surroundings
Nature has a special knack for survival. After millennia of beating the odds against an inhospitable planet, many species have found clever ways to ensure self-preservation on an often inhospitable planet. By refining special skills and working alongside other members of the ecosystem, countless species have found a stable role in the landscape. As humans, we are no different. Developing human society in the cradle of our own environments, humans have found the ultimate way to not only survive, but thrive in our landscapes- by building cities. We eventually found that the strength in numbers and collective skills of our communities allowed us to no longer be dominated by the landscape, but rulers over it.
However, as our vast cities and domesticated landscapes have long-altered the self-regulating properties of local ecosystems, humans must once again adapt to an inhospitable environment as urban climate hazards like flooding and urban heat island threaten an every growing number of urban inhabitants.
This project seeks to address these climate hazards by exploring one nuance of urban ecology- that we too are acting members in the ecosystem, not a division from it. By exploring basic principles of ecology as a guiding factor in the design process, we seek to employ the self-regulating and self-sustaining properties of the natural world into the built environment, thus reintroducing ecosystem services in a way that uplifts both human and nonhuman urban populations.
We will explore the concept of ecosystem service employment in human settlements by studying Jakarta, Indonesia- the world´s second largest urban agglomeration, a complex landscape that faces many climate hazards that threaten life and livelihood. As the city buckles under the pressure of land subsidence and other ecological challenges, we will explore the possibilities for regulative landscape as a tool for climate action. Is nature enough, then, to heal the nature that now threatens many human settlements? By reestablishing our role in the ecosystem, can we find a way to in turn heal nature, with nature?
Javier Ignacio Navarro Puig - MAMLETS A SUSTAINABLE PARKLET NETWORK IN MALMÖ, SWEDEN
Today cities are the result of centuries of history and human development, accelerated during the past 100 years. Post-industrialization, modernism’s top-down city planning approach, and the prioritisation of motor vehicle design over humans resulted in more people moving to cities, more space needed to allocate new vehicles, expansion over rural areas, and exponential pollution growth. Thus, humans were drawn apart, losing the feeling of community and proximity.
In 2005 in San Francisco - USA - the Rebar design team presented a new approach to mitigate the alienation experienced in cities. They rented a metered car parking space, equipping it with seating and vegetation, creating a community space to empower art, activism and cultural expression. Since, this idea has flourished and has been tested in many cities around the world, leading to the Parklet concept.
This Thesis Project examines this concept, plus territoriality, sustainability, and mobility. Furthermore, it analyses Malmö Stad’s Comprehensive Plan and SUMP. Additionally, two surveys were held to comprehend malmöit’s stance, trace a comparison to the aforementioned and propose a democratic design to make a better city for people.
Inspired by Parklets, Mamlets aim to encourage citizen responsible action while recovering precious urban space in Malmö. Mamlets consist of separate versatile human-size modules - 1 m x 1.25 m - that can be stacked, exchanged and combined in multiple ways. Granting a myriad of possible outcomes as a response to the site-specific needs. Moreover, Mamlets will upcycle old construction material, be smart- packed and delivered by cargo bicycles around the city, promoting a circular economy while producing a small Co2 footprint.
Combining multiple Mamlets will create new green and urban amenities while aiding Malmö’s mobility network. This approach will not only repurpose urban space for citizens, democratically and inclusively, but have a sustainable impact aligned with Malmö Stad's, LFM30, and the SDGs plans for 2030.
John Edmonds - From Vacant to Vibrant: Transforming Tolka quay through meanwhile use
This thesis explores the concept of “meanwhile use” in the context of the Tolka Quay area of Dublin. The project proposes a temporary use of the underutilized space to activate it and contribute to the area’s long-term development. Through five phases of design, which are Connection, Landscape, Zoning, Building, and Future, the project aims to create a vibrant and sustainable community hub in Tolka Quay. Meanwhile use plays a cri
Kritika Singh - Cultivating Community – Exploring a design proposal merging urban food production with future development for sustainable living
The global population soaring to eight billion in the year 2022 has rattled the world. As the population is rapidly growing, there will be rapid urbanisation. People continuously move from rural areas to urban areas for better jobs and opportunities. This means that there would be increased pressure on our resources to cater to a growing population. Housing, infrastructure and food shortages are some of the challenges faced by the growing cities.
As a part of this thesis, the aim is to investigate the following research questions:
1. Can brownfield neighbourhoods produce food?
2. How can food production transform an industrial area to a sustainable and liveable neighbourhood?
The urban design proposal, ‘Cultivating Communities’ , is a result of in-depth analysis which formulates strategies for the transformation of a brownfield area into a liveable neighbourhood. Nyhamnen in Malmö is the chosen design location to land the research and strategic interventions. My design proposal views the development of the site through the lens of food production and circularity and uses it to form a design proposal. The design proposal works with the proposed bus line and creates meaningful connections within and towards the neighbourhood. These connections further enhance the integration of the courtyard life to the public spaces while making the most of the coastline. Each courtyard is equipped with roof top farming, community living, solar panels and greenhouses that support the production of food.
Furthermore, the vison of a food district is brought to life by introducing variation in building typologies that support the function of housing, research facilities, food markets, commerce and office areas. This enhances the biodiversity and connections within the city.
Lamiaa Chnayti - TEMPORAL DYNAMICS IN URBAN DESIGN
The Case of Möllevångstorget, Malmö
Möllevången is a fascinating study of a neighborhood that has undergone significant change and transformation over time. Historically, the area was known for its working-class roots, with crowded narrow streets and traditional Swedish homes; but in recent decades the area has seen waves of gentrification and redevelopment, resulting in a mix of a new and old built environment that has made it one of the most diverse and dynamic places in the city of Malmö.
One of the focal points of Möllevången is Möllevångstorget, a public square known for its various activities and temporalities. In the same day, it shifts from being the city's most successful outdoor market to having its trendiest restaurants and even being the site of important protests and demonstrations. Möllevångstorget is an accurate and significant representation of the city of Malmö and the parallels that have and still define it throughout time, showing that its urban squares tell stories of human and non-human actors that rely on time and contribute to influencing it, thus creating simultaneous rhythms and temporalities that deserve us to take a moment to delve into.
As our cities continue to grow, this temporality becomes more significant and important to consider in our public spaces, especially that our urban areas are dynamic entities that need to adapt to their users’ evolving needs. The significance of temporality in urban design and its potential to produce sustainable and adaptable urban environments are both examined in this master’s thesis. The goal of the thesis, which focuses on the public square of Möllevangstorget, is to identify tactics, design principles and strategies that can be applied to develop more flexible and sustainable public spaces. By incorporating temporality as a key design guideline and tenet, we can create interventions that are responsive to the needs of the community and that can evolve over time.
Mariia Khalimon - NEIGBOURHOOD MOSAIC
Regeneration project for the large-scale housing area in Malmö, Sweden
The design project is focused on the regeneration of outdated large-scale housing estates with a goal of improving the life quality of their residents, considering ongoing climate challenges. This project aims to address urban issues by introducing sustainable design solutions to create comfortable, and cohesive spaces, while also reducing the environmental impact.
Most of these housing estates were built in the mid-20th century and are now outdated. Its residents suffer from poor living conditions, lack of connectivity, and limited access to community services. In addition, with the time flow, such housing areas face cultural and urban changes, becoming socially vulnerable and unbalanced. Also, examples of large-scale typological housing estates are present in most countries. Thus, facing global environmental issues, this existing large number of buildings does not meet current climate mitigation demands.
To resolve these challenges, extensive regeneration is the answer. With a strategy, including densification and introduction of diversified programs, the upgraded area shall contribute to the local wellbeing. As well as, the prolonged life cycle of existing buildings contributes to reduction of operational and embodied emissions and environmental sustainability of existing buildings. Besides, the aim is to improve green spaces and outdoor recreational areas, update access to public transportation, promote social interaction and community engagement. Ultimately, this project aims to create a new model for sustainable housing that can be replicated in neighbourhoods around the world.
Martine Mahu - THE RIGHT STAD OF MIND
Cities are growing fast. In 2050 nearly 70% of the world population will live in urban areas. With this urban growth, there is an increase in the stress and depression rates of people living in these fast growing urban areas. Can urban design play a role to counteract this trend? Can cities be designed in a way that prevents people from developing mental health problems? And can cities help people heal when they are already aﬀected by it?
‘The Right Stad of Mind’ is a thesis project that explores the possibilities of urban design and its eﬀect on mental health. A masterplan is made to turn the neighborhood ‘Eilandje’ in Antwerp, Belgium, into a restorative environment where future citizens are less likely to develop mental health problems. To establish this masterplan, a framework has been used for a new kind of urbanism; Restorative Urbanism.
The framework for restorative urbanism consists of seven aspects: A restorative city should be..
In the current situation, the neighborhood Eilandje can use improvements on most of these aspects. In the new plan, the water plays an important role and is more intertwined with the urban structure. Additionally, green structures are created, a diverse neighborhood with a mix of functions is established and a network of public spaces is made where people can bump in to each other, be active or be playful, no matter how old you are. Lastly it is important that this part of the city engages all senses and is created as a part of the city where everyone feels welcome.
Martyna Idasiak & Ralph Frühwirth - THRIVE | From Heritage to Sustainability
- a transformational adaptation of an established neighbourhood in the medieval urban context on the example of Mouraria, Lisbon.
The historic urban area of Lisbon emerged during the Middle Ages and was the origin of the development of a rather small neighbourhood, Mouraria. Not only did it count as the centre of the capital, but because of Lisbon being the metropolis of the Portuguese empire, Mouraria is now home to a diverse group of people, whose culture influences its special characteristics to this day. Its medieval structure was designed to be walkable and in human-scale and in a manner to make the best use out of its geographical location and local materials.
However, influenced by the social, economic and environmental changes, the area is undergoing transformations that are not necessarily aligned with the current, global mission to aim for sustainable development. It is inhabited by the aging population and faces intensification of tourists inflows, which consequently has led to desertification and urban sprawl. Furthermore, its urban structure has been frequently densified showcasing strict separation from the natural environment, which nowadays results in an intensified vulnerability to extreme weather events such as heat waves, flash floods and droughts.
It is now more relevant than ever to focus on historic urban areas like Mouraria and think of innovative ways to rehabilitate them, enhancing their intrinsic values and adapting them towards future urban challenges. This implies that the existing social and urban structures have to be transformed step by step, whereby sustainable mobility, multicultural and green neighbourhoods, as well as symbiotic tourist management are key aspects.
Therefore the overarching question that is addressed in the design proposal is how to carry out transformational adaptation compliant with the cultural heritage of a local community in a neighbourhood with a historic urban structure - for it to become thriving, resilient, as well as socially and environmentally sustainable.
Matheus Simon dos Santos - RE+: A permaculture approach to regenerate Gastelyckan through urban design and urban farming
RE+ is a design that challenges the status quo of a society that is facing a climate crisis, bringing life to an industrial site. Nowadays, Gastelyckan is a brownfield, where 2,500 people work every day, an area surrounded by residential districts and in the middle of Lund’s urban expansion.
RE+ aims to regenerate this place, bringing back through the permaculture concepts the diversity of urban farming, combining different housing types to build a community around a new way of farming.
The agriculture market and construction sector are not sustainable, and they need drastic changes to become more resilient and have less impact on the environment. The permaculture design concepts, combined with regenerative agriculture and regenerative urban design, can provide a solution to these challenges.
The RE+ project will use nature as the main actor to bring back life and offer people a sustainable lifestyle. The project is developed considering permaculture design principles to create a community that lives integrated with urban farming, taking advantage of natural resources available on site.
The strategy focuses on three main goals:
REGENERATE: The project will reuse some of the existing buildings on the site and revitalise hard surfaces. The aim is to bring back life to the industrial site of Gastelyckan, keeping some of the existing streets networks to maximize their potential and revitalizing the place occupied by industries to bring it back to nature.
REFARM: RE+ create a water network based on the natural topography, adding to this pathway pedestrian and bike lanes to connect important farming spaces to livable urbanized areas and the public realm. Agroforestry technology will be used to bring more productivity and sustainability to the farming areas.
Maya Amei Kranner - Borderland Peripheries. From dead end - to new beginning
It’s been 34 years ago now since the iron curtain has parted the European continent and its inhabitants in an East and a West. The analyzed area for the following thesis on the border between northern Austria and southern Czechia gives a case example of a region, that is still suﬀering from an era, where one sky-direction has been erased from peoples everyday living and thinking – leaving the border areas as a dead end for either country. Gmünd (AT) and České Velenice (CZ) are today the only neighboring cities, that remain on the border between Czechia and Austria, raising their potential in terms of future cross-border initiatives. Although some transnational projects have already been started in the past, they never met a fertile ground among the population to continue the idea.
A new development within both cities across the border, which promotes an interactive everyday environment, will help to raise the quality and attractiveness of the cities themself, but also showcase the diversity that comes with opening up to a neighbor that had been neglected. Therefore, the idea is to strengthen the cities resilience by working across the border, using a currently parting line as a key asset for an upcoming and thriving environment of the future. Taking existing ideas and structures of communal value and weaving them immediately within the city fabric, should give an example of how a sustainable and flourishing life could also be in the current borderland peripheries. A special focus in the project is directed to the social sustainability of the site – creating spaces to encounter and collaborate to eventually overcome the hostile ground of the border and pave the way to a life where aversion is replaced by plurality.
A new sustainable and resilient city,
from life on borders to life across borders. From dead end - to new beginning.
My Harrfors - Care-Oriented Development - Prioritizing People over Cars
In the end of March this year (2023) UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) declared humans are to blame for the 1,1-degree global warming of our planet. Furthermore, that the Paris Agreement will fail. Our lifestyle and energy consumption are unsustainable, and the emissions must now be reduced within just a few years to mitigate the effects of climate change.
The transport sector is one of the biggest emitters of CO2, in Europe particularly the emissions caused by the transport sector grew 25% the last 30 years. Passenger cars and motor vehicles stand for a majority of these emissions, 62% respectively. In addition to the negative impact cars have on our environment, health, and safety they also take up a lot of space. Parking lots and multiple car lanes are occupying the urban realm, and thus suppress its potential of contributing to a livable and attractive city environment. Reimagining spaces given to cars is therefore a good way to start the work towards more sustainable and livable cities.
The aim of this thesis is to show how Ystadvägen, a car dominated road in Malmö with a lot of spaces dedicated to cars, can be transformed into an environment that prioritizes people. Enhancing those areas with mixed functions, such as housing, schools, cultural hubs, and active ground floors is the key design philosophy of this thesis. The mobility of Ystadvägen will prioritize modes such as walking, biking and public transportation - transforming a grey and unattractive road into a living and inviting street.
Ystadvägen will no longer be a place that you just drive through, but a place where you want to stay.
Salóme Rósa Þorkelsdóttir - Growing Up in the City: Enhancing Safety and Liveability for Children in Established Urban Areas
We always hear people say „Children are the Future!“, but how can we make the present more liveable and safe for children in urban areas? As anyone who has studied Urban Design knows, the incorporation of a child-friendly approach in the design of cities and neighborhoods leads to beter outcomes for all residents.
Cities are growing every day, but we can't forget about the established areas within them. This project explores how we can improve safety and quality of life for kids in these areas by using and adding to the existing infrastructure, using north Grafarvogur í Reykjavík, Iceland, as a case study.
Despite having the highest concentration of children aged 0-12 years among all the neighborhoods in Reykjavík, families have been leaving northern Grafarvogur in recent times. The area is primarily composed of single-family homes and low-rise apartment buildings, with litle focus on public spaces. Like many other neighborhoods in Reykjavík, cars dominate the area, resulting in safety concerns for parents and a higher tendency to drive children from one place to another. This car dominance also takes away valuable land that could be used for public spaces, play, and safe modes of transportation for children.
So what can be done to make families want to stay in Grafarvogur? This project creates and uses three toolboxes - Walkable City, Safe City, and Playful City - to implement changes that will make the neighborhood beter for kids. With children as the top priority, the role of cars is relegated to the background. These toolboxes not only provide a framework for improving existing neighborhoods but also serve as a guide for the creation of new child-friendly areas.
Ulrica Flemström - The City by the Sea - A climate-adapted design proposal against flooding from cloudbursts and rising sea levels in “Sjöstaden”, Trelleborg
Scientific studies indicate that the effects of the ongoing climate crisis sometimes threaten the built environment, humanity and nature in many ways. Cloudbursts and rising sea levels are two examples of such effects, which result in complex dilemmas and interesting challenges that urban designers face within their field of work. These two effects are noticeable already today and will continue to be even more in the future, why there is a need to remedy them somehow. One causing dilemma behind this is that humanity, for long, has developed urban cities detached from nature. The aspect of biodiversity, room for greenery and water resources have often been overruled, to instead make room for people’s needs where convenience in all aspects is put first, with the boundless need for resources it entails. As a consequence of this, many of today’s cities are not adapted to handle the extreme weather situations that the climate crisis brings, and heavy downpours and rising sea levels put cities at risk of flooding. One can say that this is due to, for example, the enhanced amount of hardened surfaces and the limitation of climate adaptation solutions in modern cities. Another dilemma is how to continue building dense, urban cities in coastal areas that are both climate adapted to flooding, and with a high degree of sustainability that secures life quality for future generations. How can designers help solve these critical questions? One site that is threatened by these problems is "Sjöstaden" (Sea City) in Trelleborg, Skåne County in Sweden. The aim of this thesis project is to design a new city district within "Sjöstaden", Trelleborg. In the design proposal, new buildings and blue- and green solutions are climate-adapted to withstand flooding caused by cloudbursts and the rising sea level.
Valeria Rabelo - CHÚUKA’AN: INTEGRATING PUBLIC SPACES IN GRID SETTLEMENTS
Throughout the years, Mérida has been subject of an outstanding growth, economically, socially and spatially.
Starting from being a major Mayan civilization city, to a colonial Spanish settlement that grew into being the capital of the peninsula, it has always gone through changes and innovations according to the necessities of its inhabitants. By being the most secure and safe city in Mexico today, there has been a substantial increase in migration to the peninsula. This gave the government and society the advantage of innovation and growth, welcoming new investments, both national and international. Mérida is now one of the leading cities in sustainable future design in the country, with big projects like the Mayan train, the IE tram, which is the first 100% electric transport route in the southeast of the country, and numerous commercial developments.
The increase in migration, both from outside and within the city, comes with a plethora of housing developments. These promise the best quality of life, regardless of localization, users, vicinity and more important the disorganized urban sprawl it is creating. By putting the residential needs first, (prioritizing economic benefits), at some point in time the importance and use of public spaces became a secondary privilege, and the grid of the city became very individualized, creating the “apartment effect” in neighborhoods, with car prioritized streets and no public interaction.
On a bigger scale, this opened the door for more problems; uncontrolled urban spread, decreased quality of life, major heatwaves, marginalization and neglected areas.
This master's degree project aims to relink the old neighborhoods of Mérida, which now face marginalization and abandonment. With the adaptation of new ways of transport, mixed used housing and commerce, combined with recreational and public spaces it jumpstarts a new sustainable way of living in a much less car centralized neighborhood, prioritizing always the needs of the user. Completing the circle of prosperity and quality of life that it promises to have, it shows that big investments can be made in any part of the city, specially where it needs the most.