15th Architecture Biennale: Special Projects – Report from Cities: Conflicts of an Urban Age, 28 May 2016 — 27 Nov 2016

15th Architecture Biennale: Special Projects – Report from Cities: Conflicts of an Urban Age

Sale d’Armi C, Arsenale, Sale d’Armi C, Arsenale

Responding to Alejandro Aravena’s call-to-arms on the battle for a better built environment, the exhibition provides a view from the front-line of cities. Like national pavilions that describe the ‘fight they face at home’, the citiespavilion will provide the visitor to the Biennale Architettura with insights on the major trends and conflicts experienced today in the urban realm.
Exponential growth, erosion of public space, increasing inequality, rampant informalisation and environmental degradation are the major impacts of a period of intense urbanisation. The speed and scale of this transformation is unprecedented. Every hour more than 50 new residents are added to the populations of Kinshasa, Dhakka or Delhi. Cities in Asia, Africa and Latin America have sprawled endlessly across entire regions and their populations have grown to the size of nations.
The exhibition focuses on how cities have changed over time, at two different time horizons: over a 25-year time frame (since the 1990s) and over a 100-year time frame (19th/20th century). This double time reference will inform the visitor of the immediacy of contemporary urbanisation and provide a context for understanding the benefits of well-considered urban planning and design on achieving more equitable and balanced cities.
In October 2016 the United Nations is hosting Habitat III, a major global event held every 20 years, which will focus on Sustainable Urban Development. This exhibition is being designed to inform the debate that will contribute to shaping a New Urban Agenda for future generations of urban leaders, policymakers and designers.
The exhibition addresses the following three issues:
1) how have cities transformed over the last 25 years
2) what are the effects on public space, inequality and informality
3) which models of urban planning demonstrate resilience over time

The exhibition covers the following areas:
– General introduction to key urban trends in 21st century
– Identification of typologies of urbanisation
– ‘wall of shame’ – selected images of negative urbanisation
– Film-based animations and photography of urban transformations in cities       from Africa, Asia, Latin America, North America and Europe.
– Statistics and analysis of spatial, social and environmental data focussing on public space, inequality and informality
– Examples of best practice at macro and micro-scale of urban intervention
– Recommendations for sustainable urbanism

Featured cities include:
Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) 3.300,000 – 81% growth since 1990
Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of the Congo) 12,000,000 – 215% growth since 1990
Lagos (Nigeria) 21,000,000 – 176% growth since 1990
Delhi (India) 25,000,000 – 164% growth since 1990
Manila (Philippines) 13,000,000 – 62% growth since 1990
Dhakka (Bangladesh) 18,000,000 – 166% growth since 1990
Mexico City (Mexico) 21,000,000 – 34% growth since 1990
Sao Paulo (Brazil) 21,000,000 – 42% growth since 1990
New York (USA) 19,000,000 – 16% growth since 1990
Los Angeles (USA) 12,300,000 – 13% growth since 1990
London (UK) 10,000,000 – 28% growth since 1990
Moscow (Russia) 12,100,000 – 35% growth since 1990

The exhibition is part of the Urban Age programme jointly organised by the London School of Economics and the Alfred Herrhausen Society.

LSE Cities is an international centre at the London School of Economics and Political Science that carries out research, conferences, education and outreach activities in London and abroad. Its mission is to study how people and cities interact in a rapidly urbanising world, focusing on how the physical form and design of cities impacts on society, culture and the environment. It hosts the annual Urban Age conference jointly organised with Deutsche Bank’s Alfred Herrhausen Society, which will be held on 16-17 July in Venice as part of the 15th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia.

Habitat III is the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development. It will be held on 17-20 October 2016, in Quito, Ecuador. This major global event is convened by the United Nations General Assembly and held every 20 years. Habitat III will be one of the first UN global summits after the adoption of the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda. It offers a unique opportunity to discuss the important challenge of how cities, towns and villages are planned and managed, in order to ensure sustainable development, and hence shape the implementation of new global development and climate change goals. The Conference will result in a concise, focused, forward-looking and action-oriented New Urban Agenda. (www.habitat3.org)

Curator’s Team:
Aron Bohmann, researcher (LSE Cities)
Peter Griffiths, managing editor (LSE Cities)
Emily Cruz, project manager (LSE Cities)

The annual conference Urban Age titled Shaping Cities: Conflicts Of An Urban Age, scheduled for July 14 th and 15 th from 10.30 am at the Teatro alle Tese Arsenale, will explore the interrelationships between urban form and urban society, focusing on the social, spatial and political forces that shape cities. The conference will be hosted by La Biennale di Venezia in the context of Habitat III – United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Quito, Ecuador, 17-20 October 2016). It is a joint initiative of the London School of Economics and Political Science and Deutsche Bank’s Alfred Herrhausen Gesellschaft, with the aim of shaping the debate and influencing policy-making in global cities.

Programme of Urban Age – Shaping Cities: Conflicts of an Urban Age

Joan Clos, Executive Director, UN Habitat
Ricky Burdett, Director LSE Cities & Urban Age
Paolo Baratta, President of La Biennale di Venezia
Alejandro Aravena, Architect, Director of Biennale Architettura 2016, Pritzker Prize 2016
Sue Parnell, Professor, African Centre for Cities
Jennifer Musisi, Executive Director of Kampala
Enrique Peñalosa, Mayor of Bogotá
Paul Achleitner, Chairman, supervisory board, Deutsche Bank
Jean-Louis Missika, Deputy Mayor, Paris
Abdoumalik Simone, Research Professor, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity
Richard Sennett, Professor of Sociology, LSE
Philipp Rode, Executive Director LSE Cities
Babatunde Fashola, Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Federal Republic of Nigeria; former Lagos State Governor
Ed Glaeser, Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics, Harvard University
Schlomo Angel, Urban Expansion Program, NYU
Saskia Sassen, Professor of Sociology, Columbia University
Rahul Mehrotra, Professor of Urban Design and Planning, Harvard University
Caroline Kihato, Senior Research Fellow at the School of Architecture and Planning at the University of the Witwatersrand Henk Ovink, Special Envoy for International Water Affairs at Kingdom of the Netherlands
Kees Christiaanse, architect and urban planner

Contacts & Details

Sale d’Armi C, Arsenale, Sale d’Armi C, Arsenale
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