Mobility and Urban Liveability in Palestine #2

5th December 2016

palestine-2

Just concluded the second part of the workshop on mobility and urban development in two central locations of Nablus and Ramallah, held at the Center for Urban and Regional Planning of An-Najah Universety and co-organized with Cosmopolis VUB – Latitude and the Department of Urban and Regional Deveopment of UAntwerpen. Four mixed groups of students form the three universities have been working intensively on improving the mobility system and public transport in both cities, focusing on the design of public spaces – such as the central area of Ramallah or the E-W spine in Nablus – and facilities – bus stops, terminals, squares, markets.

Representatives of both local municipalities and of the Belgian Consulate General have attended the final presentations and visited the instant-exhibition prepared for the final event at the Korean Institute of  An-Najah University.

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Workshop Reducing Boundaries, Unisinos

8th November 2016

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Tomorrow November 9 at the Escola Politécnica Unisinos São Leopoldo, Latitude will lead a full day workshop with 4th year students of the Curso de Arquitetura e Urbanismo on the themes of urban security and gated living. Starting from key issues emerged from the ongoing research Reducing Boundaries, students will focus on the case study of Jardim Europa, a large cluster of condominios fechados (gated communities) recently developed around a semi-public park and next to the oldest large mall of Porto Alegre.

The exercises will focus on the role and meaning of fences and walls, understanding their form, their relation with security devices, with private and public spaces on different scales. After developing a quick critique, an important part will be dedicated to imagining possible near positive or negative futures.

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Ilot d’eau: Atelier #3

23rd September 2016

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Between the 19th and the 24th of September, in the frame of the design project Ilot d’Eau, Latitude is running the Atelier Co-design #3 (see Atelier Co-design #1). The third atelier focuses on the production of detailed projects and technical drawings in order to generate a tangible design proposal. On Saturday 24th September the last co-design session will be held at the Abbaye of Forest. The objectives of the atelier are mainly two: on the one hand, to make operative choices on the project, to be realized during the fourth atelier, that will take place in spring 2017; on the other hand, to have a first feedback from the inhabitants on the co-design process and the experience they had with Latitude and the other actors.

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Ilot d’Eau, Atelier Co-Design #1

11th September 2015

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Latitude Platform has organized and is currently leading the workshop Ilot d’Eau in collaboration with the Faculty of Architecture La Cambre Horta of the Université Libre de Bruxelles (BE) and Cosmopolis Centre for Urban Research of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (BE), the non-profit organization EGEB, and the other partners of the project Des nouveaux chemins de l’eau solidaires pour le quartier de l’Abbaye of the CQD Abbaye. The initiative is part of a wider participatory project presented in the frame of the Contrat de Quartier Abbey (Forest).

During one week, students and tutors will work in close contact with the inhabitants of Forest to explore how and to which extent co-design can implement the decentralization of water at the scale of the Brussels’ block, one of the most recurrent spatial element composing the city’s fabric. The workshop began last Sunday with an on-site survey followed by a co-design session with some inhabitants in order to discuss ideas, constraints and opportunities for a sensitive every-day water management. The elaborations that will follow are going to be presented to the public next Sunday, the 13th of September at the Abbay of Forest.

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Water Islands

8th May 2015

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Since January 2015, Latitude is working on the participatory design project Ilot d’Eau (Water Islands) and in the diagnosis Enquête sur les citernes d’eau de pluie (Inquiry on the rainwater tanks) in the frame of Les Chemins solidaires de l’eau, a project submitted by Latitude with EGEB and some local committees of inhabitants for the Contrat the Quartier Durable Abbaye (Forest) and financed by the Brussels-Capital Region.

These two projects aim at raising awareness among the inhabitants and the city users about the opportunity to find room for water within the private realm of the building blocks of Brussels. The search for collective water devices is meant to be one of the preferable ways to enhance social cohesion and spatial quality at once. These collective initiatives could contribute to counteract the water risks that since years threaten the area.

The first Latitude’s public action is the Enquête sur les citernes d’eau de pluie, a diagnosis about the rainwater tanks existing in the area. A table will be arranged in the public square St. Denis (Forest) tomorrow during the general assembly of the Contrat de Quartier Durable Abbaye and for the following two weekends during the local market. Inhabitants are invited to fill a questionnaire, to indicate their own rainwater tank –real or imaginary- on the map of the Contrat de Quartier, to express if they have water-related problems in their parcel, to describe the measures they take to face the problems, to tell how they use water at home.

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Toward an Atlas

31st October 2013

Toward an Atlas

Toward an Atlas of the European Delta Landscape, edited by Maria Chiara Tosi (IUAV) and published by ListLab is finally out. The book collects contributions by Latitude’s Taneha Kuzniecow Bacchin, Marco Ranzato, Fabio Vanin and others who participated to the three editions of the Summer School Erasmus Intensive Programme on the Po Delta organized by IUAV University of Venice between 2010-2012, the last of which included the participation of Latitude as part of the research Veneto 2100: Living with Water.

This book aims at describing deltaic territories in Europe that are fragile and affected by important climate changes. These characteristics are producing significant effects on the studied deltas and on the ways they are inhabited. The book proposes an analysis of the most important features of some of the European Deltas – the Po delta, the Ebro, the Rhine, the Rhone, the Nemunas, the Guadalquivir and the Danube one – by comparing them, in order to identify their common and specific problems.

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National Housing and Habitat Policy, Haiti

24th October 2013

National Housing and Habitat Policy

Latitude congratulates the government of Haiti on the presentation of their first “National Housing and Habitat Policy”. Haiti’s first housing policy will be presented in some hours with the prime minister.

Sahdia Khan (Latitude) has been supporting Haitian institution since October 2010 on topic related to territorial development, planning and housing. At present she is working with the Housing and Public Building Construction Unit – a unit attached to the prime minister’s office committed to provide a tangible solution to the housing deficit in Haiti. This unit will also take measures to operationalize the housing policy of Haiti.

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Rochefort Workshop

14th September 2013

Rochefort Workshop

Can urban design provide affordable and shared solutions at the same time as alternative to technocratic-unilateral visions for the urgent demand of flood risk management in Rochefort (France)?

Latitude has been invited to tutoring at the Rochefort Workshop along with William Werbeeck (Flood Resilience Group, UNESCO-IHE ). The workshop organized by RAW in collaboration with the City of Rochefort, the Université libre de Bruxelles, the Japan Institute of Architects and the Laboratoire Techniques, Territoires et Sociétés, is held at the Forum des Marais in Rochefort. Between the 14th and the 21st of September 2013, European and Japanese students affiliated to different faculties of architecture and urban design will work intensively to indentify spatial actions that can counteract the risk of flooding while increasing the urban livability and enhancing the resilience of the estuarine landscape of Charente River. To this end, during the week, the investigation will focus on four main issues: the coastline, the city of Rochefort, the wide military heritage area and the prototypical housing unit.

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Water vs Urban Scape

14th July 2013

water vs urban scape

From the 14th to the 22nd of July, Latitude will be part of the leading group of the the summer school Water vs Urban Scape? Exploring Integrated and Decentralized Arrangements of Water in the Brussels Capital Region organized in collaboration with the Faculty of Architecture of the Université Libre de Bruxelles and the Tongji University of Shanghai, as a momentum to further investigate the complex water challenges that Brussels is facing.

How to reduce the dependence of the urban environment on external resources and the discharge of exceeding and polluted waters to downstream sinks? Is it really possible to create the conditions that allow absorbing the pressures and requirements of the water system within Brussels’ urban region? How more sustainable water cycles can concretely support the process of city regeneration?

In Brussels the authorities are already working in this direction applying principles of sustainable water management/sensitive water design in their plans. However, what the spread of such an approach concretely means in the urban physical arrangement and how space can be carefully and specifically organized to contribute to the overall water sensitive strategy have still to be further explored.

The intensive program of the summer school is held in Brussels at the Faculty of Architecture La Cambre-Horta and involves both European and Chinese students, who are asked to investigate the functioning of water in the urban landscape and to invest their skills in design explorations of integration of water at different scales.

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Latitude at the X Bienal de São Paulo

11th July 2013

Reading the Incremental Occupation of Territories

We are very happy to announce that we have been selected as one of the 54 participants to the X Bienal de Arquitectura de São Paulo, Brasil, that will open on the next September 28th, 2013.

Latitude will present a comparative research titled “Reading the Incremental Occupation of Territories” which focuses on the representation of  urban and territorial transformations in similar territories: the province of Treviso (IT), Caxias do Sul (BR) and Eldorado do Sul (BR).

The research will show the recent process of fast land exploitation in areas under high economic pressure. Starting from the città diffusa, in the Northeast of Italy – one of the most widespread inhabited territory of Europe today facing problems of both water scarcity and flood – the proposal unfolds the fast territorial changes of two cities in the southernmost region of Brazil, using the same retrospective reading model.

Through a series of artefacts, Latitude aims at raising awareness about the effects of small actions repeated thousand times over the territorial support, with a special cut on water. In a time that draws together the global economic crisis, strong urbanization and shrinking processes, the forthcoming urban models have to consciously and strategically engage with those complex dynamics, understanding how inhabitants use and appropriate urban spaces.

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KASI intensive workshop

12th September 2012

Latitude is about to start an intensive workshop on two case studies: a new development on water along a river by-pass in Kampen (NL) and a scenario for the future of the Sile River (IT) from its springs to Treviso city center. The first case will be developed in the frame of Latitude’s research Floating Urbanism while the second one is based on an on-going study initiated with B&M engineering for the Genio Civile of Treviso.

The aim of the workshop is to conduct two parallel investigations that can fruitfully take advantage of each other’s findings. Despite the differences between the two cases – being Kampen more architectural and the Sile River more territorial – water plays a fundamental role and it highlights the need of an equilibrium with urban-territorial developments. Moreover, Kampen and the Sile River question the contemporary vision and plans for the evolution of our cities, pushing towards the research of (maybe) different lifestyles.

The workshop will take place in the Venice office and it will involve young professionals and experts from different fields – engineers, technicians, anthropologists.

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Lecture at UNESCO-IHE

4th July 2012

Latitude is presenting the results of its research Living With Water and Floating Urbanism on Tuesday 10th of July in the UNESCO-IHE short course Water Resilient Cities. The short course will address data requirements, tools, approaches, relevant planning policy frameworks, decision making and implementation experiences needed to build and foster Water Resilient Cities.

Latitude’s presentation will especially highlight the different approach to flood and drought resilience, together with their key aspects; how to develop and analyse water and flood risk management strategies for the context of urban areas and in different contexts.

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Jilotzingo, Mexico

4th July 2012

How to deal with the design of an integrated water system for a farm and hostel house on the border of Mexico City metropolitan area? Latitude has just taken the ambition to investigate the possibility of closing the water cycle within the clearing of a pioneer inhabited plot located deep into the dense mountain forest of the first relief range next to Mexico City. The local conditions have been examinated at first: the abundance of rainwater on summer, the existence of a public open storage located on top of the site and the original topography made of an homogenous slope with some depressions at the bottom, they are conditions that push to imagine practical explorations of a self-sufficient, off-grid water system.

The ambition is to design according to the latest criteria of sustainability and ecological balance, setting up renewable energy systems of solar and wind power and food production through biological cultivation. The upcoming fieldwork will let us verify the first ideas and discover unexpected site specific opportunities.

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Revealing the Sile River, Fieldwork

1st July 2012

Latitude together with B&M engineering has explored the entire branch of the Sile River that goes from its springs until Treviso city centre. The fieldwork was especially focusing on finding and surveying the intakes (private and public, coming from agriculture, fish farming or settlements) that go directly into the river in order to check the most problematic ones.

But from a territorial and urban point of view, the fieldwork has revealed how such amazingly rich and diverse ecosystem, a potential natural park, is totally disconnected from the daily life of Treviso: its banks are mostly privatized and there are no ways to experience the river but by boat.

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Lecture at DUPT, Florence

25th June 2012

Enrico Anguillari is going to lecture at the seminar Abitare il Territorio, organized by the Department of Urbanism and Planning of the University of Florence, presenting Latitude’s research ‘Living with Water’. This event is the 9th seminar of a cycle entitled Paesaggi Abitati, which aims at discussing the different contemporary ways of living. ‘Living with water’ rather then next to it, is the one proposed by Latitude . After a series of lectures in the morning, the afternoon will be dedicated to an open discussion on the proposed themes and points of view.

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Reforestation for Urban Resilience

4th May 2012

Andrea Bortolotti (collaborator LATITUDE) has presented at the conference Terra Ri-genera Città the project Reforestation for Urban Resilience designed with LATITUDE, Efrem Ferrari and Claudia Ivone Martinez Feria. It is conceived as a design toolkit to regenerate urban areas thanks to new integrated reforestation devices. Both public spaces and unbuilt private areas can be temporarily forested to support the urban tissue providing a number of services (i.e. playgrounds-rainwater retention areas). The process of urban regeneration implies the negotiation between the private and the public sector: designers can guide the stakeholders in the search of win-win strategies towards common benefits. At the moment a pilot project along the stream Olona, in an urbanized area North-West of Milan, is under discussion with the municipality.

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Veneto 2100 open at the 5th IABR

27th April 2012

The 5th IABR is now open!

Latitude is among the over 35 projects and good practices from more than 25 cities around the world that is exhibiting in Rotterdam at the 5th IABR ‘Making City’ with the research project Veneto 2100: Living with Water. The Biennale examines how the city can continue to generate our wealth in a sustainable manner and how to ‘make city’ in a fundamentally different way. Projects in such places as New York, Paris, São Paulo, Delhi, as well as Rotterdam, the Nile valley and the Veneto region try to envision different solutions.

In the future – the 5th IABR argues – city development will have to involve much more teamwork among different disciplines and continually changing alliances in which social agendas and economic ambitions must strike a balance with each other. Will cities be able to offer solutions to the major socio-economic and ecological challenges that face us this century?

Veneto 2100: Living with Water investigates how the region can transform starting from the forecasted environmental threats. A wall-map illustrates the future Veneto highlighting the dense presence of water, while nine chalk models show in detail prototypical samples of the proposed scenario and the different territorial conditions, including the geological differences. Three videos, resulting from the anthropological survey, depict the main social and spatial issues and the volume Living with Water together with Our Common Risk and Delta Landscape 2100 provide the details on the research content and process.

Come and visit!

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Delta Landscape 2100

23rd February 2012

The booklet Delta Landscape 2100 was finally sent to print! The book is the third of a series (Delta Landscapes – building scenarios within fragile territories; Delta Landscapes – geographies, scenarios, identities) and it collects the results of the Po Delta Summer School 2011, a collaboration between IUAV University of Venice, University of Sheffield, Vilnius Gediminas Technical University and Ion Mincu University of Bucharest with Latitude.

How is the Po Delta going to be in 2100? Two opposite scenarios have been investigated through a series of experimental representations, short essays, design proposals that aim at highlighting opportunities as well as fragilities, paradoxes and dilemmas.

Delta Landscape 2100 was curated by Maria Chiara Tosi, Manuela Bonini Lessing and Latitude – Professional Dreamers Editions, graphic design: ey studio

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On Municipal Water Plans

7th February 2012

Latitude together with BM engeneering (Andrea Mori) will speak on the Municipal Water Plans during the conference organized by the International Centre Civiltà dell’acqua – a non profit organization for the promotion of water related values and issues –  for the presentation of the book “I Piani Comunali delle Acque. Strumenti di sicurezza idraulica e opportunità per la rigenerazione del territorio”. The event is also promoted by the Province of Venice and the Water Board Acque Risorgive and it will take place the 9th of February at Teatro di Villa Farsetti (Via Roma 5, Santa Maria di Sala) at 15.30.

In order to prevent future hydrogeological risks, the Province of Venice has introduced the Municipal Water Plans to develop better and more sustainable policies on water management.

The intervention will focus on the relation between the engineering-technical approach towards Municipal Water Plans and a more comprehensive process that can combine the need of solving water dysfunctions with spatial-urban opportunities, such as new public spaces, ecological corridors etc.

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Ugly Spots / results

13th December 2011

Through an extended survey along inhabitants of the Kortrijk region, Leiedal mapped 120 so called ‘Ugly Spots’ in the urban environment. Ten sites were selected and ten design teams were asked to propose a creative intervention for two or three sites. With this project, Leiedal wants to stimulate creative interventions in distorted public spaces.

Latitude – together with Gijs Van Vaerenbergh – was selected to work on the courtyard of the community center of Terhand – Wervik and on the town square of Spiere. Both projects were selected by the jury and recommended to the local municipality.

Ter Hand ( in the picture above) is a ribbon structured hamlet in the Wervik region. A morphological and programmatorical analysis shows how most (small scale) public activities are generically inserted in the stretched undefined space between the road and the private properties. We propose a sequence of local interventions to derive and strengthen existing identity defining elements from the ribbon. The site is one of the four strategic locations with a public importance to the ribbon. We propose a new ground canvas that runs from the community building, across its courtyard to the other side of the street. In this way – together with two new openings in the existing wall – this wall divides a new public space instead of hiding one. A light canopy structure follows the diagonal axis of the wall and accentuates the spatiality of the courtyard. The canopy has mirror symmetry to respond to different activities on both sides of the wall and becomes a landmark in the ribbon structured hamlet.

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