Urenio Watch Watch: Cities

New Archi-DOCT Issue: “Urbanities”

The 16th Archi-DOCT Journal has been published under the theme “Urbanities’. According to the editors, this issues includes a constellation of projects that symbiotically operate to define the future urban environment and respond to multiple crises associated with intertwined issues such as climate change, flooding, land consumption, inequality, gender issues, production processes, and geopolitics.

The 6 essays presented in this issue focus on a multiplicity of local contexts and scales. They interrelate the concept of “Urbanities’ with specific morphological and dimensional configuration, historical conditions and legal frameworks, platforms, bottom-up city making and participation, recovered materials and infrastructures among others.

Specifically the 16th issue of Archi-DOCT includes one good practice example and 6 essays:

  • “Dorotea, the city, can be different: urban projects in Rome based on the seminal role of infrastructures”, Gaetano De Francesco, DFR Architecture Founder, Sapienza – University of Rome, Quasar Institute for Advanced Design, Italy. Valerio Perna, INNOVATION_Factory Coordinator, Faculty of Architecture and Design, POLIS University, Tirana, Albania. This paper offers a semiotic perspective of the city as an enunciation of different signs in which contemporary projects (the alleged urbanities) play a fundamental role in resemantizing the urban environment. The authors argue for the possibility for architects to promote a bottom-up incremental design strategy in the urban environment to trigger sustainable urban transformation processes.
  • “Vertical Growing as an Opportunity for Reactivating Historical Quarters’, Maria Piqueras Blasco, PhD Candidate, Universitat Politècnica de València, Spain.   Introducing the migratory problems that afflicted the Spanish city during the 19th Century, the researcher focuses on the distortion and incoherent modifications with the original urban condition that these phenomena have caused over the last decades. The notion of “vertical growing’ is proposed as a possible design solution to urban reactivation.
  • “COVID-19 as a catalyst for collaborative city-making: from emergency to praxis’, Andrea Ariano, PhD Candidate, Sapienza – University of Rome, Italy. In his essay the author   suggests that we should start looking at the city as a ‘˜hackable system’ where new processes of bottom-up city making incorporates hacker culture and suggests a novel logic to organize urban society through social and digital media platforms.
  • “Urban densities and diffuse urbanities’, Flavia Magliacani, PhD Candidate, Sapienza – University of Rome, Italy. The researcher uses the concept of “density’ as the critical lens to investigate surprising diversification and heterogeneity of spatial practices that compose the actual “urban mosaics’ of European cities. The paper pictures an intriguing complex system of different urbanities, each one with its nature and peculiarities, explaining that only through the capacity to manage this complexity we could be able to foster alternative dynamics for urban regeneration.
  • “Recovered materials for participatory urban design processes: The case of Struga City’, Gerdi Papa and Emel Petërçi, respectively Doctor of Philosophy and PhD candidate, POLIS University, Tirana, Albania.   The objective of this research is to demonstrate how the methods of urban design can benefit from a more sustainable approach based on recovered materials. The paper presents the results of a community-based workshop in Struga, Northern Macedonia, where through dynamics of civic engagement and empowerment, recovered materials can be a meaningful agent to ignite urban transformations and improve the conditions of the built environment.
  • “Roman Diaforentities. Interdisciplinary insights for urban regeneration in Rome’, Anna Riciputo, PhD Candidate, Sapienza – University of Rome, Italy. The author attempts to propose an operative methodology that frames the concept of “Urbanities’ within the anthropological meaning of the notion of the border. Through the term Diaforentity, borrowed from anthropologist Pietro Vereni, the author aims to address the real meaning of non-place and junk space and offer new perspectives that could allow us to intervene and to prepare a new dialectical strategy between old and new, between the historical traces and the need to introduce the screech of contemporaneity into the palimpsest of the consolidated city.
  • “Architecture within infrastructure: habitable bridges as a vector for social urban regeneration’, Bianca Andaloro, PhD Candidate, University of Palermo, Italy. This essay is articulated around the concept of the bridge not just as an architectural and engineering typology, but as a concrete possibility to regenerate and reactivate the urban environment of our metropoles. The typology of infrastructures is analyzed from a historical and functional perspective, demonstrating how enzymes of multi-scalarity, multi-temporality, and multi-functionality can be used as a proper design material to define new “urbanities’ that can address the complexity of the urban tissue.

Archidoct is a peer-reviewed e-journal that aims at fostering, enhancing and promoting doctoral research in architecture. The authors of the essays published are doctoral students in architecture. The journal is published by the European Network of Heads of Schools of Architecture-ENHSA, an EU funded Network in the framework of the Lifelong Learning Programme, and is linked to and complementary with the ENHSA Observatory (EODRA).  

You can find the issue here.