Urbanism in the Anthropocene – Københavns Universitet

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Urbanism in the Anthropocene

Afholdt: May 9.-10. 2016, Aarhus
Public Seminar and Researcher-Workshop

This interdisciplinary seminar addressed the challenges confronting urbanism (urban design and planning, landscape urbanism) due to the entanglement of urbanisation and anthropogenic processes.  

Natural scientists think of our contemporary age as a new geological epoch. The Holocene has given way to the ’Anthropocene’ as human activities have significant impact on the transformations of our planet, its ecosystems and geology. Concomitantly urban researchers think of our age as ‘the urban age’ since more than 50% of the population of the Earth now lives in cities. The percentage is expected to increase in the coming decades. In short: the future of humanity most probably will be fundamentally marked by both urbanization and the human impact on the planet Earth.

The seminar falled in two parts, a public seminar and a researcher and staff workshop.

Public seminar
Monday May 9th
three distinguished keynote speakers addressed and discussed the theme in a Public Seminar.

Professor Simon Marvin from The Urban Institute at the University of Sheffield will address the theme by focussing on the emergence of hybrid urban encapsulations that re-construct artificial ‘outside’ environments within volumetric enclosures. Professor Marvin’s disciplinary background is in urban studies and planning. Among his numerous publications is the widely acclaimed ‘Splintering Urbanism’ (2001) written with Stephen Graham. He is the director of The Urban Institute

Professor emeritus Thomas Sieverts will address the theme by asking how we can and should relate to our urbanised landscapes as heritage for the future. Thomas Sieverts is an architect and urban planner. He was professor of Urban Design at The Technical University of Darmstadt (1971-1999) and the Scientific Director of the IBA Emscher Park Project (1989-94). Among his numerous publications is the path breaking ‘Zwischenstadt’ (1997).

Professor Jens-Christian Svenning approaches urbanism in the anthropocene from the point of view of ecology and biodiversity. He is a biologist, professor at the Department of Bioscience at Aarhus University and a member of the Aarhus University Research Project on the Anthropocene (AURA). AURA aims to understand the kinds of lives that are made and the futures that are possible in the landscapes of the anthropocene. Jens-Christian Svenning has written numerous articles on biodiversity and climate change.

Tuesday May 10th the second part of the seminar was a Workshop with the keynote speakers for researchers and staff at the Aarhus School of Architecture and researchers affiliated to the Centre for Strategic Urban Research. Researchers presented and discussed their projects and there were a general discussion on cities, landscapes and the anthropocene.

All are welcome to the public seminar Monday May 9th. The workshop Tuesday May 10th is reserved for researchers and staff, but there will be a few places for other persons interested. Please contact professor emeritus Niels Albertsen at na@aarch.dk with a motivation.

Monday 9 May 2016:
Public seminar
Chair: Niels Albertsen
Place: Main Auditorium, Exhibition Building, Aarhus School of Architecture, Nørreport 22, 8000 Aarhus C

11:00-11:15 Niels Albertsen: Introduction
11:15-12:30 Simon Marvin: ’Urban encapsulations and the anthropocene’
12:30-13:30 Lunch
13:30-14:45   Thomas Sieverts: ‘Counteracting acceleration and abstraction.
The principle of heritage-preservation and its generalization in the anthropocene’.
14:45-15:15 Coffee
15:15-16:30 Jens-Christian Svenning: ‘Rethinking ecology for the anthropocene’.
16:30-17:00 Concluding discussion.

Tuesday 10 May 2016: Researcher Workshop
Chair: Tom Nielsen (morning); Morten Daugaard (afternoon)
Place: Studsgade Aud., Aarhus School of Architecture, Studsgade 33, 8000 Aarhus C

9:00-9:45 Katrina Wiberg: ‘Climate adaptation across boundaries and practices - aiming for resilience and plural values’.
9:45-10:30 Ellen Braae & Svava Riesto: ‘Redesigning with new ‘urban nature’ in protected heritage park’
10:30-11:00 Coffee
11:00-11:45 Marie Markman: ‘Urban nature in Nye' (a new ecological suburb in Aarhus)
11:45-12:30 Stefan Darlan Boris: The School Forest in Aarhus
12:30-13:30 Lunch
13:30-14:30 Final discussion: Cities, landscapes and the anthropocene
14:30-14:45 Coffee
14:45-15:30 Final discussion continued: Cities, landscapes and the anthropocene.

Organized by Platform Urban Landscapes – Centre for Strategic Urban Research
For more information contact Niels Albertsen: Niels.Albertsen@aarch.dk

Time: 9-10 May 2016
Place: Aarhus School of Architecture