051-0160-00L  Urban Design II

SemesterSpring Semester 2016
LecturersA. Brillembourg, H. Klumpner
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish

AbstractThe lecture series will introduce tools for reading contemporary urban conditions, patterns and processes. Each lecture will introduce a city and three extracted operational tools, which we have deciphered. The tool format offers a structure for understanding of how urban landscape has taken shape as well as a basis for developing an own position by synthesizing information into future practice.
ObjectiveUrban Stories aims to amplify the students' repertoire of urban instruments and empowers to critically reflect on the urban environment. This lectures series will produce a toolbox containing operational urban tools that provide students with knowledge to navigate between theory and practice. The tools will be used as a basis for reading cities and recognizing in them current operational modes, models and phenomena.

Urban Stories promotes a critical and analytical, research-based approach on crosscutting scales and timelines by offering a methodology that respects the political, socio-economic and ecological components of urban design and planning. Through this lens, and with our toolbox, we aim to tell the fundamental story of contemporary cities. The course provides information, analysis and knowledge to help students to prepare for their own justifiable interventions in the future.
ContentHow did cities develop into the cities we live in now? Which urban plans, instruments, visions, political decisions, economic reasonings, cultural inputs and social organization have influenced urban settlements in specific moments of change? Which cities are exemplary in illustrating how these instruments have been implemented and how they have shaped urban environments? Can these instruments be translated into urban operational tools that we recognize within existing tested cases in contemporary cities across the globe? How can the tools and cities be compared and put into a system rather than a database? Can this system show unusual connections and foster the transfer of knowledge among cities? Urban form cannot be reduced to the physical space. Cities are the result of social construction under the influence of technologies, culture, the impact of experts and accidents. Unconcluded urban processes respond to political interests, economic pressure, cultural inclinations, along with the imagination of architects and planners and the informal powers at work in complex adaptive systems. Current urban phenomena are the result of an urban evolution. The facts stored in urban environments include contributions from its entire lifecycle. That is true for the physical environment, but also for non-physical aspects, the imaginary city that exists along with its potentials and problems and with the conflicts that have evolved over time. Knowledge and understanding along with a critical observation of the actions, processes and policies are necessary to perceive the diversity and instability present in the contemporary city.
Lecture notesThe Skript can be downloaded from the student-server:
LiteratureThe learning material can be downloaded from the student-server: afp://brillembourg-klumpner-server.ethz.ch

Please check also the Chair website: http://u-tt.arch.ethz.ch
Prerequisites / NoticeEXERCISE
After each lecture, students are asked to produce an exercise based on the presented tools. The format of the Exercise is an A3 or an A4, according to the given template. Each student has one week to prepare each exercise, and it should be delivered in the next lecture. (Language: preferably English, German).
The exercise tasks are a valuable addition to understand the class contents and therefore it is highly recommendable to finalize all weekly exercise tasks as an individually conducted work.

"Semesterkurs" (semester course) students from other departments or students taking this lecture as GESS / Studium Generale course as well as exchange students must successfully hand in a Research Paper at the end of the semester, which will be subject to the performance assessment: "Bestanden" (pass) or "Nicht bestanden" (failed). The performance assessment type, for "Urban Design II" taken as a semester course, is categorized as "unbenotete Semesterleistung" (ungraded semester performance).