CEU Konferenz „COP21”, 27.–29. November in Berlin

COP21 AND BEYOND: Defining the “New Urban Agenda” in a Changing Climate

November 27–29, 2015

Coun­cil for Euro­pean Urba­nism
In part­ners­hip with:
Inter­na­tio­nal Net­work for Tra­di­tio­nal Buil­ding, Archi­tec­tu­re and Urba­nism (INTBAU), Sus­ta­sis Foun­da­ti­on, Cen­ter for Metro­po­li­tan Stu­dies at the Tech­ni­cal Uni­ver­si­ty of Ber­lin.

Plea­se join us in Ber­lin for a very time­ly Coun­cil for Euro­pean Urba­nism con­fe­rence, from Fri­day evening, 27 Novem­ber to Sunday 29 Novem­ber (mid-day).

The topic could not be more urgent: defi­ning the “New Urban Agen­da” (as the UN is ter­ming it) through the COP21 Paris Cli­ma­te Con­fe­rence, and to the Habi­tat III mee­ting next year and bey­ond.

Buil­ding on its pre­vious suc­cess­ful con­fe­rence on “Cli­ma­te Chan­ge and Urban Design” in Oslo, Nor­way, The Coun­cil for Euro­pean Urba­nism and its part­ners will hold a semi­nar in advan­ce of the 2015 Paris Cli­ma­te Con­fe­rence for the United Nati­ons Frame­work Con­ven­ti­on on Cli­ma­te Chan­ge (COP21).

Conference Focus:

The world is incre­a­singly reco­gni­zing the dimen­si­ons of a deep envi­ron­men­tal and social cri­sis, and urgent action is now necessa­ry. Several semi­nal inter­na­tio­nal events are occur­ring this autumn:

  • The United Nati­ons is hos­ting Habi­tat III on the rapid (and too often spraw­ling) growth of cities in 2016
  • The UN Sus­tainab­le Deve­lo­p­ment Goals have been adop­ted at the Octo­ber UN sum­mit and gene­ral assem­bly in New York City
  • The UN con­fe­rence on cli­ma­te chan­ge, COP21, is taking place in Paris in Decem­ber.

Cities, their struc­tu­re, and their deve­lo­p­ment, are incre­a­singly at the cen­ter of the agen­da, which Habi­tat III has ter­med the “New Urban Agen­da.”

What is the role of archi­tects and urba­nists in this urgent agen­da? Is it to con­ti­nue to build the same kinds of buil­dings and urban sett­le­ments we have been buil­ding for a cen­tu­ry, only now fest­ooned with new “green” high-tech­no­lo­gy gad­gets? Is it to con­ti­nue as visio­na­ry artists, duti­ful­ly ser­ving – or some­ti­mes igno­ring – the agents of moder­niz­a­ti­on, sprawl and glo­bal capi­tal? Or must we con­front the need for a deeper, more radi­cal model of urba­niz­a­ti­on and urban life – one more cen­te­red around human dyna­mics and well-being? What would this ent­ail, in con­cept, stra­te­gy, detail­ed prac­ti­ce? What are the les­sons we must now share and act upon?

The Coun­cil for Euro­pean Urba­nism has long explo­red the­se ques­ti­ons, and cham­pio­ned new ans­wers. In par­ti­cu­lar, the CEU has advan­ced the radi­cal pro­po­si­ti­on that the alle­ged­ly “modern” post-war model of cities is actual­ly anti­qua­ted, and pro­found­ly dest­ruc­ti­ve of long-term sus­taina­bi­li­ty; and that real advan­ce­ment now lies in reco­gni­zing the evo­lu­tio­na­ry “collec­ti­ve intel­li­gence” embo­di­ed in the pat­terns of cen­tu­ries of urban dyna­mics and pat­terns of human expe­ri­ence.

But many ques­ti­ons remain in fil­ling out this “new urban agen­da.” What is the role of urban mor­pho­lo­gy? How does “gene­tic” infor­ma­ti­on (pat­terns, types, etc) trans­la­te into built struc­tures and envi­ron­ments? What are the ele­ments of the “ope­ra­ting sys­tem for growth” – e.g. codes, laws, models, stan­dards, incen­ti­ves etc. – and how must (can) they be chan­ged? How do glo­bal pat­terns express them­sel­ves in local form? What les­sons can we learn from local case stu­dies – par­ti­cu­lar­ly the les­sons of Euro­pean urba­nism, which for bet­ter or worse – has play­ed such a cen­tral role in shaping glo­bal sett­le­ment?

We will explo­re all the­se ques­ti­ons, with the aim of con­clu­ding on our own ver­si­on of a “new urban agen­da” – with con­cre­te next steps. What must we do? How can the CEU as an orga­niz­a­ti­on faci­li­ta­te the actions nee­ded?

Conference Venue:

Cen­ter for Metro­po­li­tan Stu­dies
Har­den­berg­stra­ße 16–18
1st floor, HBS 103
10623 Ber­lin

Conference Registration:

The­re is no cost, but regis­tra­ti­on is requi­red as space is strict­ly limi­ted.  Pla­se email a reser­va­ti­on request to: michael.mehaffy@nullgmail.com


Down­load the Con­fe­rence Pro­gram

Friday, 27 November: Keynotes and Opening

18:00 Wel­co­me
Aljoscha Hof­mann, DFG Fel­low, Cen­ter for Metro­po­li­tan Stu­dies, TU Ber­lin; Board Mem­ber, Coun­cil for Euro­pean Urba­nism and Direc­tor, CEU Ger­ma­ny.
18:15 Defi­ning the New Urban Agen­da for COP21 and Bey­ond
Micha­el Mehaffy, COP21 Participant/Presenter; Aca­de­mic Chair, Future of Pla­ces Forum (part­ners­hip of UN-Habi­tat, Pro­ject for Public Spaces and Ax:son John­son Foun­da­ti­on); Archi­tec­tu­re Facul­ty Mem­ber and Rese­ar­cher on cli­ma­te chan­ge and urban form, TU Delft; Board Mem­ber, Coun­cil for Euro­pean Urba­nism, and Chair, INTBAU Col­le­ge of Chap­ters.What is the “New Urban Agen­da” as the UN defi­nes it? What is the role of cities, and of tho­se who shape them? What are our core pre­mi­ses (theo­ries, prac­ti­ces, sup­po­si­ti­ons) for “good city form,” and how do we achie­ve it? Micha­el Mehaffy will give a brie­fing of cur­rent UN acti­vi­ties, the cur­rent needs, and the oppor­tu­ni­ty (and need) for the CEU to help to shape the agen­da.
The Role of the Archi­tect-Urba­nist: Toward a Hip­po­cra­tic Oath for the Built Envi­ron­ment
Joan­na Ali­ma­nes­tia­nu, Co-foun­der, CEU; Visi­t­ing Pro­fes­sor, Uni­ver­si­ty of Not­re Dame; Archi­tect and Urba­nist based in Brussels and New York.
Archi­tects and urba­nists are awa­ke­n­ing to a new level of respon­si­bi­li­ty for the built envi­ron­ment. The cur­rent sta­tus quo is incre­a­singly unten­ab­le, and we need a new dedi­ca­ti­on to rigo­rous pro­fes­sio­na­lism and “duty of care.” How do we (espe­cial­ly as Euro­pean urba­nists) meet LOCAL needs, with LOCAL respon­ses? We can start with our own “hip­po­cra­tic oath for the built envi­ron­ment.”
19:15 Panel Dis­cus­sion (with audi­ence)
20:00 End (Walk to din­ner near­by)

Saturday, 28 November: Symposium

Wha­te­ver Hap­pen­ed to Urba­nism?  The Grea­ter Ber­lin Sto­ry
Harald Boden­schatz, Pro­fes­sor, Tech­ni­cal Uni­ver­si­ty Ber­lin and Pre­si­dent, CEU Ger­ma­ny

What does Grea­ter Ber­lin teach us about “good city form,” and the dama­ging effects of chan­ges from auto­mo­bi­le-depen­dent deve­lo­p­ment? How has this begun to chan­ge urban form in pro­found ways – and how does the CEU pro­po­se to take up reform? Harald Boden­schatz dis­cus­ses Berlin’s examp­le, and the work at TU Ber­lin to address auto­mo­bi­le-domi­na­ted, func­tio­n­al­ly segre­ga­ted plan­ning.

Main Streets: Key to a Sus­tainab­le and Just Grea­ter Ber­lin?
Aljoscha Hof­mann, Direc­tor, CEU Ger­ma­ny
What has hap­pen­ed to main streets in the age of the auto­mo­bi­le? What role does their res­to­ra­ti­on need to play in the “New Urban Agen­da?” Aljoscha Hof­mann descri­bes the work at TU Ber­lin on this issue, and the les­sons from Ber­lin.
The Bun­des­platz: Model for Trans­forming an Auto­mo­bi­le-Depen­dent Main Street
Chris­ti­an von Oppen, TU Ber­lin, CEU Ger­ma­ny
What is necessa­ry to trans­form an auto­mo­bi­le-based area into a more mixed-mode, mixed-use urban form? What about an exis­ting den­se area like the Bun­des­platz? Chris­ti­an von Oppen pres­ents a case stu­dy.
10:00 Dia­lo­gue: Buil­ding the Post-Auto­mo­bi­le-Based City Regi­on
10:45 (Break)
11:00 Good City Form: For­mal, Infor­mal and Pic­tures­que
Peter Kel­low, UK-Fran­ce archi­tect, regu­lar aut­hor with Ame­ri­can Arts Quar­ter­ly, and mem­ber, RIBA, AWG, TAG, and INTBAU.
 Under­stan­ding the “Urban Geno­me” and its Gene­ra­ti­ve Effects
Hil­lel Scho­cken, Pro­fes­sor, Tel Aviv Uni­ver­si­ty and archi­tect; Co-foun­der, Move­ment for Israe­li Urba­nism
Retro­fit­ting Exis­ting Mor­pho­lo­gies: What Are The Oppor­tu­nities and Chal­len­ges?
Ales­san­dra Fidan­za, Archi­tect, Envi­ron­men­tal Advi­sor, Rese­ar­cher at TU Ber­lin
Dia­lo­gue: Urban Mor­pho­lo­gy in the New Urban Agen­da: From Glo­bal to Local (And Back)
12:45 (Break for lunch)
Chan­ging Urban Codes: Case Stu­dy in Trans­forming Modern Arab Cities
Dua­ne Phil­lips, DPZ-Euro­pe
Invol­ving the Public: Pla­ces for Peop­le, BY Peop­le
Arne Sødal,  Sødal Archi­tects, Oslo
14:30 Eco­no­mics Les­sons: Get­ting Good Pro­jects Built
Chris­ti­an Las­ser­re, Deve­lo­per, Brussels, Bel­gi­um
14:45 Dia­lo­gue: Toward an Agen­da for Reform
15:45 Break
16:00 The Revi­val of Euro­pean Urba­nism: How Far We’­ve Come, How Far We Still Have To Go
Liam O’Con­nor, Archi­tect-Urba­nist, UK
The Stock­holm Char­ter, The Oslo Decla­ra­ti­on and Bey­ond
Audun Engh, Board Mem­ber, CEU and Secreta­ry, INTBAU
16:30 Dia­lo­gue: Decla­ra­ti­on of a “CEU New Urban Agen­da”
17:30 END
 Wal­king tour through nort­hern Neu­kölln (city quar­ter with thri­ving night life) and finish with din­ner and/or drinks, with Aljoscha Hof­mann

Sunday, 29 November: Walking tours

NOTE: Wal­king tour 1 and 2 are 2.5‑hour tours ope­ra­ting simul­ta­ne­ous­ly. Wal­king tour 3 fol­lows as a 1.5‑hour tour and can be com­bi­ned with one of the other tours. Mee­ting pla­ces will be announ­ced at the con­fe­rence.

7:30 Train/Walking Tour:  Potsdam, with Joanna Alimanestianu

Pots­dam is a fasci­na­ting his­to­ri­cal city, inclu­ding new tra­di­tio­nal pro­jects, a his­to­ric Dut­ch neigh­bor­hood for craft­s­men who worked for the king buil­ding pala­ces, and a Rus­si­an vll­la­ge, built to plea­se a home­sick Rus­si­an princess who mar­ried a mem­ber of the roy­al fami­ly and lived at the remar­kab­le Sans Sou­ci Palace.  Schin­kel desi­gned a num­ber of excep­tio­nal struc­tures here.  (6.5 hours)

10:00 Walking tour 1: Mediaspree, with Aljoscha Hofmann

Media­spree is a new urban deve­lo­p­ment district with lar­ge deve­lo­p­ments of media com­pa­nies and other new pro­jects, fea­turing tra­di­tio­nal urban pat­terns with new Moder­nist archi­tec­tu­ral expres­si­ons. See e.g. https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mediaspree. (2.5 hours)

10:00 Walking tour 2: Construction in the core, from 1950 to the present, with Duane Phillips

A walk through the dif­fe­rent urban plan­ning pha­ses 1950s-today along whe­re the Wall used to be (Hal­le­sches Tor-Rit­ter­stras­se-Check­point Char­lie-Pots­da­mer Platz- Bran­den­burg Gate-Regie­rungs­vier­tel) with pho­tos of befo­re-and-now. Ending at a place whe­re they have excel­lent Apfel Stru­del! (2 hours)

12:30 Walking tour 3: The Historic Center of Berlin, with Harald Bodenschatz

Explo­re the his­to­ric core of Ber­lin, inclu­ding its dis­tinc­ti­ve block struc­tu­re and urban fab­ric.  Tour starts at Alex­an­der­platz and from the­re con­ti­nues along the new Ber­lin cast­le to the Fried­richs­wer­der district (1.5 hour)

14:00  Lunch, CEU Board Mee­ting (Open to all)
Loca­ti­on TBA

15:00  Depart (approx.)


Orga­ni­sing par­ti­ci­pants inclu­de:

Joan­na Ali­ma­nes­tia­nu, CEU co-foun­der and board mem­ber.  Joan­na has deve­lo­ped a draft “Hip­po­cra­tic Oath for Archi­tect-Urba­nists” and will dis­cuss the issu­es around reco­very of a human-cent­red local archi­tec­tu­re.

Harald Boden­schatz, CEU-Ger­ma­ny Pre­si­dent. Asso­cia­te Pro­fes­sor at the Cen­ter for Metro­po­li­tan Stu­dies.  Harald has been an acti­ve lea­der and par­ti­ci­pant wit­hin the Coun­cil for Euro­pean Urba­nism sin­ce its begin­ning.

Aljoscha Hof­mann, CEU-Ger­ma­ny Chair and CEU board mem­ber.  Aljoscha is a DFG-fel­low with the Inter­na­tio­nal Gra­dua­te Pro­gram (Ber­lin – New York – Toron­to) who is acti­ve in rese­arch on cur­rent Ber­lin plan­ning issu­es. He is co-foun­der of the urban deve­lo­p­ment initia­ti­ve Think Berl!n. Aljoscha Hof­mann has a strong inte­rest in con­tem­pora­ry as well as past deba­tes, chal­len­ges and chan­ces regar­ding Berlin’s urban deve­lo­p­ment. He’s gene­ral­ly fol­lowing the ques­ti­on: “Who does what for whom, and why?” loo­king at the poli­ti­cal, eco­no­mic, social and cul­tu­ral side of things. In order to under­stand Berlin’s deve­lo­p­ment he has also done rese­arch on other Ger­man and inter­na­tio­nal cities, like Ham­burg, Lon­don, New York and espe­cial­ly Syd­ney and Mel­bourne. His rese­arch focu­ses on urban rene­wal, gen­tri­fi­ca­ti­on, par­ti­ci­pa­ti­on, water­front as well as gene­ral brown­field site deve­lo­p­ments.

Audun Engh, CEU board mem­ber.  Audun was chief orga­ni­ser of the CEU con­fe­rence, „Cli­ma­te Chan­ge and Urban Design,” and he will report on the decla­ra­ti­on that emer­ged and the agen­da that it out­lines for fur­ther work, inclu­ding COP21.

Micha­el Mehaffy, CEU board mem­ber; chair, INTBAU Col­le­ge of Chap­ters, and exe­cu­ti­ve direc­tor, Sus­ta­sis Foun­da­ti­on.  Micha­el has been a par­ti­ci­pant in plan­ning Habi­tat III, the major 20-year UN con­fe­rence on urban issu­es who­se the­me will be „the New Urban Agen­da,” as Aca­de­mic Chair of the Future of Pla­ces Forum for the Ax:son John­son Foun­da­ti­on.  He is also sche­du­led to par­ti­ci­pa­te in COP21 and pre­sent doc­to­ral rese­arch on urban form and cli­ma­te chan­ge, first pre­sen­ted in the CEU Oslo con­fe­rence on „Cli­ma­te Chan­ge and Urban Design.”

Nearby hotels:

Novum Hotel Gates Ber­lin Char­lot­ten­burg
Kne­se­beck­stra­ße 8–9
10623 Ber­lin

Wynd­ham Ber­lin Excel­si­or
Har­den­berg­stra­ße 14
10623 Ber­lin

Savoy Hotel Ber­lin
Fasa­nen­stras­se 9
10623 Ber­lin

Alet­to Kudamm Hotel & Hos­tel
Har­den­berg­stras­se 21
10623 Ber­lin

Sir F.K. Savi­gny Hotel Ber­lin
Kant­stras­se 144
10623 Ber­lin

Hotel Am-Savi­gny­platz
Kant­stras­se 22
10623 Ber­lin

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