Resilient urban development …

Resilient urban development against the backdrop of large-scale transitions
Srei Sophon, Cambodia
This studio is linked to a larger collaborative project in which the Faculty of Architecture works together with several Cambodian Universities, research institutes and the city of Srei Sophon.
The project is coordinated by dr. Koen De Wandeler and dr. Caroline Newton

This studio will revolve around the challenges of rapid urbanisation and large scale transitions for secondary cities, especially in the Global South. 

More specifically we will look at the city of Srei Sophon in Cambodia. Srei Sophon is the capital and the largest city of Bantaey Manchey province, which is located in the northwest of Cambodia. The city is going through major changes at the moment due to development plans that are part of the national plans for infrastructure development and reconstruction as well as the regional infrastructure plan that reaches Thailand. the city has witnessed a serious growth over the last years, attracting new businesses and people. This growth can be attributed to several factors such as the good location of the city and its connectivity with other major cities in Cambodia and its close distance to Thailand. 

During the term we aim to:

understand the complexities of urban growth in the context of rapid change and transition.

recognise the challenges to deal with these complexities through (architectural, urban, service,…) design.

propose spatial strategies to deal with these major challenges

More specifically we will develop spatial strategies that:

create a more resilient and diverse urban (rural) landscape 

raise awareness of the potentiality of local resources and cyclic systems

optimise the production and use of local resources

allow the development of systems for locally produced (green) energy

promote production and distribution of local food

stimulate sharing and collaboration in the communities

enhance the rural urban relations

Starting as a collective the students are expected to contribute to the overall strategic design. In smaller groups or as individuals they will then focus on specific design interventions whereby they illustrate the impact of their intervention over time and in space. 

We will work on different scales, from that of the city to that of the ‘architectural object’. Masterplans will help to elaborate how resilient strategies and cyclic systems create urban form. Models and drawings are instruments to imagine future urban alternatives and possibilities, they are arguments that show opportunities and ways in which urbanites can activate them in order to realise their (sustainable) potential.

Read more on the studio here.

The exact output will be defined along the way. One group model on a workable scale will be build to allow a better understanding of the scale of the city. 

Every student is expected to post a number of contributions on a blog, in order to stimulate interaction and discussion with stakeholders and students in Cambodia. These contributions must provide an insight into the design and thought proces of the students.

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