Delta cities: rethinking practices of the urban (deadline : 1er mars 2018)

Delta cities: rethinking practices of the urban

Co-organizers: International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS, Leiden), University of Social Sciences and Humanities Ho Chi Minh City (USSH HCM), and Engaging with Vietnam (EWV)

Deadline : 1er mars 2018

Website : Delta cities: rethinking practices of the urban

Abstract : Can water be the ‘ground’ for rethinking both the past and the future of urbanism? With climate change, water increasingly appears as a threat against which we must fortify ourselves through cement and resilience – in short through a culture of keeping dry, rather than soaking. Experts ranging from climate scientists to urbanists, policy makers and landscape architects are asking how to brace for rising waters and their effects upon our cities. More than two thirds of the worlds’ largest and highly populated cities are coastal delta cities, or are situated on estuaries vulnerable to rising sea levels. This In Situ Graduate School on Delta Cities proposes to move beyond the discourses of fortification and to shift the frames of the current debates about these cities. Currently these debates remain focused on either climate-change adaptation and resilience in a very myopic manner or elaborate engineering plans of reshaping the landscape. While landscape architects are exploring the possibilities for designing on soft land (Busquets and Correa 2005), entrepreneurs are going forward with perilous experiments of floating cities along the Polynesian coasts as an answer (Floating City Project by Seasteading Institute). Such a maritime-utopic-amphibious life threatens the fragile land and seascapes in the region. Apart from abetting the expansion of residential capitalism through the legal cover offered by special economic zones, these plans are about control and engineering landscapes rather than living with them. Moreover, much of this conversation is premised upon a bio-scientific understanding of urban ecologies, with little or at best negligent engagement with cultural knowledge about these spaces.


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