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Zollverein 2018 > Urban Integration

Zollverein 2018. Urban Integration - From Walled City to Integrated City

Transforming City Regions III


International Symposium + Design Workshop 2018 I Zeche Zollverein I Essen I Germany I May 20th to May 26th
Call for Participants follows at the beginning of 2018

Worldwide, Metropolitan Regions are changing rapidly to absorb the urban growth expected over the next 20-30 years. While urban transformations in the global south will be dominated by irregular processes of urbanization, the formal regulatory frameworks operating in the global north must also be interrogated to ensure a more sustainable, just and vibrant urban future. Framed by the paradigm shift of the digital revolution, the anticipated impacts of climate uncertainty, and the aftermath of the post-industrial socio-economic regimes, time calls for innovative strategic responses. The complexity of these challenges requires an integrated and transdisciplinary approach that allows for diverse, inclusive and multi-scalar strategies. With an emphasis on urban integration, this symposium approaches the agglomeration of the Ruhr Region as a breeding ground for urban experimentation through the consideration of five principals:

From a spatial point of view, polycentric structures of urban agglomeration - like the Ruhr Area - are a promising model for sustainable urban and regional development. Rather than focusing on individual cities, polycentrality emphasizes the connectivity and synergy between urban centers, and the role of smaller units such as neighborhoods and urban quarters. It also requires innovative approaches in land management and land use. An integrated urban development, therefore, must develop strategies to strengthen the identity of - and connectivity between - cities, urban quarters and neighborhoods on different spatial and functional levels.

Multi-scale models
Uneven Growth simultaneously occurring at regional and neighborhood scales requires a new model for integrated design able to negotiate a multiplicity of nested scales. Multi-scalar systems are marked by locally divergent development speeds and perspectives within the same agglomeration. Multi-scale models, therefore, need to integrate diversity in spatial and functional dynamics and responsiveness to address the effects of growth and depopulation, centralization and peripherization, and a range of environmental, socio-political and economic dynamics, and break it down to the topic of settlement space management. A new multi-scale model requires innovative mechanisms to link legal frameworks, facilitate new forms of knowledge creation at every planning level, and promote exchange among all stakeholders. The discussion of best practice case studies will expand the knowledge base, and provide further insights for the development of new strategies.

The resilience of cities depends upon the flexibility and adaptive capacity of their strategic infrastructure and planning systems and their socio-ecological components. Key conditions are: redundancy, social cohesion, cultural diversity, and governance transparency and responsiveness. Until recently, the guiding principle of sustainable development has been to achieve stable ecological function. However, profound changes to the human, environmental and technical systems, and its functions, are affected now by heterogeneity, disturbance, and conditions of uncertainty - new parameters for the future institutions of civil society.

Diversity and Inclusion...
The phenomenon of migration is accelerating change and generating new social formations. In an increasingly complex urban realm, how can urban design processes, policies and regulations guiding development support integration? From the perspective of the individual and the formation of new community structures, designing inclusive mechanisms and novel institutions to enable the representation and participation of diverse publics. A starting point for new ideas and interventions is a local example - the 2017 "Modellquartier Integration" project in the Ruhr Area.

Digital culture
The rapid evolution of, and potential for, digital communications are evidence of the paradigm shift in the technology of the city. The ubiquity of data and the use of of intelligent and responsive systems points towards an urban environment that can both manage resources more efficiently, and react to, and learn from, disturbance. What would be the new mediums of representation for the civil society? Not least will be changes to patterns of living and working. What will be the spatial outcomes at the scales of urban design and architectural typology?


The International Symposium + Design Workshop 2018 will facilitate international cooperation among schools from Asia, Europe and North America. During the symposium, participants will share knowledge through paper presentations, and workshops will foster the development of interdisciplinary and multi-scalar design strategies. The design sessions will be supported through input from external consultants, and feedback from local stakeholders, communities and professionals.

Program Organizer:
Prof. Christa Reicher and international Partners of the Urban Research Network

Claudia Becker (Sekretariat STB)
Fon.: +49 (0)231 – 755 2241
Fax: +49 (0)231 – 755 4396