Happy sketching in Rotterdam 2022

We are happy to announce the Sketchcity Studyweek in Rotterdam 2022

This year’s study week is again an Erasmus plus project and financed by the EU.

It will take place from 6.-10. June 2022 in Rotterdam. This is a presser cooker week with almost 150 Students from Switzerland. The students are joined by Dutch students from Rotterdam University. The lecturers are from Poland, the Netherlands, and Switzerland.

We care for the future liveable city and develop sustainable ideas by sketching our ideas. In the end, we will have a bunch of great ideas, derived from the bottom-up. So the real creative ressource we use are the brains of our students. We feed them first with the information about the needs of the city regarding climate change and social change. In these input lectures from specialists, the first done research by the students is deepened.

The focus topics are …

1 urban gardening I Urban gardening is the growing of food, i.e. lettuce, vegetables or berries, etc. in the city. Besides the harvest, there are other good aspects: the plants cool the hot city in summer through their evaporation. Everything that does not have to be transported because it can be grown locally on one’s own balcony does not pollute the climate. However, there are also disadvantages: Soils near roads are hazardous waste, because the heavy metals and rubber abrasion from tyres are polluting facts. Planting food on these soils would be highly critical because the poison would be consumed with the food.

2 urban green I Urban forest is the planting of trees or forest in the city to improve the climate. We know that trees in the city can absorb particulate matter, but also reduce the summer heat dome over cities by up to 2 degrees. Reducing heat is a major challenge in cities. Besides improving air quality, there are other positive aspects: Parks and forests serve for recreation and are wonderful playgrounds. Or they are places of interaction for the exchange of generations. Parks are also places where you can do sports. However, there are also disadvantages: The increasingly fierce winds lead to branch breakage. Wrong tree varieties may not withstand the new climate demands.

3 heritage&culture I Heritage&culture refers to the tangible and intangible cultural heritage. This begins with everyday customs and extends to museums and exhibitions. On the one hand, culture has the function of integrating the individual into time and thus gives him or her identity. But culture and cultural heritage are also important when thinking ahead, because the stability of the self-image is based on the past and can be further developed more naturally based on it. However, there are also disadvantages: Due to climate-induced migration – people migrate from regions that are too inhospitable to economically, socially and climatically better-off regions – so how do we deal with these new cultures and their historical backgrounds?

4 generation project I Generation project means the mixing of housing and living across age groups in general. Old people‘s homes are merged with kindergartens, because the old people have time to look after themselves or the children are happy about the attention of the older people. But new forms of living together are also being sought within the traditional flats and houses. For the single-family houses with the children who have left home can perhaps be used well by new tenants, patchwork families or lonely people, etc. Besides the housing situation, there are other good aspects: Often neighbourhoods were built in the same decade, and whole streets are therefore the same age. If the residents are of different ages, the use of the infrastructure is also different, because the granny doesn‘t have to chill in the park in the evening when the hipster likes to drink his beer there. The uses optimise the utilisation. However, there are also disadvantages: Generational conflicts are not solved. Noise and other rhythms of life can lead to tensions, especially if there is density stress in the cities.

5 urban, agglomeration & hinterland I The European countryside is completely urbanized. Freeway and suburban rail networks connect almost every small town to urban life. The boundaries between cities and the surrounding, formerly rural hinterland have dissolved, resulting in a daily stream of commuters. Urban life is characterized by the coexistence of different milieus, activities and uses in a narrow space. This forms the basis for diversity and friction. An urban way of life is characterized by its ability to make these diversities productive.  Agglomeration stands for the coexistence of old village centers, housing estates and single-family homes, industrial and commercial zones, shopping malls and highways, interrupted by open green spaces and forests. New trends enable new types of mixing: the home office promoted by Covid reduces commuting flows and enables more extensive settlement; New Urbanism postulates a „city of short distances“ with the greatest possible mixing of functions in the same locality; Urban Agriculture aims to shorten the distance between food production and consumption; Cohabitation refers, among other things, to the phenomenon of wild animals adapting to the urban environment and colonizing city centers;

Source: Urbane Qualitäten – Ein Handbuch am Beispiel der Metropolitanregion Zürich, ETH Zürich Research Collection 2016.

6 hands on art inventions I Hands on art inventions refers to citizens‘ initiatives that are formed in an uncomplicated way. For example, when a neighbourhood agrees via Facebook to turn a wasteland into a place for a summer barbecue. And such initiatives are often very pragmatic, cost-effective because they are uncomplicated. These bottom-up projects, i.e. ideas from the community directly, are increasingly welcomed by the cities. Besides the quick win, there are other good aspects: new ideas are realised unbureaucratically and may later become an integrated part of urban planning. However, there are also disadvantages: such projects often go hard to the limit of what is allowed.

7 urban water I Urban water refers to ponds, fountains, baths, etc. that are unused in cities or are newly created. Due to global warming, it is getting hotter and hotter in summer and it is increasingly important to be able to cool down. Because it will become the norm for the mercury to climb above the 36 degree mark even in mid-latitudes. Not everyone has a cooled flat at their disposal. Besides direct cooling, there are other good aspects: Water surfaces naturally produce evaporative cooling. Or rain catchment basins are temporary water reservoirs; in dry weather they are simple car parks or skate parks. However, there are also disadvantages: standing bodies of water are a biotope for mosquitoes and therefore it is important that water areas in cities are well maintained, which definitely requires fresh water.