Interview with Dr. Nikos Salingaros, professor of mathematics, urbanist and architectural theorist at the University of Texas, San Antonio by Michael Doyle, PhD, postdoctoral research (LEURE/EPFL | ATTP/TUWien). When Dario and I first extended the invitation to Nikos Salingaros, a professor of mathematics, urbanist and architectural theorist at the University of Texas, San Antonio, who has written extensively on architecture and urbanism, to give a keynote at the colloquium, we were specifically interested in his work on geometrical understandings of the relationships between people and the environment. Dr. ...

Urbanity, Scientific Inquiry and Architecture (A Conversation with Nikos Salingaros)

Agency/Agents of Urbanity

Researcher / Lecturer / Architect KTH School of Architecture Stockholm, Sweden Download PDF Abstract Various forms of material, empirical, or observation-based research has grown in importance over the last decade in both architecture and urban design research, in parallel to an increasingly data-driven research utilising an increasing amount and availability of GIS data, tracking technologies, GPS records, and ICT tools. Assemblage theory and Actor-Network Theory have grown strong in several fields, sometimes linked to ‘flat ontology’, as have empirically based fields such as space syntax and ...

Memory, Projection and Imagination: On challenges for observation and statistics based research1

Agency/Agents of Urbanity

In this Issue of Contour, we had the intention of addressing urbanity by approaching it from one of the most enduring preoccupations of research in human and social sciences—agency. Agency, expressing the capacity to act, is a key concept in understanding urbanity in its problematization of the relation between humans and non-human agents and material and immaterial constraints. Urbanity is an elusive quality of an urban place. It can be found in an Alpine town and yet be absent from a large American city. It is neither determined by building density, population density nor good design. Urbanity is a quality ...

Agency/Agents of Urbanity: Introduction and ToC

Agency/Agents of Urbanity

Author affiliation: University of Melbourne Melbourne, Australia Download PDF Abstract Cities are facing the challenges of climate change as they become more car-dependent and less compact. Tackling these challenges, transit-oriented development has become one of the key concepts of urban design in engaging with opportunities for transforming the car-dependent city. Such transformational change demands exploring capacities for future cities, which are geared to understanding the ways in which transit-oriented developments work at different scales within a city. The main challenge here is to understand how ...

Transit-Oriented Morphologies and Forms of Urban Life

Agency/Agents of Urbanity

Author affiliation: The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia Download PDF Abstract The emergence of urbanity is related to the ways in which urban informality, morphologies, activities, and temporality work in relation to sociality and spatiality. Informal settlements are predominantly self-organized and incrementally transformed out of the state control where the traditional approaches to urban theory and design practices have often failed to deal with the complex dynamism of such resilient forms of urbanism. The study aims to explore urban morphologies of informal settlements to unravel the ...

Urban Morphologies in Informal Settlements

Agency/Agents of Urbanity

Author affiliation: UMR - ESO / Université de Rennes, France Download PDF Abstract “Urbanity” has become a “fuzzy/unclear concept” (Bourdin, 2010) which is even polysemous in the discourses of researchers in urban studies. I have undertaken, in my PhD, a series of interviews with researchers in order to try to understand and to deconstruct the discourse about urbanity, aiming to surpass a classical and limited bibliographic approach. This series of interviews was held with geographers, urban sociologists, psychologists, architects and urban planners. Urban studies, today, require an ...

Urbanity: Looking into the Discourse of Researchers

Agency/Agents of Urbanity

Affiliation: Strasbourg School of Architecture - ENSAS Download PDF Abstract In the eighteenth century, Rousseau praised the beauty of the wild and untamed, and twentieth century environmental movements celebrated the healing effects of wilderness on the human soul. But while Romantics and later Environmentalists sought salvation away from the city - ‘into the wild’ - it is now the wild that is conquering the city again, becoming a sign of urban elegance and “coolness”. Improvised rather than planned, claimed rather than given, the contemporary urban open space seems to reverse the old antagonism that ...

Isar Plan: The Wild as the New Urban?

Agency/Agents of Urbanity

Author affiliation: Postdoctoral researcher, McGill Institute for the Study of Canada, McGill University, Canada Download PDF Impulse, an interactive installation at Place des Festivals, Quartier des Spectacles, Montreal. Lateral Office and CS Design in collaboration with EGP Group. Credit: Guillaume Ethier, 2015. The topic of agency in cities brings up a fundamental question that urban thinkers have been dealing with for a long time: To what extent does the physical form of the city influence the way people behave? How exactly, in other words, do urban forms [1] act in themselves as agents of urbanity? We ...

Connecting the Dots: How Digital Culture is Changing Urban Design

Agency/Agents of Urbanity