Spaces of Hope
Our societies are currently facing big environmental and social crises, most notably on climate, biodiversity, social trust and democracy. The need for action is urgent. However, state governments and big corporations should not have a monopoly in defining the rules for a sustainable society. On the contrary, local actions in the everyday environment and urban space play a significant role in the ongoing transformation, especially in making the changes socially acceptable and just. Built environment, thus, is an important platform for progressive future’s work.
The 26th edition of IFHP Urban Design and Planning Summer School invites students and young professionals, in all disciplines related to spatial design, to locally elaborate spaces of hope: to find alternative futures in place-based practices, local actors and their networks.
New Roles for Urban Planning and Design
The means of traditional forms of urban planning and design are relatively limited to respond to the systemic transition towards sustainable development. New construction, even when well-realised, is in rare cases the best way forward. Rather, it is important to keep existing buildings and urban spaces in use for as long as possible. In addition to meticulous preservation and technical retrofitting, we should also find new approaches; all structures should be seen with new eyes and regarded as possibilities to create social and spatial innovation.
In Summer 2022, we re-evaluate and explore new roles for architects, planners and other experts and envision new, even surprising agencies and coalitions. We ask questions like who has the right to design the city? How to engage local actors, also on grass-root level, to the design process and give them true agency in the transformation? How to use data, and make it meaningful? How to rethink urban change?
Unique Test Site in Hämeenlinna
IFHP Urban Planning and Design Summer School is based on an intensive workshop taking place in a Finnish case study city. This year, we collaborate with Hämeenlinna, a lakeside city in Southern Finland. The summer school assignment focuses on an attractive waterfront site between the railway station and the city centre. The site is a former island that has been occupied by a hospital since the 19th century. The first part of the hospital building, which has been extended several times, was designed by the famous architect C.L. Engel. As the health care services are now planned to be moved elsewhere, the future of the site, as well as of the buildings, is very open. The ideas of the IFHP Summer School, thus, will have a real impact in city’s planning.
Participants are invited to explore the theme Rethinking Urban Change. Starting as an individual task, the ideas are further developed as a group work to an urban planning and design solution. Thinking the on-going big transformations, any project is ought to achieve both social and ecological goals. Urban centrality and connectivity are important questions, as well as innovations in terms of function, space and culture. Student groups are encouraged to search for unique conceptual approaches and develop those towards a spatial design programme in a semi-realistic context.