Archives

NEW ECOLOGIES
Soil, Water, Labour

What is the future of the manifold landscapes and territories across the world which support contemporary cities, such as Zurich, with water, food, human labour and other resources? How is human and non-human life in these environments affected by cities and by urbanisation? In our discipline, discussions on sustainability have remained focused on buildings and on cities, while these extended territories are equally exposed to rapid and far-reaching transformations with massive social and environmental implications. How can architects respond to these urgent changes? Can architecture become ecological, to go beyond-the-human and beyond-the-built, in order to engage with the environment as a whole?

NEW ECOLOGIES is a new studio series at the Architecture of Territory, dedicated to the practice of architecture for the post-anthropocentric era. Throughout the twentieth century, the anthropocentric and city-centric paradigms have locked architecture into binary thinking, which separated Man from Nature, Building from Landscape, and City and Countryside. Through the perspective of ecology, such unproductive divisions can be rethought to allow architectural discipline to broaden its agenda and take on new themes and approaches.

A crucial theme that has remained in the “blind field” of architecture is agriculture. With nearly half of the total land area on the planet currently dedicated to some form of agricultural production, agricultural landscapes might be the most urgent field of action to address the problematic of “sustainability”. Many types of agricultural practices have been linked to increasing risks for climate change, exhaustion of water and natural resources, depletion of soil fertility, as well as disadvantaging local population, and affecting quality of life. An awareness of the consequences of industrialisation of agriculture, including its addiction to fertilisers, pesticides and fossil fuels, has been growing. These issues stand at the core of the climate and biodiversity crises, and they call for new approaches in architecture too.

In this semester we will look at Zurich and its region beyond-the-built, concentrating on agriculture. The largest in Switzerland, the Metro Zurich is composed of the relatively compact city of Zurich and the densely built-up valleys extending along the Glattal and the Limmattal. The urban fabric extends further into vulnerable agricultural areas or the “quiet zones” of the Swiss Plateau and the Prealps, and further into “alpine fallow lands.” Despite its high metropolitan density, agricultural lands still dominate the region of Zurich: in the Canton of Zurich 41.9% of the total surface is dedicated to agriculture. Whereas in the vicinity of the City of Zurich the land is under extreme urban pressure and at risk of being built up, other more peripheral landscapes, such as the Zürcher Oberland, are confronted with a decrease in population and the loss of social and economic resources.

Architecture and agriculture in the region of Zurich will be thought together through three highly interconnected ecologies: soil, water and labour. A close look at these ecologies in the territory will take us from agriculture research facilities and experimental permaculture farms, to food distribution networks and spaces, sites of industrial animal farming, constructed water landscapes and facilities, and all the way to the seasonal migrant worker groups that support agriculture of Zurich. Above these issues hovers the urgent need for a radical overhaul of agricultural practices. Recently, across the public landscape of Zurich, environmental movements—Fridays for Future, Climate Strike, Extinction Rebellion, and other solidary pioneer groups and cooperatives — have gained momentum. These movements have helped raise awareness and promote pioneering practices and projects such as mixed farming, agroforestry or “bee highways”, that will change the landscape of Zurich in the future. During the semester we will engage with Zurich’s land pioneer culture. Through intensive field explorations we will get to know the protagonists and learn from them. The result will be an online collection of investigative reportages, meant to inform the ecological design practices in architecture, and the public of Zurich.

PROCESS AND RESULTS
The semester consists of investigative journeys in the field and studio sessions. Architecture of Territory values intellectual curiosity, commitment and team spirit. We are looking for avid travellers and team workers, motivated to make strong and independent contributions. Our approach enables students to work with a range of methods and sources pertaining to territory, including ethnographic fieldwork, interviews, reading exercises, large-scale drawing techniques, photography, video, model making, and publishing work in print and online. Several sessions will be dedicated to the tools: drawing software, GIS, photography, video editing, online CMS, and more. We will welcome guest experts and craft common agendas through debates. Students work in groups of two to three.

COLLABORATION
The studio series NEW ECOLOGIES is affiliated with Agriurbanisms research program at the Future Cities Laboratory in Zurich, due to commence in the fall of 2020. Cantonal and academic partners, experts, citizens and fellow designers will work with us in the process.

TRAVEL (Integrated Seminar Week)
Investigative journeys constitute the core of the project. On the first studio day, we will start our explorations by symbolically turning our backs to the city and venturing into agrarian landscape, which starts in the backyard of the ONA. Investigations will continue during the seminar week dedicated to experimental and pioneering agriculture. We will explore the field–by foot, by bike, by bus or by train–followed by individual days of investigation on the research topics and sites in the respective student teams. The seminar week will take place in the interval October 17–25, and it is integrated and mandatory. The cost frame is A.

CREDITS
The semester project offers the total of 19 credit points: The Design Studio with Integrated Discipline (Planning) 14+3 KP and the Seminar Week 2 KP.

IMAGE CREDITS
1. Arnold Odermatt, “Eine Strassenunterführung fürs Vieh”, 1964.
2. Poster for the initiative “Agrarlobby stoppen”, Bern, 2020.
3. Andri Pol, from the series Grüezi, 2007.

ALBANIA
PROJECT ON THE FUTURE OF THE COUNTRYSIDE
European Countryside

When it was first exhibited in 1972, Edi Hila’s Planting of Trees was praised by his colleagues in the Writers’ and Artists’ Union. However, the playful exuberance of the painting was too heterodox for the communist regime. A year later, Planting of Trees – initially conceived as a metaphor for planting a progressive future for Albania – was denounced for disregarding the principles of Socialist Realism and Albanian Socialism. Hila was sent to a labour camp for three years and Planting of Trees was condemned to be locked in a dark room for nearly half a century.


Edi Hila’s painting represents both Albania’s paranoid past and the exciting momentum of progressive socialism. Today we can appreciate it anew and use it as a lens through which to look at the Albanian countryside and its future. What is the meaning of Hila’s perspective on planting trees in the context of a contemporary European territory and society? What will be the future of Albanian, and of European countryside? And could we, through a project on that countryside, also address urgent challenges for Europe—inequality, migration and ecological crisis?

Albania is still one of the least explored countries in Europe, yet its idiosyncratic wilderness and its cultural past have much to tell. Albania’s recent history has been characterised by radical territorial and structural transformations. The country’s past is marked by almost forty-five years (1946-1990) of extreme isolation under the socialist dictator Enver Hoxha. Self-sufficiency, the building of socialist villages and the education of the rural society were at the centre of Hoxha’s programme. Since the end of communism in the early ‘90s, Albania has embarked on a delirious rush towards the open-market economy which has reversed the urban-rural relationships. Surprisingly, agriculture still remains its main economy.

Southwestern Albania portrays multiple transformations occurring today across the Albanian countryside. It is a slow territory, now exposed to fast paced change. It is a palimpsest, where industrial and self-sufficient agriculture co-exist, and mass coastal tourism and mountainous eco-tourism are both booming. Despite these currents, the future of Albania’s countryside and its villages remain open. Our investigation will set out from the following questions: What can we learn from Albania’s mountainous countryside? How do we envision its future? Can our project be both social and ecological? Can we design new ways of living and working in the countryside?

During the semester we will take an investigative journey to Albania. We will be working on and travelling through the slow countryside of Përmet’s mountains, the tidal villages of Zagoria, the agricultural heritage of Drino river valley, the UNESCO city of Gjirokastër, the olive and tangerine orchards of the Ionian coast. The aim of the journey is to explore this cultural landscape and to prepare the basis for our studio work in Zurich.

Throughout the course we will deploy a range of performative research and design methods, including investigative walks, cartography, photography, and model building. All of the study sites require individual handling, fresh insights and careful approaches, but each student’s work will form a crucial contribution to a common vision. Together we will rethink the role of architects for the European territory.

This studio is the fourth semester in the series of European Countryside carried out by Architecture of Territory. Each studio represents a collective project, where individual students work together towards building a vision for the countryside. This semester focused on the South Western region of Albania.

Final Exhibition on Miro

Studio Europe Platform

COLLABORATION

Albania—Project on the Future of the Countryside (2050) is part of a collaboration with the Albanian National Territorial Planning Agency and Polytechnic University of Tirana – Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism. Students from the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism in Tirana were supposed to work in parallel on selected sites, coming together for the seminar week in Albania and a common final review in Zurich. Due to the confinement imposed by the measures taken against COVID-19 pandemic, we have revisited our collaboration modalities and have established a very intensive online communication. This has facilitated establishing joint groups composed of both Swiss and Albanian students. Experts, citizens, decision makers, journalists, fellow researchers and designers have worked with us in this online research, design, teaching and learning process.

ARCHITECTURE OF TERRITORY
Professor Milica Topalović
ETH Zurich D-ARCH

Teaching Team
Prof. Milica Topalović
Gyler Mydyti
Jan Westerheide
Muriz Djurdjević
Charlotte Malterre-Barthes
Metaxia Markaki
Nazlı Tümerdem

FACULTY OF ARCHITECTURE AND URBANISM
Polytechnic University of Tirana

Teaching Team
Denada Veizaj
Gjergji Islami
Edmond Pergega
Adonel Myzyri

NATIONAL TERRITORIAL PLANNING AGENCY
of Albania

Adelina Greca
Mikel Tanini

CONTACT
aot@arch.ethz.ch

 

TOP IMAGE
Edi Hila, “Planting of Trees”, 1972, oil on canvas.

GIF IMAGES
1. Edi Hila, “Planting of Trees”, 1972, oil on canvas.
2.Edi Hila, “House on Green Background 1“, 2005, acrylic on canvas.
3. Edi Hila, “Under the Hot Sun“, 2005, oil on canvas.
4. Edi Hila, “End of the Day“, 2010, oil on canvas.
GENEVA UNBUILT (2/2)
IDEAS TAKE ROOT
Metropolitan Projects
„Stadtverwaldung statt Stadtverwaltung“ (Afforestation, not Administration) is the subtitle of Joseph Beuys artwork „7000 Eichen“, created for the documenta 7 in 1982, where seven thousand oak trees were planted in the city of Kassel as a symbolic act to initiate ‘a regeneration of society’. Any citizen could, through a donation, help plant an oak tree which would be accompanied by a block of basalt stone in the public space. The act of planting turned a regular citizen into a metaphorical gardener, who understands that role of nature is crucial for the health, creativity and prosperity of the city and society. Initially highly controversial, the project became part of Kassel’s public identity. Nowadays, the seven thousand oaks and their basalt stones can be seen as an inevitable reminder of the ecological responsibility we hold in shaping the urban realm. The stone can be seen as a symbol for the built environment—crystalline and permanent—and the oak tree a symbol of the living world—alive and dynamic. Thus, ‘the idea takes root’, in a retroactive reading of Beuys, of the inextricable links between the Built and the Unbuilt.

Can we rethink the future of the urban around the notions of the Built and the Unbuilt? How are they related in the present, and should their relationship be imagined differently? By rethinking the relationship between the Built and the Unbuilt, can we tackle the urgent challenges of the contemporary city, of urbanisation and ecological crisis?

Geneva is one of the most desirable cities in the world, yet its metropolitan territory is characterised by great inequalities. Extending across the border, the city-region has always been a union of perceived polar opposites—Swiss-French, protestant-catholic, international-local, urban-rural. At the same time, Geneva has been an extraordinary source of culture throughout its history, being home to some of Europe’s most avant-garde philosophers and finest arts and crafts. Since the mid-20th century however, increasing political and economic dominance of the city centre has led to an absorption of considerable population increase in the French periphery. Here, in the so-called ‘Other Geneva’, the sprawling and weakly regulated agglomeration continues to consume vital land and landscapes.

Architects are often confronted with questions on the future of the urban: ‘How should our cities look like in 2050?’; ‘How can they become sustainable and resilient?’; ‘How can they respond to the effects of climate change?’ Can we actually take these questions seriously and consider them beyond the usual answers, beyond empty phrases? In this semester project we invite you to test, together with us, the following hypothesis: The future of the urban can be rethought through the notions of the Built and the Unbuilt. These notions will serve as entry points through which we will study and rethink the built environment under ecological terms. As Joseph Beuys already made clear, the Built and the Unbuilt should be brought into a new balance. The act of cultivation of land is equal to the cultivation of society. The making of the territory is as much social and political, as it is an ecological project. This will be our starting point for a new metropolitan vision.

From historical garden cities and public housing projects in the heart of Geneva, through the protective green belts of the Cité Internationale and the Palais de Nations, and the metropolitan countrysides at the foot of Jura, up to the mountain park of Geneva’s ‘Hausberg’ Salève—we have selected a range of diverse, yet typical sites, representative for the entire metropolitan region. We will study systematically and thoroughly these diverse sites of Geneva’s metropolitan organism under the light of the Built and Unbuilt. We will deploy a range of performative methods, including investigative walkabouts, experimental cartography, pin-hole photography, riso printing and more. We will provoke the students to rethink their relationship with the future and, with visionary thinking in architecture and urbanism, beyond cliches. All of the sites need new ideas and careful approaches. Each student project will form a crucial contribution to a common vision for the whole metropolitan territory.

PROCESS AND RESULTS
The semester consists of an investigative journey and intensive studio sessions. Architecture of Territory values team spirit, intellectual curiosity and commitment: we are looking for avid travellers and team workers with high motivation and independent position. We will start the semester by immersing head-on into the methods of field research by performing a walkabout through Zürich, guided by Nazlı Tümerdem, followed by the first studio exhibition on the Built and the Unbuilt in the second week. We will welcome guest speakers and craft common agendas through debates. Each student group will write their own project brief and will receive our unreserved support in creating their project.

COLLABORATION
Geneva Unbuilt is part of a collaborative project ‘Greater Geneva and the Land. Property–Ecology–Identity’ being developed with University of Luxembourg Master in Architecture program led by professor Florian Hertweck, and Raumbureau A+U led by Rolf Jenni. The project unfolds in the framework of the ‘Greater Geneva Consultation’ coordinated and supported by Foundation Braillard. Selected experts, citizens, fellow designers will work with us in the process.

TRAVEL
An investigative journey constitutes the core of the project. Travelling through the territory, we will explore the Unbuilt of Geneva. We will traverse the field–by foot, by bike, by boat or by bus–followed by individual investigations of the project sites in the student teams. The trip will be concluded with a workshop session with guest tutors and experts. The field trip will take place from the 27th of September to the 2nd of October. The students are free to partake in any other seminar week of their choice. Scheduling conflicts with other classes on Monday, 30.09. will be handled individually. Students are asked to contribute to the expenses of the trip in the cost frame B.

CREDITS
The semester project offers the total of 17 credit points: The Design Studio 14KP and the Integrated Discipline Planning 3KP.

ASSOC PROF Milica Topalović
TEAM: Karoline Kostka, Metaxia Markaki,
Ferdinand Pappenheim, Jan Westerheide

MEETING ON INTRO DAY, 17.9.2019: Station Zürich Brunau, 10 am

CONTACT
aot@arch.ethz.ch

 
GENEVA UNBUILT (1/2)
GARDENING CITY AND LAND
Metropolitan Projects
“Is it possible to take without impoverishing, to consume without degrading, to produce without exhausting, to live without destroying? The practice of gardening responds to these questions, precisely by observing a precautionary strategy. At harvest time the gardener will not lift and consume the whole crop; he will be careful to put aside a portion destined to produce viable seed for future crops. He will never allow the soil to become exhausted, erosion to destroy his land, or water to be poisoned. Do actions exist at the global scale comparable to those that the gardener adopts in his garden? Can one transfer the vocabulary of the garden, usually associated with spaces that are restricted and enclosed, to a space seemingly immense and open?”

Gilles Clement, The Planetary Garden, 1997.

Can a city embrace the metaphor of a garden and the practice of gardening as ways to rethink its questionable imperative of “growth”? Can “urban growth“ be reimagined, its priorities reconsidered? Should a citizen be seen as consumer, or merely a dweller, or can he or she become a different kind of citizen, a gardener?

Geneva, one of the most desirable cities of the world, would like to reimagine its approach to growth. The established formula, which coupled „economic growth“ with horizontal urban expansion since decades, has now brought the city and its region on the verge of a crisis. Geneva has always been a cross-border entity: The polar opposites—Swiss–French, protestant–catholic, international–local, and urban–rural—have always described Geneva’s territory. But in recent years, the continuing “growth” has threatened to destabilise the cross-border balance. While the central Geneva has reveled its status as location of global finance and international institutions, the pressure of housing supporting these activities has been absorbed in the French countryside. Here, in the so-called “Other Geneva“ decades of haphazard construction have produced a sprawling urban agglomeration, in which heavy traffic, lack of public services and eroding landscape features have become a reality. It now appears that Geneva’s seemingly limitless “growth” has finally reached an impasse: the detriment of the periphery now threatens to weaken the centre. Looking across the region beyond the city centre of Geneva, we find agricultural land, resource landscapes and nature areas, all interspersed with patterns of former villages, infrastructures, and various urban destinations including housing. Could these seemingly chaotic landscapes of unrestricted “growth“—scenery we call sprawl, Zwischenstadt, Citta Diffusa, and even Junk City—become a departure point for a new metropolitan vision? To rethink the far-fetched imperative of “growth”, and to begin to imagine metropolitan territory beyond sprawl, we propose a reversed perspective. Instead of the Built, lets frame the Unbuilt. Instead of the City, lets focus on the Land. Instead of Growth, lets think of Cultivation. Instead of Building, lets concentrate on Gardening.

The cuvette genevois, framed by the lake and the mountains, is a historic landscape of boundless imaginaries of nature, of pastoral and sublime beauty, and of scenic pastimes. This is the Elyseum dreamt by Rousseau, and notre jardin championed by Voltaire. In this landscape, we see glimpses of many gardens—gardens of agricultural estates, like the Vineyards of Satigny and the vegetable patchwork of Bardonnex, gardens of social and intellectual utopias, as the collaborative Jardin de la Cocagne, and the pleasure gardens of idyllic retreats in the Vallon du Versoix. These and other gardens of metropolitan Geneva will be our project sites—all of them need new visions and careful approaches of designers-gardeners. A garden is also always a social landscape. Its form inherently holds the values of ecology, of identity, and of common good. An urban territory imagined as a garden is an ecological, social and political project. Cultivating land doubles as cultivating society. We will approach gardening as our ethos, and both the city and the land as gardens whose gifts sustain our life, both physical and philosophical. The urban dweller of the 21st century is a gardener.

PROCESS AND RESULTS
The semester consists of an investigative journey and intensive studio sessions. Architecture of Territory values team spirit, intellectual curiosity and commitment: we are looking for avid travellers and team workers with high motivation and independent position. Our approach enables students to work with a wide range of methods and sources pertaining to territory, including ethnographic explorations, reading and writing exercises, study of precedent projects, large-scale drawing techniques, model building, book making, and exhibiting. We will start the semester by learning from history and from selected projects, while practicing a few important skills: drawing, GIS, model making and photography. We will welcome guest lectures and shape common agendas through debates. Each student group will write their own project brief and will receive our unreserved support in creating their project.

COLLABORATION
Gardening City and Land—Geneva Unbuilt is part of a collaborative project “Greater Geneva and the Land. Property–Ecology–Identity” being developed with University of Luxembourg Master in Architecture program led by professor Florian Hertweck and Raumbureau A+U led by Rolf Jenni. The project unfolds in the framework of the “Greater Geneva Consultation” coordinated and supported by Foundation Braillard. Students in Zurich and Luxembourg will work in parallel on selected sites, coming together for the field trip and a common final review in Zurich. Selected experts, citizens, fellow designers, and other enlightened Gardeners will work with us in the process.

TRAVEL
An investigative journey constitutes the core of the project. Travelling through the territory, we will explore the gardens of Geneva, experiencing their complexity and beauty. Gardeners will guide us on curated walks through the city and the land, on boat trips and hikes. These will be followed by workshop sessions with guest tutors, experts and fellow students. Student teams will also have time for individual investigation of their project sites. The integrated seminar week will take place from the 16th to 23rd of March 2019. Cost frame B (500 CHF).

CREDITS
The semester project offers the total of 18 credit points: The Design Studio with Integrated Discipline (Planning) 13+3 KP and the Seminar Week 2 KP.

ASSOC PROF Milica Topalović
TEAM: Karoline Kostka, Metaxia Markaki,
Ferdinand Pappenheim, Jan Westerheide

CONTACT
aot@arch.ethz.ch
BEOGRAD UNBUILT (2/2)
PROJECT FOR PUBLIC LANDSCAPE
Metropolitan Projects
PROJECT FOR PUBLIC LANDSCAPE—BEOGRAD UNBUILT continues its focus on the urban body formed by Belgrade’s many green islands and large open spaces enclosed within the built fabric. Emerging over time in distinct geographic situations and from diverse historical circumstances, these sites have served as vital ecologies, productive lands, and symbolic public spaces of the metropolis. But today, owing to years of social-political turmoil, many of these public landscapes are found in a precarious state: some of them, deeply anchored in the collective memory, have become largely obsolete in the present; others, encumbered with private interest, are considered only placeholders for development to arrive.

The urban fabric of the city of Belgrade extends across three distinct ecologies—growing from the confluence of the Sava and the Danube, it spreads into the floodplains of the two rivers, and across the folded landscapes of the Šumadija Upland in the south and the Pannonian Plain in the north. Since the early nineteenth century, the city has gradually enclosed the once open lands along the rivers and at the city fringes, creating extremely rich and diverse urban landscapes.

They now include the old royal hunting grounds of Topćider and Košutnjak, which are encircled by luxury residences, the representational green spaces and forgotten memorial grounds of socialist-modernism, such as the Park of Friendship and Jajinci Memorial Park, and since the 1990s, the haphazard wastelands leftover in the fields of red-brick informal houses in Kaludjerica and Mirijevo. At the same time, the riverbanks of the Sava and the Danube have become frontiers of complex urbanity: riddled with leisure areas next to industrial wastelands, and with many risky constructions in wetlands and nature reserves.

Stabilised over a long historical period as essential urban “voids” within the evolving city fabric, these enclosed landscapes have become architectonic constructs themselves: in their form, we can now trace the paths and symbols of the city’s public rituals, its power geometries and its geographical necessities. Each of these landscapes represents a complex and specific urban form that intertwines ecology with leisure, power and memory.

With the most recent major paradigmatic passage from socialist to post-socialist era, like much of Belgrade’s built-up urban space, these islands in the city are once again changing profoundly. Having fallen victim to the post-socialist “memory wars”, a shrinking public sector and economic hardship, their uses and meanings in most cases now keep eroding together with their green bodies. Socio-spatial practices of the post-socialist city have yet to discover ways in which the many neglected destination points, monuments and fading landscape architectures, now hidden in the green, can be reinhabited in the present time.

This studio wants to propose that taken together, the unbuilt landscapes can constitute a major and necessary urban project for the city of Belgrade. Amidst often conflicted interests projected in urban space, an unbuilt landscape inherently holds the values of ecology, of specific identity, and of public good. These values are seen as the crucial common ground, which provides the basis for the metropolitan design. As an antidote to the city‘s ravenous development, we propose to rethink the meaning of the UNBUILT, and envision its contemporary form.

The core of the research and design studio will be the integrated seminar week trip to Belgrade. We will explore the city and conduct in-depth surveys on a range of public landscapes, in order to arrive at first project hypotheses. Throughout the semester, public events and reviews will be held in both Belgrade and Zurich. The studio will result in a common book of drawings, images, and physical models.

METROPOLITAN PROJECTS
PROJECT FOR PUBLIC SPACE–BEOGRAD UNBUILT is the second semester in the new series of Metropolitan Projects at the chair of Architecture of Territory. Each project will address a particular topic in two subsequent semesters, building up a common metropolitan vision by means of research and design. Students are invited to participate in a collective project that extends beyond academia and engages with actual themes and protagonists in the public sphere. After Belgrade and public landscape, our research in the coming semesters will continue in other European cities on themes concerning housing, urban resources, infrastructure and mobility, and more.

PROGRAM
The semester offers an intensive fieldwork and studio program, with an opportunity for 18 students to focus on metropolitan-scale research and design. The outcome will be urban and architectural interventions within the public realm of the city. Architecture of Territory’s approach enables students to work with a wide range of methods and sources pertaining to city and territory, including ethnographic research, literature, architectural and urban design precedents, urban theory, photography and visual art. We are looking for avid travellers and team workers with high motivation and independent positions.

COLLABORATION
The project will benefit from an academic exchange with the Department of Architecture and the Faculty of Forestry at the University of Belgrade. The collaborative exchange will take place in the form of design workshops during the field trip to Belgrade. The studio will also engage with a variety of local experts and institutions from Belgrade’s public life and build in-depth knowledge about the city. We will return to Belgrade for an exhibition and publication of the work in early 2019.

PROCESS AND RESULT
The semester consists of an investigative journey into the city of Belgrade, and intensive studio sessions with fellow students, the teaching team and guests. Students will work in groups of two. All projects will compose a common vision for the public landscape of Belgrade. Students are encouraged to experiment with a variety of representations and approaches to build a research narrative and conclude with a self-set brief in the first half of the semester. The second half will be dedicated to developing a design proposal for a specific site. The final work will be represented in the form of drawings, images and physical models recorded in a book. All projects will be made public on the Architecture of Territory website.

TRAVEL
An investigative journey constitutes the core of the project. Travelling through the territory, we will experience its complexity and beauty. Our journey will entail curated walks through the city,  boat trips and hikes, followed by workshop sessions with guest tutors, experts and fellow students. Student teams will have additional time for individual research and documenting their project sites. The integrated seminar week will take place from the 20th to 27th of October 2018. Cost frame B.

CREDITS
The semester project offers the total of 18 credit points: The Design Studio with Integrated Discipline (Planning) 13+3 KP and the Seminar Week 2 KP.

ASSOC PROF Milica Topalović
TEAM: Hans Hortig, Karoline Kostka, Metaxia Markaki, Ferdinand Pappenheim, Adrianne Wilson
BEOGRAD UNBUILT (1/2)
PROJECT FOR PUBLIC LANDSCAPE
Metropolitan Projects
PROJECT FOR PUBLIC LANDSCAPE—BEOGRAD UNBUILT will focus on the urban body formed by Belgrade’s many green islands and open spaces enclosed within the built fabric. Emerging in the city from diverse historical circumstances and geographical backgrounds, today many of these public landscapes remain in a precarious state: some are deeply anchored in the collective memory but have become largely obsolete in the present; others are encumbered with private interest, considered only placeholders for development to arrive.

Belgrade extends across three distinct ecologies. At the confluence of Sava and Danube, the floodplains of the two rivers meet the folded landscapes of the Sumadija Upland, and the vast Pannonian Plain. Since the early nineteenth century, the growing city has infringed upon once open lands. These include old public destinations in urban forests and nature areas such as Topcider and Avala, modernism’s representational green spaces such as the Park of Friendship, the forgotten WWII memorial grounds, and even haphazard wastelands leftover in the field of recent informal construction. Flanked by nature reserves and flood plains, the interrupted riverbanks along the Sava and Danube are riddled with recreational areas, leisure facilities and former industry.

Stabilised over long historical period as essential urban “voids” within the evolving city fabric, these enclosed landscapes have materialised the paths and symbols the city’s public rituals, its power geometries and its geographical necessities. Today, each of these landscapes represents a complex and specific urban form intertwining ecology with leisure, power and memory.

With the most recent major paradigmatic passage from socialist to post-socialist era, like much of Belgrade’s built-up urban space, these green islands in the city are once again changing profoundly. Having fallen victim to the post-socialist “memory wars“, shrinking public sector and economic hardship, their uses and meanings in most cases keep eroding together with their green bodies. Socio–spatial practices of the post-socialist city have yet to discover ways in which the many neglected destination points, monuments and fading landscape architectures, now hidden in the green, can be re-inhabited in the present time.

Together these public landscapes create a major and necessary urban project for the city of Belgrade. Amidst often conflicted political interests projected in urban space, the idea of public landscape can begin to serve as crucial common ground. In the light of the city’s ravenous development, both formal and informal, we propose to rethink once again the meaning of the UNBUILT, and envision its contemporary form.
The core of the research and design studio will be an integrated field trip to Belgrade during the seminar week. We will explore the city and conduct in-depth surveys on a range of public landscapes, in order to arrive at first project hypotheses for the selected sites. Public events and reviews will be held in both Belgrade and Zurich. The studio will result in a common book of drawings and images, and physical models.

METROPOLITAN PROJECTS
A Project for Public Landscape—Beograd Unbuilt is the first semester in the new series of metropolitan investigations and projects at the chair of Architecture of Territory starting in spring 2018. Each semester of this series will address a particular metropolitan theme or phenomenon, by means of design. After Belgrade and public landscape, we will work in different cities on projects concerning infrastructure and mobility, housing, urban resources and so on. Each studio represents a collective project, where individual students work together towards building a metropolitan vision.

PROGRAM
The semester offers an intensive fieldwork and studio program, with an opportunity for 18 students to focus on metropolitan-scale research and design. The outcome will be urban and architectural interventions within the public realm of the city. Architecture of Territory’s approach enables students to work with a wide range of methods and sources pertaining to city and territory, including ethnographic research, literature, architectural and urban design precedents, urban theory, photography and visual art. We are looking for avid travellers and team workers with high motivation and independent position.

COLLABORATION
The project will benefit from an academic exchange with the Department of Architecture and the Faculty of Forestry at the University of Belgrade. The collaborative exchange will take place in the form of design workshops during the field trip to Belgrade. The studio will also engage with a variety of local experts and institutions from Belgrade’s public life and build in-depth knowledge about the city. The collaboration will result in an exhibition and a publication in the end of 2018.

PROCESS AND RESULT
The semester consists of an investigative journey into the city of Belgrade, and intensive studio sessions with fellow students, the teaching team and guests. Students will work in groups of two. All projects will compose a common vision for the public landscape of Belgrade. Students are free to choose from a variety of representations and approaches to build a concise research narrative and conclude with a self-set brief in the first half of the semester. The second half will consist of developing a design proposal for a specific site. The final work will be represented in the form of drawings, images and physical models recorded in a book. All projects will be made public on Architecture of Territory website.

TRAVEL
An investigative journey constitutes the core of the project. Travelling through the territory, we will experience its complexity and beauty. Our journey will entail curated walks through the city, boat trips and hikes followed by workshop sessions with local tutors to reflect on our findings. Students will have additional time for individual research and documenting their project sites. The integrated seminar week will take place from 17th to 24th of March 2018. Cost frame B.

Assistant Prof — Milica Topalovic
Team — Hans Hortig, Karoline Kostka, Metaxia Markaki, Ferdinand Pappenheim, Thais de Roquemaurel
Program — Design Studio (13 ECTS), Integrated Seminar Week (2 ECTS)
and Integrated Discipline Planning (3 ECTS)
Places — 18 Students
Start — 20.02.18, 10 am, ONA Focushalle
Contact — aot@arch.ethz.ch
COMMUNES
Le Village Suisse Revisited
European Countryside (3)
For centuries the commune has been the archetype of Swiss existence*—the basic cell, the atom of its territory.

Still today, the commune (and the village) represent the basic spatial scale and order at which most traditional Swiss values are anchored (autonomy, neutrality, direct democracy, pragmatism, flair for order, etc). This miniature territorial universe is still readable in the map of Switzerland with remarkable, if gradually eroding clarity. But in the age globalisation, many small structures, including the commune and its village, seem to loose their importance, or change beyond recognition. Urbanisation and globalisation produce structures in the territory at much larger scales than the commune: in fact, often too large to be comprehended. This is a vague space of flows of resources, people and capital, whose dimensions span the entire planet. Precisely for this reason, in this semester we will consider the meaning of locality.

Of course, even in the time of globalisation, the power to bring about change in the territory lies not only in the hands of states, corporations and other big players; the “local” should have a role to play too. But, on the other hand, what does “local community” still mean, and what can it still produce? Can the ideas of communal life in general, and of the Swiss commune in particular, still have currency in the present time? Can projects of making things common, and of sharing resources and labor, still be articulated in meaningful ways? Could communal visions still have consequences, for social relations, for the built space, and for the organisation of territory?

In this semester, we will embrace the power of smallness—the scale of a place and of a community of people. Travelling to Lac Léman, from the lakeshores to the Jura and the Alps, we will find Swiss (and French) countryside in all of its typical forms—from the communal cell of the Mittelland, to the regular fabric of the river valleys, and to wooded alpine villages. We will study the histories and the present of these communes. We want to propose territorial and architectonic projects that take the crucial experiences of the traditional commune—social solidarity and common property—and harness them for the present and the future.

We want to design communes and villages as our “universes in miniature”—our miniature cities and urban neighborhoods. Not anymore generic and placeless urbanisation of the periphery, but vital places still based on a relation to the land.

MORE ON HOW AND WHY
The crisis of the commune and the village—their ongoing urban transformations—has been traceable in Switzerland and Europe for well over a century. Already in 1900, at the Exposition Universelle in Paris, an idealised replica of Le Village Suisse was built at the base of a Ferris wheel to entertain the modern visitor, placing the clichés of rural identity (chalets, mountains and waterfalls) at the leisure of the urban dweller. Today the process of urbanisation of the European countryside nears completion: “Agriculture does not necessarily need peasants“, observed John Berger in one of his books (Pig Earth, 1979). Industrialised agriculture is not dependent on villages to supply workforce and organise trade. One can look anywhere in Western Europe and find a remarkably low proportion of village inhabitants still working the land (around 10 percent or less). Most are oriented to cities for jobs, social services, and even food. While some villages are emptying out, others are swallowed in the periphery of metropolitan areas, or hollowed out by population change and modern spatial requirements for living, infrastructure and technology. Any traditional meaning of village and of countryside is obsolescent—countryside in general should be understood as another kind of “city.“

The Swiss commune and its urban transformation are certainly not entirely unique in Europe, and not too different from the French commune or the German Gemeinde. But its high autonomy and still high inertia to changes of all kinds make the Swiss commune a unique and fascinating case in the European frame. The form of the commune in Switzerland—the village surrounded by its land—crystalized around the XVIII century following a long historical process. This is the “universe in miniature” where all social relationships have been laid out in their basic forms—the form of land and the settlement, the organisation of production and trade, political habits, everyday life, the sense of belonging. In a uniquely Swiss experience, the power in society does not rest at the top in the hands of state, but is anchored at the lowest level of the commune. From there, it is delegated upward: the cantons and Swiss confederation are much looser structures—merely “meta-communes”. Here the locality, and the “local community” are, at least theoretically, the primary forms of society and of the physical territory.

The pressures of urbanisation and globalisation on these fine structures, and the fear they have raised in its many forms (of ongoing urban growth, of migrants, of European technocracy, and so on), have clarified an urgency to rethink once again the possible meaning of locality in the European territory.

These observations, and the exiting findings we made working on Lac Léman so far, made it clear for us, that centuries long experiences of social and territorial organising in the form of communes are once again compelling. According to Elinor Ostrom (who studied alpine communes among others), these experiences are far from anachronistic: more than 45 percent of the alpine territory is still owned by some kind of common property: by local villages, corporations or cooperatives. The commune embodies these traditions of collective or common property, and of a common pool resource management. The recovery of these experiences in our time is crucial for both the city and the countryside. We will pursue this goal by means of territorial and architectonic projects, in the concrete and paradigmatic landscapes of Switzerland.

* For inspiring work on the history of Swiss commune and territory see  Marcel Meili, Switzerland: An Urban Portrait, book 2.

SEMESTER PROGRAM
The semester consists of an investigative journey into the territory and intensive studio sessions with fellow students, the teaching team and guests. We value team spirit, intellectual and design curiosity and high commitment for the issues at hand. Architecture of Territory is looking for avid travellers and team workers with high motivation and independent position. Architecture of Territory’s approach enables students to work with a wide range of methods and sources pertaining to territory, including one-to-one ethnographic exploration of the territory, discussions of key texts and writing exercises, study of precedent projects, guest lectures, group debates, model building, large scale drawing techniques, book making, sessions on photography and visual art. We will start the semester by learning from history and from selected projects, while practicing a few important skills: drawing, model-making, photographing. We will then travel into the territory to find our motives and the ways of looking. Each student group will create their own project brief, and will receive our unreserved support in developing their project. We hope to have an intensive time and to be surprised by our discoveries.

Travel — Integrated Seminar Week from 18-26 March (Cost frame B)
Integrated Discipline — Planning (3 ECTS)

Assistant Prof — Milica Topalovic
Team — Hans Hortig, Karoline Kostka, Metaxia Markaki, Ferdinand Pappenheim, Thais de Roquemaurel
Program — Design Research Studio (13 ECTS), Integrated Seminar Week (2 ECTS) and Integrated Discipline Planning (3 ECTS)
Places — 18 Students
Start — 21.02.17, 10 am, ONA Fokushalle
Contact — markaki@arch.ethz.ch
COMMUNE BOURG-EN-LAVAUX
WORLD HERITAGE VINEYARDS
Nusaibah Khan and Moritz Köhler
The stone terraces of the Lavaux vineyards stretch about 30 km along the northern shores of Lac Léman, from the Château de Chillon to the eastern outskirts of Lausanne. They are an outstanding example of a centuries-long interaction between people and their environment, shaping a landscape of viticulture on some of the steepest slopes towards the lake. The protection of these exceptional vineyards dates back to 1977, and has since evolved into a world heritage site governed by a complicated layering of international and local protective laws. Amidst this „frozen“ landscape lies the commune of Bourg-en-Lavaux with its villages Cully, Epesses and Grandvaux. As an amalgamation of the formerly individual villages, this commune is caught in a struggle of rising urban pressure from the agglomerations of Lausanne and Vevey/Montreux and the imperative to protect the image and constitution of their land.

The production of wine here depends on intricate relations between the farmer (vigneron), winemaker (vinificateur) and the seller (négociant, often the commune itself), all sharing certain resources, collective infrastructure and a seasonally imported workforce from Portugal and other European countries. Apart from optimal growing conditions, the attractive view on the lake and the proximity to urban centers also create very desirable living quarters. Behind the historical core villages in the vineyards, new developments settled in the slope like balconies overlooking the lake and the Alpine scenery and providing exclusive housing for city commuters. Being also the main tourist attraction in the area, the protected landscape itself has become the base of all regional economy and a common resource to the inhabitants.

In some parts, these contradicting interests have led to an eroding of traditional social structures and a hollowing out of pre-existing village structures. We want to investigate the various pressures acting on the land, the changing demographics and how to define a common ground for both, commuters and farmers.



COMMUNE ABONDANCE
FORESTED MOUNTAIN TOPS
Bettina Baggestos and Lara Motschi
Tucked away behind the first row of mountains touching the lake, the valley of Abondance reveals a landscape of high Alpine pastures and forested mountain tops. The beauty and indeed abundance of grazing meadows not only gave the commune its name, it also describes a special breed of cattle and even the cheese produced here. The seasonality of the alpage has shaped the understanding of land as common resources (Allmende). The right to use the highlands according to ancient laws is still held by the farming cooperatives down in the valley. In this particular case, these practices created an architectural typology: The double farm is a shared winter building housing two families, their animals and winter supplies in a large, compact volume. In summer, the families move back up to their mountain huts to raise cattle and produce cheese.

Abondance is also the first entry point to the winter resort Portes du Soleil, which connects several surrounding valleys to one of Europe’s largest skiing destinations. The plateau of the Lac de Plagnes is especially well suited for nordic skiing and summer hikes, so it is no surprise that the tourist industry is the second most important source of income in the region. But the privileged location within a Unesco protected area, the Geopark Chablais, also comes with a lot of natural threats: town planning is determined by the risk of snow and rock avalanches and floods of the river Dranse.

Surrounding the 14th century Abbey, the historic village houses tourist facilities, an ice driving circuit a catholic, international boarding school, Sainte Croix des Neiges. In Abondance constellation of traditional farming, alpine tourism and cultural institutions we would like to investigate the productive commons and the alpage.








COMMUNE BARDONNEX
FROZEN LANDSCAPE OF CAMPAGNE GENEVOISE
Oliver Burch and Sarah Stieger
In the very south of the Canton of Geneva, the agricultural commune of Bardonnex and its three hamlets form the gate to the French commuter towns around St Julien. It is located within Geneva’s agricultural belt of Surface d’Assolement, 8400ha of protected crop-rotation area consisting of open land, intercalary artificial grassland, and arable grassland. The conception of this zone was given by a federal law in 1992 requiring each canton to reserve a certain percentage of land for self-sufficiency during times of crisis. More than just safeguarding Geneva’s food supplies, this belt of land has become crucial for the cities exceptional exclusivity and high quality of life: Very few other cities today have a small, compact footprint and a pristine cultural landscape in its surrounding.

In spite of preserving the landscape and resisting urban sprawl, this zone of Surface d’Assolement has become more of a burden for the commune of Bardonnex, which has a substantial reserve of communally owned land, but most of it within the protected zone. While the population is growing, further building development is gridlocked and the municipality struggles to provide enough services to its inhabitants for the simple lack of space. The current extension of the primary school, for example, has been set up without formal permission on a communal orchard only to be given temporary permit post factum, without plans for a permanent relocation.

The lack of space has caused the people to share their land inventively: The fields are cultivated following individual agreements among the farmers and not necessarily along property lines. The commune designates the use of its land seasonally according to special needs and local festivities. Civic services like the fire department and police are also shared with the neighboring commune of Plan Les Ouates.

Being one of the poorer villages without industries to generate high tax incomes, Bardonnex does not reach the critical limit to receive re-zoning permits from the Canton and to develop according to its needs. This raises the question of the power of the commune, which has lost all competence in planning and has no means to facilitate growth.




COMMUNE SAINT-GENIS-POUILLY
CERN AND L'AUTRE GENÈVE
Sarah Weber and Rebekka Neff
Bordering the Swiss frontier, the commune of Saint-Genis-Pouilly has become one of the most important towns on the outskirts of Geneva, absorbing the pressure of its expansion. Since real estate prices and rents here are still considerably more affordable than in Switzerland, the commune attracts a lot of international clientele commuting to Geneva. The resulting high growth rate has driven a scattered settlement, dissolving the historic market villages and giving way to copy-paste housing projects and other developments spread across the landscape. These are dormitory clusters and industrial quarters (techno parks), whose connection to Geneva still relies heavily upon individual transport, with a tram connection arriving only in 2020.

Saint-Genis-Pouilly is located within the area used by CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research. The main entrance to the primary CERN campus (Meyrin) and the ATLAS experiment are located only 3 km from the center of Saint-Genis-Pouilly. The presence of this research laboratory has largely been responsible for the development of the community since the middle of the 1960s. As a pan-European project and international institution, CERN’s foundation was a collaborative effort to form a common base of knowledge at the cutting edge of particle physics. It embodies a wish for peace after two world wars and fittingly, it’s laboratories even span across two nation states.

The development of this cosmopolitan suburb in the orbit of a Geneva, raises the question of the meaning of the commons. What are the possible meanings and articulations of the communal and the common in this context? How can a recent development of common knowledge production such as CERN be reflected back in the territory?
COMMUNE LE CHENIT
WATCHMAKING VALLÉE DE JOUX
Daniel Rea Kragskov, Bess Laaring and Tulsi Vadalia
On the high planes of the Jura, the ribbon development of Le Chenit spreads between the shores of Lac de Joux and the forest, framing a shallow valley. Deriving from a logging town in medieval times, this commune today boasts one Switzerland’s largest communal land reserves, with one-third of the total surface area being owned by the municipality. These 3340 ha are comprised of forest, open pastures and extensive shrublands. The rights to the land are regularly redistributed and shared among the local dairy farming and timber cooperatives. Le Chenit maintains this strong tradition of commoning in agriculture up until this day.

Due to the harsh climate the relative scarcity of arable land in the valley, farmers had to sustain themselves with multiple occupations. Originally a way of generating additional income, the craft of metalworking came to replace forestry and agriculture as the main economy in the valley. Constantly reinventing itself in times of recession, this craft developed from the manufacturing of simple metalwork and cutlery to an ever-refined expertise in clock and watchmaking. The Valle de Joux today is famous for the most established brands in luxury timepieces and has built a reputation reaching far beyond Swiss borders (such as Jaeger-LeCoultre, Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe etc.). Today the industry of fine mechanics attracts most of its workforce from the French parts of the Jura valleys across the border and from the Swiss cities of Yverdon and Lausanne, which lie within a 30min train ride.








COMMUNE AUBONNE
L'ARC LÉMANIQUE
Philipp Bosshardt and Anna Moroni
On the edge of the Jura foothill plateau, about 130 m above the surface of Lake Geneva, the commune of Aubonne is situated on the route from Lausanne to Geneva and enjoys an excellent overview of its surroundings and the Alps. This strategic position between the two major cities on the Lake and the construction of the Château d’Aubonne in the 11th century are responsible for the historical significance of this town, which held the right to yearly market fairs and was the capital of the district until the 15th century. Viticulture on the slopes of the Jura and intensive agriculture on the lower parts have shaped a landscape that today is considered one of the most desirable places to live in the Leman region. Its good public transport connections and low taxes have attracted a high proportion of wealthy residents and international corporations to settle among the vineyards.

Today regarded as the Gold Coast on the lake, the village of farmers and winegrowers has absorbed a lot of growth on its agricultural land since the 1960s. Row after row of large, one-family residences have been constructed on former vineyards, and large patches of wheat fields have been rezoned for industry and company headquarters. Several leisure facilities, a public bath and an arboretum along the river Aubonne further add to the appeal of living in the countryside. The commune also houses a regional college and an international School, the La Côte International School.

In this climate of an increasingly international society of commuters amidst an agricultural landscape, we would like to investigate the meaning of the commons. How do ground speculation and investment interest transform a space of a traditional practice like viticulture?



METROPOLITAN COUNTRYSIDE
Lac Léman
European Countryside (2)
European territory has become completely urbanised. The countrysides in the traditional sense have disappeared; the distinctions between the town and the country have been blurred. In contrast to the unambiguous urban transformations of cities, the processes of urban change in the countryside are massive, yet often unnoticed. Away from the public eye and professional scrutiny, these processes have created new urban identities and configurations in the formerly rural realm of Europe. The studio series European Countryside will explore the terra incognita of the countryside, and its radical mutations. The project aims to reinvent the contemporary countryside as a legitimate and critical subject of the discipline of architecture.

Lac Léman and its urbanised areas—extending from the lakesides into the Rhône valley and up the slopes of the Jura and Alps—will serve as the blueprint for the investigation of the Metropolitan Countryside. This is a territory where metropolitan life is embedded within the scenic landscapes of agricultural land and nature: the lake, vineyards and mountain slopes are not just a scenic urban backstage, but the key ingredients of the metropolis. The two poles of the “Léman City“, Geneva and Lausanne, define one of the most desirable international metropolises in the world. Its appeal to international institutions and businesses—and its high quality of life—can be directly attributed to the unique, countryside-like attributes of its urban landscape. Intrigued by this productive contradiction, Architecture of Territory initiates a two-semester project on Lac Léman. During the autumn of 2016, we will focus on the concept of Metropolitan Countryside, investigating the possibilities of bringing the countryside and the metropolis closer together: What are the benefits and potentials of agricultural land and nature for the contemporary metropolis? What are the new concepts of urban living, beyond “the city”, in the extended metropolitan setting?

The metropolis and the countryside are typically understood as relatively distinct and incompatible forms of territorial organization. But, there is also strong affinity between the two categories, and the case of Lac Léman offers surprising evidence for it. Here, the metropolis and the countryside have mixed together in unexpected ways: Lakeside vineyards have become the destinations of international elites; former villages overlooking the lake host global enterprises and headquarters; nature areas serve as metropolitan playgrounds, and, at higher altitudes, remote hamlets attached to transportation lines function as migrant worker neighbourhoods. The lake in the centre and the mountain peaks in the distance, form an inner and an outer urban horizon, and continue to supply boundless landscape imaginaries to the Léman City. At the same time, the presence of the Franco-Swiss border generates uneven development in the territory. The Lac Léman metropolitan region accounts for nearly one third of Switzerland’s cross-border workers, the frontaliers. The growing working population results in uneven patterns of urban living, usually expanding into agricultural land.

The urban networks encircling Lac Léman and the carefully staged, seemingly rural landscapes extending out from the lakeshores, can be experienced as “metropolitan countryside”: a seeming oxymoron, a unique and exciting situation. This is a new kind of territory, where urban living develops in the formerly rural land, through gradual transformation. The countryside-like qualities of low urban density, the presence of cultural landscapes and of nature areas, continues to supply value and identity to the Léman City.

In the panorama of European countrysides, the ambiguous case of Lac Léman will serve as a model for the study of the role of countryside for the 21st century metropolis. The semester will concentrate on researching and designing new patterns of urban living in the transnational Lac Léman setting. We will explore the potentials of cultural landscape, agriculture and nature as integral parts of a broad urban program—the key ingredients of the metropolis. Based on the Lac Léman case, we will describe metropolitan countryside as paradigmatic urban concept, a model for the European territory.

Students will work in groups of two. All projects will compose a common vision for Lac Léman. The work will be represented in the form of drawings, physical models and a book. All projects will be made public on Architecture of Territory website.

Investigative journey constitutes the core of the project. Travelling through the territory, we will experience its complexity and beauty. The field research will be organised in form of several group and individual excursions. The mandatory group trip will take place from 8-12 October 2016. Students who have obligatory courses on Monday, October 10, are required to organize their substitution or dispensation, in order to enrol. Additional 2-3 day individual trip to the research site will be required, and planned with the teaching team depending on the project task. Cost frame B.

The project will benefit from exchange with the EPFL Atelier Alps, led by Prof. Paola Vigàno and the Accademia di Architettura di Mendrisio, territorial studio conducted by Prof. Frédéric Bonnet. The collaborative exchange of the three schools is initiated and supported by the Geneva based Fondation Baillard, with the goal to explore potentials of densification of the Swiss territory. The collaboration will result in a common exhibition and a book in the end of 2017.

The project on Lac Léman will extend over two semesters, HS 2016 and FS 2017. The students are invited to join one of the two semesters.

Architecture of Territory is looking for avid travellers and team workers with high motivation and independent position.

Travel — Integrated Trip 8-12 October (Cost frame B)

Assistant Prof — Milica Topalovic
Team — Hans Hortig, Karoline Kostka, Metaxia Markaki, Ferdinand Pappenheim, Thais de Roquemaurel
Program — Design Research Studio and Integrated Discipline Planning
Places — 18 Students
Start — 20.09, 10 am, ONA
Contact — markaki@arch.ethz.ch
LAC LÉMAN
A UNIFYING FIGURE
Cyril Dériaz, Robin Gevisier and Vincent Lai Yee Foo
Extending along the coast of Lac Léman and from the lake up to the alpine slopes, the Léman City doesn’t have a single center. The lake is the dominant landscape element, defining an empty space in the middle of the metropolis. Until the early 19th century the strategic value and everyday use of the lake were foregrounded; historic paintings represent lake scenery with fisherman. Houses built along the lake didn’t face the water but rather the landscape behind, and urban quarters close to the lake (like Geneva and Ouchy) weren’t popular. The lake was understood in a more pragmatic manner, as fishing grounds and water source, rather than a picturesque landscape featured with an alpine background.

Representative promenades along the shore were only developed in the early 1830s, with the advent of tourism in the region. The beauty of the lake and its surroundings quickly became famous and attracted a growing amount of international travellers, and tourist facilities introduced new economic potentials in the region. Lac Léman came to be understood as the core element of the metropolitan culture and identity. Today, we can understand Lac Léman not as a void, but as a unifying figure engaging the cities and settlements around it — a mediating element between the natural environment and the metropolis.

Many historic illustrations, such as Plan et panorama des bords du Lac Léman, depict the complex relationship between the lake and the settlements and have helped create its recognizable and desirable image. But how can we represent the contemporary Léman City? Entering a boat to reverse the common view of the metropolitan region, we want to set sails and explore the Léman City as seen from the lake. The view over water will help us create an “elevation“, or a panorama of the metropolitan region. In this reversed perspective, we want to explore the urban panorama as a research and design instrument.

LAVAUX UNESCO VINEYARDS
EFFECTS OF HERITAGE STATUS
Tamino Kuny and Alexander Schmid
The Lavaux Vineyard Terraces, stretching for about 30 km along the south-facing northern shores of Lake Geneva from the Chateau de Chillon to the eastern outskirts of Lausanne in the Vaud region, cover the lower slopes of the mountainside between the villages and the lake. Although there is some evidence that vines were grown in the area in Roman times, the present vine terraces can be traced back to the 11th century, when Benedictine and Cistercian monasteries controlled the area. It is an outstanding example of a centuries-long interaction between people and their environment, developed to optimise local resources and profiting from the “triple sun” effect: the rays from the sky, the rays reflected from the lake and the nightly release of heat captured in the vineyards walls during the day.

The protection of these exceptional vineyards dates back to 1977. As a reaction to the creeping urbanization from the growing towns of Lausanne, Vevey and Montreux, several political campaigns were launched upon which the canton Vaud created a constitutional law to conserve the landscape and its historic economy of wine growing. After a long submission procedure, protection by the UNESCO was finally granted in 2007. Now the Lavaux is one of eleven listed cultural properties in Switzerland. The world heritage status also brought about a very strict set of regulations on the development in the area. The heritage site is defined by two zones: a highly protected, and basically frozen, core zone between the lake shore and the break in the slope towards the north, housing most of the vineyards and villages. This central area is shielded by a “buffer zone” comprised of vines, pastures and forest patches.

The pristine terraces of Lavaux are an international tourist destination, attracting many related functions in the surrounding area: prestigious tourism academies and hotel schools for example, are scattered along the northern hillsides of Lake Geneva. With the complete suppression of development in Lavaux, the demand for urban expansion seems to have created an unintentional backside, stretching from Lausanne along the Riviera to Montreux and Vevey.





RHONE DELTA
PRODUCTIVE URBAN GRID
Sven Fawer, Tobias Stich and Vincent Phoen
The agricultural plain and Rhone river delta is located between the slopes of the Massif du Chablais in the west and the Alpes Vaudoises on the east. This area is currently one of the most dynamic locations absorbing urban pressure from Lausanne and Montreux. The left bank of the plain belongs to Canton de Valais while the right side is part of Canton de Vaud, but both are part of the cross-border cooperation, the “Chablais region”. In terms of urban typology, the cross-section of the valley shows a similar structure along the entire stretch: a flat valley plain is covered with agriculture and scattered industry clusters, and flanked by hillsides with villages. The Rhone plain is an important agricultural cluster and is one of the most fertile soil patches one can find around the lake. Indeed, most of its surface is registered as Surface d’Assolement, and it is surveyed as a very productive zone on the soil suitability map of Switzerland.

Agriculture, here, is intensive, mechanized, linked to agro-industry, and organized within big farm units, mainly above 50 ha (as opposed to the upstream small crops patterns). Those lands mainly produce grain, potatoes, and vegetables. The plain houses an important industrial cluster (with chemistry, metallurgy, mechanics, biotechnology, oil refinery) but also a large number of agro-industries (meat processing, import-export, drinks fabrication, industrial cheese, etc)

In 2009 the most recent flooding event occurred. This event made it urgent and crucial to take actions and envision a correction of the Rhone river-bed. This correction, in project since 2009, will be the third of its kind. The valley, once an unpredictable, ever-changing and hostile swamp (as depicted on a map from the period of Napoleon’s Rule) became dry and started to be inhabited, intensely cultivated and industrialized. The natural movements of the Rhone and the previous correction projects induced major changes in the land use and the landscape of the valley. It is to be expected that the third correction project might be decisive for the future of the valley. This is an opportunity to rethink and work-out the negotiation line between the forces of urban expansion, agriculture and water management, in a way that they do not oppose but coproduce the urban territory.
EVIAN WATER PLATEAU
STRATEGIC WATER LANDSCAPE
Elena Pibernik and Selina Strich
The area between Evian-Les-Bains and the Alps holds one of the most strategic resources of the region. Here the springs of Evian – potentially the most branded water worldwide – create a landscape of extreme value, as well as a tourist attraction.

Due to the water resource Evian-Les-Bains has been one of the most recognizable historic destinations on the shores of the lake, a high-market holiday resort – and spa-town. Since the 19th century, the interest for Salus per Aquam (health through water) generated the “spa-cities” and the Evian mineral sources very soon attracted numerous hotels and spa centers. The Belle-Époque, the golden age of hydrotherapy, brought about the area an intellectual and aristocratic clientele promoted by the construction of the port and railway station. In the beginning of 20th century, the hills and the lakeshore were already covered with noble houses, luxurious villas, expensive hotels, a theatre and a casino on the lakeside.

Today Evian is one of the major brands of bottled Natural Mineral Water (NMW) originating from preserved areas in France and owned by the global French enterprise Danone. Landscapes around Evian have acquired strategic value and have consequently been preserved to protect the water quality. Overlooking the lake Léman and the town of Évian, Plateau de Gavot (35 km2) is the surface of collection and the heart of the Évian mineral water impluvium: the place where the water infiltrates the soil. On the plateau, rainwater and snowmelt collected from the Alps are slowly filtered and purified via the multiple geological strata, starting a process that fifteen years later will result to the natural mineral water that comes out of the Evian springs few miles away, to be bottled under the brand name Évian. The Gavot Plateau wetlands were classified “protected zones” in 2008, within the framework of the international Ramsar Convention. The site’s protection is of environmental as well as economic importance because protecting the Gavot contributes to preserving the aquifer exploited by Evian Mineral Waters Ltd. and its right to use the “Natural Mineral Water” label, with is given out under strict regulations by the French government
Agriculture, being the main economic activity in the impluvium area, developed in this set-up a crucial role for the protection of the water resource. A specific regime of rules of agricultural cultivation, initiated by the Evian Mineral Waters Ltd., has been established in order to protect the watershed from the intrusion of pollutants. The aim is to protect the agricultural land of the plateau from development and intensification of the production while maintaining biodiversity.

GENEVA CAMPAGNE RIVE GAUCHE
AGRI (GARDEN) CITY
Joshua Andres and Tobias Häusermann
La Rive Gauche, or ”the left shore” presents a specific situation we call Agri-Garden City. La Rive Gauche is Geneva’s wealthy suburbs where luxury residences and business facilities are found in a surprising and exceptional context of intensive cropland. The area, located in the vicinity to Geneva’s center, is also marked by multiple borders: national border France — Switzerland, cantonal border Geneva — Haute-Savoie and the border of Geneva’s agriculture free trade zone. Therefore it concentrates economic and cultural activities of an urban center next to peripheral locations and activates. In 2015 the Federal Statistical Office estimated 500.000 daily border crossings along the franco-swiss border.

The quality of its landscape environment and the desirable climate for international businesses made Geneva a sought-after place of residence, generating city growth since 1940. Given its comparably small size, the canton has repeatedly chosen not to be burdened with a hinterland, but rather concentrates most of its urban functions in close vicinity to the city center, on Swiss ground. Already in 1952, the cantonal government protected its peripheral farmland and restricted building activities, thus enhancing densification of the existing urban fabric and pressure on the available building land. Consequently, Geneva’s urban center today is surrounded by a wide green belt, mainly composed of the protected agricultural land, the “Zone Agricole”. Situated in this belt, la Rive Gauche still accommodates large rotation crops, cultivated by contract farmers, who lease plots from a few big regional landowners and companies.

In 1992, 40 years after the inauguration of the cantonal protection law, the federal spatial planning unit (ARE) introduced a Swiss-wide quota, requiring each canton to protect suitable land for crop rotation (Surfaces d’assolement Agricole, SDA). Accordingly, almost all of Geneva’s agricultural land was ‘frozen’ for urban development. In France, agricultural land is not subject to specific safeguard measures, but rather considered as a land reserve. This difference between the two countries, coupled with the growing number of frontier workers, has resulted in the growth of French bordering towns, creating an expansionary urban fringe which surrounds the frozen agricultural landscape of Geneva. This is a unique setting in which the absence of residential density on Swiss territory counters the actual demand. Afforded by the geographic proximity and financial opportunities of working and dwelling in the cross-border situation, the urban pressure is released across the border to the French Haute-Savoie. Geneva’s conurbation has gradually changed scale, encompassing the neighboring French municipalities. The result is an unlikely situation in which agriculture fields, occupy the most desirable land of Léman City.
PLAINE DE L’AIRE ST. JULIEN
CROSS-BORDER COUNTRYSIDE
Sara Graf, Francesco Lupia and Urban Steiner
As part of the metropolitan region of Geneva, the cross-border territory of the Plaine de l’Aire-Saint Julien is highly urbanized but still hosts a huge variety of agricultural lands, from extensive greenhouses to large-scale crop production (maraichage). Less then 10 kilometers away from the city center, the undulating landscape around the French border town of Saint Julien is shaped by the Aire river and its many side arms. As a directly connected zone of expansion of the city, the area saw extensive population growth during the last decades and in the context of Geneva’s dwelling crisis, it is considered one of its main battlefield.
Today, more than 40% of Saint Julien’s inhabitants commute to Geneva for work and a new cross-border tram connection to the city center is in planning. Inversely, on the French side, large-scale leisure enterprises (including a large scale disco, a water theme park and a casino) developed and attracted equally Swiss as well as French customers.

Although heavily influenced by the commuting behavior of its residents, territories around Saint Julien, both on the French and the Swiss side of the border are mainly dominated by agriculture.
In spite of this common characteristic—the huge increase of population next to highly productive agricultural land—, the Plaine de l’Aire has been shaped by very uneven development. On the Swiss side, the agricultural land has been protected as necessary nourishment reserve. Since 1972 the federal law on the protection of crop rotation required the canton of Geneva to protect agricultural land and secure food supplies. Thanks to this measure, Geneva developed a dense urban center with a wide agricultural green belt.
On the French side, agricultural land remains unprotected and is rather considered as building reserves. But also the land around Saint Julien received considerable attention through the introduction of a free trade zone, mainly serving for the exchange of agricultural products. Hundreds of farmers export their production to Geneva without paying taxes and even Swiss farmers own and cultivate more than 1000 hectares of land on the French side. Totally, around 70% of the agricultural production of the free zone is imported to Geneva.
CERN
KNOWLEDGE COUNTRYSIDE
Natascha Sarah Kellner and Jeanne-Marie Léchot
At the west side of Lac Léman, only a few minutes from Geneva Airport and city-center one finds a highly surprising urban situation—the agricultural periphery of west Geneva discreetly hosts one of the largest scientific research centers in the world. Cern, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, was established in 1954, at the northwest of Geneva on the Franco-Swiss border. It operates the largest particle physics laboratory in the world, with the participation of 22 member states and with approximately 16’500 employees. Cern can be understood as the key testimony to the unexpected culture of innovation in this region. At 175 m below ground level lays the Large Hadron Collider(LHC) —the most complex experimental facility ever built, and the largest single machine in the world. It was built between 1998 and 2008 in collaboration with over 10,000 scientists and engineers from over 100 countries, as well as hundreds of universities and laboratories. It lies in a tunnel of 27 kilometers in circumference, crossing the national borders of France and Switzerland, creating a giant underground footprint that frames the agricultural land above.

Being the largest employer of global scientific talent, Cern brings to the area a specific demography of highly skilled scientists. In parallel, Cern has also attracted into the area scientific research in related disciplines, as digital technologies, medical research, genetics, pharmaceutics etc. As a result, the entire Lac Léman region stands-out as a landscape of knowledge and a global center of scientific activity, comparable to the Silicon Valley.

The countryside-like quality of the area does serve as the attraction for the international scientific elites. The landscape surrounding of Cern can be described in terms of rural or post-rural imaginary of living and leisure in the countryside: one encounters horse ranges, bio-farms, fruit markets, golf-courses, cycling paths in the fields and so on.
Of course, this tendency also generates conflicts as the pressure to construct new housing continues to increase. At the same time, the growing need for low-income housing contributes to the pressure: lower-skilled workers are generally priced out from the expensive Swiss side. As a result, real-estate construction activity is mainly manifested in the French territory, generating peculiar patterns on the agricultural land.
LA CÔTE
TAX HAVEN COUNTRYSIDE
Alessandro Accardo and Martin Arthur Ineichen
With a total expanse of 1.900 ha, la Côte stretches along Lac Léman’s north shore from Nyon to Lausanne. The region south of Jura is typically referred to as l’arc and branded as the local ‘gold coast’. Located around 100 m above the lake water level, the landscape faces Mount Blanc and the Alpine panorama. Set half way between Geneva and Lausanne, the sloping area is inevitably influenced by the main poles of the Léman City.

Until the 20th century, la Côte mainly consisted of farming villages. Vineyards along the coastal slopes and large-scale wheat fields in the plateaus characterized the area.
In recent decades, an increasingly international society inhabits the former rural structures often trying to sustain the ‘originality’ of the apparent bucolic set up. The illusion of an intact cultivated landscape emerges. The former family-based agricultural land has become an urban live-and-work zone set amidst the vineyards, apple and cherry orchards, and decorative flower fields. It is maintained by international migrant workforce, often arriving during the harvest season from southern parts of the EU. The vineyards along ‘La Rue Vinoble’, a 50 km long path, passing the villages of Vinzel, Féchy and Bursins, play an especially important role for the identity and marketing of the region: This prestigious, low-density area includes a broad urban mix of residential developments, international organisations and schools, business and corporate headquarters, luxurious estates and leisure facilities. Programs, previously assigned to the city, are now spread in the territory in a collage with rural relicts.

The exceptional quality of life, the multitude of work opportunities and low taxes attract a high proportion of wealthy residents and international professionals. Since the early 2000’s the Canton of Vaud has actively pursued policies that cater to international investment. Among them are the introductions of ‘strategic priority development sites and tax benefits for companies with profits primarily generated abroad’ (“special-status companies”). Many companies have since relocated to the region and tax revenues on profits have gone up. In 2014, approximately one-third of the 100 best start-ups in Switzerland were located in Vaud.
ARCADIA
Peloponnese
European Countryside
European territory has become completely urbanized. The countrysides in the traditional sense have disappeared; the distinctions between the town and the country have been blurred. In contrast to the unambiguous urban transformations of cities, the processes of urban change in the countryside are massive, yet often unnoticed. Away from the public eye and professional scrutiny, these processes have created new urban identities and configurations in the formerly rural realm of Europe. The studio series European Countryside will explore the terra incognita of the countryside, and its radical mutations. The project aims to reinvent contemporary countrysides as legitimate and critical subject of architecture profession.

Starting in spring 2016, the studio will select several countryside case studies from the European typological panorama. Through these studies, a definition of contemporary countryside will be researched, and its potentials discovered and represented. These insights will form the basis for projects on the countryside.

The mythical Arcadia and the landscapes of Peloponnese in Greece are the birthplace of European territory and a source of European culture. They will serve as the threshold for the investigation into the character and urban potentials of European territories beyond the city.

Arcadia is one of the most enduring utopias of the western mind. As an imaginary locus and a pictorial style, Arcadia originated in the pastoral scenery of Roman poets Ovid and Virgil, from where it spread throughout western painting and literature. The imaginary realm of Arcadia, where human beings, animals, and plants harmoniously coexist, remains one of the most powerful idyllic constructions of the countryside.

By contrast, the actual region of Arcadia is located on the mountainous core of Peloponnese, the largest peninsula in Greece. These are the oldest inhabited territories in Europe and sources of European culture: sites of classical ruins, such as Epidaurus and ancient Olympia, still punctuate the landscape, and stone villages are scattered on the mountaintops. The entire Peloponnese is a quiet territory, seemingly unaffected by the metropolitan growth of Athens, and the gradual proliferation of new infrastructures and industries in the formerly rural landscape. The region’s low population density, remoteness, and low accessibility are surprising and can be can be understood as possessing a powerful potential in the European context: Arcadia and Peloponnese resist urbanization, and remain an important interruption in the dense urban fabric of the continent. But this countryside is also much more than the imaginary of the pastoral ideal: cultural heritage sites, nature areas, agriculture, energy landscapes, and tourism have interacted here to produce radical urban transformations and new forms of living and production. Our investigation will concentrate on the character and potentials of the Arcadian countryside, seen as an important and typical case in the European panorama of countrysides.

The project is organized as an east-west section through the territory of Peloponnese, running from coast to coast — from Epidaurus to Olympia, through the mountains of Arcadia. Learning from the myths and the direct experience of the landscape, the studio will investigate, discover, promote and design new typologies of Arcadian countryside.

Travel — Integrated Seminar Week (cost frame C)
11.03.16 (evening) – 20.03.16 in Greece

Assistant Prof — Milica Topalovic
Team — Hans Hortig, Karoline Kostka, Fabian Kiepenheuer, Metaxia Markaki, Lukas Wolfensberger
Program — Design Research Studio and Integrated Discipline Planning
Places — 18 Students
Start — 23.02, 10 am, ONA
Contact — markaki@arch.ethz.ch
ARCADIAN VILLAGES
MOUNTAINOUS COUNTRYSIDE
Meike Stender and Akito Yoshinaka
The villages of Arcadia punctuate the slopes of Mainalon, Parnonas and Lykaion Oros mountains. With their compact built structure and defined limits, each village constitutes an identifiable entity in the Arcadian landscape. Located at high altitudes, between 600 and 1200 meters, and surrounded by wilderness, these villages have acquired a special place in Greek political history. During the antiquity, the inaccessible heights of Arcadia triggered imagination and various mythic associations developed around it: Arcadia is the battlefield of Gigantomachy, the birthplace of Zeus, and the homeland of Pan and the Nymphs.

Up to the modern era, the region has never been a unified political entity, but was rather marked by the coexistence of independent city-states. After the fall of the Roman Empire, Arcadia became part of the Greek-speaking Byzantine Empire (the Despotate of the Morea), still perceived as an intact and secluded region. Its inhabitants became proverbial herdsmen symbolizing both pastoral lack of sophistication, and the gift of simplicity and living in bliss. The imaginary of idyllic paradise travelled to the west through the works of literature, most notably in the visions of a pastoral utopia of Virgil’s Eclogues (42 BC) and later in Jacopo Sannazaro’s Arcadia (1504). During the four hundred years under Ottoman Empire, the remote Arcadian mountains served as hideout where some measure of Greek self-government was preserved, eventually producing the revolutionary generation that won the Greek national independence in 1821.

Since the 1950s, Arcadian villages experienced extreme depopulation as a result of intense urban-rural migration in the postwar Greece. Today, Arcadian villages compose a heterogeneous constellation. One finds touristic villages such as the Mainalon ski resort, with luxurious pensions in renovated stone houses; abandoned villages that exist only as transit points on hiking paths (Arkoudoremma (0 inh.) and Limpovici (0 inh.)), and seasonal villages active only a few days each month, when they host weekend visitors or holiday goers. (Examples are Stemnitsa, which went to 191 inh. in 2011 from 411 inh. in 2001, and Dimitsana with 342 inh. in 2011, shrinking from 611 inh. in 2001—the figure equal the half of its population before the WWII.) At middle-heights bellow 600 meters, agricultural hamlets lacking views and other natural attractions of the peaks have also shrunk. (Examples are Kapelitsa with 30 inh. and Zatouna with 13 inh.) In the lower heights, wealthy agricultural villages are still growing. (Tropaia counted 506 inh. in 2011 compared to 674 inh. in 2001.)

With their history of remoteness and utopian imaginaries, the Arcadian villages today face several challenges radically altering their character. Still considered a remote part of Greece, Arcadia remains an unfortunate object of persisting idyllic mythologies, often misinterpreted as area of intact nature and source of all Greek traditions. This understanding contributes to the further decline of the villages.

The project on Arcadian villages focused on the Arcadian municipality of Gortynia, in which the various transformations have been framed and observed: the challenges of depopulation and the declining village economies; the reinvention of villages as touristic destinations; the lack of infrastructures, and the need for future plans. The project demystifies the stereotype of Arcadia as pastoral idyll and tries to reconstitute a contemporary image of Arcadia under urban transformation. These insights have formed the basis for a territorial strategy for the Arcadian countryside.
OLIVE VALLEY
SLOW AGRICULTURE
Lorenzo Autieri and Patrick Meyer
Despite great variety of agriculture in Peloponnese, two types of fruit cultivation dominate the landscape: oranges in Argos and Lakonia, and olives in Ilia and Messina. Tied to altitude and soil quality, the areas of specific cultivation (olive, orange, wine, etc) are clearly delineated in the landscape.

The word agriculture shares root with Greek “agrios”, meaning “wild”. A degree of unruliness is still part of agricultural production in Greece and in Peloponnese, due to small field sizes and small-scale individual producers, who often operate without formal land title. Compared to elsewhere in Europe the size of agricultural properties in Greece is exceedingly small: 4.4 hectares in average, being even smaller in Peloponnese. In Switzerland, despite the mountainous terrain and the small land subdivision, the average land property is 17.4 hectares. EU policies and subsides have decisive impact in regulating agricultural production in Greece; however, despite the fact that the EU allocates 2.5 billion euros in annual subsidies for production in the so called “less favored areas” such as the small-scale production in Peloponnese, due to the poor state of local politics and administration, much investment is wasted.

The Alfeios River valley and the surrounding hilly slopes covered with olive trees have served as the frame in this project to examine the transformation of olive landscapes in Peloponnese. Due to its hilly topography, the area is designated as “less favored” for cultivation and receives EU subsidies.

Olives and olive oil are the most significant agricultural products in Greece, tightly connected to Greek cultural traditions, shaping both the Greek landscape and regional identities. The importance of olive farming is illustrated by the fact that municipal workers typically get time off every year for the olive harvest. Families in Greece, regardless whether “rural” or “urban“, continue to produce olive oil for themselves. Artisanship surrounding the olive industry stands now in sharp contrast to the industrialization of agriculture in many parts of Europe. The traditional olive farming ecosystems have high levels of biodiversity due to the still-limited use of pesticides. On the other hand, it appears that for small-scale olive producers in is becoming increasingly difficult to adequately promote traditional farming methods and benefit from them.

Complementing the family labor, in Greece and Peloponnese the small-scale producers in agriculture have developed economic relationships with migrant workers. In reclaiming abandoned fields and century-old farms, migrant farmers now help revive Greek countryside. Beside foreign work migration, a new type of urban-to rural migration has emerged: more and more young professionals abandon large cities to move to the countryside, in response to increasing urban unemployment and the financial crisis. In addition, the potential of agro-tourism hasn’t yet been fully explored. Traditionally, agriculture in Greece has been an autonomous field of labor and production; its new association with leisure and tourism may still appear incompatible with the popular understanding of the “countryside.”

Climate, topography and other natural conditions and hazards, property rights, traditions, national and international economic policies and migrations, are all powerful forces shaping the olive production landscape in Greece. In Peloponnese, the predominance of family farms and cooperative organization structures for olive oil processing and trade, emphasize the highly local character of olive agriculture.

The project aimed to describe transformation processes shaping the countryside of olive cultivation. Interested in the potentials of the small-scale, family-based production for the future of European countryside, the project envisions a new kind of “slow territory”, with new ways of living and working in the olive groves.
OLYMPIA
HERITAGE AS URBAN PROJECT
Dorothee Hahn and Julie Rigling
“Countryside as heritage landscape” refers to landscapes often encountered in Peloponnese: remains of antiquity scattered in myriad remote or peripheral locations, outside of cities. The sanctuary of Olympia, placed in a quiet and relatively secluded spot at the confluence of Alfeios and Kladeos Rivers, is typical of this phenomenon.

The site attracted visitors for centuries, even before the first Olympics, which took place in 776 BC. To provide security for athletes and spectators gathering from all over the Greek World, Olympic Truce was announced before and during the games. The architecture of the site developed in several stages over time, resulting in a heterogeneous structure. In 600 BC, one of the first buildings was the Temple of Hera, followed in 560 BC by the extraordinary Olympic Stadium embedded in the terrain. In 456 BC, during the so-called golden age of Olympia, the Temple of Zeus was built with gigantic statue of Zeus, the work of Phidias, in the interior. Due to the growing importance of the games, further buildings for athletes were built, including the Palaestra and the Baths.

In the 3rd century earthquakes and invading tribes damaged the site. The Olympic games continued to be held until 393 AD when Christian emperor Theodosius prohibited the worship of Greek gods. Repeated floods destroyed the settlement again in the early 7th century. An alternative theory, launched recently by German archaeologists based on findings of mollusk and shells at the site of Olympia, proposes that its definitive destruction took place in the early 7th century as a consequence of a massive tsunami.

Though the site was rediscovered in the 18th century, the first excavations in Olympia took place in 1829, carried out by the French Expedition Scientifique de Morea. Subsequently, the excavations and the preservation of the Ancient Olympia have been the responsibility of the German Archaeological Institute in Athens, who received exclusive access. The first major excavation began in 1875, funded by the German government.

In 1936, the year of the Olympic games in Berlin, a new systematic excavation was initiated by the Nazi Party and theritual of bringing the Olympic flame to the venue of the games had been started. Leni Riefenstahl commemorated the new ritual in the documentary film „Olympia“, purportedly aiming to revive the ideals of the Olympics in the modern, western world.

Today, the Olympia heritage site lies under the jurisdiction of the Greek Ministry of Culture, Education and Religious Affairs, which supervises the area for any acts of illegal excavations, and intervenes in case any new finds are revealed. The financial resources for the site are provided by the Greek state and the EU funds.

The contemporary village of Olympia sprouted as a parasite adjoining the archaeological area soon after the ruins were discovered. To this day, the village life is based on seasonal tourist visits, mainly during the summer. The village main road is lined with restaurants, tourist agencies, hotels, two museums and a municipal building—remarkably, nearly all public buildings in Olympia are of high architectural value. The municipal building, the former Xenia Motel, is designed by Aris Konstatinidis, one of Greece’s leading modern architects. Xenia, after the ancient Greek concept of hospitality, was a nationwide state-run project of tourist infrastructure development during the 1960s and ‘70s—today the Xenia structures in Olympia and throughout Greece are largely abandoned and awaiting privatisation.

The wider municipal territory of Olympia today counts around 13 400 inhabitants; the village itself around 1000. In 1989, the ancient site was awarded the UNESCO World Heritage status. The need to protect the remains from possible floods led to the construction of extensive flood barriers along Alpheios. After forest fires nearly reached Olympia in 2007, fire protection infrastructures received major overhaul.

The nearby Port Katakolon serves several cruise lines in the Mediterranean and functions as jumping off point for cruise tourists’ day trips to Olympia. In 2010 for example, nearly 950 000 passengers debarked at the port, and were shuttled to Olympia and back, during their six-hour stops.

As a consequence of UNESCO regulations, many urban interventions have taken place within and around the site. The implemented buffer zone and other protection arrangements applying to built structure and traffic in the area, prevent any conflicts from the expansion of the tourist village, but they also appear to hamper its develpment.
ILIA’S LOCAL COAST
SEASIDE COUNTRYSIDE
Andres Ruiz and Johannes Hirsbrunner
“Seaside Countryside” is a distinctive typology of coastal development of Peloponnese. Since antiquity, the coast of Peloponnese has been an area of commercial activity, but was also perceived as dangerous and unfit for inhabitation due to piracy, conflict and swampy land. Most historical cities had been located inland, at a distance from the coast.

In the mid 20th century, Peloponnese had still resisted beach tourism: the growing urban middle class in Greece still preferred to escape the city to the mountains for vacation and leisure. Only in the 1960s and ‘70s, coastal tourism begins to flourish, mainly through public incentives, such as Xenia project, in form of large-scale tourist facilities designed and built at various locations throughout the country.

The coast of Ilia is part of low-lying plains on the west of Peloponnese, forming a foreland to the north-south mountain ranges. Pyrgos, Ilia’s largest city, is located about four kilometres inland. The coastal topography was transformed profoundly over time; in antiquity the coastline laid approximately eight kilometres further inland. The present-day coast formed through the build-up of alluvial soil, made cultivable in the second half of the 20th century through extended irrigation infrastructures.

Sited on a rocky cape, Katakolon is a unique point on the coast and has been a port settlement for centuries. From the end of the 19th to the mid 20th century, it functioned as the gate for export of Ilia’s agricultural products, especially raisin, to Europe. In recent years, the Port Katakolon has experienced major makeover through cruise tourism—an ongoing development with uncertain consequences. The port now receives around 300 cruise boats annually, serving as the gateway to the archaeological area of Olympia, located twenty kilometers inland.

Urbanization of Ilia’s coastline is heterogeneous and largely spontaneous: Illegal beach settlements, campsites, summer houses with olive orchards, and new seaside resorts catering to international tourist are lined up side-by-side. The extended coastal zone between the cities (Pyrgos, Amaliada) and the sea functions as a peri-urban landscape, filled by vegetable fields and farmhouses, water reservoirs and irrigation channels, and scattered leisure sites such as motorbike trails and hiking paths.

Ilia’s coast appears to develop without strategic land-use plans. The planning and building regulation in Greece generally focuses on the construction aspect of development; the floor area ratio and the minimum plot size are widespread regulatory instruments. By contrast, zoning plans cover less than 3 percent of the Greek countryside territory, an important exception compared to most European countries, contributing to unauthorized construction. The proportion of unauthorized construction in Greece increased 45 percent between 1950 and 1995. Initially, the mechanism of self-built housing served as a response to the pressing housing shortage, but since the 1970s the practice spread beyond housing to include holiday houses and other tourist establishments. The lasses-faire attitude and the policy of non-demolition since the 1950s can be interpreted as powerful elements of local and national politics and electoral games in Greece, which radically altered the urban landscape of the country.

In contrast to congested touristic coast of the northern Mediterranean, the coast of Ilia is an interesting exception. Not a purely touristic destination, rather, it is appropriated by the locals. The seaside is here still an area of agriculture and second residence connected to nearby inland cities. On the other hand, various pressures including increasing transport infrastructures and tourist arrivals are threatening the local character of the coast and the preserved ecosystems.

Through maps, drawings and text, the project describes the specific local character of Ilia’s coast, seen as an attractive mixture of local seasonal living, agriculture and protected nature areas. The “seaside countryside” is offered as a concept and potential for the future of the area—a proposal to envision an alternative territorial hierarchy, resisting the wholesale submission to international tourism, and strengthening the features of the local urban landscape.
SEA REGION
Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia
Project for a Trinational Metropolis
In maritime cultures, the sea is sometimes seen and imagined as the land: the source of livelihood, the space of everyday life and connections among people, their activities and settlements, which all gravitate toward it as the centre. Archipelagic life and structures, such as the Malay world along the Straits of Malacca and the Straits of Singapore, have evolved around the sea and relied on collaborative exchange over water.

Once part of a unified sea region, disparities and differences today characterize the trinational space of Singapore, Johor and Riau Archipelago. Despite the shared culture and history and high degree of economic synchronization, the three sides still lack common visions and approaches for cross-border urban development.

During the autumn of 2014, the Sea Region studio proposed territorial design strategies addressing nature protection, urban heritage, sea transport, aquaculture and public use of the coastlines. Together, they would lead to stronger metropolitan connections in the currently divided territory. The Singapore Strait, one of the world’s most intensely urbanized seas, has always been the lifeline of the region. The project aims to return the extraordinary sea of the Strait into the centre of the public discourse and imagination about the region’s future.

[sc:indent]ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS[sc:/indent]

Teaching team: Milica Topalovic, Hans Hortig, Stefanie Krautzig
Researchers: Karoline Kostka, Magnus Nickl
ETH students:  Sarah Barras, Luca Bazelli, Benjamin Blocher, Panos Coucopoulos, Manuel Crepaz, Alessio De Gottardi, Martino Iorno, Simone Michel, Matthias Müller, Anna-Katharina Zahler

Special thanks to experts, collaborators and guests: Kersten Geers, Markus Ng, Lukas Pauer, Bas Princen, Juria Toramae and BAPPEDA BATAM (Municipal Planning Authority of Batam): Wan Darussalam, Muhamad Aidil Sahalo, Yulhendri Murbarak; UNRIKA BATAM (University of the Riau Archipelago): Rahmat Kurniawan, Hendra Susanto; UTM (University of Technology Malaysia) FACULTY OF BUILT ENVIRONMENT: Prof. Ho Siong, Chau Loon Wai, Abdul Rahim Bin Ramli, Teh Bor Tsong, Goh Hong Ching, Fan Tu; MARINE DEPARTMENT MALAYSIA: En. Shah Habidin, En. Nordin; IRDA (Urban Redevelopment Authority): Ms Jafaar, Mr Shafirul; PORT OF SINGAPORE AUTHORITY: Lim Tian Yew, Daniel Lim; NUS DEPARTMENT OF ARCHITECTURE: Eric G. L’Hereux, Jörg Rekittke; NUS DEPARTMENT OF CIVIL ENGINEERING: Prof. Vladan Babovic; NUS ASIA RESEARCH INSTITUTE: Rita Padawangi and THE ISLAND FOUNDATION: Heena Patel.

Special thanks to ETH ZURICH and FUTURE CITIES LABORATORY: Kay Axhausen, Remo Burkhard, Stephen Cairns, Kees Christiaanse, Rewel Dangoy, Peter Edwards, Adrianne Joergensen, Anna Gasco, Lisa Giordano, Rudolf Krieg, Kevin Lim, Edda Ostertag, Faizah Binte Othman, Sascha Roesler, Daniel Sin Soo Meng, Cheryl Song, Ursula Suter, Amanda Tan and Ying Zhou.
NATURE
METROPOLITAN NATURE
Luca Bazelli and Matthias Mueller
Between 1854 and 1869, the British explorer and naturalist Alfred Wallace created an extraordinary journal of natural wealth of the region, The Malay Archipelago. Upon his visit to the island of Singapore, he wrote of the ‘most luxuriant’ vegetation, gambier plantations and forests with free roaming tigers, and of 700 species of beetles he had collected there. He praised the favorable conditions of climate and soil on this spot, deeming it ‘productive’ beyond any other he had visited in his travels in the East.

But already during the XIX century, after the port settlement had been established in 1819, the urban transformation the island was far reaching.  Agriculture, the building of roads, railways and buildings led to the cutting down of jungles, drying of swamps and disappearance of coastal mangrove forests.
During the XX century, the effects on the physical environment of urbanization and industrialization intensified. The post-independence development agenda during the 1960s, 70s and 80s emphasized on Singapore’s economic autonomy from Malaysia, brushing other concerns aside. Bedok, East Coast and Jurong areas were among the first to undergo a complete transformation of the physical setting, the ‘cutting’ of hills and ‘filling’ of the coastline. Until today, the land reclamation has added around 25 percent to Singapore’s land area, replacing much of the old coastline with a new artificial interface between land and sea.

The 1980s brought regionalization of economic processes, with manufacturing, electronic industries and agriculture leading the migration from Singapore to Riau and Johor. These processes were helped by independent initiatives by Malaysian and Indonesian governments to industrialize, including the massive palm oil production, and the development of petrochemical facilities (such as Pasir Gudang) for processing, storing and trade of oil along the Straits of Singapore and the Straits of Johor. As a consequence of the high paced growth of cities in the last three decades, much of the trinational region has experienced the same pressures on ‘nature’. Huge reclamation projects are today equally characteristic of the coastlines of Singapore, Batam Islands and Johor Bahru. It is estimated that in Singapore, 99 percent of all original mangrove forest has been extinct, while the Johor State has experienced the highest mangrove losses in Malaysia, with 42 percent reduction since the 1970s. The impact on marine ecosystems of the shipping movements, dredging, reclamation and the spilling of chemical material is high throughout the region. In Singapore alone, more than 80 percent of the territorial waters are used for the activities of the port, corresponding to large reduction of coral and other habitats. The absence of freshwater sources in Singapore and Riau led to the building of reservoirs, starting with MacRitchie Reservoir in 1867. The damming of river mouths along the coasts to collect fresh water has changed most of the former brackish streams.

Looking at the sites and practices of nature protection in Singapore, Batam and Johor, it is first apparent that, in the region focused on the sea, the coastal areas have been especially sensitive to change. In the port cities, the access to the sea has been crucial for much of the logistics, industries and even the military; through real estate and tourism the coast has become a commodity too. At the same time, the costal areas are also the places of the richest biodiversity, of concentration of traditional settlements, culture and economy, thus also the areas where most valuable heritage sites can be found.

It is further apparent that so far economic development agenda had dominant role over ‘nature’ or any other possible agenda in guiding urban growth. Instead, ‘nature’ reemerged in region as the byproduct of urban development. The state institutions in Singapore have promoted parks and greenery with human-centered, utilitarian and economic function. Nature was coupled with other urban functions, such as land reservation and military zones in Changi, Kranji and the Southern Islands, or source protection in Bukit Timah. The tendency that emphasizes on environmental management and engineering solutions to ecological and environmental conflicts in the growing city has prevailed. An important part of incorporation of nature into the urban development has been the practice of ‘greening’ Singapore, focused on urban and aesthetic function of greenery for the city dweller. This served urban branding purposes as well, promoting Singapore as ‘garden city’, the ‘city in the garden’ and even the ‘greenest city on Earth’.

Thought Singapore, Johor and Batam form a cross border metropolitan area, they are also three cities in different stages of development, and with differing conceptions and mechanisms of nature protection. For example, the Iskandar planning authorities have given high attention to the coastline of Southern Johor in their plans, but they might not be able to implement them. In the Riau Archipelago, the plans and mechanisms of nature protection are still weakly developed. In all three cities, growing concerns over role and place of nature are increasingly evident.

The goal of the project has been to explore a common vision for nature protection in the trinational region, and to provide arguments for nature areas as ‘productive areas’ that can substantially raise appeal and value of living, work and leisure in the cross-border metropolis. The project emphasizes on the dimensions of nature protection so far missing in the region: it explores the opportunities for cross-border nature protection; it emphasizes the protection of biodiversity; it also considers nature as form of heritage.
FISHERY
CULTIVATED SEA
Simone Michel and Anna-Katharina Zahler
Traditionally, fishing has been one of the main economies in the region. Older generations of Singaporeans remember the schooners of the Makassar Bugis docking at the barter trade center in Pasir Panjang, the local gathering point for boats from all over the Indonesian archipelago, where the trade of fish, sea cucumber and other foods and small goods flourished into the 1980s.

Different factors brought modernization to the traditional fishing and food economies and cultures. From the mid XIX century, steamships enlarged the scale of fishing and fish trade. Singapore was an important fishing harbor where products were sold and distributed to the Malayan hinterland via railway and roads.

In the industrial society, eating habits gradually changed too. Fresh fish and canned fish replaced the dried salted fish. Growing populations all over Asia introduced the need for cheaper food; poultry for example replaced marine products as major source of animal protein in the diet of the region’s population. It is estimated that in the early 1980s, 75’000 people were still fishing on the Straits (70% Indonesian, 27% Malay and 3% from Singapore). In the late 1980s, Singapore opted to phase out most of its agricultural production. Today the city imports 95 percent of its food, and only 3 percent of fish consumed in the city comes from local farms and fishing grounds. The production of ornamental fish for export in several agrotechnology parks today actually exceeds the sustenance production.

The fish arrives to Singapore from long distances; from Indonesia it is shipped by carrier vessels, from Malaysia and Thailand it sometimes comes by lorries. From the countries further out such as Norway, the fish arrives by plane directly from the airport to the Jurong Fishery Port before being distributed. Large-scale commercial fishing is now present in the region alongside local and traditional fishing and sea farming. Motorization of boats pushed the frontiers of the former fishing grounds into deeper waters; this requires larger vessels, larger ports and cold storage facilities, and implies a high degree of regulation and bureaucracy. These infrastructures, together with massive supply and distribution networks, usually give large-scale commercial fishing advantage over fish from local production. In this manner commercial fishing practices often results in destruction of local fishing economies and markets.

After 1965, the regional fragmentation to national territories led to weakening of trading networks. In 1981 for example, the Indonesian authorities confiscated 16 fishing vessels from Malaysia and observers of the event noted that ‘to be caught fishing in Indonesian waters entails the risk of losing boats, gear, the day’s catch, or even life itself.’ Until today difficulties with taxation and declaration of goods in the cross-border situation prevent or reduce the flow of catches from Riau to Singapore, or foster informal trade under false declarations. Additional issues such as land reclamation, the heavy shipping traffic in the Straits and the discharge of chemicals, puts the marine environment in the region under pressure.
Since the 1970s, aquaculture (and fish consumption) have grown tremendously and many commercial fish and prawn farms can be found off the coastline of the Strait of Johor. This type of farming also poses environmental hazards as it often involves removal of mangroves and water pollution.

Traditional fishing communities are still mostly active in Riau. In Batam municipality, traditional fishing continues to form an economic base for about 5 percent of the population (in 2010, 9487 households were active in the fishing, compared to only 1758 active in agriculture). These are communities whose daily lives and practices are already in the gravity vortex of the nearby cities. Possibilities to preserve or integrate their cultures and ways of life into modern urban economies in the region have so far presented unsolvable equations.

The goal of the work is to examine potentials for trinational fishing and aquaculture in the region that would be able to meet the local needs. The project explores the advantage of cross border planning strategies: ways to ensure high water quality and ecological quality of the marine environment, and ways to create local territories for fishing and sea farming in balance with other functions of the maritime space. The project also discusses cross border approach to regulations concerning the production, distribution and trade. The project provides arguments for the productive role of fishing and mariculture, in their ability to raise appeal and quality of life in the cross-border metropolis, and explores ways in which they can be seen as an element of region’s identity and cultural heritage.
TRANSPORT
SEA TRANSPORT
Sarah Barras and Benjamin Blocher
The Singapore, Johor and Riau region has a rich tradition of water transport. Though land-based forms of transportation steadily grew and became predominant during the XX century, people still move by sea. High-speed ferries connect the local and the regional ferry terminals and harbors into a relatively dense network. Singapore Tourism Board reports that in 2013, more than 1.5 million visitors arrived in Singapore by sea; more than half of all arrivals, around 70,000 per month, were from Indonesia. Similar numbers were reported for Batam: nearly 70,000 Singaporean and 23,000 Malaysian visitors arrived at the island by ferry in February 2013. Looking at the seascapes in the region, one can observe great differences in the use and types of boats. Huge air-conditioned ships dominate the international shipping fairways and the anchorages of the Singapore port, while in other parts of Singapore and Johor people still move by bumboats. Chinese sampans move among the islands in the Riau Archipelago.

The technological changes have radically transformed the nature of sea travel, and had great impact on the shape and function of ports and cities. The period from the XVI to the mid XIX century in Southeast Asia and the world is known as the Age of Sail; human migration and international trade from the Arab world, India, China and Europe reached Singapore and the region by sailboats. During the first half of the XIX century more efficient steam ships and ocean liners gradually replaced sailboats, and subsequently other new techniques and technologies continued to transform the nature of sea transport.

Among the most important, the ‘containerization’ of the 1960s was a logistic revolution that enabled globalization and escalation of cargo shipping. Around the same time, with the advent of air travel, line voyages nearly ceased to exist. These changes also revolutionized the character of the port and its interaction with the city. In Singapore and other port cities, this has been a movement from the times when port and waterfront presented commercial and cosmopolitan centers, to the present day when the port and the sea have became logistic territories at the periphery of public perception.

Political history of the sea region is equally crucial, as it gives an insight into the changing nature of maritime borders. The colonial period was marked by a bipolar political geography in the region: after the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824, Riau Archipelago was controlled by the Dutch with their port in Tanjung Pinang, rivaled by the British in Singapore and Johor. The flows of goods in the Singapore Straits were highly regulated at the time, but people moved freely from coast to coast. There were no passports; ferry connections between Johor Bahru and Singapore as well as Singapore, Batam and Tanjung Pinang where frequent, and small boats could be rented for shorter distances and travels across the Strait.

With the events of the 1963-66 Confrontation and of Singapore’s independence in 1965, the fluid character of the border was replaced by attempts to establish national sovereignties over maritime space. The gradual introduction of national borders also reflected in new ways of water transport. The flexible, small-scale boats were replaced by large-scale, directional ferry connections. Today’s ferry terminals function as intermodal interchanges, immigration checkpoints and commercial centers (with shopping malls, casinos, etc); they generally have no public waterfront. The immigration control procedures – the fingerprints, passport scans, check-in and boarding, etc – have added to the formalization of the water transport. The ferries follow fixed routes and cross the international shipping fairway on designated crossing points. With a capacity of up to 250 passengers, they travel at speed of 28 knots (50 km/h). They serve different uses, from business to weekend leisure trips. By contrast to the increasingly rigid patterns of public movement across the Straits, the transfer of goods in the region was simplified through the introduction of special economic zones – the new ‘borderless’ territories and free-flow regimes of globalized production and trade. Thus, in less than fifty years since the independence of Singapore, the character of movement across the sea in the region has been reversed: from a flexible and open transport based on smaller boats, to an increasingly rigid and directional type of movement.

The goal of the project has been to explore possibilities for a new model of water based public transport in the trinational region. The specific interest has been in the possibility of small scale, flexible connections (smaller boats, longer waterfronts, flexible embarkation and disembarkation) that could complement the existing transport networks. The project provides arguments for the productive role of water transport for the region, in its ability to raise appeal and value of living, work and leisure in the cross-border metropolis. The project explores ways in which water transport can be seen as an element of region’s identity and cultural heritage.
HERITAGE
MEMORY ARCHIPELAGO
Manuel Crepaz and Martino Iorno
Pulau Ujong, the Malay transliteration of the Chinese Pu Luo Chung, named Singapore as the ‘island at the end’ already in the IV century. Geographically, Tanjung Piai in the west of Johor Bahru marks the southernmost point of the peninsular Malaysia and of the Asian continent. From here, the Asian mainland dissolves into the 18,307 islands of the Indonesian Archipelago.

The roughly 2,760 inhabited islands in the Johor, Singapore and Riau region can be described in terms of their traditional archipelagic culture in which settlement structures used to stretch along the coast, and economy and daily life gravitated towards the sea. Few hundred other islands in the archipelago are uninhabited and covered by vegetation. At the same time, the archipelago is a site of conflict imposed by urbanization, the reshaping of landscape for infrastructures, industrial zones or tourist facilities.

Islands and coasts in the region are places of memory, as most traditional settlements are located along the coast and in the river mouths. Calm and shallow waters of the archipelago, safe anchorage places and rich fishing grounds have always attracted settlers. Settlements along the Johor River leading to the hinterland were of great importance; this passageway to the interior had even attracted the Portuguese fleet to sail beyond Kota Tinggi in 1535. Next to the indigenous Malay, diverse ethnic groups from China, Mongolia, Thailand and Java settled in the region. From the XVI to mid XIX century, in the period of international maritime trade and warfare known as the Age of Sail, the Europeans arrived in the region and founded their ports. These continuous migration flows and cultural crossovers in the archipelago have created a specific cultural heritage.

Not many sites of history and memory in the region are known and accessible. Due to their often remote locations on small islands, they are removed from public view and semi-forgotten. The preserved heritage sites include for example the Raffles Lighthouse, the Kusu and the Sister’s islands, and the Penyengat Island, with its mosque, the former fort and the residence of the sultan ruling over the Malay-Bugis Kingdom in the late XVIII century. Other sites such as the Fort Canning Lighthouse and the Long Ya Men rock have been rebuilt, occasionally even in a different location. The quarantine station on Saint John’s Island, the recreational facilities on Pulau Damar Laut, and schools and cemeteries on other Southern Islands have been lost.

In Riau, there are areas and relationships that are exceptional in the fact that they still convey the more traditional form of archipelago culture. Here, children take boats to the next island to reach school, mosques are the places of public life even on the smallest of islands, houses are built on stilts on the shore and boats connect between island communities.

The future of these island communities in the archipelago is uncertain; they are already to various degrees subsumed in the urban economy and dependent on modern infrastructures and services. Their incremental growth would be desirable, but they often fall victim to industrial expansion and tourism. The shift from traditional archipelagic culture of settlements focused on the sea, to the modern land-based thinking and urban development, has made life on mainland more attractive. The heritage of the archipelago should thus be seen as the specific asset for the region’s culture and identity.

The goal of the project has been to explore a common vision for preservation of the maritime culture of the trinational region, by curating sites of memory in the archipelago.
PUBLIC SEA
SEA URBANISM
Panos Coucopoulos and Allesio De Gottardi
Every year 120,000 vessels pass through the Malacca and the Singapore Straits, carrying one quarter of the world’s cargo and making it one of the busiest shipping routes in the world. The southern end of the Malacca Strait is formed by a tight passage through the Singapore Strait, connecting the Indian Ocean with the South China Sea and the Pacific, and linking the major Asian economies, India, China, Japan and South Korea. The maximum size of a vessel that can make passage through the Strait is referred to as the Malaccamax: bigger vessels have to take a detour through the Lombok Strait, Makassar Strait or other passages through Indonesian archipelago.

Due to its favorable natural conditions and deep water, the Singapore Strait and the port became one of the most important shipping nodes. At any time, there are about 1,000 vessels within the port limits of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA). This fleet of container ships, oil tankers and cruise ships creates an astonishing density resembling a floating city. Comparing the footprint of buildings in the city parts overlooking the Strait with the footprints of vessels on the water, one begins to read the water and the land as one continuous urban fabric.

This ‘urban sea’ also forms an autonomous urban territory, with restricted entrance points, designated traffic lanes and crossing routes, highly separated uses and user populations. In order to facilitate the vast amount of traffic, the Singapore Strait is a highly regulated space. In 1971, an agreement took effect between Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia to coordinate vessel movement in the Malacca and the Singapore Straits. In 1994, this regional cooperation was extended trough the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, granting the ‘right of transit and innocent passage’ to all ships. The passageways are further implemented by the Traffic Separation Scheme, a system of street-like traffic corridors projected onto the water. In order for any foreign vessel to access Singapore’s waters, a pilot, knowledgeable of the conditions of the port, has to enter the boat and navigate its way through the harbor. Arriving ships and boats are parked in designated anchorage zones, or unloaded at ports and jetties. These various zones, their strict regimes of use and highly dense activities, coin the space of the Strait as ‘urban’, and as the paradigmatic image of the phenomenon of urbanization of the sea.

While the commercial shipping and port activities continue to grow and compete for water surface and coastal access in all three countries in the region, there are also other users at urban sea. Oil tankers, cargo ships and bulk carriers are intermingling with cruise ships and passenger ferries, in total representing an offshore population of roughly 10,000 to 20,000 individuals. The population flows between the sea and land are subject to different logics and protocols of immigration control; the permeability of the sea-land boundary is continuously fine-tuned. While cruise ship terminals offer immigration-on-demand to the arriving tourists, supply boats operate 24-7 to deliver medicine, food and mail to cargo ships who’s crews are generally not allowed to enter foreign territory.

The changing port-city relationship over time transformed urban physiognomies and characters of cities worldwide. The evolution of Singapore’s port was greatly influenced by the remaking of the political geography of the region, as well as technological revolutions. Artist Allan Sekula observed that ‘since technological inventions like steam boats and logistic improvements like the container, the logics of port logistics and cargo handling changed dramatically. The replacement of manual labor by cranes and the deepening of port areas for bigger ships emptied (dehumanized) the port facilities and created logistic hubs along the coast.’ The ‘containerization’ of the 1960s was a logistic revolution that enabled escalation of cargo shipping in Singapore. Around the same time, with the advent of air travel, line voyages nearly ceased to exist. These influences marked an urban transition from the times when Singapore’s port and the waterfront presented commercial urban cores and most cosmopolitan parts of the city, to the present day when the port and the sea have became largely invisible logistic territories at the periphery of public perception.

A parallel phenomenon with great impact on life by and with the sea was the formation of the maritime national borders that gradually took effect in the region during the 1960s. The combined demands of industry, logistics and globalized trade contributed to their strengthening. Together with industrial and port facilities, national security installations occupy large stretches of the coastline separating the city from the sea. The highly secured and utilized national waters de facto function as an extended borderzone, which stretches from the sea onto the land: the maritime borders in the region have their reflection the land.

The skyline of downtown Singapore and the skyline of vessels in the deep-water echo each other: two distinct worlds, visually connected, virtually cut off. The psychological distance among the three cities, Singapore, Batam and Johor is great; instead of uniting the region, the sea separates.

The goal of the project has been to rethink the sea space and the coastlines in the trinational region, as space that can perform urban public functions; a space of public encounter, business, cultural exchange, leisure, a cosmopolitan space. The sea and the ports in the region used to hold these public functions in the past; the project therefore considers how some of those qualities can be reclaimed in the present.
HINTERLAND (2/2)
Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia
Resources
After its independence in the early 1960s, it looked like Singapore had low chances of survival because of its lack of natural hinterland and material resources. But today, on the surface at least, the city appears to defy limitations. Owing to its open economy and function as an entrepôt, vital resources including labour, energy and food are being supplied from the outside. No doubt, Singapore’s greatly controlled and technologically oriented urban model represents a specific answer to its restricted context.

Looking further, across the city-state’s borders, it is apparent that Singapore’s economy uses land and labour far beyond its territorial limits. Its strategic hinterlands (agriculture zones, water sources, sand quarries, etc) are found anywhere from the neighbouring areas of Malaysia and Indonesia, to sites in Cambodia, China and the Middle East.

During the ETH autumn semester 2012, the hinterland was described through the thematic lens of resources. The origin, the flows, ‘the map’ and other territorial dimensions of the five key resources for Singapore – sand, water, food, energy and human labour – were the focus of the study. The investigations have shown the manner in which each resource is increasingly sought by the city-state in a geopolitical frame in the ASEAN countries and beyond.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Teaching team: Milica Topalovic, Martin Knüsel, Marcel Jäggi ETH students: Gabriela Schär, Lino Moser, Simon Zemp, Pascal Deschenaux, Caroline Schillinger, Desirée Damport, Ahmed Belkhodja, Saskja Odermatt, Martin Garcia, Magnus Nickl

Special thanks to experts, collaborators and guests: Joshua Bolchover, Goda Budvytyte, Paolo Cucchi, Cuthbert Choo, Chem Gallery Jurong Island, Stephane Grandgirard, Andy Hauw, Lee Chee Hock and Lee Chee Wee of the Hock Wee Nurseries, Poison Ivy, Sree Kumar, Marie Laverre, Charles Lim, Patricia Lim Pui Huen, Gordon Mathews, Mary Ann O’Donnell, Till Paasche, Myriam Perret, Bas Princen, Colin See, Sharon Siddique, Edgar Tang, Hendrik Tieben, Marc Westhof, Jolovan Wham. Special thanks to BAPPEDA BATAM (Municipal Planning Authority of Batam): Wan Darussalam, Rahmat Kurniawan, Agung Aidil Sahalo, Azril Apriansyah; UNRIKA BATAM (University of the Riau Archipelago): Hanung Nugroho, Disha Nuralmer, Rino Purna Irawan, Tri Sutrisno, Purwono Budi Santoso, Sigit Wardoyo, Yuga She Uchul, Rozaini Zai, Andri Aan Sofian, Agus, Hadi, Rino Gade; UTM (University of Technology Malaysia) FACULTY OF BUILT ENVIRONMENT: Ho Siong, Chau Loon Wai, Abdul Rahim Bin Ramli, Ibrahim Ngah; INSTITUTE OF SOUTH EAST ASIAN STUDIES: Ooi Kee Beng, Francis Hutchinson; PORT OF SINGAPORE AUTHORITY: Ng Geok Kwee, Alvin Chow, Tan Liang Hui; MARITIME AND PORT AUTHORITY OF SINGAPORE: Yi Young Lam, Tiancheng Song, Wee Kiat Lim, Kwong Heng Goh, Ah Cheong Toh, Daniel Tan; MINDEF, NRF: Lui Pao Chuen; NUS ASIA RESEARCH INSTITUTE: Johan Lindquist; NUS DEPARTMENT OF ARCHITECTURE: Eric G. L’Hereux, Im Sik Cho, Jörg Rekittke; NUS DEPARTMENT OF GEOGRAPHY: James Sidaway, Tim Bunnell; SINGAPORE MARITIME INSTITUTE: Jason Lin, Daniel Zhang, Ace Leong and URBAN REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY OF SINGAPORE: Charlene Chua, Heather Chi.

Special thanks to ETH ZURICH and FUTURE CITIES LABORATORY: Iris Belle, Remo Burkhard, Stephen Cairns, Kees Christiaanse, Alexander Erath, Anna Gasco, Lisa Giordano, Mathias Gunz, Uta Hassler, Dirk Hebel, Max Hirsh, Susanne Hofer, Rolf Jenni, Vesna Jovanovic, Ozan Karaman, Rudolf Krieg, Benjamin Leclair, Alex Lehnerer, Kevin Lim, Charlotte Malterre, Christian Müller Inderbitzin, Lwin Maung Chan Myae, Edda Ostertag, Faizah Binte Othman, Christian Schmid, Gerhard Schmitt, Sin SooMeng Daniel, Cheryl Song, Lorenzo Stieger, Amanda Tan, Tao Wang, Denise Weber and Ying Zhou.
SAND
CONSTRUCTION OF TERRITORY
Lino Moser and Gabriela Schär
The reclamation of land is a long-standing practice in Singapore that had its first im­prints in the island’s coastline in the 1820s, during the colonial period. Efforts to reclaim land have increased significantly since Singapore’s independ­ence in 1965; the land area of Singapore has grown from 581 square kilometres in 1957 to 775 square kilometres today, adding 25 per­ cent to the original land area. For 2030, a goal to create an additional 100 square kilo­metres of land has already been set by the government.

The urban use of the reclaimed areas is extremely diverse. Large expanses of re­claimed industrial lands are located in Jurong; in the downtown, the most central business and commercial areas were reclaimed, too. Strategic infrastructures and facilities, such as large parts of the Port, the Changi Airport and the military zone of Pulau Tekong are constructed on new land. Finally, land reclamation is also a tool for increasing the population density: along the East coast, housing and recreation areas are built on a wide strip of land, which did not exist before.

In the past, the common strategy for providing material for the new land was the leveling of terrain in Singapore’s inland ar­eas. This strategy, known as the ‘cut and fill’ contributed to a complete, tri-dimensional transformation of Singapore’s topography: in order for new land to be built, the old land had to be de­molished and rebuilt as well. In the process, many coastal villages and mangroves have van­ished. While the radical treatment of Singapore’s urban surface presented an almost magical mechanism for generating wealth ‘out of nothing’, the island and the city have been flattened into places without history.

An important feature of the land recla­mation process is that over time, it becomes technically more difficult, more costly and requires more and more sand. The older reclamation projects were carried out in the zone in the coastal zones with depths be­tween 5 to 10 meters, but as the coastline keeps moving further and further into deeper wa­ters, going to zones with the depth of 15 me­ters or more is now required. Singapore has not been able to meet its needs for sand and therefore imports from other countries in the region. Malaysia, Cambodia and Vietnam have been topping the list of exporters to Singapore are with 3.8 to 5.8 mil­lion tons (in 2008).

Overshadowing Singapore’s reputation as the single biggest importer of sand in the world are the detrimental aspects of sand trade. Due to environmental and political im­pacts of vanishing lands, nearly all countries in the region with the exception of Myanmar and China have placed official bans on sand trade with Singapore. In spite of this, the trade seems to continue in an informal man­ner, with a silent approval by local govern­ments and authorities, helped by corruption.

The main protagonists of land reclama­tion projects in Singapore are state agen­cies, in particular the Housing Development Board (HDB), the Port of Singapore Author­ity (PSA), and the Jurong Town Corporation (JTC): the state is the designer and the creator of its new territories. The production of the new land is a necessity in view of the high population density and the limited sur­face for growth. The newly built land on prime locations generates high revenues; the production of land is one of  the most lucrative businesses for the entrepreneurial state. As long as the territorial boundaries are not vio­lated, despite all the misgivings, Singapore will continue to rely on land reclamation for an ongoing reinvention of its urban environ­ment and for the creation of wealth.

The goal of the work was to investigate and describe the phenomena of sand trade and land reclamation in Singapore and the region. The study represents the architec­tural, urbanistic, economical and cultural characteristics of the artificial landscapes reclaimed from the sea.
WATER
A Record of Dependencies
Pascal Deschenaux and Simon Zemp
Singapore has no natural water sources, and the history of its urban growth can be traced in parallel with the evolution of techniques of water management. The first reservoir in Singapore, the MacRitchie Reservoir, was completed in 1868 to supply the booming new port under the British. Two similar waterworks, The Lower Pierce Reservoir, and the Upper Seletar Reservoir were completed in the early twentieth century. In the 1930s, Singapore also began to look for water sources in the neighbouring Sultanate of Johor. From rented land properties in Johor, a strategic supply for the city was then created via a pipeline that was laid along the Causeway on the Johor Straits.

In 1961 and 1962, in the eve of its independence, Singapore had managed to secure two vital, long term water contracts with Malaysia: the first contract valid until 2011 allowed the leasing of nearly 3000 hectares of land for the purpose of harvesting water, while the second contract valid until 2061, still guarantees Singapore an access to 250 million gallons per day from the Johor river. At the time of the independence, 80 per cent of Singapore’s fresh water came from Malaysia, underscoring Singapore’s extreme vulnerability and the political dimensions of water trade in the neighbourly relations. Malaysian Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman had expressed this in great clarity in 1965, when he said: “If Singapore’s foreign policy is prejudicial to Malaysia’s interests, we could always bring pressure to bear on them by threatening to turn off the water in Johor.”

In the years to follow, this vulnerability became a motive for Singapore to develop its local water resources. The Public Utilities Board, created in 1963, embarked on the construction of more water schemes inside Singapore. They included the damming of river estuaries to allow for greater storage volumes. After a series of political twists and turns over the year in negotiations with Malaysia, the city-state had decided to achieve a complete self-sufficiency in its water supply before 2061.

In the past ten years, two new technologically sophisticated strategies for saving and providing water were added to Singapore’s water management repertoire: water reuse (the so called creation of NEWater by reclamation) and desalination of sea water. New facilities including the reclaimed water plants and the seawater desalination plants were built in the early 2000s.

With this, Singapore’s current national water policy called the “4 Taps” was put to effect. The first and second taps refer to local water catchments and water imports. The “Third Tap” is reclaimed water, while the “Fourth Tap” represents desalination. In 2010, the “largest taps” were the imported water with providing the 40 per cent of the total supply, and reclaimed water with 30 per cent. In the future, as the demand to water grows, Singapore expects to reduce its dependency on water imports.

Perhaps the most impressive among the water management strategies in Singapore has been the increasing efficiency of use and conservation of water, leading to the reduction of water consumption per capita since the mid 1990s. For example, through public education and campaigns urging people to conserve water, consumption has been reduced from 165 litres per person per day in 2003 to 155 litres in 2009. The target is to lower it to 140 litres by 2030. The level of water losses is also one of the lowest in the world at only 5 per cent.

Water management strategies are the most important influence determining the shape, materiality and uses of Singapore’s urban territories: water is collected from more than two thirds of the island’s surface. This is a physical image of completely designed and engineered territory and a powerful illustration of a planning and development system fully in the hands of the state.

The goal of the work was to shed light on the process of shaping the territory of Singapore through water management.
FOOD
Singapore's Food Supply
Desirée Amport and Caroline Schillinger
Being a island nation devoid of natural resources, Singapore imports around 90 per cent of the food it needs. The almost complete absence of agriculture, combined with the need to feed the population of over 5 million inhabitants and 13 million tourists per year has stimulated the food imports from Malaysia, Indonesia and other countries. As Singapore plans to grow in the next decades, the dependency on food imports will increase.

Around 1960, nearly a quarter of the country’s territory (then 140 square kilometres) was devoted to agriculture. After the independence in 1965, the city-state in cooperation with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and other international agencies, undertook huge efforts in order to increase its food production. Shortly after, the local food production was able to fully meet the demand for eggs, poultry and pork.

By the mid 1980s however, less than 50 square kilometres of the agricultural land remained in use, only 1,6 per cent of Singapore’s land area. Today, agriculture contributes 0,2 per cent to the GDP in Singapore and provides employment for 0,2 per cent of the workforce. These low-wage foreign workers maintain Singapore’s 200 farms.

Due to the rapid growth of the built-up area and industries during the 1970s and 1980s, agricultural production was reorganized and moved away from the urban core to the so-called hinterlands of the island. For example pig farms were resettled and grouped in the Punggol District in the north of Singapore, before being phased out completely in the late 1980s. Other agriculture activities were partially regrouped in Lim Chu Kang District and Mandai hills, where flower farms and aquaculture developed over the time.

Most of agriculture and fishing was outsourced abroad to the proximate hinterlands in Malaysia and Indonesia; similar process took place in the manufacturing sector. A growing number of Singaporean companies, such as the supermarket chains, are active in the cross-border region, contracting out or investing in food production for Singapore.

Singapore allows free import of food supplies and products but as a country reputed for safety and hygiene, it has strict regulations ensuring safety of food imports. The major governmental bodies controlling the food trade are the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) and the Food Control Department.

In recent years agrotechnology parks are becoming synonymous for agriculture in Singapore. The advanced technologies and techniques for intensive farming have become the new and high earning tyoe of agricultural activity, earning the city-state an unlikely title of having ‘the most productive agriculture sector in the world.’ With the products of agrotechnologies, Singapore plans to take the markets in the  Southeast Asia.

The goal of the work is to describe and map Singapore’s food hinterlands.
LABOUR
Migrant Workers in Singapore
Ahmed Belkhodja and Saskja Odermatt
The mixing of ethnicities and migrant labour have been enduring characteristics of Singapore’s population. When the country became independent in 1965, most of its new citizens were uneducated immigrants from China, Malaysia and India. Many of them were seeking to earn some money and had no intentions of staying for good. After the independence, the process of crafting the new national identity began. The former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew stated that Singapore does not fit the traditional description of a nation, calling it a society in transition. Singapore’s population continues to be highly mobile, multi-ethnic and global in character. According to the recent census, it consists of 74.2 per cent Chinese residents, 13.4 per cent Malay, 9.2 per cent Indian descent residents, with Eurasians and other groups forming 3.2 per cent. The present population of the country is around 5.18 million people, of whom 3.25 million (63 per cent) are citizens, and the rest (37 per cent) are permanent residents and foreign workers.

It is fascinating that Singapore’s economy continues to depend on imports of both labour and inhabitants. Nearly half (47.9 per cent) of the Singaporean workforce is comprised of foreigners, and this number is expected to increase due to the decline and aging of the resident population. The government estimates that 30,000 migrants per year are needed in order to maintain the constant size of the country’s workforce; the actual immigration statistics in the past decade confirm these projections.

More than one million foreign workers currently in Singapore, from a relatively heterogeneous group. A smaller proportion belongs to elite professionals, the so-called expats, but the majority (nearly 900,000) consists of low-wage workers, especially the construction workers and domestic helpers. This part of the workforce originates from countries in the region, including Malaysia, Indonesia, China, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

Elaborate transnational systems of workers’ recruitment form an invisible structure behind the foreign workers’ presence. Various protagonists play a role in this system, starting with local recruitment and training agencies, to employment agencies in Singapore.

The temporary working contracts (usually with 2-year duration) and high commissions that workers pay in order to enter the recruitment process, are illustrations of employment regulatory systems providing high security for both the Singaporean state and the employing firms.

The political consequences of foreign labour are not to be underestimated. While attracting foreign talent has been important for Singapore’s position as a global city, immigration and income inequality have also emerged as pressing issues. The need to strike a balance between openness and local concerns presents one of the most critical political challenges for Singapore. The sensitive problematic of the foreign labour is perhaps best understood by looking at urban spaces of foreign workers and their relation with the rest of the city. Even at first glance, a separation of spaces of resident and foreign worker populations is noticeable. In the case of foreign construction workers, a separation of living, working and socializing spaces, along with exclusive means of transport and various services, such as the ATM machines, reinforce a perception of parallel urban spaces, carefully kept at a distance from the rest of the city through planning and regulatory instruments.

The goal of the work was to shed light on the complex phenomenon of transnational work migration in Singapore, and to investigate and describe the architectural, urbanistic and social characteristics of spaces in the city used and adapted by the foreign workers.
ENERGY
Singapore's Oil Hub
Martin Garcia and Magnus Nickl
Ever since its independence in 1965, Singapore has been importing nearly all the energy it consumes. Today, its electricity is generated from around 80 percent of natural gas and 20 percent of petroleum imports.

Not only is Singapore completely dependent on imported energy sources; the city-state actually imports more than double the amount of energy it spends for consumption. The reason behind this surprising strategy is the booming petrochemical sector on the island, developed since the 1970s and strongly expanding since the mid 1990s. At the time when electronic manufacturing in Singapore was beginning to loose its international competitiveness, the Singaporean government identified existing potentials for developing the export oriented petrochemical industry. Being one of the biggest harbors in the world, having strong banking and insurance sectors, political and economical stability, and China as a fast emerging market in the region, have proven to be the key factors in establishing a strong oil industry on the island.

Today, Singapore is developing toward one of the biggest oil and gas hubs in the world. It is considered to be the world’s top bunkering port and the third largest oil-trading center with more than 800 professional oil traders working on the island. Besides, Singapore is also one of the major oil refinery centers in the world. In total, the oil sector creates nearly 20 percent of Singapore’s exports and represents one of the strongest pillars of the economy for the city-state—paradoxically, without sourcing a single drop of oil within its territory.

The history of the oil industry in Singapore began in 1891 with Shell as an oil bunkering pioneer, supplying shipping companies with fuel oil. Around the steadily growing oil trade on the island, various oil related spin-off sectors emerged in the last decades, such as the petrochemical industry, oil and gas equipment manufacturing and rig manufacturing. Singapore for example now owns 60 percent of the world’s oil-rig market.

On the one hand, Singapore’s development toward a diversified and complex oil hub appears as an imported construct; on the other hand, the ideal local conditions have made it attractive and prosperous.

The goal of the work was to describe the character of the energy system in Singapore and the region, and to speculate about its implications. Is Singapore becoming a global petrochemical hub? The study also investigated the urban impact of petrochemical facilities and infrastructures in Singapore.
HINTERLAND (1/2)
Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia
Productive Territories
At first glance, Singapore is a wealthy metropolis with a sparkling urban organization, impeccable social order and a world-class skyline. But this image is anything but complete. For decades, the city-state’s expanding economy has required more space and labour beyond its 680 square kilometers territorial limits. Mirroring the growth of Singapore, fast growing ‘support cities’ within the Malaysian and Indonesian borders are characterised by young populations of migrant workers, vast sites of global manufacturing industries, by dynamism and by uncertain futures.

During the ETH spring semester 2012, the investigation of Singapore’s hinterland was conducted under the theme of Productive Territories. These are the territories and corresponding organisational forms of economy that function in the fragmented tri-national situation, thriving on the wealth gap and other socio-economic and political differences among the neighbouring countries.

The investigations describe and contest the forms and the rules of urbanism in Singapore’s productive hinterlands on three different territories: The Riau Islands Province (Indonesia), the Strait of Singapore (Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia) and Johor State (Malaysia).

[sc:indent]ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS[sc:/indent]

Teaching team: Milica Topalovic, Martin Knüsel, Marcel Jäggi
ETH students: Livio de Maria, Martin Garcia, Giulia Luraschi, Magnus Nickl, Stephanie Schenk, Karl Wruck

Special thanks to experts, collaborators and guests: Joshua Bolchover, Goda Budvytyte, Paolo Cucchi, Cuthbert Choo, ChemGallery Jurong Island, Stephane Grandgirard, Andy Hauw, Lee Chee Hock and Lee Chee Wee of the Hock Wee Nurseries, Poison Ivy, Sree Kumar, Marie Laverre, Charles Lim, Patricia Lim Pui Huen, Gordon Mathews, Mary Ann O’Donnell, Till Paasche, Myriam Perret, Bas Princen, Colin See, Sharon Siddique, Edgar Tang, Hendrik Tieben, Marc Westhof, Jolovan Wham.

Special thanks to BAPPEDA BATAM (Municipal Planning Authority of Batam): Wan Darussalam, Rahmat Kurniawan, Agung Aidil Sahalo, Azril Apriansyah; UNRIKA BATAM (University of the Riau Archipelago): Hanung Nugroho, Disha Nuralmer, Rino Purna Irawan, Tri Sutrisno, Purwono Budi Santoso, Sigit Wardoyo, Yuga She Uchul, Rozaini Zai, Andri Aan Sofian, Agus, Hadi, Rino Gade; UTM (University of Technology Malaysia) FACULTY OF BUILT ENVIRONMENT: Ho Siong, Chau Loon Wai, Abdul Rahim Bin Ramli, Ibrahim Ngah; INSTITUTE OF SOUTH EAST ASIAN STUDIES: Ooi Kee Beng, Francis Hutchinson; PORT OF SINGAPORE AUTHORITY: Ng Geok Kwee, Alvin Chow, Tan Liang Hui; MARITIME AND PORT AUTHORITY OF SINGAPORE: Yi Young Lam, Tiancheng Song, Wee Kiat Lim, Kwong Heng Goh, Ah Cheong Toh, Daniel Tan; MINDEF, NRF: Lui Pao Chuen; NUS ASIA RESEARCH INSTITUTE: Johan Lindquist; NUS DEPARTMENT OF ARCHITECTURE: Eric G. L’Hereux, Im Sik Cho, Jörg Rekittke; NUS DEPARTMENT OF GEOGRAPHY: James Sidaway, Tim Bunnell; SINGAPORE MARITIME INSTITUTE: Jason Lin, Daniel Zhang, Ace Leong; URBAN REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY OF SINGAPORE: Charlene Chua, Heather Chi.

Special thanks to ETH ZURICH and FUTURE CITIES LABORATORY: Iris Belle, Remo Burkhard, Stephen Cairns, Kees Christiaanse, Alexander Erath, Anna Gasco, Lisa Giordano, Mathias Gunz, Uta Hassler, Dirk Hebel, Max Hirsh, Susanne Hofer, Rolf Jenni, Vesna Jovanovic, Ozan Karaman, Rudolf Krieg, Benjamin Leclair, Alex Lehnerer, Kevin Lim, Charlotte Malterre, Christian Müller Inderbitzin, Lwin Maung Chan Myae, Edda Ostertag, Faizah Binte Othman, Christian Schmid, Gerhard Schmitt, Sin Soo Meng Daniel, Cheryl Song, Lorenzo Stieger, Amanda Tan, Tao Wang, Denise Weber, Ying Zhou.
BATAM
Batam Industrial Island
Livio De Maria and Stephanie Schenk
The island of Batam in Riau Archipelago was designated as Indonesia’s first industrial zone in 1971 in order to benefit from the proximity to Singapore. At the beginning of the 1990, Batam remained scarcely inhabited and covered with rainforest. Two years later, several companies had begun manufacturing activities on the Indonesian island and thirty-five more had already agreed to set up activities in an industrial park. At the same time, a second island, Bintan, was added to the scheme and designed to operate as a planed resort. Since then, Singaporean investments have been decisive for the rapid industrialization and urbanization of the two major islands in Riau Archipelago.

The emerging metropolitan region Singapore–Johor–Riau is fast growing, both in terms of population and economy, with a population of around 8 million today. The region is dominated by a strong centre and is profoundly asymmetric: the large landmass of Johor extends to the North, while Riau Archipelago is dispersed to the South; Johor is economically wealthier, it has a longer history and tighter connections to Singapore than Riau. It is estimated that 300,000 residents of Johor Bahru are based in Singapore for work while 150,000 more commute daily to work in the city-state. On the other hand, seasonal workers and maids from Riau work in both Singapore and Johor. Riau Archipelago is still dominated by industrial manufacturing (Batam) and tourism (Bintan), while Johor Bahru seems to be transforming into a service economy extending from Singapore. Culturally, the region is unified and part of the Malay world, with the exception of the Chinese dominated city-state.

After its independence in 1965, Singapore rapidly transformed from a relatively undeveloped colonial outpost into one of the most developed nations in Asia. Within three decades, the city-state joined the First World economy, despite its small population, limited land area and lack of natural resources. From early on, it focused on offering cheap labour and welcoming foreign direct investments and multinationals. This allowed Singapore to rapidly establish itself, as one of the four Asian Tigers with one of the highest GDP growth rates in the world through the 1970s. Gradually, policymakers sought to switch from the low profit manufacturing of low cost products, toward a production with increased wages, requiring higher skill and higher productivity.

During the 1980s, it became clear that the continuing growth of Singapore’s economy required more space and workers beyond the limits of the city-state. At the same time, changing political circumstances allowed for an onset of regional economic cooperation. Through the so-called Growth Triangle agreement among the three countries, Singapore offered to provide management expertise, technology, telecommunications and transportation in exchange for land and labour offered by Johor and Riau. As a result, vast tracts of land have been opened up for development, mainly industrial production, dominated by Singaporean investment. Particularly since the early 1990s, the phenomenon of migration of the manufacturing sector from Singapore and the formation of the productive hinterlands in Johor Bahru and Riau became apparent.

Since 2006, the legal format of the cross border cooperation has been refined through the establishment of special economic zones (SEZs) and the free trade zones (FTZs) that have been set up on the Malaysian and Indonesian sides in order to further capitalize on the relationship with Singapore. Owing to various incentives, involving tax reduction, abolition of customs duties, possibility of ownership, and certainly the access to land and labour, “the special zones” now represent a warm pool for both Singaporean firms and the multinationals.

The study attempts to analyse and describe the productive territory of Batam and Riau Archipelago, the Indonesian side of the metropolitan hinterland.
STRAIT
The City in Front of the City
Martin Garcia and Magnus Nickl
The Singapore Strait (Selat Singapura in Malay) is a 105 kilometres long and 6 kilometres wide sea passage linking to the Straits of Malacca in the West and the South China Sea in the East. The Singapore Strait is the most constricted and shallow part of the Malacca Straits, and one of the most strategic global shipping routes, next to the Suez and the Panama Canals. The strategic importance of the Malacca and the Singapore Straits is enormous. More than 50,000 vessels pass through the Strait each year, carrying around one quarter of the worlds traded goods, including oil travelling to China from the middle East, Chinese manufactured goods and Indonesian coffee. Experts recognise that if the Straits were to close for just a few days, there would be a major impact on the global economy and the European economy would be paralyzed within a few weeks.
The maritime trade along the Straits has a long history, as it has been part of the Maritime Silk Route linking the Mediterranean basin, the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. From the early fifteenth to the early nineteenth century, the port of Malacca dominated the Straits when its role gradually diminished after the founding of Singapore in 1819. The Straits have not only brought exotic goods and trading opportunities to the region, but also new populations, cultures and religions. As a kind of a middle point between India and China, the Singapore region includes people of Chinese, Malay, and Indian descents, from Muslim, Buddhist and Hindu religions.
The Singapore Straits is maintained and managed by three countries, each responsible for providing security, ensuring safety and protecting the environment. The independence of Singapore in 1965 was followed by its economic rise as one of the world’s busiest ports, leading to the region’s growing economic asymmetry. At the same time, political relationships among the three countries have remained strained and difficult; for example several border disputes along the Straits still remain unresolved. As a result of these complex influences, the space of the Straits is remarkably complex and intricate too; it is highly regulated, criss-crossed by hard borders, and fragmented into various restricted zones. The Indonesia-Singapore border lies along the Straits, thus the busiest shipping route overlaps with a national border, and cross traffic of people and goods from one country to another constantly interferes with the through traffic of international shipping. By contrast, the space of the Straits has been much more open for local travel in the past and the fragmentation is a novel and arguably a strengthening phenomenon.
The Straits is also a microcosm of local activities, where next to ports, shipyards, and bunkering stations (fuel stations for ships), one finds petroleum, sand and stone extraction sites, waste disposal sites and military installations as well as tourist resorts, heritage locations and uninhabited islands covered by mangrove forests. In the past, the area was notorious for piracy. Today, this is also an area where the strict national laws in Muslim countries (against gambling and drinking in particular), are diluted in the free zone provided by the Singaporean waters.
This complex territory can be described as a layering of three different spatial logics: the territory of global shipping, the borderland territory, and the urban territory. The study maps and describes each layer and its main characteristics.
JOHOR
Hinterland vs. Capital
Giulia Luraschi and Karl Wruck
Johor Bahru is a city of nearly two million people developed along the Straits of Johor and the Causeway leading to Singapore. It was founded in 1855 in response to the growing demand by the Singapore port for jungle timber, and for cultivation of rubber and pepper. Throughout the nineteenth and the twentieth centuries until today, the relationship between the two cities has remained close and complex, showing a combination of political rivalry and economic integration. Johor Bahru is today a fast growing city on Singapore’s periphery, with a dual character as a productive hinterland and a suburban area linked to the metropolitan core.

The emerging metropolitan region Singapore-Johor-Riau, is fast growing both in terms of population and economy, with a present population of around 8 million. Though dominated by a strong centre, the region is profoundly asymmetric: the large land mass of Johor extends to the North, while Riau Archipelago is dispersed to the South; Johor is economically wealthier, it has a longer history and tighter connections to Singapore than Riau. It is estimated that 300,000 residents of Johor Bahru work and live in Singapore, and 150,000 commute daily to work in Singapore. On the other hand, seasonal workers and maids from Riau work in both Singapore and Johor. The Riau Archipelago is dominated by industrial manufacturing (Batam) and tourism (Bintan), while Johor Bahru is transforming into a service economy extending from Singapore. Culturally, the region is unified and part of the Malay world, with the exception of the Chinese dominated city-state of Singapore.

After its independence in 1965, Singapore rapidly transformed from a relatively undeveloped colonial outpost into one of the most developed nations in Asia. Within three decades, the city-state joined the First World economy, despite its small population, limited land area and lack of natural resources. From early on, it focused on offering cheap labour and welcoming foreign direct investments and Western multinationals. This allowed Singapore to rapidly establish itself, as one of the four Asian Tigers with one of the highest GDP growth rates in the world through the 1970s. Gradually, policymakers sought to switch from the low profit manufacturing of low cost products, toward a production with increased wages, requiring higher skill and higher productivity.

During the 1980s, it became clear that the continuing growth of Singapore’s economy required more space and workers beyond the limits of the city-state. At the same time, changing political circumstances allowed for an onset of regional economic cooperation. Through the so-called Growth Triangle agreement among the three countries, Singapore offered to provide management expertise, technology, telecommunications and transportation in exchange for land and labour offered by Johor and Riau. As a result, vast tracts of land have been opened up for development, mainly industrial production, dominated by Singaporean investment. Particularly since the early 1990s, the phenomenon of migration of the manufacturing sector from Singapore and the formation of the productive hinterlands in Johor Bahru and Riau became apparent.

Since 2006, the legal format of the cross border cooperation has been refined through the establishment of special economic zones (SEZs) and the free trade zones (FTZs) that have been set up on the Malaysian and Indonesian sides in order to further capitalize on the relationship with Singapore. Owing to various incentives, involving tax reduction, abolition of customs duties, possibility of ownership, and certainly the access to land and labour, the ‘zones’ now represent a warm pool for both Singaporean firms and the multinationals.

The study attempts to analyse and describe the productive territory of Johor Bahru, the Malaysian side of the metropolitan hinterland.