Rural Urban Metabolism

Introduction to the study project “Rural Urban Metabolism” from InfAR (Bauhaus Weimar) on Vimeo.

Videos of the student projects can be found here.

In urban design and planning, the street is considered as initial to any urban activity like transport, exchange of goods and people while at the same time bearing the invisible arteria for any city’s public infrastructure like energy, water or waste. Thus, for the development of new towns in rapidly urbanizing regions the understanding of material flows and circulation within the urban system is crucial when it comes about any building activity that determines the urban form and what we finally experience as urban, including open and public space and an appropriate living environment.

In our study project, we want to work out, in how far the concept of ‘Urban Metabolism’ can help clarify these interrelations and interdependencies in the question about more local and decentralised versus global and centralised systems of stocks and flows and their meaning for urban areas. While any building activity is an intervention into the natural household, easily visible through the consumption of land and resources, well-balanced models that consider both the requirements of urban amenities and a sustainable approach for a future development seem still to be more ideal than real.

To develop such models, the study project “Rural stocks and flows – urban metabolism in small cities’ development” aims at understanding how far urban metabolism can respond to the development and needs of future cities. Participants will be analysing urban patterns and flows of small cities, learn about the context between urban metabolism and its spatial implications and apply tools and methods for a spatial analysis and finally implement that knowledge in spatial models through the configuration of existing urban schemes . The findings should also make visible the opportunities and limitations of such concepts for disciplines concerned with urban development, taking into account environmental, social and economic factors. Finally, we will deduce and adapt conclusions of our research findings from the Northern hemisphere to the global South in consideration of the development of small cities in Ethiopia.


SYNCITY2020 | Parametric Masterplanning - Students projects compiled from InfAR (Bauhaus Weimar) on Vimeo.

Currently, rapid population growth and rural-urban migration are putting enormous pressure on urban planning in developing countries: Continuously, new neighborhoods and entire cities have to be built in a minimum of time. These new developments must not only meet the basic need of “save roof over one’s head” but must also be able to ensure secure and sustainable livelihoods for all users of the city. Architects and urban designers must hereby pay particular attention to the spatial morphology of streets, places, and buildings: They persist over long periods of time and the greatly influence the behavior of the urban user.

In the design studio “SynCity”, we were concerned with planning methods for the design of urban spatial structures. The target was to develop a computer-based design strategy, which adapts to changing environmental parameters and which integrates the perspective of the urban user. That way, the urban master plan will be synthesized with the help a set of rules that is derived from the lives and interactions of the urban actors, rather than being determined by abstract geometrical concepts.

Habeshaville - By Iuliia Osintseva, Ondrej Veselý & Mahmoud A´dam
City Layout Generator - Johannes Frölich, Vinzenz Rauch & Abdul Hamid Madarati
Hot Spots - Jeanne Dentin, María Fernández - San Julián & Martin Oravec
Education City - Tommaso Busana, Alexandra Cambiaso & Francesca Porcelli

Participatory Workshops

Two times in 2016 students went on field trip to Ethiopia.They worked together with fellow students from EiABC - Addis Ababa on the transformation of villages into maker towns. In groups of three they stayed in 13 different villages and engaged with the local people to develop and update town-plans. The proposals were afterwards presented at EiABC.

360° Videos

360° Streetview experiences are available online for many places especially in metropoles. They make it easy to experience spaces where you are not physically present. For planners this research material can help to  get an approximate feeling of the physical space. In Ethiopia however this content is not available, so we just took the opportunity to experiment with the now affordable technology of 360° cameras to create the material ourselves. In this way students can always get back to a specific location at a specific time with a more immersive feeling than with pictures.

In this 360° video one can explore the transition from the edge of the city to the center. Have a look at the change of pavement, buildings or movement.

Each x red cross links to a 360° video of that specific location to help getting an overview of the village.

Seriti 360 01 Seriti 360 02 Seriti 360 03 Seriti 360 04 Seriti 360 05 Seriti 360 06 Seriti 360 07 Seriti 360 08 Seriti 360 09 Seriti 360 10 Seriti 360 11 Seriti 360 12 Seriti 360 13 Seriti 360 14 Seriti 360 15 Seriti 360 16 Seriti 360 17 Seriti 360 18 Seriti 360 19 Seriti 360 20 Seriti 360 21 Seriti 360 22 Seriti 360 23 Google Maps

Each x red cross links to a 360° video of that specific location to help getting an overview of the village.

Wurer 360 01 Wurer 360 02 Wurer 360 03 Wurer 360 04 Wurer 360 05 Wurer 360 06 Wurer 360 07 Wurer 360 08 Wurer 360 09 Wurer 360 10 Google Maps

Each x red cross links to a 360° video of that specific location to help getting an overview of the village.

Dannisa 360 01 Dannisa 360 02 Dannisa 360 03 Dannisa 360 04 Dannisa 360 05 Dannisa 360 06 Dannisa 360 07 Dannisa 360 08 Dannisa 360 09 Dannisa 360 10 Dannisa 360 11 Dannisa 360 12 Dannisa 360 13 Dannisa 360 14 Dannisa 360 15 Dannisa 360 16 Dannisa 360 17 Dannisa 360 18 Dannisa 360 19 Dannisa 360 20 Dannisa 360 21 Dannisa 360 22 Dannisa 360 23 Dannisa 360 24 Dannisa 360 26 Dannisa 360 25 Dannisa 360 27 Google Maps