Serendipity city – informal urban planning and social architecture

re:publica 2015
City Of The Future


Pitch: Alfredo Brillembourg: As the world becomes increasingly urban, the demand for decent housing is greater than the supply. Those who can afford living in city centers take advantage of better access to economic opportunities and public amenities. Low-income households are increasingly forced to exit the city to find cheaper housing on the city’s fringes or in suburban agglomerations. Discussion (everybody): What can architects learn from community managers and vice versa about urban planning?


The urban environment is the expression of modern life. Cities grow fast, dynamically and not always in the way governments plan. In particular in developing countries, formal city planning seems to be in a race with informal urban development, settlements like so called slums that may serve the immediate needs of their inhabitants, but clash with the plans of those in power.

Instead of thinking about urban development as a top-down process, from the drawing board to the street – architects like  Alfredo Brillembourg aim to understand informal urbanism and its effects on the city. With their projects, they embrace the “informal” as a laboratory for the study of adaptation and innovation.

Alfredo Brillemboourg from Urban Think Tank – a research and design lab concerned with contemporary architecture and urbanism, will present their findings from numerous projects and will discuss with three African innovation hub leaders, from Rwanda, Brazil and Egypt how communities can be involved to make sure the city serves the needs of all its inhabitants. Innovation hubs create nexus points in a city bringing together diverse groups of people - the sum of whose parts are greater than the whole. The idea is to create collaborative spaces for knowledge transfer and serendipitous exchange. Based on their experiences in building and involving communities,

Adam Molineux-Berry , Jon Stever and Ricardo Ruiz Frere will comment on the work of the UTT and discuss how social urban development can be fostered in both the formal and informal parts of a city.


Dienstag, 5. Mai 2015 - 14:45 bis 15:45