Open House International
FORWARD PUBLISHING PLAN 2012-2014
No. 1 MarchNo.2 June
URBAN SPACE DIVERSITY, Paradoxes and Realities
Guest Editor: Prof. Ashraf M. Salama, Department of Architecture and Urban Planning, College of Engineering, Qatar University, Doha, Qatar
With their socio-physical, socio-economic, socio-cultural, and sociopolitical presence cities have always been highly differentiated spaces expressive of heterogeneity, diversity of activities, entertainment, excitement, and pleasure. They have been (and still are) melting pots for the formulation of and experimentation with new philosophies and social practices. They produce, reproduce, represent, and convey much of what counts today as culture, knowledge, and politics. Urban spaces within cities are no exception; they are places for the pursuit of freedom, un-oppressed activities and desires, but also ones characterized by systematic power, oppression, domination, exclusion, and segregation. In dealing with these polar qualities diversity has become one of the new doctrines of city planners, urban designers, and architects. It continues to be at the center of recent urban debates. Little is known, however, on how urban space diversity can be achieved.
In recent rhetoric, diversity denotes in generic terms a mosaic of people who bring a variety of ethnic and cultural backgrounds, styles, perspectives, values and beliefs as assets to the groups and organizations with which they interact. However, in urban discourses it has been addressed as having multiple meanings that include mixing building types, mixing physical forms, and mixing people of different social classes, racial and ethnic backgrounds. While some theorists attribute diversity to the socio-physical aspects of homogeneity within heterogeneity, social differentiation without exclusion, variety, and publicity (Young, 1990), others associate it with socio-political aspects of assimilation, integration, and segregation (Grillo, 2005). While some of these meanings represent a concern for a specific group of professionals including architects and urban designers, urban planners, cultural analysts and abstract theorists, they all agree that each meaning or aspect of diversity is linked to the others; they all call for strategies for urban development that stimulate socio-physical heterogeneity.
This special issue of Open House International attempts to offer answers to these questions: Can planned public urban spaces produce social diversity? What are the aspects of genuine diversity that can be planned for and what are the others that can be attained only spontaneously? With the goal of unveiling lessons learned on urban diversity from the decision making processes and the resulting public urban spaces, the purpose of this issue encompasses several objectives. It aims at providing a conceptualization of urban diversity and elaborating its underlying contents and mechanisms by exploring the variety of meanings adopted in the urban literature. As well, it attempts to establish models for discerning urban space diversity while mapping such models on selected case studies.
ADAPTING BUILDINGS TO CLIMATE CHANGE
Guest Editors:Dr Monjur Mourshed, Building Energy Research Group, Loughborough University, UK. Email:firstname.lastname@example.org; and
Prof Fuad H Mallick, Department of Architecture, BRAC University, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Adapting buildings to the projected changes in climate is challenging because of the interdependence and feedback between climate impacts mitigation and adaptation. Approaches for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the present-day colder climate may affect a building’s adaptation potential in a warmer climate in the future. Increased emphasis on mitigation without much consideration of the dynamics between buildings and future climates may even exacerbate the cause of climate change by requiring energy intensive adaptation to ensure occupant comfort and wellbeing. Exposure to climate risk varies widely, between regions and groups of people. Regions with a prevalence of high temperatures such as overpopulated cities in the tropics may even experience higher than the projected temperatures because of the nocturnal urban heat island effect. The urban poor living in congested communities and with poor access to energy can be disproportionately affected by increased temperatures than their well-off neighbours in the same region. The ability to adapt to the projected changes in climate is thus greatly affected by a number of socio-technical factors, a fuller understanding of which is required to tackle the challenges of adaptation.
Moreover, the factors affecting adaptation potential of a building or a community are interdependent.
Assessment for adaptation, therefore, requires an integrated and multidisciplinary approach. This special issue aims to address the socio-technical aspects of climate change adaptation, in particular the strategies to address integrated and multidisciplinary decision-making.
2013 publishing year.
BUILT ENVIRONMENTS FOR SPECIAL POPULATIONS:
Guest Editor: Dr. Magda Mostafa, Department of Construction and Architectural Engineering,
The American University in Cairo, Egypt
Architecture, at its very essence, is the process of providing physical space and place for human activity. Primarily concerned with responding to the specific needs of users and their societies, the built environment plays a tremendous role in shaping and facilitating the every day world we live in. Although being inextricably concerned with this man-environment dynamic, architecture however seems to limit its mainstream practices, education and standards to the conventional spectrum of “normal”. This leaves numerous user groups and victims of social circumstances largely excluded from the luxury of an architecture that deems itself specifically to serve them.
Such exclusion from the mainstream spectrum may be due to unique spatial needs and requirements of specific groups, or social phenomena which arise from particular transient or non-transient socio-political circumstances. Such marginalized groups include, but are not necessarily limited to, individuals with special needs and disabilities- particularly developmental disabilities with non-physical manifestations; displaced persons due to natural or socio-political circumstances such as refugees and the homeless; minority groups; the elderly; the poverty stricken; victims of natural disaster etc.
By encouraging research in this area we may create a much needed body of information and a number of methodologies and policies required to address the architectural and urban needs of such special populations. In this issue of Open House International authors are encouraged to submit research that helps bridge this informational gap through evidence based design research, case studies, policy evaluation and other forms of scientific research that address the relationship between special populations and their existing, and required, built environments.
ZERO-ENERGY MASS CUSTOM HOME RESEARCH PARADIGMS
Guest Editor: Masa Noguchi, MEARU Mackintosh School of Architecture, The Glasgow School of Art, United Kingdom.
In response to growing global warming issues and the constant increase of energy prices, house-builders and housing manufacturers today are becoming more responsive to the delivery of net zero energy sustainable homes than ever. Within this context, the sustainability may embrace housing economy and adequacy beyond the legitimacy in which the quality barely coincides with individuals’ dynamic various needs, desires and expectations. Nevertheless, the industry’s business operation tends to follow routines and the close system mode of operation often hinders the enterprises from adopting unfamiliar innovations which may be inevitable in realising the delivery and operation of socially, economically and environmentally sustainable homes. In this special issue, the notion of ‘mass customisation’ is reviewed. This paradoxical concept has been recognised as a means to lessen production costs of end-user products while achieving the customisability through economies of scope rather than economies of scale. Housing is no exception. The idea dates back to the 1950s as the gravity became explicit in Walter Gropius’ book entitled ‘Scope of Total Architecture.’ The essence of mass customisation applied to housing was speculated as he emphasized the need for ‘standardising and mass-producing not entire houses, but only their component parts which can then be assembled into various types of houses.’ This edition encompasses a wide spectrum of hopes and fears around the design, production and marketing approaches to both delivery and operation of zero-energy/emission mass custom homes, or ZEMCH, and showcases some exemplars budding out in different climates around the globe. This issue is developed in collaboration with ZEMCH Network and IEA SHC/ECBCS Task 40/Annex 52 international experts with the aim to solidify today’s diverse expertise in the realm as elicited research paradigms for further exploration and delivery of the homes that meet the wants and needs of individuals and society.
URBAN CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION
Guest Editor: Dr. Christine Wamsler, Global Urban Research Centre, IDPM, University of Manchester, UK and Recovery and Risk Reduction, Lund University, Centre for Risk Analysis and Management (LUCRAM), Sweden.
E-mail: Christine.email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
Climate change and urban development are closely interlinked and often adversely affect one another. Urbanisation – both planned and unplanned – can cause climatic changes. Moreover, urbanisation itself is affected by climate change and also influences the way climate change impacts entire urban populations. Urban development is thus capable not only of counteracting climate change and its impacts, but also of strongly reinforcing them. The current negative feedback loop between climate change and urban development is seen in the resulting increase in weather-borne disasters, diseases and shortages of freshwater, energy and food, which have the greatest effects on the urban poor in developing countries.
While current climate change debates and policy at the international level focus mainly on how to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, urban development actors also need to find ways of adapting to climate change and of placing the urban poor at the centre of their debates and activities. This is crucial so that cities can become able to resist and counteract increasing climate change impacts – rather than inadvertently reinforcing them. So far, however, urban development actors have shown little understanding of how their actions can constrain effective local adaptation to climate change on the part of urban slum dwellers, too often with disastrous outcomes.
2014 publishing year.
IMPROVING ENERGY EFFICIENCY IN THE EXISTING HOUSING STOCK: POLICIES, PROCESSES AND PEOPLE
Guest Editor: Prof.Dr. ir. Henk J.Visscher, Chair:Housing Quality & Process Innovation, OTB Research Institute of the Built Environment, Delft University of Technology. The Netherlands.