Good cities are cities in which all stakeholders feel agency in helping shape it. Good urbanism projects are driven by a diverse constituency of actors. By engaging stakeholders and actors, it is possible to better understand issues, motives, challenges, and solutions. Design can play a wide variety of roles in engagement. Throughout the years, One Architecture + Urbanism has been at the forefront of the development and deployment of design-driven tools that help bring understanding, find solutions, and build support. One Architecture + Urbanism believes that cities will be successful and resilient if they channel local interests and resources into the city making process, and that design is essential to capturing these.
In the Rebuild By Design competition for Lower Manhattan, One Architecture co-led a community-driven urban design approach. Two rounds of open-invitation public workshops were held in the neighborhoods most affected by Hurricane Sandy, where participants were introduced to a resilient design “tool kit” and given the opportunity to propose protection strategies and program concepts in exercises titled “Design Your Waterfront.” Concurrent to both the design development and the public outreach, the team held smaller, focused workshops with 31 community and cultural organizations, and over 40 governmental agencies at the city, state, and federal levels. This extensive engagement not only fostered good design results, it also directly led to the award of over $300M in HUD grant money for resiliency improvements in the Lower East Side.
Building on the public outreach led during the Rebuild by Design competition, the ESCR project team engaged the East Side community in a series of workshops designed to demystify the flood protection options under consideration and generate excitement about the open space and access improvements associated with this unique project. Four rounds of workshops for each of two project areas were conducted from March to October of 2015. In the first round, participants shared key information about how they used and accessed East River parks and waterfront facilities. In the second round, the team sought more detailed feedback on improving specific pedestrian access points. In the third round, participants evaluated and ranked design options for both flood protection and access improvements. The last round functioned as a capstone of the concept design phase, providing feedback on the synthesized “preferred alternative” and setting the stage for further engagement in the design development phase.
LMCR, the second compartment of the ‘Big U’ to move forward, is a feasibility, planning, and design study to understand the best strategies for implementing flood protection for Lower Manhattan. Representing an incredibly diverse physical, social, and political cross section of the city, this project poses many challenges and opportunities in synthesizing broader urban agendas in the implementation of flood protection. For this reason, engaging with the different communities on the ground has been a critical step in the process. LMCR is in its first contractual period, with NYC’s Economic Development Corporation, for concept design and feasibility studies. As part of this phase, two public events where held on May 18th and May 31st, involving communities from the Financial District and Two Bridges in the decision-making process for various design alternatives.
In collaboration with the PRA and funded by a Dutch grant, a professional engineering consortium has been developing a master plan for coastal defense around Tacloban City and Palo -areas devastated by Typhoon Haiyan in 2013. When finished, the masterplan -called Tacloban DRR- will call for a “protective coastal greenbelt.” ONE will begin a pilot program of shoreline pond and mangrove restoration, which would both kick off the much-needed implementation of the Tacloban DRR masterplan (as a tangible first phase) as well as serve as a pilot project for similar restorations and soft-infrastructure implementations elsewhere in the Philippine archipelago. ONE Resilient Team brings together the expertise from the flood-management masterplan development, experts in community-driven project development, and local actors. The team-leads, experts in linking the social and physical dimensions of resilience at all scales, pay particular attention to the communications aspects within such projects: the real challenge and opportunity for innovation is in the linking of local systems with large scale systems. In order to capture local knowledge and enable collaboration within agencies on the ground, ONE Resilient Team has hosted 2 workshops in Tacloban and has initiated the first phase of training.
In collaboration with: Philippines Reclamation Authority
Buiksloterham is a former brownfield area in Amsterdam-North, currently under redevelopment. The Economic Board of the City of Amsterdam assigned Buiksloterham the status of Innovation District / Urban Living Lab. A traditional large scale top down masterplan was designed, but due to the current economic crisis and the level of pollution in certain parts of the neighborhood all development came to a standstill. A number of stakeholders took this chance to develop this area with a new bottom up approach partly based on individual initiatives and partly on several collaborations. Shaping an environment based upon a circular economy and circular sustainability framework. In addition to the “Hackable Metropolis,” ONE initiated its own 20-unit zero-energy housing development ELTA, and is working on Circular Buiksloterham, the creation of a long term vision for the transition of Buiksloterham to a biobased-, smart and circular neighborhood. The ambitions are high and the interventions broad: from energy targets, water recycling and harvesting to socioeconomic development, health and wellbeing.
In the past years, Gouda-Oost had become an (undeserved) symbol of the difficulties in new towns. When ONE started, in 2008, residents, municipality and housing corporations had already been cooperating for some time to transform and upgrade this neighborhood in Gouda without much success. In an essay, One Architecture suggested an adaptive ‘open’ plan that will be filled in piece by piece, by involving local authorities, stakeholders and especially local residents. With the urban plans for 3 different parts, One Architecture has now elaborated the first parts of the renewal. The urban plan comprises a new, green, public area, the ‘Oversteek’ (traverse). The new and existing neighborhood facilities, like shops, supermarkets, a community school, the existing church and the mosque, are all situated along this area. The construction of the Oversteek is linked with the realization of an ambitious and diverse housing program, which will accommodate both existing and new residents, as well as special target groups. By dividing the housing groups into small plots the architecture will aid to showcase the newfound diversity.
Delhi 2050 has been promoting a broad conversation about Delhi’s long-term development with local government bodies, universities, NGO’s and the local population. The project Water in Dwarka, with the aim of mapping the water issues in Dwarka, and, through design research and an intensive on the ground process with local stakeholders, articulates a series of concrete implementable projects that will help address the water shortage. The ultimate goal of an engagement process is to build a constituency that will see to it that a plan is followed through well, long after the politicians and the consultants have left the stage.
In 2005, One Architecture did a small temporary project at the Western Front’s Lux ballroom in Vancouver. The project, an installation to house the Unassociated Writers Conference and Dance Party, was made of a ghostly linen cube with a rented bouncy castle inside it.
Around it there was a makeshift café, as well as different spaces for readings. On the cube, various simultaneous readings (some of them without a live audience) were projected; the sound was adjusted so that, together with the sound of laugher of the bouncing public, the space became “an experiment in information sharing and a place in which writers and artists could commingle, display their books, read, listen, and drink champagne.”
The value of small-scale, non-institutional, bottom-up creative practices for the city and, by extension, the economy, is generally understood, especially since Richard Florida’s books.
A Frühschoppenpavilion is important because in new environments there should always be a place to drink beer. For One Architecture’s Masterplan Salzburg-West, Berend Strik designed a pavilion that refers to a traditional Austrian house without looking like one. Berend Strik and One Architecture decided to work out the proposal together; to the question of what material the pavilion should be made, the answer was… beer. When you drink beer you also have to pee; the pavilion gives space to beer but also to pee, it’s transparent and contemporary.