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Building obsolescence in the evolving city. Reframing property vacancy and abandonment in the light of urban dynamics and complexity

Montag, 30. März 2020, 16:00

This conceptual paper takes issue with the way the state of buildings is often discussed by both policymakers and academics. Property vacancy and abandonment tend to get approached statically, in an undifferentiated way and responded to by ad hoc public policies. However, there is great variety in the causes and effects of a building's state of affairs. This paper takes a more complex and dynamic view of building obsolescence to better understand the development of a building and the reasons behind its current (temporary) state. More fundamentally, it shows that when viewing the city as a complex evolving system, rather than as a "made order" or organisation, a whole different set of policy options come into the picture. Rather than policy rules and actions that are reactive and correct for undesired urban outcomes, these (framework) rules are anticipative by facilitating and incentivising change before a building may reach a socially unwanted state. Those policy options are illustrated empirically.

Guest Speaker: prof. Edwin Builtelaar


Colloquium Series 2019/2020: Planning and Design for Adaptable Cities and Neighbourhoods
Cities and neighbourhoods are by their nature complex systems which change and adapt over time as a result of both top-down interventions and unpredictable, bottom-up, emergent processes of transformation. In the last several years advanced models have been elaborated to better understand and analyse this phenomena. However, implications on how to plan and design the development of cities and neighbourhoods for uncertain futures, including the concepts of flexibility and spontaneity, are still at their infancy and need to be expanded. Moreover, even though awareness on the relevance of this topic is now spreading within planners and designers communities, it has hardly penetrated into ordinary practices and theories. With this colloquium series, the ILS wants to explore and search suitable strategies on how to plan and design cities and neighbourhoods to make them more adaptable and responsive to unpredictable changes.Aiming at enriching the dialogue and discussion on adaptable cities and neighbourhoods, the colloquium will invite preeminent international scholars and researchers from this field of study.


Participation is free of charge. Registration is not required.

Organized by: Dr. Stefano Cozzolino and Prof. Dr. Jan Polivka

Research Institute for Regional and Urban Development (ILS), Brüderweg 22-24, Dortmund


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(Quelle: ILS-Institut für Landes- und Stadtentwicklungsforschung)



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Private Fördermitglieder:
Prof. Rolf Kinne
Peter Busse