Part A: FlexSpace
Team Members & Area of Study
Ute Lehrer & Christian Schmid (Zurich)
Ute Lehrer (Montpellier & Marseille)
Robin Bloch (Dubai & Johannesburg)
Fulong Wu & Zhigang Li (Shanghai & Guangzhou)
Sonia Hirt (Eastern Europe)
Paul Knox (USA)
Jill Grant (Canada)
Part B: Urban Form
Students in undergraduate field courses on Urban Infrastructure conducted field research in Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal, and Halifax (with Ute Lehrer & Caroline Andrew researching Ottawa).
Research Context, Methods and Goals:
Led by Lehrer, there are two components to this thematic area.
(a) FlexSpace: The social, cultural and economic conditions of cities and suburbs have been described, analyzed and theorized in great detail (Fishman; Kostof; Mumford; Park, Burgess, & McKenzie). While several authors attempt to describe recently emerging urban forms by creating new labels (Edge City, Exopolis, FlexSpace, Zwischenstadt, Metroburb), to date there is neither systematic analysis nor comparative work on these in-between spaces that define a great part of cities. This project, concentrating on Zürich (C. Schmid & Lehrer), Montpellier and Marseille (Lehrer), Dubai and Johannesburg (Bloch), Shanghai and Guangzhou (Wu & Li), Eastern European cities (Hirt); US cities (Knox), and Canadian cities (Grant), addressed this gap.
(b) Urban Form: This comparative study of Canadian suburban regions took the form of a visual documentation, complemented with interviews, of various forms of planned and non-planned urban growth and suburban regions. Students in annual undergraduate field courses on urban infrastructure conducted field research in Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal, and Halifax (with Lehrer & Andrew researching Ottawa). Students took photographs of in-between urban spaces and conducted interviews with residents and other users of these spaces for their interpretations of the new urban form. The findings were used for the exhibition, "Urban Growth on the Periphery: Land, Urban Form, Infrastructure and Everyday Life" which was displayed during the the final conference, "After Suburbia: Extended Urbanization & Life on the Planet's Periphery."
Presentations & Publications: