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Human Scale, Open Space and Green Urbanism

Robert Krasser



Thursday, June 30, 2022


Multifunction Hall Room 5
Institut For Human Scale Villages, Towns and Regions
Integrated Governance in Spatial Planning for a More Just, Green, and Healthy Urban Future
NE 165


We would like to bring together different traditions of planning and discuss distinct approaches. The focus is to foster human scale approaches which are in line with SDG 11, the New Urban Agenda, and the Leipzig Charta. In the last century, architecture and spatial planning has been strongly oriented towards the requirements of the Athens Charter. To put it simply, this has led to a “car-friendly” city of "long ways" and sprawl. In architecture schools and universities, the complex “social spatial networks” have been neglected. The focus was, and still is, mostly on the exclusive design of solitary, spectacular objects or as Jan Gehl narrates: “Designing Skyscrapers in the shape of perfume bottles”. A 60 year long discussion started by Jane Jacobs, lead to the UN Habitat New Urban Agenda and the Leipzig Charta. Today in the year 2020, a soft countertrend could be noticed. However, influential senior architects with well-established offices and long-term professors at our universities are yet to take to this gradually changing awareness. As they are educated in the 60s to 90s they still have the ‘Athens Charter thinking’ in their DNA. This Network Event is to promote the alternative solutions to a ‘Dubaiisation’ of Africa with inhuman city structures, glossy skyscrapers and car-centric structures. In order to prepare future generations of architects for human-friendly planning, it would be essential to teach them the values of the New Urban Agenda.


· Promote the achievements by the African Development Bank for Human Scale and green Urbanism. · Present the Urban and municipal Development Fund by the AFDB and the criteria. · Presenting a network for human-friendly architecture and urbanism · Discuss best practice in city development · Evaluate and discuss certain ‘new town’ developments · Fact based urbanism with simplified proven urban patterns and critically examining the ‘smart-city’ technology and investor driven planning approaches, which are nowadays distracting from good basic urban planning. · Enhance networking of universities · Introduce the concept of Open Building Architecture fostering ‘agency’ and ‘community engagement’ where the spatial/physical is seen to have profound impact on socio-cultural and economic conditions and allows for on-going participation rather than ineffective once-off participation at the start of a project.

Session speakers

Mr. Idris Salako
Commissioner Lagos State
Lagos State
Ms. Michael Mehaffy
Urbanist / Researcher
Ms. Amira Osman
University of Tswane
Ms. Marcus Mayr
African Development Bank
Ms. Robert Krasser
Architect, Urbanist