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Re-designing the Gap: Urbanization between Formal Institutions and Informal Dynamics


25 April, 2015, 09:30 – 18:00
Litteraturhuset, Amalie Skram, Wergelandsveien 29, 0167 Oslo

The Institute or Urbanism and Landscape and CSMN (University of Oslo) brings together theorists and practitioners in the fields of architecture as well as the natural and the social sciences, for a one-day conference in Oslo.

We live in cities. What kind of environment and livable conditions can our cities offer in the future?

We want to explore in this seminar how urbanism and architecture may contribute to a sustainable future for our cities by operating intelligently in the space between grassroots initiatives and top-down approaches. We shall explore the potential of a more active role for the architect as both a mediator and a key agent in shaping the future.

How can the many individual design-oriented, bottom-up initiatives add up to a movement of change? What policy changes would support all these initiatives, and also maximize the capabilities of design to secure basic needs and improve the urban environment.

The conference is open to the general public



Prof of Industrial Engineering Harald Sverdrup, The University of Iceland (HÍ): City Prosperity Challenges in a World of Limited Resources

Architect Arna Mathiesen, April Arkitekter AS: Boom and Bust in the Built Environment – the Case of Iceland

Prof of Economics Rune Skarstein, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU): Towns in the Era of Fossil Fuels – a Long-term Perspective

Prof of Architecture, Ana Baltazar, MOM, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG): Growth or Development? The Role of Architects against the Capitalist Mode of Production and in Favour of People’s Empowerment

Prof of architecture Tatjana Schneider, The University of Sheffield, HafenCity Universität Hamburg: Try me! Other Ways of Doing Architecture

Dr Lisbet Harboe, The Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO): Playful and Serious: Architects Initiatives

Prof of Public Culture and Urbanism Teddy Cruz, Center for Urban Ecologies, University of California, San Diego (UCSD): Social norms, urban conflict and the cross-border citizen – Part 1

Prof of Political Science Fonna Forman, Center on Global Justice, University of California, San Diego (UCSD): Social Norms, Urban Conflict and the Cross-border Citizen Part 2.


The conference is associated to the project Innovating Urban Practices.