Topos 85

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Topos 85 Open Space

Open Space. This topic takes us to extremely disparate urban realities. It is all about places that reconstruct infrastructure into connecting open spaces and parks right in the middle of cities such as Helsinki, Melbourne and Berlin. In Nice, a forgotten urban space is made accessible, whilst in the emergent metropolis Istanbul it is taken away by haphazard political will. And in Christchurch, New Zealand, attempts are made to use open spaces as the lead for creating a new city. The contrasting examples of Athens and La Défense demonstrate that sensitive urban renewal is also important in growing cities. Open spaces always reflect society: they are the places for every day.  

Reset at Gleisdreieck in Berlin
From an Inner-city Wilderness to a Metropolitan Park
Author: Nicole Uhrig

Stripes Breaking Barriers
The renewal of Lonsdale Street is the first step of the Revitalising Central Dandenong Initiative, which aims to improve living conditions in the deprived suburb of Melbourne. The wide street that once cut the district in two has been turned into a connecting open space.
Author: Julian Bull

The Invisible Made Present
The Louvre-Lens Museum in Northern France should work as a catalyst to the development of a former mining region. Not only will the region be transformed economically, but the project will also instigate a dynamic ecological transformation.
Authors: Thierry Kandjee, Sarah Hunt

The Paillon Promenade: a Central Park for Nice?
The new park above the River Paillon in the French Mediterranean reconnects disparate spaces, and reveals long-lost views of the sea, city and surrounding landscape.
Author: Sophia Meeres

Open city or the right to the city?
Henri Lefebvre once postulated “the right to the city”, which was a radical demand for a democratization of control over the collective means of producing urban space. But designed open spaces like the High Line Park in New York obey the rules of neoliberalizing capitalism and result in gentrification. Designers should think about their responsibility for a democratic redesign of the city.
Author: Neil Brenner

#OccupyGezi: The Park Revolution
Reclaiming, Rethinking, Re-producing Space and Democracy
Author: Yasar Adnan Adanalı

Learning from La Défense
The La Défense business district was built in the 1960s and 1970s in the northwest of Paris, along the historical axis that starts from the Louvre and passes through the Champs Elysées and the Arc de Triomphe. The vast pedestrian plaza in the centre, which covers traffic routes and parking lots, is being reassessed as a public space and in terms of how it can be best connected to the new office towers recently built or currently under construction.
Author: Rafaël Magrou

One Step Beyond
In order to revitalise the city centre of Athens, public space has been spotlighted. Walkable and green open space will play a key role in the creation of a resilient centre.
Author: Martin Knuijt

Urban Lands on the Prairie
After years of suburbanization, Dallas tries to strike new paths. During the last years, several inner-city urban spaces were developed.
Author: Kevin Sloan

Open Space and Disaster Recovery
Christchurch, New Zealand is a city struggling to recover from a series of devastating earthquakes that have left large swathes of land vacant. Its future is being forged by new approaches and uses for open space, shaped by the community’s aspirations.
Author: Hugh Nicholson

Crafting a New Cultural Landscape: Barry Curtis Park
Barry Curtis Park in Auckland represents a contemporary New Zealand design aesthetic. Abstraction and recomposition of the distinctive regional landscape have resulted in a park in the tradition of early colonial Auckland, but one taking inspiration from the local landscape and culture rather than recreating scenes from the other side of the world.
Author: Ralph Johns

A New Link in Helsinki
The Baana Pedestrian and Bicycle Path on a former railway line connects two important urban development areas of Helsinki, Finland’s capital. Local characteristics were combined with historical and modern aspects.
Authors: Teresa Rönkä, Krista Muurinen

Peering over the Fence of Kromhout Barracks
The campus for the Dutch Royal Army with its wide green open spaces is a closed place in the city of Utrecht. But it is designed as a terrain that easily could be made accessible to the public and connected to its surrounding.
Author: Marieke Berkers

Places for Everyday
Open space as indicator for the rapidly changing societies in East Asia
Authors: Edda Ostertag, Ying Zhou, Sonja Berthold