This publication presents an overview of the research conducted within the course “Case Studies of Sustainable Urban Developments and Infrastructure.
The lecture series presented detailed views on how to analyse and transform the city with practical, real-life examples. Guest lecturers discussed topics such as water-sensitive neighbourhoods, energy-efficient design, biodiversity and animal-aided design, monitoring and understanding air pollution, and health impacts of urban and transport planning. Those experts provided insights and examples of interventions in Munich and other cities worldwide.
In the seminar, students looked at the city at a small scale: urban fabric, streets, buildings, energy grids, materials, public spaces, quality of the green… Their aim was to find ways to transform the built environment into the most sustainable city Munich can be. How to do it? Which concrete actions should the city take in order to radically move towards a positive ecological footprint?
The seminar approach consisted of a sum of teams that worked as a network –sharing information, discussing in forums, peer-reviewing their ideas- with the aim to understand the city as a whole.
Different topics were studied as interconnected elements that shape our cities and its inhabitant’s lives. Those areas of action had different scales. 3 teams worked around topics with a city scale: Well-being and Quality of Life, Climate Protection and Climate Change Adaptation, and Resource Consumption and Waste. 8 teams focused on different neighbourhoods of Munich as case studies to achieve the vision. Each of them studied one neighbourhood and proposed interventions around the following areas of action: Building Structure, Green & Blue Infrastructure, Mobility, and Energy and Material Efficiency and Life Cycle Assessment.
The selected sites were part of city quartiers that have different urban fabric, density, building typology, mobility splits, location within the city with specific surroundings (city centre, river, green belt, etc.). The three “City Level” topics are transversal to the built environment and human´s lives, and therefore in need of a holistic view. Those topics cross all the other areas of action. When designing projects in sectors such as urban planning, mobility, etc., the impacts on health, climate and resources need to be considered. This interaction among teams showed the interdependencies within the city and how necessary it is to design it from a collaborative and integral approach.