2014 – Urban Densification


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Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation

A6851 Urban Design Studio III
Critics: Richard Plunz (Director), Victor Body-Lawson, Viren Brahmbhatt, Michael Conard,
Juan Esteban Correa Elejalde, Petra Kempf, Geeta Mehta, Kate Orff


URBAN DENSIFICATION. India (Delhi), Kenya (Kisumu), Colombia (Medellin)

The subject of this Studio is a comparative urban dialogue between New Delhi, Kisumu, and Medellín. Like dynamic cities everywhere, they share concerns about the form of their continuing expansion and the consequent mandates for compact growth.  The New Delhi mandate involves densification of the Lutyens Plan for the original colonial city, long considered an international landmark in early 20th century urban design.  The Kisumu mandate also entails urban densification, but with sharply contrasting origins and formal characteristics evolving out of the commercial functionalism of an early 20th century port city.  The Medellin mandate entails densification of the “informal sector” periphery, within the context of a city recently transformed by new political will and substantial investment. For each of the three cities, detailed study sites have been carefully chosen as particular “fragments” that will serve as windows through which to view the larger question of their respective development modes, and to comparatively explore “saturation” levels of density within the respective urban contexts.