A finalist entry in the Transiting Cities – Low Carbon Futures competition, Studio One‘s proposal, titled, ‘Networked Ecologies: Rethinking Remediation’ a variety of programs ranging from landscape / mining remediation, to urban agriculture are defined. These “in-between” sites will grow and develop according to the specific conditions and uses, eventually creating a network of infrastructure that will provide robustness to the city. More images and architects’ description after the break.
The inevitable shifts in global climate and economical conditions have made us question and rethink the ability of the cities to resist and adapt to these changes. A city like Latrobe whose landscape, economy and social conditions are based primarily on coal based energy production is particularly vulnerable to the global and local changes.
With the coal reserves and production reducing, the social and ecological conditions in Latrobe have already started to decline. By mapping the area, several sites that are currently underutilized or to become vacant with the mining decline were found. Networked Ecologies rethinks these sites as urban and ecological connectors as spaces that will provide robustness to the landscape.
This new infrastructure will provide energy production alternatives; by incorporating wind energy generation system to the building’s tectonic. Networked Landscapes proposes an ecological remediation of the mining sites by creating built wetlands that will also regenerate the species of the area. The selected sites provide a variety of self-sustainable economical activities creating a stronger local economy that can now provide a wider range of products to the outside economy.
Existing functions in the site:
Latrobe Region is currently divided into a natural, a mining and an urban region. All of them are separated from each other in this mining driven economy. With the projected coal and energy production decline, the area must rethink its cultural, economical and ecological landscape, transitioning to a more diverse one. By mapping under-utilized and soon to-become vacant spaces, we were able to locate several sites with the potential to be used as a connector between the variety of Latrobe’s landscapes. However in order to create a robust and resilient city, we are trying to diversify the set of relationships between the different sites. While a linear connection might indeed diversify Latrobe’s landscape, only a multidimensional set of connections and activities can ensure this.
Replacing of energy sources within 20 years
As in one hand the existing coal mine in the Latrobe city can just provide coal within next 20 years and in the other hand these coal mine provide more than 80% of Victoria state in Australia, replacing the energy sources would be the essential strategy for keep this district alive. Our proposal is to replace the coal as the source of energy producing by the existing nature potential of the site for producing energy. Like Hydroelectricity, tidal power, geothermal energy, Bioenergy, wave power, solar energy, Wind energy.
Site design strategy
Our proposal is about discovering the in-between spaces, between the existing functions and creates a new network in the area. This process will be repeated for the new created spaces. This unpredictable and chained network is about the growth of the new in-between spaces of the previous in-between spaces that are introduced by previous process. So each time we have a new network of new spaces which growth and connect the area like a spider net and rhizome within a time.
Depending on their distance to vacant buildings, the project re-utilizes and combines with them, reprogramming the buildings with community-oriented activities. The local economy depends on each other, rather than on a central hub, generating a strong economical network. As the Networked Ecologies expand, the existing functions of the city are intensified and complemented. This new Network is ever-changing and continually growing and adapting to the existing conditions.
Design: Studio one Location: Latrobe, Australia Team Members: Mona Ghandi, Carlos Sandoval, HassanSazmand Status: Competition Entry Additional Credits: One of the finalist entries, recognized by the jury with an honorable mention Area: 3000 HA Date: November 2012