Urbanists Talk: Pablo Allard & Gert Urhahn

Amsterdam Oostenburg Development Plan (design: Urhahn Urban Design)

Location: Netherlands Architecture Institute (auditorium), Rotterdam

How do we plan and design the city of tomorrow? That is the main question of the 5th International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam: Making City. In this Urbanists Talk, Chilean architect and urban planner Pablo Allard and Dutch urban planner Gert Urhahn will disclose their ideas on the city of tomorrow. Both designers are convinced that urban planning has to renew itself in order to meet the societal challenges of mass urbanization. In their presentations, they will show new forms of urban planning that improve the city's sustainability on an economical, social and energy level. Improving the quality of urban life is their prime concern. This can be achieved with an urban planning that is less imposed from above, that finds a balance between individual demands and common interests, and that eventually offers room for engaged and empowered citizens.

Pablo Allard
Pablo Allard is an architect and urban designer focused on integrative design of urban infrastructure in sustainable communities, with emphasis on housing, infrastructure and urban redevelopment. He is currently Dean of the Faculty of Architecture and Arts at Universidad del Desarrollo in Santiago and Concepción, Chile, and principal at URBANICA consultants. After the February 27, 2010 earthquake and Tsunami that severely affected more than 900 cities, towns and villages in Chile, Allard was appointed as the 'National Urban Reconstruction Program Coordinator' at the Ministry of Housing and Urbanization, leaving office after leading the development and implementation of Strategic Reconstruction plans for more than 160 cities and coastal towns.

Between 2005 and 2009 he served as executive director of the 'Cities Observatory' at the Universidad Católica de Chile Faculty of Architecture, Design and Urban Studies. Until his appointment as Urban Reconstruction Coordinator, Allard was a founding partner of the ELEMENTAL 'do-tank'. He was also partner at Nueva Vía, a consulting group of specialists in infrastructure and concessions. Between 2002 and 2005 Allard served as head of the 'City, Landscape and Environmental studies' unit at the PUC School of Architecture. In parallel to his academic and professional work, Allard is a weekly contributor to the Chilean newspaper 'La Tercera' and host at radio 'Duna' where urban culture and politics are discussed for a wider audience.

Gert Urhahn
Gert Urhahn is urban designer, lecturer and former director of Urhahn Urban Design. He is now an associate of this Amsterdam-based urban planning firm, which he founded in 1991. He developed a broad international portfolio of projects in cities such as Amsterdam, London, Antwerp and Oaxaca. 
Before establishing his own practice, Urhahn was Senior Urban Designer for the Municipality of Amsterdam. During this time, he was deeply engaged in the redevelopment of the Amsterdam Waterfront development area. He is particularly interested in improving the relationship between citizens and the cities they live in. 

He published extensively on regeneration strategies and urban typologies and principles. ‘The Spontaneous City’ (2010), his most recent publication, makes the case for flexible, organic, smaller scale and bottom-up transformation of urban areas. He is member of the International Federation for Housing and Planning (IFHP) and chair of the IFHP Working Group ‘The Spontaneous City’. Together with Bernardina Borra he leads participatory projects at international seminars, workshops and labs.

Time: 20.00 – 22.00 hrs
Language: English
Admission: € 7,50 / €3,00 for students / free for Friends of the NAI
Register via: www.nai.nl/register 

This lecture is organized by NAi Platform.