Urban Blackholes: Development and Heritage in the Lima Metropolis

In cities with fast urban growth, heritage and development have often created friction zones where economic logics collide with preservation policies. This option studio will analyze the case of Lima, where more than 360 pre-Columbian archeological sites are located nowadays inside the urban grid.

The absence of urban planning in the past 30 years and the informal urbanization, responsible for more than 70% of the urban surface of Lima, has transformed these sites in genuine Urban Black Holes within the urban grid, hopelessly attracting formal and informal urban growth, searching for new land to expand the city. The natural heritage in the complex ecosystem of the coastal desert where Lima was founded is also an Urban Black Hole: river banks, marshes and seasonal fertile hills, are all witnesses of this destructive gravitational attraction.

Applied research and lectures will lead to creative and proactive hypotheses to imagine innovative living borders, as an antidote for incremental growth and orthodox conservation in Lima. The Urban, architectural and landscape strategies proposed in the studio will explore multiple scales of intervention that will be capable to effectively and lastingly integrate these Urban Black Holes to urban life.

Students will tentatively travel to Lima. The planned 4-day schedule will include the visit of three selected sites, conferences by leading researchers on critical conservation and urbanism, and the possibility of sharing one day life with the neighbors of each site. Optional trips to Cusco and Machu Picchu will also be available at student’s own expenses.

The studio is open for Urban Designers, Urban Planners with architecture background, Landscape designers and Architects. The studio will have the assistance of Einat Rosenkrantz as a teaching fellow in a regular basis and Oscar Malaspina as consulting teacher.

Jean Pierre Crousse will be in residence the weeks of August 31, September 7, October 12, 26, November 9, and 16, and December 1, and for the final review in December. Class will meet on September 1, 3, 8, 10, October 13, 15, 27, and 29, November 10, 12, 17, 19, and December 1 and 3.
Einat Rosenkrantz, Teaching Associate, will be available on a regular basis on Thursday and Friday afternoons through the term.
A studio trip is planned from September 27 to October 4.