Kiribati, Montreal, Mumbai, Nagoya and Santiago


The Government of Kiribati is currently implementing a medium term "Sustainable Towns Program" with support for various activities under the umbrella programme from donors including the Government of New Zealand, the Pacific Region Infrastructure Facility and the Cities Alliance. The program had a multi-pronged approach, namely planning to implement phased slum upgrading in existing urban villages, construction of climate-proofed serviced subdivisions to pre-empt the emergence of new slums and catalyse a land and housing market, and developing the capabilities of local responsible agencies for key urban management functions.

The studio explored the linkages between various approaches to urban management in order to break the multi-causal cycle of deterioration characteristic of rapidly growing cities around the world. In particular, it will seek to understand the underlying drivers of urbanisation, the role of the public sector in creating an enabling framework for managed urban growth and contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Towns Programme's goal of creating dynamic, liveable and sustainable towns that make a positive contribution to the Kiribati national economy and the social, economic and environmental well-being of their inhabitants.

  • Report on South Tarawa General Land Use
  • Kiribati Low Cost House Designs - Presentation
  • Kiribati Low Cost Housing - Display Panels
  • Kiribati Plants List

Montreal, Canada

Gender Inclusive Cities

Studio Leaders: Associate Professor Carolyn Whitzman and Clare Newton

There is increasing evidence that women and men experience cities in different ways. However, the built environment professions have traditionally been 'gender blind'. Whether you are studying to be a planner, architect, landscape architect, urban designer or a property developer, this studio will change forever the way you understand cities. The travelling studio offers an exceptional opportunity to engage with cutting-edge research funded by the UN Trust Fund to Eliminate Violence Against Women and also hear from the Montreal based Women in Cities International and the International Centre for the Prevention of Crime. You will join students from McGill University doing hands-on studio work in French-speaking Montreal. We are also hoping to include students from developing countries with support from the Commonwealth Association of Planners.

Mumbai, India

Informal Settlements & Slum Upgrading

Studio Leaders: Professor Kim Dovey and Professor Richard Tomlinson

The studio will involve students working in association with SPARC (Society for the Promotion of Area Resource Centres), and through SPARC with the NSDF (National Slum Dwellers Federation) and other NGOs and authorities. SPARC and their partners are engaged in a number of slum upgrading programs and students will have access to the ways in which upgrading works on the ground. We envisage that students will engage with both analysis of existing situations and visions for the urban future of these communities in a creative and collaborative way. While all students are expected to engage with disciplines other than their own, tasks will be allocated according to expertise and assessed on criteria that apply within each student's disciplinary base.

Nagoya, Japan

Rethinking the Superblock

Studio Leader: Associate Professor Barrie Shelton

The Japan travelling studio will focus on Japanese city structure and related architecture, spatial and building typologies – their formal characteristics, dimensions and relationships – as a counterpoint to those commonly encountered in Anglo- American and Australian culture. Aided by a substantial body of completed research, the studio projects will investigate a Japanese city district/super-block, its buildings and spaces – to generate an understanding of spatial configuration and underpinning principles of organisation as a foundation for urban, building and landscape design. Nagoya has been chosen because the city is a good example of Japanese urban structure and has a long history of bold infrastructure planning. I believe there are certain physical patterns and conditions here that are not widely appreciated but could positively influence urban theory and practice. This is an important assumption behind the studio.

While primarily an urban design studio, it will investigate and design at a range of scales – including building, lot, street, street block, highway and superblock. To ensure suitability for students of architecture, landscape and architecture, there will be projects of several types and scales.

Santiago, Chile

Studio Leader: Associate Professor Ray Green

The HidroAysen project, which is estimated to cost 3.2 billion dollars (US), involves the construction of five hydroelectric power plants along the Baker and Pascua Rivers in Chile’s Aysen Region of Patagonia. While Chile relies on hydropower for its electricity, which is a source of carbon free energy, it also produces the most Greenhouse Gas emissions of all South American countries. It is estimated that the country will need to triple its energy capacity over the next 15 years to feed fast-growing industries and cities, hence the rationale for this project. In fact it is estimated that this project will, when completed, produce 25% of the country’s energy needs, generating 2,750 megawatts of carbon free electrical energy for the country.

The project was approved on May 9, 2011, by the Chilean government, a decision strongly criticized by a substantial segment of the Chilean population, sparking street protests across the country due to the predicted detrimental impacts it will have on the environment and indigenous peoples of the area. The project will result in the flooding of an estimated 5,900 hectares of pristine areas of high conservation value including rare forest and riparian ecosystems and farmland. Several indigenous Mapuche communities will also have to be relocated and construction of a new settlement to house some 5000 workers will also be required. To distribute the energy to the capital city of Santiago some 3000 kilometres of electrical transmission lines will also have to be constructed.

See all past travelling studios

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