Europan is a prestigious competition for professionals under 40 years old to design innovatively for exclusive sites across Europe. Europan stands as the architecture lab providing young professionals the unique opportunity to contribute in the process of revival the European sites. One more time this competition acts in Warsaw.
Ongoing edition runs under the slogan “Productive city,” which addresses the diverse meanings of the word productivity. How to maintain the productive economy and qualitatively combine different types of urban manufacturing in cities? The issue is not to bring steel factories back to the city, but to create the equal conditions for small-scale urban manufacturers.
In the current 14th edition Warsaw will be represented by Ulrychów district. The capital’s location is the area of the former factory house on Górczewska Street.
“This former industrial area of Warsaw is facing the chance to recover, far-off being the residential urban monoculture, but aiming to be multifunctional fragment of the city where you can live, learn, work and spend free time. We will be carefully analyze submitted projects not only within Ulrychów case, but for Warsaw in general. The special attention will be paid to the capital’s housing policy, says Marlena Happach, City Architect.”
Nowadays the selected site Ulrychów is recognized by few. However, the inspiration is just around us. Let’s think about the history of Ulrychów Garden City, where the main value were green areas or the access to prefabricated houses located nearby. The current postulate of creating a sustainable city for all is not so far away of the site’s roots!
EUROPAN now focuses on productive cities!
The competition area is located in the area of former factory house at Górczewska Street and measures 17 hectares. It is likely to become an experimental site where a new model of the city will be developed.
How mixed is actually the mixed-city?
Housing remains the main program in many urban development projects of the post-industrial era. We wisely add some office places and public amenities, but remain especially keen on stimulating bars, shops and restaurants because we want every new district to be a “genuine vibrant urban neighbourhood. Looking back at how we organized this wave of regeneration, we can see how we have systematically excluded one program: the productive economy. There is now in many European cities a spatial and social mismatch between living and working conditions. The city provides high-skilled professionals with many working possibilities while a large part of low-skilled workers live in the city with no work opportunity. This mismatch generates many problems with regard to economy, mobility and sociality. Of course, we should not bring steel factories back to the city centre. But we are already welcoming all kinds of small-scale urban manufacturing. We are accommodating more and more of the new recycling industry within the city itself. We could systematically save some space in our programs for redevelopment areas for small and medium enterprises. We should avoid that the plumber living in the city and repairing our houses in the city has to drive out of the city to find available storage space. Production should be encouraged in the city, be part of the fabric, be allowed to be seen, connected to shared daily life, nurtured and celebrated.
Which alternatives should we produce for such a city? How to integrate some of the production activities in the city – such as the production of food, energy, low skilled services, new industrial products– to enhance new relations between citizens? How to live in productive fields and to produce in living environment? How to integrate all the production cycles considering distribution, waste and consumption? The challenge for Europan 14 is to generate new kinds of proximity by connecting the living and the producing (source: Europan 14 : Productive Cities).
Productive city might be understood as:
- An efficient city designed to optimize the consumption of time and energy spent on transportation,
- A manufacturing city meaning a manufacture comeback as a source of income for the inhabitants,
- A city of harmonious development providing space for residents and to all necessary public services,
- A city that is more than just a residential area,
- “And productive again!” to identify possible models of post-industrial area rehabilitation
Winners receive a reward of the equivalent of €12,000 (all taxes included) in the currency of the site’s country (at the exchange rate on the date of the announcement of the results). The organizers undertake to abide by the decisions of the national juries and to pay the reward within 90 days of the announcement of the results.
Runners-up receive a reward of the equivalent of €6,000 (all taxes included) in the currency of site’s country (at the exchange rate on the date of the announcement of the results). The organizers undertake to abide by the decisions of the national juries and to pay the reward within 90 days of the announcement of the results.
A Special Mention can be awarded to a project considered innovative although not completely adapted to the site. The authors of such proposals do not receive a reward.
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Photos of surrounding area:
Drone above the content site (movie):