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Co-producing ecological urbanism for inclusive

housing transformations
Guayaquil (Ecuador) 10 - 25 July 2015
This summer school aims to provide professionals engaged in environmental planning and urban
development with the critical tools to design and manage an integrated provision of both housing and
ecological infrastructure. Its goals are premised on the lack of scalar integration and participatory
planning in the implementation of large-scale and capital-intensive ecological mega-projects in the
global South and in Ecuador more particularly.
Indeed, the emergence of ecological mega-projects in the global South is undeniable. Their smooth
implementation in the context of rapid growth, consolidated self-building practices and increasing
inequality holds innumerable challenges. Co-producing ecological urbanism for inclusive city
transformation is therefore an essential skill for engendering meaningful social and physical change.
With the global city discourse strongly impacting on the governance of urban eco-restoration and
residential developments in many cities, the delineation of alternative ecological management strategies
and housing typologies remains largely neglected.
In Ecuador, the Buen Vivir concept has bred many promises to promote alternative forms of
development and spread well-being across the countrys human settlements. In line with this agenda,
Ecuadors largest city and port has been subject to significant transformations, of which the most
prominent is the Guayaquil Ecolgico. This large-scale intervention is expected to provide a significant
amount of new recreational and environmental areas proportioned to the number of Guayaquils
inhabitants in order to enduringly safeguard and re-introduce nature in the city. The project, initiated by
the Ministry of Environment in coordination with a number of other state institutions (MIES, MSP,
MIDUVI, MINEDUC, DIRNEA and the Guayas Gobernacin) is under execution. In the context of a
fragile estuarine landscape, it aspires to recover over 40 kilometers of waterfront along the Estero
Salado, leading to the eviction of some communities who depend on water for their livelihoods but are
also subject to the threats of climate change and pollution.
Considering the above, this summer school expects to train environmental planners capable of
espousing ecological restoration and management with equitable city-making and housing provision. It
aims to sustain the incorporation of participation in decision-making advanced in Ecuadors national
development strategies in the specific context of ecological planning initiatives. The workshop will
combine design perspectives from ecological urbanism and housing conception with multi-stakeholder
workshops and intensive fieldwork in order to propose intermediate and inclusive design proposals.
By learning how to operate at the intermediate scale, workshop participants will rely on participatory
urban design to solve the conflict between the scale of the ecological mega-project (and the
development pressure it is generating) and the scale of the affordable housing needs of vulnerable
urban dwellers. All participants will gain competence to use the performative capacity of existing human
settlements and ecological conditions as the starting point for proposing innovative and sustainable
interplays of urbanization, landscape and infrastructure.

*** This initiative is funded by the VLIR-UOS ***


PARTNERS
* University of Guayaquil
* Centro Nacional de Estrategia para el Derecho al Territorio (CENEDET), Centro de Instituto de Altos
Estudios Nacionales
* Department of Architecture, KU Leuven (Belgium)
GUEST LECTURERS
* Kelly Shannon (USC, Los Angeles)
* Liliana Miranda (Foro Ciudades para la Vida, Lima)
* Peter Ward (Univeristy of Texas, Austin / LAHN)
* Edith Jimenez Huerta (Universidad de Guadalajara)
* Joris Scheers (KU Leuven)
* Viviana dAuria (KU Leuven)
*
*

STI PRELIMINARY PROGRAMME AND SCHEDULE


The STI has been developed as an action-learning initiative that is considered particularly relevant for
the context and main focus area of the training. For this reason the programme is built around:
(1) three main work packages delivering content from international, regional and local trainers;
(2) intensive moments of work package integration by means of on-site fieldwork, stakeholder
workshops and design charettes.
This structure is also considered particularly productive in terms of the formation of a community of
practice, as moments of mutual learning and exchange between participants will be facilitated and
encouraged by work package integration featuring group work. The three work packages constituting
part (1) of the STI are not considered as sequential or propaedeutic to one another, but will be delivered
as content lectures in line with the main ambitions of the STI to develop an integrated perspective on
ecological planning and housing design. The first days will be devoted to part (1) of the STI (4 days) and
the remaining 10 days will be dedicated to work package integration (see detailed schedule on last page
of this annex).
WORK PACKAGE 1: ECOLOGICAL URBANISM (EU)
EU 1: Water-based urbanisms (days 1 and 2
More than is currently recognized, water-driven urbanism is a powerful structuring element in urban
design and spatial planning. However, the integration of design, engineering and management is often
lacking, in spite of the fact that water is re-conquering the contemporary agenda of urbanism due to
climate change. Two key lectures will set the scene for this paradigmatic shift and illustrate the
advantages of an integrative method. Following the presentation of a conceptual framework the lecturer
will present concrete applications and potentials of an integrated design by relying on relevant case
studies (e.g. Bogot, Colombia). Indigenous water urbanisms will also be included, as an illustrative
example of sustainable alternatives to the capital-intensive mega-projects, and a key dimension of the
ecological performance of existing sites.
EU 2: Ecological infrastructure development in Latin America (days 1 and 2

This lecture will introduce the notion of ecological infrastructure as a tool for orienting urban
development by integrating ecological cycles and systems into the urban context of Latin American
cities. The idea of a nature-based counterpart of hard and/or built infrastructure is increasingly being
recognized as a major player in underpinning socio-economic change in cities. As the collection of all
naturally functioning ecosystems delivering vital services to people (water, climate regulation, disaster
risk reduction, etc.) the ecological infrastructure of cities is a fundamental component to be harnessed.
The lectures constituting this sub-WP will concentrate on the way this may be done. With a focus on the
Latin American context and more specifically Lima, the lectures will point out the various dimensions of
the interconnected structural landscape elements (rivers, wetlands, coastal dunes, natural habitat
corridors, mountain catchments, etc.) and illustrate how their consolidation and reinforcement can
substitute built infrastructure solutions. Tools to integrate the urban water cycle into the open-space
framework will also be considered in detail for the creation of sustainable green-open space systems
that can together increase the delivery of ecosystem services while improving overall quality of life.
WORK PACKAGE 2: PARTICIPATORY PLANNING & DESIGN (PPD)
PPD 1: Critical review of sustainable development policies and planning (days 1 and 2)
Developing a critical attitude towards the notion of sustainability is of key importance considering the
plethora of definitions this qualifier of development has accumulated over the years, especially with
regard to understanding related targets and indicators. Sustainable development concepts have
emerged internationally since the late 60s early 70s of the past century. One of the key policy
documents remains the Agenda 21 as an outcome of the so-called Earth Summit Rio 1992. Meanwhile
international, national as well as local efforts have been made to implement this Agenda 21. The search
for realistic, implementable and attainable sustainable development policies continues and should also
lead to improved human settlements planning. The various lectures set first a framework by discussing
key elements from the last 40 years and related institutional frameworks. These elements are checked
vis--vis their implementation in various contexts with a particular focus on the Latin American region,
taking into the account the on-going development of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which will
build upon the Millennium Development Goals and converge with the post 2015 development agenda.
The course will conclude by reviewing ecological mega-projects as a new trend and reflecting on their
position vis--vis the debate shaping the forthcoming SDGs and post-2015 agenda.
PPD 2: Co-productive envisioning and mapping (days 2 and 3)
Mapmaking and the discipline of ecological urbanism have the capacity to bring together experts and
stakeholders in innovative metropolitan development. This sub-WP will focus on the ways to produce
strategic visions and scenarios for the context of operation in order to test options and discuss them with
the multiplicity of stakeholders interacting on the urban arena. Bearing in mind that mapping is not a
neutral activity, this sub-WP will provide a vast array of examples to discuss inclusive production of
cartographies supporting the debate on alternative development scenarios for Guayaquil. Rather than
relying on Participatory Rapid Appraisal or Community Action Planning, this PPD 2 innovatively
promotes co-productive vision and scenario building, following further on the methodology developed
during the Localizing LA21 project the co-promoter of the project has been involved in.
PPD 3: Voicing the vulnerable (days 3 and 4)
Enumeration and other community-based tools are increasingly used as a device to represent the voice
of neglected city-makers. Lectures composing this sub-WP will provide an overview of such practices
and their outcomes with regard to threats such as eviction, climate change, and environmental
degradation (including lack of health and sanitation). Lecturers will also present a conceptual framework
allowing STI participants to acknowledge and distinguish between various approaches used to work with
the urban poor (e.g. Sustainable Livelihoods Framework (SLF); the DFID Resilience Framework; the
Rights-Based Approach (RBA); and the Capability Approach (CA)). It will delve deeper into the
physicality and material manifestation of spatial appropriation, considering it as a significant expression

of city-making. Documenting these processes will be presented to the STI trainees as a key resource for
voicing the vulnerable who have made their needs manifest by defying norms and claiming their space
in the city.
WORK PACKAGE 3: INCLUSIVE HOUSING TRANSFORMATIONS (IHT)
IHT 1: Self-help housing and the right to the city (day 1)
This set of training outputs concentrates on a rights-based approach to the city and to living in a
dignified shelter (vivienda digna). A history of self-build neighborhoods and their crucial role in the
formation of Latin American cities will be provided, a genealogy that echoes that of many other
settlements of the global South. The lectures will point out that many current regulations ignore (when
they do not penalize) struggles by individuals and collectives to achieve a decent living quarter. With the
scarce support from governments and other actors, many self-build initiatives have been able to
produce between one half and three-quarters of the available living space in the city. As has been
recently outlined, the right to the city (and to a house) can be envisaged as a multi-stakeholder
framework facilitating the development of a comprehensive approach to the human settlements agenda
currently under definition as part of the on-going post-2015 negotiations. This opportunity will be
presented in conclusion to the main training outputs in this sub-WP.
IHT 2: Home Space (days 3 and 4)
Home space has been developed by scholarship as a critical and multi-disciplinary tool to describe citymaking practices by the urban majority that frequently fall under the term of informal. In joining the
viewpoints of architects and anthropologists, it encourages the interpretation of self-build as both a
spatial and a social construction. In doing so, it accommodates the documentation of both formal and
informal processes of urbanization, and underlining the importance of both as constituents of cities
across the globe. The concept is premised on the idea that while formal urban making begins by
acknowledging the large-scale components of the urban fabric such as infrastructure), in the informal
city a reversal is necessary, and the city can be read from the home outwards. Indeed, in most selforganized spaces neighborhoods have been formed with individual houses as their starting point,
subsequently gaining access to urban services and amenities. This significant conceptual reversal will
support STI participants in the creation of a platform for multi-stakeholder engagement.
WORK PACKAGE INTEGRATION (WPI)
WPI 1: On-site fieldwork (days 5,6, 8 and 9)
For an action-learning initiative such as the STI, on-site fieldwork is more than the direct application of
methods learnt through the initial work packages (Ecological Urbanism, Participatory Design and
Development, Inclusive Housing Transformations), but is part and parcel of the knowledge acquisition
process. Fieldwork days occupy almost a third of the STI for this reason. Divided into multi-disciplinary
teams, STI participants are expected to apply the methods learnt in the first days, combining them on
the ground with their own skills. The case study areas selected for fieldwork are specifically relevant to
the conditions of criticality in which a development professional often finds his/herself.
WPI 2: Stakeholder workshop (days 7 and 14)
Sectorial thinking and lack of participation are common obstacles to the development of integrated
strategies for the implementation of cities ecological infrastructure and inclusive housing
transformations. For this reason the STI expects to construct an ideal setting for these hindrances to be
downplayed by means of developing multi-stakeholder workshops. These events will benefit from the
momentum generated by the STI itself, and will therefore count on the participation of a vast array of
urban users. From vulnerable communities whose livelihoods will mostly be transformed by the
implementation of ecological mega-projects to the experts called in to consult on the development of
Guayaquil Ecologico, the workshops expect to provide ground for all participants to express their

viewpoints and prioritize their needs. The organization of WPI 2 is based on the statement that a major
shift in participatory methods takes place when moving from working with communities to engaging
with stakeholders.
WPI 2: Integrated design charette (days 10 to 13)
Intensive design charettes are acknowledged for their capacity to bring together participants of varying
backgrounds and, in the space of a restricted amount of working days while facing a complex brief,
generate a co-produced project. Its recognized value (both generally and by the STI organizers) is
translated into its position within the training as a component taking over almost a third of the available
days. Results are expected to culminate in a final multi-stakeholder workshop where priorities can be
defined and further steps towards co-producing Guayaquil can be agreed upon without renouncing on
either the provision of an ecological structure, nor the provision of decent housing for its urban dwellers.