Fast.Forward.City: Lessons from Latin America’s Urban Growth

The Austrian Ministry of Finance jointly with the Inter-American Development Bank and the Vienna University of Technology are organizing the international symposium Fast.Forward.City: Lessons from Latin America’s Urban Growth. Speakers will discuss specific tool-kits and design-based solutions to tackle challenges of the ongoing urbanization processes in Latin America and the Caribbean. The discussion will be contextualized within the current situation in Vienna and other European metropolises.

Latin America and the Caribbean are rapidly urbanizing. At least 80% of their population already live in cities. Urban sprawl and gentrification processes have led to rapid spatial growth at the urban peripheries and to a hollowing-out of the central areas. Additionally, exclusionary planning activities and rising costs of urban mobility cause problems that we will have to address in the future. However, in the last decade an increasing number of Latin American cities have developed innovative strategies to lead and manage their urban growth processes successfully and gained international appreciation for their work. Recently, Vienna has also experienced a rapid urbanization process. Currently, 30.000 new residents settle down in Vienna every year; this will lead to an expected 200.000 new residents within 15 years.

The symposium Fast.Forward.City will discuss creative solutions to current and future urban challenges caused by rapid urban growth. The objective of this event is a fruitful exchange of experiences, lessons-learned (“know-how”) and academic research (“know-why”) in the context of rapid urban growth and urbanization in Latin America and the Caribbean. Urban practitioners, designers, and researchers from several disciplines will discuss strategies, specific tool-kits, and design-based solutions to deal with the ongoing urbanization processes in Latin America, the Caribbean, Austria, and other parts of the world.

The lectures will cover recent experiences with four topics: a) affordable urban mobility, including walkable cities and innovative mobility systems, b) enrichment of cities through social housing, c) “city making” using a multisectoral approach to urban planning and development, and d) innovative urban planning techniques and urban management. The program will be completed by a round table discussion that focuses on the challenges related to a successful implementation of innovative urban development projects, given existing political and structural realities.

Fast.Forward.City is curated by Andreas Hofer (TU Wien) and Roland Krebs (TU Wien/IDB).

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Moderator: Kerstin Pluch, TU Wien

9:00 h
Opening and Introduction

Harald Waiglein, Director General for Economic Policy and Financial Markets, Federal Ministry of Finance (BMF)

Rudolf Scheuvens, Dean of Faculty of Architecture and Planning, TU Wien

Session 1: Affordable Housing and Sustainable Urban Mobility

9:15 h – 10:00 h
Henriette Vamberg, Partner Gehl Architects, Copenhague: The Walkable City – Case studies of Latin America (keynote)

Coffee Break

10:15 h – 11:30 h
Alvaro Uribe, Universidad de Panamá: Metro Panamá and the Challenges of the Fragmented City

Tamara Egger, TU Wien: The Urban Design Lab Methodology and the Collico case of Valdivia, Chile

Andrés Blanco, Sectorial Coordinator Emerging and Sustainable Cities Initiative, IDB: Managing urban growth through Social Rental-Housing

11:30 h – 12:00 h
Joint discussion with the previous speakers and Andreas Trisko, Head of MA18 – Urban Development and Planning, City of Vienna.

Moderator: Roland Krebs, Emerging and Sustainable Cities Initiative, IDB

12:00 h – 14:00 h Lunch
Session 2: City Making and Urban Management

14:00 h – 14:45 h
Doris Tarchópulos, Municipal Planning Department Medellín, Colombia: Medellín: Challenges, Plans and Urban Projects (keynote)

Coffee Break

15:00 h – 16:15 h
Lea A. Ruefenacht, ETH Zurich Urban Think Tank Chair: Promoting Culture, Inovation and Urban Sustainability – La Fábrica de Cultura en Barranquilla, Colombia

Wolfgang Loibl, Austrian Institute of Technology: The IDB – Urban Growth Simulator

Horacio Terraza, Sectorial Coordinator Emerging and Sustainable Cities Initiative, IDB: Multisectoral Urban Development. Lessons Learned from the Tegucigalpa Case

16:15 h – 16:45 h
Joint discussion with the previous speakers and Eva Kail, Gender Expert, Executive Group for Construction and Technology, Urban Planning Group, City of Vienna.

Moderator: Andreas Hofer, Institute of Urban Design, TU Wien.

Coffee Break
Session 3: Implementation Challenge – How to create Urban Reality?

17:00 h – 18:00 h
Round Table Discussion

Doris Tarchópulos, Urban Planning Department, Medellin, Columbia
Andres Blanco, Sectorial Coordinator Emerging and Sustainable Cities Initiative, IDB
Alain Geiger, Urban Development Coordinator, SECO
Eva Kail, Gender Expert, Executive Group for Construction and Technology, Urban Planning Group, City of Vienna
Katharina Bernard, Business Development und Marketing, Doppelmayr

Moderator: Veronika Baumgartner, International Financial Institutions Division, Federal Ministry of Finance (BMF), Austria

Short bios of our speakers:

Henriette Vamberg
Henriette joined Gehl in 2000 when she graduated from Jan Gehl’s Department of Urban Design, Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts Architecture School. Being part of the office from the very early days has given her the opportunity to help shape the office and the services that Gehl provides, as well as the office culture and the collective work environment.  Henriette’s work has primarily been focused on developing strategies which transform cities from being traffic dominated and with low levels of livability, to cities that thrive and benefit from their existing potential.

Alvaro Uribe
Alvaro Uribe is an architect (University of Panama, 1977) and planner (University of Paris, 1987), he is professor at the University of Panama, researcher at Panama’s International Center for Sustainable Development (CIDES) and Lincoln Institute of Land Policy at Cambridge. Also he is the urban planning advisor for Panama City’s subway project.

Tamara Egger

Tamara is currently studying her Master’s Degree in Architecture at Vienna University of Technology. She studied at Technical University Berlin and participated in an exchange program with Tsinghua University, Beijing. In Vienna she worked with Feld72 Architects, an office for architecture and urban strategies. The last months Tamara spent in Latin America working for the Inter-American Development Bank. She made experiences applying the participative methodology of tha Urban Design Lab in two cities of the Emerging and Sustainable Cities Initiative, in Dominican Republic and Chile.

Andrés Blanco
Andres Blanco is Sector Coordinator of the Emerging and Sustainable Cities Initiative and a Senior Specialist in Urban Development and Housing at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). Previously, he was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Florida. His work is centered on the economic aspects of planning in areas like housing, land use, urban and land economics, and local economic development. He holds a Bachelor degree in Economics and a Master of Science in Regional Development Planning from the Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá. In 2010, he received his doctoral degree in City and Regional Planning from Cornell University.

Andreas Trisko
Andreas Trisko is head of MA 18, the Municipal department of Urban Development and Planning. He studied architecture, regional planning and development at the Vienna University of Technology and began to work in the city administration in 2001.

Doris Tarchópulos
Architect, Master degree in Housing from the National Autonomous University of Mexico, PhD in Urbanism and Extraordinary PhD Award from the University Polytechnic of Catalonia in honor of her thesis about the urban plan of Le Corbusier, Sert and Wiener for Bogota. She is a researcher on housing and urban growth. Presently she is Director of the Master Program in Urban and Regional Planning at the Pontifical Javeriana University in Bogota. Consultant for Territorial Ordinance Plan for Medellin and Director of the research “Bogotá Urban Interactions and Future Mobility” sponsored by Audi Urban Future Initiative.

Lea A. Ruefenacht
Lea Ruefenacht holds a Master of Science in Architecture from the ETH Zurich. She is an architect, research and design project manager at the ETH Zurich Urban-Think Tank Chair of Prof. Brillembourg & Prof. Klumpner and liaison at the Inter-American Development Bank. She is currently leading the collaboration between ETH, IDB and SECO for the design of innovative and sustainable building typologies for mid-size cities in Latin America – Barranquilla, Mar del Plata, and Port of Spain. Lea has worked in Zurich, Caracas and Barranquilla.

Wolfgang Loibl
Wolfgang Loibl holds a PhD in Geography and Spatial Planning and has around 30 years experience in regional and urban planning and spatial modeling.  He is working at “Austrian Institute of Technology” as regional scientist, spatial planner and spatial modeler. 5 years he managed AITs  Spatial Systems unit, now he is as Senior Scientist and Thematic Coordinator responsible for Sustainable Cities at AIT. He was teaching for 10 years at Vienna University and Graz University “Spatial modeling” and “Applied Systems modeling”.  He is engaged in various national, EU- and international projects as Project or Work package coordinator and he is still engaged in methodological development.

Horacio Terraza
Horacio is currently the coordinator of the Emerging and Sustainable Cities Initiative at the IDB for the Infrastructure and Environment Sector (INE) and a Principal Water and Sanitation Specialist for the Water & Sanitation Division (WSA). He is an engineer with 20 years of experience in the urban environmental field working for both the private sector and in multilateral development organizations. He holds a degree in mechanical engineering from the Universidad Nacional de La Plata in Argentina and a Masters degree in International Economics and International Relations from the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at John Hopkins University.

Eva Kail
Eva Kail, degree in spatial planning, became 1991 the first head of the women office in the municipality of Vienna, 1998 head of the Co-ordination Office for Planning and Construction Geared to the Requirements of Daily Life and the Specific Needs of Women, since 2010 gender expert in the Urban Planning group – Executive Group for Construction and Technology. As one of the leading experts for Gender Planning in Europe she has coordinated about 60 Pilot Projects in the fields of Housing, Traffic, Public Space, Urban development and Social Infrastructure.

Alain Geiger
Alain Geiger is Program Manager of the Infrastructure Financing Division at the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). He coordinates SECO’s grant support to urban strategies, management and prioritization of infrastructure investments in transition and middle income developing countries, through partnerships with urban initiatives or in direct cooperation with municipalities. Prior to engaging in urban development, he held various positions in the fields of post-disaster reconstruction and institutional capacity-building in Asia, Latin America and Africa.

Katharina Bernard
Katharina finished her degree in International Business Administration five years ago. Already during her studies she was very much interested in the subject of cable cars as alternative means of urban transport. Consequently she specialized in transport and logistics management and also dedicated her thesis to the topic of Cable Propelled Transit. Further she gained experience with Urban Think Tank, Caracas and field studies in Medellin, Colombia. Meanwhile she is actively working for Doppelmayr Cable Car in this area internationally, being involved in many urban projects worldwide with an excellent network.

Veronika Baumgartner
Veronika Baumgartner is a development practitioner with a wide-ranging background in the field of development cooperation. In 2010 she joined the Austrian Ministry of Finance as Advisor for International Financial Institutions, where she currently focuses on the Inter-American Development Bank and the Austrian Development Bank alongside topics like urban and private sector development. Previously she worked, among others, for UNDP in Burkina Faso, the Austrian Development Agency in Vienna and the European Commission in Brussels. Veronika Baumgartner holds a law degree from the University of Vienna and a MA in Political Economy from the University of Essex.

Kerstin Pluch
Kerstin Pluch holds a Master degree in Architecture from the Technical University of Vienna.  The last period of her studies including the final thesis was based in Madrid, where she also worked for the architecture and urban planning office arenasbasabepalacios. After her graduation she worked for the IDB within the Emerging and Sustainable Cities Initiative in Campeche, Mexico. Currently she is continuing her second studies of Romance Philology at the University of Vienna.

Andreas Hofer
Andreas Hofer comes from St. Aegyd, Lower Austria. Architectural studies in Vienna and Bogotá, currently Assistant Professor at the Institute for Urban Design and Landscape Architecture at the Vienna University of Technology, PhD in Urbanism (2000), Cooperation projects, teaching and research on international and informal urban development; further teaching and research assignments: RWTH Aachen, Universidad Nacional de Colombia,  Lviv Polytechnic University.

Roland Krebs
Roland Krebs is an Austrian Urban Planning Specialist and is working as planner, designer and project manager in the field of urban development. Roland is Urban Planning Consultant at the Emerging and Sustainable Cities Initiative at the IDB in Washington, DC, Lecturer at the Institute of Urban Design at the Wien, Member of the Austrian Chamber of Architects and Consulting Engineers, Board Member of wonderland – platform for European architecture and URBACT Thematic Specialist in Urban Planning.

Institutional Background
The Emerging and Sustainable Cities Initiative (ESCI) is a technical assistance program developed by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) that helps intermediate cities in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) in identifying prioritizing and structuring projects to improve their environmental, urban and fiscal sustainability. The ESCI employs a multidisciplinary approach to address the sustainable urban development challenges facing emerging cities in Latin America and the Caribbean. The ESCI was established by the IDB with financial support from the Austrian Federal Ministry of Finance (BMF) and other funding partners. More info

The Institute of Urban Design and Landscape Architecture at the Vienna University of Technology (UTV) teamed up with the IDB and other academic institutions in LAC to work on specific urban design projects, which require specific experience working on urban development issues in LAC Countries. Projects on academic-, research- and consultants level have been developed recently in Montería and Pasto (Colombia), Managua (Nicaragua), Quetzaltenango (Guatemala), Campeche and Xalapa (Mexico), Santiago de los Caballeros (Dominican Republic), Panama City (Panama), Santiago de Chile and Valdivia (Chile) and Buenos Aires (Argentina). More info