What can we do to improve the quality of our cities?
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What can we do to improve the quality of our cities?


What can we do to improve the quality of our cities?
By Editorial Staff -

We present the essay “Urban Hacking. A Nobel Project for the Redundant City” by author conrad-bercah. Conrad-bercah asks: “How can we assure that modern cities develop a regenerative relationship to the living world on whose health they ultimately depend?”.

Finally, we share information from the recently published The Urban Fix: Resilient Cities in the War Against Climate Change, Heat Islands and Overpopulation (2019).

>> We encourage you to browse The Plan Journal and explore for yourself. 


The Redundant City

In the TPJ essay “Urban Hacking. A Nobel Project for the Redundant City,” the author conrad-bercah explains the concept of “Urban Hacking” and argues that it provides 

“A new way to organize our urban systems, and for thinking and acting beyond what is considered “sustainable” development. Urban Hacking aims at establishing a healthier relationship between Natur and Kultur. The theory sponsors a new attitude towards urban matter based on little talked about modus operandi like demolition, recycling, multi-scaling and urban hacking.”

The redundant city. Photo by © the Author. The redundant city. Photo by © the Author.


Conrad-bercah’s literature review determines that most resources describe that urban sustainability is based on the damage the environment has suffered but fail to provide explicit and efficient next steps. Conrad-bercah does just that, at the conclusion of his essay, by supplying six theorems he calls a Nobel Project. These theorems aim to stop the redundant city once and for all. 

conrad-bercah is the author of Dörfer-Groβstad. conrad-bercah is an architect, architectural/urban thinker and the founding director of c-b-a, content for bare architecture, a Berlin-based architectural practice focused on defining a contemporary a-b-c in architecture, expressing the bare life of architectural form stripped of the prevailing rhetoric of the day. conrad-bercah is a graduate of the Harvard Graduate School of Design, where he has served as an instructor, fellow and visiting design critic. In 2013–14 he was a lecturer at the MIT Center for Advanced Urbanism and a speaker at several international symposia, including the TEDxLugano conference.

paolo conrad-bercah: https://www.linkedin.com/in/paolo-conrad-bercah-570bbb9/

>> To learn more about conrad-bercah’s work, you can find his essay available in THE PLAN Journal vol. 1/2016, no. 1


The Urban Fix

The book The Urban Fix: Resilient Cities in the War Against Climate Change, Heat Islands and Overpopulation by author Douglas Kelbaugh explains:

“Cities are one of the most significant contributors to global climate change. The rapid speed at which urban centers use large amounts of resources adds to the global crisis and can lead to extreme local heat.”

The Urban Fix

This book looks at ways in which urban design, policies and planning can prompt cultural, physical, and social fixes to climate change, heat islands and overpopulation.

March 26, 2019
334 pages
ISBN-10: 9780367175702
ISBN-13: 9870367175696

To learn more, check out: The Urban Fix

Conrad-bercah’s essay in THE PLAN Journal and Kelbaugh’s book are crucial reads for those seeking to learn more from experts whose research and proposed solutions provide tangible tools for confronting the challenges facing our urban environments.


Why support + read TPJ?

The Plan Journal is intended to disseminate and promote innovative, thought-provoking, and relevant research, studies, and criticism related to architecture and urbanism. The journal grew out of an awareness that academia is all too often engaged in research that’s disconnected from the real-world challenges that face different professions, and that research is only possible for a small number of professional organizations, and, even then, with limited platforms for its dissemination. The overarching aim of TPJ is therefore to enrich the dialogue between researchers and professionals so as to foster both pertinent new knowledge and intellectually driven modes of practice.


How does it work + why does it matter?

Prospective contributors are encouraged to submit proposals or complete manuscripts to the Editor-in-Chief. Subject to positive feedback, proposals can then be developed into complete manuscripts and submitted for review, using the dedicated portal on the TPJ website. 

After preliminary approval, manuscripts will be forwarded to suitably qualified people for commenting. TPJ is committed to following a rigorous double-blind peer review process using at least two reviewers. The Editor-in-Chief may also occasionally invite recognized academics, critics, or professionals (including members of the editorial board) to contribute to the journal without going through the peer review process, if warranted by the author’s reputation.

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