IBA_SUMMIT N°2 knowledge | based | urbanism

March 18th/19th, 2016 | Heidelberg

The IBA Heidelberg is an exceptional experiment – a temporary lab for urban development in a knowledge-based society. Heidelberg aims to advance towards the ideal future city of knowledge. Therefore the IBA brings together the players from science, education and politics with those of the planning and architectural disciplines.

Excerpt from the Report

Introduction
The IBA Heidelberg is an exceptional experiment – a temporary lab for urban development in a knowledge-based society. Heidelberg aims to advance towards the ideal future city of knowledge. Therefore the IBA brings together the players from science, education and politics with those of the planning and architectural disciplines.

Until 2022 the International Building Exhibition (IBA) Heidelberg will have time to put projects in place, making Heidelberg a model knowledge city of the future. This will involve not only constructing innovative buildings, but also putting existing structures to different use and redesigning open spaces. Also aiming for excellence in the discourse, the IBA Heidelberg extends an invitation to a series of international conferences in the form of the IBA_SUMMIT addressing the different perspectives of universities and municipalities on the subject.

Positioning the International Building Exhibition Heidelberg in a broader context was an important milestone for its success. In Heidelberg we live contentedly. The quality of life is very high, the university excellent, etc. However, we are aiming even higher. We want to be pro-active when it comes to urban development in the knowledge-based society. The network which started with the IBA_SUMMIT N°1 in 2014 must therefore grow, at the same time widening and focusing its agenda. The perspectives of the second round, IBA_SUMMIT N°2, March 2016, are to be found in this brochure.

In the statements of Heidelberg’s Lord Mayor Prof. Dr. Eckart Würzner, Gabriele Kautz from the Federal Ministry for Environment and Building and Prof. Dr. Bernhard Eitel, Rector of Heidelberg University, one can identify the mutual interest that different players have on the subject. The first input to IBA_SUMMIT N°2 was provided by Prof. Dr. Willem van Winden from Amsterdam University of Applied Science, who explained the term “knowledge pearl” coined by him. This was followed by the keynote lecture of MIT’s Prof. Dr. Dennis Frenchman, in which it becomes clear how much the digital revolution influences spatial organization and how the most important product of a university is no longer knowledge, but a special kind of culture which can create innovation.

The two presentations from Cambridge stand out: Prof. Dr. Nigel Slater for Cambridge University and Mayor Robert Dryden with Sharon Brown for Cambridge City Council offered a rare opportunity to hear and discuss different perspectives on the spatial, urban and academic aspects of the city’s and the university’s agenda. The ambitions of Leuven, delivered by Mohamed Ridouani, Deputy Mayor of Leuven, show how important it is to create structures for understanding and negotiation – as approached in a collaborative platform. Bas Verkerk, Mayor of Delft, presented EUniverCities, a successful European network to foster city-university cooperation and to learn from each other.

Very different perspectives come from Heidelberg’s sister cities Kumamoto and Rehovot. The papers by Prof. Masanobu Tanaka, based on a agenda for sustainability, and Louis Bar-Nir give us an insight into the challenge of finding common grounds between “town and gown” in Israel. Prof. Dr. Stacey Sörensen from University of Lund and Michel Leenders from University of Leiden explained the need to expand: both old-established universities will be obliged to pursue huge expansion plans to meet the future needs of research and development. We can learn from them to give us courage and believe in strong visions for the future. In an attempt to reflect the outcome of IBA_SUMMIT N° 2 we asked participants Prof. Dr. Peter Meusburger, geographer from Heidelberg, and Prof. Dr. Ulf Matthiesen, urban ethnologist and member of the IBA’s Board of Trustees, to give a personal comment on the IBA_SUMMIT and its possible consequences for the “learning institution” IBA Heidelberg.

Architectural journalist and critic Dr. Ursula Baus wrote an “op-ed” which attempted to take an external view of the discussions of IBA_SUMMIT N° 2. Last but not least, a possible lesson learned by IBA’s Curatorial Director Carl Zillich, the “epilog“, can be found in the rear section of this brochure. Obviously, it does not always need an IBA to join the avant-garde – but it may help. The IBA’s agenda is, at the same time, to extend and focus the ingredients of “knowledgebased urbanism”, to extend the network of “knowledge pearls” and prepare for future exchange. Thanks are due to all participants of IBA_ SUMMIT N° 2. Another step is documented here; the work has just begun.