Our co-director Carmen Mendoza at GASS2014, Great Asian Streets Symposium

GASS2014 (Great Asian Streets Symposium) will be held in Singapore on 11 and 12 December 2014. Online submission for papers is open –our co-director Carmen Mendoza is part of the scientific committee among other international renown professionals.

The Great Asian Streets Symposium (GASS) was initiated in 2001 at the Department of Architecture, School of Design and Environment, National University of Singapore (NUS), to establish an Asian-rooted center of excellence to foster, both regionally and internationally, exchange and communication of ideas and studies within the field of Asian cities. Over the past decade, GASS has successfully shared and integrated cutting-edge debates and discussions on many problems and challenges that confront Asian cities, such as traffic congestion, air pollution, social segregation, environmental degradation, and slum proliferation. On this basis, the GASS community has also created a significant knowledge base, with exemplary policies and design practices that have effectively addressed these issues for resilient, sustainable, and livable cities.

In the last four decades, the world urban population has increased by more than double: according to UN-Habitat estimates, this tendency will continue during the next four decades, and urban areas are expected to absorb a population growth of 75 percent by 2050. Instead of becoming places of interesting and attractive urban life, sometimes this uncontrolled growth has resulted in the proliferation of unstructured urban spaces with no life or activity: streets and public spaces are significant parts of our cities, and their spatial quality has a significant impact on our daily lives, playing a vital role in the livability of our neighborhoods and cities. With six main lines of approach to the “ASIAN URBAN PLACES” theme of this edition, GASS 2014 aims to enhance the understanding of urbanity of Asian streets and public spaces:

  • Urban nature: how nature is conceived, interpreted and represented in city streets and public spaces, with a focus, but not limited to, Asian urban spaces, and, within these contexts, how nature and site-specific landscape representations can waive a narrative and contribute to issues of identity and place making.
  • Street form and morphology: aspects of urban form, morphology and spatial patterns of Asian urban spaces, exploring their relationship in the shaping of urban places, and studying the physical aspects that make urban spaces become urban places.
  • Community spaces: ways in which new spatial practices for community bonding are taking place in Asia’s urban spaces, with a focus on innovative practices and theories of community participation in urban space planning, ground-up initiatives and collaborative planning processes.
  • Heritage conservation and urban regeneration: the problems of heritage conservation and urban regeneration will be addressed at both theoretical and practical levels to propagate a greater awareness of how to rejuvenate historical quarters in Asia’s diverse social contexts.
  • Street networks: interactions between physical street network and social, economic and environmental aspects of the city, and the cutting edge methods and approaches to studying this relationship.
  • Planning, policies, politics: clarify, challenge and extend existing literature in planning theory as well as case studies that examine the intersections between practice, policies and politics.

The symposium aspires to investigate underlying urban transformation processes, discuss contemporary professional experiences and best practices, but also explore future visions, design ideas, and planning strategies for Asian cities in a new era. Authors interested in contributing a paper to any of the six themes described above are invited to submit online an abstract, outlining the background, purposes, methods and results of the paper. The submission’s deadline is 11 July 2014, then the announcement of acceptance will be made on 8 August 2014 and the selected contributors will have until 24 October 2014 to submit their full paper.

If you wish to assist the symposium, registrations for GASS 2014 are now open.

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