Modern high capacity infrastructure creates accidental space along its periphery, and in the shadow of its own spatial configuration respectively. It is kind of a shadow city that emerges from the peripheral space along motorways, train tracks, elevated highways, pipelines, cable tracks – urban space free from explicit definition and intentional design. In the very places where car parks, rubbish collection facilities, vacant lots due to setback requirements are evolving, the city dissipates its own realm to an unaccounted extent. This "waste" is rarely given a proper name or address: Under the bridges. At the car park. Along the train tracks. In the rear of the stadium. Next to the sewage plant. Descriptions of space that work just about anywhere and that could hardly be more unspecific.

Therefore dealing with infrastructural spaces in an urban context always has to involve dealing with their perimeters as well. Infrastructures, with the political-technical aim of supplying energy, resources, access and mobility to a certain space, do not structure it evenly, but create spaces of centrality and subsequently spaces that have a more lateral character. If the margins of these political-technically conceived space configurations are permeable and accessible – hence they allow a public acquisition of the commodities or services the infrastructural space is supplying – they generate public spaces and active spaces in between the infrastructural component and its environment.

The invariably increasing demand for infrastructural capacity and the therewith necessary increased efficiency of infrastructure resulted in the multiplication of its dimensions, the depletion of junctions and the shutting down of its perimeters. Designing these impermeable marginal spaces between infrastructure and city, and respectively landscape, requires plenty more ideas and conceptual thinking. The symposium "Infrastruktururbanismus" discussed with 27 international speakers a wide range of concepts and ideas realted to this issue.


Symposium "Infrastruktururbanismus"
4.-5. February 2010
TU München, Chair of Landscape Architecture and Public Space
Conference Organizers + Scientific Committee: Thomas Hauck, Volker Kleinekort

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