Asmara. An urban history – L’ADC UNESCO Chair Series #1

Standard

cover_issue_10_en_US
Asmara. An urban history – 
L’ADC UNESCO Chair Series #1
L’architettura delle città – The Journal of the Scientific Society Ludovico Quaroni
Belula Tecle-Misghina

ebook and paper copies Nuova Cultura@

http://nuovacultura.it/prodotto/asmara-an-urban-history/

L’ADC @
http://architetturadellecitta.it/index.php/adc/issue/view/10

This publication defines the culmination of a doctoral thesis, focusing on the urban history and development of the city of Asmara (Eritrea). The thesis had been written with the aim of tracing the history of the urban evolution of the city of Asmara in order to identify its morphology which had beengenerated by both planned and unplanned urban spatial development.

The first part of the book discusses the urban development knowledge of Asmara before 1941, in a historical and logical discourse, within an analytical framework comprising the following components: population, geography and history of the place. However, the main focus of this study is the second part which connects the colonial development of the city with the contemporary form, from 1941 to 2005.

Asmara was generatedat the beginning of 1500 A.D.,emerging from the union of four villages that was collectively known as Arbatè Asmera and the city started to develop as an urbanized settlement since the end of the nineteenth century A.D.From about the year 1893 the bulk of the city developed along the infrastructure and urban planning principles of the Italian colony administration. During the said administration urban planning in Asmara had been closely related to that of Italian cities and to those urban features and principles of Western urban planning. At the end of Italian colonialism in April ‘41 Eritrea fell under British administration which reigned until 1952, during which time there were no processes of any urban planning despite the city continuing to grow organically. This situation persisted even during the years of Federation (1952-1962) and annexation (1962-91) in Ethiopia.

In order to understand the development of an organic urban plan of the city during the recent past decades, reference must be made to the beginning of the 70s during which time a new Master Plan for Asmara was conceptualised and developed by the Siena-based architect, Arturo Mezzèdimi. The Town Plan of the Mezzèdimi Firm therefore represented the last comprehensive plan for the city of Asmara.

The thesis concludes by establishing the origins and precursors to the contemporary city of Asmara. It was found that urban development planning was stagnant during the subsequent three decades following the 70s and any new planning would only start to materialise in the year2005, primarily through the initiatives of the Government of Eritrea and international consulting firms. This realised the development of “The Strategic Urban Development Plan, and the Identification of Priority Projects”documentwhich was accompanied by a Strategic Plan and an outline of Urban Planning Regulations. These documents were sourced and their respective contents synthesised in order toinform a true general plan of the entire Greater Asmara Area thereby representing the new beginning of the city. The historic links in the evolution and development of the city of Asmara, in Eritrea, is thereby established.

Like any city, Asmara, a young city even by the standards of young African capitals, is a stage set where the drama of history has unfolded in the most intense and eloquent manner. The territory of Asmara stands at the edge of a space of almost mythical civilisations, ancient religions and proud empires. It is also a natural acropolis in the vastness of Africa, an astoundingly high crest that looks down from above on the coast of the “Eritrean” sea, coming to a halt where the Afar Rift expands and, year after year, rips into the heart of Africa where lions and gnus still roam free. However, in its body, and thus in its history, Asmara is also a fragment of Europe, imported atop the undulating highlands of Hamasien by the presumption of the most fragile and thus most presumptuous of colonial nations: Italy. Less than 130 years later history appears to have intentionally concentrated a host of events, projects, interests, delusions, conflicts and hopes in Asmara that, within the vaster expanses of historical time could have filled dozens of centuries. These metamorphoses were similar to immense waves lapping at a resistant soil, introducing and withdrawing diverse foreign armies, peoples, languages and cultures; and adversities. The results of so much labour have forged the identity of Eritrea, jealously defended for decades, and jealously guarded to this day. Looking carefully in libraries, among printed works dedicated to particular aspects of this identity – numerous and some very important – it is impossible to find a history of Eritrea that is scientifically complete and up to date. This is a serious shortcoming. Yet everything has remained impressed upon the land and, even more eloquently, on the city, on the face and limbs of Asmara. Hence the reconstruction, like that made by the author of this book, of the difficult process of planning the city signifies not only restoring, similar to an animation, the history of the complex growth of an urban organism.
Lucio Valerio Barbera UNESCO Chairholder in “Sustainable Urban Qaality and Urban Culture, notably in Africa”, Sapienza Università di Roma

At the end of the Thirties, from Naples to Massawa (the ‘Port of Empire’, since 1890 an important commercial base and natural access point for anyone wishing to reach Asmara and the Eritrean uplands), the voyage took five days; from the port one could reach the capital of the Colony by train, on an intrepid mountain railway, or by a motor road, Road n° 1 from Dogali – Asmara was only 120 km away. If one wanted to make the journey by air, it took three and a half days, thanks to the ‘Empire Line’, which involved taking a seaplane from the Carlo Del Prete base in Ostia to Benghazi in Libya, and then a plane to the Umberto Maddalena Airport in Asmara, with stops at Cairo, Wadi Haifa, Khartoum and Càssala, on the Sudanese border.

And right next door to the Airport stood the Teleferica Massawa-Asmara, an extraordinary cableway for transporting goods up on to the plateau, at a height difference of 2,326 metres; the cableway had been built in two years, between 1935 and 1937, and at a length of 75 km, was the longest industrial cableway system in the world. It could move in one day the equivalent of thirty train loads, but it was at its full operational capacity for only a few years: in 1941 it was damaged in the war with the British, and ten years later, when Eritrea became a British Protectorate, it was unexpectedly decided to dismantle it. capital of the new country. These events act as a backdrop and form a solid framework for Tecle Misghina’s research – which is not only meticulous but emotionally involved – of which this book is a well-documented summary. Her research is important in that it reconfigures and puts in order various documents, both known and unpublished, in order to build up a chronology and an armoury of references that are indispensable for anyone wishing to carry out further studies on the Eritrean capital. For a project developed within a Doctoral programme, this is, in my opinion, the most important outcome of her research.
Piero Ostilio Rossi, Director of the Department of Architecture and Design, Sapienza Università di Roma

L’ADC n. 3-4-5 / 2014: The City in the Evolutionary Age

Standard

 cover_issue_9_en_US
L’ADC n. 3-4-5 / 2014: The City in the Evolutionary Age

L’architettura delle città – The Journal of the Scientific Society Ludovico Quaroniebook and paper copies Nuova Cultura@

http://nuovacultura.it/prodotto/rivista-larchitettura-delle-citta/L’ADC @
http://architetturadellecitta.it/index.php/adc/index

 

L’ADC n. 3-4-5 / 2014
(edited by): Anna Irene Del Monaco

Foreword – The City in the Evolutionary Age
Lucio Valerio Barbera

Introduction – A brief annotated bibliography around the concept of “evolutionary city”.
East-Africa Cities; Hydro-Generated Urbanism in Latin America, China New Urbanization
Anna Irene Del Monaco


East-Africa Cities

Khartoum 2030 Towards An Environmentally-Sensitive Vision for the Development of Greater Khartoum, Sudan
Gamal M. Hamid, Ibrahim Z. Bahreldin

Landscapes of Desert Architecture and city around the Islamic Sahara
Filippo De Dominicis

Wandering Capitals’ and the Genesis of Addis Ababa
Benyam Muhe

For An Eritrean Culture, or a Culture of Resistance
Gentucca Canella

Asmara urban history and development
Belula Tecle-Misghina

Forced migratory flows in Eastern Africa A preliminary analysis of refugees’ reception in Ethiopia
Nica Claudia Calò, Enza Roberta Petrillo

Islamic Cultural Trends in East Africa
Adriana Piga

The importance of communitarian voluntary association in development cooperation: Kibera and Mathare slums in Nairobi
Giulia Murgia

Low-income groups and living environment in the cities of the Republic of Malawi. A direct survey about formal and informal settlements
Yasuhiro Hayashi

D’Urban Resilience – The Warwick Junction Precinct
Yashaen Luckan

“Hydro-Generated Urbanism” in Latin America

Creating Sustainable Urbanity in the Fringe The Periphery as an opportunity for future Centrality
Martha Kohen

Reconsidering the Tijuana River Canal: Three Scenarios for Action
Nancy M. Clark

An urban project for Costanera of Asunción
Claudio Gatta


China New Urbanization

A Rural-Urban Metamorphosis in China: The Real Great Leap Forward?
Lucio Valerio Barbera, Anna Irene Del Monaco

General standards to define a Green City in China
Paolo Vincenzo Genovese

A Study on Traditional Mountainous Settlements in Guizhou. Formation, Evolution and Challenges
Zhengxu Zhou

http://architetturadellecitta.it/index.php/adc/issue/archiv
e

Presentation of Wu Liangyong book “Integrated Architecture”

Standard
Sunday, November 16th, 2014

National Museum, Tienanmen, Beijing ore 12.00

“The 4th International Symposium on Sciences of Human Settlements”
Organizers: Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chinese Academy of Engineering, Tsinghua University
Presentation by: Lucio Valerio Barbera

Presentation of the volumes (ita-eng)
Architettura Integrata e Integrated Architecture, traduzioni inedite del libro di Wu Liangyong A General Theory of Architecture (Tsinghua University Press, 1989. Taipei: Earth-scape Press, 1992)

Wu Liangyong, Integrated Architecture / Architettura Integrata
“L’architettura delle città. The Journal of the Scientific Society Ludovico Quaroni”, Monograph Series#1, Edizioni Nuova Cultura, Roma 2013.

Introduction by Lucio Valerio Barbera
Translation by Anna Irene Del Monaco, Liu Jian, Ying Jin, George Michael Riddel, Roberta Tontini
Afterword di Anna Irene Del Monaco

141116_WuLiangyong

Lecture by Lucio Valerio Barbera: The Po Valley Megalopolis and the solution of the problems of Venice.

Standard
Sunday, November 16th, 2014

National Museum, Tienanmen, Beijing ore 12.00

“The 4th International Symposium on Sciences of Human Settlements”
Organizers: Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chinese Academy of Engineering, Tsinghua University

Keynote Spech by Lucio Valerio Barbera: The Po Valley Megalopolis and the solution of the problems of Venice.

波河河谷都市区:威尼斯发展问题的整体解决之道

卢西奥·巴尔贝拉

罗马大学建筑学院教授

联合国教科文组织项目负责人

周政旭 翻译

UNESCO Field Studio 2014 in Durban “Reconnection and Revitalisation: from Warwick Junction to the Waterfront”

Standard

In July-August 2014 the UNESCO Chair in “Sustainable Urban Quality and Urban Culture, notably in Africa” organized and attended a number of events in Durban, South Africa:

1. UNESCO Field Studio 2014 in Durban:

Tutoring and Jury Participants:
Prof. Lucio Barbera, Sapienza University, Rome – Italy (UNESCO Chair-holder)
Prof. Anna Irene Del Monaco, Sapienza University, Rome – Italy
Prof. Liu Jian, Tsinghua University, Beijing – China
Prof. Zhu Wenyi, Tsinghua University, Beijing – China
Prof. Martha Kohen, University of Florida, Gainesville – USA
Prof. Nancy M. Clark, University of Florida, Gainesville – USA
Prof. Yashaen Luckan, Durban University of Technology, Durban – South Africa
Prof. Nishant H. Manapure, Manipal University, Manipal – India
Prof.  Christian Dautel, ENSA Nantes, Nantes – France
Arch. Yasuhiro Hayashi, Hosei University, Tokyo – Japan
Dr. Belula Tecle-Misghina, Sapienza University, Rome – Italy
Dr. Zhou Zhengxu, Tsinghua University, Beijing – China


Participants:

Berea Station Theme: Nkosingiphile A. Zungul Lulama N. Mhlongo, Dumisani Shozi, Luca Saccoccio, Valerio Vincioni, Malusi Zwane, Khulekani B. Ntuli, Philani T. Mtshali, Raffaella Amatilli, Liu Zhiqiang, Phila Khumalo, Venere Rosa Russo

Albert Park Theme: Nickiel Paramanand, Jean Pierre Jacobs, Paul Timbane, Iacopo Benincampi, Liu Pinghao, Bheka Msomi, Nduduzo Sibisi, Katleho Seliane, Giovanni B. Croce, Alexis De Rose, Zamah Mazibuko, Silindile Ngema, Nontethelelo Mkhonza

From Wilsons’ Wharf to Beach Front: Nhlakanipho Mkhize, Nhlanhla Khumalo, Riaaz Sumed, Noemi Schiano, Valentina Frieri, Yusuf Rajab, Vimal Ramchund, Jesse Joseph, Giulia Quaglieri, Liang Yingya, Masibonge Hlongwane, Sinothando Sibiya, Zama Shozi

From Berea Station to Albert Park: Uriel Maduray, Dinolan Pillay,Treston Govender, Jessica Alfieri, Xia Ji, Warren A. Simon, Suvanya Pillay, Shikaar Maharaj, Gioia D’Argenio, Ilaria Granello


Organization:
Institutions:
UNESCO Chair in “Sustainable Urban Quality and Urban Culture, notably in Africa”, Sapienza University of Rome
Dipartimento di Architettura e Progetto, Sapienza University of Rome
Department of Architecture, Durban University of Technology

Anna Irene Del Monaco, Sapienza University, Rome – Italy, Attilia De Rose, Sapienza University, Rome – Italy,
Yashaen Luckan, Durban University of Technology, Durban – South Africa



Design Results:

Overview:
Durban_WORKSHOP STRATEGY TUTTA

Berea Station Theme:
Berea Station_small

Albert Park Theme:
Albert Park_small


From Wilsons’ Wharf to Beach Front
:
waterfront_small


From Berea Station to Albert Park
:
from Berea to Albert Park_small

Final Jury and Participants of the UNESCO Field Studio  2014 in Durban at UIA exhibitions hall:
UNESCO Field Studio 2014 Final Jury

20140805_090609

20140805_09364320140804_131224 20140804_102307 20140803_170549

2. UIA Parallel Projects Final Presentation at ICC Durban:20140805_11033520140805_11053020140805_11134320140805_112221

Field Studio moments and mid-reviews:
DSCN6689 DSCN666920140731_113245DSCN7217DSCN6910DSCN6907DSCN7214

3. Attendance at Urban Waterways Program UIA 2014 – Consortium for Hydro-Generated Urbanism University of Florida (UNESCO Chair’s Sustainably Urban Quality Partner).
Martha Kohen and Nancy M. Clark, University of Florida students’ works exhibition at UIA 2014.

20140805_08333220140804_140853

4. UNESCO Chair Series Book Launch at Durban University of Technology:

Belula Tecle-Misghina, Asmara an Urban History, UNESCO-Chair Series#1, L’architettura delle città. The Journal of Scientific Society Ludovico Quaroni, Edizioni Nuova Cultura, Roma 2014. Book forewords by Lucio Valerio Barbera and Piero Ostilio Rossi.

20140804_19171220140804_185623

EAST-AFRICA CITIES LAB Urbanization vs Human Survival

Standard

EAST-AFRICA CITIES LAB
Urbanization vs Human Survival

full programme >> East-Africa Cities Lab

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS _

Gamal Hamid, University of Khartoum
Khartoum 2030: Towards an Environmentally-Sensitive. Vision for the Development of Greater Khartoum

Benyam Ali Muhe, Addis Abeba University EIABC, Oslo School of Architecture and Design.
Addis Ababa – A Spontaneous City in Transformation

Belula Tecle-Misghina, Sapienza University of Rome
Asmara Urban History and Development

Adriana Piga with Giulia Murgia, Department of Social Science and Economics, Sapienza University
Islamic Cultures between past and present within East African Cities: Dar es-Salaam, Nairobi and Zanzibar
Yashaen Luckan, Department of Architecture, Durban University of Technology
D’Urban resilience: The Warwick Junction Precinct

The videos of the conference follow (thank you to the video recording of Alessandro Santamaria of DiAP Lama)

01 from UNESCO Chair SUQ on Vimeo.

02 from UNESCO Chair SUQ on Vimeo.

03 from UNESCO Chair SUQ on Vimeo.

04 from UNESCO Chair SUQ on Vimeo.

05 from UNESCO Chair SUQ on Vimeo.

06 from UNESCO Chair SUQ on Vimeo.

07 from UNESCO Chair SUQ on Vimeo.

08 from UNESCO Chair SUQ on Vimeo.

Chair-holder Lucio Valerio Barbera’s lecture at doctorate DRACO: Architettura come ricerca di senso Tra volontà simbolica, sapienza storica, padronanza tecnica e accidentalità del reale. Tre esempi dalla storia.

Standard

DRACO Dottorato in architettura e costruzione

Il nucleo scientifico delle discipline di progetto (ciclo di incontri del DRACO)

Lucio Valerio Barbera

Architettura come ricerca di senso Tra volontà simbolica, sapienza storica, padronanza tecnica e accidentalità del reale. Tre esempi dalla storia.

Facoltà di Architettura, via Gramsci aula Fiorentino, martedì 11 marzo 2014, h 16.00

conferenzabarbera

Rome lecture to University of Florida’s students

Standard

UNESCO Chair-holder, prof. Lucio Valerio Barbera, gives a lecture to students from University of Florida at Dipartimento di Architettura e Progetto, Sapienza University – “Variazioni e Varianti in Architettura – Variations and Variants in Architecture” – Rome, 12 October 2013

Pictures: Hadrian Pantheon, Apollodoro’s Pantheon, Agrippas’ Pantheon. Studies, research and 3D reconstruction by Lucio Valerio Barbera

Adriano-03 Hadrian’s Pantheon

apollodoro-000a Apollodoro’s Pantheon

Ag-000
Agrippas’ Pantheon

Summer Field Studio 2013 “Along the Great Canal”, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, P.R. China

Standard

Hangzhou_SFS2013

courtesy by Dino Foggia

courtesy by Dino Foggia

DSC_0930 DSC_0554 DSC_0561 DSC_0580 DSC_0584 DSC_0791 DSC_0805

courtesy by Dino Foggia

courtesy by Dino Foggia

Workshop di Progettazione – Summer Field Studio 2013 “Along the Great Canal”, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, P.R. China; 18 settembre – 3 ottobre 2013

Tutors: Lucio Valerio Barbera (Italy), Anna Irene Del Monaco (Italy), Gamal Hamid (Sudan), Yashaen Luckan (South Africa), Manuela Raitano  (Italy), Belula Tecle (Eritrea), Weng Bo Yu (P.R. China), Liqiang Zhong (P.R. China).

L’ UNESCO Chair in “Sustainable Urban Quality” Sapienza Università di Roma (Chairholder/Direttore: Prof. Lucio Valerio Barbera) e il Dipartimento di Architettura e Progetto della Sapienza (Prof. Anna Irene Del Monaco – responsabile accordo esecutivo Sapienza-Zhejiang University-Zhejiang University of Technology) organizzano un Workshop di progettazione riservato a studenti e dottorandi delle facoltà di Architettura e di Ingegneria europee ed extraeuropee ed ai laureati dal 2009 in poi.

Il Workshop avrà la durata complessiva di due settimane (compreso il viaggio) e si terrà nell’ultima settimana di settembre e nella prima settimana di ottobre 2013 ad Hangzhou (Zhejiang Province, China), orientativamente dal 18 settembre al 3 ottobre 2013. Il workshop sarà coordinato dalle seguenti istituzioni universitarie: UNESCO Chair in “Sustainable Urban Quality” Sapienza Università di Roma, Dipartimento di Architettura e Progetto Sapienza Università di Roma, Zhejiang University of Technology, Zhejiang University.

Il tema progettuale del Workshop riguarderà lo sviluppo e la ristrutturazione urbana di aree localizzate lungo il Gran Canale imperiale, straordinaria opera che collega il Sud della Cina alla capitale Beijing con un percorso di quasi duemila chilometri. Anche la città di Hangzhou, come altre città cinesi oltre Beijing, fu capitale della Cina durante la dinastia dei Song meridionali, dal 1127 al 1279; dopo la conquista mongola Marco Polo fu nominato governatore della città dal Gran Khan Kublai. Hangzhou è la città dove opera e vive Wang Shu, architetto cinese vincitore del premio Prizker 2012, ed è stata oggetto recentemente di numerose trasformazioni urbane, consultazioni e concorsi internazionali alle quali hanno preso parte studi di architettura internazionali come Steven Holl Architects, Herzog & de Meuron, David Chipperfield, Chang Yung Ho, Julien De Smedt JDS Architects, ecc.

Design Workshop “Urban Scenes at Piazza della Moretta: the definition of an urban façade”. Joint design workshop Zhejiang University, Zhejiang University of Technology in Rome

Standard

piazza-della-moretta
Lucio Valerio Barbera’s Lecture at Workshop di Progettazione Urban Scenes at Piazza della Moretta: the definition of an “urban façade” in Rome. Joint design workshop: Dipartimento di Architettura e Progetto,
19 July 2013