RESILIENT VEJLE: A CASE STUDY
Free (open access)
225 - 234
The city of Vejle in Denmark with 60.000 inhabitants is the smallest and also the only Nordic city which became part of the “100 Resilient Cities Network”, pioneered globally by the Rockefeller Foundation. Its insignificant size in comparison to other cities and metropolises like Paris, Milan, Lagos, Bangkok, Buenos Aires, Boston or Mexico City determines Vejle as a small scale laboratory for testing resilient strategies: Decision making processes and implementation of new policies as well as unavoidable spatial transformation can go faster and are stronger and more directly connected to citizen involvement compared to Vejle’s much bigger fellow cities. Vejle is particularly vulnerable at risk of flooding which happens repeatedly and according to predictions, large parts of the city might be under water by 2100. At the periphery of the city centre, a large and 60 years old rubbish dump is an unpredictable toxic threat as well as a potential quality space for inhabiting many new citizen, potentially taking pressure from a scarce housing market. Furthermore, the city has exemplary social policies in relation to immigrants or homeless, which makes it a magnet for the latter. The author is member of an advisory board for “Resilient Vejle”, where he represents Aarhus School of Architecture since 2015. The paper is a case study which documents and illustrates how evidence based student projects with integration of citizen activation can have an impact in resilient thinking. The range of outcomes is very wide: from speculative projects, transformative architectural proposals to students building in 1:1, using material and components of a demolished building for a “pavilion for resilience”. This paper focuses on a specific “on-site” participatory design workshop with strong citizen involvement for the transformation of poor and non-resilient urban infrastructure.
Resilient Vejle, citizen activation, Ideenwerkstatt, evidence based student’s projects, transformation architecture, on-site architecture