• Lecture

SHOWROOM KEYNOTE: Flemming Rafn Thomsen: Nature First

  • Architecture
  • Urban planning
  • Sustainability
Sep 13, Wed 18:00-19:00
Showroom / Messukeskus, Messuaukio 1, 00520 Helsinki
Event type
Free Admission
Accessibility for all

Flemming Rafn Thomsen is Co-founder and Partner at the Danish architecture office THIRD NATURE (Tredje Natur in Danish) and in charge of the artistic development of the practice’s agenda: City & Nature, Unite! Flemming is fascinated by the power and potential generated by anthropogenic nature and wants to short-circuit the entrenched divisions between city and nature. Nature and city must learn from each other, where people, architecture and nature form a symbiosis, centered on a healthy and eventful life in the city. Flemming is preoccupied with the city’s transparency as an evident manifestation of how the urban metabolism functions in order for people to make more informed and thus sustainable choices in their everyday lives.

Today, there is no place in the world which is not affected by man. We all now live in the anthropogenic epoch. In less than 200 years, we have changed everything in the biosphere through the way we live. It has had irreversible and severe impacts on nature and the city, and climate change presents new specific challenges in every city. Mankind has with the ever-expanding cultivation of nature and urbanization become an explosive and fascinating second nature. It is now up to cities to formulate long-term perspectives in order to re-establish a balance between nature, people and culture. The shift from a ‘people centric’ to a ‘planet centric’ perspective in architecture and planning promises a life-affirming and informed everyday life for the users if cities succeed in adapting to this new reality.

  1. Is the future city a hybrid between nature and culture?

Can cities open up for more resilient and future-proof planning and diversify existing mono-functional urban potentials, if regulators and city officials as well as planners and designers ponder  new hybrid functions and urban commons? If the new climate solutions are not only a soothing Band-Aid that addresses the symptoms of climate change, but also through informed user engagement remedies the very sources to climate change.

2. Can climate change adaptation solutions become more than monofunctional beautification, and also target the very source of climate change – namely us?

When cities are forced to quickly invest in resilient infrastructure, is there a risk that other planning potentials are forgotten and mono-functional planning gets in the way of a holistic approach? Data of both visible and indirect parameters, such as traffic, flows, socio-economics, urban heat islands, pollution, noise, micro climate, biodiversity corridors and barriers, topography, architectural specifics etc., should be taken into account in order to harnessed as climate investments come into play.  New cost-benefit expectations and strategic development should be implemented in relation to multidisciplinary projects in the fields of urban development, energy, transportation, climate adaptation, social initiatives and public policy initiatives. And can the implementations lead to more informed choices in the daily lives of users?



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