Archiv Masterprojekte

Landschaftsarchitektur und Entwerfen

© Lisa Seiler

Sommer 2020

Medellín Risk Communication in Public Space


This studio focusses on the question how to communicate risk in public space. As a case study we will explore this question in a small neighborhood that is exposed to landslide risk in Medellín, Colombia.

As we all know, climate change will globally induce more risk in the built environment. An increased frequency of intense weather phenomena will result in more floods, landslides and erosion, to name a few. Long term weather changes will alter the way how landscapes behave, affecting its cities within. More people will be exposed to more hazards. Overall vulnerability of urban populations will increase dramatically if no action is taken.

Many cities on this planet are trying to mitigate and adapt to these changing conditions. Urban societies try to increase the resilience of their habitation. Resilience has been characterized by connectivity, diversity, redundancy, flexibility, resourcefulness and reversibility of a system (Larjosto, 2019). However, the most foundational element of resilience is knowledge. It is important to know what might be coming your way. The knowledge of risk and its communication is for the risk researcher Ortwin Renn the fundamental aspect to empower communities to react properly (Renn et al, 2018). Risk estimations are rarely linear or precise. The individual assessment of risk also varies quite largely. In the field of risk governance modes of collaborative risk knowledge construction involve experts, stakeholders and the public in an inclusive process. It is a declared goal of this studio to better understand the role of landscape architecture in this process. Or, how can the experience of public space and landscape foster a better and more foundational understanding of risk? As the field of risk governance is large, our studio will explore this question based on one particular case of a neighborhood called Bello Oriente in Medellín.

Since March 2019 the department of landscape architecture and design leads a large team of scientists to develop an integrated early warning system in this neighborhood. The project titled ‘Inform@Risk’ will run for three years and already yielded lots of data and contacts with experts and residents alike. Our rich connections can be used as a foundation for the studio.

Website: | Instagram: informatrisk


The project takes place every Tuesday from 2 to 5 pm. Due to the corona pandemic and the likely limited meeting space, the project has been moved to digital discussion forums. The form of the discourse and the services provided are adapted to the situation.

It was planned to build prototypes and test them together with inhabitants of Bello Oriente in September 2020. Due to the pandemic we have to wait how the situation will develop to decide if we can do the field trip.

Christian Werthmann, Lisa Seiler