Archiv Masterprojekte

Landschaftsarchitektur und Entwerfen

© Werthmann

Winter 2012/13

(Re)Making Medellín - Strengthening Landscape in Medellin‘s Urban Borders

In early December 2010, the rain soaked hills in a northern suburb of Medellin, Colombia collapsed in a devastating landslide killing over 150 people. The disaster was tragic, but not altogether unanticipated. The incident in Bello was only the latest in a recurring pattern of frequent landslides in a belt of unstable volcanic soils which over the years have claimed thousands of lives. Yet despite the increasing risk of landslides in the area and numerous plans and schemes to contain growth, development on the steep slopes surrounding Medellín continues. A combination of violence and diminished economic opportunity in the surrounding countryside has contributed to a period of rapid, unplanned growth typical of many urban centers in the developing world. To the consternation of rational planners, the patterns of this informal growth have evolved following a distinct, seemingly chaotic logic, in contrast to the simple, rigid patterns of the gridded ‘formal’ city. Each time an updated Master Plan and strategy to regularize and limit urban growth has been devised, the boundaries of informal occupation have only increased.

This studio seeks to understand the patterns of informal growth surrounding Medellín in an effort to find strategic paths of landscape intervention to protect against the worst outcomes, while simultaneously providing strategies that could improve the lives of area residents. Challenging the rigid, and ultimately counterproductive concept of zones and growth boundaries, the studio instead proposes to develop ecological, agricultural, and infrastructural landscape prototypes and models that can be deployed at the specific, site scale to achieve the most important goals.


Weekly from 9:00 to 13:00

Project Start: tuesday, 23.10.2012 um 9 Uhr, Raum B061
First Review: 13.11.12
Midterm Review: 12.11.12
Final Review: 06.02.13


This semester long studio course is intended for Master‘s Degree Students in Landscape Architecture and in Landscape Planning. Students will learn to work in an interdisciplinary manner on a large and complex project in an international setting. The research and design strategies proposed by the students may be used to further ongoing design proposals currently commisioned by the government of Medellín. As such, students with well-thought out and compelling proposals have the opportunity to make an impact on a real project that will affect the lives of thousands in years to come.