Speaker: Matthijs van Oostrum (University of Melbourne)

Topic: Urban villages: co-productive urban design in India and China

Urban villages are erstwhile villages that have been enveloped by the formal city, densified and diversified, yet retain a distinct social mix and informal governance. Through the mapping of twelve urban villages in four cities (Beijing, Guangzhou, Delhi and Bangalore) this talk explores how public space in villages is formed, and how its architectural infill transforms in relation to its public space. It argues that urban villages are a more pervasive urban element than previously reckoned, that their apparent disorganization is actually subject to informal rules, and that their urban environment embodies distinct qualities that are under threat from internal overdevelopment and external formalization.

Matthijs van Oostrum is urban designer and researcher specializing in urban informality. He recently completed his doctoral research on the phenomena of urban villages in China and India under supervision of Prof Kim Dovey at the University of Melbourne. His work focuses on the micro-spatial dynamics of urban informality and the interrelations between urban form and urban governance. Matthijs previously worked as an urban designer at the office of Indian architect Balkrishna Doshi and graduated cum laude from TU Delft with a masters of Urbanism .

Video from the seminar is available here: https://youtu.be/eLwYkFswHnI 


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