In the last few years, out of necessity, urbanism is evolving towards a more sustainable and more resilient model. Cities are becoming hybrid spaces in which new technologies play an essential role, but they are also designed for citizens to make an open use of them. Undoubtedly, the integration of renewable energies in public spaces is linked to active citizen participation and to the development of more advanced technologies that enable an optimized use of them.
These hybrid cities are, as we have discussed in previous occasions a renewed concept of “smart city”. Public spaces consolidate a city, as multidimensional physical places where people exercise their right to use and enjoy them. They are potential stages for cultural, social and symbolic political interactions, and they should be in accordance with this cooperative and sustainable concept of smart city. As we have previously stated, we do not believe on sustainable architecture and urbanism as a mathematical formula that can be applied everywhere in the same way.
Public spaces, may they be streets, squares, parks, gardens or artistic infrastructures, are places aimed to be owned by the individuals without betraying the spirit of the city and their usability should be encouraged and be flexible. Specifically, the pieces of public art are likely to become time-space references for citizens, not only to attract business, but also provide identity and meaning.
LAGI 2014 proposal: an artistic infrastructure in a sustainable city
As an example of the integration of renewable energies in public spaces and public art tailored to a city, our proposal summited to LAGI 2014 Copenhagen competition. This city, the quintessential sustainability reference, should be provided with an also sustainable artistic infrastructure, in which we believe that we should intervene in a minimal and isolated way to preserve all its qualities.
The place, Refshaleøen, is a privileged location from which you can see the whole city; therefore, the first decision was to devise a viewpoint as a reference point above a metaphorical mountain that would connect the industrial, the technological landscape and the natural.
This mountain is built around three wind turbines, which are the supporting points of the entire tensile structure that composed the artificial mountain, optimum for games and climbing. This structure serves as a base for the solar panels that will cover the more exposed to radiation areas, and that will supply electricity to houseboats that will dock in the area. Inverted cones as negative mounds topped by wind turbines, covered from recycled plastic made sheets that lead the water to some underground reservoirs, which will allow irrigation of urban gardens that already exist in the area and serve up mainly for consumption of the inhabitants of the houseboats.
With the cooperation of local technological companies, the chose models of wind turbines – Aelos-V 5kw and Aelos-V 600w- have been tested and are the most suitable for the urban environment; they are efficient, even when operating at low speeds. On the other hand, grandstand area and covered habitable spaces are also constructed with recycled plastic sheets.
Serving the ideal of symbolic reference and activity generator, this energetic-artistic infrastructure 22 meters high would organize the park and would become a an attractor of events and citizens perceptible from the other side of town.