What if, for the sake of pedagogical purposes, some of the port activities could be diffused into an urban environment? Consequently, the heart of the urban design pedagogical project becomes the management of the conflictual proximities of uses and of conditions of porosity. The students were invited to design new urban conditions produced by such superimposition. They manage creatively some of the flows diffused by the port activities within the urban environment yielding to the design of hybrid urban elements, (spatial and programmatic). The study area is located in a brown field between the old and new ports in Limassol, Cyprus. It is very close to the city’s historical centre with increasing developing pressures such as a newly built private marina enclave and a waterfront tourist development. The students’ work advocated for the presence of the public domain in such waterfront private developments by introducing firstly a complex programming, of port-city relations and secondly by supporting the urban everydayness.
General Urban Design Pedagogical Concept
The purpose of the urban design studio is to encourage students of architecture, at an early stage, to jump up scale and operate simultaneously on a territorial scale and on that of proximity. The notion of designerly urbanity is the main theme to be defined by the research initiated by the students. For the purpose of the design studio the concept of designerly urbanity is considered to be a dynamic relation between four urban conditions: accessibility, sharing, transgressing edges and polarities. The students are divided initially, in four groups addressing each of the four characteristics and introducing into the studio discussion, definitions regarding urbanity’s characteristics. Then, the students are invited to formulate their own brief, about a metropolitan centrality, based on revealed relations between the four characteristics of urbanity, departing always from the one they had started the analysis. The programmatic formulation of their objective is then translated into space with the help of strategies and tactics.