Transitional Territories

The works presented in the exhibition “ACCUMULATION—CLEARANCE” continues the new three years cycle of Transitional Territories Studio on the de- / re-territorialization of places, structures and cultures between land and sea: the palimpsest of traces of inhabitation, production, and infrastructure projected on land, river and ocean grounds, which define the urban as a material and socio-ecological space. As guiding principle, the opposing and/or at times iterative notions of accumulation and clearance are at the core of the study. By looking into centres and repeated cycles of accumulation and their externalities, we aim to document urbanisation, its impact on present and future environment and life. The project continues in a search for alternative forms of critical design as acts of care.
The research on the state of the territorial project is developed in collaboration for the second year with Diploma Unit 9 at the Architectural Association. The Unit develops projects on a territorial scale, with a strong focus on spatial diagnostics and territorial transformation. At the heart of the studio lies the idea that crises should be revealed and designed rather than latent and suffered. This year, DIP9 continues to diagnose the current condition of the built environment and reveal its latent crises, with a specific focus on those of funding. Advocating for territorial trans-formations and institutional adjustments, the unit will propose strategies of collective responsibility towards our environment, consider ecological restoration as a catalyst for profound spatial and political change, and weave together spatial conditions through the dissemination of civic infrastructures.

Four lines of inquiry
subjects. composition. alteration. limit. projections
. Matter
. Topos
. Habitat
. Politics

Mapped and projected under the lenses of the notions of
. Accumulation
. Clearance

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Curated by
Transitional Territories Studio 2021-2022
Website
o-ko
Photography ‘Image’
Oana Irina Ionasc (Venice, Italy)
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Transitional Territories 2021-2022:
*Inland, Seaward. The Form of Time and the Politics of Space*
Enzo Yap
Esmee Kuit
Hugo López Silva
Isabella Trabucco
Katerina Inglezaki
Kelvin Saunders
Luiz do Nascimento
Minyue Jiang
Monserratt Cortes Macias
Oviya Elango
Patrisia Tziourrou
Samuel van Engelshoven
Xiaoling Ding


Pantopia / AA Diploma 9 2021-2022:
*No Money, No Cry*
Anahita Brahmbhatt
Rashad Fakhouri
Sabrina Hoi Ching Lee
Charlotte Li Wen Phang
Jia Wei Huang
Zeena Jamil
Pierre Zeboni
Nikitas Papadopoulos
Jean-Daniel Maly Kouassi
Ioana Iordache
Judi Diab
Yanhua Shen

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The exhibition opened on March 17th 2022 with invited design critics Daniel Daou (UNAM), Johanna Just (ETH), Chiara Cavalieri (UCLouvain), Roi Salgueiro Barrio (MIT)

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TUDelft
Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment
Transitional Territories Graduation Studio 2021-2022: 'Inland Seaward. The Form of Time and the Politics of Space'

Transitional Territories is an interdisciplinary design studio focusing on the notion of territory as a constructed project across scales, subjects and media. In particular, the studio focuses on the agency of design in the (trans-)formation of fragile and highly dynamic landscapes between land and water (maritime, riverine, delta landscapes), and the dialectical (or inseparable) relation between nature and culture. The studio explores through cross-disciplinary and situated knowledge (theory, material practice, design and representation) lines of inquiry and action by building upon Delta Urbanism research tradition, yet moving beyond conventional methods, spatial concepts and constructs.

For the academic year 2021-2022, the studio continues the three years cycle “Inland Seaward” on the de-/re-territorialization of places, (infra) structures and cultures between land and sea. The studio approaches the contemporary instability of environmental, climatic, political and socio-economic structures and urban formations, the sense of disruption and mutation that they cause, as the object of design. We understand that the traditional instruments for urban design and planning are not able to address the complexity and urgency of societal and environmental challenges defining urban life. Therefore, we approach the instability in our disciplinary practice as our collective effort in the studio, envisioning, programming and designing material and ecological spatial interventions that are able to imagine and demonstrate different futures for climate adaptation, water related risk management, energy transition, forms of inhabitation and productivity in highly dynamic and/or severe altered landscapes.

Transitional Territories builds upon a long-established collaborative platform (science, engineering, technology and arts) on ways of seeing/seizing, mapping, projecting change and critically acting on highly dynamic landscapes. At the core of the Delta Urbanism Research Group, the studio is embedded within/and supported by the interdisciplinary TUDelft Delta Futures Lab, in close collaboration with the CEG and TPM Faculties.

For the second year, the studio closely collaborates with the Architectural Association, School of Architecture, London - Diploma Unit 9 / Pantopia on the current status of the territorial project. Tutors: Stefan Einar Laxness | Antoine Vaxelaire.


Transitional Territories
Studio Leader
Taneha Kuzniecow Bacchin

Studio Coordinators
Taneha Kuzniecow Bacchin
Luisa Maria Calabrese

Instructors | Mentors
Taneha Kuzniecow Bacchin
Luisa Calabrese
Fransje Hooimeijer
Denise Piccinini
Diego Sepulveda Carmona
Nikos Katsikis
Leo van den Burg

Students
Enzo Yap
Esmee Kuit
Hugo López Silva
Isabella Trabucco
Katerina Inglezaki
Kelvin Saunders
Luiz do Nascimento
Minyue Jiang
Monserratt Cortes Macias
Oviya Elango
Patrisia Tziourrou
Samuel van Engelshoven
Xiaoling Ding

Graduation Sections/ Chairs
Urban Design
Environmental Technology & Design
Spatial Planning and Strategy
Landscape Architecture

image

Hugo López Silva

Three drawing sequence:
Composition - Alteration - Limits of 'Habitat'

The first compositions on “accumulation” investigate the contribution of energy to the near-approaching climate and social collapse. It focuses on the mode of energy of the non-renewables and its contribution to the damage in local and planetary ecosystems.

The investigation follows lines of inquiry that are in line with the main adaptive cycles and related times of change. In that sense, the main adaptive cycles relevant for the place and topic are identified and the related times of change addressed. “Habitat” unpacks the interdependence of agglomeration and operational landscapes in the Rhine basin and show now the spatial footprint of the non-renewables.
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The habitat layer is an investigation of the interdependence of two main sociospatial configurations: the zones of intense economic activity in agglomeration landscapes and the extended operational landscapes in the hinterland, which focus on this case into the energy landscapes of extraction, distribution and production.

In the words of Elisa Iturbe, “If the shift from a nomadic to an agricultural society gave rise to towns, villages, and cities. The shift from an agricultural to an industrial society driven by fossil fuels gave rise to factory towns, global trade networks, suburbs, and megacities. [...] When the adoption of fossil fuels established a new horizon of possibility for production, society reorganized itself around the availability of abundant energy” - even if that meant the exhaustion of many natures (human and non-human).

The energy landscapes of the non-renewables are positioned in nodal areas of management with distributed logistics. The many assemblies of these operational landscapes in the Rhine basin compose one of the basis for the material economy and commodity flows of western Europe. In a system dictated by scarcity and increasing accumulation of power in few places with the “externalities” in an environment that does not cause disturbance to the whimsicality of the zones of agglomeration.

Sources:

Hugo López Silva. Memories from worlds yet to be inhabited: Terraforming from energy landscapes in the Rhine basin. MSc. Urbanism Thesis, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, TU Delft. Transitional Territories Studio 2021-2022.


Monserratt Cortes Macias

Three drawing sequence:
Composition - Alteration - Limits of 'Habitat'

Composition

The peninsular vegetation, especially that concentrated in the southern part, plays a very important role in conserving water both at a microclimatic level and in its area of influence. Unfortunately, the deforestation that has taken place in the region, more pronounced since the early 1990s, has accelerated the processes of climate change. Analysis of deforestation rates in Mexico, estimated during the period 1970 - 1990, indicate that the forests changed land use at an average rate of 206,000 ha per year, this being the type of vegetation cover with the fastest rate 0.5% annual loss (CONAFOR, 2020). The anthropogenic impact it’s not only hurting the ecosystems but also human life, especially indigenous communities living in the depth of the tropical forest, whose livelihoods depend on this ecosystem to meet their basic needs.

Alteration

The loss of natural barriers due to land fragmentation and urban sprawl in the coastal line such as dunes and mangroves, leave the metropolitan areas unprotected against natural disturbances like tropical storms and hurricanes that every year between the months of June and September make their way through the region. Because of climate change, there is evidence that the frequency of high magnitude hurricanes is increasing. Between 1950 and 2004, 29 hurricanes of categories between 3 and 5 arrived in our territory, affecting 25% of the territory, with the coastal areas receiving the greatest damage, although the mountainous regions on the windward side of the hurricanes also received severe impacts, while between 2005 and 2015 eight hurricanes of these categories arrived (CONAGUA, 2017).

Limits

The limits of the habitat are represented by a chain of events. First, as the population keeps growing in addition to the high fluctuation of yearly tourists that arrive to the region, the consequences of these pressures hit the water availability and treatment. On the other hand, as the promise of development and growth are concentrated in the coastal areas with a monopoly tourist economy, migration from rural areas towards these urban centers leave the landscape uncared for, and expose to bad practices and deforestation, that in turn accelerate the effects of climate change with larger seasons of drought and lower evapotranspiration levels. Finally, in the future, the natural disturbances are likely to be more severe, with stronger hurricanes concentrated in a shorter period of time.

Sources:

Monserratt Cortes Macias. Future [Arch]Ecologies | Territory, Identity and Heritage Landscape as infrastructure for a new socio-cultural co-production in the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. MSc. Urbanism Thesis, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, TU Delft. Transitional Territories Studio 2021-2022.


Isabella Trabucco

Three drawing sequence:
Composition - Alteration - Limits of 'Habitat'

Habitat – Composition

For the habitation theme, it was chosen to observe the metropolitan scale environment through the traces that mobility infrastructure leaves. In the composition, all the infrastructure typologies (navigable network, primary and secondary roads, railway, and airlines) are represented in the same hierarchy, showing clearly the spatiality of infrastructure and its predilection for the Inland territory. Infrastructure and with it human -life systems have the power to carve the territorial surfaces, leaving an almost unerasable mark.

Habitat - Alteration

In the Alteration, the lines of the infrastructure are divided into categories: roads, navigable routes, railway, water network, airlines. All of these typologies acquire a height corresponding to the influence that they enact in the surface, subsurface, and atmosphere. With the extrusion resulting from this action, we can observe the density of the infrastructure, seeing once again the winner of Inland over Seaward. The simple action of rotating the projection with the same traces of habitation of the composition, gives us the chance to see that the carving is not limited by the horizontal plane dimension, but it transfers on the three-dimensionality of space.

Habitat – Limit

The Limit brings all of the aspects together, showing the influence of the different typologies in the three expressions of space. Visualizing in the three dimensions, showing diagrammatically the relationships between mobility infrastructure and space, illustrates the reciprocal influences of the habitation systems. The limitations give potential for reflection in terms of intervention. Is maybe mobility infrastructure giving the designer the space for an action of clearance towards a more inclusive urbanization?

Sources:

Isabella Trabucco. A Project of Non Resistance. Venice, 21st March 2100. MSc. Urbanism Thesis, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, TU Delft. Transitional Territories Studio 2021-2022.


Esmee Kuit

Three drawing sequence:
Composition - Alteration - Limits of 'Habitat'

The area is composed of several types of land uses, the majority of which can be allotted to living areas and agriculture. The agricultural area lies enclosed in the urban area of four major urban agglomerations, which accounts for 7 million inhabitants. Because of its position within the Randstad, and the connectivity that is ensured with the myriad of infrastructures, the Groene Hart and the urban functions of the Randstad are inseparable. The area is one of the least changed areas in function in the last two decades. The types of landscapes in the area, however, are in great contrast with each other as the different functions encompass very different interests (PBL, 2015). Current synergies between the landscapes must be considered. Even though the urban landscape and the agricultural areas encompass a large scale, and the region is sometimes named metropolitan, the small-scale connections can be felt. The connections are maintained by the constant flows of people and goods between the landscapes (PBL, 2015).
An alteration in one type of landscape can, therefore, lead to a change in function in one of the other components. It is important to think about the interrelations when designing within the area (PBL, 2015). One component cannot be seen as just that but must be related to a network of several other components and functionalities. It is vital to comprehend the externalities that can be caused by the alteration of one of the functions. By relating these elements to each other, insight can be gained about the effects of an alteration.

Sources:

Esmee Kuit. Creating new values with old connections: The case of Zoetermeer, Zuid-Holland. MSc. Urbanism Thesis, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, TU Delft. Transitional Territories Studio 2021-2022.


Luiz do Nascimento

Three drawing sequence:
Composition - Alteration - Limits of 'Habitat'

Composition
*Condition of the integrity of the riparian forest*
According to the Brazilian Code of Forestry (Federal Law #12.651/2012), riparian zones bandwidths are bound to the width of the body of water which they aim to protect.
In the case of large reservoirs, as depicted on the drawing, close to the City of Barra Bonita, the width of the riparian zone should be 500m. Although small compared to the dimensions of the reservoirs, the band hardly presents any help in preventing the pesticides and other industrial agricultural “by-products” from reaching the water. Most of the zones which should be covered by riparian vegetation are left exposed or are covered by agriculture/urban settlements.
Only a few zones of the northern margin of the reservoirs are relatively well-covered by vegetation. This can be explained by the unsuitability of the terrain to accommodate monocultures, due to its steep topography and south-facing slopes (in São Paulo, the preferred orientation for sun-catching is North; this is essential for sugarcane, which requires a lot of sunlight to grow).


Alteration
*Change in land tenure management and spatial patterns*
Keeping up with changes in land cover, land tenure, and spatial patterns also have adapted over almost two centuries within the Basin. The first settlers of farmers exploring coffee developed the crops by opening way through the forest, with complete disregard by the potential of its fauna or without any interest in the commercial value of tropical wood.
On top of the very rich in organic matter land, the plantations thrived for a few decades, until the inescapable exhaustion of land showed its first signs. The forest continued to be devastated, as the plantations marched upper northwest, following the course of the river. As mentioned previously, pieces of land that were unsuitable for plantations of any kind of crop started being used for animal grazing and cattle farming. Already during the 19th century, it was evident that the replacement of the forest by monocultures of coffee affected the climate, bringing less rain to the countryside and raising temperatures - which, at first, seemed in favor of the plantation of coffee in the region.
With the abolishment of slavery and the arrival of European workers, companies specialized in accomodating the colonos (settlers) are founded.Many of the former owners of the latifundia saw in the forest an opportunity for leisure, as they used to do hunting in it, a custom also imported from Europe (Victor et. al., 2005). This contributes to the laceration of the remnants of forests that still exist in these areas. Hence land spatial structure, which until this time, was occupied by large estates, is now subdivided. With the international financial crises of 1929, coffee ceased to be as lucrative as it was and many plantations began a process of decadence that opened the way for other types of less lucrative crops. From 1970 onwards the countryside witnessed the rebirth of the monocultures, this time by sugarcane farms. The landscape is profoundly sterilized and any sign of former tropical vegetation is hard to be found. The areas destined for nature preservation or reforestation are often planted using very poor techniques and rely on the plantation of eucalyptus.
The landscape of the hinterland of the Basin is nowadays a patchwork of exposed barren land, never-ending monocultures, and green patches of reforested eucalyptus. Temperatures are much higher than they were in the past and rainfall is a lot less well-distributed. More recently, a new climatic phenomenon began to be customary: the formation of giant dust clouds that travel from the exposed erored fields towards the cities of the hinterland.


Limits
*Size of rural properties, use of pesticides, agriculture production and conservation areas within properties*
The large size of the properties along the Basin, especially those destined for monocultures of commodities makes it hard for conservation and reforestation goals to be reached. It is estimated that 54% of all shortages of land destined for reforestation and nature preservation within the State of São Paulo are located within large farm properties (Alisson, E., 2020).
In Barra Bonita alone, large properties count almost 300 ha. of riparian zones deficit, while zones dedicated for nature reserve by large properties are lacking almost 150 ha.
On the contrary of what might be found by the large number of smaller and medium-sized properties in São Paulo, it is within the few, but extremely large properties that environmental problems are exacerbated. The size of properties, associated with the ever-increasing percentage of land used for harvesting commodities - and all the pesticide usage that comes with it - constitute a spatial program for environmental disaster.

Sources:

Luiz Felipe do Nascimento. Regeneration of Ecological Integrity in the Tietê River Basin. MSc. Urbanism Thesis, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, TU Delft. Transitional Territories Studio 2021-2022.


Minyue Jiang

Three drawing sequence:
Composition - Alteration - Limits of 'Habitat'


Composition
In the line of inquiry of Habitat, the relationship between the site itself and the biotic activities that contain human life is studied. The future of urban development and human well-being are very much on the agenda for the future of flood resilience in the ABC mega region. The connectivity established through infrastructure in the mega region reflects the spatial configuration of these cities and metropolis. And the changes in the trend of population growth provide guidance on where cities need to expand and where to build.

Alteration
Flood plain is an approach based on eco-system services for flood prevention which, in addition to being considered at the local scale, can be applied at larger scales. It is also important to consider the flood plain and its connection to higher density urban spaces or other urban functional spaces at a larger scale.

Limit
According to the demographic data, there is a need for urban expansion in the ABC mega region due to the growth of the overall population. Within the mega-region, large and small cities are facing different population trends. Some are growing dramatically; others are facing stagnation or decline. ABC mega region as a whole system, the demand of expansion of all cities, including small, medium and large ones, as well as the rural areas, need to be taken into account.

Sources:

Minyue Jiang. MSc. Urbanism Thesis, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, TU Delft. Transitional Territories Studio 2021-2022.


Katerina Inglezaki

Three drawing sequence:
Composition - Alteration - Limits of 'Habitat'

Composition

From the late ‘80s to the late ‘90s, immigrants, and mainly Moroccan men, started settling in the agro-exporting municipalities of Campo de Cartagena. At the beginning of 2000, the migratory flows diversified, with Ecuadorians making their entrance into the workforce, who, unlike Moroccans, migrate both with men and women. Over the last 20 years, the area has been supplied with flexible labor through the implementation of a series of temporary migration programs (TMPs) which have been combined with the employment of irregular workers and, more recently, with the rise of “private” programs run by local companies. The presence of migrants throughout the region was increased given the growing diversification of migrant work that is no longer present solely in agriculture, but also in construction, and services.

In employment terms, the irregular workforce comprises domestic and hospitality workers, rural laborers, construction workers, and the self-employed, mainly street vendors. The rapid growth of tourism in Murcia since the ‘90s along the coast at resorts such as La Manga has increased the demand for foreign labor that currently consists the majority of the employees in the restaurants, cafes, and bars. Employers often hire sin papeles (undocumented foreigners) due to the fact that experienced Spanish cooks, waiters, and cleaners leave the region in search of higher wages elsewhere.

An important issue that is workers are facing is employment discrimination. During the various stages of the labor-market process, most notably during the selection and recruitment, employees display their ethnic preferences that affect the wages structure. In the Spanish context, segmentation usually occurs by type of work. Within the limited range of jobs that are available to them, each ethnic group has gravitated towards a particular sector or activity. North Africans, for instance, have a clearly defined niche as unskilled, manual agricultural laborers and construction, Ecuadorian women are primarily involved in domestic work and street-selling while the men work in farms, and Asians are usually preoccupied with commerce. Employers tend to prefer particular nationalities because they are perceived to be cheaper and more docile.

Mazarron is the municipality with the highest proportion of foreign neighborhoods, 42.67%, followed by Fuente Alamo, 31.24%, and Torre Pacheco, with 24.62%, where non-EU migration is the vast majority. Murcia and Cartagena, combining intensive agriculture and tourism, show a below-average but significant proportion of foreigners compared to the cases of agricultural municipalities such as Mazarron and San Javier.
On a municipality level, the evolution of the insertion of new residents can be synthesized as a process from the pedanías (districts), the first place of settlement, to a greater presence in urban centers. This trend is evident in the agro-exporting municipalities and in the cities and towns with greater economic diversification.



Alteration
*Text is incorporated in the image.*


Limit

The Region of Murcia holds a tradition as an authentic orchard in which the most varied species of vegetables are cultivated. Lettuce, broad beans, peppers, tomatoes, aubergines, etc., are products whose importance is not only economic, since their trade plays a fundamental role in the regional economic fabric, but also represents the cultural identity of the Murcian community. Most of the vegetables that we can find in the region have their origin in Asian regions, the Middle East, southern Europe, and North Africa. The climate has favored their introduction in the region, as it is a zone with mild temperatures in winter and little or moderate rainfall that give these products a particular physiognomy and flavor.

In the last decades of the 20th century, crops in many areas changed from extensive rainfed agriculture to irrigated agriculture, while new intensive production in plastic greenhouses (internaderos) also spread, which led to an increase in the production of new products such as lemons, oranges, peaches, apricots, cotton, etc. Modernization along with technological innovations and new forms of production transformed the primary sector into what has been described as “post-Fordist agriculture” (Pedreño,2002). As a result, large-scale agro-business, comprising three-fifths of Spain’s food processing industry, became a feature of the regional economy during the ‘90s.

Paradoxically, a number of agricultural employers manifest warnings about a surplus of workers ran parallel to the persistent complaints about seasonal labor shortages in hotels, transports, metals, and construction. In the agricultural sector, once the workers are in possession of valid papers legalizing their residence in the country it is quite common for them to abandon the sector and leave the region for good.
High unemployment can in fact coexist with labor shortages given the uneven demand for labor caused by seasonality and weather dependency, demand can vary from month to month, as shown in diagram p.51. In addition to the unpredictable flows of migrants seeking work, the situation is becoming extremely fluid. For this reason, employers express their preference for a system that would be able to respond to rapid fluctuations in demand.

Sources:

Katarina Inglezaki. Agroecologies for the Stateless. MSc. Urbanism Thesis, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, TU Delft. Transitional Territories Studio 2021-2022.


Oviya Elango

Three drawing sequence:
Composition - Alteration - Limits of 'Habitat'

Water systems along with the topography of the region dictates the pattern of settlement in the region. This region is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the eight biodiversity hotspots in the world. Starting at the origin of the river it is populated with Forest areas, plantation and tourism related industry upstream followed by a series of agrarian land uses in the valley’s and plains and is dotted with cities in the plains, where the topography is almost flat. This line of enquiry explores the demand and supply balance of water to understand the water stress in the region based on different land use types. Composition of flow of water accross different topography and diverse settlements. Major occupation from upstream to downstream transcends from tourism along the forests to plantation and agriculture in the slopes and valleys and ending in agglomeration of cities in the plains.The major crops of exports are spices, tea, rubber in higher altitudes of Kumily, Kattapana, Munnar and Megamalai. While the valleys of Theni and Madurai cultivate Coconut, cotton, rice, sugarcane, vegetables and fruit. Of which Jasmine flowers grown in Madurai district, Tea, pepper, cardamom grown in Idukki district hold higher export value than other crops. The productivity of land depends on largely two factors, viz renew-ability of nutrients by sediments and availability of water in addition to climatic conditions. From statistics it is seen that the region is exhibiting exploitation of its groundwater which is seen at a range of Safe to Critical in the adjacent diagram.With such extensive exploitation of water systems and the demand for water exponentially increasing in the irrigation, industry, domestic need adding on to the already not reliable rainfall patterns, the future is uncertain.

Sources:

Oviya Elango. Territorial Adaptation through Co-habitation in Critical Geographies. MSc. Urbanism Thesis, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, TU Delft. Transitional Territories Studio 2021-2022.


Xiaoling Ding

Three drawing sequence:
Composition - Alteration - Limits of 'Habitat'

Composition
Chronically at risk of flooding, people who live along the riverfront take measures to resist the water and find ways to use it. In the case of Roermond, the map charts the ways humans resist and use rivers, including weirs, dikes, sand mining, and waterways. In turn, rivers can also have some negative effects on human life, such as the emergency evacuation area highlighted on the map. The value and risk of rivers coexist, and how to balance them is a problem that human beings need to consider further.

Alteration
The section illustrates how the construction of flood defenses and sand extractions aggravated the erosion of riverbeds (Huismans et al., 2021). For one thing, there is not much sediment from the upstream of Meuse, as a result of river normalization. However, humans downstream continue to extract sand from the bottom of the river, leaving the riverbed exposed and sinking over the years. The solid parts of the weir along the way also partly trap sediment, preventing it from being transported downstream.

Limit
As a result, Roermond is surrounded by large puddles created by sand extraction. In this diagram, Noorderplas is used as an example to sort out the possible impact of riverbed degradation on the environment. For the river itself, erosion can cause problems with weir function, bridge stability, and canal navigation. Also, riverbed degradation can change the groundwater level in waterfront areas, affecting drinking water supplies, agriculture irrigations, and building foundations (Berkhof, 2008).

Paradoxically, some people are building flood defenses while others are mining sand, which may undermine those defenses. This is not the only paradox. The defense and use of rivers need to be linked to the wider process of urban metabolism.

Sources:

Xiaoling Ding. Towards a Flood-Resilient Civil Society. Flood Risk Adaptive and Governance Strategies in Roermond. MSc. Urbanism Thesis, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, TU Delft. Transitional Territories Studio 2021-2022.


Patrisia Tziourrou

Three drawing sequence:
Composition - Alteration - Limits of 'Habitat'

“Habitats biodiversity” is the lens of the Habitat line of inquiry. The comparison between the two chronological times of 1880 and 2021 indicates how this biodiversity has changed. First, the composition maps of these two eras show the transition from a small-scale multifunctional land-use model to extensive land industrialization. This results in the disappearance of critical endogenous flora and fauna. So, the biodiversity of the territory habitats has been affected radically. However, the transect is a synthesis of different land uses that still exist in today's landscape in different sizes. This proves that the various habitats still exist in the landscape, even if they are covered by the largest land uses. In addition, the presence or absence of this plurality has an interaction with the human appearance or not. Thus, the diagram represents the life cycles of today's productive landscapes, trying to identify temporal connections between them. However, this interconnection is something that could be harvested from the past, as a number of traditional productions needed two or more productive landscapes to produce food, for example. This provides us with the conclusion that landscape biodiversity could be collected from human practices in the past and evaluated based on current conditions.

Sources:

Patricia Tziourrou. Between the traces of co-existence. Cyprus 1st October 2060. MSc. Urbanism Thesis, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, TU Delft. Transitional Territories Studio 2021-2022.


Samuel van Engelshoven

Three drawing sequence:
Composition - Alteration - Limits of 'Habitat'

The notion of habitat explores the impact of human presence on the habitat of animals and nature. Water pollution and ecological barriers are the two topics explored.

The first disturbance is pollution. The most significant increase in pesticide levels is observed between Lauterbourg in the Upper Rhine and Koblenz in the Middle Rhine. This corresponds to the high percentage of space used for agriculture in the Upper Rhine Valley and the Main and Neckar tributaries. Microplastic concentrations are relatively low in this part of the Rhine. Plastic particles clearly peak in the Lower Rhine. This corresponds with the Ruhr agglomeration. Remarkably, the microplastic levels are significantly lower in Rotterdam; this could mean plastic particles are accumulating on river banks. More research is needed on this topic.

The second disturbance is the multitude of dams. Up to Iffezheim, the Rhine is a free-flowing river. Upstream dams are constructed to increase the river’s navigability as the height difference increases. These dams are also used for the extraction of hydropower. In the tributaries, dams are more common than in the main branch of the Rhine. Dams make it impossible for fish to migrate up and downstream. This limits their capability to find suitable breeding grounds. Together with the pollution of the river and overfishing, this has led to the extinction of multiple species like the salmon (van Leeningen, 2020). Nowadays, fish passages are installed in the main branch of the Rhine. However, these passages are designed for salmon as bringing back this fish is the goal of new protective policies. This means dams are still difficult to pass for other species.

Dams also disturb natural sediment flows. Downstream of the dams, less sediments are present in the river, especially coarse sediment like sand and gravel cannot pass the dams. This leads to the erosion of the riverbed. To combat this, sediment nourishments are carried out in multiple locations (International Commission for the Hydrology of the Rhine basin, 2009). Sediments are also crucial for bringing nutrients downstream for marine life and riverbank vegetation.

In 1986 the most severe environmental disaster happened in the Rhine basin. A fire in a warehouse of a chemical plant in the Swiss town of Sandoz caused widespread pollution of the river, killing almost all fish downstream (Plum & Schulte-Wülwer-Leidig, 2013). Following this event, strict international regulations were made to decrease the pollution of the Rhine and prevent any future environmental disasters. These regulations have had a significant effect as pollution by heavy metals was minimalized. However, these regulations did not consider new types of pollution. In the past 30 years, pollution by pesticides, microplastics, and medicine residue has steadily risen. These types of pollution are diffuse and, therefore, difficult to tackle at the source. These pollutants are damaging to the river’s ecology, drinking water extraction, and recreation. Unfortunately, it is not easy to filter these tiny particles.

Sources:

Samuel van Engelshoven. Symbiotic Waterscapes. Interdependent water management in the urbanized and cultivated landscape of the Rhine basin. MSc. Urbanism Thesis, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, TU Delft. Transitional Territories Studio 2021-2022.