From September 18th to September 27th, students from universities around Europe gathered in Bacoli, just north of Naples, Italy, to design a development plan for Lake Fusaro as part of the WAVE (Water Areas Vision for Europe) Erasmus+ Project. Lake Fusaro is the largest lake of the Phlegraean Fields and, as we quicky discovered, is far from meeting its full potential.
The students were divided into five groups, each tackling a different section of the lakefront. After touring the area and discussing with various stakeholders, students brainstormed challenges and potentials for the lake, each group taking its own approach to problem analysis. It became apparent that, from an urban planning and design perspective, there are many issues in the area – poor accessibility, lack of pedestrian infrastructure, illegal & unplanned urban development, high levels of pollution, and poor ecosystem management, to name a few.
From these analyses, students came up with solutions, each group creating a vision for their section of the lakefront area. These visions were communicated through comprehensive designs, using a variety of different artistic, mapping, and design methodologies. They were then able to share these visions with various stakeholders, resulting in a very successful project overall.
It was a privilege that the ISOCARP Institute was able to participate in this inspiring event, and we look forward to future Labs.
For an overview of the outcomes, check out the dissemination video (a mix of English and Italian) below, as well as the gallery of photos (photo credit: Didier Vancutsem, Antonio Acierno, & Taliah Dommerholt).
ISOCARP Institute and ISOCARP Society recently helped organize, facilitate, and carry out a UPAT Design Planning Workshop in Chapala, Mexico, on the topic of waterfront urban development. From August 1st to 6th, an international group of ISOCARP members participated in the UPAT, working together to address the various challenges along Chapala’s shoreline and develop comprehensive solutions. Coordinated by former ISOCARP Vice President Paco Perez and sponsored by a group of municipalities and civil society groups from around Lake Chapala, the purpose of the UPAT was to develop a relevant, realistic, and sustainable masterplan with key strategies for managing the lake and its surroundings, helping the area to realize its full potential while celebrating its heritage.
During our time in Mexico, we had the privilege of meeting with an array of political and civil society representatives, including elected officials, municipal representatives, environmental experts, and tourism interest groups. We were also able to tour the expansive lake front, visiting various sites in the surrounding towns. In addition to a breath-taking boat ride and many opportunities throughout the tour to gain a better understanding of what the various areas around the lake have to offer, we also enjoyed a lunch of birrieria and life-changing tortillas, hill-side wine tasting, and a chance to sample the legendary nieves de garrafa (in short, we were not under-fed).
Based on our preliminary research, meetings with stakeholders, and first-hand experiences, we determined the main challenges and perceived opportunities around the lake and then divided these topics between the team to begin brainstorming solutions. After presenting our initial findings on the final day in Mexico, we have now returned home to our respective countries to write the final report, which will then be compiled and translated by our trusted leader, Rolf Schuett. The report will be made available online, and we look forward to sharing our findings with the global community!
We would like to thank the ISOCARP team members Rolf Schuett (team leader), Diana Andrea Giambiagi, Dara Golubovic-Matic, Ric Stephens, and Taliah Dommerholt for their attendance, contributions and highly appreciated ideas. In addition to the ISOCARP team, we could not have been successful without Walter Rast, senior expert of the International Lake Environment Committee (ILEC), and the assistance of the young planning professionals, Esteban Contreras, Deni Hernandez Castaneda, Sebastian Pacheco Velazquez, Ana Karen Pimienta Reynoso, Andres Rodriguez Von Hauske, and Donaji “Mave” Fiallo Zurita.