Evolution continues – from cityliver to citythinker


Rapid changes in urban clusters require rapid changes in architecture and planning, which are possible only with the transformation of the way of thinking. The general director of the CITYTHINKING S.L. alliance, architect and urbanist Anja Sophia Ehrenfried will speak at the annual conference Architecture of the Future 2019, which will be held from 9 to 11 October in Kyiv, and will talk about what activities are needed for effective reprogramming of the cities.

Hippod, the ancient Greek city planner was born in 498 BC. in the Turkish city of Miletus. He proposed a city planning system, which assumed space with streets intersecting at right angles, oriented to the cardinal points. The quarters of the hippodamian system were rectangular. Their sizes were the same, regardless of the social status of residents. Each quarter was divided by exactly half hidden sewers. Theaters and stadiums were taken out of the city. Rhodes, Furies, and Alexandria of Egypt were built according to the hippodamian system. The plan for the development of Manhattan adopted in 1811 was also created in accordance with the hippodamian system.

Dominico Fontana, an Italian architect and engineer, was born in 1543 in a small town on Lake Lugano. Thanks to him, the beam method of planning appeared in the town planning. He organized the city hubs, from which two or three straight lines branched out, which were closed by a grandiose obelisk. This method made it possible to feel the whole scale of the city and see it in an open perspective. It is reflected in the plans of Rome, Paris, Brussels and Odessa (Ukraine). They showed flamboyancy and theatricality, which became a natural part of the urban environment.

Le Corbusier, French architect, designer, urbanist, was born in 1887 in Switzerland. In 1922, he proposed the concept of the “Radiant City”, built according to the rigid laws of a linear structure, according to which the city was a stretched ribbon, the central axis of which was a boulevard. On either side of it, Le Corbusier proposed to build houses of equal size, between which gardens were laid out. The principle of linear cities was implemented in the plans of Algeria, Rio de Janeiro, San Paolo.

It would be naive to argue that urban planning is a new trend of new time, whose appearance is associated with rapidly changing living and working conditions of city residents. All the work of an urbanist is connected only with his ability to choose and achieve a tone of voice, a tone in which cities will sound. Urban spaces with a well-thought-out structure, a balanced location of residential and industrial areas, a logical transport system are distinguished by a uniform urban noise, occasionally interrupted by the sounds of sirens or car honks. Being a city, thinking about a city, thinking like a city – citythinking.

Anja Sophia Ehrenfried was born in Germany in 1973. She received degrees in architecture and engineering from the Technical University of Munich. After moving to Spain, she studied “The city and Sustainable Architecture for a European Future program” at the University of Seville. Anja worked as a junior architect at the Herzog & de Meuron office in Basel and participated in the development of the ambitious project of the Allianz Arena stadium in Munich. In the Spanish bureau Guillermo Vazquez Consuegra, she served as a senior architect and was responsible for the competitions department. Anja has been part of the EDDEA team since 2003, a company that deals with planning, architecture and urban planning. Since 2013 Anja was appointed Associate in charge of International Business of the international company CITYTHINKING S.L. by EDDEA, the purpose of which is to create a new urban paradigm – the formation of affordable residential facilities of mass building, and their formation in stable clusters, and was appointed General Director in 2019.

The company’s specialists understand that the growth of cities is so fast that the time has come for cardinal decisions. Cardinal – does not mean radical. Anja and the CITYTHINKING team see their goal in creating emotionally effective urban solutions, so their projects involve the preservation of historical monuments that have become part of the cultural code of a country or city. The CITYTHINKING ideas broadcast channels are diverse – Anja participates in the development of Parametric Smart Planning software, which is needed in the development of large-scale projects to standardize urban planning, to analyze and optimize complex urban scenarios, taking into account functional, environmental and social changes.

«Developing countries are facing the fastest urbanization process in history. Existing and new cities are growing exponentially and hundreds of new urban areas will be planned from scratch in the coming years. The need of massive fully equipped affordable residential areas is huge. The new paradigm consists of setting up these urban areas in a more sustainable and efficient way, establishing an eco-friendly relationship between “citizens and nature”.

Resources and time are limited, so creative efficient solutions must be developed to solve this global challenge rethinking design strategies and infusing technology and innovation to the whole process. The current inability of urban design processes to cope with environmental pressures and growing demands force us to rethink urban development patterns as catalyst of value and urbanists to give rise to cities in the near future, – says Anja Sophia Ehrenfried.

Anja participates in the jury of international architectural competitions; she acts as an active lecturer. In the last role, you will see her on the architecture conference on emerging technologies Architecture of Future 2019 (October 9-11, 2019), where she will tell about the future of our cities.