Eternal buildings in future cities

Swissnex joins ETH Zurich and the Istituto Svizzero in Rome at the 'Eternal buildings future cities' event on 23 and 24 November. The interdisciplinary event will look closer at the link between buildings and the public urban space. How do we create spaces that allow people to develop relationships with their neighborhoods?

The Conference

Buildings and the public urban space have a close relationship and shape each other. The interdisciplinary conference Eternal buildings in future cities will explore this relationship. On the one hand, it is dedicated to the question of how houses will have to be designed, planned, and built in the future to be used and maintained as long as possible. On the other hand, it focuses on the public space in the constantly changing urban and social fabric. What kind of urbanism and architecture allows people to build a relationship with their neighborhood and their city?

Our Western building culture has always been characterized by the principle of durability of materials and constructions. Houses should be constructed to be durable and as low-maintenance as possible. At the same time, houses that are continuously maintained and cared for can, of course, be durable despite the use of impermanent materials.

The prevailing trend in large parts of Europe to demolish buildings prematurely and replace them with new buildings shows that the useful life of a house is not only determined by the life of its components alone but by a wide variety of aspects – beyond materiality and construction. As part of the real estate economy and land price policy, for example, houses are subject to developments that are only influenced to a limited extent or not at all by their material value. However, at stake are also functionality (polyvalence and redundancy of spaces), user/ownership (who uses a house, who owns it?), the adaptability and reparability of houses, as well as legal framework conditions and norms.

The conference presents five panels to discuss the challenges and potentials of today’s building culture in (future) cities, from the maintenance, preservation, durability, and adaptability of building constructions to social questions regarding urban space and housing.

In collaboration with ETH Zurich and Tor Vergata University of Rome.

The conference will happen on 23 and 24 November in Rome. The event will be held in English at Istituto Svizzero in Rome and online. 

See the whole program HERE.

To attend in Rome on 23.11.2023, register here.
To attend in Rome on 24.11.2023, register here.

To follow online on 23.11.2023, register here.
To follow online on 24.11.2023, register here.

Istituto Svizzero
Via Liguria 20, Rome
Free entrance

Panel 5: Eternal buildings in Future Cities: Global Perspectives

Moderation: Elli Mosayebi, Silke Langenberg

Prasad Vaidya, Senior Advisor at Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS) and Director of Solar Decathlon India, India (online)
Srilalitha Gopalakrishnan, Associate Director Research, Singapore-ETH Centre Future Cities Laboratory Global and President of Singapore Institute of Landscape Architects (online)
Joel Baur, Co-Founder of Citra Architecture and Construction Company, South Africa (online)
Tereza Herling, Mackenzie Presbyterian University, Brazil (online)

Panel 5 has been co-organized with Swissnex in Brazil, Swissnex in India, the Embassy of Switzerland in Pretoria, the Embassy of Switzerland in Singapore.

Meet the Brazilian speaker