The International Conference in City Sciences was in Santiago de Chile the 16th and 17th of June 2016. Here, we have outlined the field trip taken by MCS students.
Day 1. Valparaiso
Valparaiso is a major city, seaport, and educational centre in the county, or commune, of Valparaíso, Chile. Greater Valparaíso is the second largest metropolitan area in the country, one of the South Pacific’s most important seaports, capital of Chile’s third most populated administrative region and has been headquarters of the Chilean National Congress since 1990.
MCS students had the chance to take a guided tour with Gonzalo Undurraga, architect and urban planning professor at Valparaiso University and member of Plan Cerro, a non-profit organization dealing with solving Valparaiso’s main urban issues.
His knowledge about the city fascinated MCS students. The issues in the basic infrastructure in mountain dwellings, the explanation about the organic growth of the city, the impact of the harbour which was the main economic force in the past, but which now employees hardly any Valparaiso citizens due to automation, and is a artificial barrier for the city’s development.
MCS then had lunch at Dinamarca 399, an old embassy which is being renovated by local entrepreneurs, making a spectacular co-working environment. After lunch, Marcelo Ruiz, another Urbanist and member of Plan Cerro made a speech about the growth of Greater Valparaiso.
Then, MCS went to Valparaiso Cultural Park a public space where the public prison of the city was formerly located. The flavour of its impact on that neighbourhood of Valparaiso was easy to smell. But nothing was better than the amazing views of Valparaiso’s urban landscape that this old prison provides to every citizen and visitor.
Finally, MCS visited a few main hotspots in Viña del Mar, including the flower clock, the promenade and the moái well, which concluded the first day.
Day 2. Santiago de Chile
Santiago de Chile is the capital and the most significant city in Chile. The visit started with a breakfast on the top floor of the Telefonica Building, one of the highest in the Santiago urban landscape from which MCS admired the unique view of the enormous city of Santiago de Chile, together with the snowy peaks of the Andes mountains.
There, Hernán Orellana, executive director of Telefonica I+D, and Pablo Allard, Dean of the School of Architecture at Universidad del Desarrollo, spoke about urban opportunities and challenges in Santiago, before presenting the tour.
After Telefónica, Francisco Javier Parada, architect lecturer at Universidad del Desarrollo, guided MCS students to Father Renato Poblete River Park which works as a floodgate to avoid flooding in Santiago. Afterwards, MCS took a tour through the most traditional area in Santiago before arriving to the Pontifica Universidad Católica de Chile Campus, where 3 of Alejandro Aravena’s projects were built: The Mathematics faculty (his first project), the Siamese Towers and the Innovation Centre UC.
The open atmosphere of the Innovation Centre UC fosters the creativity of the most important researchers in Chile.
Later, MCS went to Santiago’s Central Market to have lunch in an amazing environment right in the city centre before going to the Bicentennial Park to finish the visit in the awarded social housing project Lo Barchenea II where an informal settlement was developed introducing the newest participatory and innovative development processes ever.
MCS finished its day at the Spanish ambassador’s residence at a cocktail party where all relevant stakeholders of the conference had the chance to meet.
Day 3. ICCS2016 Part 1
The conference began at 09.00 sharp. Pablo Allard, Dean of the University welcomed the participants to start the plenary sessions. This session covered main Chilean citiy issues with Sergio Hernández, Vice-Rector of Postgraduate and Research of UDD, Claudio Muñoz, Telefónica Chile CEO, and Cristian Bowen, undersecretary of Transport.
The first plenary session finished with input from José María Ezquiaga, COAM Director, who gave an excellent view of the political issues of urban planning, and Luis Bettencourt from the Santa Fe Institute, who assessed the city with a complex system analysis.
After the break, Belinda Tato and Yuri Grigoryan introduced their urban projects from Harvard and Stelka respectively.
The scientific sessions started after lunch, where two students from MCS, Juan Pablo Moreno and Alis Daniela Torres inaugurated the first panel speaking about green roofs and surfaces. This paper was written using the ecological urbanism module at MCS. The panel was wrapped up by Rafael Borge, an MCS lecturer, who spoke about TECNAIRE, a research project led by him that uses low cost environmental sensors and mobility modelling to understand the real impact of pollutants on citizens.
Day 4. ICCS 2016 Part 2.
The second day of the conference consisted of scientific panels. The day was a complete success with very interesting conferences. Here, there is a brief overview of the MCS students who had the chance to speak at the conference that day.
Lorenzo Massimiano and Thibaud Dubrule spoke about the implication of 5G in urban planning, and how this extreme connectivity is going to change the way we move and the way we use public spaces.
Juan Pablo Moreno, again, spoke about the impact of freight systems in cities, proposing several ICT- based measurements to improve that impact.
Javier Dorao, MCS manager, spoke about a project created by final-year MCS students about the state-of-the-art Spanish Open Data Portals and the potential to improve our investment.
Alejandro de Miguel Solano spoke about how the city has forecasted city technology and used it to explain complex concepts such as big data, machine learning or deep learning.
Alberto Gómez Tello spoke about the tools developed with the ecological urbanism module at MCS which allow understanding what materials fit better in every public space according to thermal features.
Tono Fernández spoke about his MCS final thesis. He is working on the use of ICT-tools to make better planning and allow designers to understand city complexity.
Finaly, María Sastre and Ana Gavilanes presented their Entrepreneurial Thinking and Management MCS module innovation project. They are developing the Airbnb of the co-working!