Cities like Dubai, Doha and Abu Dhabi have been depicted as the pinnacle of spectacular architecture, as well as the expression of exceptional economic forces and political ambitions. The tallest buildings in the world, the newest and most iconic museums, entire high-tech cities built from scratch are systematically exposed in the media as elements of one-of-a-kind urbanization. But they are only part of the story of these cities. Professor Davide Ponzini (Politecnico di Milano, Italy) will explain how Gulf cities are in fact connected and comparable to other cities in the world and how other cities can learn from the Gulf. International architects, planners, real estate developers, investors and other agents have been transferring similar policy ideas and design solutions to and from the Gulf. By looking at these urban test beds of the Middle East and at their transnational connections, Ponzini argues, one can derive both positive and negative lessons regarding contemporary architecture and urbanization.
Davide Ponzini is Associate Professor of Urban Planning at the Politecnico di Milano, where he is the director of the Transnational Architecture and Urbanism research unit ( http://tau-lab.polimi.it ). In the past, he has been a visiting scholar at Yale University, Johns Hopkins University, Columbia University and Science Po Paris. In 2017, he was a Visiting Professor at TU Munich. His recent books include Starchitecture: Scenes, Actors, and Spectacles in Contemporary Cities (with photographer Michele Nastasi http://www.monacellipress.com/book/?isbn=9781580934688 ) and The New Arab Urban: Gulf Cities of Wealth, Ambition, and Distress (co-edited with Harvey Molotch https://nyupress.org/books/9781479897254 ).
Free admission - all welcome.
Banner image credit: Michele Nastasi