Project
Conflict Urbanism: Colombia
person role
Author(s): 
Laura Kurgan, Juan Saldarriaga, Angelika Rettberg
Publication date: 
Thursday, September 15, 2016
Publication name, page number: 
After Belonging: The Objects, Spaces, and Territories of the Ways We Stay in Transit
Description (optional): 
Over the course of the last thirty years, more than 7 million Colombians have left their homes and towns in a search for safety. In this project we plot the trajectories of these Colombians in conflict. This mass migration, with its dense network of specific and often hyper-local causes, forms one part of the much larger global story of human beings on the move, mostly from countryside to city. But this movement of people also underlines the fact that the massive urbanization of the planet is born out of conflict. This article about our contribution to the 2016 Oslo Architectural Triennale was published in the exhibition’s catalog, After Belonging: The Objects, Spaces, and Territories of the Ways We Stay in Transit.
Initiative: 
Intro text (homepage): 
Over the course of the last thirty years, more than 7 million Colombians have left their homes and towns in a search for safety. In this project we plot the trajectories of these Colombians in conflict. This article about our contribution to the 2016 Oslo Architectural Triennale was published in the exhibition’s catalog, After Belonging: The Objects, Spaces, and Territories of the Ways We Stay in Transit.
Lead image: 
Author Last Names for table: 
Kurgan, Saldarriaga, Rettberg
Publication short title (carousel): 
Conflict Urbanism: Colombia
Is Website?: 
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dashboard_sort_date: 
Thursday, September 15, 2016
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Data Visualization for Architecture, Urbanism and the Humanities
An introduction to data visualization theory and methods for students entirely new to the fields of computation and information design
   
Description

Through a series of in-class exercises and take-home assignments, students will learn how to critically engage and produce interactive data visualization pieces that can serve as exploratory and analytical tools. The course will be centered around a semester long data visualization group project, through which the students will learn the basics of data visualization, data analysis, data collection, programming and version control. However, even though the course will teach specific visualization tools, the main conceptual thread will be centered around how to work with data, both in the humanities and in architecture and urbanism. Students will define their final projects around their own interests, and will bring their own datasets into their final projects.

View the syllabus and all course materials here

 
Conflict Urbanism: Language Justice
This course focuses on how language is a major force in shaping cities, both through a theoretical lens and through fieldwork in linguistically diverse neighborhoods throughout New York City.
   
About

This spring, the seminar will focus on the role of language as a structuring principle of cities, highlighting the ways that urban spaces and the world are physically shaped by linguistic diversity, and examining the results of languages coming into contact and conflict. For this work we will use New York City as our laboratory. The New York City metropolitan area is the most linguistically dense city in the world, hosting an estimated 700 different languages.

To better understand this diversity, we will look closely at micro-neighborhoods such as Little Senegal (Manhattan), Little Korea (Queens), and Little Ramallah (Paterson, New Jersey). In thinking about the transnational and translingual nature of the city, we will consider structures from digital technology to remittances (small amounts of money sent “home”) and their role in language preservation and language extinction. Finally, through visualizing and mapping how language is situated in these micro-neighborhoods, we will begin to explore the cultures, languages, informal structures and architectures that migrants bring to the city.

Methods

Our work will be, by necessity, multidisciplinary across history, architecture, politics, law, literature and linguistics as related to the topic of Conflict Urbanism. Our work will also be multi-media. Students will create a web-based map as well as written reflections, incorporating analogue as well as digital media. No previous technical skills are necessary, and professors will set individual guidelines for each student based on their disciplinary expertise.

Course Topics

Conflict Urbanism, Environmental Justice, Linguistic Human Rights, Transnationalism, Multilingual spaces and borders, Urban language politics

Tutorial Topics

Carto, QGIS, MapBox, Data types, creation, and cleaning

 
Science Surveyor Demo Launched at the Brown Media Innovation Showcase at Stanford University
Prof. Marguerite Holloway and Prof. Dan Jurafsky presenting the Science Surveyor project

Science Surveyor Demo was launched at the first annual Brown Institute Media Innovation Showcase at Stanford University. Science Surveyor is a tool developed for science journalists that uses cutting-edge algorithms to characterize the scientific literature on a selected topic. Using the abstract and citations of a peer-reviewed paper, Surveyor provides journalists context about that paper in several easy-to-read visualizations.

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Conflict Urbanism: Colombia Recognized at Habitat III Conference in Quito

Conflict Urbanism: Colombia was named a winning entry of the CityVis Competition at the Habitat III conference in Quito. The competition was organized by University of Applied Sciences in Potsdam, Germany and the Future Earth Media Lab.

We are thrilled to have been selected as a winner!

Read more about the competition and the Visualizing Cities platform here

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Conflict Urbanism: Colombia at the Oslo Architecture Triennale

Our Conflict Urbanism: Colombia will be on view at the Oslo Architecture Triennale, After Belonging from September 8 to November 27, 2016. The project traces the trajectories of Colombians who have migrated between 1985 and 2016 as a result of the decades long conflict between state and non-state actors, which is hopefully nearing its end. After more than three years of negotiations between the government and the FARC, Colombian citizens might soon vote on a referendum to approve a historic peace accord between the two parties.

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Symposium on Conflict Urbanism Projects

To mark its inaugural year, The Center for Spatial Research will present its work on "conflict urbanism" in Aleppo, and Colombia. The event will engage participants in a discussion about the role of conflict in structuring urban space and the politics of representation in zones of discordance, disruption and violence as it contributes to the making and remaking of cities. Friday, October 7, 2016 at 1:30pm in Ware Lounge, Avery Hall.

Watch the recording of the event. 

The roundtable will feature Eyal Weizman, Professor of Spatial and Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London and Director of the Centre for Research Architecture and Enrico Bertini, Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at NYU Tandon School of Engineering as respondents to the work presented by CSR researchers and students: Laura KurganJuan Francisco SaldarriagaGrga BasicDare BrawleyViolet Whitney, and Michael Storm

The center point of Conflict Urbanism: Aleppo is an interactive web-based map representing the intensifying violence in urban Aleppo after five years of civil war in Syria. The map combines layers of high-resolution satellite images together with data gathered from multiple perspectives and sources to show the historic city from 2012 to the present. Using the logic of a typical geographic information system (GIS) map, the Conflict Urbanism: Aleppo project overlaps these layers, as it explores two kinds of evidence: evidence about the physical destruction of the city and evidence about how urban warfare is tracked and monitored from a distance.

Conflict Urbanism: Colombia traces the trajectories of Colombians who were forcibly displaced between 1985 and 2016 as a result of the decades long conflict between state and non-state actors. The project visualizes conflict at the scale of the country through a single government-created dataset that will shape transitional justice efforts. The visualizations that have resulted reveal the paths of more than eight million people displaced by war while critically examining how this conflict has been recorded. Conflict Urbanism: Colombia is a collaboration with the Masters on Peacebuilding at Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia.

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CSR Researcher Juan Francisco Saldarriaga to Speak at Bloomberg – Data for Good Exchange
Sep 15, 2016 — Spatial Information Design Lab

Juan Francisco Saldarriaga will be presenting his recent paper ‘Access to Taxicabs for Unbanked Households’ during the Data for Good Exchange yearly conference at Bloomberg. The conference will take place on September 25th, 2016. Here’s a description of the presentation: Taxicabs are a critical aspect of the public transit system in New York City. Ubiquitous yellow cabs are as iconic as the city’s subway system, and the city recently added green taxicabs to improve taxi service in areas outside of the central business districts and airports. In this paper we use multiple datasets to explore taxicab fare payments by neighborhood and examine how paid taxicab fares are associated with use of conventional banking services. There are clear spatial dimensions of the propensity of riders to pay cash, and we find that both immigrant status and being ‘unbanked’ are strong predictors of cash transactions. These results have implications for local regulations of the for-hire vehicle industry, particularly in the context of the rapid growth of services that require credit cards. At the very least, existing and new providers of transit services must consider access to mainstream financial products as part of their equity analyses.

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Exit
An immersive installation that investigates global human migrations, updated to coincide with Cop21 in December 2015.
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Global populations are unstable and on the move. Unprecedented numbers of migrants are leaving their countries for economic, political and environmental reasons. Exit, immerses the viewer in a dynamic presentation of data documenting contemporary human movement. Statistics documenting population shifts are not always neutral and the multiple efforts to collect them are decentralized and incomplete. Here the data are repurposed to build a narrative about global migration and its causes. The viewer enters a circular room and is surrounded by a panoramic video projection of a globe which rolls around the room printing maps as it spins. The maps are made from data which has been collected from a variety of sources, geocoded, statistically analyzed, re-processed through multiple programming languages and translated visually. The presentation is divided into narratives concerning population shifts, remittances, political refugees, natural disaster and sea-level rise and endangered languages.

Originally completed in 2008, EXIT has been fully updated to coincide with Cop21, the United Nations Conference on Climate Change and reflects data from 2015. On view at the Palais Tokyo in Paris from November 25, 2015 – January 10, 2016.

Population and urban migration. Photo © Luc Boegly

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Columbia University Receives Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Grant to Establish Center for Spatial Research

Columbia University published a press release about the founding of the Center for Spatial Research:

“Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP) and the Faculty of Arts and Sciences are pleased to announce the creation of an interdisciplinary Center for Spatial Research. Directed by GSAPP Associate Professor Laura Kurgan, the Center will serve as a hub for urban research that links the humanities, architecture, and data science and will also sponsor a series of curricular initiatives built around new technologies of mapping, data visualization and data collection.”

View the full press release. 

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