From 23 March to 6 April 2024
Deeply rooted in Bolivia’s history, the cities of La Paz and El Alto thrive as centres of social, economic, and cultural activity. Their unique geography, diverse culture and historical significance are driving their continued urbanisation. However, rapid population growth and economic change present new challenges that require careful consideration of sustainable urban development, taking into account the growing need for new technologies and innovation, environmental concerns, and cultural identities. Against this background, the main motivation of the excursion is to explore how urban design can create spaces for science and innovation in complex urban environments while considering the cultural and environmental context. The excursion will be organised in collaboration with the Faculty of Architecture of the Universidad Mayor de San Andres in La Paz, among others, and will have four highlights:
1) The Valle de Cinti wine region: the tour will provide historical insights into the economies that shaped Bolivia’s cities and their traditional architecture.
2) The Salt Flats of Uyuni: the tour will provide contemporary insights into the emerging lithium economy, which is crucial to the global energy transition.
3) The city of Sucre: the tour will provide historical insights into the governance of Bolivian cities and their traditional architecture and urbanism.
4) The unique and complex urban fabric of La Paz and Alto: through guided tours and an urban design workshop, innovative concepts for the city of the future will be developed in collaboration with local universities and stakeholders.
The experiences and results of the excursion will be taken up and further developed in several master theses in the summer semester of 2024 (kick-off 15 March).
Fabio Bayro Kaiser