Monday, April 25, 2005

Harvard University Prize awarded to Aleppo


The Old Aleppo (1940's)

The Veronica Rudge Green Prize in Urban Design is awarded by the Harvard Design School every two years to recognize excellence in urban design with an emphasis on projects that contribute to the public realm of a city and improve the quality of its urban life.
This year the jury gave the prestigious prize to Aleppo for its rehabilitation and modernization of the ancient city center while maintaining the integrity and historical authenticity of the urban fabric.
The Green Prize is the foremost award recognizing achievement in this field, and the City of Aleppo shares the special distinction, along side Barcelona (1990) and Mexico City (1996), as the only cities that have received the award since it was established in 1986 .

On Wednesday (April 13), the Design School held a symposium, “Aleppo: New Perspectives on the Old City”, followed by the presentation of the prize to Maan Chibli, the city's mayor and a professor of urban planning and development at the University of Aleppo. An exhibition based on the project will be on display in the Gund Hall exhibition area through May 25.

Professor Joan Busquets, the jury chair wrote: “Aleppo shows us how urban rehabilitation in a historic setting can transmit a vital new meaning when the main focus is restoring urban fabric rather than rebuilding monuments.”
Hashim Sarkis, the Aga Khan Professor of Landscape Architecture and Urbanism in Muslim Societies said: “I believe the city center has been saved because of the high esteem in which Aleppines hold their city.”
That pride is reflected in the uniquely grassroots manner in which the rehabilitation was conducted. While the renovation of the sewer system and other large-scale projects were undertaken by the municipal authorities with technical support by the German agency Gesellschaft fu"r Zusammenarbeit (GTZ), much of the renovation of private dwellings was done by the inhabitants themselves with advice and subsidies from the city.

“These are mostly working class people, not yuppies,” said Busquets. “This shows that with limited means you can improve housing conditions so that normal people can live in these places.”

Sources and more Info.:
The Harvard Gazette

The Green Prize-Aleppo2005

7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is honouring not only for Alepans but for all Syrians to receive this award, but the question remains on how long will we be able to maintain a decent level of standards set by this award.
Aren't the new banners "armat" of the shops contributing to the visual pollution of the city?
Can anyone tell me that in the last week they haven't thrown an orange peel, a tissue, a paper, in the street?
Is it normal that no more than 100 meters of pavements are straight and on the same level?
Is it really hard for the electricity establishment and drainage establishment to coordinate their digging time together instead of butchering the city's streets?

I have always wanted to make syrians, starting by my family and friends aware of the gravity of the situation the syrian environment is in.

It's time we start "Reducing, Re-using and Recycling".

God Bless Syria.

April 25, 2005 9:51 AM  
Blogger Dina said...

Congratulations to Aleppo and to Syria, hopefully more awards like this one will follow...

April 25, 2005 10:38 PM  
Blogger Omar said...

Great post Rami, it must have been some nice work in order to win such a prestigious award. Go 7alab!

April 26, 2005 5:11 AM  
Blogger Rami said...

Thank you Anonymous for your comment…I couldn’t agree more.

I am also praying for the day they find a solution for all these billboards, especially the small ones (doctors, lawyers…), that are killing the beauty of our old buildings. It is sad that the older the building, the more billboards there is, covering every inch of its façade.

Omar, I know some of the engineers who worked on this project. I will be posting more about the project and the great job they did, in the future. Stay tuned…

April 26, 2005 7:50 AM  
Blogger Catherine said...

Good news..Something to be proud of.

April 27, 2005 5:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's a great story. Waiting for more. » » »

March 02, 2007 8:22 PM  
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April 25, 2007 6:39 PM  

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