Territorial Turn

Plea for a Paradigm Shift in Urbanism

Urbanism is the art, science and technology of developing human settlements. It is less about the buildings themselves than about their arrangement, relationship to each other and connection to the environment. Crises have influenced the discipline of urban planning as much as they have had an impact on the development of the various urbanist movements. Currently, the pandemic but also the challenges of climate change, e.g. through increasing severe weather events, have once again confronted us with the fragility of the built environment - and thus raised the call for a rethinking of the goals and means of urban planning. In the face of immense environmental and social challenges, a paradigm shift in planning approaches is needed. 

The Territorial Turn describes the essential change in fundamental framework conditions and values in urban planning. This stands for a holistic, cross-sectoral and networked understanding of space, as well as for a close connection between the built environment and living systems - an approach that replaces the predominantly building-oriented attitude in specialist planning in favour of an increased appreciation of public space. Here, the space between buildings is understood as essential for ecological and social change, both in small-scale neighbourhoods and blocks, and at the level of districts and entire cities.

The projects are thus not defined by the boundaries of the site, but situate a planning to be developed in a larger context within the existing socio-ecological systems and cycles. This results in large, interconnected site systems that gain greater resilience through networked structures and go far beyond the goals of economic progress, modernity and technology. Territorial Turn thus follows the notion of an overarching spatial vision for a just and ecological city with a high quality of life for people and animals.