NOVEMBER 2021 / APRIL 2022

Director: Dra. Arq. Rita Laura Molinos
Editor: Dra. María Ledesma
Coeditor: DG. Miguel A. Santángelo
Technical editor: DG. Emiliano M. Eseiza

© The contents and metadata of this magazine are licensed under Open Access CC BY-NC-ND 2.5 AR
DNDA registration of the digital edition in process


DossierTowards Sustainability of the Built Environment

Introduction Dossier “Towards Sustainability of the Built Environment”
Dra. Arq. Silvia de Schiller, Dr. Arq. Aníbal Figueroa Castrejón, Dra. Arq. Denise Duarte y Dr. Arq. Domingo Acosta


Sustainability vs megaprojects? Lessons of Qhapaq Ñan and Mayan Train, two regional programs promoting patrimonial preservation and mobility in Latin-america
Fernando Néstor Murillo


The article analyses the validity of the megaprojects approach as a means of creating conditions for sustainable development in marginal regions of Latin America. The case of the Qhapaq Ñan and the Mayan Train focus investments on the protection of pre-Columbian heritage, improving its accessibility, complementary to the coordination of territorial planning processes at multiple scales. The aim is to create value chains that finance services and infrastructures that respect the dispersed model of traditional habitat within a framework of environmental sustainability. The article reflects on their respective positive and negative impacts, socio-urban transformation of the environment and the incidence of the Mayan and Inca architecture legacy on the built environment, trying to extract valid lessons on planning and land use, urban planning and architecture that contribute to the implementation of the precepts of the new urban agenda in the region.

Inclusive city. The challenge remains for post-pandemic sustainability
Dania González Couret


Part of the transformations referred to the post COVID-19 cities reiterate old claims to make them more inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable. One of them, on which we reflect in this article is inclusion, as an essential part of urban sustainability. For this, the principles derived from nature, as the new paradigm, are discussed, as well as their application to the urban scale; the need to learn from the past is founded, and reflections on the most debated topics in digital media about post COVID-19 city are exposed, as well as learnings derived from the Cuban experience.

Urban agreements and the extension of growth in terms of urban sustainability
María Cecilia Marengo


In the context of neoliberal urbanization, the article analyses the effects of the application of a tool to facilitate urban development operations: urban agreements. Unlike what was observed in previous periods, this instrument promotes a greater role for the initiatives developed by the market through public-private partnerships. The objective of the article is to understand the relationships between planning (urban regulations) and habitat production in the new peripheral residential areas and to discuss aspects about the sustainability of growth by extension. The projects managed in the 2012-2019 period in the Municipality of Córdoba, Argentina are analysed. The results provide reflections to think in terms of sustainability, the effects derived from the current context of commercialization in urban development, in the border territories.

Housing labelling in the context of sustainable development
Florencia Donnet


In this article, it is intended to introduce and contextualize the importance of the implementation of energy efficiency measures in buildings, and in particular, those for residential use, highlighting their potential impact on the energy sector worldwide —and consequently, in global warming—. The need to create an energy efficiency certification system for houses in Argentina is presented, instituting an instrument of transcendental interest for the State at all levels, both for energy planning and for the development of housing policies in the context of the sustainable development of the built habitat.

Landscape design, health, and sustainability in the hospital environment
Eduardo Ottaviani


The current article develops concepts related to the role of green spaces for health and the historical influences of hygienist proposals for hospital buildings. The study links the relationship between human being, built habitat and nature, when the last one becomes protagonist from the landscape design and the new conceptions on the function of green spaces provide support for health. Two case studies are presented in which the theory developed in the author’s Doctoral Thesis can be applied in project practice for the design of green spaces in hospitals in support to sustainable habitats.

Use and solar control. A basic strategy for the sustainability of buildings
Sara Lía Ledesma, Viviana María Nota y Marta Susana Cisterna


This work aims to present the results of the research related to the incidence of the sun in the building’s final energy performance and therefore in the decisions that the designer must make in the different stages of architectural design. Studies carried out in the metropolitan area of Tucumán (AMeT) are presented, which show the influence of the sun in the urban configuration, in the definition of the plots of land and the architectural project of social housing, in the resolution of classrooms’ windows and the solar influence on the opaque surfaces of the building’s envelope. The significance of considering solar radiation as a determining factor for the natural conditioning of interior spaces is also demonstrated.

The bioclimatic response of historical architecture. Former convent of San Francisco in Querétaro
Gloria María Castorena Espinosa


Since 1936, the former Convent of San Francisco, located in Santiago de Querétaro, Mexico, is home to the Regional Museum of Querétaro. This religious complex, built between the XVI and the XVII centuries, is analysed under a bioclimatic perspective of sustainability that allows us to understand its siting and orientation, the selection of local materials used in its structure and its ornamentation, its self-efficiency and the rational use of resources required for its operation, as well as the architectural response of the buildings in relation to the climate and their natural environment. The temperature of the building and the outdoor areas was supervised to analyse its behaviour and its relation to the parameters well-being and comfort, in order to evaluate through digital models, the design concepts and bioclimatic strategies applied in the design and the construction of the complex. Finally, the development of the investigation was documented to share its results, the heritage, and the records of sustainability in the past and the prospects for the revitalization of buildings with a historical value.

Re-thinking the growth of London. An interactive multi-stakeholder perspective derived in geodesign and negotiation
Carl Steinitz


El Corredor Cambridge-Milton Keynes-Oxford (CAMKOX), es la región de más rápido crecimiento en el Reino Unido. En ese marco, la Comisión Nacional de Infraestructura propone añadir 780.000 viviendas y 1.450.000 habitantes a la población existente en CAMKOX de alrededor de 3.300.000. Sin embargo, es muy probable que las condiciones en las que se cumpliría este objetivo para 2050 sean sustancialmente diferentes de las actuales. Los impactos directos e indirectos del cambio climático proyectado, el crecimiento demográfico y la innovación técnica deben considerarse en relación con las condiciones actuales. En ese contexto, el Centro de Análisis Espacial Avanzado del University College de Londres organizó un taller de dos días entre las partes interesadas con la participación de 20 planificadores profesionales y académicos con experiencia CAMKOX. El geodiseño modifica la geografía a través del diseño, en un contexto intencional, y combina firmemente la creación de propuestas de cambio con simulaciones de impacto informadas por contextos geográficos y pensamiento sistémico. Llegar a una estrategia de planificación políticamente aceptable, inevitablemente implica una negociación entre la población local, con el apoyo de científicos geográficos y profesionales del diseño, con el soporte de tecnología informática. Las herramientas digitales para permitir un consenso negociado en colaboración se basan en diagramas de políticas y proyectos, y producen un resultado indicando sólo lo que «puede ser… o podría ser… o algo como esto”. Cada uno de los equipos participantes aplicó uno de los tres escenarios de adopción temprana, tardía o no adopción de las innovaciones, políticas y proyectos de sistemas, informando los diseños y sus impactos en tres pasos de tiempo, 2020 (existente), 2035, y 2050. Estos fueron comparados y negociados en un diseño final.

General thematic articles

Intervention model in the recovery of assets of cultural interest. Aplication in the Royal Tobacco Factory of Seville
José Ángel García Gutiérrez y María del Pilar Mercader-Moyano


Since beginning of 20th century, there has been awareness of the importance of historical heritage of cities and the need to establish a system of intervention in said heritage. Studying interventions on these types of buildings, I observe that most of actions on these buildings have their own entity and hardly related to other actions and, in most cases, nor with the character of Asset of Cultural Interest of the building. Nothing else needs to take a walk through many of BIC buildings, to realize, for example, the proliferation of facilities on roofs and on facades of the same, that without counting mezzanines or invasions in protected elements (corridors, stairs, patios, etc.) It is for all these reasons that I consider it necessary to create an Intervention Model in buildings declared a Asset of Cultural Interest. As an example of this model, it has been chosen to apply it to one of the largest buildings that were built in the 18th century in Europe and that still stand, the Royal Tobacco Factory of Seville. The Royal Tobacco Factory of Seville, a building, built between 1737 and 1758, has undergone numerous reforms, either for its use as a tobacco factory, as for its adaptation to Military Barracks and, finally, its reform to locate the headquarters of the University of Seville.

Identification of geographical indicators of environmental risk for local urban sustainability. Municipality of Tres de Febrero, province of Buenos Aires
Diana Elba De Pietri, Patricia Dietrich y Alejandro Carcagno


The purpose of the work was to identify geographical indicators of environmental risk to contribute to local urban sustainability. An ad-hoc methodological procedure was designed as a contribution to local authorities to promote community participation in local environmental planning in the municipality of Tres de Febrero, province of Buenos Aires. From the analysis of the data collected, a rapid diagnosis of environmental events that affect health or quality of life is reached. The results were organized according to: the identification and classification of environmental events according to the percentage of opinion regarding the degree of environmental threat; the analysis of environmental risk scenarios; and the delimitation of the area affected by perceived environmental events. Based on the graphic responses made during the household survey and the descriptive statistics of the collected data, geographic indicators are defined when a large number of respondents coincide in determining the location of one or more environmental events.

Narrators, narratee and narrated for the construction of the exemplum in De Architectvra
Juan José Gutiérrez


In this work we set out to reflect on a founding act of Western architecture. It is our understanding that the writing of The ten books of Architecture or De Architectvre of Vitruvius represents the approach of the two classical cultures that from the Renaissance period until today haven’t ceased to participate in the disciplinary discussion, two cultures that are treated as one under the concept of the classic. However, it was Vitruvius’ work to institutionalize the approach of one towards the other. In this analysis we aim to investigate from the narratological perspective how in the writing of each introduction, the rhetorical figure of the exemplum has been materialized for the positioning of both Greek architecture and Vitruvius himself in the times of Augustus’ Rome.

City and nature. Transformation potential of the Maldonado stream basin in a context of climate change
María José Leveratto


This work presents a first approach to the study of available green spaces in the Maldonado stream basin within the limits of the City of Buenos Aires, capital of Argentina. The main goal is to evaluate the potential for incorporating new rainwater planning and management strategies with nature-based solutions to increase green areas and improve the quality of life in a territory that has undergone numerous engineering works for flood mitigation, including culverting the river almost 100 years ago. Using geographic information systems, the amount and location of existing public and private green space and its relationship with areas subject to flooding are analysed. From this study, it is possible to conclude that green spaces are scarce in the entire basin, they are poorly distributed and their location does not coincide with the areas at risk. In addition, a new urban code has been recently enacted and, among other factors, it defines new levels of constructability for the city. As a result of this regulation, an increased amount of population and activities could be established in areas with risk of flooding. This is a serious limitation to the possibility of incorporating blue or green strategies for flooding mitigation and environmental improvement, with interventions such as green corridors along the route of the basin with new open spaces connecting the already existing ones.

Peanut husk chipboards. Life cycle assessment
Magdalena Molina, Mariana Gatani y Rodolfo Bongiovanni


This article makes visible the community ordering of the territory, from the affective, from defending the territory with collective, self-managed use, analysing urban experiences intertwined with the Bosque Chaqueño Serrano, with the water basins and with the semi-aridity of the argentine mediterranean lands, to the west of the Sierras Chicas, in the province of Córdoba. Some of the cases (Capilla del Monte, Charbonier, San Marcos) are located on the eastern slope in the corridor of the Valle de Punilla and others (Río Ceballos, Salsipuedes, Agua de Oro, Villa Cerro Azul) on the western slope in the corridor of the Sierras Chicas. However, the case that is presented is of interest in a focused way due to its particular characteristics related to environmental affectivity as the starting point of the territoriality of the community. In a special way, the analysis of the process of collective living in the neighbourhood Villa Parque San Jorge de Cosquín will be deepened, with the aim of understanding the importance that the urbanization processes of the Córdoba mountains have taken and the territorial relations that are interwoven between different territories.

Habitáculos orgánicos [Organic living spaces]. On urban metabolism, bacteria, and interspecies coexistence
Paula Bruno Garcén


The artist Gabriela Munguía shows a project that imagines the urban organization as a biological complex. By means of interphases and bioprinting, in Habitáculos orgánicos [Organic living spaces] (2015) she developed a bacteria colonies crop, in the tiny juxtaposed units. Her work, inspired in Japanese metabolism urban biological utopias, drives lead to reflect on the city as a huge organism or sensitive system. After the revision on human and non-human relations, this bioinstallation is also analysed following the concepts associated with the design of the living and the forms of interspecies coexistence in our urban lives.

Ruptures and continuities in contemporary urbanism. The urban paradigms in the taxonomies of Françoise Choay, François Ascher and Javier Monclús
Silvana María Cappuccio


The debate on the responses given by urban planning to urban-environmental problems during the last 30 years is polarized between “rupturist” and “continuity” interpretations. The former explains the solutions proposed from the logic of globalization and the socio-economic and technological changes associated with it; the latter inscribes them within traditions that governed the urban culture of the 20th century and were recovered in the present. Within this framework, we propose to review the main urban paradigms, based on Françoise Choay’s taxonomic system and its complement by François Ascher and Javier Monclús.

Landscape valuation in townscape catalogues
Lucas Períes y Silvina Barraud


This article deals with landscape assessment as a phase of a methodological process for the construction of townscape catalogues. The purpose of these is to determine the type of value that a landscape has and establish landscape quality considerations, to outline actions that aim at sustainable development and the quality of urban life. The implication of the concept of valuing the landscape is displayed as an argument. This is aimed at its application and technical implementation framed in the methodology of the catalogues, and with orientation to the potential replication or adaptation by professionals with work on the subject. Thus, techniques and procedures developed during the registration, processing, analysis, and evaluation of the information that constitute, in its conjunction, the recognition of the value of the landscape in an urban environment are exposed. Aspects of the design of the public consultation models are detailed, which are constituted as key resources for interpreting the value of the landscape. The landscape assessment is presented as a conceptual and practical tool for consensual planning.

Design of playground devices. Between materialities and narratives
Sandra Mariel Weller


This article aims to present toy libraries as spaces of interest and concern for the field of design. We will present the contribution of play and games to the development of populations. The toy libraries are spaces of opportunity for the protection and care of children, adolescents, adults, and the elderly and, being part of the public space, they are of interest to guarantee to each community a better management of the violated rights. We will present some ways of getting involved with personal, contextual, and disciplinary problems, hoping to find some recurring milestones that may be valuable for the projects of architects and designers to reach communities as interventions that are situated, agreed, viable, transformative and with a projection of continuity.


Diseño y Diáspora. A podcast channel

Conversations on design for social change
Esteban Javier Rico