Illegal parking on public squares, city parks threatened by flashy constructions, squatted landmarks and anonymous module suburbs emerging at breakneck-speed. These are some of the challenges and opportunities facing Chişinău and Minsk, Moldova’s and Belarus’ capital cities, which are the first to go in Färgfabriken’s new project New Urban Topologies, NUT. The focal points are countries in the former Soviet Union and the Middle East, the aim to create a discussion on urban planning, architecture and public spaces with a focus on participation, ecology and identity by using the so-called “Färgfabriken method”.

The cities of Chişinău and Minsk were visited in October together with representatives from the Stockholm City Planning Office, the Stockholm Office of Regional Planning and the Royal Institute of Technology. In seminars, workshops and bus excursions a platform was created for intense discussions on the future of the two cities. Local architects, students, activists, politicians, officials and city planners got a chance to meet and exchange ideas and experiences, both with each other and with the Swedish participants. The conversations touched upon everything from transformations of industrial areas and the restoration of old street grids to innovative public transport systems and the inclusion of a more diversified architecture. Among the proposed solutions were aerial cable cars, ecologic residential buildings, cultural centers in the suburbs, rooftop farming and squares for the public to meet and for artistic expressions.

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