Welcome to the DUSP-DUyOT workshop!

This website is the online presence of the DUSP-DUyOT parallel workshop about Sustainable and Equitable Neighborhood Revitalization, organized between the Department of Urban Studies and Planning (DUSP) of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Departamento de Urbanística y Ordenación del Territorio (DUyOT), Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM). This pedagogical experiment took place in the spring semester of 2012.

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Videos from “Community-University Partnerships in Boston: The Experience of the MIT-DUSP GreenHouse Studio”

If you missed the symposium last night, you can check the videos here!

Part 1: A Plan for Sustainability in Fields Corner: the GreenHouse Studio Collaboration with VietAID

Part 2: Community-University Partnerships in the Boston area: Opportunities for DUSP

All photos and video from our kind media master @numeroteca

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MIT symposium next Thursday, January 17, 5-8pm

Please join us next Thursday 1/17 (5-8pm), for a conversation about the experience of the GreenHouse Studio collaboration with VietAID, and the opportunities for DUSP for establishing community-university partnerships in the Boston area.Dinner will be served. If you plan to attend, please RSVP at pmolina [at] mit.edu

Community-University Partnerships in Boston: The Experience of the MIT-DUSP GreenHouse Studio
Symposium: Thursday, January 17, 2013 (5-8pm)
Location: 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Room 9-450. Cambridge, MA 02142
Directions: Enter MIT through 77 Mass Ave, take the elevator to the 3rd floor, take a left and follow the corridor (it will turn right), keep going through the corridor with red walls, pass through the doors to building 9, and room 9-450 will be the big one on your right with glass walls).

5:00-5:15pm– Exhibition visit (Room 7-408)

5:15-6:30pm– A Plan for Sustainability in Fields Corner: the GreenHouse Studio Collaboration with VietAID
-James Buckley, Lecturer, UC Berkeley; former MIT-DUSP Lecturer and GreenHouse Studio instructor
-Nam Pham, Executive Director, Viet-AID
-Aspasia Xypolia, Director of Real Estate Development, Viet-AID
-Evelyn Darling, Executive Director, Fields Corner Main Street
-Joel Wool, Green Dorchester
-Dong Wang, GreenHouse Studio alumn

6:30-6:45pm– Dinner break 
6:45-8:00pm– Community-University Partnerships in the Boston area: Opportunities for DUSP

-Xavier de Souza Briggs, Associate Professor, MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning
-Karl Seidman, Senior Lecturer in Economic Development, MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning
-Mark R. Warren, Associate Professor, Department of Public Policy and Public Affairs, UMass-Boston; URBAN Co-Chair
-James Buckley, Lecturer, UC Berkeley; former MIT-DUSP Lecturer and GreenHouse Studio instructor
-Langley Keyes, Professor Emeritus, MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning (TBC)

Moderator: Patricia Molina Costa, MIT-CoLab Research Fellow; 2012 GreenHouse Studio co-instructor

With generous support from DUSP, HCED, MISTI-Spain and URBAN.

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MIT exhibition at the Keller Gallery: Dec. 19- Feb. 15

Sustainable and Equitable Neighborhood Revitalization. A parallel workshop between Boston and Madrid

Strategies for solving urban planning problems have become increasingly global in nature, reflecting the similarity in challenges cities face in a globalized economy and a changing physical climate. In order to share knowledge across international boundaries, planning institutions increasingly seek to understand how similar problems are being addressed from different cultural perspectives, methodologies, and legal regulations. This approach formed the basis for the Parallel Workshop for Sustainable & Equitable Neighborhood Revitalization held in the spring of 2012 by the Department of Urban Studies and Planning (DUSP) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and the Departamento de Urbanística y Ordenación del Territorio (DUyOT) at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM).

The workshop focused on contemporary urban challenges from two very different national perspectives and formulated proposals for two different neighborhoods—Ciudad de los Angeles in Madrid, and Fields Corner in Boston— working closely with local community-based organizations. On the occasion of the exhibition, a half-day symposium will be held to discuss the experience of community-university partnerships between MIT´s Department of Urban Studies and Planning and community organizations from the Boston area.

Exhibition: December 19, 2012- February 15, 2013 at the Keller Gallery, MIT
Symposium:  Thursday, January 17, 2013 (5-9pm). Location 9-450, MIT

Keller Gallery MIT
77 Massachusetts Avenue, Room 7-408
Cambridge, MA 02139
How to get there


INSTRUCTORS: James Buckley, Patricia Molina Costa
STUDENTS: Viktorija Abolina, Elena Alschuler, Caroline Bird, Brian Daly, Jay Gordon, Melissa Higbee, Ksenia Mokrushina, Adi Nochur, Dan Rinzler, Erica Simmons, Michael Tuori, Dong Wang.

INSTRUCTORS: Ester Higueras, Nagore Urrutia
STUDENTS: Marco Peña, Jorge Carretero, Maria Datseri, Macarena Fernandez, Ernesto García, Ugaitz Iturbe, Jose Francisco Lazarte, Eliza Mecatti, Mª Victoria Sánchez, David Velez.

Project Coordination: Patricia Molina Costa

Special thanks to:

In Madrid: Agustín Arroyo, Miguel Angel Gálvez, Agustín Hernández Aja, Francisco Lamíquiz, Luis Maldonado, Emilio Mínguez, Juan Monjo, Daniel Morcillo, Fermín Oslé, Emilia Román, Álvaro Sevilla, Alejandro Tamayo, Lucila Urda

In Boston: IIndira Alvarez, Lina Arias, Zack Boyd, cron team, Evelyn Darling, Eric Gardner, Ezra Glenn, Alicia Goldstein, My Lam, Bruce Ledgerwood, Lourdes Lopez, Josh Lynch, David MacLellan, Henry McGovern, Harvey Michaels, Alison Moronta, Long Nguyen, Mihir Parikh, Nam Pham, Pablo Rey Mazón, Karl Seidman, Amy Stitely, Bradford Swing, Joel Wool, Martin Walsh, Aspasia Xypolia.

MIT exhibition and symposium made possible with generous support from DUSP, HCED and MISTI-Spain

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Exhibition opening and roundtable in Madrid

The opening of the exhibition about the Parallel Workshop in Madrid will take place on September 12, 10am-2pm, at the Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura de la Universidad Politecnica de Madrid. (MAP)

It will be followed by a roundtable about sustainable neighborhood revitalization and a discussion about the experience of the workshop. Please see the agenda and speakers below (in Spanish):

Exposición y mesa redonda del Parallel Workshop DUSP-MIT & DUYOT-UPM
Miércoles 12 de Septiembre de 2012. Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura, UPM. Sala de Grados B. Avenida de Juan de Herrera, 4, 28040 Madrid (MAPA)

Actualmente se considera prioritario establecer talleres de proyectos internacionales para afrontar problemas urbanos similares desde distintos enfoques culturales, metodologías y legislaciones. El “Spring 2012 Parallel Workshop for Sustainable Neighborhood Revitalization”, analizó los problemas urbanos actuales desde dos enfoques nacionales diferentes, proponiendo distintas alternativas en el campo de la regeneración urbana integrada. Este taller fue dirigido por James Buckley y Patricia Molina, del Department of Urban Studies and Planning (DUSP) del Massachussetts Institute of Technology (MIT, Boston) y Ester Higueras y Nagore Urrutia, del Departamento de Urbanística y Ordenación del Territorio (DUyOT) de la Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM). Fue reconocido con una carga lectiva de 4. 5 créditos de postgrado de la UPM y con 15 créditos del postgrado del MIT.


10 h. Inauguración de la exposición por D. Luis Maldonado Ramos (Director de la ETSAM), D. Emilio Mínguez Torres (Vicerrector de Planificación Académica y Doctorado. UPM); D. Fermin Olagua, (Consejero Delegado EMVS); Dª Lina Arias (Representante Ministerio de Educación); y D. Juan Monjo (Subdirector de Doctorado, Postgrado e Investigación ETSAM-UPM)

10,15 h Café

10,45 h.-12,15 h. La renovación urbana de barrios residenciales. Mesa Redonda: D. Agustín Hernandez (Director DUyOT ETSAM-UPM); D. Agustin Arroyo (Director General EMVS); D. Daniel Morcillo (EMVS-Ciudad de Los Angeles), D. Luis Vara ( Presidente de la Asociación de Vecinos “Ciudad de los Angeles”), Dª María Roces, (FRAVM), Dª Patricia Molina Costa (profesora e investigadora en DUSP-MIT), y profesores del DUYOT- ETSAM.

12,15h-14,00 h. Valoración crítica sobre la innovación educativa de la experiencia MIT-ETSAM. Mesa redonda. Coordinadoras: Ester Higueras y Patricia Molina. Ponentes: Nagore Urrutia; Patxi Lamíquiz; Álvaro Sevilla; Emilia Román; Alejandro Tamayo; Lucila Urda; representante de alumnos del máster.

Miércoles 12 de Septiembre de 2012. Sala de Grados B (ETSAM)

Máster de Planeamiento Urbano y Territorial – DUYOT – UPM
(Acceso libre hasta completar el aforo de la sala)

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DUyOT final presentation, May 2012


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Summary of personal experience

I must admit that at first the idea of a long distance collaboration seemed somewhat ambiguous, and although there was enthusiasm for doing it, it was difficult to visualize how we should proceed.
The analysis of the neighborhood, and getting the first –hand information from the Municipal Housing Company (EMV) about their experience in conducting the project put us into reality. The analysis in all areas was very interesting and perhaps that was when we started (I began) to believe that this could be possible and it would be a valuable experience that could contribute a lot.
In the first meeting, already there were obvious differences in an approach that were getting in each Project. The composition of each group was so completely different that it conditioned the way we chose to proceed with the proposal. It was more than just the details, the differentiation in lines made us to think about the different lines we used to tackle the project of urban regeneration.
The first two connections in Skype were tense and we were little nervous how the meeting would go, these feelings dissipated, and in the last meeting we noticed that we were already calmer. I think the time fell short, it is as if we had left at the best!
From a critical perspective, I think that although the experience was very positive, if we had made some common rules (more), or established indicators to enable us to discuss specific issues, I think this could have made the experience even richer.
The major differences between the groups of the DUSP and DUyOT were given in the reality of the site and the group. In one hand, the technical possibilities of the neighbourhood-city-state and for the other hand, the method used for processing the information and bringing a solution; the first group worked more in written format and the second one in planned format. It’s obvious that the reason of these differences were the different precedence and the different academic preparation that has created the difference in method approach but it also made possible to compare and share the different methods of planning. It supposed a great experience for us; I wish that it has being something similar for the students of the MIT.
For the triumph of the experience, it has being indispensable the participation of Patricia Molina, teacher of the ETSAM that actually is in Boston. It has being indispensable because the different realities of Madrid and Boston, not only in the technical side also in the social, the need of a simultaneous translation to a real time understanding. I think that for future experiences, and the possible connections that could be created between other universities, is important to be conscious about the importance of having someone who could intermediate between the two realities and also would be great to have a seminary of the situation in the other side of the line before starting with the meetings.
The system of connecting two groups by videoconference for a parallel workshop at distance, works. It works really well and it is a very economic way of sharing knowledge and experiences with totally different realities in the urban rehabilitation procedures. I am sure that this system could work practically with any subject.

In the technical aspect of the videoconferences connections, being one of the first editions of this type of workshops in the ETSAM, it is important to emphasize the time of financial crisis, all the inversion that the university has made in material were the loud speakers. Someone commented that this workshop was a really “low cost” workshop! Looking to the future, and with the hope that the economical situation of the Spanish public university will have a solution soon, I propose here a inversion that would become the connection between international universities in a on-line reality (http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/collateral/ps7060/ps8329/ps8330/ps8333/ps7087/product_data_sheet0900aecd80543f46_ps8333_Products_Data_Sheet.html).

Ugaitz Iturbe

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Last meeting

Hi everyone, this is David, from ETSAM-Madrid, I’d like to apologyse for the delay of my coments, but we are going through the final lap of our master degree, so we do not have enough time…

I also would like to thank you for this great experience. It has been really nice to share the results of our projects, and having the chance to make some reflections about the way both teams have approached to the problems of the neighbourhoods.

It is obvious, as some of us have pointed, that the final products of both teams are really different. Even if it is enriching to see that approach to the neighborhood problems, I guess that, for next experiences it would be good if both teams would work on the same neighbourhood, cause’ in some cases it has been kinda difficult to give an opinion or critic to the MIT’s project, due to the fact tha we have not been in the whole development of the project, so it has not been possible to share your reflections…

Hope to see the final presentation of the panels here in Madrid!

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Final Reflection

Hi all,

My apologies for tardiness as well.  I would like first of all to thank the Madrid team for sharing their work with us and introducing us to the neighborhood of Ciudad de Los Angeles, and especially to thank Patricia for setting up the exchange.  It was exciting to gain some insight into how planners and architects are addressing the issues facing urban neighborhoods in Spain.

Given that I spent most of the second half of our project assessing the possibility of siting new affordable housing in Fields Corner, the aspect of the Madrid team’s final presentation that most interested me was the development of the “Engineer’s Park” into 1700 new housing units.  As Dan noted, such a large development certainly has the potential to significantly impact life in Ciudad de Los Angeles, and I would be interested to hear about the residents’ opinions of the matter – will the new residents be part of the neighborhood association, for example? Or will they have their own organization?  Having spent several weeks trying to pick out a handful of sites that could yield 300 units and think about its impact on Fields Corner, I find myself unable to even conceptualize what adding several thousand units might do.

As for the semester as a whole, I truly did enjoy sharing our research with the Madrid team and seeing their approach to their neighborhood.  And based on both the strength of their visual presentations and their ability to engage problems we did not address, I found myself continually wishing we could incorporate more architects and a greater attention to design into our work.  In considering how the parallel workshop might improve, I believe it would be best paired with a seminar in the previous semester (or half-semester) on comparative planning.  It was hard to think of our projects both in terms of the specifics or our neighborhoods and proposals as well as in more general terms of American vs. European approaches to planning.  Had we had the opportunity to take a short seminar in the fall or in IAP on European planning, I would have felt better equipped to compare our work to Madrid’s.  Maybe next time!

Thanks again, and best of luck with your project and all your future endeavors!

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Final Meeting

Hi everybody!,

At first I would like to say sorry for the delay, at the moment we are on the last period to finish the master degree and we have a lot of work.

I am really surprised with both group of work, I think this experience has been successfully because we have had the opportunity to learn another ways of work, and two ways of study the same problem, however, I have detected some problems that it could be fixed in futures workshops.

I think the main title of our workshop has been perfect (Parallel Workshop DUS-DUyOT), because, in fact, this experience has been parallel in all aspects, I think we have not achieved a total contact between us (maybe for the language, maybe for the neighbourhoods or maybe for our way of work, I do not know…), you told us your experience and work developed and we told you our experience and work, but I think has missed a point of connection between both group of work.

Maybe, if we had had the same neighbourhoods in another country, the results had been different, or not. Anyway, this is only a reflection because I have missed this point of connection between us. But I think all people have made a great work, and I am proud to be a little part of this experience.

So, I wish to everyone all the best with your final work and I hope to meet you soon, thanks for all to everybody!

Best regards.


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Final Reflection

My apologies for the late post. Thank you to the Madrid team for sharing your work with us this semester!

What I learned
I think the main thing I gained from the exchange was improved presentation skills. We had to think carefully about how to communicate our work with people who speak English as a second language and have a different academic background and planning culture. Being able to clearly and effectively explain your work to someone who is not familiar with it is a valuable skill. We could have done a better job with this, but it was a good learning experience. I also gained a greater appreciation of the use of visuals as a way to express ideas. I tend to focus on language rather than visuals, so I valued seeing Madrid’s very visual analysis and presentation style.

This exchange also highlighted for me how important it is to have interdisciplinary teams working on urban planning issues. I think more economic analysis could have been incorporated into the Madrid team’s proposals to make them more implementable. For example, you can propose as much commercial space as you want, because it looks good or because you like what it does for the neighborhood, but it won’t get built unless it makes economic sense.

I used to work at an urban economics consulting firm and we often partnered with urban design firms on projects. We were kind of the realists on the team and we’d go back and forth with the urban designers to give them constraints on their design proposals, such as this neighborhood can probably support an additional 50,000 square feet of retail given household incomes and leakage, or only 4-story wood frame construction is going to be financially feasible in this market. Of course there are also lots of other issues that need to be integrated into a neighborhood plan besides economics and urban design, such as community input and environmental concerns.

What could be improved
I think I learned most in our first one or two sessions. Maybe a different structure rather than presentations would have helped. I also think that a pairing of two studios that are more similar in content/approach could have potentially led to a more robust exchange of ideas.

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