Call for abstracts: Digital Conference “Recovery of Aleppo”

nternational Convention on November 19th and 20th, 2021: Law, Architecture and Geodata Management to Revive War-Torn Cities / submission deadline for abstracts: september 15th, 2021

The war in Syria began 10 years ago. The Frankfurt Research Institute for Architecture – Civil Engineering – Geomatics (Frankfurter Forschungsinstitut für Architektur • Bauingenieurwesen • Geomatik – FFin) wants to use this date and the international donor conference for Syria, which took place in March 2021, as an opportunity to deal and discuss in particular about the recovery of the Syrian city of Aleppo.
To this reason Prof. Dr. habil. Fabian Thiel, Professor of Property Valuation at the Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences (Frankfurt UAS), announces the digital conference “Recovery of Aleppo”, which will take place on November the 19th and 20th, 2021. Co-organizer is the Syrian architect MSc. Rahaf Orabi.
The conference will be held in English. Arabic-to-English translation might be arranged for local presentations.

The conference would like to provide interdisciplinary interested architects, archaeologists, (urban) planners, lawyers and geospatial data managers with approaches for thinking and acting to what extent cooperation possibilities and fields of activity are possible for the recovery in Aleppo and other war-ravaged cities in Syria and beyond.
With this conference, the organizers are also pursuing the goal of supporting the initiation of functioning and sustainably resilient networks. These networks are indispensable prerequisites for the work in worldwide reconstruction and urban rehabilitation projects.

This call for abstracts invites applicants and scholars from different backgrounds focusing on one – or more than one – of the following main topics: law, architecture and planning, geospatial management, GIS, laser-scanning and techniques such as Building Information Modeling.
Each speaker will have 20 minutes maximum for the presentation excluding additional time for brief questions of maximum 10 minutes.

Participants who are planning to attend the conference with an oral presentation, please send the title and an abstract of their presentation (maximum 500 words) by September 15th, 2021 to fabian.thiel@fb1.fra-uas.de.

Background:
Legal and planning expertise has been lost as a result of the war and is now lacking in local planning departments and building permit authorities. These challenges are faced also by other cities. Other war-torn cities in Syria as well as in other countries – such as Lebanon, Iraq or Yemen – will also possibly be considered in the conference. It seeks to gain insights into the revitalization of urban centers in similar conflict regions of the world that are important in terms of building culture and architecture.

As reconstruction measures and land transactions have begun after the end of the war, the “zero hour” for comprehensive recovery for ancient cities such as Aleppo has long since passed. However, there is not the slightest reason for resignation – quite the opposite.
This digital conference therefore sees itself as a platform for the collection of strategies that have definitely fallen short in the previous discourse and existing implementation guidelines drawn by donor organizations. It is the combination of law, architecture, planning, (digital) cadaster, data management and 3D multi-sensory geospatial data collection – to name just a few essential tools – for the reconstruction of the building fabric. In addition, Building Information Modeling (BIM) will gain increased relevance in the recovery context.

In this context, a deliberate attempt will be made to broaden horizons beyond existing socalled “toolkit” implementation approaches of development cooperation organizations such as the GIZ-Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH or UNESCO.
Instead, locally adapted land use, planning and (landscape) architectural strategies will be examined for their practicability. Special attention is given to the consideration of current research results: What approaches are there, especially in ongoing and completed dissertation projects of Syrian scientists and practitioners? Where is the state of research on the restoration of destroyed urban and peri-urban areas in terms of planning, law and architecture? What chains of impact can be identified? Which networks in the field of law, architecture and geospatial data management can be newly developed and optimized?

The main topics to present may include the following sub-aspects:

Session 1: Law
– The situation of construction, infrastructure and planning, cadaster in Aleppo in 2021 – Update after 10 years of war.
– Constitutional law and its meaning for development and recovery.
– Law on land tenure and real estate transactions including the Islamic waqf law and legal
transplants.
– Recovery through civil and inheritance law instruments.
– Social housing and tenancy law.
– Law on monuments and historic buildings / heritage / antiquities law.
– Promotion or hindering for the reconstruction of destroyed infrastructure and buildings
especially in historic cities (example: the old town of Aleppo) by legal instruments.
– Regulations and financing themes for renewable energy such as solar panels on roofs.
– Hierarchy of spatial and sectoral planning laws and sub-ordinances: central versus local.
– National and international legal framework for a revised and updated “social and land
question” for war-torn cities.
– Role of private and public developers i.e., for land acquisition and distribution.
– Taxation instruments and land valuation methods as instruments to finance recovery.

Session 2: Architecture and Planning
– Planning systems for urban, peri-urban and rural areas.
– Toolkits for post-conflict recovery of the built cultural heritage.
– Expropriatory effects and compensation implications of legally-binding land use plans.
– Post-conflict heritage management.
– Efficiency, effectiveness and potential failures of (donor-driven) “master-plans”.
– Development plans: preparation, implementation, outcome, monitoring and evaluation.
– The role of urban planning in issues of identity, integrity and authenticity in war-torn cities.
– Strategies of preparedness, rapid risk assessment and rescue interventions in damaged
monuments.
– Traditional building practices and the new generation of builders.
– Architectural strategies (urban design) of reconstruction and renovation.
– Case studies for post-war reconstruction of monuments and the urban fabric.
– Conservation and restoration of architectural elements.

Session 3: Geodata management, GIS, Geography, and block-chain
– Instruments and workflows of multi-sensory geospatial data acquisition for war-damaged cities.
– Innovative toolkits and practices for the reconstruction of cultural urban landscape.
– Digitization of cartographic data and its connection with land development and land rights registry (i.e., deeds system).
– Possible applications of block-chain and digital tracking for built and infrastructural post-war scenarios.
– The role of reality capture methods (i.e., laser scanning, photogrammetry), 3D modelling and GIS-tools in the planning processes.
– Prospects of Building Information Modeling for the recording, planning and visualization of built fabric during awarding, tendering, construction, and reconstruction.
– The technical geospatial infrastructure and training available for the local private and public stakeholders.
– Proof, storage and transferring of ownership titles and property transactions / records via block-chain models to monitor property development.
– Importance of Geography networks for the process of recovery.

Contact for scientific information:

Contact: Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences, Faculty 1: Architecture, Civil Engineering and Geomatics, Prof. Dr. habil. Fabian Thiel, Tel.: +49 69 1533-2788, E-Mail: fabian.thiel@fb1.fra-uas.de

Contact Pázmány Péter Catholic University, Hungary: MSc. Rahaf Orabi, PhD. Candidate in Pázmány Péter Catholic University, Tel: +36 30 785-4762, E-Mail: orabi.rahaf@hallgato.ppke.hu

More information:
https://www.frankfurt-university.de/fb1