Interdisciplinary Research Program – TUDelft Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment
Transdisciplinary Lecture Series—5 Conversations on the Present (state of)—Session 8 (Geo-Politics)

Within the framework of:

Section of Urban Design
Delta Futures Lab
Delta Urbanism Research Group
Graduation Studio—Transitional Territories
(Joint Studio with AA, Diploma Unit 9, Third Territorial Attractor)

Dalhousie University
Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning
Graduate Design Studio—Facts or Fictions: Cities on the Sea

Hosted by:

Taneha Kuzniecow Bacchin
Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, Section of Urban Design—Delta Urbanism, TUDelft

Catherine Ann Somerville Venart
School of Architecture, Faculty of Architecture and Planning
Dalhousie University

Luisa Maria Calabrese
Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, Section of Urban Design—Delta Urbanism, TUDelft

Isabella Coutand
Department of Earth and Environmental Science, Faculty of Science
Dalhousie University

Two views points on the subject, followed by a short discussion on overlaps, differences, provocations, oppositions.


17:00—19:00 CET / 12:00-14:00 Atlantic
Hosted on Zoom by TUDelft, to register please write to t.bacchin[at]


Roberto Buizza
“Variability and Predictability of Weather and Climate”
Understanding and predicting the variability of weather phenomena and of the evolution of the future climate can help managing weather and climate risk. Which scales can we predict, and how? How can we manage the inherent uncertainty in the predictions? In this talk, I will start discussing what are the key differences between weather and climate phenomena and describing the key characteristics of the models that we are using to predict the evolution of the Earth-system. I will then discuss what is happening to the climate, and why it is urgent that we take actions to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases and aim to de-carbonize all human activities, including the way we design buildings, plan cities and infrastructures and produce energy. I will conclude by discussing the political aspects of climate change.

Roberto Buizza has a degree in Physics from the University of Milano, a PhD in Mathematics from University College London, and a Master, in Business Administration from London Business School. After 4 years at the ‘Centro di Ricerca Termica e Nucleare’ of the Electricity Board of Italy (CRTN/ENEL), in 1991 he joined the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), where he had been a key developer of the ECMWF ensembles, and served as Head of the Predictability Division and Lead Scientist. In November 2018, Roberto Buizza left ECMWF and joined ‘Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna’ of Pisa, as Full Professor in Physics. Since then, he has been working to establish a new initiative on climate with the support of the three ‘Scuole Universitarie Federate’ (Sant’Anna, ‘Scuola Normale Superiore’ of Pisa, and ‘Scuola IUSS’ of Pavia). Roberto is an expert in numerical weather prediction, ensemble methods and predictability, with more than 200 publications, of which 100 in the peer-reviewed literature. Since joining Sant’Anna, he has been very active on communicating climate science to the public, and on initiatives aiming to promote immediate and impactful actions to deal with climate change. A map of his professional life across subjects, would be from Physics > Energy > Weather phenomena > Erath-system modelling > Predictability > Applications and use of weather information > Climate > Politics of climate.


Ana Maria Durán Calisto
“Indigenous” Amazonia: At the Crossroads of Global Capitalism and Climate Change.
The current condition of Amazonia illuminates the edges of a political economic system whose contradictions have become inescapable. How can we reconcile them? How can we reconcile extractivism, propelled by global market demands for oil, natural gas, gold, lumber, soybean forage, meat, and other products derived from Amazonia, with demands that spell conservation, carbon sink, environmental services, forest resurgence, indigenous rights, environmental justice… Enlightenment against Enlightenment at the core of South America.  Indigenous Amazonia watches with skepticism. Is Capitalism going to save Amazonia from Capitalism? Or is Amazonia going to save Capitalism from itself? Andean Amazonians and other First Nation groups are claiming new forms of “rights:”  the rights of Nature, and the right to a different economic model -the right to Sumak Kawsay (the Good Living).  Is it compatible with the bioeconomy which many theorists claim can provide a third way, and save  Amazonia without destroying Capitalism? Yes? No? How so?

Ana María is a doctoral candidate at the Urban Planning department of UCLA. Under the advice of Susanna Hecht, she is writing a dissertation on the history of urbanization in the Amazon basin, with a focus on the oil urbanisms of Ecuador. In the year 2010, she received a Loeb Fellowship in advanced environmental studies from the GSD (Harvard University) for her proposal to develop an open research network devoted to study the infrastructural integration of South America and provide alternative models of intervention, in lieu of the primarily entropic urbanization that follows the deployment of extraction infrastructures, particularly highways. The network became the South America Project and was developed in close collaboration with Felipe Correa. Ana María has taught design studios at PUCE, Harvard, Columbia, University of Michigan, UC Temuco; and has been teaching fellow at the Institute for the Environment and Sustainability at UCLA. She curated the XV Quito Architecture Biennial: Visible Cities (2006), was National Curator for the IX BIAU, and academic advisor for the UN Conference Habitat III (2016). She is currently a member of the Scientific Panel for the Amazon (SPA) convened by the UNSDSN.


Ana María co-founded Estudio A0 with Jazz Kalirai in Quito (2002). Estudio A0 has designed a diverse array of projects, at all scales, in close collaboration with its clients (private and public), and community partners. It recently won a private competition to design the new Teleamazonas TV station. Its building QPH obtained the first Leed Gold of continental Ecuador and was ranked 8th among the 500 best socio-environmental projects in Latin America at the 2015 Latin American Green Awards. In collaboration with Del Hierro AU and L + A Arquitectos, it won the competition for the Ikiam University campus, which eventually was awarded First Prize in the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) Amazonia Infrastructure Award, COP 21, in Paris. Its incremental housing scheme received Second Prize in a Social Housing Competition sponsored by ONU Habitat. Estudio A0´s projects have been extensively published. Recent features include 30 arquitectos más relevantes de América Latina (Línea Editorial y Lexus Editores, 2020), Office Design (Booq Publishing, 2019), Company Gardens: Green Spaces for Retreat and Inspiration (Braun Publishing, 2019), and International Houses (Taschen, 2018). Selected works were showcased in the XX Chilean Architecture and Urbanism Biennial and will be included in the upcoming Bolivian Architecture Biennial.

After Territory Symposium / Inland-Seaward End-of-Cycle Exhibition – Transitional Territories Studio and Research
Section of Urban Design/Transitional Territories Lecture Series—After Territory—Session 3