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Upcoming presentation of our research “UN Peacekeeping Missions in Urban Environments: The Legacy of UNMIL” at the United Nations HQ in NYC

The Foundation for Achieving Seamless Territory (FAST), the Center on International Cooperation (CIC), and the Permanent Missions of the United Kingdom, Liberia and Australia are pleased to invite you to a presentation of preliminary findings and recommendations related to the project “UN Peacekeeping Missions in Urban Environments: The Legacy of UNMIL.”

Peacekeeping, and Sustaining Peace, through the lens of Urban Planning and Development

On April 30, 2018, FAST hosted together with the NYU Center on International Cooperation a brainstorming event to discuss the impact and legacy of peace operations on cities with a focus on Liberia.

Join us on April 24 to the event: ‘Urbanistas: Bringing the Female Perspectives Forward’ organized by The New School MS Design & Urban Ecologies students at the Vera List Center for Arts and Politics

Read our collaborative report: ‘Greening Peacekeeping: The Environmental Impact of UN Peace Operations’

The 2010 cholera outbreak in Haiti, triggered by the UN mission there, killed more than 9,000 people and affected nearly 807,000. This disastrous case drew attention to the negative effect UN peace operations can have on the surrounding communities and environment—something peacekeepers had started paying attention to with the deployment of new large-scale operations in the 2000s. As operations have grown in size, so too has the size of their environmental footprint.

This report looks at the environmental impact of peace operations and how the UN has responded, including through policies and guidelines, dedicated staff, and training material. In particular, it assesses the challenges the Department of Field Support faces in implementing its Environment Strategy.

Based on this assessment, which includes a detailed examination of the UN mission in Mali, the report puts forward a series of short-, medium-, and long-term recommendations. It concludes that a UN presence should not be a source of stress but should improve local environmental sustainability and build resilience.

‘The Environmental Impact of UN Peace Operations.’ Launch: April 18, 2018

Photo: UN super camp, Gao, Mali. FAST, 2016.

Since the 2000s, UN peace operations have increasingly had to address environmental challenges related to their own impact and the conditions in which they operate.

Border Ecologies. The case of Gaza on Yale Paprika


The Gaza Strip is surrounded by a 25-foot-high barrier that runs along 38.8 miles of land and includes six crossing points. Continuous military surveillance throughout its 12-miles-long coastline is imposed by warships and drones. The Gaza airport is shuttered and its airspace is restricted. The Gaza Strip, a territory of 141 square miles, is the home of 1.85 million Palestinians that have been trapped inside hermetically controlled borders since 2005.

More on Border Ecologies/Yale Paprika


Read the critical reflection on the innovation forum “BUILDING PEACE? THE FRAGILE SIDE OF ARCHITECTURE” by Dominik Balthasar

The relationship between architecture and urban planning on the one side, and peace and conflict on the other, has increasingly been acknowledged. After all, the built environment does not only reflect a physical structure, but also manifests social, economic, and political factors that form part of a society’s daily life, giving meaning to places and helping form identities. While, for example, divided cities are key sites in territorial conflict over state and national identities, cultures, and borders, the architecture of buildings can facilitate or hinder human interaction. Consequently, the built environment can serve as a powerful lens to understand and shape behavior. Exploring this link and seeking sustainable options to facilitate peace through architecture and urban planning lies at the heart of the architecture-and-peace nexus.

Read more at the Basel Peace Forum website

Book Launch ‘Living Emergency: Israel’s Permit Regime in the Occupied West Bank’ by Yael Berda at IPK/NYU

Blair Glencorse Lecture: ‘New Forms of Development Aid: Community Empowerment and Shared Economy in Monrovia’ t ‘Spaces of Solidarity’ on Mar 21, 2018

New book: Drone. Unmanned, Architecture and Security Series. Issue #01

DRONE is the first issue to be published from the Unmanned, Architecture and Security research project and publication series.
Drone brings together researchers from diverse disciplinary backgrounds whose work seeks to understand and represent the nature and extent of drone operations. The book investigates the relationship between drone technology, cultural production, and forms of surveillance and violence. It analyses and speculates upon how these technological developments affect life in cities.

Bryce Detroit Lecture ‘Community Revitalization in Detroit’ at ‘Spaces of Solidarity’ on Mar 8, 2018

Pelin Tan Lecture ‘Refuge and Solidarity Infrastructure’ at ‘Spaces of Solidarity’ on Feb 22nd, 2018

FAST is honored to contribute to ‘A FINE LINE. Scenarios for Bordering Conditions.’

A FINE LINE. Scenarios for Bordering Conditions project is part of the first  International Architecture Biennial in San Sebastián.

Curated by Maite Borjabad, Lluís Alexandre Casanovas, Enrique Espinosa, Lys Villalba.

Participants include: C+ (Nerea Calvillo & Marina Fernández), CAMPO, Cooking Sections, Echoing Borders, Matteo Ghidoni, Husos, Kosmos Architects, M7red, Gili Merin, Pez Estudio, RUJA (Jose Jajaja & Ruohong Wu), Malkit Shoshan, Takk, Taller de Casquería, URBZ & Venida Devenida.

A FINE LINE. Scenarios for Bordering Conditions. Workshop from A Fine Line on Vimeo.

FAST is honored to contribute a Keynote on the Architecture, Footprint, and Legacy of UN Peace Operations at the Basel Peace Forum

“Since the end of the Cold War, the United Nations, the European Union, individual states like Switzerland, as well as companies and NGOs have done a great deal to promote peace. Over the years, though, there have been repeated setbacks and previous successes keep being challenged by the latest developments. In the wake of political instabilities and violence in states such as Syria, Iraq, and Nigeria, we believe it is urgent to tackle the theme of peace in new ways.

BLUE exhibition at the Boijmans Museum, Rotterdam

The BLUE exhibition is part of a group show ‘Change the system,’ curated by Annemartine van Kesteren.

The exhibition ‘BLUE: Architecture of UN Peacekeeping Missions‘ was first exhibited as the Dutch entry to the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale. The installation at the Boijman Museum includes elements such as the Design for Legacy models and the recommendation to the UN.

‘Spaces of Solidarity’ is our upcoming course at Harvard GSD

Spaces of Solidarity’ aims at examining community-driven spaces and spatial processes that pool and share resources to build social cohesion in times of crisis or absence of government, at a variety of scales, places, and contexts. ‘Spaces of Solidarity’ attempts to explore environments of community formation and open up a dialogue on the agency of design in enacting and facilitating actions of solidarity.

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