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The 3D version of the Ng’ambo Atlas in Seoul!

Almost a month ago the Seoul Biennale for Architecture and Urbanism opened with a bang, although a little bit disturbed by the typhoon Lingling. The theme of the 2019 edition of the Biennale was Collective Cities leading the long-term collaborators Amsterdam and Zanzibar to present their take on this in a joint exhibition.

Following ‘Urban Heritage Inc.’, an international conference hosted in Amsterdam in April 2011, Amsterdam and Zanzibar engaged in a project which looked at their respective World Heritage Sites as springboards for management of urban change. The cooperation was mutually beneficial and interesting differences came to the fore. Amsterdam learned to acknowledge the importance of intangible aspects and organic city development whereas Zanzibar embraced a long-term strategic and integrated approach.

At the Seoul Biennale, Amsterdam presents how on a former industrial site, new collectives create added value for a socially and environmentally sustainable city, whereas Zanzibar presents a strategic plan for the future of Ng’ambo based on a mapping of collective stories of the neighbourhood.

The collaboration between Zanzibar and Amsterdam led to a Local Area Plan for Ng’ambo, a culturally and historically rich area just outside of UNESCO World Heritage Site Stone Town. The area is designated to become the new city centre of Zanzibar Town. With use of the UNESCO Historic Urban Landscape approach, the plans take the socio-cultural qualities of the area as their starting point.

Next to the Local Area Plan the project resulted in the Ng’ambo Atlas that is presenting the cultural richness of the area in its full glory. For the Seoul Biennale the atlas is translated into a small but comprehensive exhibition, including a 3D version of the Atlas with multiple layers to explore.

We thank the Municipality of Amsterdam for the collaboration and support to make this possible, as well as our project partners from the Commission of Lands in Zanzibar. We are also grateful for the good collaboration with the Seoul Biennale organisation, who were crucial in putting the elements together.

The Seoul Biennale runs from 7 September until 10 November 2019. The programme can be found at their website. The Zanzibar exhibition can be found at the Cities Exhibition at the Donuimun Museum Village. We are curious about your feedback!

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