ISA Internationales Stadtbauatelier is an international and interdisciplinary group of urban planners, architects, landscape architects, geographers and traffic planners. Since its founding in 1978, ISA has been conducting research and practical work in Europe, the MENA Region, Asia and South America. Particular emphasis is placed on urban development, urban planning and design, town renewal, new district planning , urban ecology and public space.
Individuals with strong skills and talents come together to make a team, thus an energy is created that is greater than the sum of its parts. ISA is a team of individuals with special qualities and a deep personal interest in urban design and architecture. This leads to an extremely effective group dynamic. For each project, a new team is organised; for cross-cultural projects, those teams are made up of members from several cultures. A project manager is named for each new project to organise the team's work, but, as much as possible, all members work together as equal partners. This helps not only to find individual solutions for each task, but helps a specific approach to the task at hand to emerge and shape the common work. This is one of the sources of the creative power that goes into all of ISAs projects.
Aspects of the planning practice
The central task of ISA Internationales Stadtbauatelier, regional city and landscape planning, is done by the studio on three levels.
• The first level constitutes planning tasks on a comprehensive urban scale, including the fields of urban development, city management and urban renewal.
• The second level includes the crafting of regional plans, urban development plans, land use plans, master or structural plans and building plans.
• The third level on the one hand focuses on special topics of urban planning such as urban design, especially creating public spaces, on the other hand guidelines for the buildings through urban design plans and design ordinances.
In landscape planning, ISA creates landscape plans for entire cities including plans for open spaces and the realisation of green space and parks. One important focus of the work is the city ecology.
Another focus is the urban life quality with aspects such as UniCity, SocialCity, EcoCity, MobileCity, SmartCity and Mixed City. An overarching category is the ImageCity.
Aspects of the planning research
The research conducted by ISA International Stadtbauatelier includes theoretical and applied research.
Recent theoretical research projects from former or current members of the Stadtbauatelier have included such topics as:
• Contextual Urban Design - Reshaping the Arabic Islamic Places
• The Nighttime Cityscape as a Design Task: Fundamentals of Holistic Noctural Urban Planning (“Stadtbild bei Nacht als Gestaltungsaufgabe – Grundzüge einer ganzheitlichen Stadtbildplanung bei Nacht“)
• The City as a Sequential Experience – Analysis and Design of Sequential Urban Spaces („Die Stadt als Sequenzerlebnis – Analyse und Entwurf stadtgestalterischer Raumsequenzen“)
• New Towns – Model for Sustainable New Town Planning as Applied in China („Neue Städte – Modell einer nachhaltigen New Town Planung und dessen Anwendung in China“)
Current projects cover
• urban development topics such as principles and consequences of anthropocentric urban development planning
• urban architecture topics such as façades as space-defining urban elements
• topics in urban philosophy like the spiritual background of cities from the past to the future
ISA Internationales Stadtbauatelier has ongoing applied research projects in regional planning, urban planning, urban regeneration, urban ecologies and the Urban City, including the UniCity. More recently, we worked on "Climate Envelopes for Commercial Areas" for the German Ministry for Transport, Building and Housing in collaboration with SBP Schlaich, Bergermann and Partners as consulting engineers 5); this was awarded the "Green Design Award."
"Urban Voids" is the theme of a German-Korean joint research project by Seoul National University, DANU planning group, the University of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and ISA International Stadtbauatelier.
Prizes and awards
ISA International Stadtbauatelier has gained several prizes as e.g. "Beispielhaftes Bauen" (planning and realisation of public spaces and streets in Esslingen/Neckar and Ellwangen).
In various international competitions ISA awarded first prizes: City development Jiujiang, New Town plannings in Shanghai and Whenzhou, CBD planning Xiamen, landscape planning in Kunming, the Shenzhen Planning Award and the 2003 Urban Forum Award of Hanyang University in Seoul.