Civic Forest | Urban Design Studio

Urban Design Studio: Urbanism After Extraction — Housing, Landscape, and Infrastructure in the Katowice Agglomeration, Poland
Rafi Segal and Marie Law Adams
Spring 2017

The current definition of “forest” as areas mainly occupied by hard wood species determines perimeters and boundaries subject to common vegetation patterns. According to this definition, forests in Poland account for thirty percent of land cover, mainly located on publicly owned land. This reading, however, fails to define the forest as a political space, a component of the Silesian metropolis rather than its counterpart. We propose to address the forests of Silesia as new centers, capable through their scale and complexity to speak of the current problems and ambitions of the metropolis.

The civic forest frames the collection of Silesian forests as a civic space; a space charged with a human agenda - environmental, economic and social - where to address ambitions and frictions between preservation, production, and extraction, through which to imagine new relations between domestic, productive, and protected spaces.