The videos on this site document the results of the integrated computational design summer semester course 2018 “Rural-Urban Metabolism – Metabolism-based Planning Strategies for Rural-Urban Transformation in Ethiopia” at the Bauhaus-University Weimar as part of the Advanced Urbanism MSc and European Studies MSc. Both study programs are continued in the future as Integrated Urban Development and Design master program.

The urban design course is related to the research project Integrated Infrastructure (IN³), which is an interdisciplinary international research project at the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar and the Ethiopia Institute for Architecture, Building Construction and City Development (EiABC). The project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research in Germany (BMBF), German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and German Aerospace Center (DLR).

Supervisors team: Sven Schneider, Philippe Schmidt, Reinhard Koenig, Abdulmalik Abdulmawla, Martin Dennemark

Project context

The transformation from a mainly agricultural society to industrialisation that is faced these days in Ethiopia is linked to substantial changes of the country’s rural and urban areas. With these shifts, the processes of urbanisation and expectations towards modernisation is seen as a chance to create new and adaptive urban planning proposals that meet specific needs and conditions of the Ethiopian development context in Sub-Saharan Africa. While the World Bank is promoting rapid economic growth for Ethiopia, still the country is one of the poorest countries in the world, and the question arises in how far urban design and planning can create concepts and flexible urban models that are reactive enough to stimulate different scenarios responding for  balanced development.

One of the main frameworks to create such balance for emerging cities are the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Different key factors like food security, energy, water and sanitation are linked to resource questions of material and land and how those can be influential on the development of prospective cities. Thus, for the development of new towns in rapidly urbanizing regions the understanding of material flows and circulation within the urban system is crucial when it comes about any building activity that determines the urban form and what we finally experience as urban, including open and public space and healthy living conditions. 

To better understand how such flows of material resources and energy are linked to building activities in rural  urbanisation processes and their impact on the existing environment, in our study project, we are referring to urban metabolism as a framework for urban design and planning of small cities.

Participants will be analysing urban patterns and flows of small cities, learn about the context between urban metabolism and its spatial implications and apply tools and methods for a spatial analysis and finally implement that knowledge in spatial models and concepts to simulate possible development scenarios. The findings should also make visible the opportunities and limitations of such concepts for disciplines concerned with urban development, taking into account environmental, social and economic factors.

Introduction Lecture

to the project “Rural Urban Metabolism” in Ethiopia by Vertr. Prof. Dr. Sven Schneider


by Constantin Friedrich Kozák, Jonas Wiel, Shunsuke Yoshida & Silke Weise

Bio Communal City

by Harneet Kaur, Truc Anh Nguyen & Yun Shu

SAN City

by Aurelija Matuleviciute, Marina Evstifeeva & Philip Schäffler

Seriti 2.0

by Andrej Sluka, Lina Ayser Jamil Halaseh & Siim Kuusik

Walkable City

by Furui Yang, Maria Dorothea Mönig & Ting-Yu Hsu

Frontiers of Water

by Alejandra Urrutia Pinto, Jakob Moritz Becker & Nils Fabian Voerste

Radius City

by Ayah Al-Sabbagh, Bastiaan Woudenberg & Xuanyu Li

Recreation City

by Mengxi Kou, Yuanji Shi & Yulin Wang

Balancing Wurer

by Michaela Mösing, Benjamin Rothmeier, Anthea Swart & Yunhang Wang

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