16th IWML Symposium Report

by Arcoplan


The Sardinia 2017 16th International Waste Management and Landfill Symposium, organised by the International Waste Working Group (IWWG) with the support of numerous Italian and foreign universities, was held from October 2-6 in Forte Village Resort, Pula (Cagliari, Italy). The event was attended by 700+ delegates from all over the world. Studio Arcoplan introduced the subject of Waste Architecture as an intersection between Architecture and Environmental Engineering.

Following the circulation of a call among environmental experts, architects, town planners and landscape designers, Arcoplan selected a total of 25 papers. The two day programme focussed on the functional rehabilitation of old and new landfills, reintegration of degraded areas, urban waste collection systems, large environmental engineering initiatives and their effect on the city, Circular Economy, buildings intended to house plants for the recovery of energy from waste and incinerators, and much more.

In the opening session, Arch. Israel Alba illustrated his projects to show how high-quality architecture applied to waste management can create social value. Indeed, architectural language can support the appropriate perception of an infrastructure that is usually refused by people, especially when collocated in an urban setting (waste treatment plant, incinerator, waste collection station, et cetera). Other papers presented during the morning analysed the important relationship between wastes, urban spaces and society.

An entire session was devoted to the architecture of large waste treatment plants as addressed by a series of keynote projects worldwide. Amongst these, the pluri-awarded project for the extension of an old water treatment plant in San Claudio, Spain was illustrated by the architects Juan Nicas and Francisco Padilla.

The second day of the conference focussed on landfill and the general principles of territorial planning in a session that addressed a wide range of architectural aspects. The session chaired by Engineer Elena Cossu showed a series of case studies carried out worldwide. These underline the opportunities affording by the reuse of landfill for both the territory and the community.

Prof. Raffaello Cossu, University of Padua, explained the importance of landfills in closing the material cycle loop. Studio Arcoplan presented the findings obtained over a ten-year research on the functional rehabilitation of landfills for a sustainable territory. Architect Anna Artuso explained how existing modern landfills can represent an opportunity to provide new community spaces and thus yield extra value. A study prior to design project should thus envision potential functions not only in existing landfills, but in landfills that have yet to be developed, applying an approach that takes into account future uses of the plant.

Professor Hanif Kara of the Harvard Graduate School of Design illustrated his recent study on architecture and waste and the potential contribution of design in promoting an enhanced integration of the structures needed to obtain energy from waste (incinerators). He also addressed the multiple aspects linked to a potential reuse in the future.

The multidisciplinarity of the meeting was appreciated by all participants, who highlighted the need for a discussion with economists about economical constraints that constitute one of the major limitations to projects in this field. Issues including current legislation, the establishment of specific project procedures, an increased involvement of and relevant training by the reference organisations will be discussed in detail in future editions.

The spectacular location of Forte Village resort in Pula (Sardinia), renowned beach resort and venue of prestigious international events acted as a backdrop to this important moment of technical debate.

Ri-Vista, an international indexed journal edited by Firenze University Press, will publish a special issue based on a selected number of top research papers from the Waste Architecture Sessions / Sardinia 2017.

For further information please visit https://wastearchitecture.com/en/publishing-partnership-with-ri-vista/