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The Kent State Forum on the City drid Visions, strategiessand practices for the contemporary,European metropolis Edited by Paola Giaconia and Eugenio Pandolfini sali KENT STATE UNIVERSITY | FLORENCE PROGRAM \\\\\A\ AAA COLLEGE OF ARCHITECTURE AND ENVIRONMENTAL DESIGN \\\\\\\\\AA\AUAAAUYAL AAA URBAN SOCIAL DESIGN José Luis Vallejo Mateo | ecosistEMA URBANO ecosistema urbano is a Madrid-based group of architects and urban designers operating within the fields of urbanism, architecture, engineering and sociology. We define our approach as urban social design by which we understand the design of environments, spaces, dynamics and tools in order to improve the self-organization of citizens, social interaction within communities and their relationship with the environment. Over decades cities have been conceived, designed and built from a physical point of view mainly considering their infrastructures, buildings, technologies, materials, geometry... and completely forgetting about the citizens. This dominant perception has led us to end up believing that reality and Architecture is usually about creating beautiful buildings (...). People, fluxes, behavior and the social dimension of our work are usually not mentioned. 88 processes are final and closed situations, rather than processes, relationships, patterns, and significant networks. Architecture is usually about creating beautiful, sophisticated buildings and complex geometries and Urban Design is always approached from a bird’s eye view and a single designer's perspective. People, fluxes, behavior and the social dimension of our work are usually not mentioned or considered. Social, environment and technology These are the three main topics that underlie our approach to urban issues and architectural design. Our professional research, as well as our teaching, focuses on exploring new possibilities through technology to streamline processes and the relationship between people and their environment, aiming to improve everyday life and social issues and promoting interdisciplinary cooperation in doing so. ecosistema urbano philosophy can be shown around 3 strategies linked to 3 case studies, which are all related to Madrid, the city where we are based. 1. Transforming the existing Instead of starting from scratch, we are very interested in working with the existing conditions and urban environment as a way to enhance creativity and challenge ourselves within the physical, landscape, formal and economic constraints of the existing city.