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Warsaw neighborhood in harmony with nature. Energy lab project

29 of July '21

Magdalena Pawełczak, a graduate of the Faculty of Architecture at the Warsaw University of Technology, attempted to translate the smart city concept into an urban design project. She chose the Warsaw district of Bemowo as the site for the project, dividing it into quarters, introducing greenery and numerous mixed functions.

Magdalena Pawlak's work is a diploma project entitled. "Intelligent neighborhood in harmony with nature. An energy laboratory in the Chrzanow area of Warsaw," prepared under the supervision of Prof. Krystyna Solarek. The work won an award in the competition for the Prize of the Minister of Development, Labor and Technology for the best thesis, dissertation and publication in the fields of architecture and construction, planning and zoning, and housing.

projektowanej dzielnicy w Warszawie

The author modeled her work on smart neighborhoods found in European cities

© Magdalena Pawełczak

The development concept is an attempt to translate the assumptions of the smart city into urban design. In order to improve the design process, Magdalena Pawlak analyzed and compared with each other existing smart districts in European cities - Copenhagen, Helsinki, Tampere, Vienna and Berlin.

smart district

For the site of the project, the author chose the Warsaw district of Bemowo between the S8 route and Fort IV Chrzanów. Due to the intense car traffic from the side of the route, she placed a sponge park with waterfront and marsh vegetation right next to it. The park is not only a sound barrier for the neighborhood, but also a place for recreation, leisure and a visual attraction. Since it is also the lowest place in the entire area, the architect proposed a retention system there in the form of interconnected reservoirs, into which water from the entire developed area flows down through basins. Analyzing the direction of the wind, she proposed a green park axis between the park and Fort IV, which will enable effective ventilation of the entire district.

dzielnica, plan zagospodarowania terenu

The author introduced mixed functions and divided the area into quarters

© Magdalena Pawełczak

The division into quarters is inspired by foreign examples of smart neighborhoods - legible and oriented around green areas. The proposal of functions in the quarters results from using the building's potential in the most effective way by mixing together the functions of collective residence and services. This will reduce the creation of temporarily idle, unused zones. The quarter becomes more self-sufficient, and easy access to services in the first floor of the buildings reduces the need for transportation," says Magdalena Pawlak.

Analiza komunikacji Analiza połączeń
przestrzeni publicznych

The bus line reaches virtually all places in the district

© Magdalena Pawlak

public transportation

The author paid special attention to the method of transportation within the district. Wanting to reduce car travel, the use of which is associated with poorer air quality, parking along streets and an increased risk of accidents involving pedestrians, she introduced an efficient bus line serving the entire projected area as an alternative. She optimized the distribution of public transportation stops so that they are reachable throughout the site within a 400-meter radius, or a five-minute walk. Access to each quarter is provided, but the model introduced favors public transportation and walking; multi-story parking lots are also provided for residents' use.

dzielnica, schemat 3D

Each of the quarters is practically self-sufficient

© Magdalena Pawełczak

green district

For the construction of all buildings, the architect used energy-saving materials, and the ceilings are developed into green terraces or observation decks. Each quarter is planned together with a green inner courtyard. The author also promotes the use of renewable energy sources, with installations such as photovoltaic panels and wind turbines. The energy simulations carried out can be used, among other things, to determine the most favorable locations for photovoltaic panels, Trombe walls or larger glazing. Simulations for the Chrzanów region were made by the author taking into account meteorological data from the nearest measuring station - Bemowo Airport.

 Pomiar wiatru na
terenie dzielnicy Pomiar promieniowania

measurement of wind and solar radiation

© Magdalena Pawełczak

By analyzing the irradiance with values expressed in kWh/m2, it is possible to calculate the real energy benefit when planning a photovoltaic installation. The study of the sun's movements, in turn, allows you to assess which planes on the day of the vernal equinox will meet the requirements of the number of hours of sunshine. Knowledge of the most favorable locations of the terrain or the prevailing environmental handicaps can become a reason for redesigning concepts and shaping buildings and smart cities - looking for the optimal solution and energy benefits, the author says.

living laboratory of the city

The designed district is defined as a living laboratory, where the latest technologies are used to ensure the comfort of residents. Users take part in an experiment where living conditions are observed, and conclusions drawn are subjected to public discussion. By enabling participation in urban processes, each resident contributes to the development of their own neighborhood. It provides an incubator for innovative solutions and a platform for the exchange of ideas.

z kwartałów projektowanej dzielnicy

each resident contributes to the development of the neighborhood

© Magdalena Pawełczak

With the help of sensors distributed throughout the district, factors affecting the quality of life are monitored, such as energy consumption, air temperature and humidity, as well as air pollution and the filling of waste garbage cans. Analysis of the data will in turn help optimize energy use and the expenses that go with it.

With ongoing access to information, residents are more aware of their own impact on the environment and have a real opportunity to make changes for the sustainable development of their own neighborhood. The solutions presented in the work are an attempt at a comprehensive approach to modern smart and energy-efficient design of the entire urban layout, Magdalena concludes.

Read also about the circular housing estate in Wilanów and the ideas of Poznan University of Technology students for the Lower Lazarus neighborhood.

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