Arch.Uth Postgraduate Course Postgraduate Course Postgraduate Course Postgraduate Course Arch.Uth Ελληνικά
ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN ΙV-VI A: Rethinking urban design: The dynamics of floods
Design Studio Required Elective at semester(s) 8, ECTS: 12
Cognitive Fields (2005/36/EU): Architectural Design, Urban Design and Planning, Human Needs and the Built Environment, Organizations, Regulations, Legislations.
Generic Competences: Ability to search for, process and analyse information from a variety of sources using the necessary technologies, Ability to adapt to and act in new situations and cope under pressure, Ability to work in a team, Ability to work in an interdisciplinary environment, Capacity to generate new ideas (creativity), Ability to design and manage projects, Commitment to conservation of the environment.

Climate change is expected to lead an increase of precipitation in many areas. Increased rainfall over extended periods will mainly lead to fluvial (river) flooding, while short, intense cloudbursts can cause pluvial floods, where extreme rainfall causes flooding without any body of water overflowing.

River flooding is a common natural disaster in Europe, which has, along with storms, resulted in fatalities, affected millions of people and incurred massive economic losses in the last three decades. Climate change is likely to increase the frequency of flooding across Europe in the coming years.

Heavy rainstorms are projected to become more common and more intense due to higher temperatures, with flash floods expected to become more frequent across Europe.

In some regions, certain risks such as early spring floods could decrease in the short term with less winter snowfall, but the increased risk of flash flooding in mountain areas overloading the river system may offset those effects in the medium term.


[European Commision: Climate Change]



Knowledge, Comprehension, Application, Analysis, Synthesis, Evaluation

The studio explores new ways of designing the city in the context of the problems arising from climate change.  The learning objectives of the course are:

- To understand the new climate conditions and the extent of their influence on cities.

- To rethink urban design typologies and explore new forms of balanced urban development.

- to develop urban design and planning ideas at different scales (strategy, masterplan, streets, urban blocks, public spaces).

The studio builds on and further develops knowledge and skills acquired during  the 3rd year Urban Design - Urban Planning courses.


The recent floods in Thessaly have brought to the fore the effects of climate change on Greek cities (ie the recent cases of extreme rainfall and flooding ) and the inability of cities to manage strong fluctuations in the level of the rivers that cross them.  The design of urban infrastructure is based on the idea of a stable nature and on trust in technology which tames the nature’s extremes. Barriers, Dams and Levees are designed to protect urban areas that are close to rivers.   Buildings, urban blocks, public spaces are being designed in the same way and with the same regulations near and far from the water.

The workshop will explore alternative design models of a city living with and by a river. The case study  of research and design is the district of Agios Thomas in Larissa, which was flooded by the overflow of  Pinios river in September 2023. What kind of a city can leave room for a possible overflow within it ? How can the different dynamics of the city and nature formulate hybrid spaces in a balanced and flexible system ? How is such a symbiotic concept expressed in the Building Code or in building typologies ?

The theme of the workshop is linked to the theme of the Blended Intensive Program (BIP) Hybrid Urbanscapes which will take place in Volos from 29/6/2024 - 6/7/2024.


Students work in groups of 2 . The final result (masterplan and individual solutions) is evaluated and completed with intermediate phases