Liva Dudareva was trained as a landscape architect in Latvia and Sweden, before moving to London to work as a researcher at CHORA. She then continued her studies in landscape architecture at the Edinburgh College of Art, before joining the award-winning studio Gross.Max, where she worked developing and managing projects worldwide. She then moved to Moscow to explore new ways of representation and urban research at the Strelka Institute and co-founded METASITU shortly after, where she explores relationships to the territory through art.
Liva is accompanied at Arc by Eduardo Cassina. Together they are developing materials and methodologies for “degrowth” workshops to be later implemented in five cities in Eastern Ukraine.
Indeed, understanding cities only as entities that grow, is not understanding the cycles of human settlements and groupings. How do you strategize the future of a territory whose population is declining? It is hard for us to imagine a context where actively seeking the ‘shutting down’ of a city would translate into happier lives for its inhabitants. Unlike traditional strategies, when planning for “degrowth” we have to take into account numerous nuanced elements. Rather than the top-down approach that traditional municipal masterplanning strategies suggest, METASITU propose a form of horizontal engagement: a transversal selection of people from civil society, grassroots initiative representatives and government officials coming together to shift the paradigm of growth and decide on strategies for planning for ‘degrowth’. What to preserve. What to let go. How to do it. Where do we go from here.