Felipe Correa’s latest book “Beyond the City: Resource Extraction Urbanism in South America” takes us to a region that architects and urban designers typically have neglected—the hinterland. The South American hinterland provides a unique subject of analysis as it has typically been urbanized for its natural resources, which are tethered back to the coastal cities where these resources are either consumed or distributed to global markets. Within this context, the hinterland is viewed as a frontier whose wilderness is to be tamed, put to work, and territorialized through infrastructure and urban design. Beyond the City provides an insightful look into these processes and the unique urban experiments that emerged in South America. Organized by five case studies, Beyond the City is tied together by what Correa has termed “resource extraction urbanism,” which he links to “new and experimental urban identities in the context of government-sponsored resource extraction frontiers.” Written as a lucid historical account that anchors the discussion within the political, economic, and social context, as well as within global design discourse, the book is also projective—setting the table for a series of questions on how design can act in these landscapes.
Late last month the AIA released a report indicating that nonresidential construction is projected to increase by approximately 5% this year. While the recovery of both residential and nonresidential construction markets continues to grow slowly, the indication that it is steadily increasing marks a sense of security or stability that owners are beginning to identify in the economy. In the commercial / industrial sectors, hotels are seeing the largest projected growth at 15.7%, with retail and office buildings hovering between a 7 to 8% growth rate. In the institutional sector, construction growth is projected to be highest in health care facilities, which is expected to rise by 4.4%, while public safety spending is expected to decline in 2013.
More on the report after the break.