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CANactions Launches Open Call for STUDIO #2

CANactions School, the first school for urban studies in Ukraine, has launched an international call for applicants for
STUDIO #2: “Tackling the Future of Ukrainian (Post)industrial Cities." The seminar will take place from February to May 2016.

Call for Submissions: CityLife Project

The Urban Development Institute of Australia NSW office wants to create more affordable, connected and livable cities and it wants your help. The CityLife Project competition presents the opportunity for three organisations or research teams to partner with the UDIA NSW on research projects in exchange for cash and promotional opportunities worth up to $145,000 AUD each.

Apply Now: Safdie Architects Announces 2015 Research Fellowship

Safdie Architects’ 2015 Research Fellowship will center on the theme of “dense urbanism,” and the ways in which the field of architecture can rethink its approach to vital issues such as materiality, construction, environmental conditions, and the demographic realities of rapidly growing populations. This year, Moshe Safdie and his team invite exceptional individuals to attack the challenges of the contemporary urban landscape head-on by proposing new tools and solutions to create a better functioning and humane city. Accepted candidates will spend one year in residence at Safdie Architects’ Boston office, during which they will receive support from the practice and have access to the firm’s resources and consultants. 

TailorCrete Seeks to Revolutionize Concrete Fabrication

Concrete construction has been an important part of architectural practice since the Roman Empire. Extremely malleable, fluid concrete is capable of being poured into almost any conceivable form. In theory, this makes it an ideal building material. In practice, however, creating complex forms out of concrete is extremely inefficient. Pouring on sight requires formwork that is painstakingly made by hand, and precast concrete is usually limited by orthogonal molds. Concrete has become restricted to a few simple forms that are easy and cheap to produce when, in many cases, a building would benefit from concrete casting that is optimized for its structural and economical needs. How do we make such optimization feasible? This is the question that the EU sponsored TailorCrete has attempted to answer. A research consortium lasting for four years, TailorCrete is exploring new technologies that could make non-standard concrete structures commonplace.

The Psychology of Urban Planning

Courtesy of Entasis
Courtesy of Entasis

Walkability, density, and mixed-use have become key terms in the conversation about designing our cities to promote healthy lifestyles.  In an interview with behavioral psychologist, Dr. James Sallis of the University of California San Diego in The Globe and Mail,  Sallis discusses how his research reveals key design elements that encourage physical activity.  In the 20th century, the automobile and new ideals in urban planning radically changed the way in which cities were structured.  Residential and commercial areas were divided and highways were built to criss-cross between them.  Suburban sprawl rescued city dwellers from dense urban environments that had gained a reputation for being polluted and dangerous.  In recent decades, planners, policy makers and environmentalists have noted how these seemingly healthy expansions have had an adverse affect on our personal health and the health of our built environment. Today, the conversation is heavily structured around how welcoming density, diversity and physical activity can help ameliorate the negative affects that decades of mid-century planning have had on health.  Sallis describes how much of a psychological feat it is to change the adverse habits that have developed over the years and how design, in particular, can help encourage the change.