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Urban Planning

2018 Better Philadelphia Challenge: The Next Parkway

19:30 - 29 August, 2017
2018 Better Philadelphia Challenge: The Next Parkway, Design for Philadelphia's iconic Benjamin Franklin Parkway by Paul Crét and Jacques Gréber, 1917
Design for Philadelphia's iconic Benjamin Franklin Parkway by Paul Crét and Jacques Gréber, 1917

The 2018 Better Philadelphia Challenge | $5,000 First Prize

This international urban design competition for university students is now open for registration. In celebration of the 100th anniversary of Philadelphia's iconic Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the Center / Architecture + Design seeks creative concepts for what a new 'Parkway' could be in a dense and developed 21st-century city, connecting neighborhoods with nearby natural and cultural resources.

Rereading Jane Jacobs: 10 Lessons for the 21st Century from "The Death and Life of Great American Cities"

09:30 - 23 August, 2017
Rereading Jane Jacobs: 10 Lessons for the 21st Century from "The Death and Life of Great American Cities" , Image <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Jane_Jacobs.jpg'>via Wikimedia</a>, photograph by Phil Stanziola (Public Domain)
Image via Wikimedia, photograph by Phil Stanziola (Public Domain)

This article was originally published by Common Edge as "10 Lessons Learned by Rereading Jane Jacobs."

Last week I was in the middle of packing and came across a well-thumbed copy of The Death and Life of Great American Cities. I don’t remember when I read the book, but it was way more than twenty years ago (and predates my professional involvement with cities). As a very belated tribute to the anniversary of her 100th birthday, I decided to dip back into that remarkable book. Here’s ten takeaways from the godmother of the American city.

Call for Papers: "Healthy, 10-Minute Neighborhoods"

16:00 - 22 August, 2017
Call for Papers: "Healthy, 10-Minute Neighborhoods", International Making Cities Livable
International Making Cities Livable

Join us in Ottawa to share your achievements and learn from others how we can best promote healthy, sustainable, equitable 10-minute neighborhoods. We shall discuss the best neighborhood models for encouraging walking, biking and public transit, high-density human scale mixed use, places to foster daily social life and community, opportunities for daily contact with nature, and equitable neighborhood planning.

7 Annual Competitions Every Architecture Student Should Try at Least Once

09:30 - 7 August, 2017
7 Annual Competitions Every Architecture Student Should Try at Least Once, Fairy Tales 2017 Competition Winner: Last Day / Mykhailo Ponomarenko. Image Courtesy of Blank Space
Fairy Tales 2017 Competition Winner: Last Day / Mykhailo Ponomarenko. Image Courtesy of Blank Space

When you’re used to the grind of architecture school, breaks can hit you like rain on a warm day—cool at first, but terribly annoying soon enough. While the first few days breeze past as you catch-up on lost sleep and binge-watch Game of Thrones, you realize before long that you’re going insane with nothing to absorb all your new-found energy.

This is where architectural competitions come in handy. They provide a constructive outlet while being deeply engrossing, thus keeping you from hopelessly refreshing Youtube to see if Buzzfeed uploaded a new video. Also, the fact that you’re no longer constrained by the direction of your studio-leader or school program enables you to experiment creatively. With diverse international competitions running at any given time, you can take your pick, depending on your individual interests and the amount of time you want to devote. However, the sheer number of available competitions can be deeply confusing as well. Here we shortlist seven of the most prestigious annual architectural competitions open to students: 

Call for Submissions: Conference "Modernistki. Violence in Architecture and Urban Space"

17:00 - 29 July, 2017
Call for Submissions: Conference "Modernistki. Violence in Architecture and Urban Space"

We invite you to submit applications for the 2nd International Conference “Modernistki. Violence in Architecture and Urban Space” that will take place in Kyiv on September 15-16, 2017.

This year’s conference is called "Violence in Architecture and Urban Space", which will allow us to explore the current state of gender and feminist researches in relation to the city and architecture. We will also discuss issues related to the discrimination and violence in the urban space.

We are inviting: male and female experts in the fields of architecture, art, anthropology, sociology, architecture, and culture; civil activists; representatives of municipalities working with architecture, urbanism,

Why Is Car Parking So Ubiquitous in the US? This Video Explains Everything

11:00 - 23 July, 2017

The next time you're cursing the price of a city parking meter, think instead about the high cost of free, off-street parking in terms of the urban environment. Urbanists these days agree that cities are at their best when they are walkable—designed for people instead of cars—but the reasons for the car-centric design of cities in the US are complex. In this video, Will Chilton and Paul Mackie of Mobility Lab describe all the problems inherent with parking in US cities and how it got to be this way: namely, off-street parking requirements, or mandatory parking minimums.

Most people know that US cities are dominated by parking, with roughly 8 parking spots per car throughout the country, but this video will give you all the information you need to win any debate about the impacts of mandatory off-street parking. Describe with confidence why cities love mandatory minimums for developers, extoll the virtues of correctly-priced parking meters, and impress your friends and colleagues with your knowledge of the other ways you pay every day for "free" parking.

Stefano Boeri on Designing the World's First Forest City in China

12:00 - 30 June, 2017

I really hope that this experiment will become a reference for many other architects, for many other urban planners, for many other public administrators and politicians, in order to implement, improve and multiplicate the realization of forest cities in China and all over the world.

In this video, Stefano Boeri explains the design of the just-announced Lizhou Forest City, which, when completed in 2020, will become the world’s first ground-up city constructed employing the firm’s signature Vertical Forest research.

Boeri explains the evolution of the concept from their first Vertical Forest project in Milan to the Lizhou development, which will accommodate up to 30,000 people in a master plan of environmentally efficient structures covered top-to-bottom in plants and trees, as well as the planning processes required to bring the project to fruition.

Envisioning a Hip-Hop Urbanism in Washington DC

09:30 - 30 June, 2017
Collage from Ivy City, a preliminary stage of the Ivy City Redux project. Image © Kyle Simmons
Collage from Ivy City, a preliminary stage of the Ivy City Redux project. Image © Kyle Simmons

The following is a manifesto, in search of a movement... In it, I am proposing a theory of architecture based around a ruffneck, antisocial, hip-hop, rudeboy ethos. [1]
– Kara Walker

In her companion publication to the 2014 group exhibition “Ruffneck Constructivists,” the show’s curator, Kara Walker, lays down a radical manifesto for urban intervention. Just months before Ferguson [2] and a year before Baltimore, [3] Walker proposes her theory through which installation artists (along with architects and designers by extension) can become “defiant shapers of environments.” [4] The invocation and juxtaposition of the terms hip-hop and architecture in the intro to her manifesto is particularly remarkable given the show’s exclusive assembly of visual and installation artists.

Is India's Plan to Build 100 Smart Cities Inherently Flawed?

09:30 - 29 June, 2017
Is India's Plan to Build 100 Smart Cities Inherently Flawed?, Mumbai Skyline. Image <a href='https://pixabay.com/en/mumbai-bombay-cityscape-skyline-390543/'>via Pixabay</a> by user PDPics (public domain)
Mumbai Skyline. Image via Pixabay by user PDPics (public domain)

The Indian Government’s Smart City Mission, launched in 2015, envisions the development of one hundred “smart cities” by 2020 to address the country’s rapid urbanization; thirty cities were added to the official list last week, taking the current total of planned initiatives to ninety. The $7.5-billion mission entails the comprehensive development of core infrastructure—water and electricity supply, urban mobility, affordable housing, sanitation, health, and safety—while infusing technology-based “smart solutions” to drive economic growth and improve the citizens’ quality of life in cities.

In a country bogged down by bureaucratic corruption, the mission has been commended for its transparent and innovative use of a nation-wide “City Challenge” to award funding to the best proposals from local municipal bodies. Its utopian manifesto and on-ground implementation, however, are a cause of serious concern among urban planners and policy-makers today, who question if the very idea of the Indian smart city is inherently flawed.

Open Call: Hacking Urban Furniture

05:00 - 29 June, 2017
Open Call: Hacking Urban Furniture

For the last 30 years, street furniture and outdoor advertising have defined the grammar of our cities. In Public-Private-Partnerships (PPP), cities award long-term licenses for advertising in public space in relation to the partly necessary urban furniture and their maintenance (bus stops, public bathrooms, benches, trash bins, signposts, etc.). The business model is dominated by the few large, globally oriented companies with profits running into billions. For instance, for years Berlin has been “supplied” by the Wall AG - part of the international JCDecaux group as the number one outdoor advertiser worldwide since 2009 (with a turnover in 2014 of 2,8 billion euros in more than 60 countries with 11.900 employees).

World's First Vertical Forest City Breaks Ground in China

14:00 - 23 June, 2017
World's First Vertical Forest City Breaks Ground in China, © Stefano Boeri Architetti
© Stefano Boeri Architetti

Construction has begun on the Liuzhou Forest City in the mountainous region of Guangxi, China. Designed by Stefano Boeri Architetti, the new ground-up city will accommodate up to 30,000 people in a master plan of environmentally efficient structures covered top-to-bottom in plants and trees.

Liuzhou Forest City will contain all of the essential typologies of the modern city – offices, houses, hotels, hospitals and schools – housed within a 175 hectare site near the Liujiang River. Employing the firm’s signature vertical forest system, The facades of each building will be covered in plant life, with a total 40,000 trees and nearly 1 million plants from over 100 species specified.

© Stefano Boeri Architetti © Stefano Boeri Architetti © Stefano Boeri Architetti © Stefano Boeri Architetti + 6

CBT Unveils Community-Oriented Phase 2 Masterplan for Masdar City

15:10 - 15 June, 2017
CBT Unveils Community-Oriented Phase 2 Masterplan for Masdar City, Masdar City Phase 2. Image Courtesy of CBT
Masdar City Phase 2. Image Courtesy of CBT

“The world’s most sustainable eco-city,” Masdar City, is preparing for its next phase of development, as unveiled in the award-winning detailed master plan (DMP) by CBT. Depicted in a comprehensive masterplan by Foster + Partners, Masdar was originally envisioned as a carbon-neutral elevated city without cars, instead featuring pod-based transportation located below the podium. As the first phase was constructed, including the Masdar Institute of Technology, a new vision for the city began to emerge, eventually leading to CBT’s pedestrian-oriented innovation community plan for Phase 2. 

Masdar City Phase 2. Image Courtesy of CBT Masdar City Phase 2. Image Courtesy of CBT Masdar City Phase 2. Image Courtesy of CBT Masdar City Phase 2. Image Courtesy of CBT + 9

8 Ways We Can Improve the Design of Our Streets for Protest

09:30 - 14 June, 2017
8 Ways We Can Improve the Design of Our Streets for Protest, © Gina Ford and Martin Zogran
© Gina Ford and Martin Zogran

Once largely viewed as a fringe activity belonging to passionate extremists, protest is now—in the wake of a controversial new administration’s ascension to power in the US and a heightened interest in politics globally—a commonplace occurrence, with a much broader participant base in need of places to gather and move en masse. This revitalized interest in protest was perhaps most visible on one particularly historic occasion: on January 21st, 2017, a record-breaking 4.2 million people took to the streets across the US to exercise their first-amendment rights.

Women’s marches took place on the frozen tundra (we have photographic evidence from a scientist in the Arctic Circle) and even in a Los Angeles cancer ward. But for the most part, these protests happened in the streets. In the first few months of 2017, the streets of our cities suddenly took center stage on screens across the world. From Washington to Seattle, Sydney to San Antonio, Paris to Fairbanks, broad boulevards and small town main streets were transformed from spaces for movement to places of resistance. From the Women’s March on Washington to April’s People’s Climate March, protestors are looking for space to convene and advocate for the issues that matter most to them.

Cityförster to Lead Design of New Beijing Government District

12:00 - 12 June, 2017
Cityförster to Lead Design of New Beijing Government District, Courtesy of Cityförster
Courtesy of Cityförster

The multi-disciplinary team 'Wasser Hannover', Cityförster and the Chinese Academy for Urban Planning and Design (CAUPD) have been selected as the first prize winners in one of three initial competitions to design the new seat of government for the Chinese capital of Beijing. Part of a planned merging of Beijing with the surrounding cities of Tianjin and Hebei, the new government district will be located in Tongzhou, an existing district southeast of the city center.

The winning scheme follows a 'landscape-planning-based' concept that is organized through a holistic water and open-space system, responding to the ecological and technical needs of the government.

Courtesy of Cityförster Courtesy of Cityförster Courtesy of Cityförster Courtesy of Cityförster + 5

Goettsch Partners Wins Competition for 1,312-Foot-Tall Tower and Mixed-Use District in Wuhan

16:15 - 18 May, 2017
Goettsch Partners Wins Competition for 1,312-Foot-Tall Tower and Mixed-Use District in Wuhan, Courtesy of Goettsch Partners
Courtesy of Goettsch Partners

Goettsch Partners has been announced as the winners of an international competition for the design of the new Optics Valley Center complex in Wuhan, China. Being developed by prominent developer Greenland Group, the project will consist of 3.4 million square feet (315,000 square meters) of mixed-use space across three buildings,  including a landmark 1,312-foot-tall (400-meter-tall) office tower that will “symbolize the future vision of Wuhan as the perfect balance between modern development and the environment.”

Courtesy of Goettsch Partners Courtesy of Goettsch Partners Courtesy of Goettsch Partners Courtesy of Goettsch Partners + 7

Schmidt Hammer Lassen to Develop New Urban District at Former Carlsberg Brewery in Copenhagen

14:00 - 18 May, 2017
Schmidt Hammer Lassen to Develop New Urban District at Former Carlsberg Brewery in Copenhagen, The former Carlsberg Brewery. Image © Flickr user astrid. Licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
The former Carlsberg Brewery. Image © Flickr user astrid. Licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects, in collaboration with Holscher Nordberg Architects, has been selected to lead a 120,000-square-foot (36,000-square-meter) redevelopment of the new Carlsberg City district in Copenhagen. Located on the former site of the famous Carlsberg Brewery, the project will incorporate the area’s historic industrial elements in creating a new sustainable city district with inviting open spaces, public transportation, and a series of context-sensitive new buildings, including a 262-foot-tall (80-meter-tall) residential tower.

PechaKucha Night NYC

11:21 - 9 May, 2017
PechaKucha Night NYC, Poster by Arthur Liu
Poster by Arthur Liu

PechaKucha, or “chit chat” in Japanese, is a concise presentation style, comprised of twenty slides at a duration of twenty seconds each that advance automatically. PK Nights invite creative thinkers of all fields to meet, present projects, and exchange ideas in this 20 x 20 format in over 1000 cities around the world.

Our largest annual PechaKucha event, this NYCxDesign special invites forward thinkers to speak about COMMON SENSE in the current political and environmental climate. Topics are always a surprise until night of – join us for a great and unexpected evening of storytelling.

Call for Submissions: Vol. 24: Spaces of Struggle

07:00 - 17 April, 2017
Call for Submissions: Vol. 24: Spaces of Struggle, Spaces of Struggle
Spaces of Struggle

Urban regions are catalysts of change. They foster pragmatic politics that enables more progressive governance. “Progress,” however, has to contend with histories and structures that grew from exclusionary logic, uneven development, and the systematic exploitation of labor. Progress does not happen on its own; it emerges from the continued efforts of activists, engaged citizens, intellectuals, and professionals that strive for a more just city. It requires developing common platforms to facilitate the conflicts that inevitably come with differences. Spaces of Struggle is about creating spaces that harness differences and transforms them into momentum for progressive change.