As Covid-19 spread across the globe last year, cities underwent a transformation unlike any we had seen in the last century. The sudden disappearance of both human and automotive traffic as people bunkered down under quarantine was visible in cities worldwide and, astonishingly, continued even after quarantine restrictions were lifted.
Arch Daily Topic 2021 The Future Of Cities: The Latest Architecture and News
When looking at the population of the world's metropolises, in this case Mexico City, the reality is that the majority of the people living there have migrated from other regions of the country and, sometimes, from other countries as well. Of course, thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, companies and schools have gone virtual, and, with their work and studies no longer tied to urban centers, people have left in masse for the coast and other less populated areas in search of space and lower living costs.
Mapping the City of the 21st Century: Desplans and KooZA/rch Open up the Discourse to Young Creatives
Desplans and KooZA/rch have revealed the three final winners of the #mycityscape competition. Inviting young creatives to this conversation, the open call questions the definition of the city, by asking “What establishes the identity of a city? What distinguishes one urban environment from the other? And What defines our relationship to the built landscape we inhabit?”
Trying to find the tools to map the city of the 21st century, the competition encouraged young creatives to record the essence of their cityscape into one image. After selecting 12 shortlisted entries, the contest solicited a wider audience to decide the final winning designs, by voting for their favorites on social media. Following the release of the results, Christele Harrouk from ArchDaily had the chance to talk about the #mycityscape competition with both Desplans and KooZA/rch, discussing the theme and the whole process. Discover in this article the exchange as well as the final winning designs.
Launched by the Goethe Institut, Habiter Dakar (Living in Dakar) is a virtual exhibition tackling Housing in the Senegalese capital. The study was led by Nzinga Mboup and Caroline Geffriaud, both Architects based in Dakar. They noticed that the current housing offer in the city was particularly far off the needs of its inhabitants, whether on the cultural, societal or environmental level.
The architects analyzed the progression through which the Senegalese capital's Urban Landscape and Housing development had passed, starting from the traditional compound living type to today’s international housing models which seem to be disconnected from the daily reality of most of the city’s inhabitants. The study is concentrated on Housing which is an essential part of the formation and evolution of Dakar and suggests important theoretical and concrete reflections for the future development of the African metropolis.
In our increasingly urbanized world, everything and everyone has adopted a lifestyle of nomadism. New environmental and social constraints have forced people to have a constant "on-the-go" behavior, so much so that almost everything has acquired wheels, even the buildings. But with the rise of debates like "is humankind being replaced by robots?" and "is technology taking over?", urban mobility has helped give access to housing, healthcare, and education in places with extreme difficult conditions.
To shed the light on globally-thriving mobile activities, the France-based Institut pour Ville en Mouvement, or City on the Move Institute, is an organization that has been addressing the challenges posed by urban mobility and contributing to the emergence of innovative solutions. In a series of short Youtube clips, the organization invited experts in the fields of architecture, urban planning, and technology to share their insights on the future of urban mobility.
Imagine having a blank canvas on which to master-plan a brand new city; drawing its roads, homes, commerces, and public spaces on a fresh slate and crafting its unique urban identity. Every urban planner has fantasized about designing a city from scratch and luckily for some, this dream is morphing into concrete opportunities.
Over the last two decades, new, master-planned cities have emerged from the ground up at an unprecedented scale, the majority of which have been created in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America, with currently over 150 new cities in the making. This new type of urban development has shown to be particularly seductive in emerging markets, where they are sold as key parts of the strategy to leapfrog from agriculture and resource-based systems to knowledge economies by attracting foreign capital and boosting economic growth.
As we are entering 2021 after a year of anxiety and uncertainties, what are your expectation for our future? The UN75 survey reports that most people around the world hold greater optimism for the future: “Globally, many more respondents believe people will be better off in 2045 than today (49%) compared to those who believe people will be worse off (32%).”
From climate crisis to How Will We Live Together, as we face the current and accentuated global challenges many of our ideas about the cities of tomorrow are changing. So how will the city of the future be?
Whether as a retrospective, a collection of contemporary works, or a compilation of prospects for the future - and all the other possibilities in between -, architecture and urban planning exhibitions have played an important role in shaping the future of cities over the decades. These events are often open to the public, reaching many people who don't necessarily have a background in the field, thus providing great environments to explore a collective view of the future of architecture and cities.