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.
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?”
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.
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.
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.
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.