In 1942, less than a year after the United States was pulled into World War II, the U.S Army Corps of Engineers quickly and quietly began acquiring large parcels of land in remote areas in three states. Soon after, thousands of young designers, engineers, planners, scientists, and their families, began arriving at these sites that were heavily shielded from public view. Workers there constructed hundreds of buildings including houses, industrial structures, research labs, and testing facilities at unprecedented speed and scale.
City Planning: The Latest Architecture and News
The Henning Larsen-designed Belfast Waterside development was officially granted planning approval by the Belfast City Council, after a year in the planning approval process. Located on the site of the former Sirocco Works, the project is set to “transform the 2.6-hectare area on the east bank of the River Lagan that has been disused for nearly two decades”.
Today's designers have inherited unprecedented global challenges, a legacy which will require radically new ways of fashioning the buildings, places, and landscapes that harbor our diverse ways of life. The College of Environmental Design offers several introductory and advanced programs for those interested in confronting these challenges in the fields of architecture, landscape architecture and environmental planning, urban design, and sustainable city planning. Please visit UC Berkeley's Summer Programs website to view images of student work and learn more about the CED Summer experience.
Dvorulitsa Project by Meganom Proposes Reinvesting in Cities' Peripheries to Improve Urban Environments
Amidst efforts to revitalize and improve urban centers, the peripheral areas of cities are often ignored or forgotten. The intense focus on the downtown core means, in terms of land use, that only a relatively small area receives the majority of designers’ attention. "Dvorulitsa" (literally "Yardstreet" in Russian) is an urban development strategy proposed by Russian architecture firm Meganom, aiming to shift that focus. Taking the idea of the “superpark” from the 2013 study, "Archaeology of the Periphery," the yardstreet project presents an alternative method of viewing the periphery of a post-soviet city.
The Cavatina Group has completed a series of designs rethinking public space and urban revitalization in Poland. With projects located through the city of Bielsko-Biała, the group's larger project aims to transform city parkways and major cultural venues. From street intersections and a former market to underutilized structures, the plan lays out a vision for historic buildings and new architecture alike.
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Great Ideas, Large Scale Projects and Disaster
Architecture Matters is an international conference on the future of architecture and cities, which brings together all relevant stake- holders from architecture, real estate and politics. A provocative platform for the curious and the courageous – exploring urban utopias and entrepreneurial visions. With lectures, discussion pan- els, workshops, speed dating and surprising extras. Held in Munich once a year. Inspiration, business, network.
Street art has long surpassed mere trend to become an integral part of cities' cultural identities. What was once considered vandalism is now not only accepted but encouraged. The works of once-prosecuted artists such as Banksy and Shepard Fairey are now collector's items; murals can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $20,000 or more. Through their works, artists may even have the power to save cities.
Austrian-born architect Victor Gruen is perhaps best known for pioneering the design of the American mall typology. His visions for these spaces sought to incorporate various aspects of the city into a single enclosed or indoor space, with a particular focus on consumption and commercial activity. His sprawling designs functioned as the perfect complement to America’s burgeoning leisure-driven consumer culture as a booming economy and an increase in car travel reinforced the possibilities of this new postwar way of life. Perhaps lesser-known, however, is Gruen’s commission from the Iranian government to design an urban plan for the city of Tehran in the late 1960s.
The United States had made an admirable showing for itself at the very first World’s Fair, the Crystal Palace Exhibition, held in the United Kingdom in 1851. British newspapers were unreserved in their praise, declaring America’s displayed inventions to be more ingenious and useful than any others at the Fair; the Liverpool Times asserted “no longer to be ridiculed, much less despised.” Unlike various European governments, which spent lavishly on their national displays in the exhibitions that followed, the US Congress was hesitant to contribute funds, forcing exhibitors to rely on individuals for support. Interest in international exhibitions fell during the nation’s bloody Civil War; things recovered quickly enough in the wake of the conflict, however, that the country could host the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition in 1876. Celebrating both American patriotism and technological progress, the Centennial Exhibition was a resounding success which set the stage for another great American fair: the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893.
Proposed Tourist Hub by Progress, Miralles Tagliabue EMBT, and Cushman & Wakefield Utilizes the Forces of Nature to Promote a "Natural City"
A consortium comprising Progress, Miralles Tagliabue EMBT and Cushman & Wakefield recently reached the final stage of a design competition to create a tourist center in Russia in part of the embankment named after Admiral Serebryakov in the city of Novorossiysk. The proposal provides the required hospitality spaces but also features unique facilities, such as a wine museum, a fish market and an "artificial island", all serving as new centers of attraction for residents and visitors of the city. The foundation of the design concept is based on three components: "the idea of a natural city, the unification of the three forces of nature and the characteristic appearance of Novorossiysk as a port city."
An unfortunate fact of the AEC (architecture, engineering, and construction) industry is that, between every stage of the process—from planning and design to construction and operations—critical data is lost.
The reality is, when you move data between phases of, say, the usable lifecycle of a bridge, you end up shuttling that data back and forth between software systems that recognize only their own data sets. The minute you translate that data, you reduce its richness and value. When a project stakeholder needs data from an earlier phase of the process, planners, designers, and engineers often have to manually re-create that information, resulting in unnecessary rework.
EUGIC 2017 Budapest—interactive, dynamic, exciting—urban green infrastructure leaders share nature-based solutions for cities. Global practitioners, local experts, projects from Europe and around the world.
UC Berkeley's College of Environmental Design is now accepting applications from prospective participants in the 2016 Summer [IN]STITUTE in Environmental Design. This six week intensive summer program gives students the opportunity to test their enthusiasm for the material and culture of environmental design.
The Summer [IN]STITUTE consists of [IN]ARCH, [IN]LAND and [IN]CITY, three introductory programs in architecture, landscape architecture and sustainable city planning for post-baccalaureate students and senior-level undergraduates, as well as [IN]ARCH ADV, an advanced studio for post-baccalaureate students who have a degree in architecture or who are senior-level architecture majors.
California is suffering through its 5th year of severe water shortage. Aquifers and rivers continue to dry out as the water provided by melting snowpacks is reduced, and even the heavy rain brought by El Niño this year could not relieve the drought. Authorities are wary of the long-term consequences for California and neighboring areas of the Colorado River, and Santa Monica is now seeing a growing number of initiatives to control the use of potable water and find sustainable solutions.
Most recently, a competition asked architects, artists and scientists to conceive sustainable infrastructure projects to improve Santa Monica’s water supply. Bart//Bratke and studioDE developed a raft structure named “Foram” that illustrates the future of floating platforms in sustainable development.
Join us for this special live episode of The Urbanist at our Marylebone HQ, where Monocle editor Andrew Tuck hands over the floor to city-planners, policy-makers and urban leaders to discuss how to build a better London. How would you fix the capital? We’ll look at transport, culture, housing, business, the night-time economy and much more. Be part of the debate following the election of the city’s new mayor.
Neoliberal post-fordism poses a dramatic challenge to urbanism as we have come to know it since the early 20th century. The public planning process has become more and more an embarrassment and obstacle to urban and economic flourishing. It’s a relic of a bygone era. The high point of urban planning was the post-war era of socialist planning and re-construction of the built environment. With respect to this period we can speak about physical or perhaps ‘positive planning’, in the sense of governments formulating concrete plans and designs about what to build. This era has long gone as society evolved beyond the simple fordist society of mechanical mass production to our current post-fordist networked society. When a few basic standards were functionally separate, optimized and endlessly repeated, central planning could still cope with the pace of societal progress. The world we live in today is far too multi-faceted, complex and dynamic to be entrusted to a central planning agency. The old model broke apart as it could not handle the level of complexity we live with and our cities should accommodate. The decentralized information processing mechanism of the market was indeed capable of managing such levels of complexity and, for this reason, has effectively taken over all positive decision-making processes.