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Climate Crisis: The Latest Architecture and News

Coping with Extreme Heat: How Cities are Confronting the Heatwave in Eastern and Southern Europe

Eastern and Southern Europe is enduring a severe heatwave, with temperatures reaching over 40 degrees Celsius in many countries including Greece, Croatia, Macedonia, and Romania. Driven by hot air from North Africa, this prolonged heatwave has raised significant threats for residents and has strained the cities’ mechanisms for protection and climate mitigation. As the heatwaves expose the vulnerabilities of urban infrastructures, cities across Europe are striving to implement measures to address these challenges.

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“Resources For a Future”: Tallinn Architecture Biennale Announces Program and Curation for 2024 Edition

The 7th Tallinn Architecture Biennale (TAB 2024) will commence on October 9th, 2024, at various venues around the city. Organized by the Estonian Centre for Architecture, this edition of the global architecture exhibition explores “Resources For a Future,” hoping to encourage dialogue, interdisciplinary work, and innovation within architecture. The event targets both architects and the general public and includes a comprehensive program featuring workshops, panels, seminars, and Open House Tallinn.

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Foster + Partners Explores Circularity at The London Festival of Architecture

Foster + Partners has just unveiled the opening of “Radial,” a new summer pavilion for the London Festival of Architecture. Situated at Principal Place, an office space also designed by Foster + Partners in London, the pavilion brings new life to the plaza. “Radial” is constructed from readily available and reusable materials, showcasing a commitment to sustainability. The structure also provides a welcoming space for rest and contemplation.

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Making the Case for Plastic-Free Architecture: Innovative Solutions for the Present (and Future)

As you read this, you may notice that you are surrounded by several items made of plastic. This omnipresence is no coincidence; the versatility of plastic has made it suitable for a variety of applications, and was described by its inventor—Leo Baekeland— as “the material of a thousand uses.” However, when it comes to environmental impact, the problem lies in its very qualities: it is so durable, adaptable, and easy to produce (430 million tons per year) that, according to UN data, the equivalent of 2,000 garbage trucks full of plastic are dumped into the oceans, rivers, and lakes every day.

In the built environment, plastic has been incorporated into various materials, products, and construction systems, contributing to an environmental crisis that seriously affects the well-being of millions of living beings. Faced with this problem, one possible direction is to shift away from utilizing it. The search for plastic-free alternatives is marking a path toward a future where architecture is progressively disassociating itself from these polluting materials, promoting sustainable solutions that reduce our dependence on it and contribute to preserving the environment.

Public Spaces and Their Key Role in Building Climate Resilience in the US.

Social infrastructure encompasses the resources and services that allow the creation of communal bonds and social connections. Within the built environment, it manifests through public spaces like parks, libraries, and community centers alongside threshold spaces such as public transportation stops.

These public social spaces play a crucial role in strengthening communities and, in turn, their ability to respond to catastrophic climate-related events. They can provide physical shelter to the populations most vulnerable to these events and foster resilient networks of people who can more quickly recover. Given the escalating frequency of extreme weather events in the United States due to climate change and its social infrastructure inadequacies, examining public spaces as a critical tool for climate resilience becomes vital.

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Introspection, Elevation, Covering-Up: Radical Architectural Operations for Adverse Climates

The flexibility of architecture allows it to continuously change and adjust its form in response to technological progress, social and artistic trends, and the collective experiences we undergo. Large-scale global events, such as the transatlantic migrations of the 19th century, the impact of tuberculosis on design, and most recently, the effects of the last major global health crisis (COVID-19), have all played significant roles in shaping the evolution of architecture.

In the context of the climate crisis, the role of architecture and urbanism has been extensively debated, as it represents one of the greatest challenges of this century. It is undeniable that while there are active efforts through policies and innovation to prevent reaching a point of no return, architecture is already adapting to the changes and extreme conditions caused by it. Rather than thinking of a distant or dystopian future scenario, the gradual changes in climatic conditions have been drivers for modifying, through architectural operations, how we conceive contemporary buildings.