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Green Space: The Latest Architecture and News

A New Digital Tool Allows Users to Investigate Spatial Equity across New York City’s Communities

The Transportation Alternatives and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have initiated a new digital tool, Spatial Equity NYC, to help users understand how space is distributed and restricted across the neighborhoods of New York City. The tool asses the use of streets, sidewalks, and public spaces, as they are key factors that influence data such as pollution, traffic fatalities, accessibility, or air quality. The data collected shows a direct correlation between neighborhoods with low-income communities and communities of color and the detrimental ways in which public space is used, leading to health and mobility issues in those communities.

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How are Cities Adapting to Heatwaves in the Face of Climate Change

The climate crisis has made heat waves more likely and more intense around the world. In the northern hemisphere, the record-breaking temperatures are putting millions of people in danger. During the last months, recurring heatwaves have been affecting Central and Western Europe, causing wildfires, evacuations, and heat-related deaths. In the United States, local leaders are also urging caution, while densely populated cities in Asia are announcing strategies for coping with the extreme temperatures.

Cities are on the front lines of this public health emergency. People living in urban areas are among the hardest hit when heatwaves happen, partly because of urban heat islands. This is a phenomenon that occurs when cities replace the natural land cover with dense concentrations of surfaces that absorb and retain heat, like pavements and buildings. Heat risk levels also vary by neighborhood, with less affluent and historically marginalized sectors being the most affected due to the density of the population, limited access to cooling systems, and the limited availability of green urban spaces.

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Docklands Park / BAU Brearley Architects + Urbanists

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Vertical Greenery: Impacts on the Urban Landscape

With the increase of urban density and the decrease in the availability of land, the verticalization phenomenon has intensified in cities all over the world. Similar to the vertical growth of buildings — which is often a divisive issue for architects and urban planners — many initiatives have sought in the vertical dimension a possibility to foster the use of vegetation in urban areas. Vertical gardens, farms and forests, rooftop vegetable gardens, and elevated structures for urban agriculture are some of the many possibilities of verticalization in plant cultivation, each with its unique characteristics and specific impacts on the city and its inhabitants.

But is verticalization the ideal solution to make cities greener? And what are the impacts of this action in urban areas? Furthermore, what benefits of urban plants are lost when adopting vertical solutions instead of promoting its cultivation directly on the ground?

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Henning Larsen Wins Competition for a Mixed-Use Development in South Korea

Henning Larsen’s proposal for Seoul Valley was selected as the winner of the Central Seoul Development Competition. Seeking to become a new home for the public in the center of the city, the mixed-use developmentmerges Seoul’s global commercial profile with an ecological return to downtown pedestrian life”. Other entries included schemes by MVRDV and SOM.

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Schmidt Hammer Lassen's Mixed-Use K8 Tower in Norway Moves Forward

The sustainable mixed-use K8 tower, designed by Schmidt Hammer Lassen moves forward with final approval from the Stavanger City Council in Norway. The proposal aims to encourage future urban developments in the city and generates a new benchmark for sustainable and creative work environments.

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LAND Gets the Green Light for Parco dello Sport Al Maglio, a new Pole of Sports and Events in Switzerland

Focusing on the future of public space, and centering their approach on wellbeing and sport as drivers of sustainability, economic and social development, the Lugano Municipal Council in Switzerland has given the go-ahead for the planning of the new Pole of Sports and Events (PSE). Designed by LAND, the project dictates the direction for public spaces in the post-pandemic era.

Systematica Releases First Assessment on Milan Public Realm, Green Areas and Gathering Places

Systematica has just released a case study on access to green areas and the public realm in the city of Milan. Focusing on the availability of these gathering spaces for residents, the research, particularly relevant in this time of the pandemic, also highlights open and not crowded public spaces, convenient for a safe social life.

ODA Introduces New Approach to Tower Building in Seattle

ODA released images of its 1,185’ mixed-use tower in downtown Seattle. Showcasing a novelty in high-rise design, the project underlines the value and importance of outdoor space. Carving out a void in the middle of the tower, the design creates a shared outdoor amenity space with impressive views to Mt. Rainier.

Gardens, Parks, and Boulevards: Mapping Green Spaces Via Satellite

There are a plethora of benefits associated with urban green spaces, namely pollution control, temperature regulation, and biodiversity--all of which ultimately add to the quality of life of city dwellers. Like other urban common areas used for sports and recreational activities, green spaces have a direct impact on the health and well being of the residents who use them.

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LAD Reimagines a Public Square in Milan with Hanging Garden

In the city of Milan, architecture firm LAD identified a busy roundabout with the potential to host a new public square typology. Sovraparco, literally “over park,” is a design by the Italian firm and Hypnos Studio to better utilize an existing area in the city, Piazzale Loreto, by infusing it with greenery and public space. The project intentionally does not impose on the surrounding buildings to revamp the area, but instead inserts itself into the central space and aims to rethink what belongs to the public sector.

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Vanke Times Center / SHL

Vanke Times Center / SHL - Commercial Architecture, Facade, Lighting
© Yuzhu Zheng

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C.F. Møller's Green-Centric Proposal Wins Competition for New Train Station in Hamburg

Acting both as a “visionary landmark and an urban catalyst,” C.F. Møller Architects’ proposal for a new train station development in Altona, Hamburg, emphasizes the significance of green space within the city’s urban fabric. The project will have several uses, ranging from cafes, restaurants, and shops to offices and fitness centers. Its unique undulating roof landscape “embodies a collective and progressive vision of reinforcing Hamburg’s green credentials.”

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Satellite Images Ranks Europe's Greenest (and Not so Green) Cities

With a growing global trend of rural to urban migration, a focus on an understanding of parks, gardens and general green space in city centers is more important than ever. While a move to an urban center can offer improved access to employment, schooling, healthcare and cultural opportunities, it can come at a cost of increased stress and noise and decreased access to open space, fresh air and nature. For urban and forestry researcher Phillipp Gärtner, this raised the question of which European capital cities have the greenest space.