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Envisaging the Future of Cities: UN-Habitat Launches the 2022 World Cities Report

UN-Habitat has just released its annual World Cities Report during the eleventh session of the World Urban Forum, which took place in Katowice, Poland from June 27 until June 30, 2022. Titled “Envisaging the Future of Cities”, the 2022 release highlights insights on the future of the urban realm, based on “existing trends, challenges, and opportunities, as well as disruptive conditions, including the valuable lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic”. In fact, it seeks to present cities with ways to be prepared for future challenges and address current issues.

As the global population living in urban areas is set to rise from 56 percent in 2021 to 68 percent in 2050, mainly in Africa and the Middle East, transforming our cities in order to achieve a better future should be a global interest. Urgently needing “innovative solutions for urban areas to respond to this triple C crisis of COVID, climate and conflict” as stated by UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN-Habitat Maimunah Mohd Sharif, the 2022 World Cities Report calls for greater commitment by national, regional and local governments, and encourages the further adoption of innovative technologies and urban living concepts.

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World’s Cities Day 2021: Resilience, Climate Crisis and Sustainable Urbanization

As cities grow in scale, dimensions, and amplitude, taking in 60% of the world population, the United Nations has designated the 31st of October as “World Cities Day”, an opportunity to talk furthermore about global urbanization, addressing challenges, encouraging opportunities across borders and highlighting responses. Focusing this edition on the theme of “Adapting Cities for Climate Resilience”, this day, part of Urban October, seeks to raise awareness about the climate crisis and its repercussions on the built environment.

Cities, at the center of the global challenges, are hubs for institutions, society, economy, commerce, and transportation. Understanding the importance of “Thinking the City”, we have compiled in this roundup, articles published by ArchDaily’s editors that offer planning tools and guidelines, tackle the different components of the urban realm and highlight worldwide as well as contextual questions and responses.

Ronald Lu & Partners Imagines Tomorrow’s Workplace, Meeting Post-Pandemic Needs

Ronald Lu & Partners has created in collaboration with BEHAVE, a blueprint for future-ready offices that meet the new needs of the post-pandemic workforce. Reimagining tomorrow’s office and embracing a new working style, the partnership generated “Mindplace”, an office concept that will “improve work efficiency, focus on sustainability and cater to the holistic needs of employees”.

New York's Open Restaurants Program for Outside Dining to Be Made Permanent

Part of New York’s Recovery Agenda, to keep the city safe and healthy, the Open Restaurants program established in June of this year was extended year-round, to be made permanent. In fact, Mayor de Blasio has allowed restaurants to use heating and enclosures, and expand seating to adjacent properties with neighbors’ consent. This extension will also apply to Open Streets: Restaurants, “which currently offers restaurants expanded space on 85 car-free streets citywide on certain days”.

NACTO Releases Streets for Pandemic Response and Recovery in the Fight Against the COVID-19

The National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) has released guidelines to provide cities with strategies “to redesign and adapt their streets for new uses both during the COVID-19 crisis and in the recovery”. Streets for Pandemic Response and Recovery highlights the most updated street design approaches cities are using, around the world.

7 Design Guidelines for a Safe Post COVID-19 Transition

In order to ensure a proper transition into post COVID-19, architects, public health experts, and engineers are generating design guidelines to provide people with new secure, and efficient resources. Finding a balance between optimizing operations and keeping people safe, the strategies tackle the built environment that surrounds us, from restaurants and outdoor dining, to streets, offices, and retail.

Addressed to city officials, owners, and employers, the tools developed help to reopen the world, while reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission, promoting social distancing standards, and enhancing wellbeing. Discover in this article a roundup of design guidelines securing a safe post coronavirus transition.

Rockwell Group Releases Design Strategies for Outside Dining post COVID-19

David Rockwell and his team at Rockwell Group proposed an open streets initiative, a template for outdoor dining, in order to help bars and restaurants reopen post-pandemic. The design strategies illustrate practical solutions to make everyone feel safe.

Alternative Healthcare Facilities: Architects Mobilize their Creativity in Fight against COVID-19

As the healthcare infrastructure is becoming overwhelmed and hospitals around the world are reaching their capacities, new alternative possibilities are emerging. In response to bed shortage and facility saturation, architects around the world are taking action, in the on-going fight against the coronavirus. Focusing their knowhow to find fast and efficient design solutions that can be implemented anywhere, they are proposing flexible, fast assembled, mobile, and simple structures. With a very tight timetable, some projects are already implemented and in service, while others remain on a conceptual level, waiting to be adopted.

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Perkins and Will Creates Guideline for a Safe Return to the Office during COVID-19

Perkins and Will have generated a set of strategies, grounded in public health guidance, to help offices resume their work during COVID-19. Focusing on the transition phase, the guideline helps employers draw a road map for safe return.

MASS Releases Spatial Strategies for Restaurants in Response to COVID-19

MASS Design Group has released a guideline for restaurants in response to the coronavirus pandemic, to help these business reopen safely, viably, and vibrantly. Based on world health recommendations, the drafted protocols aim to keep both staff and customers safe, as well as facilitate operations.

A Simple Guide to Using the ADA Standards for Accessible Design Guidelines

Only a special few architects can truly say they enjoy reading building codes. There’s no doubt that it’s daunting and it can certainly pose challenges to your design. Over time you’ll likely become familiar with the types of things you need to look out for on a project, but even the most experienced architects may still need to double-check a code question or two during the design process (or have an intern check it for them.) Unfortunately, many code documents are unwieldy to say the least, and there are few cases in which this is more true than the 279-page ADA Standards for Accessible Design. However, once you understand the layout and how to use a code book or the ADA guidelines, they become more manageable.

This guide aims to describe each chapter in the ADA 2010 guidelines to give a foundation for navigating them. Luckily for designers in United States, the documentation for the ADA Standards for Accessible Design is available online. Keep reading for a quick summary (all information and diagrams are directly from the guidelines). Check out the whole document here if you need it—or for convenience, each subheading in this article links directly to the relevant section in the PDF!

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