The Center for Arts and Innovation has just selected Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano to design its new creative campus. The campus is situated in the heart of downtown Boca Raton in Florida and aims to become a global hub for creative excellence. Ultimately, The Center is on a mission to transform Boca Raton into an internationally recognized destination for culture, arts, innovation, and technology.
Infrastructures: The Latest Architecture and News
As the fastest-growing metropolitan city in the Midwest region, Columbus is situated amidst Central Ohio’s exciting blend of infrastructure and natural landscape. Columbus and its surroundings are currently undergoing a significant phase of cultural expansion and anticipate a population surpassing 3 million by 2050. In collaboration with Columbus-based Moody Nolan, Gensler has just revealed their design for the new terminal at John Glenn Columbus International Airport in Ohio, a facility to grow the city and support it in reaching these goals of expansion.
Architect Antoine Predock has unveiled his vision for the Albuquerque Rail Trail, a multi-use trail that will connect key destinations in the greater downtown area of New Mexico’s largest city. The project set out to combine the utility of pedestrian and bicycle pathways with the culture and history of the lands, encouraging healthy recreation, cultural expression and economic development. The Rail Trail project is of the Mayor’s Institute on City Design, Just City Mayoral Fellowship.
Looking Forward to COP28: Can Decisions About the Built Environment Save Us From the Climate Crisis?
The 2023 United Nations Conference of the Parties, more frequently referred to as COP28 is a joining of over 160 countries that intrinsically agree to combat harmful human impacts on the climate. The International Climate Summit takes place annually, bringing together heads of state, delegates, and representatives from various countries to negotiate actions and agreements related to climate mitigation. Last year, COP 27 was held between November 6 and November 18, 2022, in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. As the upcoming COP 28 in the United Arab Emirates is around the corner, it is worth looking at the conference’s impact and what to expect.
COP 28 will convene from November 30 to December 12 2023 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. In this year’s COP28, the program will be geared towards responding to the Global Stocktake and “closing the gaps to 2023.” The COP presidency has launched a consultation on thematic areas, encouraging international stakeholders to highlight the most pressing issues that should be prioritized in COP28. The themes for this year are Technology & Innovation, Inclusion, Frontline Communities, and Finance.
India recently overtook its sub-continental neighbor, China, to become the most populous country in the world with a demography of over 1.4286 billion people. As data from the United Nations also estimates an annual population growth rate of 0.7%, the country’s built environment is set to interact with a new discourse of demography and present its own perspective on how to build for billions. It is set to engage with new challenges of infrastructure, transportation, and adequate housing, which on the surface will force cities to constantly expand as a response to these dynamic needs. However, a critical look at the population distribution within the country reveals that the majority of Indians still live in rural areas as it caters to 65% of the population despite increasing rural-urban migration. This suggests a nudge in a different direction. One where the design and development of the rural areas take precedence over the cities. One that explores architecture in rural areas, its relationship with the cities, and its future as a primary framework to house the exploding population.
There are three primary settings in which lower-density urbanism can be useful, and where conditions favored by YIMBYs are weak or nonexistent: as a replacement for what is currently slated to be built out as sprawl, as a recovery process for existing sprawl, and in small towns that are growing. Giving up on these settings forces all development intended to combat the housing crisis into urban settings, ideally near transit, where land is much more expensive to acquire and to develop. It also allows the sprawl machine to roll on unimpeded.The best vehicle for implementing principles illustrated here at the scale of a neighborhood, hamlet, or village is not a major production builder, as these principles violate almost all of their conventional industrial practices. Instead, look to the record of stronger New Urbanist developers who are no strangers to doing things considered unconventional by the Industrial Development Complex in the interest of better places with stronger lifetime returns.
The Indonesian parliament has approved a bill to relocate the capital from the city of Jakarta to a completely new city to be built on the island of Borneo, 1,300 kilometers from the current capital. The decision, first announced in 2019, comes as a reaction to the myriad of challenges faced by Jakarta, including pollution, traffic congestion, and, perhaps the most threatening, rising sea waters. As a consequence of excessive groundwater extraction, rapid urbanization, and rising sea levels, 40% of the city is currently below sea level, making it increasingly difficult for the infrastructure to protect the residents. President Joko Widodo proposes an alternative: relocating the administrative center of the country to a new green metropolis, to be named Nunsantara, meaning ‘archipelago’ in ancient Javanese.
For the second consecutive year, Vienna is the world’s most liveable city according to The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) 2023 Global Liveability Index. Topping the ranking for the fourth time in five years, Vienna has excelled in stability, culture and entertainment, and reliable infrastructure. Copenhagen in Denmark maintained its second position while Melbourne and Sydney came in third and fourth position, rising to the top 5 where they previously had a consistent presence among the leading positions, before the pandemic.
Under the titles of Optimism and Instability, this year’s global index score has returned to pre-Covid-19 days, highlighting that the world has fully recovered from the pandemic. Ranking living conditions in 173 cities based on stability, health care, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure, the survey suggests that nowadays, “life in cities is a bit better than at any time in the past 15 years”, although Stability scores dropped on average in 2023, due to worldwide clashes, political disruptions, social protests, inflation, and wars.
Following an international competition, MVRDV has been selected to lead the design of the Hangzhou Oil Refinery Factory Park, an extensive project aiming to transform the former industrial district into a cultural center set in a green environment. Complete with a new art and science museum, offices, retail, and a wide variety of cultural offerings, the redevelopment demonstrates a way forward from an oil-based infrastructure to more sustainable alternatives, while retaining the memory of the past technologies. The park sits alongside the southern end of China’s Grand Canal, the world’s longest and one of the oldest man-made waterways created to strengthen economic connections between the south and the north of the country.
The Kingdom of Bahrain announced its participation at the 18th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia with a pavilion exhibition titled “Sweating Assets.” Curated by architects Latifa Alkhayat and Maryam Aljomairi, the exhibition highlights the relationship between the extreme heat and humidity that characterizes Bahrain and the inherent need for comfort. The curators aim to show how the necessary cooling infrastructure can be maximized through adaptive means and resource management while reducing its negative impact on the environment.
“Economic shocks, climate change, and COVID-19 have changed transportation systems in a fundamental way. We can’t waste a crisis. We can increase access to transportation while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. We can achieve more mobility with fewer impacts,” argued Ani Dasgupta, president of the World Resources Institute (WRI), at the 20th annual Transforming Transportation conference. For two days, global leaders reflected on the state of transportation systems worldwide at the hybrid event in Washington, D.C., which was also watched by tens of thousands online. The event was co-organized by WRI and the World Bank.
Transportation still accounts for 25 percent of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide and up to 30 percent of emissions in developed countries. Transportation is a diverse sector that includes sidewalks, bikes, cars, buses, trains, subways, ships, and planes.
Foster + Partners and Arup have chosen to work together to design the Merced, Fresno, Kings/Tulare, and Bakersfield stations that will service high-speed train passengers on the first 171-mile leg of California High-Speed train (CA HSR). The Central Valley stations will be the grand entrances to America's first high-speed rail stretch, marking an important step towards providing all Californians with sustainable, carbon-free transportation. Planning, architecture, and engineering for the four new stations, which will serve as design templates for stations planned for the whole 500-mile Los Angeles/Anaheim to San Francisco line, are being done jointly by Foster + Partners and Arup.
The California high-speed rail will connect the state's mega-regions, promote economic growth and a cleaner environment, foster job growth, and conserve agricultural and protected lands. With up to 200 mph speeds, the system can travel from San Francisco to the Los Angeles basin in less than three hours. The Authority is collaborating with regional partners to implement a state-wide rail modernization plan that will spend billions of dollars on local and regional rail lines.
Countries around the world have urban, suburban, and rural problems- and it’s all connected by the problem itself. There are too many highway systems. In some cities that are notoriously known for their traffic jams, like Los Angeles, Minneapolis, and Atlanta, there are almost five miles of road per every 1000 residents. This has also impacted how some forms of public transit, like rail cars and busses, operate, significantly reducing their efficiency. So why do we build these superhighways, and how can we fix their congestion?
Following an international competition, MAD Architects, in collaboration with China Airport Planning & Design Institute and Beijing Institute of Architectural Design, has revealed the design of the Changchun “Longjia” International Airport Terminal 3 in China. The new building is expected to accommodate 22 million passengers per year. After completion, the 270,000 square meters terminal will become the largest transportation junction in Changchun city and the Jilin Province.
Designed by URB, The LOOP is a 93-kilometer-long sustainable highway that aims to encourage Dubai’s residents to opt for a healthy mode of transportation. The structure provides a climate-controlled all-year environment to make walking and cycling the preferred type of transportation in the city. The initiative aligns with Dubai’s 20-minute city initiative, which hopes to see 80% of Dubai’s residents commute to work by walking or cycling. The project is currently in the research and development phase.