All
Projects
Products
Events
Competitions
  1. ArchDaily
  2. Mayors

Mayors: The Latest Architecture and News

Why a City's Mayor Has To Be Its Chief Architect

09:30 - 4 November, 2016
Why a City's Mayor Has To Be Its Chief Architect, © <a href='https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Miami_from_above.jpg'>Ron Reiring via Wikimedia</a> licensed under <a href='https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en'>CC BY 2.0</a>
© Ron Reiring via Wikimedia licensed under CC BY 2.0

Elected in 2001, over eight years in office Miami's former mayor Manny Diaz oversaw one of the most dramatic urban transformations in the United States' history. Diaz was therefore invited to offer the opening remarks to the second day of the 2016 Design Matters Conference, presented by the Association of Architecture Organizations, which is currently taking place in the city. In his speech delivered at the Miami Center for Art and Design, Diaz explains how he developed the "Miami 21" zoning code to leverage the power of architecture and urban planning, ultimately turning Miami from a subject of jokes into one of the United States' most successful and admired cities. Below is an edited version of this speech.

Ron asked me to explain how a lawyer with no experience in elective office and with no training whatsoever in architecture, urban planning or city design ends up with land use and Miami 21 as the signature project of his administration.

reSITE 2016: 5th International Conference on a Hot Topic – “Cities in Migration”

12:00 - 9 June, 2016
reSITE 2016: 5th International Conference on a Hot Topic – “Cities in Migration”, reSITE Conference, Prague, Forum Karlin. Photo Dorota Velek
reSITE Conference, Prague, Forum Karlin. Photo Dorota Velek

On June 16-17, Prague will be hosting one of the leading architecture and urbanist events in Europe. Most of the 49 world renowned experts who will speak at reSITE 2016: Cities in Migration have experienced migration themselves. Coming from 20 countries, they will bring innovative solutions and successful strategies for European and Western cities to come to terms painlessly with the influx of new residents. Carl Weisbrod, Chairman of the City Planning Commission of NYC, Professor Saskia Sassen, sociologist at Columbia University, and Michael Kimmelman, the Architecture Critic for The New York Times will come from New York City. A huge number of speakers will come from Germany. Besides the famous landscape architect, Martin Rein-Cano from Topotek 1, Berlin, we will meet one of the city planner of Munich and the co-founders of the initiative “Refugees Welcome.”

Archiculture Interviews: Jess Zimbabwe

15:00 - 19 April, 2015

"We as a species assign value to people based on the environments we ask them to live in. And I think most people are worth more than a lot of the environments that we ask them to live, work, attend school and shop in."

Reinier de Graaf: Mayors Should Not Rule The World

01:00 - 2 October, 2014
Reinier de Graaf: Mayors Should Not Rule The World, London City Hall, centre of operations for Mayor Boris Johnson. Image © Flickr CC User alh1
London City Hall, centre of operations for Mayor Boris Johnson. Image © Flickr CC User alh1

This weekend, the first planning session of the Global Parliament of Mayors took place in Amsterdam: a platform for mayors from across the world, triggered by Benjamin Barber’s book: If Mayors Ruled the World: Dysfunctional Nations, Rising Cities.

In this book the current political system and its leaders is dismissed as dysfunctional. Defined by borders and with an inevitable focus on national interests, they are not an effective vehicle to govern a world defined by interdependence. Mayors, presiding over cities with their more open, networked structure and cosmopolitan demographics, so the book argues, could do it better.

It is of no surprise that this book has been welcomed by the same political class as the one it praises: mayors. As was apparent during the first planning session of the GPM: a conference about mayors, for mayors, attended by mayors, moderated by mayors and hosted by a mayor, all triggered by a book about mayors.

I recognize many of the book’s observations. Many mayors are impressive figures and time appears to be on their side. Nation states (particularly the large ones) have an increasingly hard time and, in the context of a process of globalization, cities, and particularly small city-states, increasingly emerge victorious. Cities have first-hand experience with many of the things that occur in globalization’s wake, such as immigration and cultural and religious diversity, and are generally less dogmatic and more practical in dealing with them.

So far so good.