2022 has been the year of AI image generators. Over the past few years, these machine learning systems have been tweaked and refined, undergoing multiple iterations to find their present popularity with the everyday internet user. These image generators—DALL-E and Midjourney arguably the most prominent—generate imagery from a variety of text prompts, for instance allowing people to create conceptual renditions of architectures of the future, present, and past. But as we exist in a digital landscape filled with human biases—navigating these image generators requires careful reflection.
Nairobi: The Latest Architecture and News
As populations continue to migrate from rural to urban areas, space is at a premium. Many settlements are becoming ever-more congested – with adequate, affordable housing in short supply and transport systems struggling to serve their respective residents. But as much the conversation about urbanization is about people, it is sometimes also about the animals that come with those people – urban livestock that play a key role at providing sustenance on an individual level, in addition to becoming an avenue for communal trade.
Atkins has revealed the final design of Nairobi’s new Central Railway Station and public realm. The project extends the historic station building, one of the city’s first stone structures, to raise its capacity to over 30,000 passengers per hour. The new additions take inspiration from the past, referencing the “Boma,” a community enclosure rooted in the heritage of central African culture. Built for flexibility and adaptability, the new station aims to become a key functional facility within the city, providing its citizens with amenities, landscape, and respite.
Almost seven kilometers from the green of Uhuru Park in central Nairobi, lies the informal settlement of Kibera. It is an area whose urban character consists of corrugated iron roofs, mud walls, and a complicated network of utility poles. Kibera, at this point in time, is a well-known place. Much has been written and researched on this “city within a city,” from its infrastructural issues to its navigation of the COVID-19 pandemic.
C40 and Arup Showcase Climate Action Initiatives from 11 Global Cities Within a Virtual Exhibition at COP26
This week, the C40 global network of cities and engineering and sustainability firm Arup launched a virtual exhibition showcasing examples of climate initiatives and resiliency strategies from 11 cities committed to addressing climate change. Given that cities account for more than 70% of global carbon emissions, the Global Cities Climate Action Exhibition aims to highlight the role of cities in reaching climate targets through local policies and urban development plans, achieving tangible emission reductions and increasing social equity.
Emporis has announced the results of its annual Emporis Skyscraper Award, recognizing the best new supertall buildings completed in the previous year. This year, the top prize was given to the Lotte World Tower in Seoul, South Korea, designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates and Baum Architects. The tapered tower, South Korea’s tallest, also houses the world’s highest glass-bottomed observation deck, for architects who can handle the 1820-foot (555-meter) drop.
WIRED Magazine has created a list of Eight Cities That Will Show You What The Future Will Look Like in the latest edition of their design issue. In the relatively short span of time that humans have been planning cities, more and more decisions have been made that have shaped the path of new technologies and methods that will make cities better. Such projects—like new streetlights, bicycle infrastructure, and traffic-sensitive museums—highlight some of these advances in the urban lifestyle.
"The cities of tomorrow might still self-assemble haltingly, but done right, the process won’t be accidental. A city shouldn’t just happen anymore. Every block, every building, every brick represents innumerable decisions. Decide well, and cities are magic," writes Wired author Adam Rogers. Read on after the break to see how 8 different cities from around the world are implementing innovative projects.
As reported by Kenya's Daily Nation newspaper, a group of Chinese investors has revealed plans for a new city in Kenya that will "match the splendour of Dubai". Though the investors are still resolving details with the Kenyan government, the city is planned for an area in Athi River, around 30km south-east of Nairobi, and is billed as a Chinese-controlled economic zone. At this early stage, the plans feature at least 20 skyscrapers. You can find more details of the proposal here.