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Social Justice: The Latest Architecture and News

Displaced: Design for Inclusive Cities

Our world is witnessing a time of record migration and
displacement. According to the United Nations High
Commission for Refugees, there are now more than 60
million forcibly displaced people worldwide, the result
of persecution, conflict, violence or human rights
Cities are on the front lines of this global crisis. Sixty
to seventy percent of displaced people now live in
cities. As the number of urban displaced persons
grows, so does the moral imperative to welcome and
embrace them.
While immigrants and refugees face many challenges
in their new urban lives — language, access to
services, work and housing, cultural barriers — they
also bring new energy to our cities and economies.
Their success is our success.

2018 Better Philadelphia Challenge: The Next Parkway

The 2018 Better Philadelphia Challenge | $5,000 First Prize

This international urban design competition for university students is now open for registration. In celebration of the 100th anniversary of Philadelphia's iconic Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the Center / Architecture + Design seeks creative concepts for what a new 'Parkway' could be in a dense and developed 21st-century city, connecting neighborhoods with nearby natural and cultural resources.

Is India's Plan to Build 100 Smart Cities Inherently Flawed?

The Indian Government’s Smart City Mission, launched in 2015, envisions the development of one hundred “smart cities” by 2020 to address the country’s rapid urbanization; thirty cities were added to the official list last week, taking the current total of planned initiatives to ninety. The $7.5-billion mission entails the comprehensive development of core infrastructure—water and electricity supply, urban mobility, affordable housing, sanitation, health, and safety—while infusing technology-based “smart solutions” to drive economic growth and improve the citizens’ quality of life in cities.

In a country bogged down by bureaucratic corruption, the mission has been commended for its transparent and innovative use of a nation-wide “City Challenge” to award funding to the best proposals from local municipal bodies. Its utopian manifesto and on-ground implementation, however, are a cause of serious concern among urban planners and policy-makers today, who question if the very idea of the Indian smart city is inherently flawed.