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Urban Design: The Latest Architecture and News

Ennead Architects Reveals Masterplan for New Commercial Hub in Shanghai

Ennead Architects has unveiled the Shanghai Lingang Special Area master plan, a new hub for global commerce. Designed around the central axis that defines the Dishui Lake district in Shanghai, the master plan establishes the identity of a new business district. Designed as a free trade zone, this is planned to attract prominent international companies. The site's design proposes functional areas where multinational corporations can optimize business operations while creating open spaces for the surrounding communities. Ennead’s large-scale plan includes four commercial buildings, retail, civic and open spaces.

Courtesy of Ennead ArchitectsCourtesy of Ennead ArchitectsCourtesy of Ennead ArchitectsCourtesy of Ennead Architects+ 7

Architecture as a Transforming Agent: Urban Rehabilitation in Cape Verde

© Marcelo Londoño
© Marcelo Londoño

Improving people's quality of life is one of the biggest goals of professionals in Architecture and Urbanism. When planning cities, creating housing or carrying out a simple refurbishment, we seek to improve the built space regardless of scale. The Urban Rehabilitation of Alto de Bomba, carried out in the city of Mindelo, Cape Verde, arose from the need to combat the precariousness found previously in the place. A project that required the immersion of the team in the daily life of the city and resulted in an inspiring proof of how much architecture can reveal better ways of living the city and acting directly in society. No wonder it received the Work of the Year Award in 2022, chosen by our readers as the winner among hundreds of competing projects.

© Marcelo Londoño© Marcelo Londoño© Marcelo Londoño© Marcelo Londoño+ 14

Health and Nutrition: 9 Ways for Architecture and Urbanism to Act Towards Healthier Realities

On March 31st, the Health and Nutrition Day is celebrated in Brazil, factors that are gaining more and more notoriety in the society in which we live. After more than two years living through the ups and downs of the Covid-19 pandemic and facing the evident need for a healthier, more active and community reality, it is important to reflect on how architecture and urbanism can become tools for accessing healthier daily lives.

Reurbanização do Sapé / Base Urbana + Pessoa Arquitetos. Image © Pedro VannucchiEsferas da Amazon / NBB. Image © Bruce Damonte Architectural PhotographerIntervenção TransBorda / Estúdio Chão . Image © Renato MangolinPraça da Árvore / Lazo Arquitetura e Urbanismo. Image © Morgana Nunes+ 19

Why Walking Can Be Faster Than Driving

In 1854, the American writer Henry David Thoreau wrote the classic work “Walden”, recounting his experience of life in the woods and extolling the advantages of simple and self-sufficient life. Right at the beginning of the book, the author comments that, if someone wants to travel 48 km to visit the countryside, it would be faster to walk than to opt for a locomotive.

What Is a Sponge City and How Does It Work?

Berlim. Foto por <a href="https://unsplash.com/@salty_morning?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText">Maria Krasnova</a> no <a href="https://unsplash.com/?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText">Unsplash</a>
Berlim. Foto por Maria Krasnova no Unsplash

The climate crisis has accentuated changes in the amount of rainfall, causing droughts or storms with large volumes of water, which result in floods that can cause great damage to urban infrastructure. To combat this, the sponge city is a solution that has a green infrastructure to operate the infiltration, absorption, storage and even purification of these surface waters.

Parque Minghu / Turenscape. Foto Cortesia de TurenscapeFoto por <a href="https://unsplash.com/@nadine3?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText">Nadine Marfurt</a> no <a href="https://unsplash.com/?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText">Unsplash</a>   Parque Minghu / Turenscape. Foto Cortesia de TurenscapeBerlim. Foto por <a href="https://unsplash.com/@fionngrosse?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText">Fionn Große</a> no <a href="https://unsplash.com/?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText">Unsplash</a>   + 6

Map design and Built Environments in Video Games: Exploring The World of VALORANT

Map design and the significance of built environments continue to be inherently integral to gameplay within the realm of virtual worlds and video games, specifically in the genre of first-person shooters, and Riot Games’ VALORANT is no exception to this. Defying former expectations of its predecessors within the tactical shooter genre, Riot continually endeavors to make fundamental changes to decades of old formulas that have been implemented in practice all these years.

Screenshot of 'Breeze'. Image via VALORANTScreenshot of 'Fracture'. Image via VALORANTScreenshot of 'Icebox'. Image via VALORANTScreenshot of 'Bind'. Image via VALORANT+ 28

William H. Whyte: Still Relevant After All These Years

Courtesy of Common Edge
Courtesy of Common Edge

This article was originally published on Common Edge.

In the early 1980s, when I first saw the film The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces and then read the book, both by William H. Whyte, I was enthralled. I had met Holly, as he was affectionately known, while I was still a reporter at the New York Post in the 1970s, and we had great discussions about New York City, what planners got wrong, what developers didn’t care about. By the 1980s I was at work on my first book, The Living City: Thinking Small in a Big Way, and having conversations with Jane Jacobs, who would become my good friend and mentor. Jacobs had validated the small, bottom-up community efforts around New York City that I was observing and that would be the too-often-unacknowledged sparks to jumpstart the slow, steady rebirth of the city. My observations were resoundingly dismissed—even laughed at—by professional planners and urban designers, but they were cheered and encouraged by both Whyte and Jacobs, and today they are mainstream.

When Paris Eliminates Cars, Will Other Cities Follow Suit?

Paris has been making headlines for years with its aggressive steps to anti-car, pro-pedestrian urban improvements. Faced with increasing issues around air pollution and an attempt to reclaim streets for alternate modes of transit, as outlined in their proposed plan for a 15-minute city, the French capital is seen as a leader in future-forward urbanist strategies. Recently, their department of transportation set a deadline for their lofty goals of eliminating traffic from its roads. In just two years from now, in time for the French capital to host the Olympics, Paris plans to ban non-essential traffic from its city center, effectively eliminating around 50% of vehicular mobility. What does this plan look like? And how might other cities use this strategy to eliminate their own urban issues?

Women in Urban Management: Six Names That Changed the Game

In different parts of the world, women are transforming cities and taking up spaces in urban planning and management as never before. Paris, Barcelona and Rome, for example, in addition to being cities where almost anyone would like to live, are now cities managed by women for the first time in their history, all in their second term. Major changes and currently celebrated plans, such as the “15-minute city” in Paris, the opening of Times Square to the people in New York, and the urban digitization of Barcelona as a smart city, were led by women.

ZHA's 'Future Cities' Exhibition Examines the Firm's Innovations in Urban Design

© Liang Xue
© Liang Xue

'Future Cites' exhibition was recently inaugurated at the Future Design Arts Centre in Chengdu, examining how the work of Zaha Hadid Architects has redefined urban landscapes around the world. The monographic show highlights the trends and innovations shaping contemporary urbanism and traces the ideas and concepts that defined ZHA's body of work. The exhibition displays the office's ongoing research and various urban design approaches, presented through visualizations, architectural models and video projections.

© Liang Xue© Liang Xue© Liang Xue© Liang Xue+ 20

What Is Ecological Urbanism?

According to the architect and researcher Patrícia Akinaga, ecological urbanism emerged at the end of the 20th century as a strategy to create a paradigm shift with regard to the design of cities. With this, urban projects should be designed from the potential and limitations of existing natural resources. Unlike other previous movements, in ecological urbanism architecture is not the structuring element of the city — the landscape itself is. In other words, green areas should not only exist to beautify spaces, but as true engineering artifacts with the potential to dampen, retain and treat rainwater, for example. With ecological urbanism, urban design becomes defined by the natural elements intrinsic to its fabric.

Parque Manancial de Águas Pluviais / Turenscape. Imagem cortesia de TurenscapeCidade colombiana transformou 18 ruas e 12 hidrovias em paraísos verdes. Imagem cortesia de CicloVivoParque Urbano da Orla do Guaíba / Jaime Lerner Arquitetos Associados. © Arthur CordeiroProjeto de Reutilização da Água do Sydney Park / Turf Design Studio, Environmental Partnership, Alluvium, Turpin+Crawford, Dragonfly and Partridge. © Ethan Rohloff Photography+ 8

In Bermondsey, London, Local Designers Collaborate to Revive a Neighborhood Market

© Jim Stephenson
© Jim Stephenson

For more than a century, a street market known as ‘The Blue’ was the beating heart of Bermondsey in Southeast London. On Saturdays gone by, hundreds flocked to the historic neighborhood, a site with roots reaching back to the 11th century when it was once a pilgrimage route to Bermondsey Abbey. Market punters used to sample goods from more than 200 stalls that famously sold everything under the sun. “You can buy anything down The Blue” was the phrase everyone went by.

© Jim StephensonLocals gathered to emboss the tin shingles that clad the market’s central clock tower. The reflective material is an homage to the Bermondsey’s history as the first producer of tin cans.. Image © Jim Stephenson© Jim StephensonCOURTESY ASSEMBLE STUDIO+ 10

Dark matters: A Call for Less Light

Train station, Lisbon / Portugal . Image © Nina Papiorek Photography
Train station, Lisbon / Portugal . Image © Nina Papiorek Photography

With buildings glazed on all sides and very brightly as well as monotonously lit rooms, it's no surprise that we long for indoor and outdoor retreats that are less bright. Places with shade from glaring sun, dimmed rooms and exciting contrasts act on the eyes like a welcome oasis. High energy consumption and globally increasing light pollution show how acute the problem of too much light is and the alarming rate of contribution toward climate change. For a better future, it is imperative to explore ways in which we can design and focus on using darkness.

Former residence Tamesaburo Imoto, Nagoya / Japan.. Image © Henk KoscheLouvre, Paris / France. Image © Nina Papiorek PhotographyPalomba House, Lampa / Chile. Architecture: abarca+palma. Image © Pablo Casals AguirreRhön Dark Sky Reserve, Germany. Photography: Florian Trykowski. Image © Rhön GmbH+ 9

What Are Compact Cities?

Compact city refers to the urban model associated with a more densified occupation, with consequent overlapping of its uses (homes, shops and services) and promotion of the movement of pedestrians, cyclists and public transport users. Amsterdam and Copenhagen are known examples of such a model.