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Urban Design: The Latest Architecture and News

Nano-Scale: Gary Chang Explores Compact Living and The Future of Dense Cities

Compact living units have become the norm in most big cities across the globe. High density and the value of land in urban areas has made it mandatory for most developments to take full advantage of the buildable area. The result is homes that are increasingly smaller. Hong Kong is probably the most extreme case – with roughly three-quarters of the land preserved, the portion left for housing accommodates more than 7 million people in one of the densest urban environments on Earth.

We recently had the opportunity to talk with architect Gary Chang, founder of the Hong Kong-based Edge Design Institute, about his vision of compact living, small-scale architecture, flexibility, and the future of our cities.

Domestic Transformer in Hong Kong. Image Courtesy of Edge Design InstituteThe Arch project. Image Courtesy of Edge Design InstituteSuitcase House - Living Mode. Image Courtesy of Edge Design InstituteKung-Fu Teaset for Alessi. Image Courtesy of Edge Design Institute+ 18

Sidewalk Labs Reimagines Urban Planning with New Delve Generative Design Tool

Sidewalk Labs has unveiled Delve, a new generative design tool that aims to help developers, architects and urban designers identify better neighborhood design options. It uses machine learning to reveal optimal design options from a series of core components, including buildings, open spaces, amenities, streets, and energy infrastructure. By applying machine learning, it explores millions of design possibilities for a given project while measuring the impact of design choices.

Introducing LA's First New Streetlamp Since the 1950s

Design studio Project Room has been announced as the winner of the competition to design and create a new standard streetlight for Los Angeles. Initiated by the City of L.A. and led by the Mayor's Office with the Bureau of Street Lighting, the competition asked designers to create a lighting system that would incorporate new technology, include space for text on each pole, and provide shade to help ease the impacts of the climate crisis.

Courtesy of Project RoomCourtesy of Project RoomCourtesy of Base Image by Douglas HillCourtesy of Project Room+ 12

Nieto Sobejano Unveils Elevated Garden Plan and Urban Stage for Paris

Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos have unveiled the new design for Cité du Théâtre, a large cultural center promoted by the French government in Paris. They will be working with French office Marin+Trottin Architectes, and the project will be located in the Ateliers Berthier. The winning project is based on the creation of a large elevated garden that establishes a visual continuity with Martin Luther King Park.

Courtesy of 2020 Nieto Sobejano Architecte mandataire & Marin Trottin Architecte associéCourtesy of 2020 Nieto Sobejano Architecte mandataire & Marin Trottin Architecte associéCourtesy of 2020 Nieto Sobejano Architecte mandataire & Marin Trottin Architecte associéCourtesy of 2020 Nieto Sobejano Architecte mandataire & Marin Trottin Architecte associé+ 8

MVRDV and Delft University of Technology Release "Le Grand Puzzle", an Urban Study of Marseille in the South of France

MVRDV and The Why Factory (Delft University of Technology) revealed “Le Grand Puzzle”, a book that holds ambitious ideas for Marseille, in the south of France. In fact, the study, made from 2018 to the start of 2020, “proposes a methodology, an agenda, and an analysis to portray today’s Marseille”.

Courtesy of Olivier Sarrazin, VOST collectif, Hans LucasCourtesy of MVRDVCourtesy of Olivier Sarrazin, VOST collectif, Hans LucasCourtesy of HÇläne Bossy, Manifesta+ 12

Kickflips & Curb Cuts: New Skate Parks Shaping Urban Design

Skateboarding is its own urban experience. As interactive public spaces and tactile surfaces, skate parks have slowly begun to shape the way we think about urban design. Beyond the boundary of parks themselves, skaters look at the architecture of the built environment outside of its intended purpose, and in turn, are rethinking how we gather, move around, and reimagine the future of urban life.

© Mikkel Frost© José Hevia© Achim Birnbaum© Lars Gartå+ 12

Lessons from UN-Habitat: How to Design Spaces For and With the People?

The Un-Habitat or the United Nations agency for human settlements and sustainable urban development, whose primary focus is to deal with the challenges of rapid urbanization, has been developing innovative approaches in the urban design field, centered on the active participation of the community. ArchDaily has teamed up with UN-Habitat to bring you weekly news, article, and interviews that highlight this work, with content straight from the source, developed by our editors.

Discover in this feature the first lesson to learn from UN-Habitat, on how to design with and for the people. In order to create great public spaces, the only secret is listening to the community. Questioning “how can we design together”, this article presents cases in Ghana, Brazil, and India, focusing on street, market, and open public spaces implementation projects, where interventions took on participatory approaches and involved local residents from the beginning of the process.

Mind the Step - Jardim Nakamura, São Paulo, Brazil. Image Courtesy of UN-HabitatMind the Step - Jardim Nakamura, São Paulo, Brazil. Image Courtesy of UN-HabitatChild Play Spaces in Malata & Nima Markets - Accra, Ghana. Image Courtesy of UN-HabitatChild Play Spaces in Malata & Nima Markets - Accra, Ghana. Image Courtesy of UN-Habitat+ 48

Dominique Perrault Wins Urban Design Competition to Transform and Revive an Industrial Heritage in China

Dominique Perrault’s proposal has won “the transformation and revival of industrial heritages” or the Hangang district urban design international competition, in Handan, China. Six teams from world-renowned architectural firms, including Coop Himmelb(l)au and UNStudio Team, were invited to participate in the contest and envision the future of the city, through their creative designs.

Dominique Perrault Architecture - The City of Tomorrow. Image Courtesy of Hangang District Urban Design International Master CompetitionZHUANG Weimin Team - Agriculture Spirit, Industrial Civilization, Innovation City. Image Courtesy of Hangang District Urban Design International Master CompetitionWANG Jianguo Team - Transition · Memory · Renascence. Image Courtesy of Hangang District Urban Design International Master CompetitionCoop Himmelb(l)au Team - Nature Heritage City. Image Courtesy of Hangang District Urban Design International Master Competition+ 16

CRA Reveals BIOTIC, a 1-Million Square Meter Extension of Brasilia's Historical Master Plan

CRA - Carlo Ratti Associati has unveiled a major extension for Brazilia, reinterpreting “Lúcio Costa and Oscar Niemeyer’s modernist master plan for Biotic - a high-tech innovation district immersed in nature”. Developed in collaboration with Ernst&Young, the project that started in 2018 reimagines primarily the superblocks.

Courtesy of Carlo Ratti AssociatiCourtesy of Carlo Ratti AssociatiCourtesy of Carlo Ratti AssociatiCourtesy of Carlo Ratti Associati+ 6

How to Future-Proof Our Cities? 4 Key Initiatives to Increase Resilience

Our cities, vulnerable by nature and design, have generated the biggest challenge that humankind has to face. With the vast majority of the population expected to settle in urban agglomerations, rapid urbanization is going to raise the issue of adaptability with future social, environmental, technological and economic transformations.

In fact, the main problematic of the decade questions how our cities will cope with fast-changing factors. It also looks into the main aspects to consider in order to ensure long-term growth. In this article, we highlight major points that help future-proof our cities and create a livable, inclusive and competitive fabric that adapts to any unexpected future transformation.

Designing Smart Cities: A Human-Centered Approach

By 2025, Frost and Sullivan, a market research company, has predicted that there will be at least 26 fully-fledged major smart cities around the world. While some still think that as our cities get more intelligent, they will resemble sci-fi futuristic movies, the reality is that the quality of life in these cities will drastically improve. Cities are set to become more efficient with better services. Nevertheless, before reaching these ideals, let us go back on the process itself, and evaluate the challenges that we might face.

Because the concept of smart cities is still very new, with rare finalized and implemented projects, the topic is still unclear. Although big titles and strategies are well defined, the on-ground application is still uncertain, giving us the opportunity to question its planning process. In fact, how can we go wrong when designing smart cities? What key element are we failing to address in the planning phase?  

100architects Regenerates Pedestrian Bridge in Shanghai, China, with Colorful Spaces

100architects has designed a proposal that regenerates the Puji Road pedestrian bridge in Shanghai, China. Entitled High Loop, the proposal reimagines the 1-kilometer elevated platform, adding playfulness and color to the city, without transforming the structure.

Courtesy of 100 ArchitectsCourtesy of 100 ArchitectsCourtesy of 100 ArchitectsCourtesy of 100 Architects+ 42

NACTO Releases Streets for Pandemic Response and Recovery in the Fight Against the COVID-19

The National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) has released guidelines to provide cities with strategies “to redesign and adapt their streets for new uses both during the COVID-19 crisis and in the recovery”. Streets for Pandemic Response and Recovery highlights the most updated street design approaches cities are using, around the world.