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Urban Design: The Latest Architecture and News

Cultivating Non-Violent Cities: 10 Examples of Friendly Public Spaces

Violent cities result from social and economic inequality, which also affects the urban landscape and the way we live. International Day of Non-Violence is observed on 2 October, so we have selected a series of projects to reflect on non-violent ways of using public space.

Parque público en Tultitlán / PRODUCTORA. Image © Erick MendezBus Terminal and Urban Renovation in São Luís / Natureza Urbana. Image © Meireles JuniorPaprocany Lake Shore Redevelopment / RS + Robert Skitek. Image © Tomasz ZakrzewskiRed Planet / 100architects. Image © Amey Kandalgaonkar+ 14

The Invention of Public Space Shows the City as a Product of Negotiation

In this week's reprint from the Architect's Newspaper, author Karen Kubey, an urbanist specializing in housing and health questions if the invention of Public Space is "Invented Or Agreed Upon?" Basing her ideas on a book by Mariana Mogilevich, The Invention of Public Space, the article asks if public spaces are a product of negotiation in the city.

New Research: The Built Environment Impacts Our Health and Happiness More Than We Know

People living in dense cities are among the least happy. Their rates of depression are 40 percent higher than other populations, and their rates of anxiety are 20 percent higher. Why? Because the built environment is directly linked with happiness and well-being, and too often urban environments fail to put people at ease.

ASLA 2018 Professional General Design Honor Award. Walker Art Center Wurtele Upper Garden, Minneapolis, Minnesota. Inside | Outside + HGA / Theodore Lee. Image Courtesy of The DirtASLA 2018 Professional Award of Excellence. Brooklyn Bridge Park: A Twenty Year Transformation, Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates / Juliane Schaer. Image Courtesy of The DirtA building that looks like a face / Ann Sussman, Tufts University. Image Courtesy of The DirtASLA 2020 Landmark Award. Millennium Park — A Fortuitous Masterpiece. Lurie Garden by Gustafson Guthrie Nichol / P. Psyzka and City of Chicago. Image Courtesy of The Dirt+ 6

The Shape of Our Existing Buildings

This article was originally published on Common Edge.

Jeffry Burchard explores in his essay the "opportunity found by extending the life and purpose of viable existing buildings", that have shaped our cities. Arguing that "we have an abundant supply of buildings", the author proposes four essential steps to transform existing buildings.

Studio-MLA Will Lead a Major Riverfront Development in Riverside, California

Following a lengthy search, the California city of Riverside and its Parks, Recreation, and Community Services Department have selected Studio-MLA as the lead designer of the River-Side Gateway Project Suite, a string of nine sites along a seven-mile stretch of the Santa Ana River. Funded by the California Coastal Conservancy, the search committee sought a design team that could best revitalize the open spaces and trails along the northern edge of Riverside, the largest city in the Inland Empire region of California with a population of over 300,000.

Sasaki Launches New Urban Planning Online Tool

Global design firm Sasaki has announced the launch of Density Atlas, a new online platform for planners, urban designers, developers, and students immersed in the public realm, to have a better understanding about density. The platform explores the limitations of density and defines a more standardized set of metrics for understanding and comparing density across different global contexts, such as in urban centers, college campuses, or community under development.

Courtesy of SasakiSyracuse University Campus Framework. Image Courtesy of SasakiCourtesy of SasakiCourtesy of Sasaki+ 5

Cities and Governments are Taking Action to Mitigate Climate Change

Recently, a series of cities and government entities worldwide have announced various plans to either fight climate change or combat its effects. From New York’s investment in carbon-capturing technologies to Miami’s Stormwater Masterplan, or EU’s target to reduce emissions by 55% by 2030, the issue begins to take centre stage in urban design and politics. The measures come at a time when the consequences of climate change are becoming more apparent in extreme weather events, and the scientific forecast is less than optimistic.

PCA-Stream's proposal for Champs-Élysées. Image Courtesy of PCA Stream© Raimund Koch. ImageNew York © Kristoffer Paulsen. ImageSolar pavilion by John Wardle Architects with artwork by Ash Keating presented in A New Normal during Melbourne Design Week 2021Tokyo, Japan. Image via Shutterstock. Image + 5

Shrinking Cities: The Rise and Fall of Urban Environments

Urban planning is often based on the assumption of ongoing demographic and economic growth, but as some environments face urban shrinkage, a new array of strategies comes into play. The shrinking city phenomenon is a process of urban decline with complex causes ranging from deindustrialization, internal migration, population decline, or depletion of natural resources. Referencing the existing research on the topic, the following showcases approaches to this phenomenon in different urban environments, highlighting the need to develop new urban design frameworks to address the growing challenge.

<a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Altena_Burg_20051030.jpg">Dr.G.Schmitz</a>, <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0">CC BY-SA 3.0</a>, via Wikimedia Commons. ImageAltena, former industrial city in GermanySetnom from Chile, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons. ImageSewell mining town in ChileAnina, mining town in Romania. Image © Tudor ConstantinescuHristina Stojanovic. ImageThe mining city of Bor+ 6

Foster+Partners Reveals Design for the Tallest Tower in Greece

Foster+Partners has unveiled its design for Marina Tower, a residential project set to become the tallest building in Greece. Located in Ellinikon, on the outskirts of Athens, the project is part of a larger development plan meant to transform the site of the former airport into several new neighbourhoods centred around a large coastal park. The 200-metre tall tower at the heart of the masterplan showcases a permeable relationship between interior and exterior spaces in tune with the Mediterranean climate while also featuring various water elements and extensive greenery.

São Paulo, Melbourne and Barcelona: Discover the Coolest Streets in the World

Time Out, an online platform for urban culture that looks for the most vibrant locations around the globe, has recently ranked the 30 coolest streets in the world. The website, which usually focuses on cities as a whole, having already ranked the coolest neighborhoods, is now taking a more local approach due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

A Transformation in Pacoima, Los Angeles, Reveals the Potential of the City’s Overlooked Alleys

Courtesy of Trust for Public Land
Courtesy of Trust for Public Land

In a piece, originally published on Metropolis, author Lauren Gallow highlights an urban transformation in California, led by a group of local organizations and designers. The project "replaces a previously hazardous alley with play areas, public art, and native plantings", in order to reveal the untapped potential of the overlooked public realm.

Courtesy of Trust for Public LandCourtesy of Trust for Public LandCourtesy of Trust for Public LandCourtesy of Trust for Public Land+ 6

Carlo Ratti Associati Designs Urban Interventions in Prishtina as part of Manifesta 14

Manifesta 14 recently announced that the 2022 edition of the European Biennial of Contemporary Art will take place in Prishtina, Kosovo. In preparation for the event, Carlo Ratti Associati has been commissioned to create an urban vision for the host city, focusing on sustainable solutions attuned to its current realities. The urban interventions showcase CRA's newly defined participatory urbanism methodology and explore how Prishtina could be transformed by the citizens' act of reclaiming public space.

© Rinor Ramadani© Atdhe Mulla© Atdhe Mulla© Atdhe Mulla+ 10

Safdie Architects Reveals Designs for Mixed Use Urban Development in Toronto

Safdie Architects have released the images of 'ORCA Toronto', a mixed-use urban development with an integrated park in the heart of downtown Toronto. The project covers 6.5 hectares (65,000 sqm) west of the CN Tower, 4.5 hectares (45,000 sqm) of which are dedicated to the publicly-accessible urban park, while 2 hectares (20,000 sqm) are for residential, commercial, retail, and transit facilities. The proposed project reconnects the downtown area to the city’s waterfront, promising to become a vital hub that animates the underutilized parts of the city.

Courtesy of Safdie ArchitectsCourtesy of Safdie ArchitectsCourtesy of Safdie ArchitectsCourtesy of Safdie Architects+ 11

Adam Nathaniel Furman: “Buildings Always Embody the Values of Their Creators”

This article was originally published on Common Edge.

Stefan Fuchs & Raphael Dillhof interview Adam Nathaniel Furman and discuss the role and importance of facades in today's urban fabric, "in the context of a broader range of social, economic, and political issues". Part of a more in-depth study examining the role of facades in the 21st century, this discussion also raises the question of why buildings always embody the values of their creators.

Urban Heat Islands Are Increasingly Dangerous, But Planners and Designers Have Solutions

For this month, The Dirt and author Jared Green share with us a study about urban heat islands, exploring new approaches that have been designed to both reduce urban temperatures and help communities adapt to a hotter world, In three cities: New York City, Copenhagen, and Abu Dhabi.

Enough with Copenhagen! It is Time for U.S. Cities to Learn From Models Closer to Home

Juan Miró, co-founder of Miró Rivera Architects reflects in an opinion piece on the value of American cities. Stating that "when we idealize cities like Copenhagen, we risk losing focus of the fundamental historical differences between the urban trajectories of European and American cities", the architect and educator draws a timeline of events and urban transformations, in order to explain why it would be more relevant to look on the inside when planning U.S cities, rather than taking examples from the outside.

Austin’s city fabric . Image © Ibai Rigbymap of Austin . Image Courtesy of Juan MiróCasa das Canoas by Oscar Niemeyer. Image © SkyscraperCityTeotihuacan. Image Courtesy of Juan Miró+ 10

A Visual History of New York Told Through Its Diagrams, Maps and Graphics

This article was originally published on Common Edge.

Martin Pederson interviewed this week Antonis Antoniou and Steven Heller, author of Decoding Manhattan, a new book that compiles over 250 architectural maps, diagrams, and graphics of the island of Manhattan in New York City, talking about the origin story of the book, the process of research, and the collaboration.

Tony Millionaire, Harlem Renaissance: 100 Years of History, Art and Culture, 2001. Concept by Marc H. Miller and Kevin Hein.. Image Courtesy of Decoding ManhattanAlbert Berghaus, The Tenement Houses of New York, from Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, July 1, 1865.. Image Courtesy of Decoding ManhattanRenzo Picasso - New York Subway - stazioni e vedute prospettica - tav. 12, 1929.. Image Courtesy of Decoding ManhattanAlbert Levering, The Future of Trinity Church, from Puck, March 6, 1907. Courtesy Library of Congress.. Image Courtesy of Decoding Manhattan+ 8