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Urban Growth: The Latest Architecture and News

The SOM Foundation Announces New Research Prize Focusing on "Humanizing High Density"

08:00 - 6 August, 2018
The SOM Foundation Announces New Research Prize Focusing on "Humanizing High Density", One World Trade Center / SOM. Image Courtesy of James Ewing
One World Trade Center / SOM. Image Courtesy of James Ewing

People are moving into urban centers at an unprecedented rate. According to the United Nations, the world's urban population has increased from 751 million in 1950 to 4.2 billion in 2018. By 2050, an additional 2.5 billion people are expected to reside in urban areas. In response to this rapid urban growth, designers are challenged to create sustainable and resilient spaces that accommodate complex human needs, both necessary and desired.

World-renowned architecture, interior design, engineering, and urban planning firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) invites educators and students from across the U.S. to engage in the 2018 SOM Foundation Research Prize: "Humanizing High Density." The SOM Foundation Research Prize is awarded to a faculty-led interdisciplinary design research proposal "with the potential to advance the practice of architecture, structures, urban design and related design disciplines."

This Genetic Algorithm Predicts the Rise of Skyscrapers in Urban Areas

16:30 - 26 June, 2018

The growth and expansion of metropolitan areas has been evident over the past decade. Buildings are getting taller, and urban areas are getting larger. What if there was a way to predict this growth and expansion?

A new study by Spanish researchers from the University of A Coruna has discovered that the increase of skyscrapers in a city reflects the pattern “of certain self-organized biological systems,” as reported by ScienceDaily. The study uses "genetic evolutionary algorithms" to predict urban growth, looking specifically at Tokyo's Minato Ward. Architect Ivan Pazos, the lead author of the new study, explained the science behind the algorithm: "We operate within evolutionary computation, a branch of artificial intelligence and machine learning that uses the basic rules of genetics and Darwin’s natural selection logic to make predictions."

Read on for more about the study and what it could mean for the possibility of estimating vertical urban development.