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Urbanism: The Latest Architecture and News

How Television Narratives Shape Urban Imaginaries

Cities are not just inert landscapes or lifeless settings; they play active and significant roles in shaping numerous television narratives. Whether in series or soap operas, urban environments play a fundamental role not only as the backdrop where plots unfold but also in shaping the developments of storylines, their creations, guidelines, and contexts. While, on the one hand, cities and their urban cultures contribute to the composition of various small screen plots, on the other hand, television programs can also help shape a certain idealized imagination about these urban spaces, generating unrealistic expectations and perpetuating a series of stereotypes about the represented cities.

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Urban Staircases: Vertical Poetry in Cities

Staircases facilitate transit and movement within cities, influencing how communities interact and navigate their urban surroundings. Despite often going unnoticed within the cityscape, these staircases are significant witnesses to history. Beyond their architectural function, they are essential connectors, providing spaces where the pulse of urban life unfolds. Amidst buildings, hills, slopes, and bustling streets, staircases emerge as dynamic stages for movements, encounters, and disconnections, intertwining with the narratives embedded in each step.

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What Is an Urban Oasis? Combating the Excessive Heat of Cities

We are on the brink of concluding the hottest year in the past 125,000 years. Recently, elevated temperatures have adversely impacted the daily routines of a significant portion of the population, particularly those who spend most of their day outdoors without access to air-conditioned environments. Excessive heat stems from various sources, both natural and human-induced. Given the grim outlook on this matter, it becomes imperative to explore structural measures to address and mitigate the potential deterioration of public health caused by escalating temperatures.

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Urban Anti-Flooding Strategies in Latin American Cities

In several cities in Brazil, the amount of rainfall has already surpassed the total accumulated for the rest of the year. Flooding, inundations, and landslides are commonplace news in regional newspapers. In this chaotic scenario, a study presented by the National Confederation of Municipalities states that, amidst the rains in the south and drought in the north, 5.8 million Brazilians have been directly affected by disasters in 2023, whether by loss of lives, displacements, or significant economic damages.

Unfortunately, the outlook is not promising either. The national version of the renowned IPCC climate change report, compiled by the Brazilian Panel on Climate Change (PBMC), has already warned that Brazil, along with other countries in Latin America, will not only experience rising temperatures due to climate change but will also witness a drastic shift in its rainfall patterns. In other words, here in the south, we better get used to the sound of rain on our windows, while the north should brace for historic droughts.

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Designing Urban Blocks for Children

Have you ever considered how spaces are perceived, experienced, and enjoyed from a height of 95 cm? Considering urban design from the child's perspective is essential for fostering inclusive, healthy, and secure cities. Components tailored to these needs benefit children and enhance the experience for adults, the elderly, and people with disabilities. Blocks play a pivotal role in this discourse as key urban elements. These spaces provide several opportunities for utilization and adaptation within urban environments. They can be modified and designed in diverse ways, incorporating strategies to better cater to the specific needs of children.

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San Francisco’s Love Affair With the Ferry Building

This article was originally published on Common Edge.

Can telling the story of one building tell a larger story about the city it’s a part of? That’s the central premise of John King’s engaging new book, Portal: San Francisco’s Ferry Building and the Reinvention of American Cities (W.W. Norton). The long-time urban design critic for the San Francisco Chronicle has written a brisk, lively history of this beloved edifice, which opened in 1898 and served as the principal gateway to the city until the emergence of the automobile (and the bridges that served them).

For decades it sat largely empty and neglected, cordoned off by the Embarcadero Freeway. After the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989, the damaged highway was eventually removed, freeing up the Ferry Building, which was given new life as a transportation hub, food hall, and office building. Last week I talked to King about the genesis for the book, the terminal’s seminal importance to the city of San Francisco, and the threat it faces from rising sea levels.

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Julio Vargas Neumann on the Future of Materials: 'Today's Reinforced Concrete will Disappear'

With an air of simplicity and wisdom, engineer Julio Vargas Neumann welcomes us. His two dogs accompany us as we descend after the necessary ascent to enter, and we are also accompanied by the stone walls defining the lot. We sit down and begin - or continue - the interview and conversation regarding the value of 'shicras', local materials, and earth construction. We also discuss criticisms of cement, aluminum, and steel, as well as perspectives on the future of materials in Peru and the world. Likewise, we delve into the long-neglected and recurrent rural problem in South America, discussing the inexorable need to change paradigms and priorities.

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The VII International Congress of Architecture: Urban Controversies

The VII International Congress of Architecture, focusing on Urban Controversies, is a must- attend event set to take place at the Baluarte Auditorium from November 15th to 17th, 2023. This event, hosted in Pamplona, will bring together experts from around the world to discuss critical issues in architecture and sustainable urban development. Organized by the Architecture and Society Foundation, this seventh edition of the International Architecture Congress is dedicated to examining the complex challenges faced by cities.

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. In honor of International Cities Day, we have selected a series of projects to reflect on non-violent ways of using public space.

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New Spaces for Bicycles: The Future of Urban Mobility

What role will bicycles play in the cities of tomorrow? Their implementation as a more sustainable form of transportation for commuting to work or school, as well as for various household and recreational activities, has become an opportunity for thousands of architects and urban planners.

Meet the 55 Winners of the XVI BEAU: Spanish Biennial of Architecture and Urbanism 2023

Under the motto "Me-dio Pla-zo," the XVI Spanish Biennial of Architecture and Urbanism (BEAU) inaugurated its exhibition at the Royal Artillery Factory in Seville, highlighting the future vision of architecture and urban planning. At the same time, all the awarded projects in the different categories of this edition involving Architectural Works, Research and Dissemination Works, and End of Career Projects were announced. Until November 20, 2023, the exhibition inspired by the concept of "boxes of time" will be available for visiting, aiming to explore the present as well as the medium-term ambitions of each work.

More than Parking lots: Can Parking Facilities Provide new Spaces to Cities?

While most cities around the world seek to implement more sustainable and environmentally friendly modes of transportation, encouraging new urban mobility habits in their residents, the use of automobiles still persists, occupying significant parking spaces in urban centers. Finding a way to integrate these uses, provide new spaces for their citizens, and leverage their facilities for ecological, productive, and other purposes is the challenge faced by many professionals in architecture and urban planning.

Textures, Skyscrapers, and Urban Landscapes: When Anime Meets Architecture

World War II left a profound influence on the evolution of society, introducing significant changes in the fields of urban planning and architecture. During the 1930s, the Congrès Internationaux d'Architecture Moderne (CIAM) promoted modernism on an international scale. After the war, this architectural movement became firmly established as the dominant one, driven by the imperative of reconstruction and technological advancements. Influential figures like Le Corbusier and Alvar Aalto spearheaded this movement.

In 1959, the same year as the final CIAM meeting, Japanese architects like Kenzō Tange, Kishō Kurokawa —the designer of the Nakagin Capsule Tower—, and Kiyonori Kikutake began to explore new approaches to urban design and architecture, known as the Metabolist movement. This exploration was particularly significant in the context of Tokyo's rapid repopulation after the war and the scarcity of resources for reconstruction. Innovative concepts such as Marine City, The City in the Air, and the 1960 plan for Tokyo emerged, which proposed the city as a constantly evolving organism and emphasized the relationship between humans and their built environment. These ideas shaped the concept of "megacities" and reflected Japan's creative response to its challenging postwar situation.