ArchiWEB Explorer: Urbanism

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Come Hell or High Water: Cities Must Evolve in the Face of Climate Change

[ By SA Rogers in Architecture & Cities & Urbanism. ]

The time to talk about climate change as if it’s merely a hazy possibility that won’t occur in our lifetime anyway has long passed. Multiple recent reports have made it clear that it’s already happening, and its effects will be much worse than previously expected.

In 2016, the Paris climate accords set a goal of limiting global warming to two degrees Celsius (at which it’s already failing); the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change now says two degrees is both inevitable by the year 2040 and genocidal, set to cause the death of all coral reefs, extreme wildfires, heat waves and other weather events that will subsequently threaten the world’s food supply and transform the global economy.

UNStudio Designs a City of the Future for The Hague

City of the Future. Image Courtesy of Plompmozes City of the Future. Image Courtesy of Plompmozes

Dutch architectural practice UNStudio have created a new urban vision for the City of the Future, a Central Innovation District (CID) test site in The Hague. Dubbed the "Socio-Technical City", the design covers a 1 square km area in the center of the city. The proposal aims to transform the site into a green, self-sufficient district of housing, offices, urban mobility and public spaces over the existing train track infrastructure.

From Pompeii to Gaza: The History of Street Art as a Voice for the People

[ By SA Rogers in Art & Street Art & Graffiti. ]

Over the past half-century, street art has evolved from squiggled lettering on subway cars to a cultural force practiced in virtually every corner of the globe. It began unsanctioned and disdained, and though some prominent street artists now sell their work for millions behind gallery doors, it remains firmly rooted in counterculture, simultaneously celebrated and dismissed. What separates it from merely decorative murals is its message, even if it doesn’t appear to be saying anything at all: its very existence empowers people with little to no voice in society.

Boston Publishes Radical SCAPE Plans to Combat Climate Change

Downtown Boston Vision. Image © SCAPE / City of Boston Downtown Boston Vision. Image © SCAPE / City of Boston

global warming. The scheme lays out strategies which will “increase access and open space along the waterfront while better protecting the city during a major flooding event.”

The vision forms part of the Imagine Boston 2030 initiative while using the city’s Climate Ready Boston 2070 flood maps, targeting infrastructure along Boston’s most vulnerable flood pathways.

The SCAPE vision calls for the creation of elevated landscapes, enhanced waterfront parks, flood resilient buildings, and revitalized connections to the waterfront. The scheme focuses on four areas: East Boston and Charlestown, North End and Downtown, South Boston and Fort Point, and Dorchester Waterfront.

Yo-Yo Pedestrian Zones: What Makes Urban Walkability Flourish or Fail?

[ By SA Rogers in Architecture & Cities & Urbanism. ]

A bustling car-filled street by day and a 1,500-foot pedestrian promenade on weekend nights, Sai Yeung Choi Street South in the dense neighborhood of Mong Kok was the stage upon which urban life in Hong Kong played out – markets, music, dancing, protests, parties. Clashes with police. Noise. So much noise, in fact, that after 1,200 complaints in a single year, the district council decided to end the street’s 18-year run as a part time pedestrian zone and reopen it to vehicular traffic 24/7. What will this mean for a city where public transit accounts for 90 percent of daily passenger trips, yet infrastructure revolves around cars?

Urban Rewilding: Reverse-Engineering Cities to Save Nature – And Ourselves

[ By SA Rogers in Architecture & Cities & Urbanism. ]

In an age of mass extinctions and climate chaos, can we reverse-engineer some aspects of our built environments to live in greater harmony with nature? Many of our cities are built on former wetlands, fighting a losing battle with erosion and the sea. We’ve lined important ecological corridors with concrete. We’ve hunted into oblivion many of the very species that could help keep the rest of the food chain in check. Much of our architecture is focused on shutting ourselves away from nature, as if we could escape it. But advocates for ‘rewilding’ say all we have to do to repair some of the damage humanity has wrought upon the Earth is let go of our obsession with control.

The concept of rewilding has been around for decades, and it’s not necessarily a cohesive movement or concept, but rather a collection of related goals. Some define ‘rewilding’ specifically as the reintroduction of apex predators to certain regions, but just as often, it simply means allowing nature to take over far more often than we do. That might look like any number of things: removing sea walls and dams, reinstating river meanders, protecting certain marine sites from fishing and harvesting, allowing brownfield sites to grow wild after cleanup, making concrete channels more hospitable to wildlife or restoring floodplains.

How The Digital Revolution Will Make Cities Produce Everything They Consume… Again

The Fab City Summit 2018 will be at Parc de La Villette in Paris © William Beaucardet - "Prairie du Triangle", via The Fab City Summit 2018 will be at Parc de La Villette in Paris © William Beaucardet - "Prairie du Triangle", via

This summer, July 11-13, the annual Fab City Summit will take place in Paris at the Paris City Hall and Parc de La Villette. The yearly event will gather the core team behind the Fab City Global Initiative together with city officials, innovation ecosystems from civic society and industry. Get your tickets with 30% discount using code FABDAILY30.

UNStudio Designs Future-Proof Cable Car for Amsterdam

Courtesy of Plompmozes Courtesy of Plompmozes

UNStudio has released images of its design for IJbaan, a green, future-proof cable car linking West and North Amsterdam. The result of a crowdfunding campaign started by founders Bas Dekker and Willem Wessels in 2015, the project is to be implemented by 2025, marking the city's 750th anniversary. The “all electric” transport scheme forms part of Amsterdam’s ambition to be a European center for urban innovation, integrating forward-thinking technology with existing public transport modalities.

Landscape Representation: The Role of Architectural Plans in Parks and Public Spaces

Parque Zaryadye Plan / Diller Scofidio + Renfro. Image via Diller Scofidio + Renfro Parque Zaryadye Plan / Diller Scofidio + Renfro. Image via Diller Scofidio + Renfro

Frequently imperceptible to the inhabitant, the architectural plans of landscape designs are unquestionably the best tool for understanding certain relationships between elements and the strategic organization of the work. They are therefore an essential part of any good architecture project.

The distribution and type of vegetation, topography levels, the relationships between the preexisting urban or natural context, the possible routes and incorporated activities, and the materiality and the dimensional precision required for its construction are some of the considerations that are usually reiterated in this type of representation.

The result permits the communication of intentions in an organized way, while clearly exposing the concerns of the authors; for this reason, we invite you to review a series of different examples of architectural plans of public spaces that enables a comprehensive approach to the role of each project.

Şışhane Park / SANALarc

Synchronicity in the Streets: Photo Series Captures Uncanny Coincidences

[ By SA Rogers in Art & Photography & Video. ]

An almost superhuman sense of alertness, a lightning-fast trigger finger and the world’s luckiest timing come together in one photographer to produce amazing coincidental images that couldn’t be faked if you tried. Born in Barcelona and currently based in Oslo, Pau Buscató has a keen eye for his environment, watching and waiting until people, animals and objects in his surroundings come together in just the right way at just the right moment.