Now Urbanism: The Future City is HERE

After more than a century of heroic urban visions, urban dwellers today live in suburban subdivisions, gated communities, edge cities, apartment towers, and slums. The contemporary cities we know are more often the embodiment of unexpected outcomes and unintended consequences rather than visionary planning.

As an alternative approach for rethinking and remaking today’s cities and regions, this book explores the intersections of critical inquiry and immediate, substantive actions. The contributions inside recognize the rich complexities of the present city not as barriers or obstacles but as grounds for uncovering opportunity and unleashing potential. Now Urbanism asserts that the future city is already here. It views city making as grounded in the imperfect, messy, yet rich reality of the existing city and the everyday purposeful agency of its dwellers.

Through a framework of situating, grounding, performing, distributing, instigating, and enduring, these contributions written by a multidisciplinary group of practitioners and scholars illustrate specificity, context, agency, and networks of actors and actions in the re-making of the contemporary city.

Source: www.worldarchitecture.org

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Tulip’scapes: the Patterns of Landscape

Urban Choreography:

Hot “yet cool ” colours

Originally posted on laud8 -landscape architecture+urban design:

Tulip fields in Anna Paulowna, photographed by Normann Szkop, are the patterns of rural landscape.

laud8-tulipscape3laud8-tulipscape1laud8-tulipscape4  laud8-tulipscape2

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Mieres Social Housing

Urban Choreography:

A break with boring social housing – innovative and exciting

Originally posted on laud8 -landscape architecture+urban design:

Designed by zigzag architecture, the project re-models the traditional block.

Defining a street edge and central courtyard, the block occupies the same footprint as a conventional orthogonal one, but the fragmented structure generates a more multi-faceted composition of irregularly stacked forms, rather like a child’s building blocks.

                                      

A shifting, angular geometry of canted roof planes adds a further layer of convolution and interest. Although the fact the complex is newly completed, it has that hugger mugger character of a historic cluster of structures that has evolved over time.

This serves to humanise what could have been yet another large and anonymous residential block.

While it is set within dour urban confines, the site has views up to the hills and a more bucolic idyll beyond the flood plain. ‘Our aim…

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How San Francisco Is Designing Its Metro Train of the Future

BART cars are about to get their first real overhaul since the system launched in 1972.

Nearly half a century after the system’s launch, BART will get its own long-awaited makeover. The so-called “Fleet of the Future” plan will put between 775 and 1,000 new BART cars on the tracks between 2017 and 2023, at a cost between $2.5 billion and $3.3 billion. But the overhaul is more of a full reimagining than a cosmetic touchup—from the big-picture look of the car itself to the minutiae of floor patterning and handrail grips. BART used the chance to rethink how the trains look on the outside and feel on the inside, how they accommodate the crowds of today and the near future, and how they subtly control rush-hour crowds and all those bicycles…

Source: www.citylab.com

What SOUTH AFRICAN RAIL NEEDS DESPERATELY

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Urban Plunge: Swimming in the City

An exhibition at the Roca London Gallery presents a series of architectural proposals to reclaim natural water sources in London, New York and Copenhagen for recreational use. We spoke to curator Jane Withers about how we can better exploit our rivers and harbours.

Source: www.iconeye.com

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OMA and Olin win competition to design garden bridge for Washington DC

Rem Koolhaas’ firm OMA has teamed up with Olin to create the 11th Street Bridge Park – a raised garden spanning Washington DC’s Anacostia River.

Netherlands-based OMA and Olin beat three other design teams to win a government-supported competition to design a bridge that could provide a new “civic space” for the USA’s capital city.

The project, currently expected to cost $35 million (£22 million), was proposed to find new uses for a series of piers that previously supported a major road crossing across the Anacostia River, which has been moved to a new location.

The new design is comparable to New York’s popular High Line park andThomas Heatherwick’s garden bridge proposal for the River Thames in London.

 

Source: www.dezeen.com

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Five cities awarded UNESCO City of Design status

Dundee, Bilbao, Curitiba, Helsinki and Turin have been awarded UNESCO City of Design status for their input to the international design industry.

 

The accolade, awarded by international heritage body UNESCO, recognises the contribution of the five cities to the worldwide design industry – each the first in their respective countries of the UK, Spain, Brazil, Finland and Italy to achieve the designation. The scheme aims to promote the development of local creative industries, and to foster relationships and resource-sharing between fellow Cities of Design.

Source: www.dezeen.com

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Future forecasting: landscape architects might save the world

An expert review of the Inaugural Festival of Landscape Architecture uncovers some of the misconceptions about landscape architects.

Source: www.architectureanddesign.com.au

Especially interesting is ht focus on plants, ecology an the value of landscapes in empirical terms  in  Penny Hall’s contribution.

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Dredge Design

Urban Choreography:

Large scale engineering of natural processes, both mechanical and biological

Originally posted on The Dirt:

1_30000 Dredge Anth + 2008 islands

Jamaica Bay / Drudge Design Collaborative

To dredge simply means to scoop up sediment, often underwater, and move it to another location. While this process is often associated with moving contaminated soils to a place where they can be safely capped, today, dredging is also increasingly about harnessing natural processes to create new landforms and ecological systems. New “dredge landscapes,” man-made systems, offer opportunities for ecological restoration, said Brett Milligan, ASLA, Dredge Research Collaborative, at the ASLA 2014 Annual Meeting in Denver.

Sediment is dynamic and dramatically differs from place to place. Studying the natural flow of sediment in rivers and deltas, we can begin to understand how the movement of sediment can be “choreographed” to achieve ecological goals. However, given sediment flow happens within complex ecosystems impacted by human activities, like the deepening of channels for large ships, using dredge to create new landscapes is a highly…

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Simulating Landscapes with Point Cloud Models

Urban Choreography:

Thinking with topological tools brings landscape to the fore and highlights how it is the base for all improvements made in terms of the built environment,. Adapting to the new tools and learning to use them and manipulate digital terrain models brings landscape architects into the world of engineering and is a real design tool as illustrated here by Girot

Originally posted on The Dirt:

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Postcard from “Gotthard Landscape: The Unexpected View,” 2014 Architecture Biennale, Venice, showing a multi-layered perspective / Department of Architecture, ETH Zurich

We need to find a word that brings us back to common ground. In a lecture at Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Christope Girot, professor and chair of landscape architecture in the architecture department at the ETH (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) in Zürich, Switzerland, suggests that “topology” may be the word, for it speaks to the logic and intelligence of a landscape. Girot acknowledges his unique way of viewing: “I believe in the landscape as a body.” He means this in a very literal sense, emphasizing landscape’s physical qualities.

One of the first slides Girot flashes before the audience shows topology’s etymological roots: Topos (place) and logos (reason). Topology, he claims, is about sensing and conceiving landscape. Rather abstractly, topology, then, can define a way in which…

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