Our Cities Ourselves: The Future of Transportation in Urban Life via cities for people

Andrew Boraine of cities for people posts about a current exhibition in Cape Town:

Our Cities Ourselves: The Future of Transportation in Urban Life showcases the potential transformational role of transportation in ten major cities across the world and illustrates how the dream of a sustainable, equitable and liveable future can be realized when transport is a core foundation.

Ten of the world’s leading architects have shown how integrating urban planning with transport can enable cities to thrive, while also combating climate change and managing population growth, in a global exhibition that originally kicked off in New York in June 2010, and which is now in Cape Town, hosted by the Cape Town Partnership and the Freeworld Design Centre.

Presented by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP), Our Cities Ourselves challenges the car-dependent model of development gripping cities across the globe, advocating for an urban policy agenda that prioritizes walking, cycling and public transit.  Each vision is uniquely shaped to fit the ten distinct urban cultures. The cities include:  Ahmedabad (India), Budapest (Hungry), Buenos Aires (Argentina), Dar es Salaam (Tanzania), Guangzhou (China), Jakarta (Indonesia), Johannesburg (South Africa), Mexico City (Mexico), New York City (USA), and Rio de Janeiro (Brazil).

The panels representing the work done by the architects have now arrived in Cape Town, and are on display from 1 until 30 April at the Freeworld Design Centre in Waterkant Street in Cape Town Central City (located between Bree Street and Buitengracht on the Fan Walk).

Says Walter Hook, Executive Director of ITDP who recently visited Cape Town: “Our Cities Ourselves is a partnership between ITDP and some of the world’s most innovative architects to help us imagine our cities and streets designed around the needs of people rather than around the needs of private cars. By 2030, 60 percent of the world’s population, or 5 billion people, will live in cities, an increase of 2 billion residents. The world’s cities will require massive transformations to handle this influx of residents. Sustainable transportation systems are the glue that enables all elements of urban life – including housing, economic development and public spaces – to meet the needs of growing urban populations and combat climate change.”

Participating architects (including a joint submission by Osmond Lange Architects and Imkemeleng Architects based in Johannesburg), share their bold visions with oversized street rendering, aerials and panoramic views that highlight the possibilities for improved sustainability and liveability. These visions paint a picture of transportation as central to meeting the challenges of the urban future.

The exhibition is the reflection of a year of programming and advocacy designed to engage planners, architects, students, educators and city residents in an evolving conversation on designing a better urban future. The exhibition is accompanied by a dedicated website atwww.ourcitiesourselves.org which also features the My City blog as well as a range of interactive activities for users.

The exhibit can be visited daily from 09h00 to 17h00 at the Freeworld Design Centre. For more information on how to gain access to the Centre, please call Zurita Moore at Freeworld on 021 427 8900 or email zurita@freeworldcoatings.com

More about the ITDP (Institute for Transportation & Development Policy): Founded in 1985, the ITDP promotes environmentally sustainable and socially equitable transportation solutions in cities worldwide. Working in research, advocacy, and direct technical support, ITDP is at the forefront of efforts to reduce carbon emissions, protect the environment, and improve the quality of life. For more information visit http://www.itdp.org/

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