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.


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Mieres Social Housing

A break with boring social housing – innovative and exciting

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…



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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.



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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.


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