Crisis is the New Normal: What is a Resilient City?

Originally published on the Future Cities Project Future Cities project launched the Future Cities Salon with a series of debates examining the future of public space. For a useful write-up of this event, see Maja Schwoerer’s article on the Future Cities website. From pollution, rising sea-levels, crime, terrorism or simply ill-health and disease, it seems that when we talk about cities, it’s de rigueur to claim that “crisis is...

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Social irresponsibility: thinking the unthinkable

From the recent backlash of Libeskinds’ claim to boycott working in China, to the call for a ‘Code of Ethics’ from Architects/Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility, the politics of the global built environment is undergoing perpetual debate. Some argue that ‘starchitects’ only have short-term political agendas in search for publicity stunts. Others claim that all designers and architects should be allowed to choose by themselves what they believe to be moral without the pressure of social responsibility.

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Evidence-based architecture

How often have you heard the phrase ‘research shows’ as a way of defending an architect or a designer’s scheme proposal? “Research shows”, they often say, “that so-and-so design is good for the environment/community/personal well-being”. By quoting some obscure research paper, a dubious design suddenly becomes unimpeachable”. This session explores whether “research” is being used as a way that designers can avoid having to...

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