Our Cities Ourselves at AIANY

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July 21, 2010

Our world is becoming more and more urban. Today, as Dwell contributor Mark Lamster reported for our June 2010 Megacities issue, more than 75 cities boast populations of more than 5 million. While 100 years ago 10 percent of the earth's inhabitants were urbanites, now 50 percent of us are city slickers. And the number's going up. By 2030, projections predict that 60 percent of the world's population will live in urban areas and by 2050, that percentage is expected to reach 75. In reaction to these leaping figures, the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, based in New York City, commissioned ten architecture firms to each create a design for one of ten specified major international cities, envisioning what each city could look like in 2030 if we start putting in place today the mechanisms for sustainable futures via thoughtful public-transportation planning. The cities tackles: Buenos Aires, Argentina; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Guangzhou, China; Budapest, Hungary; Ahmedabad, India; Jakarta, Indonesia; Mexico City, Mexico; Johannesburg, South Africa; Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; and New York City; United States. The architects invited: PALO Arquitectura Urbana, Fábrica Arquitetura and CAMPO aud, Urbanus Architecture & Design, Varos-Teampannon and Kozlekedes, HCP Design and Project Management, Budi Pradono Architects, arquitectura 911sc, Osmond Lange Architects and Ikemeleng Architects, Adjaye Associates, and Terreform and Michael Sorkin Studio. The result is Our Cities Ourselves, an exhibition that opened at the AIA New York's Center for Architecture in New York. The show, which displays the ten visions, closes on September 11 then packs up and travels to China, Brazil, and Mexico. For more, visit cfa.aiany.org or ourcitiesourselves.org.


 

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  Firms Fábrica Arquitetura and CAMPO aud focused on the neighborhood surrounding Rio de Janeiro's Central do Brasil, or Central Station, for their proposal. Designed in 1943, the art deco structure is difficult to access by foot. To encourage public transportation use, the firms designed an elevator and pedestrian path from the station to the the popular Morro da Providência neighborhood and its shops and odl buildings. The plan also calls for the transformation of Avenida Presidente Vargas into a boulevard with filled with bike paths, bus lanes, and trees.
    Firms Fábrica Arquitetura and CAMPO aud focused on the neighborhood surrounding Rio de Janeiro's Central do Brasil, or Central Station, for their proposal. Designed in 1943, the art deco structure is difficult to access by foot. To encourage public transportation use, the firms designed an elevator and pedestrian path from the station to the the popular Morro da Providência neighborhood and its shops and odl buildings. The plan also calls for the transformation of Avenida Presidente Vargas into a boulevard with filled with bike paths, bus lanes, and trees.
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  For Guangzhou, China, and its Liwan District, Urbanus Architecture & Design used the High Line as inspiration for a redesign. The team proposed turning the highway into an elevated bike and pedestrian promenade and introduce a new bus service below to create a bustling, accessible neighborhood of shops, restaurants, and housing.
    For Guangzhou, China, and its Liwan District, Urbanus Architecture & Design used the High Line as inspiration for a redesign. The team proposed turning the highway into an elevated bike and pedestrian promenade and introduce a new bus service below to create a bustling, accessible neighborhood of shops, restaurants, and housing.
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  Varos-Teampannon and Kozlekedes also tackled the waterfront-access issue in its redesign of the Elisabeth Bridge and Pest waterfront in Budapest, Hungary, which is congested with traffic and separates the city from the water. As a solution, the architects moved the highway underground, a la the many buried roadways in Philadelphia, and restored pedestrian access by creating a park and public transit lines where the highway now stands.
    Varos-Teampannon and Kozlekedes also tackled the waterfront-access issue in its redesign of the Elisabeth Bridge and Pest waterfront in Budapest, Hungary, which is congested with traffic and separates the city from the water. As a solution, the architects moved the highway underground, a la the many buried roadways in Philadelphia, and restored pedestrian access by creating a park and public transit lines where the highway now stands.
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  HCP Design and Project Management took on Jamalpur, a neighborhood south of the history city of Ahmedabad, India, to conceptually revitalize. Today, the area is overrun with cars, motorcycles, and motorized rickshaws and includes a vacant swath of land. The designers vision of a future Jamalpur include creating public transit lines to connect the city with pedestrian squares and bike-friendly streets that lead to the waterfront as well as developing an accessible mixed-use programming for the empty, unused land.
    HCP Design and Project Management took on Jamalpur, a neighborhood south of the history city of Ahmedabad, India, to conceptually revitalize. Today, the area is overrun with cars, motorcycles, and motorized rickshaws and includes a vacant swath of land. The designers vision of a future Jamalpur include creating public transit lines to connect the city with pedestrian squares and bike-friendly streets that lead to the waterfront as well as developing an accessible mixed-use programming for the empty, unused land.
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  In Manggarai, a key transit hub in Jakarta, Indonesia, planned developments threaten to disperse local residents and replace communities with more and more freeways and cars. Budi Pradono Architects' proposal intertwines highways, public transit routes, and housing in a futuristic design scheme of multi-layer transportation channels, modern housing, elevated parks, and paved roads for rickshaws.
    In Manggarai, a key transit hub in Jakarta, Indonesia, planned developments threaten to disperse local residents and replace communities with more and more freeways and cars. Budi Pradono Architects' proposal intertwines highways, public transit routes, and housing in a futuristic design scheme of multi-layer transportation channels, modern housing, elevated parks, and paved roads for rickshaws.
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  Like many of the selected sites, the Tacubaya neighborhood in Mexico City is rendered impossible to travel by foot or bike due to the numerous highways criss-crossing the area with no regard for any continuity to the site. Arquitectura 911sc's plan for the Tacubaya is similar to that of Varos-Teampannon and Kozlekedes' for Budapest: Move traffic underground and revitalize streets as pedestrian, cyclist, and bus traffic only.
    Like many of the selected sites, the Tacubaya neighborhood in Mexico City is rendered impossible to travel by foot or bike due to the numerous highways criss-crossing the area with no regard for any continuity to the site. Arquitectura 911sc's plan for the Tacubaya is similar to that of Varos-Teampannon and Kozlekedes' for Budapest: Move traffic underground and revitalize streets as pedestrian, cyclist, and bus traffic only.
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  The Orlando area of the Soweto Township of Johannesburg, South Africa, a symbolic neighborhood of the apartheid era has experienced recent development. The problem, however, is that the public transportation that has been extended to the region are unconnected to one another and difficult to use. Osmond Lange Architects and Ikemeleng Architects proposed a plan to connect the transit hubs with a new bus line and develop the areas around the transit hubs to encourage the community to go to these areas and their shops, restaurants, and public spaces, which are currently underutilized.
    The Orlando area of the Soweto Township of Johannesburg, South Africa, a symbolic neighborhood of the apartheid era has experienced recent development. The problem, however, is that the public transportation that has been extended to the region are unconnected to one another and difficult to use. Osmond Lange Architects and Ikemeleng Architects proposed a plan to connect the transit hubs with a new bus line and develop the areas around the transit hubs to encourage the community to go to these areas and their shops, restaurants, and public spaces, which are currently underutilized.
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  The Gerezani neighborhood of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, has Johannesburg's challenge of unconnected transit hubs and Budapest's and other cities' problem of a waterfront hidden behind thoroughfares and industrial buildings. Adjaye Associates suggest connecting the transportation network, rerouting the railway lines, and creating a promenade that connects the area with nearby Mnazi Mmoja Park.
    The Gerezani neighborhood of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, has Johannesburg's challenge of unconnected transit hubs and Budapest's and other cities' problem of a waterfront hidden behind thoroughfares and industrial buildings. Adjaye Associates suggest connecting the transportation network, rerouting the railway lines, and creating a promenade that connects the area with nearby Mnazi Mmoja Park.
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  Terreform and Michael Sorkin Studio's vision for the Manhattan side of the Brooklyn Bridge, an area tangled up in highways, parking lots, and the little-used southbound FDR Drive, includes creating a two-way bike lane for bicyclists on the lower level of the bridge, freeing up the elevated walkway for pedestrian use. It also suggests creating an "eco-zone" and a shop and restaurant area at the based of the bridge.
    Terreform and Michael Sorkin Studio's vision for the Manhattan side of the Brooklyn Bridge, an area tangled up in highways, parking lots, and the little-used southbound FDR Drive, includes creating a two-way bike lane for bicyclists on the lower level of the bridge, freeing up the elevated walkway for pedestrian use. It also suggests creating an "eco-zone" and a shop and restaurant area at the based of the bridge.

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