No one plans to get old; it just happens. Real-estate fantasies, however, tend to be ageless. To misquote the late Nora Ephron, we’ve been having the same real-estate fantasy for decades. And though we’ve varied it a little—what we’re wearing—Greenwich Village, with its organically evolved and artificially preserved mix of row houses, local businesses, and effervescent street life, remains an archetype of good urban planning.
How do you remake a city that's already been made? That's the question a group of students at the Boston Architectural College (BAC) will be tackling in a new design competition sponsored by the Chelsea, Massachusetts–based firm The Architectural Team. With a directive to bring the mixed and multi (mixed-use, mixed-income, multifamily) ideals of 21st-century sustainability to downtown Boston’s commercial and retail districts, students who are enrolled in the competition’s studio course will develop new visions for a downtown that they could want to—and even afford to—live in one day.