Recently, the American Institute of Architects released a report on diversity in architecture. The results show that while both women and people of colour remain underrepresented, gender issues are particularly acute. In support, Archdaily wrote about how greater gender equity and workforce diversity benefits a firm’s triple bottom line. Work-life balance, flexibility and working hours were key challenges reported. Addressing these concerns is likely to have one more benefit: a field more reflective and responsive to the society it serves.
It’s been more than two decades since Sim City was first released. During the interim, city-making games have become more popular and nuanced, reflecting a growing public interest in urbanism. More than just fun, these games can teach planners valuable lessons about how we plan and how we envision the idealized city. Games can also be used as valuable engagement tools and to re-imagine the places we call home. Could the games of today lead to the self-building cities of tomorrow?
Powered by demographic shifts coupled with a renewed interest in urban amenities, as well as transit, walking and biking, downtown cores have seen a major resurgence in recent years. And companies are taking notice. Through this shift, cities have learned many lessons. Now, Smart Growth America has distilled them into seven steps for downtown redevelopment. The full report, a valuable resource for cities, planners and councils looking to catch up, is available here.
For the first time ever, the prestigious Turner Prize has been awarded to non-artists. Assemble Collective was bestowed with the honour for their grassroots work to regenerate Granby Four Streets, a blighted area in Liverpool, together with residents. Their long-term vision for the district? A self-made neighborhood that’s welcoming, artistic, multicultural and architecturally rich, as well as the greenest quarter in the city. When done well, city making can be an art, after all.
While the holiday season is now in full swing, many citymakers are working furiously to finish projects by years-end. This can contribute to the stress of finding the perfect gifts for children. Thankfully, the jolly elves at Planetizen have a compiled a list of the perfect gifts for young citymakers. One less thing to worry about over the holidays!
Bored of traditional architectural debates, Turncoats aims to shake up the establishment provoke real discussions about architecture. Harnessing the free independent journalist approach of Dezeen, Architecture Foundation and Failed Architecture, the “conspirators” want to burst the bubbles around mainstream architectural discussion. Turncoats’ sold-out open conversation will prohibit recording devices during the discussion, focusing instead on the here-and-now. Open your mind and witness an alternative participatory process and subsequent outcomes.
Leading exceptions, like Jane Jacobs and Janette Sadik-Khan aside, citymaking remains a male-dominated profession. Confronting this reality, the Guardian Cities spoke with a number of prominent female urbanists to find out what the alternative could look like. They found more pragmatic, collaborative and empathetic processes, and planning and design solutions that recognized the meed for safe and inclusive places. While steps are being taken, it’s clear that there is still a long way to go in transforming the gender-equal and inclusive city from vision to reality.
Much has been made of the smart city’s potential to improve technical coordination and efficiency, but where do people fit into this brave new world? Public space thought leaders Gehl Architects think Montreal is on the right track. In an optimistic article, they detail the City’s digital/physical Faire Montreal (Make Montreal) initiative to engage residents on 180 tangible projects. A model for other cities to follow?
Public transportation is an important aspect of movement in the city, and figures prominently in many public and professional urban mobility discussions. As LVBL CITY writes, a number of developers have harnessed this broad interest to create fun and useful web apps. More than an easy way to pass time, the post underlines apps’ potential to strengthen and facilitate public engagement in real life.
Part talk series, community forum, brainstorming session, and party, Idea Bombing has been spreading across Australia. Based on two sessions in Melbourne, 50 ideas for creative and playful cities emerged. As one might expect from the description, the ideas are across the board, from the applied to the ridiculous, but in their sum, represent a collective effort to innovate how we interact with our neighbours and cities themselves.