The undoing of the master narratives of modernism should not be taken as an opportunity for an architecture of spectacle and fantasy, but instead one that, utilizing the lessons of the past, speaks to the complexities of the present and the forces that shape us. It is crucial to deconstruct the idea that design can be universal and instead, to think in terms of an architecture that derives inspiration from the specificity of geography, culture and place. — huffingtonpost.com
The region of Ordos made headlines in 2010 for the pre-built metropolis that had everything but people. Now, however, Kangbashi city is rapidly filling up with country people who are being encouraged to live in cities and diversify China’s economy. For ageing farmers who’ve spent their whole life on the land, however, becoming “urbanites” is a tall order. — theguardian.com
By the end of next year one-in-three of the world’s 100m+ skyscrapers will be in China, as its state-orchestrated urbanisation drive prompts a megacity building bonanza [...]
China now has over 140 cities of more than one million people; America has nine — theguardian.com
Hanoi has faced the same population pressures as other Asian cities. But thanks to vague and informal conventions, the state has been able to avoid extreme levels of disservice, even to the most impoverished new urban areas. And the construction of homes themselves has remained at least loosely connected to the regulations of the more formal suburbs. Together these factors have prevented the formation of slums as they are typically defined. But how has this come about? — theguardian.com
The Chinese government issued proposals on Wednesday to break down barriers that a nationwide household registration system has long imposed between rural and urban residents and among regions, reinforcing inequality, breeding discontent and hampering economic growth.
Yet even as officials promoted easier urbanization [...], they said changes to the system [...] must be gradual and must protect big cities like Beijing. — nytimes.com
In the projects shown here, architects and artists reflect on the problems and possibilities of economic and urban growth. How is rapid urbanization happening? Who is benefiting, and who is being displaced or excluded? What can architects and citizens do to exert leverage on processes at once local and global? — Places Journal
Indeed, at heart of our SUPE Platform lies a sincere wish to contribute to a broad conversation on urban political ecology that takes a broader experience of urbanization into account...We wish to participate in building a collaborative and supportive community open for conversation to all those interested in understanding the politics of urban ecologies and environments in a world of cities — Situated Ecologies
“What hides behind the literary aspect of this report are deep reflections on the lessons, errors, approaches and paths of China’s previous urbanizations efforts,” concluded an editorial in the newspaper Southern Metropolis Daily. The state-controlled People’s Daily gushed: “If we want high rises, we even more need the fresh mountain waters. Only by seeing the past can we grasp the future.” — qz.com
As a society slowly urbanizes over time, its psychology and culture change, too... If American culture and psychology grew more individualistic as the country urbanized, wouldn't that transformation be clear in the words from American books (and the concepts that lie behind them)? — The Atlantic Cities
Urban and rural environments impact personal psychology differently, according to research published by UCLA psychologist Patricia Greenfield in Psychological Science. While observational evidence may draw a clear line between current city- and country-mindsets, Greenfield's source material...
Jeffrey Johnson, an architect who runs the China Megacities Lab at Columbia, is among a number of scholars who study China's rapid urbanization. He says local governments are building museums to create a cultural life and competitive identity for their cities.
But China lost a lot of art because of its civil war in the 1940s, as well as the Cultural Revolution, looting and overseas sales. Johnson says many museums are going up faster than curators can fill them with works and audiences. — npr.org
"The cities are often designed based on an architects' ideal understanding of what a modern or a sustainable city should be like, but it is the people living in it that eventually make it modern or sustainable," he says.
"How these former farmers adapt to living in a modern city environment is what we still need to wait and find out." — europe.chinadaily.com.cn
the city-as-a-system approach described earlier can be applied as a methodology to identify how complex problems that may appear unrelated...interact with each other in the context of a given city or threat network. Taking this approach may allow planners to identify emergent patterns within the complex adaptive system of a relevant city, make sense of the system logic, and thus begin to design tailored interventions. — Global Trends 2030
David J. Kilcullen (former Senior Advisor to General David Petraeus in Iraq in 2007 and author of the bestselling books The Accidental Guerrilla and Counterinsurgency) analyzes three megatrends; urbanization, littoralization and connectedness as well as their implications for future conflict.
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