Monday, August 25, 2008

The Role Of Architecture In The Life Of Cities

The role of architecture involves the creation of cities as much as the individual buildings that make up those cities. Below are two ostensibly different perspectives on the world's cities that demonstrate the challenges facing efforts to house and feed 6 billion people. The first, from TED involves the creation of mega-communities growing seemingly beyond their capacity to be viable.

Robert Neuwirth on our "shadow cities" Video on
Robert Neuwirth, author of Shadow Cities, finds the world’s squatter sites -- where a billion people now make their homes -- to be thriving centers of ingenuity and innovation. He takes us on a tour.
diigo tags: TED, architecture, cities, community-planning

The second involves Shrinkingcities

which involves established urban cities disappearing.

Whether in the USA, Britain, or Belgium, Finland, Italy, Russia, Kazakhstan, or China: everywhere, cities are shrinking. The dramatic development in eastern Germany since 1989, which has led to more than a million empty apartments and to the abandoning of countless industrial parks and social and cultural facilities, has proven to be no exception, but a general pattern of our civilization.

diigo tags: shrinkingcities, community-planning, architecture, development

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Helping Myanmar (Burma) rebuild, Using Architecture to Rebuild Humanity

A number of the stories that have been held in the draft bin deal with architecture. The concept of architecture, however, applies to more than the design of individual buildings. It also applies to other things such as the web and to entire cities.

Does architecture give us a model as to how we can we use the Web to drive social change? The TED prize is one avenue created to bring about social change. Architecture for Humanity leveraged a 2006 TED Prize to build the Open Architecture Network, linking communities around the globe with architects and designers who can help them solve problems.

In 2006, Cameron Sinclair asked TED to help him build an open-source platform to help architects connect with communities in need of designs. The result was the Open Architecture Network -- a successful website that acts as both a clearinghouse for building plans and a vibrant social network, allows its users to sample, remix and customize design work for their needs. To help Sinclair's wish come true, join the community at the Open Architecture Network's website.
One of the latest examples of their work is their attempt to help Myanmar (Burma) rebuild, with Architecture for Humanity as told by the TED TEDBlog by on 5/6/08.


Following the devastating Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar (Burma), Architecture for Humanity asked for help in rebuilding the country over the long term. They wrote:

While the media will focus its attention on the loss of life, there will be millions displaced in the coming weeks -- and like most natural disasters, there's no plan for long-term sustainable reconstruction. Large aid agencies like Oxfam and Care will be knee-deep in immediate delivery of aid. How will the country respond to the long-term strategic need to rebuild the country?

In the first 6 hours of this drive, AfH raised $4,000 from over 120 donors. Learn more about this appeal >>