How are architects around the world preparing for the global trend toward urbanism? Find out what it will take to plan the infrastructure needed for the urban citizens of tomorrow.
Raveevarn Choksombatchai is an Associate Professor of Architecture at UC Berkeley and has just returned from an urbanism summer workshop in Bangkok. As a former partner of Loom, which she co-founded with Ralph Nelson in 1993, Raveevarn Choksombatchai co-authored a broad range of projects merging art, architecture, and environmental design. She continues to explore more formal ideas of architecture, landscape, and space with projects mostly in urban contexts. She began her design education in Bangkok, Thailand, at Chulalongkorn University, and continued with graduate studies in both architecture and landscape architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.
Swiss architect Christoph Gantenbein is an Assistant Professor at ETH Zurich and co-founder of Christ & Gantenbein, a firm working on a wide range of projects from private assignments and renovations of historic buildings to houses, office, bridges, and even urban environments. Gantenbein was a guest lecturer between 2004 and 2010 at the Accademia di Architettura Mendrisio in Switzerland and at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design. His firm has won projects and competitions including an invitation to the Ordos 100-Project by Herzog & de Meuron and Ai Weiwei and to the international competition for an extension to Kunstmuseum Basel.
Benjamin Grant is a city planner, urban designer, curator, and lecturer in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is currently heading SPUR's interagency Master Plan for Ocean Beach, San Francisco. He has developed exhibitions on a range of urban issues, including "Agents of Change" a historical survey of San Francisco urbanism for the opening of the SPUR Urban Center in 2009. Since 2006, he has been a lecturer and studio instructor in the graduate program in Urban and Regional Planning at San Jose State University and has also taught at the San Francisco Art Institute. He received national recognition in the competition to redesign New York City's High Line. Grant co-founded CITY|SPACE, a nonprofit cultural institution exploring cities and urbanism through fine art, film, design, and cultural landscape research.
Louise Low is a director of Ideas for Contemporary Environments (ICE) in Hong Kong. She has over 10 years of professional experience in research and media, architecture, and urban planning, and is one of the founders of RAD working closely with OMA Rotterdam and Rem Koolhaas. She was one of the key designers of the W-Hotel in Seoul as well as the Public Zone in SK Telecom Headquarter in Seoul. Her expertise lies in urban planning, small to large-scale masterplanning, small to large-scale commercial development, hotels, office towers, small to large-scale residential development, and villa and apartment design.
Raveevarn Choksombatchai, associate professor of architecture at UC Berkeley, discusses how the city of Bangkok has adapted to allow for cars and pedestrians to coexist. She highlights the example of mixed-use buildings that are pedestrian markets by day, and parking garages by night.
Programs pursued as a means of improving the urban environment and achieving certain social and economic objectives. Evidence of urban planning can be found in the ruins of ancient cities, including orderly street systems and conduits for water and sewage. During the Renaissance, European city areas were consciously planned to achieve circulation of the populace and provide fortification against invasion. Such concepts were exported to the New World, where William Penn, in founding the city of Philadelphia, developed the standard gridiron planthe laying out of streets and plots of land adaptable to rapid change in land use. Modern urban planning and redevelopment arose in response to the disorder and squalor of the slums created by the Industrial Revolution. The urban planner best known for his transformation of Paris was Georges-Eugène Haussmann. City planners imposed regulatory laws establishing standards for housing, sanitation, water supply, sewage, and public health conditions, and introduced parks and playgrounds into congested city neighbourhoods. In the 20th century, zoningthe regulation of building activity according to use and locationcame to be a key tool for city planners. See alsoPierre-Charles L'Enfant.