Urbanscapes aims to foster strong collaboration across different practice areas focused on the challenges of delivering innovative and well-designed urban spaces and places that can serve as catalysts for creating productive, livable, inclusive and vibrant cities. Members share ideas and material related to the following: Public Urban Spaces: the urban spaces within the public realm such as parks, plazas, streets, waterfronts and public buildings; Urban Fabric and Placemaking: the physical environment and their associated economic and social activities; Cityscapes: the city through the broader lens of urban planning, urban design and architecture, which contributes to the overall urban environment and systems; and Streetscapes: the detailed aesthetic and functional design elements of streets and public spaces, including roads, facades, lighting, landscaping, street furniture and pavement etc., that come together to form the character of public spaces.
The pursuit of sustainable cities and communities is crucial for human society. Sustainable cities and communities have been listed as one of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The goal requires by 2030 to ensure access for all to safe and affordable transport systems, housing and basic services as well as inclusive public spaces.
The COVID-19 global pandemic altered every aspect of urban life in recent months. In response, city transportation officials around the world have quickly implemented new street design and management tools to keep essential workers and goods moving, provide safe access to grocery stores and other essential businesses, and ensure that people have safe space for social/physical distancing while getting outside.
In 1992, the Government of the Philippines embarked on a mission to bring decommissioned U.S. military bases into productive use through the Bases Conversion and Development Authority Act.1 Fort Bonifacio, a defunct base on the outskirts of Manila, held great potential due to its proximity to the city and available infrastructure.
In the early 1980s, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) decided to cease all cargo ship operations along Brooklyn’s Piers 1 to 6 due to a decline in use, as cargo was increasingly going to other ports. As a result, the piers became a barren, post-industrial site with little activity. Even so, the area had significant potential for reuse, in part due to its panoramic views of the Manhattan skyline across the East River.
In the late 1980s, Copenhagen wrestled with the challenge of how to use the city’s underperforming assets to build large-scale infrastructure. The city responded to the challenge with an innovative institutional arrangement - a publicly-owned, privately-run corporation- the Copenhagen (CPH) City & Port Development Corporation.