Taking back the streets: Barcelona’s new “Superblocks”

The Eixample district of Barcelona is the centre of a new initiative: Superblocks. This project plans to tackle air pollution and high noise levels by creating car-free spaces. Ildefons Cerda is considered one Barcelona’s architecture and urban planning pioneers of the 19th century. He is famous for having designed the Eixample district, an extension of …

Gdansk’s Lower Town district: culture-based growth

The revitalization of the Gdansk’s Lower Town district included investments in infrastructure and social fabric as well as social and cultural activities to tackle the specific problems in this area. All operations were aimed at fighting against social exclusion, with some activities focusing more particularly on children and young people from disadvantaged families, and others directly …

New York Lowline – a new vision for parks

The Lowline is a plan to use innovative solar technology to illuminate an historic trolley terminal on the Lower East Side of New York City. The vision is a stunning underground park, providing a beautiful respite and a cultural attraction in one of the world’s most dense, exciting urban environments. New York’s City Hall has …

Bringing the city back to life

Talented street artist Patrick Commecy, together with his team, creates huge murals of hyper-realistic facades that bring blank and boring city walls to life.   What’s interesting here is that while these realistic yet fake facades trick you at first glance, some of the people painted there were once real. His hyperrealistic painted-on windows, balconies …

Madrid plans to cover all unused space with plants

Madrid has been enduring the effects of climate change in the past years and is determined to find solutions to adapt to the challenges of rising global temperatures. The city is seeing more blisteringly hot days with temperatures up to 40 degrees, more severe droughts and heavier floods. One of the measures Madrid is currently planning …

The Urban Farm project

In 2007, Abattoir S.A. carried out a study on the feasibility of a new food hall. In 2013, the construction started and the new hall was named FOODMET, a Food Hall full of taste, which opened its doors for the public on 29 May 2015. The site offers space for 45 shops, amongst which 17 …

Nature takes back the city in Bucharest

Văcărești Park is one of the many projects started by Ceaușescu in Romania and abandoned after the fall of communism, and it’s becoming a prime example of nature taking back the city. Văcărești was originally meant to be a grand project for a new neighborhood in Bucharest. Built on land reclaimed from swamps, it would …

Biophilic cities lead the way to urban sustainability

The biophilic cities network is part of the global movement towards green cities. By innovative, multi-sensory driven design and green architecture, these cities are forging a symbiotic relationship with nature. “We need density but we also need connections to nature,” said University of Virginia professor Timothy Beatley during an event at the University of the …

Can Chinese megacities lead in urban conservation?

China’s unparalleled speed of urbanization comes at a steep environmental cost. Efforts to mitigate the fallout are resulting in leaps for the urban conservation movement. The scale and speed at which China is urbanizing is impressive. Over the past three decades, China has experienced unprecedented economic and social transformation. Millions have been lifted out of …

Revitalizing public spaces

Urban community living is shaped by revitalizing public spaces. The vision of landscape architects is central to this process. What makes a city worth living in and enhances its communal aspect are its public spaces. With renewed interest in shaping them to fit into the smart city and green city movements, it is landscape architects …