MIPIM 2016 Preview magazine

Page 56




Building for the future “Like trees, cities grow organically, influenced by internal and external factors. These influences are not only rules and policies, but also culture, economy, trends, money and density” Yui Fan Law

Lagos, the world’s fastest-growing city, is masterplanning for new growth The European Green Capital initiative has gathered pace. George Ferguson, mayor of Bristol — European Green Capital 2015 — shared a stage with French president Francois Hollande at the recent United Nations COP21 climate change summit in Paris. Such is the importance now placed on the environment. But is the future all about electronic connectivity, transport and sustainability? For sure, this might help cites run better, but how they feel will be up to architects, planners and the local authorities that are responsible for them. Yui Fan Law is responsible for the Hong Kong office of Bogle Architects. “Cities are formed by buildings and the spaces between them,” he says. “Just like trees, they grow organically, influenced by internal and external factors. These influences are not necessarily only the rules and policies defined by government, but also culture, economy, trends, money and density.” Yui adds: “If the city is a tree, the infrastructure are the branches, buildings are foliage, and architectural gems are fruits and flowers.” He notes that cities have different influences and different meanings: “The key is to balance, take pride and do what’s right.” The Smart Cities initiative in India aims to improve people’s quality of life by enabling localarea development and harnessing technology

— “especially technology that leads to smart outcomes”. The defi nition of smart depends on the individual city. Kruti Desai, associate director at planning consultants Terence O’Rourke, is looking to expand the firm’s work into international projects, particularly through the Smart Cities initiative. “We take socio-economic, cultural and environmental harmony as a guiding tool and, therefore, offer a suitable skill set to design new future-oriented cities,” she says. “The process of city design is facing the increasing challenge of providing high-quality urban life for the growing urban population worldwide.” Desai says she follows the Cambridgeshire Quality Charter for Growth’s four Cs – Community, Connectivity, Character and Climate — when working on urban development projects. “In my experience, these important aspects are key to achieving socially and culturally cohesive design solutions,” she adds. This cultural cohesion is key. At the New Cities Foundation, architect Norman Foster notes that China has a “tremendous sense of civic pride”. Commenting on the speed at which his practice’s Beijing airport project has been delivered in comparison with the endless delays over decisions on London’s airport expansion, he says that development of cities is not all about money, but rather about attitude. So where does this lead us? Back to technology.

Vehicles like Toyota’s I-Road will change the shape of cities

“We take socio-economic, cultural and environmental harmony as a guiding tool” Kruti Desai Social media means that people are quick to share their thoughts, good or bad, about what is going on in their city. Oddly, the majority of public consultation is via public meetings and on websites. This would appear to exclude the young citizens of our future cities from participating in the development of the very places of which they will be a part. CONFERENCES & EVENTS AT MIPIM


Wednesday 16 March – 11.30 - 12.30 Green Room, Innovation Forum, Hall 1


Wednesday 16 March – 16.00-18.00 Ruby Room, Palais 5

LITTLE THINGS MEAN A LOT JOHN Rushton, chairman of placemaking design consultants Small Back Room, believes it is the little things that make the biggest difference to cities. “How people find their way around greatly influences how they feel about their visit,” he says. “We can see immediately when a city is genuinely proud of what it has to offer. Clear, unambiguous signs are a good start, but even that takes skill. When good wayfinding is combined with great branding, things really start to sizzle. Our work with the Crown Estate on the Regent Street area [of London] has really helped bring back a sense of place and identity to this world famous destination.”

preview magazine I February 2016 I www.mipim.com

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