We live in an era of disruption. Think about it. Globalization, the Internet, clean energy, climate change, and Trump. It seems that the world around us is constantly changing. In fact, cities are a place where this change seems to accelerate and it is in today’s design that we can find how architecture is redefining new urban living.
“Today, urban design is more important than ever,” says urban design firm OZ. “It blends functional yet appealing spaces to accommodate a large group in a concentrated area. But it’s much more than that: it combines innovative solutions with the ability to understanding future residents and predict their movements and needs.”
With offices throughout Colorado, the company has gained a reputation for its innovation and collaboration. In fact, many of their design have won awards for sustainability and it is this rethinking of urban living which is helping to remake the spaces we use every day.
More than six billion people are expected to live in cities by the year 2050. That is almost as many people living in cities as live on the planet today. While it might seem that the concrete megacities of New York, Los Angeles, or Mumbai seem to stretch forever, there are green spaces beyond the reach of the cities – in fact, there are green spaces in the cities as well.
This brings us to design as this design is the only way we can meet the needs of the cities of the future. In fact, cities like Singapore are taking the lead in creating spaces that will not only meet the population demands of rampant urbanization but will also help us to lead healthier more satisfying lives.
In this case, the model is one of cooperation between private enterprise and the government and in a city-state of five million people, this is something that is relatively easy to achieve. However, Singapore is not alone. Take a city like Mumbai with nearly 19 million people, the teeming city on India’s west coast is a vibrant, yet somewhat chaotic place.
Even with the hustle and bustle of one of India’s most international cities, leaders of sustainable design have firmly taken hold and this is helping the city to become a hub for leading architects from around the world.
However, the concepts of sustainable design are not confined to the mega cities of Asia. In the U.S., the movement has firmly taken hold with more and more buildings garnering LEED classification.
One such area where the green building revolution is having the biggest impact is energy consumption. Buildings consume close to 30 percent of all the energy produced in the world. That is a massive sum, one which requires radical thinking to meet the demands of tomorrow while helping to make the planet a cleaner place.
Part of the solution is building green – that is to reduce the energy consumed during the construction phase. In addition, the installation of smart building management systems (SMBS) and other internet-enabled tools can help property owners to reduce the lifecycle costs.
However, green design isn’t only about utility, it’s about creating spaces which can continue to remain relevant even as the purpose changes. In doing so the need to constantly reinvent urban spaces is reduced. In fact, this modular way of design can be witnessed in many places today.
What does all this mean? Well, design – specifically architecture – is helping to redefine new urban living and it while we face many challenge today it is also an exciting time to be alive.
Think about it? What will cities be like when cars can drive themselves, when refrigerators can order our groceries, or when we can really work from anywhere? These are challenges for sure and getting to the answers will be some of the greatest minds of our generation. I am happy to be along for the ride.
In the end, what is the future of urban living? Well, six billion people means that most of us will be living in an urban environment and this means that design will have to find ways to overcome the noise, overcrowding, pollution, and endless traffic jams of life in cities today.
However, the seeds are being sown today and green design, energy efficient buildings, and other innovations are pointing to a brighter future.