Final Blog Post
When I began this blog for Urban Geography, I was convinced that it was going to be a black and white comparison of Urban Innovations between Europe and America. Each post had me investigating the individual innovations and examples that existed around the world. On the surface it seems like Europe is investing more taking more risks in urban innovations, but this is not necessarily true. I would like to use this last blog post to discuss some take always from the investigation and where I want the future of the city to in regards to creative urban design.
First, one theme that I did not investigate fully was the role of the government in funding these new designs. While each innovate was meant for the city that did not necessarily mean that the city provided funding. For example, in some cities bike share programs were funded by advertising sales and in others private companies funded the systems. I believe that in order for urban designs that lead cities toward carbon neutrality and sustainable practices need to be partially or fully funded by the government. Green roofs are an ideal example of how funding could benefit the entire city by reducing the urban heat island effect and purifying the air. I am not pretending to be an economist or urban planner is the slightest, but in order for the projects I have explored to function they need further research specific to individual cities. Once this research is preformed, cities will understand how a commitment to sustainable urban innovations can provide the city enormous benefits.
Additionally, I believe the future of innovative urban design lies in competition. The shipping container student housing in Amsterdam was the product of a design competition. An abstract urban issue would be explained and the parameters for the solution would be left open. This method would allow people of differing backgrounds the ability to apply their skills and creativity to make a niche solution. And niche solutions are what cities need today to fill in gaps that massive urban programs and infrastructure cannot provide.
We have skeletons of cities and every building and street is an opportunity for an innovation. Just today I heard about drones being used to deliver packages under ten pounds within a city and towns. This idea seems extremely futuristic, but is only 5 years down the road from Amazon! If nothing, this blog and every Google alert I have received this term has helped me realize that the urban design is highly dynamic and complex. No two cities are the same and no urban design is the same. I love seeing cities commit themselves to sustainable practices, but more can always be done. As we travel further into the age of information and technology the solutions that I have explored will most likely be redesigned and simplified. Innovative urban design is the hope that I have for cities to adopt cradle-to-cradle practices, C02 neutrality, and climate proof designs. I hope you enjoy my term blog briefly exploring this new field.
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(urban design competition) http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/13574800220129231