Gentrification is a major problem in many neighbourhoods in cities around the world. Groups of residents in Bristol, UK, have been organising to reclaim some of the land and properties vital to their community.
Trees are one of those things that seem to be staring us right in the face and which we only now “rediscover” through renewed walks in parks during the pandemic, and the need to face the climate crisis, where trees have shown the ability “to reduce city temperatures, absorb carbon dioxide and soak up excess rainfall.”
At first glance, it might still be unintuitive for some but the evidence is mounting that living in cities is actually more sustainable than in the countryside. Hélène Chartier goes further, arguing that sustainable living is “not viable outside cities.” Interviewed after the release of the most recent IPCC report, she says that “cities are the only sustainable way to house Earth’s growing population–but the importance of protecting them from climate risks has been totally underrated.”
This article actually reads quite a bit like a manifesto so it’s hard and perhaps a disservice to the author to try summarizing it, but let’s highlight a few points. In Reinventing our cities as constructed ecosystems, Ken Yeang, a Malaysian architect who describes himself as “ecologist first, architect second,” considers the various systems human society is built on, especially the natural ones, and what we need to change in facing the climate crisis.
Very short post since there isn’t that much to say yet about the project and I haven’t looked into potential pushback (this replaces the infamous Sidewalk labs plan which looked good but was very problematic). But for now this new version of Toronto’s Quayside project, which includes a design for a mass-timber building covered in plants, certainly looks fantastic. So have a look at the vision, perhaps we’ll revisit later.