In their chat, they talk about some of Caspersen’s favourite projects in the book, grouped under “bottom up by engaged citizens who drove the change they wanted to see in their urban environment and did not wait for architects, city planners, developers or politicians to make it happen for them,” and then projects that “highlight that positive long lasting change doesn’t require major budgets that can only happen in privileged welfare states.” The last featured project is by Yasmeen Lari, who developed low carbon and low cost structures that can withstand earthquakes and floods, with impressive results.
Supplying the technical knowledge and training for people to take charge of their lives and build structures that are resilient to and prepared for frequent extreme weather. So far, over 45,000 green shelters have been constructed through Lari’s outreach, making her work the world’s largest zero carbon shelter program.
It’s worth noting that, like most of the better initiatives, they realize that the projects in the book aren’t global solutions, but rather local examples to inspire others, solutions that can draw from each other, but need to be locally thought-up and created. Global ideas, local production.
Cities are complex ecosystems that need to be approached through a case-by-case basis. There is no one size fits all solution to cities, nor is there one toolbox/toolkit that can solve the multitude of challenges that cities face today. […]
The book is a holistic example of projects from around the world that can inspire architects, designers, city-makers, placemakers, communities, and the like towards better urban futures — through a shared idealism — not a shared form. […]
As with many forward looking articles and interviews of recent months, they then tackle some of the lessons people might have learned from the pandemic and how they might apply to the evolution of our cities.
We need to apply our learnings from the pandemic to our other pressing challenges: protecting and preserving the natural environment, addressing deeply entrenched inequalities, and creating open, desirable, and secure places for all to live. […]
In our view, covid-19 hasn’t resulted in new needs in city planning, but accelerated needs already existing — from making cities more pedestrian and bike friendly, better public spaces to ensure work, healthcare, education, and other activities that can be reached within a 15-minute walk of the home. [Emphasis mine.]