Urban Innovation and Change

The world is urban. Currently over half of the world’s inhabitants live in cities and this is projected to grow to 70% of all people by 2050. Not only are people increasingly gravitating towards cities for economic opportunity, but they are moving to cities because of the unique opportunities they provide in design, culture, and quality of life. Cities are the centers of economic growth and the urban environment is becoming increasingly smarter. Worldwide, cities are facing increasing global challenges in promoting public health, seeking sustainable outcomes, and incorporating resiliency strategies. Architects are uniquely positioned through the use of collaborative design thinking and the ability to work at multiple scales to envisage future development, help solve these challenges, and plan innovative solutions.

City leaders, on a global scale, are entering a new era of unprecedented collaboration and competition: in order to thrive, they need to create great places. Local governments everywhere are working with creative professionals, including architects, urban thinkers, technology experts, and other important players in the private sector to design and construct unique new sustainable buildings and districts that serve as platforms for the future. Exciting policy choices are being pursued, harnessing creativity, lowering economic barriers, and generating productive energy with healthy, inspiring environments. The AIA’s new initiative, Cities as a Lab, seeks to highlight and support these policies. This project aims to demonstrate the power and importance of urban areas and elevate the fundamental idea that cities have become the laboratory for innovative change.

More information: cityminded.org

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