Brave New City

Introduction by Susan S. Szenasy


Cities are growing. This developing story comes with some dramatic statistics: today 82 percent of the U.S. population lives in urban areas, as compared to 67 percent in 1950, and a projected 90 percent for 2050, according to the Center for Sustainable Systems. It’s harder to find credible projections for disabled populations, since these figures tend to be broken down into categories like hearing, eyesight, and mobility challenges. Still, those numbers, along with aging populations, begin to add up to a significant portion of our neighbors who need special help.

We asked seven teams of great design thinkers what they predict a fully accessible city might look like (and better yet, how it would function). What follows are imaginative, practical, funny, high-tech/low-tech, humanistic design solutions that make room for everyone and, in the process, invent new ways of making cities.

Brave New City | Dream Team
Seven visionary teams reimagine the urban experience

Brave New City | Getting Around
By Grimshaw
The transit hub of the future must support a seamless transportation network.

Brave New City | Taking a Walk
By Linearscape
Simple technologies integrated into city streets can make a world of difference.

Brave New City | Finding Your Way
An urban navigation system based on a profoundly simple idea.

Brave New City | Picking Up the Groceries
By West 8
Under the right conditions, an outdoor public market can transform the busy heart of the city.

Brave New City | Sharing Resources
By Interboro Partners
If a neighborhood is to become truly inclusive, then its community center is best decentralized.

Brave New City | Living Together
By John Ronan Architects
A freewheeling talk with the proud 120-year-old matriarch of a multigenerational household, circa 2120.

Brave New City | Working Virtually
A solution for the home office of the future that recreates the look and feel of live encounters.

Watch the boundaries between 2-D drawings and 3-D models disappear with The New City app, Urbasee's augmented reality technology. Just download it from the App Store or Google Play, and then aim your smartphone or tablet at the cover of this issue, or the image above.

Model of Metropolis's Brave New City, by Grimshaw architects

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