Artists of various urban futures are fond of envisioning the easy movement of people and goods as a visually exciting urban benefit. We see crowded, yet free-flowing shoulder-to-shoulder sidewalks, sweeping multi-layered elevations serving every possible land use linked to a landscape capable of moving everything from the produce from a 24/7/365 vertical farm to thousands of colleges students from class to internships across regions.

The visions such as the image (above) presented on the Foster Foundation’s website have begun to meet the technology needed to implement an extraordinary integration of movement with architecture. Three broad questions must be answered to establish a foundation in which these vital parts of urban design successfully unite.

  1. Where would it be best to attempt this expand and integrate free-flowing movement?
  2. What are the political mechanisms for linking the movement of people and goods to the architecture of places?
  3. How does movement infrastructure merge with the architecture of buildings and the layout of cities?

The first question on where this vision might be implemented were examined by the Foster foundation and others using three city typologies – Mexico City with 16,000 residents per square mile as a high-rise, high-density city core, London with 7,000 residents per square mile as a medium-rise, high-density city and the region surrounding the 47 square mile City of San Francisco involving 7 million people in nine counties and 101 municipalities representing the spreading typology of a low-rise, low-density metropolis.  Surrounding counties such as Sonoma have about 4,500 residents per square mile while Marin has a resident population density of around 200 people.

Readers:

When you get back from Madrid and have a chance to attend the following, I will appreciate a brief summary. Date and time: 18th September 2018 12:30 a.m.- 2.15 p.m.

Venue: Fundación Francisco Giner de los Ríos (Paseo del General Martínez Campos 14, 28010, Madrid, Spain) With the participation of Alfredo Brillembourg, Tilly Chang, Norman Foster, Carlo Ratti, and Tim Stonor

 

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