FuturArc Interview: Sigit Kusumawijaya; Architect and Urban Designer read more.
The Mumbai Esplanade Project read more.
Floating Fields read more.
Commentary
The Pinch, The Sweep and The Warp read more.

 


CURRENT ISSUE - Jul-Aug 2016

Table of Contents
 
 
 
Social Space/Public Space

Asian cities face a crisis of public space. This is not just the neglect or fragmentation of public space, it is also a loss of meaning that is critical to the making of social space.

Part of the ongoing challenge is that public space is undervalued in city planning, partly that it is misunderstood. The formal articulation of elements—squares, plazas, promenades and parks—are important, yes, but public space in Asia has another scale. The challenge then is to recognise the interstitial and embedded nature of shared space that is the DNA of cities. Design becomes a question of how we preserve and activate these spaces in a changing urban context.

Public space is important in an objective sense because cities are densifying. Densification leads to congestion and smaller personal living spaces. The space outside then becomes a kind of communal living room. In Asian cities, public space is a functional necessity, same as roads or utility grids. In the subjective sense, these spaces are an opportunity for people to connect with one another; social space is the cornerstone of urban well-being. This requires a more nuanced approach to questions on what kind of space, for who, as well as how it corresponds with lifestyles, past and present.

In this issue, Joshua Comaroff unpacks what we mean by public space, how public becomes social, with Singapore as case study. There are also several projects from Bandung, a city that continues to innovate interstitially. The Mumbai Esplanade is at the other end of the scale, large enough to be called socio-spatial infrastructure.

There are other emerging typologies of space that seek meaning through community farming. Nest We Grow is a prototype in Japan where neighbours come together to farm and eat. Floating Fields in Shenzhen is an abandoned factory that has been converted into an ecosystem of farming activities and a public park. The FuturArc Interview is with Sigit Kusumawijaya, one of the cofounders of Indonesia Berkebun, a movement that seeks to convert brownfield land into farms.

Predictably, this is a small sampling of what is out there, constrained by print deadlines. If you know of a public or social space that speaks to the question of how your city is evolving, drop us a note. We would be happy to consider it here on the website.

 


WEB EXCLUSIVE
 

November-December 2015 News Roundup

Renewable Energy Corporation (REC) has made a pioneering power purchase agreement (PPA) in which it will install its TwinPeak solar panels across Asia Pacific Breweries Singapore’s (APBS) three rooftops. read more

 

September-October 2015 News Roundup

The World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) has conferred its prestigious Chairman’s Award 2015 to Dr John Keung, chief executive officer of the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) Singapore, to honour his energy and passion in advancing the global sustainability movement. read more

 

August 2015 News Roundup

CRG Architects have made a proposal, which could be the beginning of a solution to Mumbai's chronic housing shortage, with two slightly twisting cylinder-shaped towers made of stacked shipping containers. read more

 

July 2015 News Roundup

The 2015 winner of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat’s Urban Habitat Award is the PARKROYAL on Pickering in Singapore, remarkable for its extensive greenery throughout, and its porous, pedestrian-oriented integration with the ground plane. read more

<More Web Exclusive Content>

 
 

 


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