Social Space/Public Space

Magazine / Jul - Aug 2016

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.

Table of Contents
MAIN FEATURE
Aspirations Versus Realities of Utopia in India

SHOWCASE
Charles Correa Now

YEAR-END FOCUS: CARBON
A Case Study from China
Reaching Carbon Neutrality in Hong Kong
A Singapore Perspective

HAPPENINGS
Special Focus: Reimagining the Future at IBEW 2021
Indonesia’s Progress Towards Carbon Goals
FuturArc Readership Survey 2021
Milestones
Products

FUTURARC INTERVIEW
Jason F. McLennan

COMMENTARY
Brazil’s Favelas

PROJECTS
Heron Hall
Climate Pledge Arena
ASHRAE World Headquarters
HMTX World Headquarters and Materials Innovation Center
Singapore Zero Energy Cases
Green Shore Residence Phase II
Tianheng Bayview

MAIN FEATURE
How Can We Design Cities to Be More Equitable?

SHOWCASE
Tebet Eco Garden

CITY PROFILE
Hoi An
Kandy

HAPPENINGS
Special Focus: World Cities Summit
In Conversation With Anupama Kundoo
Milestones
Products
FUTURARC INTERVIEW
James Shen

COMMENTARY
Why All Cities Should Prioritise Green Walking

PROJECTS
Shi Ban Qiao Mixed-Use Development
Zhuhai Xiangzhou Green Connector: Jing Shan Trail
Matsubara Civic Library
Porte de Montreuil
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Yasmeen LariGanga Rathnayake
Serina HijjasChing-Hwa Chang
Sonali RastogiMilestones
Maria Warner WongProduct Advertorials

THE FUTURARC INTERVIEW
Hossein Rezai; Lee Chin Wei; Serina Hijjas
A Carbon Neutral Skyscraper: Arthaland Century Pacific Tower
Reaching Energy Targets: Singapore Institute of Technology;
The Joyce Centre for Partnership & Innovation
In Conversation with Jan Glasmeier
Sky GreenSteering Clear of Catastrophe: Solutions from the Built Environment
Integrated Production Facility for Organic IndiaWater Becomes the New Crude and Other Things
SMU ConnexionMilestones
Product Advertorials
MAIN FEATURE
Landscape Architecture Is Our First Line of Defence
The Next Paradigm; Where We Go From Here
The Future of Cities: Sustainability’s Deceptive Dreams
Rethinking Sustainability: Form Follows Systems
Moving Beyond Sustainability
THE FUTURARC INTERVIEW
Anna Heringer
HAPPENINGS
Milestones & Events
Product Advertorials

MAIN FEATURE
Adaptable Spaces
Cities and a Circular Economy After the Virus
Density versus COVID-19: An Indonesian Case Study
Landscape through the Lens of Pandemic
Reclaiming Immaterial Spaces
THE FUTURARC INTERVIEW
Prof Dr Lou Yongqi; Liak Teng Lit; Sameep Padora

HAPPENINGS
Milestones & Events
Product Advertorials

SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT 2020
Information on FuturArc Prize & FuturArc Green Leadership Award
Jury & jurors’ comments
FuturArc Prize 2020 winning entries
FuturArc Green Leadership Award 2020 winning entries

Main Feature
Frontlines of Ecological Practice

The FuturArc Interview
Yu Kongjian (Professor for landscape architecture, Peking University; Founder, Turenscape) and
Lou Yongqi (Dean, Tongji University’s College of Design and Innovation in Shanghai; Founder, TEKTAO and Design Harvest)

Futurarc Showcase
Shanghai Houtan Park & New Jindai Elementary School

Projects

Commentary

  • Anti Net-Zero Energy Building Policy In Malaysia

The FuturArc Interview

Books

  • Positive, Timely and Engaging: A Review of Paul Hawken’s Drawdown

People

FuturArc Interview

Commentary

Happenings

Milestones & Events

Product Advertorials

Projects

The FuturArc Interview

Special Supplement 2017

Projects

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