stage six | l i v e a b l e c i t i e s
The world is undergoing the largest wave of urban growth in history. In 2008, for the first time in history, more than half of the world’s population were living in cities. By 2030 this number will swell to almost 5 billion.
In principle, cities offer a more favourable setting for the resolution of social and environmental problems than rural areas. Cities are hubs of cultural activities, international events, employment and learning opportunities, public services and economic exchange. Cities generate jobs and income. With better planning they could offer education, healthcare and other services more efficiently than less densely settled areas. It could be argued that cities are the lever to sustainability in the UK. The challenge for the next few decades is learning how to exploit the possibilities urbanization offers. The future of humanity depends on it.
Despite this, many cities in the UK have bucked this trend. People, life and vitality are the biggest attractions in a city, however, public life experiences hardship in the city especially caused by an uneven balance between people and traffic throughout the city. The cars dominance has worsened conditions offered to pedestrians walking, resting and generally enjoying the life of the city.
My project asks the question: can we create liveable cities by rehabilitating the existing urban fabric? Cities need to attract people. They need a public realm that works, transport that gets them around, and to be affordable enough to live in. The project focuses on historic area of The Green at the heart of Aberdeen’s city centre which will become a testing ground to explore the ideas of ‘liveable cities’. The proposal is to restore the space to useful life by providing new avenues of connectivity and a new urban realm where work, live and entertainment come together. This will establish a lively city centre, while providing employment and enjoyment to the people of Aberdeen and its visitors, all year round.
The architectural proposal will consist of:
- mixed use development
- the creation of a new urban realm
- making connections
- adaptive re-use of existing structures
The project is set to radically change the way the Green is used and provide a backdrop to the life of the city.