Megacities And The Future Of Architecture

An exhibition challenges stereotypes and explores the role architects will play in shaping the megacities of tomorrow.

"...the core of the show is a sprawling, ambitious look at the evolution of cities â€" Barcelona, Mumbai, Cairo, Caracas â€" in an era when the global population is pouring into urban areas at a fantastic rate. Mr. Burdett packs his exhibition with eye-popping statistics, painting a picture of emerging megacities in which poverty is as stunning a feature as density or scale."

"Among the results are towering white models resembling stalagmites that chart the density patterns of various cities. Simple and direct, the models challenge some cherished stereotypes. Los Angeles, a city mocked for its suburban sprawl, turns out to have roughly the same density as London. Barcelona, hailed as a miracle of innovative urban planning, is nearly as dense as Shanghai, which for years was derided for its congestion."

"As the public takes a greater interest in architecture, the profession has regained some of its confidence. The booming growth of cities like Beijing and Dubai has given them relatively free rein to pursue the kind of crazy large-scale urban experiments that were impossible only a decade ago."

"Are the new urban megaprojects, for instance, viable alternatives to standard gated communities or are they hyper-modern islands that serve the same privileged class?"

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