The Design Challenge of Cities

With increasing urbanization spreading throughout global cities, Justin McGuirk argues that city design is the biggest challenge acing designers.

"[H]ere's the scary part: most of this growth is happening in places where millions of people already live in slums. Mumbai, Delhi, Karachi, Shanghai, São Paulo, Kinshasa: these are the fastest-growing cities in the world, most of them destined to have populations of more than 20 million by 2025. Between now and then, Lagos will have to make room for 67 new arrivals per hour. If we don't start designing for these new inhabitants now, then the potential for human misery is all the greater.

The cities we love most are slow burners, layered accretions of history – Jerusalem, Venice or Rome, for instance. Yet here we are, in the position of having to manufacture new urban spaces, as though cities were just another type of product."

McGuirk says that making these emerging urban megacities into sustainable places is the task facing architects, planners and policymakers.

Full Story: The urban age: how cities became our greatest design challenge yet

Comments

Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
AICP CTP Storefont Display

The first online AICP* CTP exam prep class

Are you ready to take the AICP* Certified Transportation Planner exam?
Priced at $245 for May exam!
Wood necklace with city map

City Necklaces

These sweet pendants are engraved on a cedar charm with a mini map of selected cities. The perfect gift for friends and family or yourself!
$28.00

City Coasters

Hand-drawn engraved maps of your favorite neighborhoods are divided up across 4 coasters making each one unique.
$36.00