9 Megaprojects to Follow in the New Year

The globe's increasing urbanization has spawned city-building projects on a scale never seen before, and each week seems to bring news of the next instant city. Mackenzie Keast tracks nine such projects that are due to proceed in 2013.
January 2, 2013, 12pm PST | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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"Because of the growing importance of cities, 2013 will play host to a vast number of city-building mega projects that will redefine how we shape the places we live in, and their outcomes will set the stage for how and (why) we build cities for the future," says Keast. Although for each dozen newly announced megaprojects is seems as though only one or two actually proceeds, there's a good chance that many of the nine projects discusses by Keast (some of which are already under construction) will actually get completed in the coming decades.  

One particularly interesting project is Tor Bella Monaca, Italy, a significant test case of New Urbanist ideals, which Keast calls Leon Krier's most ambitious project yet. "Tor Bella Monaca, in the suburbs of Rome, has been designed to replace a social housing complex with a new community housing 40,000 residents," he explains. "Buildings will be around four stories tall, and streets will be free of cars to allow residents and visitors full experience the pedestrian utopia Krier is attempting to create. Civic buildings will frame public squares, and streets will zig-zag organically through dense blocks, true to Krier’s urban ideal."

Also of note is the continued redevelopment that is expected to follow London's hosting of the Summer Olympics. As Keast reports, the English capital "is embarking on an ambitious plan to redevelop their Olympic grounds by capitalize on those Olympic investments and revitalizing its depressed East London location. To achieve this broad goal, a multitude of mini-projects are already underway. The International Quarter, straddling the Stratford Underground and commuter rail station, is a 22 acre redevelopment which will providing four million square ft of commercial and retail office space, 350 residential units, hotels, and childcare and community facilities. The Athletes Village will be transformed into 2,818 new residential unites, 1,379 of which are to be affordable housing. Landprop, south of the Olympic Stadium, is a 30 acre development that will provide 1.3 million square feet of housing, 480,000 square feet of office space and 200,000 square feet of commercial and community uses."

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Published on Tuesday, January 1, 2013 in Urban Times
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