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Community: What experts have to say about improving cities with design?

Architectural Digest published a review about ‘The Ideal City’, a book by Space 10 which is IKEA’S research and design lab in Copenhagen. Architects, designers and urban planners contributed to this book by giving their thoughts on how cities of the future should be. Pandemic and climate change are some of the biggest concerns that need to be addressed

Let’s review 5 ways to create ‘Better Cities’ shared by the book:

  1. Making Cities more resourceful: According to experts, the city needs to be resourceful, which means it needs to be economically and ecologically sustainable. “Goals that can be achieved by closing the loop on energy, water, and food production”.

  1. Making Cities more accessible: Accessibility in cities, according to the book, must be achieved by encouraging diversity, inclusion and equality among communities. “That means ensuring that everyone has equal access to urban amenities, health care, education, employment, culture, leisure, sport, nature, and—perhaps most important—affordable housing.”

  1. Sharing Spaces and resources: The book talks about a ‘sharing economy’ that goes far beyond coworking spaces and rideshare “the ideal city shares a lot more than just spaces. It also shares services, skills, finances, transportation, and energy, and it uses models of ownership and access that are geared toward the public good.”

  1. Making cities safer: Cities need to be safer, not only in terms of crime and vulnerability of human rights, but also when it comes to extreme weather events. It is a matter of providing a healthy environment that “fosters physical and mental well-being. It highlights a small project that makes a big impact: the Tokyo Toilet, a series of 17 public restrooms designed by renowned architects in Tokyo’s Shibuya district. By incorporating colored glass that’s transparent when the lavatory is empty and opaque when in use, Pritzker Prize–winning architect Shigeru Ban’s design addresses two basic concerns people have with public toilets: cleanliness and how to know if someone’s inside”.

  1. Making cities more desirable: Experts say that in order to make cities more appealing and fun to live they need to be designed on a human scale, with a focus on people and not cars. “ According to Space10, cities should have public spaces that encourage people to interact, as well as mixed-use neighborhoods in which everything residents need is available within a 15-minute walk”.

At MKThink we are also looking at how cities can adapt to our evolving needs over time and how urban spaces are designed considering factors such as wellbeing and safety.


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