Urban buildings use up precious materials and cause pollution. We need visionary thinking to create more sustainable designs that respond to their environment.
By the middle of this century, our cities are likely to be hotter, experience more dramatic changes in weather, be noisier and have an increasingly tenuous relationship with our natural world.
There’s a problem. Not only are cities responsible for 40% of our total carbon emissions, but they also deal with a limited set of physical conditions, and assume that our weather is going to be constant. Our buildings are designed for dryness and therefore deteriorate in the presence of water. Modern architecture is also designed to just house people, not other life forms, and therefore does not inherently promote biodiversity.
We therefore need to think about architecture very differently. We must search for new models for constructing buildings, as well as searching for improvements to our current industrial processes.