Journey-through hub, a business-focused concrete jungle that is somehow shabby and does not cross your mind when thinking of lifestyle and the hot spots in Europe – all of these descriptions don’t match the transformation Frankfurt has gone through in recent years. New York Times honoured the city as one of 52 Places to Go in 2014. With Brexit threatening London’s status as Europe’s leading financial centre, continental contestants such as Paris and Amsterdam and national competitors like Hamburg, Munich and Berlin prepare to become attractive for creatives, influencers, young families, investors and business punks. Frankfurt is working hard to become more appealing and to meet the residential housing requirements in the years ahead.
Do you know this feeling that there is so much to explore? My plan – or call it lifetime goal – is to have visited all capital cities of the world. Mission possible as Ugandan woman Jessica Nabongo lately has demonstrated. In today’s globalized world, you get inspired by accessing information along your interests within seconds, by meeting architects, creatives and friends from all over the world and listening to their stories and by having the chance and freedom to cross borders.
My trip to Chile was the outcome of one of these inspiring talks after which we decided to go places and stop by in the Chilean capital. It brought me one step closer to my achievement. 40 hours in Santiago de Chile – this is my review!
The urbanisation inexorably spreads across the world. But how to build people-friendly cities? Building and Dwelling is thought-provoking and animating. This is my favourite book I’ve read in 2018. A real, humane inspiration that should attract anyone interested in the physical circumstances of civilisation.
Providing proper housing for city dwellers, generations of architects and city planners have faced the challenges coming along with rapid urbanisation. So what can we learn about solutions from the past? Florian Urban provides a valuable overview in his book “Tower and Slab – Histories of Global Mass Housing”, released in 2016 and my favourite book from this year. Read here why:
Hungry City raises questions like what do we eat? How do we prepare what ends up on our plates? Where do the ingredients come from, how do they get produced or modified to improve the quality of crops? What has food to do with our social relationships? And why is the ready-made food industry interested in the weather forecast? If these questions are as interesting to you as they have been and are worth to be investigated to me, let me introduce and recommend you one of my favourite books: Hungry City by Carolyn Steel.
You might ask yourself what this topic has to do with my architectural profession? Probably this book would not have passed my radar, but I was lucky it was brought to my attention by my previous Professor from Städel Architecture School. The publishing house describes the book as “original, inspiring and written with infectious enthusiasm and belief. Hungry City illuminates an issue that is fundamental to us all.” Let’s dive into it, here is my book review:
50% of the world’s population live in urban areas. By 2050, this figure is expected to increase to 80%. Life in a megacity is both enchanting and problematic. The megacities are reality and Giga-cities are soon to be. On the same time, we are increasingly facing severe housing deprivation and environmental issues (peak oil, congested cities, plastic pollution). On top, alarming human signs (isolation, loneliness, inequalities and severe health issues) are on the rise due to our way of life. But why?