(via City as a Political Idea: Amazon.co.uk: Krzysztof Nawratek: Books)
A town, a city, is a political idea – as the title of this book asserts. Of course, it is also a physical, lived experience, and since most readers of this book will be city dwellers they will have had that experience. Many of them will have found their environment troubling and hostile, as did Krzysztof Nawratek, who wrote this book in the hope that his fellow critics will join him in changing this uncomfortable reality.
Though it is a call for change, this is no call to arms. Nawratek knows the perils of violent change. He wants pressure exercised on the financing and the governance of urban space, and a new understanding of what we can demand of it. He proposes that it be done by hacking into the systems which run ‘things’, into the management structure that presents itself as absolute. The acronymic slogan of this structure, ‘TINA’, suggests that whatever improvements we might have in mind, There Is No Alternative.
Taking agriculture as a central theme, the design utilises existing elements such as irrigation channels, green spaces and roads, while the arrangement of buildings within the masterplan follows the natural topology of the site, incorporating green roofs to further harmonise with the landscape.
Incheon Free Economic Zone Expansion Masterplan
Incheon, South Korea
Foster + Partners
But in this age of ecological crisis, and in a city that has made sustainability one of its hallmarks and has worked hard to green the Loop, the plastic palms seem like the wrong message for the GSA to send. Real deciduous trees, after all, provide shade in the hot summer and loose their leaves in the fall when sun is welcome.
Plastic Plants @ Chicago’s Quincy Court
Rios Clementi Hale
(via A/N Blog)