Category Archives: Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat

Magnificent Metal Monday

An aerial view of Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay; Photo Credit: Redshift by Autodesk

The future of urbanization is green! Redshift by Autodesk recently featured an in-depth look into “Six Ways Cities are Turning Urban Cities into Nature Havens.” Some cities are now bringing nature back into their urban cores and finding great benefits to this practice. While this “blog” is typically about “metal,” highlighting trends in urbanization and understanding the impact it will have on the design and construction industry carries some weight.

Redshift highlights six individual articles that dive into the following topics: “Bringing Nature Back to the Urban Core,” “The City Within a Garden,” “Biophilia: Turning Conventional Architecture Inside-Out,””How Do You Bring Wildlife Back to the City?, “Herbal Remedy: Making Space for Nature in Cities,” and “Stanford Researchers Propose a Way to Build Nature Into Cities for Better Mental Health.”

As cited in an article by Next City, Instead of the historically done, “land clearing,” many cities are now focusing on “urban renaturing—an attempt to reinstate balance and sustainability to the city’s relationship with nature.” Cities are doing this by protecting and enhancing ecosystems and biodiversity and providing people with ways to immerse themselves in nature. For example, Singapore started a major tree-planting initiative that turned into a multifaceted, citywide renaturing effort. A tree canopy now covers 50% of the city, including corridors that link parks and natural areas.

A skyway curves through Singapore’s “supertrees,” in the 101-hectare Gardens by the Bay. The giant metal structures house vertical gardens and capture solar power and rainwater; they range from 80 to 160 feet in height. Photo Credit: Next City

An international team of researchers from Stanford University and the University of Washington are working to bring the mental-health benefits of nature back to city dwellers. They are helping city planners, architects, developers, and others anticipate the mental-health impacts of conserving nature and incorporating it in urban areas. The Stanford News reported, “Spending time in nature can improve mental health, but people are increasingly removed from it. A new model proposes a way of bringing those benefits to more people by incorporating nature into urban design.” The article goes on to say, “By 2050, close to two-thirds of the global population will live in cities. For people in urban areas, modern living often involves more time spent indoors, on screens and removed from nature. At the same time, worldwide, an estimated 450 million people are dealing with a mental or neurological disorder, and many of them live in cities.”

Urban rewilding projects are tempting nature back into our cities, from creating city butterfly meadows to building unlikely homes for deadly birds of prey.

For more on this topic and ways to reverse the effects of the “concrete jungle,” continue reading the article HERE.

“Postcard Pittsburgh: An Urban Renewal of an Underrated American City”

As the expression goes, “timing is everything!” Published this week by ArchDaily.com in partnership with Metropolis, they provide us with an in-depth look at Pittsburgh … home of METALCON 2019! In two weeks, thousands of exhibitors and attendees in the metal construction industry will gather in the “Steel City” for the first time in its 29 year show history. Chosen for its illustrious history in the steel and metal making industry, Pittsburgh was also selected as this year’s show location based on many of the items cited in this article. In their latest volume of Imagining the Modern: Architecture and Urbanism of Pittsburgh Renaissanceeditors Chris Grimley, Michael Kubo, and Rami el Samahy explore the reasons behind the Pittsburgh’s revival earning a status of “renaissance“.

Recycling Makes the Heart Grow

A recent article in Metropolis Magazine asks, “When a building comes down, where do its materials go?” Recycling five essential materials—steel, concrete, drywall, glass, flooring—turns up different challenges, but architects can be part of the solution. As the environmental crisis worsens, we must ask: Can we reduce our demand on new resources? The article

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Magnificent Metal Monday

Citic Tower in Beijing; photo courtesy:  The Skyscraper Center

The 528-meter (1,732 ft) Citic Tower in Beijing was the tallest building completed anywhere in the world this year. It has 108 floors above ground and ranks as the fourth-tallest building in China as well as the eighth-tallest worldwide. CITIC Tower will be the flagship building of Beijing’s comprehensively planned central business district core measuring close to 75 acres.  

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