Rise of the megacities

Sixty-two years ago New York and Tokyo were the world’s only megacities with over 10 million residents. Now there are 23, and the UN predicts (pdf!) a total of 37 by 2025. All but eight of these cities will be located in the developing world – and the quality of life for millions will be determined by the quality of their cities. The guardian made a quite impressive interactive map showing the 100 most populous cities as of 2012 according to the UN (megacities are shown with a black border), in order to explore the latest estimates and forecasts on… Read More

Strand East, London

Ikea subsidiary LandProp is planning to redevelop 26 hectares of industrial wasteland in Stratford, just a stone’s throw from the 2012 Olympic site. The neighborhood dubbed “Strand East” is something of a flagship project for IKEA’s property division and should be a place “where mews-style townhouses sit comfortably alongside creative commercial space. Where beautiful public courtyards open up to piazzas. And waterways weave their way around hotels, restaurants, parks, water taxi piers and cycle paths.” This mixed-use neighborhood is built with the same middle-class target group as the familiar IKEA stores and LandPROP will be concerned with creating a strong… Read More

New Towns | New Territories

On the 27th of September, the International New Town Institute organizes the Conference New Towns | New Territories – New Players in Urban Planning. The conference explores the latest innovations in global urbanization, privatization and new organizational models of urban development as well as the impact and challenges for professional practice. Global urbanization is moving at a faster pace than ever before and it is showing a fundamental shift in its structure and organization. Hundreds of economic, eco and satellite cities are being developed by private companies. Not only in Asia, but also in Europe. The growing privatization has led… Read More

Corporatiedirecteuren en geld, veel geld….

Gister avond was Wouter Vanstiphout te zien in ons favoriete tv programma ‘de slag om Nederland’. In dit programma onderzoeken Roland Duong, Teun van de Keuken en Andrea van Pol of de Nederlandse burger nog iets te zeggen heeft over zijn land. Deze eerste aflevering van het nieuwe seizoen had het thema ‘De Corporatiedirecteur’ en ging over het cowboygedrag van corporatiedirecteuren, hun ambities en hun salarissen. Tientallen woningbouwcorporaties dreigen om te vallen omdat hun directeuren, vaak met de beste bedoelingen, veel te veel risico’s namen. Hoe konden ze zo massaal uit de bocht vliegen? Bekijk de aflevering hierboven.

Euro Vegas

You know what they say ‘What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas’. Well, not if it’s up to Sheldon Adelson, CEO of Las Vegas Sands. The 78-year-old billionaire and casino tycoon is planning to export a bit of Vegas to Spain. Actually, quite a bit. The complete  project -dubbed Euro Vegas- should finally contain 12 hotels, 6 casinos, 9 theaters and 3 golf courses. Total estimated costs: 21 Billion dollars. The construction is planned in three phases, spread over 9 years. Each of the phases would see 4 resorts and 2 casinos being built, with each resort costing between €1.9 and… Read More

Vrijdagmiddagkaffee: Wouter Vanstiphout en Mark Ritsema

Deze vrijdag zal Wouter Vanstiphout optreden als gastprogrammeur voor het ‘vrijdagmiddagkaffee‘, dat iedere week in het Schieblock wordt gehouden. Het thema voor komende vrijdag is (hoe kan het ook anders) Design as Politics en zal ingaan op de dreigende teloorgang van Rotterdam en al het moois en nieuws dat uit een stad in crisis kan voortkomen. Onder het genot van een drankje zal worden terug gekeken op het Rotterdam van de jaren 80, waarin de toenmalige crisis een incubator bleek te zijn voor een unieke stadscultuur. Dit zal geplaatst worden in het perspectief van de (nabije)toekomst waarin de economie stil… Read More

Guerrilla gardeners attack Irish ghost estates

Only a few years ago, the Irish were constructing huge amounts of beautiful houses attracting potential residents with various bathrooms, granite-topped built-in kitchens and a few acres of land to towns nobody had even thought of commuting from before – The inhabitants never came. When the Real estate bubble burst in 2008, and the Celtic Tiger run away, Ireland was one of the most affected countries. The result: around 2,800 ‘ghost estates’, housing developments that were never occupied or in some cases even completed. Great to make cool pictures or organize a dance event, but horrible -and even dangerous– to… Read More

The Special Economic Block

Now Online! Wouter Vanstiphout’s presentation on the Special Economic Block  during the Droog Design ‘WIJkonomie’ conference in the Netherlands Architecture Institute. You can read the text on our discourse page, but a video of the presentation by Wouter and the other speakers can be seen here. Also cool: the final discussion about self-hate and the criminalization of the poor. Sit back and watch!

Column by Wouter Vanstiphout on BD online

Check it out! Wouter Vanstiphout’s new column for Building Design ‘Just give them a glimpse of something’. He questions at what point architects stop responding to context by addressing the avant-garde underground identity of Diller Scofidio & Renfro. The office – famous for their high line park- presented their project Open House for Levittown (NYC) at a symposium on neighbourhood economy organised by Droog Design in Rotterdam. You’ll need a username to read it, just register, it’s for free!

Avoid Ghetto App

There is no such thing as bad publicity, right? Well Microsoft will probably disagree. Their recently registered patent for a new GPS feature was nicknamed the ‘avoid ghetto app’. This new software for smartphones and other portable GPS devices is intentionally meant to help travelers avoiding bad weather, tough terrain and unsafe neighborhoods. It uses a combination of information from maps, weather reports, crime statistics and demographics to determine the most effective route to their final destination. Sounds harmless and even useful, but Steve Ballmer (Here in Nova Collegetour) and friends are now being accused of potential racism and reinforcing stereotypical… Read More