Wuxi Taihu New City is an approximately 500-hectare master plan that reconnects the city with its waterfront and creates dense, walkable neighborhoods oriented around a central park. The master plan, by SOM in collaboration with Tom Leader Studio, involves an extensive open space network to improve quality of life in a rapidly urbanizing region. Taihu Basin, the region surrounding Wuxi, is home to over 50 million people and is one of the most developed regions of China. The Wuxi Taihu New City master plan represents a new model for compact urban development in China that enhances the existing landscape and creates value through parks and a new public waterfront.
Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates with Thomas Phifer & Partners has won the international design competition to design Waller Creek, a thin, urban riparian ecosystem that meanders for through Austin, Texas from the northern part of the City southward through The University of Texas at Austin campus and along the eastern edge of the downtown area before it meets Lady Bird Lake. The MVVA Team, led by Michael Van Valkenburgh and Thomas Phifer, brings together professionals aiming to, “create an exciting and humane landscape that will be critical to great city life in Austin.”
Last Saturday the “Imagining the Lowline” exhibit opened to the public as part of the “Experiments in Motion” initiative commissioned by Audi of America and in partnership with the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation (GSAPP), nine student visions will be presented along with a 45-foot-long suspended model of Manhattan’s subway grid that contextualizes the Lowline within the city’s huge inventory of underground spaces.
With the 2012 Olympic summer games over in London the flag has been passed onto Rio de Janeiro for 2016 Olympics. AECOM won the International Competition for the Urban Master Plan of the Rio 2016 Olympic Park las August. Once again cities are incorporating planning for a ‘Games Mode’ and a ‘Legacy Mode’ where the area is slowly transformed over the proceeding years into new uses. Previous Olympic Parks have had varying rates of success transformed areas of cities including Sydney and Beijing(although there are still issues surrounding the main stadium), whereas Athens has fallen into disrepair and been hard hit by the financial crisis.