Bartlett professor unveils vision of 'Smartcity'

17 February 2010

Smartcities + Eco-warrioers

Could enlightened urban planning and design help us re-imagine our cities as tapestries of green urban space ripe for agricultural development?

That's one of the questions at the heart of a provocative new book by CJ Lim, Professor of Architecture and Cultural Design at the UCL Bartlett School of Architecture, with long-time collaborator Ed Liu.

'Smartcities + Eco-warriors', published by Routledge, will land in bookstores at the end of the month and Professor Lim is giving a UCL Lunch Hour Lecture on the same subject at the Darwin Lecture Theatre on Thursday 25 February.

The book is structured around a series of international case studies, some commissioned by government organisations, others speculative and polemic, and examines Professor Lim’s ongoing research of sustainable city design – a process that began with a proposal to revitalise the community landscape of Chicago’s DuSable Park and matured with Guangming Smartcity, a new town in Southern China for 200,000 inhabitants.

Professor Lim said: "What is a Smartcity? ‘Smartcity’ is a vision, manifesto and provocation. A vision of how the city of the 21st century might appear if we are serious about living sustainably and wish to leave any form of legacy to our descendants. The reintegration of agriculture in urban environments can cultivate new spatial practices and social cohesion in addition to food for our tables.

Instead of a reactive approach to the manifold problems that contemporary life has thrown up, the smartcity examines how we might live from first principles, taking the key component of any city – its people – as its starting point and raison d’être."

Professor Lim will join fellow architects Sir Terry Farrell, Will Alsop and broadcaster Sarah Montague to discuss the green evolution of our cities at Ecobuild conference at Earl's Court, London, on Tuesday 2 March.

For more information about UCL Lunch Hour Lectures follow the link above.

Image: cover of 'Smartcities + Eco-warriors'

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