This week’s round-up of urban stories we enjoyed elsewhere.
- Architecture is still dominated by men – in fact, in the UK, the proportion of women in the industry is actually falling. This piece at the Guardian asks: “What would our cities look like if they had been designed by women?” The author finds, unsurprisingly, that the answer goes far beyond “more women’s toilets”:
In a classic 1980 essay called What Would a Non-sexist City Be Like?, the American urbanist Dolores Hayden called for centres that would “transcend traditional definitions of home, neighbourhood, city and workplace”.
Since then, others have taken up the argument that a woman-friendly city would be more porous, the divisions between home and work less rigid, so that domestic work is acknowledged as a productive activity, and carers (of children, disabled relatives and older people) are less excluded from economic life.
- This piece from Fast Company magazine reimagines cities, too. It collects together suggestions on how to redesign the world’s fastest-growing and most unequal cities. One proposal, put forward by architects from Columbia University, would add eight new artificial islands to Hong Kong to deal with the city-state’s expanding population. From the piece:
Hong Kong is one of the most crowded cities in the world—with notoriously tiny apartments—but may soon have to find space for millions of new immigrants from mainland China. In a project called “Hong Kong Is Land,” designers propose adding eight new artificial islands to the territory. Each island, from the “Island of Resources” to the “Island of Surplus,” would represent a local value.