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Pedestrian Promenade

July 13, 2010

Urbanus Architecture & Design presents a pedestrian promenade in Guangzhou

Recently, Fast Company featured 10 pedestrian friendly projects in the article “How to Design Cities for People Instead of Cars”.  The sole image from Chinese firm, Urbanus Architecture & Design, captured my attention for many reasons.  Although I am a bit underwhelmed by the lack of design articulation, I am inspired by the concept of a pedestrian promenade that responds to the verticality of the metropolis.  It was one of a few projects that moved away from the default park typology.  The promenade becomes an incubator for actor/spectator relationships, economy, and sustainability.  It becomes an urban spectacle not because of “shock-value” but due to it’s functional recreation of the streetscape.  The promenade is a new type of public space which challenges the way architects design facades.  The result could produce innovative architecture.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Nate Wooten permalink
    July 14, 2010 6:17 pm

    I recently saw this firms work exhibited, lots of interesting stuff. I too was not wowed by anything but I was always found something unusual or unique n their projects. I too like this project because it is not a park. There is currently a great deal of uncertainty in what a “green” city looks like. For one I dont think it has to look green. A pedestrian city becomes a more dense, multi-leveled environment. Obviously I think of the “classic” Italian cities such as Verona, but I also think of cities in the middle-east such as Cairo and Jerusalem where you are often on the roof of a building walking into the ground floor of another… kind of takes me back to Catal Huyuk.

    I am much more interested in the hyper-urban urban model than a return to Corb’s “city in a park” or Wright’s “broadacre.” Spectacle is essential to the richness of the city and the lives of its inhabitants, and it can occur at a micro-level such as this pedestrian urban canyon designed by Urbanus.

    • July 25, 2010 3:25 pm

      Nate – is hyper-urban as you say it is really a good thing? Is this not what creates and ultimately is hyper culture stimulated by hyper visualization? This seems antithetical of a meaningful existence …

      [I personally like spectacle but i thought I would just question.]

  2. July 14, 2010 10:57 pm

    Do you have any photos from your travels of these examples in Cairo & Jerusalem? I would be very interested to see them! It is interesting that you brought up Corb because the image made me recall some images from Corb’s city of tomorrow, except I think this one is more on track.

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