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Mobility and the City Lecture Series

“Megacentralities: Re-envisioning Mexico City” with Sol Camacho

Thursday May 15, 6:00 pm
BSA Space (290 Congress St, Boston)

Iconic for its endless horizon of low-rise constructions, Mexico City has for years grown without the benefits of integrated planning, heavily affecting the quality of life of its inhabitants. One possibility for intervention is in the city’s roughly 45 transportation hubs, where millions of people circulate daily and where all kinds of social and economic dynamics take place. These hubs might become a new backbone for urban growth and sustainably absorb much-needed developments for a city that needs to alter its mindset about growth, programming, zoning, and public policy.

Sol Camacho is principal at Open Office.

“Low-Cost/Low-Tech: Emerging Networks of International Aviation in Southeast Asia” with Max Hirsh

Monday, April 7, 6:00 pm

BSA Space (290 Congress St. Boston)

Across Southeast Asia, air traffic is growing at an extraordinary rate. That increase can largely be attributed to the emergence of low-cost forms of aviation that serve a vastly enlarged clientele of air travelers—budget tourists, migrant workers, retirees, students, and those on the threshold of the middle class. Through fieldwork conducted in eight Southeast Asian countries, “Low-Cost/Low-Tech” investigates how the region’s airports and the cities that they serve are being redesigned to meet the needs of a rapidly expanding flying public.

Max Hirsh is a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Hong Kong. He is currently working on a book that investigates the expansion of international air traffic since 1970 and its implications for the planning and design of Asian cities. Collaborating with Max Hirsh is Anna Gasco an architect & urban designer at the ETH Future Cities Laboratory in Singapore. She is currently completing her PhD dissertation on airports territorial organisation and effects on urbanisation in Southeast Asian Cities.

Cities Without Ground

Friday, January 24, 5:30 pm
BSA Space

Cities Without Ground examines the three-dimensional pedestrian circulation networks of Hong Kong and illustrates the unique systems and cultures that make up the city’s nontraditional public space.

Hong Kong’s footbridges, underpasses, interconnected shopping malls, transit interchanges, public parks, and private lobbies connect and convey people throughout the city in innovative ways that go well beyond the stable physical ground on which the public lives of most cities are played out.

Though built piecemeal, owned by different public and private stakeholders, and adjacent to different programs and uses, these networks provide a fundamental public service in the form of a continuous space that offers an astonishing array of diverse, colorful environments.

Cities Collective is Adam Frampton, Cyrus Penarroyo, Jonathan D. Solomon, and Clara Wong. Their book, Cities Without Ground, was published by ORO Editions in 2012.

“Visualizing the Invisible Dimensions of Mobility” with Carlo Ratti

Wednesday, March 5, 6:00 pm
BSA Space (290 Congress St. Boston)

The way we describe and understand cities is being radically transformed—alongside the tools we use to design them and the impact on their physical structure. Studying these changes from a critical point of view and anticipating them is the goal of the SENSEable City Laboratory, a new research initiative at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Every second, humanity is creating an explosion of “big data.” Every two days, we create more data than all humans throughout history. Most of this wealth of data is static. But as we map this shimmering digital layer of information back on to the city, its urban spaces begin to speak back to us. A complex mesh of systems and people weave tightly to form a dynamic, sentient space, bringing to light the invisible dimensions of mobility.

Carlo Ratti is the director of the MIT SENSEable City Laboratory.

“Radical Railbanking and Scenarios for Detroit” with McLain Clutter

Tuesday, March 18, 6:00 pm
BSA Space (290 Congress St. Boston)

Detroit’s railways create abrupt demographic divisions within the city. “Radical Railbanking and Scenarios for Detroit” manipulates the complex spatial and statistical divisions that have built up along Detroit’s railways in search of imaginative urban possibilities.

McLain Clutter is an architect, a writer, and an assistant professor at the University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning.