Moshe Safdie: Skyscrapers lead to erosion of urban connectivity

The 76-year-old architect sees skyscrapers and the privatization of public space to be the most problematic parts of modern city design. 

October 06, 2014 |
Photo: Norma Gmez via Wikimedia Commons

During the World Architecture Festival’s closing keynote speech, Canadian-Israeli architect Moshe Safdie criticized today’s urban planning and invited attendees and the larger community to “reflect that our planning tools are no longer adequate, that the way we have planned in the past is no longer effective,” Dezeen reported.

The festival took place in Singapore's Marina Bay Sands, which Safdie designed.

“The profession needs reorientation. I also think that our understanding of what urban design is all about [needs] reorientation,” Safdie added.

The 76-year-old sees skyscrapers and the privatization of public space to be the most problematic parts of modern city design. This privatization of the public realm leads to an erosion of urban connectivity, Dezeen wrote. 

“The new typology is the superblock: a cluster of high-rise buildings of mixed use, sitting on a podium which is a retail mall. That’s the dominant typology of the mixed-use downtown area across Asia, across Latin America and emerging now in every part of the world.”

Dezeen has the full story.

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