March 01, 2013
"The historic city lost momentum with the heyday of modern zoning, which saw that mixed fabric as no more than an unhealthy mish-mash. Today we have overcome the ravages of the modern dream, the historic city is back with force to show us that superimposing uses and having walkable routes are the key to more sustainable development. Faced with market pressure, many cities are seeing how the price of downtown real estate is rising, pushing out low-income residents; and how some heritage conservation policies are fossilizing the monumental landmarks with the subsequent risk of turning them into theme parks.Yet there are still old neighbourhoods where the city is playing out its future, neighbourhoods which are compact and well-linked and in need of regeneration projects -as opposed to gentrification- aiming to improve accessibility, public spaces and facilities.
We cover various examples of recycling, refilling, replacing or bulking out the traditional urban grid. All of these examples introduce collective housing and some of them public facilities echoing the need to introduce groups of different ages, origins, interests and resources. In any case, none of the projects impose themselves on the urban grid yet all of them pass, in different ways, the test of context".
Extract from the book Density is Home on collective housing that analizes 12 projects built in the core of the city, among others.