In our Future Cities series, we sit down with prominent architects from across the Asia Pacific. In this segment, Adrian Fitzgerald of Denton Corker Marshall shares his visions and dreams of a future city.
“The global pandemic has raised questions about the future of city living with its inevitable density and concentration. Working from home, for many in the service sectors, has proven a viable option. This has raised the spectra of remote work, whether it can be living on the coast, the mountains, or in small towns and villages.
In countries, such as Australia, this has led to a surge in demand for homes in these locations. However, this may only be a short-term trend. This is because it goes against the overarching historical trend, for people moving from these locations to the metropolises.
This is due, in part, to economic reasons – where the jobs are being created, and in part for social and qualitative reasons – where there is good access to health, education, recreation and cultural facilities; in short the attractors that make the ‘magic of cities’.
Big cities will continue to thrive, particularly where there is an emphasis in creating walkable neighbourhoods, highly activated public realm and vital urbanity – making cities, such as London, Paris, New York, Sydney and inner Singapore, great cities that are as appealing as ever.
Singapore’s Guoco Midtown, in many respects, represents a dream urban project. It has many of the ingredients that contribute to make great neighbourhoods and great cities. It has a diverse mix of uses (workplace, residential, recreation, cafes, restaurants and bars); a highly active public realm with over 20,000 sq ft of privately owned public space; and extensive greenery and garden space (around 96 percent is green replacement, which refers to the replacement of lost greenery on the ground with vertical green and eco-friendly spaces).
It also features a pedestrian-scaled, low-rise built form that relates to the traditional shophouse neighbourhood, with towers beyond; and the extension of the district’s traditional street space focused on the continuity of community and a strong sense of place.”