Urbanized: the Relationship Between City Design and Citizens

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Urbanized: The Relationship Between City Design and Citizens “There is no doubt whatever about the influence of architecture and structure upon human character and action. We make our buildings and afterwards they make us. They regulate the course of our lives.”
Winston Churchill, addressing the English Architectural Association, 1924 How many times have you walked into a building, or a city’s center and are immediately struck by how the design leads you? The approach to city planning is not solely based on the mind of the architects. It takes a collaboration of city planners, government recommendations, a consideration of urban networks such as subway and bus systems, and an awareness of the public needs before decisions are made. But who decides the needs of the public, and to what extent do these affect the future planning of our cities? Advisory and governing bodies of citizens and elected officials provide input according to the growth of the city and changes in technology. The process is governed through the development and enforcement of a city’s general plan, zoning ordinance, historic preservation ordinance, and building construction codes. The documentary, Urbanized, by Gary Hustwit's examines urban development worldwide. He notes that more people are moving towards the cities from rural areas placing a great deal of strain on city planners as they formulate their strategies for the coming years of development. I was struck by the diversity of needs by the cities mentioned in the documentary. Mumbai has as many people living in slums as all of London and is set to be the largest city in the world in 2050 according to the documentary. Poor people are moving into slums because the city design has no space for them and this lack of space causes slums to become more and more dense. Santiago, Chile recognizes the influx of population to urban areas.
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