a new dilemma has beset all modern architects, the profession which proclaims sustainability of urban design is a fallacy, and the onus (and wrath) is upon us to prove otherwise that we are what we profess to be a carbon free profession, yet can we proceed diligently to be less damaging and are we not at the epitome of saving the environment and not depleting its resources. that was my last day dream, and im set this year to work on it. each project when it arrives in the office comes with two key design parameters, undeniably one which is the site and its potential, defined by plot ratio, defined nearly always by the owner, or how much one can legally or statutorily be allowed ro build upon the land. the other is its functionality or land use. nearly always also defined by the apparently learned owner. plot ratio, land use, all familiar terms indeed, planning constraints. and i ask, why have the planners in consulting the mayor, not done very much to inform the land office and authority, and vice versa, of the merits of lowering density or avoiding the painful pitfalls of high density development which promotes all form of congestion, relegates poor infrastructure and is a certain cause for massive traffic jams and in return, the excessive consumption of expensive fuels and unimpeded use of depleting natural resources, that of creating and production of useless amenity which in this twentieth century we have seen no need for. do we really need taller buildings, why do we crave for larger shopping malls and why have we created the market and demand for luxury apartments whose costs are escalated to such degree they have no more intrinsic value other than to push ones ego and elevate prestige ? and why are we contend with less open space, what have we done to deserve loss of public realm and why have we not arrested and punished parties in their polluting of rivers and burning of forests to open up developable land. and where is the sense in land reclamation? for want of more development, for want of cheaper capital for infiltration of development structures. where lies the sense in building more and more than what we need. where are the conservationists, and activists to stop useless and mindless land reclamation acts that compromise natural habitats, and to mitigate deforestation and the unnecessary and easily avoidable demolition of ancient monuments and civilisations and their ornate and precious villages. where are the architects who would vow to reincarnate and resurrect these old buildings and help reuse and refurbish these materials and ingest live into so called desolated buildings and outmoded towns. where are the planners to revive cycling, reintroduction of large green lungs in the form of lush parks and cultivation of farms and reintroduction of wildlife and nature parks amidst our new towns. indeed i vote for scaling down, a more pleasurable path surely for the new future generations to embrace value and not be consumed by progress. if we can all pay for less, we could probably get by building less, and if we want less, we will get more in return. low density has higher value, indeed we knew less is more, and thats why it has ti be the new black.
sketch of triangulated cities by huatlim illustrating the pervasive distraction of architecure and design
we did a similar illustration depicting an urban network of super-density city and its congestion. http://i.imgur.com/rjqADNR.jpg
dear izzat high density and traffication and poor resultant infrastructure projects are the nightmare of tomorrow generation of buildings and community and as a whole, an unplanned urban culture inheritance. it is a plight we can avoid today, by accepting to deliver only the most humane developments catering to calculated real demands and reflecting an empathy for planning constraints. simply put this is to respect density outlines and other constraints as setbacks and easements which at onset architects chose to neglect and put aside in lieu of greed and gratification for larger margins forced upon them by astute clients.