Introductory Discussion

Course video 41 of 52

Much of our discussion to this point in Designing Cities has focused on more developed cities in Europe, North America and Asia. But over the next several decades, the rapidly multiplying cities of Latin America, Africa and South Asia will represent a large fraction of the World’s urbanization. As David Gouverneur describes in his module, much of the urbanization will occur as informal settlements that need to be provided with facilities and services later. These are a different kind of challenge for urban designers, and interesting models are emerging in Latin American Cities. Two modules are devoted to essential techniques for upgrading the quality of such settlements. The first focuses on adjustments to land tenure, to provide security for informal settlements, and to allow a better designed transition from rural to urban development. The second looks at how services and infrastructure can be inserted into ongoing living informal settlements. The approach is that of surgical urban design. Finally we address the issue of what role urban design can play in combating poverty and urban deterioration. We look at examples of upgrading efforts that elevate both the spirit and economic prospects of areas of cities. We see that design is much more than a cosmetic exercise of producing beautiful cities

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