Special Issue "Contemporary Architecture and Urbanism: Transformations, Challenges, and Future Prospects"

A special issue of Urban Science (ISSN 2413-8851).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 December 2018)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Florian Wiedmann

Department of Architecture, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK
Website | E-Mail
Interests: sustainable urbanism; urban transformation; urban design; housing, migrant urbanism; architecture; emerging cities
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Ashraf M. Salama

Department of Architecture, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK
Website | E-Mail
Interests: architectural design; architectural education; design pedagogy; urban identity; housing transformations; urban regeneration; human–environment interactions; cultural factors in architecture and urbanism; social sustainability

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Cities worldwide have been witnessing rapid transformation processes due to continuously changing environmental, economic and social conditions. Architecture has played an important role in defining contemporary urbanism due to its direct impact on place-making, housing dynamics and the ecological performance of our urban environments.

This Special Issue aims to offer a platform for integrating a wide spectrum of examples in contemporary design practice, theory and education in the context of recent urban transformation worldwide. In general, five main types of transformation can be observed: (a) emerging economies, such as knowledge economies and urban manufacturing including informal sectors; (b) demographic changes due to migration; (c) recent lifestyle changes resulted from on-going digitalization; (d) new forms of governance to stimulate urban growth; and (e) climate change and its impact on policies and developments.

Within these transformation processes, both architects and urban designers have been challenged to respond to new urban conditions. Unlike certain eras in the past, recent globalization dynamics and the focus on attracting growth have led to more and more standardized and replaceable forms of urbanism. Thus, both professionals and academics have been engaged in identifying the future role of architecture.

Architecture and contemporary urbanism needs to be discussed from various scientific angles. As a form of space production, architecture can reflect environmental and socio-cultural challenges, as well as economic realities. Beyond other subjects engaged in redefining the built environment, both architecture and urban design can fundamentally change how places are used, perceived, and eventually assessed.

Possible paper topics and issues of exploration include:

  • Advancing the theory in architecture and urbanism, including discourses on space production;
  • Empirical case studies of how architecture has been reflecting and/or changing contemporary urbanism;
  • Methodological approaches of how to study the impact of the built environment on environmental, economic and social realities, and vice versa;
  • Emerging economies and the role of architecture in accommodating new developments;
  • Demographic changes (e. g. migration) and the importance of creating responsive urban environments;
  • Lifestyle tendencies and housing dynamics;
  • The role of architecture in redefining urban identities;
  • The role of contemporary policies and regulations in redefining architecture and urbanism.

Dr. Florian Wiedmann
Prof. Dr. Ashraf M. Salama
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Urban Science is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) is waived for well-prepared manuscripts submitted to this issue. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • architecture
  • cultural identity
  • urbanism
  • urban design
  • urban resilience
  • sustainable cities
  • emerging cities
  • migrant cities

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Unique Projects of a Universal ‘Public Park Making’ Trend Viewed on the Example of Four Global Cities
Urban Sci. 2018, 2(4), 107; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci2040107
Received: 9 October 2018 / Revised: 2 November 2018 / Accepted: 5 November 2018 / Published: 9 November 2018
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Abstract
From a social perspective, successful cities compete with other cities and with each other for residents, resources, and economic power. The important characteristic of that is the number of outdoor social activities (events, festivals, forums, etc.) held in cities that are included in
[...] Read more.
From a social perspective, successful cities compete with other cities and with each other for residents, resources, and economic power. The important characteristic of that is the number of outdoor social activities (events, festivals, forums, etc.) held in cities that are included in several cities’ evaluation indexes. Attempting to analyze the urban environment features that foster a productive ground for social activities, this paper correlates the number of social activities with the recent ‘public park-making’ urban regeneration trend. It considers four unique project case studies in New York, Tokyo, Seoul, and Moscow in the 2016–2018 years, with outstanding and ambitious designs selected to represent the trend. This paper analyzes the global ‘public park making’ trend for city’s urban regeneration with different scales of project interventions viewed through qualitative case studies. This paper puts forward a question of global features of a public park and continues the discussion on keeping a balance between local architecture and the global public park making trend, as well as public facilities and profit, and a role of nature as a universal remedy and tool in reshaping the image of cities. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Social Innovation Systems for Building Resilient Communities
Urban Sci. 2018, 2(1), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci2010013
Received: 16 January 2018 / Revised: 30 January 2018 / Accepted: 31 January 2018 / Published: 1 February 2018
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Abstract
Social innovation—while not a new practice in itself—has re-emerged since the global financial crisis in 2008 as an approach to solving our collective intractable global challenges. Despite its renewed popularity, there is no common definition for the phenomenon, not least in the context
[...] Read more.
Social innovation—while not a new practice in itself—has re-emerged since the global financial crisis in 2008 as an approach to solving our collective intractable global challenges. Despite its renewed popularity, there is no common definition for the phenomenon, not least in the context of its application when planning the built environment or civic infrastructures. This paper seeks to position the practice of social innovation as a means for holistic collaboration between disciplines to develop sustainable social ecologies and systems that provide for resilient communities. It tests a hypothesis that social innovation develops over phases (feedback loops)—that of the network, framework and architecture phase—to design for social, environmental and economic resilience. It looks to theories emerging in other subject areas like sociology and technology, that can inform its application in a planning context, such as Actor-Network and Adaptive Complexity theories. It explores the mechanisms that provide for resilience through action research and engagement with a number of international case studies and scenarios. Lastly, the paper identifies further avenues of research pertaining to networks, frameworks and architectures to develop models of best practice for inclusive, sustainable and iterative community development. Full article
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