Lockdown leads architects to rethink urban infrastructure

Following the coronavirus lockdowns across the world, global architects are rethinking the shape of cities to promote shorter commute times, local lifestyles and social distancing green spaces. Concepts include maze-like parks and micromarkets.

Architects around the world are rethinking urban spaces following the lockdowns that resulted from the coronavirus pandemic, according to a World Economic Forum blog.

One of the new concepts is the ‘hyperlocal micromarket’ devised by Netherlands architect Harm Timmermans. Because social distancing rules are hard to keep in supermarkets, Timmermans created a 16-square grid design for a tiny marketplace that can be quickly and cheaply assembled in public squares, allowing people to shop locally while also following social distancing guidelines.

The idea of organising urban infrastructure around social distancing principles also underpins a new maze-like design for a public park by Studio Precht in Austria, continues the WEF blog. With well-spaced paths separated by hedges, the park design allows visitors to enjoy the green space while maintaining a safe physical distance.

Promoting shorter commutes is also on the agenda, according to the blog. Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo is aiming for a so-called “15-minute city,” where most people’s daily needs are a short walk, cycle ride or public transport commute away.

“The benefits of a well-planned compact city include shorter commute times, cleaner air, and reduced noise and the consumption of fossil fuels and energy,” Esteban Leon, head of UN-Habitat’s City Resilience Global Programme, told WEF.

Image credit: ben o’bro via Unsplash

You may also like...

Leave a Reply