Episode 2: The New Urbanism

The migration back to inner cities is creating huge economic benefits, but also major challenges around diversity and marginalization. Increasingly, architects are finding themselves on the front lines of the debate, and are being asked to deploy new methods of engagement and partnership to make urban transformation work for everyone.

Is this a new age of architect as ethical city builder, or a societal issue best left to others to solve? That’s the question By Design posed to two firms at the leading edge of city planning and development.



Inside the Episode

Not content with the traditional lines between private and public sector, Chicago architects Landon Bone Baker (LBB) and Toronto-based planning firm Urban Strategies are driving entirely new models of cooperation based on mutual civic as well as economic benefit.

Drawing upon their training under public housing pioneer Harry Weese, LBB is reshaping inner Chicago by giving local residents a dominant role in how their neighborhoods are updated and new constituencies introduced. Working together to not only create new buildings, but transformative ideas in workplace housing, education, elder care and community services that lift opportunity for all.

Realizing that the diversity of cities is their greatest competitive advantage, Urban Strategies is using their planning role to link government, community and developers in common cause. By replacing the imposition of change with open dialog and development of joint goals, their visionary work is helping cities create a future that strengthens rather than divides their unique cultural fabric.

Watch the episode to explore how their work is making a difference, and the lessons it holds for architects worldwide. Then follow us on social media to go behind the scenes and inside their studios via exclusive bonus content.