We were watching this video in the office and I just had the urge to share this. I believe the message of the video is something noteworthy and something we as designers of the community should put in mind when proposing for a design.
The video, How to Make an Attractive City by The School of Life discusses the 6 pointers on how to build an attractive city and encourages people, builders and governments to take time to analyze and invest on making the city we live in not just beautiful but more in line with what our city stands for.
I firmly believe that each city is geared up for modernism and technological advancement but that doesn’t mean that it should abandon the glories of the past. It should be taken in mind that not all old architecture are to be demolished. Some simply can be restored and reused according to the modern needs. Not all needs to be torn down to make way for the new especially if it showcases something distinct and local.
Looking at the city I’m living in, I can say that there are a lot of beautiful architecture around if you look at them one by one. But look at them all together in one picture, it actually looks chaotic and unorganized (photos to follow). All architects/designers/builders would love to build something unique and grand but sometimes this goes at the expense of the overall look of a community where every structure boasts and tries to outwin the other in terms of scale and design. In the end, it doesn’t get the appreciation it deserves precisely because it looked chopsuey with the rest of its surroundings. Sometimes, we need to design with the existing environment in mind, not with the intention to boast but to make it unique while inline with the current order.
I especially liked how it pointed out that one of the things that make cities become more chaotic and ugly is the lack of political will. I find their sentiments very true, that we have abandoned the designs of the cities to the greedy rich developers. We have given up belief in democracy and has lost the battle between the public good for commercial opportunism. It also pointed out that beautiful cities are only built when the government impose strict and ambitious regulations, and establish clear rules to keep developers in check. This has yet to be done here. I believe that we have regulations regarding construction of architecture but it’s not strictly implemented. Urban planning and zoning are only visible on paper, on books, but it’s clearly not implemented. If you look at it closely, a lot of structures violate the Building Code but nothing is really done to strictly enforce it. At the current state of our (corrupt) government and commercialized developers, it is no surprise that making an attractive city here will be but a dream.