The Urbanist

Transformative urbanism

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21 January 2016

Episode 223

30 minutes

The city is always evolving but change is not always synonymous with transformation. This week we explore how the urban environment has gradually altered, most of the time thanks to us – ordinary citizens. We discuss the concept of participatory placemaking, head to Toronto for a chat about designing urban transformation and stop by New York to look at some of the changes the city has gone through. Plus: we meet the real-estate firm investing in “transformational developments” in Los Angeles as it tries to save architectural relics from the 1920s.

21 January 2016

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Chapter 1

7 minutes


Photo: DcnH

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Chapter 1

“Recoded City” and participatory placemaking

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We start by unpacking some of this clunky terminology and take a look at how we can all change the built environment. This subject is at the heart of a newly released book called “Recoded City: Co-creating Urban futures” by Lucy Bullivant and Thomas Ermacora.

7 minutes

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Chapter 2

6 minutes


Photo: Andrés Nieto Porras

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Chapter 2

Creative change in New York

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Talk to most New Yorkers about how their urban environment has transformed over the past few years and most will complain about rising rent prices, a lack of green space and a drive for profit. But the city is also changing in other ways, as we discover when we sit down with designer and creative director Willy Wong.

6 minutes

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Chapter 3

7 minutes

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Chapter 3

Designing urban transformation

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We discuss the central tenet of transformative urbanism: that the transformation of a built environment is most effective when it comes from the ground up and – most importantly – when it is lead by the people who live in it.

7 minutes

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Chapter 4

5 minutes

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Chapter 4

Transformational developments in Los Angeles

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Paying homage to the history of a city is no easy task, particularly when iconic buildings are in need of restoration. We sit down with the president of MWest Holdings Karl Slovin, a real-estate investment and management firm that has decided to make this one of its top priorities in Los Angeles.

5 minutes

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