Underpinning infrastructure with environmental and economic sustainability

Reducing the impact on climate change cannot be achieved by designing efficient buildings alone. Decarbonised infrastructure, the urban fabric and designing streets to environmentally self-protect and be efficient are equally important parts of the city carbon footprint equation.

At the World Architecture Festival this week, Foster + Partners will be sharing its knowledge on how infrastructure development can be underpinned by environmental and economic sustainability by promoting densification and strategic planning to create a diverse and vibrant city.

In order to get to the best outcome, we need to share these great ideas and solutions and draw on the work of organisations across the world that are working hard to effect change. One such organisation is Access Cities, a global alliance for sustainable urban development which has identified four cities that can benefit from urban development: Munich, Denmark, Singapore and New York. As part of this effort, there are some great initiatives underway and, this month, the City of Munich set up a range of Living Labs, where smart city solutions are being tested.

For our part, we responded to Access Cities’ ‘Solving city challenges of Copenhagen Open Innovation Call’, which sought out new and innovative ideas, technologies and approaches to reduce the negative impacts of urban air pollution and the heat island effect.  Our solution was based on a healthy cities assessment approach coupled with the application of urban acupuncture developed by world renowned Danish architect 3XN/GXN. As a finalist, we are now talking to the City of Copenhagen to apply our innovative design process.

What we need is a renewed focus on the importance of infrastructure and the urban fabric, working in true collaboration with the world’s best masterplanners to bring forward new schemes that are comfortable, walkable, transit orientated and pollution-free. Success happens when energy and environmental knowledge come together seamlessly with architecture.

In the spirit of sharing, do get in touch if you’re keen to continue the conversation.

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