Our cities are still defined by urban structures established many centuries ago, sometimes dating back to Roman times, more often shaped in the Renaissance and the Industrial Revolution. However, our world is changing rapidly. Surfaces are always the result of the underlying principles.
Are the solutions of the past still viable today, especially in face of technological advances of post-modern societies such as the internet? I’m interested in how urban environments, architectural and transportation concepts can be made more responsive to the needs of its current inhabitants. How cities can become more useful, sustainable and flexible. But: Growth and prosperity are limited more than ever. Cities will have to adjust to this. How will this affect the city’s surfaces in the future? Start to imagine!
Mario Lombardo asks: What should the surface of a city look like?
Nathan Vincent answers: I have been interested in the way cities are built in layers for years. Ancient civilizations built one on top of another and modern cities sometimes do the same, burying the old to make room for the new. After moving to New York I was surprised to learn that there is an entire underworld below us, beyond just the subway system. Basements that are connected, buildings that have “sunk”, and of course the buildings that are demolished to make room for new shiny buildings.
I love the idea of walking and driving around on the streets of New York, with an entire world beneath us. Manhole covers always seem like a portal to the underworld of New York- something hidden, something mysterious, the connection between the past and the present.