A Better World by Design 2011 featured Urban Fabric at their Saturday Evening Gala on October 1, 2011 at the Solarium at Hope Artiste Village. Conference participants had the opportunity to browse the Urban Fabric exhibit, and learned about “the history of the space and the revitalization of Providence and Pawtucket.” The event centered around “the chronology of the American City — its industrialization and rise, decay and decline, and recent revitalization.”

A Better World by Design is a completely student-organized conference that places innovation and impact over individual success. Each year, Better World brings a global community of innovators to Providence, Rhode Island to reach across disciplines and unite under a common goal: reshaping our built environment. Better World is an immersive experience that deepens our understanding of the power of design, technology, and enterprise to engage our communities and sustain our environment.

 

10.01.2011, PROVIDENCE
A Better World by Design

11.01.2011, BRIDGEPORT
Landscape Architecture Magazine feature, UF + Bridgeport Parks Master Plan

11.02.2011, SAN DIEGO
ASLA Conference Panel

11.03.2011, SAN FRANCISCO
URBAN FABRIC West (exhibition continues through December 22)

01.09.2012, LINCOLN
UNL Studio

03.17.2012, RALEIGH
NCState Urban Design Conference + book launch

 

The August 10 episode of Urban Design Podcast is an interview with Gina Ford, Alexis Canter, and Eamonn Hutton discussing Urban Fabric’s origins, process, and conclusions. Listen to the podcast here.

As discussed in the interview, Urban Fabric arose out of a desire to step back from projects and look more holistically at potential strategies. Because the design practice continues to explore both shrinking and mega cities, the Urban Fabric team focused on the untapped potential of researching the middle city.

The interview touches on the broad spectrum of strategies examined by Urban Fabric. While cities can glean their own unique approaches through synthesis of these strategies, the research team recognized broad trends. Unique partnerships create effective collaboration, and thinking regionally or geographically can uncover answers not found when constrained to a single city.

Urban Fabric has intangibly changed the way the team views their projects. For example, Gina and Eamonn are currently working on a project analyzing the Bridgeport (Conn.) park system. A former textile city, Bridgeport faces many of the same economic challenges as the project’s prototypical cities. The strategies for Bridgeport find their roots in Urban Fabric: strategic partnerships and a web of connectivity to combat vacancy, flooding, and overscaled infrastructure. The team also learned new tools. Efforts in public process are even more engaging, and the broadened knowledge base provides more tailored solutions. The project has built relationships with academics and policy makers, allowing everyone involved to understand different perspectives of the process.

Please listen to the interview to learn more about Urban Fabric and its next steps.

Urban Design Podcast is about the physical environment of cities. We talk to professionals who are involved in shaping cities around the world. A new 30 minute podcast episode is released for download on iTunes and the website each Wednesday.

 

In his article, “Aspiring young architects building a future in Mass.,” Nick Cunkelman interviews Urban Fabric team members as he explores the opportunities Massachusetts offers to aspiring design professionals. Read the article here.

The Boston Globe is launching an exciting new initiative, “Building A Better Commonwealth,” to create an ongoing, productive dialogue about major challenges and opportunities facing Massachusetts. This thought-provoking series will convene experts, innovators and thought leaders to stimulate new thinking about issues facing the Commonwealth. It will also seek to recommend breakthrough ideas for improvement and growth. “Building a Better Commonwealth” will feature event forums, meetups and ongoing conversations through experiential, digital, mobile and social media platforms about each selected topic.