Improving the urban environment plays a key role in ensuring the quality of life of citizens and public well-being. Well-designed urban spaces promote active lifestyles and physical activity. Green spaces, parks, bike paths, and other infrastructure help improve health, reduce stress, and improve the overall well-being of citizens. In this article, you will learn about the best projects to improve the urban environment in countries remote from Europe. You can also evaluate and support initiatives to improve the urban environment and preserve cultural heritage in Ukraine during wartime on Algorytm.ngo.
Why Urban Improvement Is Important For People
Landscaping is one of the most important components of urban planning, which is the development and implementation of complex measures aimed at improving the functional, sanitary, environmental, and aesthetic condition of public spaces in order to improve the quality of life of local residents and the attractiveness of the city for tourists and migrants, which consequently increases the pace of its economic development and contributes to increased competitiveness.
The main measures for the improvement of urban areas include:
architectural and planning organization, which includes the streamlining of pedestrian connections, the creation of a barrier-free environment, the placement of a system of bicycle paths, the installation of sports and children’s playgrounds, the organization of recreation areas and places for walking dogs;
sanitary cleaning and cleaning of streets and courtyard areas;
the lighting of urban areas, buildings, and green spaces;
installation of water structures;
reconstruction and maintenance of building facades;
placement of advertising, announcements, and other media.
The improvement of the city plays an important role for everyone. This is how the authorities show their loyalty to the population, invest in the future, and confirm the fact of the targeted use of funds. In addition, well-maintained cities contribute to their prestige. They attract tourists and give a sense of satisfaction to those who live in them. People begin to be proud of their locality and become more attached to it.
For example, a worthy park project can radically change the picture. The city can flourish and gain a new competitive advantage. They allow city residents to relax and give them closeness to nature.
In Europe, there are hundreds of city parks that amaze with their beauty and convenience, evoking the most pleasant feelings and memories. Among the greatest parks in Europe:
Planten un Blomen (Hamburg),
Villa Borghese (Rome),
Drottningholm Slott (Stockholm),
Tiergarten Park (Berlin),
Jardin du Luxembourg (Paris),
Letenské sady (Prague) and others.
Let’s look at how urban improvement was approached in developing countries of the world.
CEM Kamanar High School, Senegal
The architects of this project carefully followed the specifics of the landscape and its flora, so that the classrooms were formed around trees so that their shade formed a relaxation area for students and teachers. This is very important for productivity in a country with such a hot climate. This project was included in the Aga Khan Award for Architecture; it was extremely important to use local materials and technologies. According to project architect David Garcia, “If you want to do something for the locals, you have to do it like a local.”
Urban River Spaces, Bangladesh
The site of this multifunctional space in the Jan Aida district of Bangladesh used to be the site of a spontaneous landfill. Now here there is purity and beauty. The Co.Creation Architects team developed a project that made it possible to improve the environmental situation and actively involve local people in this wonderful project: cleaning on the banks of the Nabaganga River was carried out by all concerned people, without regard to their gender, age, or social status. Now locals can use Urban River Spaces to suit the needs of their communities, implementing their own ideas or connecting to other people’s ideas.
Public Spaces Rohingya Refugee Response, Bangladesh
Another project in Bangladesh is public spaces for the largest refugee camp. The buildings in the camp itself were initially built chaotically and without any drawings. The architects who became interested in this place first of all designed a safe space for women and girls. Then other specialists were involved in the project to jointly come up with a construction kit that camp residents could build themselves, from available materials, with comfort and aesthetics.
Niemeyer Guest House, Lebanon
The famous Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer designed the Rashid Karami International Fair complex for Tripoli in the 60s, but the idea was not allowed to come true – in 1975, civil war began in Lebanon. Despite the fact that decades later the country was not too calm, the project for the reconstruction of Niemeyer’s guest house found support. The space operates as a design space and platform for the development of local woodworking industries.
Argo Museum of Contemporary Art And Cultural Center, Iran
This project is a wonderful demonstration of how abandoned industrial sites can be useful for citizens by performing new functions. Such an amazing transformation took place in Tehran. A space for cultural events has appeared in one of the densely populated areas of the city. Previously, there was an abandoned brewery there. This has become a new cultural point of attraction.
Banyuwangi Airport, Indonesia
The Indonesian authorities intend to build about 300 airports in the country, and the airport in East Java sets an incredible trend for this grandiose construction project. The uniqueness of this air harbor lies in its work with the landscape: the terminals seem to grow out of the most typical landscape for Southeast Asia – rice fields. While most of the world’s airports are hard to tell apart, Banyuwangi Airport is as much about its origins as it can be through its shapes, materials, lines, and decor.
Modern cities need spaces for relaxation and communication, as well as places to admire. Improvement is a priority for every small and large city. If you are interested in modern initiatives to improve cities and preserve cultural heritage, we recommend checking out the bold Ukrainian projects on the NGO Algorithm of Actions platform, which are being implemented during wartime.