A statistical nightmare

Some days statistics weigh heavy on my heart. The scale and complexity of such concrete data leaves me feeling dizzy. It’s difficult to know which avenue to pursue or where our research efforts should lie. Take a breath.

One statistic in particular has driven many of our discussions:

The world urban population is expected to increase by 84% by 2050, from 3.4 billion in 2009 to 6.3 billion in 2050.
— UN / Dept of Economic and Social Affairs

It is a nod to all those other facts and figures with which we are bombarded. For the first time in history we live in a world where the number of those living in urban areas surpasses the rural. The urban growth is concentrated in less developed regions... the number of slum dwellers continues to increase.

This combination of natural population growth and urbanisation poses huge challenges. Is it something to fear? Should urbanisation be discouraged or is it a key building block of sustainable development? What are the implications for our cities and our citizens?

AzuKo operates within the realm of international development, holding strong the belief that there is a real need for architectural analysis. A humane critique.

In the face of adversity we see ingenuity.

So, over the next year we will be examining environments under enormous pressure - urban, high-density, low-income areas. We will focus on what it means to achieve a sense of place in settings on the frontline. How do individuals, families, units and communities cope under such strain and how do they come together to create genius loci, that distinctive atmosphere which elevates a simple street?

We have much to learn. Our first stop... Mumbai.


Author: J. Ashbridge