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dense and green innovative building types or sustainable urban architecture

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The rapid urbanization of our global society is, by now, an incontrovertible reality. From Lagos to Lahore, Seoul to São Paulo economic, political, and social dynamics are driving people into cities in breathtaking numbers.

 In 1800, Beijing was the only city with a population of one million or more. By 1900, 16 cities had reached this figure. By 2000, it was 378 cities.

 By 2025, there will be about 600 cities of one million or more worldwide. 1 The accompanying continual and radical recasting of the form of our urban environments is often considered as a process of unadulterated metastasis which, depending on a host of variables, tends to result in a sprawl that maintains the preceding human density or even increases not only the net area of human population centers, but also their density.

 Density, as many leading architects of the 20th Century have demonstrated, can be designed and designed well.

 It can be the ultimate test of intelligent design and, at its best, make our lives more practical, more manageable, and more urbane.

In the midst of the current ecological turn, one cannot omit from that list of desirable benefits the one of being in greater sync with our natural environment. 

To be sure, dense living has the potential to bring a certain amount of marked ecological benefits, chief among them the consolidation of resources, which—be they fossil fuels or food—are more likely to be economically utilized. 

Yet like urbanization, the process of becoming ecological in a dense world is not a process that necessarily happens without design volition.

 Design, on the other hand, would appear to be more integral to becoming more ecological than it is to becoming more dense. 

In other words, being dense and being “green” are not synonymous to the extent that they sometimes have been thought to be. This book advocates for an integrative understanding of the two and a more holistic formulation of a 21st-Century architecture and urban design paradigm.

However, in recent decades it has become clear that more was lost in this process than just a romantic vista and the smell of flowers (or of brick, or even concrete).

 We have ceded the possibility of the city being a part of naturein favor of naturalizing it into our technological, and consequently architectural, repertoire.

 This specific ecological turn is not to suggest a “return to nature” but instead a more sustained attempt to transpose the benefits of mass and massiveness from the scale of material to the scale of architecture.

  We can achieve ecological balance in today’s cities comparable to the way we once had at the scale of the building.