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Re-Constructing Blackness: A New Urban Code

Part 2 Project 2013
Euan Russell
University of Dundee | UK
By 2050, 75% of the world’s population will live in cities. This project explores the idea of a move away from careless outward expansion, and towards a specific integration of new development within cities.

If today’s approach to development is one of ‘form follows profit’ that reneged on it’s relationship with the city, then a paradigm shift must occur. A series of new Urban Codes claims the need to create a new strategic approach to accommodating the flux of the contemporary city, at the micro scale of the post-industrial enclave of Blackness in Dundee, Scotland.

If the route to more diverse and socially integrated cities is to revert urban sprawl, then master planning large swathes of new buildings on un-built land is not the way to re-densify.

Building new floor space appears to be a tool to market the developers brand; an effort in creating abstract building forms which carve voids into floor plates of pure profit. Whilst this project does not attempt to impose a new funding mechanism for the city, it rather attempts to engage the Architect as an urban placemaker at the forefront of guiding urban renewal. The 'New Urban Code' is a detailed and graphically accessible planning coding, for which it's rules are mapped incrementally on to a growing drawing of the city; an intentional variation on the static computer render as the image of the city always shown complete.

Working with existing buildings within already established communities allows new links between housing and the workplace and a less mono programmatic approach to zoning areas. The high street becomes a renewed democratic conduit for civic life, a response to the contemporary Forum of the white box supermarket, accessed from the Stoa of the out of town bypass.

Ensuring the buildings we construct today are open-loop, well designed tools that enable us to accommodate our constant flux and perpetual renewal, allows our cities to be liveable and inherently viable in their increasingly important role in a sustainable built environment.

Euan Russell


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