CAN YOU REALLY DESIGN A CREATIVE NEIGHBOURHOOD? NORMAN FOSTER PLANS FOR HIPSTERS IN DUBAI

Dubai-Design-District-Creative-Community-Foster-Partners_dezeen_bnby Ares Kalandides

“Norman Foster’s architecture firm will deliver the second phase of the Dubai Design District, also known as D3, which is a new creative quarter being built from scratch in the United Arab Emirates city.” How many clichés can you serve at the same time? The creative city? Iconic buildings through “brand” architects? There is something terribly wrong with this idea. And the attempt at “participation” does not make things much better:

“The design was developed through a series of conversations, workshops and focus groups with local creatives. One of the key ambitions is to ensure the new spaces will be able to evolve organically, and be able to adapt to any purpose.[…]”

The language describing the project (“sustainable”, “creative”, “community”, “unique”, “vibrant”, “charistmatic” and “destination”) reveal it’s real nature – it’s all about place branding, not urban planning and development:

‘With a variety of sustainable building designs, state of the art infrastructure and other architectural features being developed from the outset, D3’s creative community will be a unique, vibrant and charismatic destination, which also enables a legacy that can propel D3’s place amongst the world’s leading creative centres.’ […]”

This does not mean that the project will necessarily fail. If Dubai decides to invest in it – seriously and in the long term – they neighbourhood  has many chances to become vibrant and a place of attraction for creatives. In the end, it is the availability of capital that makes the big difference.

Read the full story here: http://www.dezeen.com/…/foster-partners-build-d3-dubai-des…/

About Ares

Ares Kalandides holds a PhD in Urban and Regional Studies from the National Technical University of Athens. He is the founder and CEO of Inpolis, an international consultancy based in Berlin, Germany and has implement several projects around the world. Ares teaches Urban Economics at the Technical University in Berlin and Metropolitan Studies at NYU Berlin.
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