Our urban environment disappoints too often. It does not feel human centered, it fractures social bonds, there is not enough nature, it is difficult to get around and to find easy access to facilities. It creates stress. What if we were to redesign our cities to truly meet our needs? Can we retrofit our existing fabric to change this? And might ‘Superblocks’ be one answer? Superblocks are ca. 400 by 400 metres containing a community around 5000–6000 inhabitants per block. Our panel summarises the key learnings from cities who have been experimenting with the concept. This includes Silvia Casorrán, a Barcelona councilor leading the city’s superblock work; Catherine Gall, colleague of scientist Carlos Moreno, whose ‘15-Minute City’ concept closely related to the superblock approach has been adopted by Paris (among many other metropolises); and global city design practitioner Helle Søholt, who leads Gehl Architects in Copenhagen.
This session is part of a 5-part series run by the BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt’s ‘RISE Cities’ programme. RISE Cities explores the leadership required to enable our urban environments to be more resilient, intelligent, sustainable and equitable (RISE).