Urbs is a design studio in Austin, Texas striving toward a new normal. Resilient urbanism is where the city and nature intersect, fueled by diversity of eco-systems, natural and manmade. As designers we assume the role of “citizen designer ”putting our knowledge into helping craft spaces and places for the good of the city.
We would ban all non compostable plastics. Let’s be real, why the heck are we still using plastic that kills sea life and takes a million years to decompose? Make it degradable people!
All of our cities would be completely walkable and bike-able or accessible by transit. Let’s face it, who needs a car all the time? Although driving can be fun, so is an earth that we can live on! Let’s make our cities better for living in.
Parks are one of our greatest assets in cities. They need to be the example of sustainability and gathering places for our communities. They are the place where nature co-exists with humans. We need to fund them!
Local marketplaces are where ideas bloom and real people in cities get to bring new ideas to the world. We need to support local makers / farmers / creative businesses with affordable retail spaces, affordable housing and create cities that are a diverse human eco-system.
We need more civic buildings. Somehow our cities have become places of private ownership around every corner. We pay taxes and a lot of them, so why can’t we have more of what we want? Places for everyone to gather and be a part of our communities. We need great public buildings like libraries, field houses, museums, cultural centers, sustainability centers, pools for everyone.
In Austin, we are a big empty city, why? There are several reasons: our city was designed for single family homes- these homes use a lot of land and only house a few people, the state owns a vast amount of the land keeping it from being developed as potential for more housing, strip malls take up a lot of space and were designed as just shopping centers- no housing but lots of parking, and last but not least, LOTS of parking lots are taking up valuable land that could be used in a variety of ways. We have the opportunity to create a city that is dense and walkable and livable but we need to start filling in those spaces that are currently a visual of the past. Density creates places, and places bring people, people bring ideas, and it all goes from there.
We desperately need to figure out a way to support the homeless and mentally ill residents of our city. We need to get creative with solutions and try to fully understand the problem.