Practical Utopias

Over the past twenty years the pace and scale of urbanization in Asia has been unprecedented in both the emerging and maturing economies of the region. Practical Utopias: Global Urbanism in Hong Kong, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore and Tokyo explores new cities built up just outside, immediately adjacent to, or even within the old. Conceived as extensions or embellishments of existing capitals of finance and culture, these new cities within cities serve as focal points for future visions and global ambitions.

Practical Utopias presents Asia’s global urbanism through projects that are Intelligent, networked to cutting edge technological systems and bundled in infrastructure allowing rapid access to adjacent fabric and to airports and the rest of the world; Dense, center-oriented and accommodating large numbers of people in extremely efficient spaces; Green, conceived with explicit environmental agendas and well-disposed to green space; Thick, three-dimensional and layered in their pedestrian access and public space; and Fun conceived with a specific attitude to programming that enhances their role as spaces of both work and leisure.

Practical Utopias provides a framework for education and cultural exchange between New York and the global cities of Asia. New York’s is also a history of projects with similar ambitions, from Central Park to Rockefeller Center to Battery Park City. Large developments are going up at the World Trade Center site, the Atlantic Yards, and the Hudson Yards, and they all have been undertaken by architects with experience over the last decade in Asia’s global cities.

Curator: Jonathan Solomon

Event Details:


  • When: 

    Tuesday, October 1, 2013

  • Where: 

    The Center for Architecture
    536 LaGuardia Place
    New York, New York

  • More information: 

    Event website.

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