Soft City



Name: Alberto de Salvatierra

Nationality: Mexican/American

Institution / Company: Center for Civilization


Name: Dan Hapton

Nationality: Canadian

Institution / Company: Center for Civilization




The transition from a quarantine to a post-pandemic city will not only be a fight for collective human health and wellbeing but will also be the staging ground for our last stand to prevent a forthcoming climate catastrophe. New paradigms of urban design and civil infrastructure must be decoupled from our carbon-intensive practices. It is crucial to move away from society’s archaic fetish for “solidity” in building—carbon-intensive concrete and glass architecture with limited lifespans. Soft City therefore calls for the design and deployment of inflatable architectures within the surplus spaces of carbon-formed cities (like parking lots) that can quickly address emergency programs (like housing for the homeless and emergency hospitals) and long-term programs (like greenhouses) as supply chains become localized. Closed environments with positive air-pressure and medical-grade HEPA filters, these “soft” infrastructures neutralize airborne pathogens, and can lead towards a new mode of semi-permanent building that returns to indigenous philosophies of light environmental footprints and cooperative habitation. Varying in size and program, these inflatables will slowly evolve our built environment into soft cities that sponsor new lifestyles, divest of car-based urbanism, and facilitate a more agile urban fabric that is ready to meet the challenges of an uncertain future.


#softinfrastructures #inflatables #newlifestyles #emergencyhospitals #homelesshousing



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