Over the next 15 years China is set to urbanise 300m people and build the equivalent urban area of North American. London’s own population is set to grow by 2m people by 2030. In the same period Sao Paulo’s will increase by 3m. This is the greatest period of urbanisation in human history and yet the buildings and places we are designing and developing leave a lot to be desired.
The world’s cities are increasingly a one-stop solution of homogenous shopping centres and apartment towers. With hundreds of millions of people set to move to our cities in the coming decades there is huge social responsibility to ensure that people aren’t subjected to identikit lives that compromise our health, wellbeing and happiness.
I have had the pleasure of working on real estate projects around the world. This has allowed me to study the underlining success of mature cities and districts in Europe and the US as well as exciting new projects in developing nations such as China, India, the Middle East and South America.
My new book Living in Wonderland seeks to explore the challenges currently facing urban development and masterplanning and its component parts including residential, retail and work space. The research is supported through the discussion of real-life projects from across the globe. The book is a platform to encourage debate and inspire non-default solutions in development and urbanism.
Living in Wonderland fills the gaps in available literature between the glossy superficial coffee table book and theoretical academic papers. It should be inspirational reading for practitioners and students of property development, architecture, town planning and any discerning person with an interest in the urban environment. It will make readers aware of the need to design places for people.