Sabine-to-Bagby Promenade

The Sabine-to-Bagby Promenade, one of the largest investments in public parkland ever carried out by the city of Houston, has resurrected a neglected, trash-strewn section of the historic Buffalo Bayou waterfront as a signature gateway to downtown. The project, which created more than 3,000 linear feet (914 m) of parks along the waterway, adds 23 acres (9 ha) of parkland to downtown Houston. It is helping the city to at least begin to realize the civic and recreational potential of the bayou, the waterway that gave birth to Houston in 1836.

Złote Tarasy

The landmark destination in Warsaw’s newest high-rise district, Złote Tarasy is a state-of-the-art, 225,000-square-meter (2.4 million-sq. ft.) commercial complex on a 3.2-hectare (7.9-acre) infill site. Złote Tarasy’s trademark element is its one-hectare (2.5-acre) undulating glass roof, inspired by the tree canopies that shade Warsaw’s historic parks, enclosing its lively retail and entertainment plaza. Visited by more than 1.3 million people a month, the center consists of 45,000 square meters (484,376 sq. ft.) of office space, more than 200 shops, 30 restaurants, and an eight-screen cinema.

Paddington Reservoir Gardens

Paddington reservoir gardens is a reimagination of a former water reservoir in Sydney, Australia, that was decommissioned in 1899. A team of designers, led by Sydney-based Tonkin Zulaikha Greer, was commissioned by the Sydney City Council to transform the disused site of the long-crumbled reservoir into a modern urban park. The city anticipated that the new park would replace the subterranean infrastructure. But instead of simply capping the reservoir ruins and building open space on top, the designers used the existing structure to create a public space that seamlessly merges Sydney’s past and present.

This space is a new model for adaptive use and preservation of heritage in dense urban areas, creating a reminder of the relatively recent past while also providing a respite from city life. By injecting a long-forgotten piece of municipal infrastructure with new life through strategic structural and landscape design interventions, a thoroughly modern public space has emerged.

Marina Barrage

Bridging the mouth of the marina Channel, marina Barrage creates Singapore’s 15th freshwater reservoir and its first in the heart of the city. Designed and developed by the Public Utilities Board (PUB), Singapore’s national water agency, the barrage and reservoir stand as an international model for urbanized areas. Part infrastructure project, part new urban park, Marina Barrage features an 11,000-square meter (118,400-sf) green roof, a jetty for boats to dock, a water-sports center for sailing and rowing, an exhibition gallery for public education, and commercial space for restaurants and retail use.

Since opening in 2008, Marina Barrage has welcomed more than 2 million visitors and received numerous awards for excellence in engineering and sustainability, standing as a water conservation model for urbanized, seafront cities across the globe. Singapore’s circumstances necessitated a bold and innovative solution to provide a new supply of drinking water, increased flood control, and recreational opportunities for its citizens.

New World Center

The New World Center concert hall has helped usher in a new development model, turning the traditional concert hall — with its orderly rows and grand décor — inside out. Establishing new connections among architecture, technology, education, and culture, the Frank Gehry-designed glass-and-steel box contains the free-flowing theater space, while the front facade doubles as a 7,000-square-foot (650-m²) projection wall, displaying concerts and video art to patrons in an adjacent 2.5-acre (one-ha) urban park. Known as the Miami Beach Soundscape, this outdoor venue brings classical music and performance to an audience beyond the formal environs of most symphony halls.

Atlantic Wharf

Located in the waterfront district adjacent to downtown Boston, Massachusetts, the mixed-use Atlantic Wharf is one of Boston’s first green skyscrapers. Covering a 2.1-acre (0.85 ha) block, Atlantic Wharf includes 776,000 square feet (72,093 m2) of office space, 25,000 square feet (2,323 m2) of ground-floor retail and restaurant space, 86 luxury rental units, and a 23,300 square-foot urban park. The urban park is part of a waterfront landscaped plaza that allows direct boardwalk and marina access. In addition to retail space, the ground floor holds 16,000 square feet (1,486 m2) of indoor public space.

Zhongshan Shipyard Park

When the shipping industry of Zhongshan—a southern Chinese city of 2 million inhabitants—failed a decade ago, city officials sought to convert the dilapidated site into an urban attraction. The solution was the Zhongshan Shipyard Park, an extensive remediation project converting a wrecked brownfield development into a public park and nature area. The 11-hectare (27-ac) swath […]

Meydan Shopping Square

Boasting one of the largest geothermal cooling and heating systems in all of Europe, Meydan Shopping Square, opened in August 2007 by METRO Group Asset Management GmbH & Co., is a 70,000-square-meter (753,474-sf) modern marketplace in the emerging Umraniye district of Istanbul, Turkey. Designed by Foreign Office Architects (FOA) of London, the 50-store shopping square […]

West Chelsea/High Line Rezoning Plan

The West Chelsea/High Line Plan, adopted in 2005, is a special zoning district that establishes an innovative regulatory framework for new and affordable housing and the preservation of a distinct neighborhood along a transformed elevated rail line connecting three neighborhoods: the historic Gansevoort Meat Market, the West Chelsea art district, and the newly planned Hudson Yards. The plan, centered around the restoration of the 1.5-mile (2.4-km) High Line as an elevated greenway, features a transfer of development rights (TDR) scheme that has spurred the development of over 1,000 residential units and nearly 2 million square feet (185,806 m2) of commercial space throughout a 30-block area.

Beijing Finance Street

Since Beijing was awarded the 2008 Summer Olympics, the capital city has undergone a physical transformation on a massive scale. At the center of the enormous, citywide development effort lies Beijing Finance Street—a 3.36 million-square-meter (36.2 million-sf) mixed-use development that features offices, luxury hotels, retail space, and apartments arranged around a meandering central park. The CNY31.6 billion (US$4.6 billion) project is situated on the former site of a dilapidated hutong neighborhood—a cluster of narrow alleys lined by traditional courtyard residences—five blocks west of the Forbidden City, Beijing’s historic center.

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