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Urban space as healing landscape: The hotel Parkroyal on Pickering in Singapore contains over 15,000 square meters of greenery. The Singapore Green Plan promotes conservation of the nation’s natural resources and the use of green technology to conserve the environment. This photograph was published in Lucas Foglia’s book "Human Nature" by Nazraeli Press. It is called "Esme swims in a balcony pool". (Photo: Lucas Foglia)Healing landscapes – a somewhat simple, perhaps even simplistic topic, one might think. But it actually isn’t simple at all. “Healing”, “healthy”, “health” – these are complex and highly contested terms. What is “healthy”? And, perhaps more controversial, when and where does “unhealthy” begin? On an individual level, we constantly scan our body for early signs of physical crises, indicating that the (natural?) state of good…

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behind the glass wall

The grass has withered, the soil is parched. Anything that still has a bit of life in it has to be protected behind glass, a separate climate zone. Is there a flaming inferno at a distance, yet threatening to come closer? In his mystical series "A cure for Anthropocene", photographer George Marazakis looks at the link between civilization and nature, thus addressing the transformation of the landscape through human activity. He equates the earth with an organism that has been afflicted with a disease called “human beings” – the Anthropocene as an age of self-destruction. Marazakis takes photographs on his native Crete – during the winter, in the diffident, soft light. At first, his pictures tempt us to take pleasure in their apparent aesthetics. A second glance, however, leaves us…

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“children are the urban superheroes who deliver inclusivity in the city”

The vision of my administration is to create an inclusive city that is friendly and open to all, a city that meets the needs of future generations. In order to guarantee the sustainable development of a capital like Tirana, drivers, bikers, pedestrians, and caretakers with strollers need to coexist peacefully. Before initiating the urban transformation of Tirana, we asked ourselves, how can we discourage the use of cars? What physical adjustments incentivise citizens to make short trips on foot, by bike, or by public transport, and thereby reduce the number of cars on the road?As mayor I learned that it is easier to change a city in terms of infrastructure – built kilometres of roads and bicycle lanes – than to change what is between one’s left and right ear.…

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talent vs. mastermind

TALENTSimone BlissSimone Bliss is the founder of Melbourne-based SBLA studio. After having her first child, she began to question the traditional rules of the workplace. Through SBLA she is testing an alternative model of practice. The team works flexibly, maintaining time for personal projects, teaching and raising families. They work together as peers in the core design team or as project collaborators. She also teaches at the University of Melbourne.1 CAREER STARTING POINT?In 2002, I began working at Taylor Cullity Lethlean part-time as their office manager. In 2004, I commenced my Bachelor of Design degree at RMIT University.2 INFLUENCED BYPerry Lethlean, Catherin Bull, Roberto Burle Marx (also the influence of my portrait) and Kathryn Gustafson; Isamu Noguchi, Patrick Dougherty and Pina Bausch; The Australian Bush and the craftmanship of my…

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How is this possible? A metropolis without skyscrapers? There are barely a dozen in Berlin that stretch to a height of just over 100 metres. And yet the city is vibrant and produces cultural life similar to that in London, Paris or New York. Every year the number of visitors from around the world grows by double-digit growth rates. And yet, Berlin (still) seems to be a metropolis that has none of the otherwise inevitable attendant problems. There is no other major city in the world where traffic flows so smoothly, where there’s no permanent gridlock. The density of traffic is comparatively low, especially because of the dense public transport network. Visitors can feel safe in the city. There are no slums. At 40 m², the living space per inhabitant…

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contrasts from above

Mexico City: A private school with well-maintained sports facilities forms a stark contrast to the temporary sports ground across the street.In Mumbai, skyscrapers for the super-rich stand next to slums covered in blue tarps that protect them from the monsoon rains. (All photos: Johnny Miller)A concrete wall separates the Nairobi Royal Golf Club from a neighbourhood where there are no government services other than electricity.Bloubosrand lies south of Johannesburg in South Africa. The villas that stand there cost well over a million dollars. Only one street divides the city’s millionaires from its poorest citizens. On one side, informal corrugated tin shacks line up next to each other on the sandy soil. The view from the air clearly demonstrates the inequalities of this world and shows just how close wealth and…