Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Lorenzo Matteoli, "My vision for Midland"

The basic driving force for any type of real estate or urban development: if you want success the place must have residential, everyday living appeal. Morning, noon, afternoon, evening and night time.
Success meaning that people want to live there, have their kids live there, buy property there, invest their money there. There is no other romantic or sentimental drive but environmental, urban, social, architectural appeal and consistent quality services. (education, shopping, entertainment, sports, culture, food, theatre, health, performing arts, music, dance, cafès, urban landscape…architecture).
That is where the money goes, and you want to be where the money goes, and you want to design an urban context, a built environment context, a set of amenities and services that will yield precisely that result.
The leading feature to support and contain all these things is urban landscape a landscape made of buildings, gardens, greens, useful urban gadgets (energy technologies?) social gathering spots, lookouts.…beware of monuments (they can be really dull).
Midland now is ANYTHING but that.
It’s an ugly place, with an ugly set of decaying industrial buildings, with an ugly wide railway track crossing it, with old closed decaying pubs and huge squallid parking lots for commuters deserted at nights, deserted during the week-ends. Hot tarmac wastelands under the WA brilliant sun.
Nothing now in Midland could be conceivably more far away from a desirable place where to live.

Urban Landscape
The landscape of a “future city” no sprawl, no ugly little boxes on 300 square meters lots, with miserable “green” spaces two meters wide around.
Tall buildings, high density (8 to 12 storeys high), spatially organized in a mode that I would call “aerial”, volumes connected by bridges, terraces, pensile walkways, pensile gardens, pensile trees, may be water falls (do not be shy go for it!), wind generators above, look out spots and overhanging balconies.
All parking lots to be underground and above them buidings or gardens. Most of automobile circulation underground. Above cycle paths and pedestrian walkways winding around artificial hills.
A HUGE lake conceived to be a climate control tool and designed for swimming and surfing (an artificial wave? Or the surfing waterfall. Check the pool with artificail wave in Phoenix Arizona).
The huge problem is the bloody railway: cover it with a long garden overpass? A shopping mall? Whatever ….? It is really ugly and maybe the cost of covering it is less than the cost of diverting it around the Helena River (??) or wherever…
Your guys can elaborate on this if you like it. Do not need to quote me: take what you want throw way what you do not like.
Remember the first title of this exercise: off the beaten track.
It’s a Christmas present! 

(to be continued)  

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