Extreme Neighborhoods: Columbia GSAPP + Audi Extreme Cities Project

Advanced Architecture Studio 6

Spring 2013

Jeffrey Inaba, critic

Neighborhoods are an idea that is well liked. A neighborhood is the ideal urban scale: within it there are places to shop, eat and hang out. A neighborhood provides a social infrastructure: it serves as the prime context of urban transactions of all sorts: exchanges of ideas, goods, information and acts of generosity. A neighborhood also has a special status when it comes to mobility: it is a place of privileged transportation insofar as it by definition the area where getting around is convenient; in addition, it is where we transition from one form of mobility to all others – traveling from where we live to the rest of the city, switching from walking to bike, bus, train or car – and ultimately where the so called ‘last mile problem’ will be redefined.

As a result, there are basic assumptions about the neighborhood type that remain open for debate: What’s its optimal size? Should it have a consistent building typology? Should its mass be horizontal? Must it have a uniform urban fabric? These and other questions will be the basis to explore its architectural potential to an extreme.

Matthew D. Miller A/B/C/D/E/F