John Hoal | Designing the Cities of the Future

Exploring the Modern Megacity
Hoal | TEDx

By 2050, 70% of the world’s population will be living in cities. Rapid urbanization will require rethinking how we design cities in ways that address complex challenges such as water scarcity, food production, inequity and climate extremes. John Hoal practices architecture, landscape, urban design and community-based planning in the United States, Asia and Africa. He is passionate about reconceiving the cities of the future to address failing economic, social and environmental systems through effective urban design. From his native Durban to Shanghai and New Orleans, his work around the globe pushes the boundaries of thinking about how to develop sustainable, healthy and inclusive cities. How will cities retrofit to be accommodating of demographic and environmental changes? Can cities like Stockholm or Copenhagen offer models for the rest of the world? Find out in his TEDx talk and watch a short video about the Global Urbanism Studio, which takes students from the Sam Fox School to study in some of the world’s most important urban centers such as Johannesburg and Dubai. Read more about Hoal’s work in St. Louis Magazine.

Derek Hoeferlin | Living with Water

Derek Hoeferlin on the Mississippi River. (Photo: James Byard/Washington University)

Photos: Derek Hoeferlin

Navigating the Rivers: Change

Award-winning architect Derek Hoeferlin examines how water has shaped the way people live. His ambitious study seeks to network global comparative deltas and watersheds in an effort to transfer knowledge among them. He researches integrated water-based design strategies across three of the largest river basins in the world—the Mississippi, Mekong, and Rhine. These three basins represent the past, present and future of watershed architecture. The Rhine’s long-established success in water management offers important lessons. With worsening effects of climate change and crumbling systems, the Mississippi today is at a critical point, while the Mekong, which flows through six nations in southeast Asia and impacts the livelihoods of many more, represents the future. The themes compared among these three river basins serve to inform additional analyses of other global river basins. There are parallels between the problems faced in delta cities such as New Orleans, Shanghai, Lagos or Singapore. Climate variability and extreme weather require strategies to adapt at-risk communities, ecologies and economies to an uncertain future. The project, Way Beyond Bigness: A Need for a Watershed Architecture, is the focus of Hoeferlin’s forthcoming book. Watch a video in which professors Derek Hoeferlin and John Hoal discuss the importance of the Mississippi river basin for the St. Louis region, and read more here about their plan to stabilize the delta.