Innovative urban regeneration projects highlighted in Texas A&M architecture prof’s new book

Koichiro Aitani

Some of the world’s best, most vibrant urban areas spring from partial developments and upgrades, not the “scrap and build” approach widely applied in urban regeneration, said Koichiro Aitani, Texas A&M associate professor of architecture, in his new book, “Urban Catalyst.”

 In the book, Aitani includes a series of case studies that illustrate when upgrades to part of a vacant or industrial urban area spurred its transformation into a popular public space.

In one example, activists teamed with the city of New York to save an elevated railway in a Manhattan meatpacking district from demolition. The railway, turned into a public park called the High Line, helped upgrade the West Side of Manhattan into a popular destination.

Additional examples of urban catalytsts in Aitani's book include a new art center in a Japanese city that turned vacant downtown lots into a tourist destination, and more.

Aitani, who joined the Texas A&M faculty in 2013, studies architecture, urban design, residential and retail developments, urban regeneration, and Japanese architecture theory and history.

Richard Nira

rnira@arch.tamu.edu

posted October 24, 2018