The world’s population will have surpassed 10 billion by 2050. A major issue of the present time is overcrowded cities. A massive influx of change that has never been experienced before in human history. To create dense metropolises with enhanced urban quality and a better quality of life is one of the challenges for an architect. Cities must remain places of innovation, culture, and well-being. They are the most visible symbol of humanity. These cities are made to reflect society’s values, culture, and development. The city of the future is inextricable from the cities of the past. Architecture acts as a ‘storyteller’ in this transition. 

What are the challenges faced by architects while designing urban spaces - Sheet1
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A city’s architectural landscape defines where it is in any given period, reflecting its ideology at a particular point in history and demonstrating its spirit. Form and architecture are inextricably linked. Individual objects are influenced by the forms of the city, and the forms influence the culture of the city.

A holistic approach is needed to tackle challenges and find solutions. Reducing inequality and achieving sustainability are two important objectives, but they involve different challenges depending on the city’s level of development. To adapt to the new urban realities, the cities will need to change.

The creation of quality urban spaces in densely populated cities is one of the greatest challenges that architects face. The general rule is that larger cities provide better services and are better equipped to provide urban mobility & services. Eventually, rapid population growth will produce imbalances that will cripple the city’s ability to function. These challenges can be addressed through the application of sustainable urban development concepts and strategies.

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Architectural designs can have a powerful impact on a city’s objectives as a center of innovation, culture, and well-being. Instead of considering architecture a luxury or addition, we need to see it as a reflection of our society and our values. The buildings we are creating today are a sign of the city we want to live in. These buildings offer a new perspective on how we see ourselves and our cities. They tell stories. They reveal values. The message is to design urban spaces that meet our needs,

The built environment makes cities accessible, comfortable, and functional, while the built environment shapes our collective memory. A city is a repository for the memory of a people. Buildings are the first form of language. A city is a physical manifestation of the culture of an epoch. But the built environment is also a reflection of individual values, aspirations, and aspirations. Cities are the result of the complex interaction of people, their institutions.

Urban residents require more open spaces and recreation areas as a result of higher population density. Buildings must no longer be viewed as isolated, standalone elements, but rather as part of a larger, interconnected system of streets, infrastructure, and public spaces. A city’s-built environment is a reflection of its culture. As a side note, it’s important to remember that iconic monuments and buildings are only meaningful if they resonate with us in a meaningful way. They must have a special meaning to each individual.

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A major challenge an architect faces is balancing the interests and expectations of the various groups in a city. Each group may threaten to overshadow the interests and expectations of the others. We are experiencing a convergence of social, political, and technological forces that are redefining what it means for a city to be livable. In many cases, these forces may conflict with the needs, aspirations, and values of the people who live in the city. These issues must be addressed to find solutions that make cities desirable and livable. In addition, each category has its challenges because they are not homogenous groups, but rather can be a mixture of overlapping subgroups and individuals with differing needs and demands. To find a balance is the challenge. A city’s-built environment must have a clear sense of purpose. This purpose, however, must be flexible and can be adapted to the needs of the current era.

To design new spaces or even to upgrade existing ones, one must be attentive to the ever-changing needs of humanity and the evolving technologies that surround and support these needs. The built environment consists of more than just buildings. It is also a system of services, infrastructure, and systems that can be improved.

Cities are good examples of systems, or ecosystems. The quality of service can be analyzed in each city. All these calculations are limited by taking into account the city’s history, which can vary greatly. The current situation of a city is one result of the long-term planning and the history of the city. Studies and replication of successful models and practices could help us be optimistic about the future!

“We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.”

-Sir Winston Churchill


Kishan Thakkar is an architect based in Ahmedabad exploring creative outlets and entrepreneurship. He is an avid learner who has a penchant for research, analysis and understanding different fields within the architecture and aspires to promote sustainable development. Discipline is the key to balance his diversified interest and work routine.