The urban fabric that is our collective future is busting at the seams. As megacities from New York to Mumbai swell at speeds beyond current infrastructure and development plans, cities need smart solutions for sustainable expansion. With its new exhibition, "Uneven Growth," MoMA is helping expose the dangers of unstable and inequitable development.
A dozen teams of architects from across the globe were paired up and asked to examine resource challenges and economic inequality in six major metropolises: Mumbai, New York, Hong Kong, Rio de Janeiro, Lagos, and Istanbul. The project sought tactical, small-scale, and strategic solutions that could steer growth towards more empowering ends, a response to critiques of top-down planning and design gentrification.
According to curator Pedro Gadanho, these DIY solutions are tools for empowering social and economic relationships in an era of more limited resources.
"These cities are too complex to 'solve' in the traditional sense," he says. "With the last two to three decades of growing inequality, some of the optimism that urban living will change your life is gone. 'Uneven Growth' takes inspiration from small actions and scenarios, tactical solutions that don't impose."
Dwell spoke with teams representing all six cities to learn about the problems they saw and the solutions they propose.