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How to Turn Cities of Today into Cities for Tomorrow?

  • Arup Associates 1045 Huaihai Middle Road | 37F Shanghai (map)

'Building for the Future' Event Series

How Do We Turn Cities Of Today into Cities For Tomorrow? 
Green Drinks Forum

Adaptive reuse, or retrofitting, is the practice of re-purposing older properties for a use other than what was originally designed. It’s a practice that is becoming increasingly important, as it simultaneously answers questions of how to build up-to-date cities and what to do with the remains of our past designs.

Reasons for the growing popularity of adaptive reuse are numerous. As a key factor in land conservation and reduction of urban sprawl, adaptive reuse also saves money and reduces environmental impact by requiring less new material. Through this combination of efficiency and frugality, adaptive reuse provides cheap and easy solutions to reinvigorate whole neighborhoods and give aged historical sites second life as new centers of culture and commerce. This forum focuses on how today’s cities can be adapted to become lasting urban environments, incorporating both past- and future-minded designs.

What are the challenges and hidden dangers of adaptive reuse, and how can we combat those with new technologies? What are the boundaries to negotiate between what should be adapted and what should be conserved? What are landmark examples of retrofitting in Shanghai and around China? How can we large-scale retrofitting in order to reduce the impact of building new urban infrastructure? 


Thursday 21 January 2016 | 18.30 - 21.00

Arup Associates,
1045 Huaihai Middle Road | 37F

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Sooyoun Park, LEED Green Associate Senior Project Designer at NBBJ, is a Korean-born architect and artist with over 15 years of professional experience in the US and Asian markets.  Her passion for design seeks to instill a simple sense of inspiration in the experience of everyday life, and her commitment to sustainable living shapes her ideas and work with a minimalist sensibility. Underlining her generalist design spirit, Sooyoun’s portfolio as an architect includes a wide range of project types and scales including master planning, commercial mixed-use, hospitality, educational, residential, and cultural programs.  As a recurring guiding principal, her design thinking always seeks to connect communities via a creative, interpretive, and interactive experience of place.   Prior to moving to Shanghai, she has been involved in teaching and mentoring students in University of Hawaii as well as co-founded Link lab, a research and architectural think tank in the United States.

Ben Schwegler, SVP/Chief Scientist at Walt Disney Imagineering R&D Disney Research CHINA, Consulting Professor Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University.