Urban Condensers – Vertical Urbanism for a Polycentric City

Ignacio Montaldo
Founding Principal
Moarqs, Buenos Aires

The general consensus is that the world's urban population will almost double by the year 2050, which makes urbanization one of the most transformative trends for the 21st century. Populations, economic activities, social and cultural interactions, as well as environmental and humanitarian impacts, are increasingly concentrated in cities. It this context that spurs thought about the growth and densification of the city and its architecture, looking for new forms that redefine the relationship between center and periphery. Due to the economic difficulty of sustaining a low-density city, and the devastation of land that accompanies sprawl, the densification of the city with tall buildings commands great interest as a way to construct urban habitat. High-rise, high-density construction presents possibilities for concentrating infrastructure rationally, increasing efficiency and economy, and solving the mobility challenge with clean-energy transport, etc.

In this context, it is undeniable that the construction in height of the polycentric, but concentrated city cannot be thought of in any other way than in the context of how public space and nature can grow in the same vertical direction. How can the city grow and renew itself while conserving its cultural heritage? A generic area of the city of Buenos Aires is considered in this presentation, for a transformation into a new center of vertical urbanism, towards a newly polycentric city.