Ground Level Design in Belize and Brooklyn

Ground level design should be thoughtful – it sets the tone of our collective experience as we move through the streets, especially when walking.  It can provide an invitation or a barrier.

An opening towards the streets becomes clear with the use of transparent materials such as glass, or a hurdle can be created when the view is meet with something opaque like metal.  Off course when the climate is tropical like in Belize, there is no need for a glass enclosure.

From retail to restaurants and residential spaces, what our eyes see and our senses detect should be considered in ground level design as we think about the future of our cities and its city-zens.

Photography Credit: Aminah Ricks

High & Low Rise Buildings Stand in Harmony

Along Sixth Avenue, buildings line the street, of varying heights and colors.

The city as living organism, reflects the people who live within; tall or short, new and old, eclectic or classic, standing together to create the mosaic of our communities.

Cityscape reflects life.

See more at Emerging City’s Instagram


Cover Photography: Aminah Ricks


MORPHOCODE Shows Us NYC In A New Light

Urban Layers is a very cool tool, which helps us understand not only the density, but also the history of the creation of Manhattan’s urban fabric.  It is a flexible, multi-dimensional interactive map created by the architectural firm Morphocode.  It helps anyone with a bit of curiosity explore the dense and complex structure of New York City.

“The map lets you navigate through historical fragments of the borough that have been preserved and are currently embedded in its densely built environment. The rigid archipelago of building blocks has been mapped as a succession of structural episodes starting from 1765.” -Morphocode

Start exploring now.

Image credits: Morphocode
MORPHOCODE graph-overview




Evolving City Culture

“Creating a city that is inclusive, lively, healthy, and sustainable means designing for human needs and inviting for public life to flourish in many different ways. Some keys to this approach include walkability, bikability, public space and public transportation.”  –Jeff Risom

What can North American cities learn from Copenhagen about adapting and evolving city culture?  Helle Søholt and Jeff Risom of Gehl Architects share engaging observations and innovations in this video.


Feature Photo Credit: Danka & Peter

Like Bees to Honey, Jobs follow Workers to Cities

The urban planning think tank, City Observatory recently reported that city centers have seen a surge in employment growth between 2007 through 2011, just before, during and after the 2008 economic meltdown. These new jobs demonstrate that dense urban spaces are reflective of a continual movement towards both living and working in cities.

In the past, reverse commutes were on the rise. This forced workers to leave urban life daily, for work opportunities outside the city. Now the opposite is true. Companies have found their way to cities, allowing for a more balanced work/life schedule for employees and employers.

Claire Cain Miller of the New York Times, reports on this urban renewal, which poses many interesting questions. If now that American cities are “reshaping their urban core as places people want to live…whether these benefits will apply to everyone – or just to high earners.”

What do you think?  Share your thoughts/observations below.



Read NY Times article 

Read City Observatory Report on Urban Renewal 


Photo Credit:

Graph Credit: City

Most Liveable City – Monocle chooses Copenhagen

Copenhagen is a city that has developed into a place for people, pedestrians and cyclists versus a city for cars. Two Emerging.City team members visited during the winter season.  Despite the cold, they agree it is a great city for its density.  It has a strong cycling culture and a mix of old and contemporary design.

Check out this video by Monocle and see if you agree.

Copenhagen, Most Liveable City

Footage Offers Glimpse of 1940s Chicago

From our friends at The Atlantic City Lab, we are sharing one man’s stellar garage sale find which gives a video peek into the past of Chicago’s urban history.  The rare footage offers glimpse of the 1940s Chicago landscape.  Enjoy!

Read City Lab Article Here

Elevating City Life