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TEDxPhilly - Inga Saffron - Why skyscrapers are overrated

Architecture critic Inga Saffron challenges cities to shift focus and look beyond skyscraper fantasies in her TEDxPhilly talk - "Moving from The Grand Vision to The Grand Adjustment." Cities should instead work to improve and build amenities that make urban areas better places to live for existing dwellers. Public spaces should be a priority: upgrade transit systems, add bike lanes to all major roadways, increase walkability, create and maintain great parks and public plazas. Saffron believes that skyscrapers are not the only way to achieve the worthy goal of density and sustainability. To explain, she points to the success of mid-rise buildings in Philadelphia and posits that different cities need a range of densities. American cities must be flexible and make adjustments - an idea jokingly demonstrated in Saffron's opening skyscraper yoga poses. Inga Saffron has been writing about urban design issues for more than a decade. As the Architecture critic for the Philadelphia Inquirer, she has reviewed some of the most memorable new projects of the era, but her primary interest is in writing about the less-heralded places that people encounter in their daily lives. As a 2011-12 Loeb Fellow at Harvard Graduate School of Design, Saffron is exploring how cities can retain their distinct identities in a globalized, interconnected world, while remaining viable places to work and live. 2011 TEDxPhilly conference examined vast interpretations of the theme "The City" on Tuesday, November 8. TEDxPhilly brought together engaging speakers, performers, participants and exhibitors to deconstruct, decipher and explore some of the greatest challenges, innovations, concepts and realities that shape and are shaped by cities and their inhabitants. Philadelphia was the point of departure, but the conversation traveled beyond its borders. The event took place at Temple Performing Arts Center in North Philadelphia.
Length: 12:38


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