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January 2016

International Suburban Design Conference Hosts ECD in Milan

Urbanizing Houston’s Energy Corridor” featured at Italy’s Politecnico di Milano

When some of the world’s leading urban designers, architects and planners from Toronto, London and Italy met in Milan in December for the “Urbanizing the Region – Transformations in Post Metropolis” Conference, Houston’s own Energy Corridor District was on center stage.

The conference featured Clark Martinson, The District’s general manager, sharing the evolution of The Energy Corridor from a suburban area into a place with more compact development, planned for and catering to millennials with feature-rich business campuses, parks and pedestrian/bike-friendly streets.

Hosted by the Urban Networks Laboratory of Politecnico di Milano – Italy’s largest technical university – the conference focused on the transformation of some American cities by investing in efforts to urbanize the suburbs.

“We focused on processes, and the way our regions and our way of reading and understanding them has shifted from the opposition between center and periphery to a regional, interconnected and multi-centers geography,” explained organizer Marco Facchinetti, PhD, an architect and assistant professor of urban planning at Politecnico di Milano, Department of Architecture and Urban Studies, and visiting professor in many universities around United States. Facchinetti is also a partner with The Blossom Avenue, an urban design firm with offices in Manhattan and Milan.

“The Energy Corridor is no longer a suburban place on the outskirts of town,” Martinson says. “The energy here is more than fuel related. And it’s driving a transformation that is creating a special urban-like core, shifting the center of Houston west. The reality of our post-suburban future is one where we live closer to work, can ride transit or walk and bike to work, and have nearby places for recreation.”

Politecnico di Milano was ranked as one of the 20 best technical universities in the world according to the QS World University Rankings.
 

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