COMMENTARY

Neighbourhood Concept Paves the Way for Future Smart Sustainable Cities

One Bangkok,Thailand; Image by One Bangkok

Neighbourhoods in architecture and planning theory are an ever-changing concept. While they are defined by a specific geography and a set of social networks, their forms vary widely. As does the success of their design and application. With now 55 per cent of the world’s population living in urban areas, how we imagine our neighbourhoods of the future is becoming a real thought. While science fiction thinkers have given us a far-reaching glimpse into how concrete, congestion and over-crowdedness may dominate, many of us wonder what our immediate future looks like.

The truth is the concept of a neighbourhood is influencing our cities in a real and progressive way. Pushed along by the wave of urbanisation, technological advancement and our expectations of how we wish to live, our cities are becoming more liveable as a result.

Bringing liveability to life
Our cities are developing at an electrifying pace, becoming more complex as they adapt to an ever-widening range of factors, from mass urbanisation to new opportunities afforded by emerging technologies. One aspect is a common denominator: Land within our cities is under high demand. How these land parcels are now developed to house, sustain and inspire our growing populations is our challenge.


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Simon Chua
Co-Founder and Executive Director of Lead8
Working predominately in Asia, mainland China and Hong Kong, Chua has over 20 years of international experience in award-winning design and construction projects. Chua’s expertise is best showcased in his portfolio of transport and entertainment-led, mixed-use developments. A hands-on designer, he heads Lead8’s architectural teams in Hong Kong and is currently the lead director of two major, large-scale developments for Sun Hung Kai Properties in Shanghai. He is passionate about thought leadership and has an active voice in the industry, participating in design discussions and contributing as a keynote speaker at MIPIM Asia, RECON Asia Pacific, Transit-Oriented Development Asia and Retail Asia.


Meeta Patel
Co-Founder and Executive Director of Lead8
With over 30 years of international experience on projects of various scales, combined with her cross-sector experience from master planning to small interior projects, Patel brings unique insight to every project she is involved in. Her portfolio includes a number of award-winning and iconic projects across Asia including ION Orchard, Plaza Singapura, Westgate, Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) Terminal 1 renovations, Changi Airport Terminal 4 and Jewel in Singapore. Patel currently heads the Lead8 Singapore and Kuala Lumpur studios, directing the design offer and a dynamic team on various mixed-use projects in Southeast Asia.

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