6 Sep 2011
Jan Gehl, architect, urban planner, and author of Cities for People, discusses what he calls "bird shit architecture," a trend in urban planning that originated in the 1950's and persists to the present day. This type of architecture, he explains, is designed to look good from a plane, but is not practical for the actual residents of a city.
He uses the example of the city of Brasilia, capital of Brazil, one of the most famous modernistic cities, to illustrate his point. "From the air it looks smashing he says, its an eagle with wings…and from the helicopter, it looks really good, (but) down at eye level it really looks shit!"
Gehl refers to "bird shit architecture," as the phenomenon of architects flying over a city and dropping a number of buildings here and there, completely out of context. Dubai is an excellent example of this, he contends.