Grounded Development an Essential Protocol for Tallness

Francisco J. Gonzalez-Pulido
Co-Owner and President
JAHN, Chicago

Tallness is superficial, unless it is literally and physically rooted to the dynamics of context and culture. Tallness has become relevant as our instrument to track technological progress and innovation in many fields, but paradoxically also banal as a visual symbol of a "brand." This presentation explored the idea of developing density by creating places first. Too often, skylines are responsible for branding a City but not necessarily for creating a place. In this sense the concept of "grounded development" can bring the energy to turn a place into an experience. Such urban interventions should be the horizontal protocols that precede the "Vertical." The current models of development are usually image and profit driven, heavily focused on objects. This archaic model does not provoke organic development but simply promotes vertical density, while artificially increasing land values. Density has become a synonym of inaccessibility; tallness should be uniting us, not segregating us.

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