ParadoxCity design-research work of Baltimore Studio selected to be presented in Chicago’s EDRA conference. Make no little plans precisely meets the underlying idea of the work on rethinking the Jones Falls Corridor in Downtown Baltimore. In an urban age increasingly dominated by de-investment and deregulation, the scale of public infrastructure begins to register as the scale of the problem. Large mono-functional modernist infrastructure project erected in age of optimism and public budget, will soon meet the end of their design lifespan. How will we face the redevelopment of the elevated highway or buried and culverted river, assuming we can neither count on the optimism – nor on the budget of the time they were erected.
“Chicago is the intersection of people and place. The history of Chicago is marked by seminal events intertwining people and place—from the rebuilding after the great fire of 1871, to Pullman’s company town, to a diaspora of Southern rural Blacks in the 1930s, to the riots of 1968. Interspersed among these events were ambitious inventions including Olmstead’s design of Riverside: the first planned suburb, the floating foundation that enabled the first steel skyscraper, the first hotel elevators, and the first Ferris wheel. (…). Chicago is the incubator of great plans and urban invention. And for this reason, EDRA borrows Daniel Burnham’s charge for its 2011 conference theme: Make No Little Plans.”