In the Press

RegenCities Featured in Architectural Record

RegenCities, a 2018 American Planning Association Smart Cities Award-winning research initiative by SOM, aims for the best. RegenCities draws on an SOM-developed, systems-based methodology, which the firm calls “health topography.” It uses geo-referenced information to analyze a city’s vital signs. A scan of public data from open-source portals is combined with census-tract data for a defined area, and categorized according to five urban systems: built, natural, infrastructure, socioeconomic, and cultural. The data are then aggregated, mapped, and cross-referenced against 10 principles, or traits, of regenerative cities (such as energy, economy, and mobility) to reveal areas of abundance and scarcity. The data sets themselves are not intended to be conclusive, says Gunnar Hand, leader of SOM’s city-design practice. Instead, they help to focus discussion among the people involved.