There is something universal about urbanism. Not all cities are created the same, but they share underlying principles and precepts, according to architect and urbanist Dhiru Thadani. He is associated with the New Urbanism movement in the United States, which advocates, among other things, transit-oriented development and the making of public spaces to achieve a sense of place and a legible distinction between public and private realms within the city fabric.
His most famous book The Language of Towns and Cities: A Visual Dictionary is the result of many years of research conducted by Thadani and others, presented as a reference to specific- but-universal urban situations, in the form of case studies. His most recent book, Visions of Seaside is an in-depth examination of Seaside, the model town for the principles that New Urbanism espouses. Thadani works internationally as a consultant, educator and urbanist, helping to establish new settlements and to revitalize and restructure existing ones.
Dhiru Thadani has been in practice since 1978. As a design principal and partner for more than thirty years, he has completed projects the world over, and he continues to provide a broad range of consulting services in architecture and urban design. Thadani was born to the boisterous urbanism of Bombay, India and moved to Washington. During his forty years in Washington, he has taught, practiced, and worked to place architecture and urbanism in the public eye. He has worked on projects in Asia, Europe and North and Central America.
He was Principal and Director of Urban Design and Town Planning at Ayers/Saint/Gross from 2002 to 2009 and Design Partner in the Thadani Hetzel Partnership from 1987 to 2002. His experience includes urban design, town planning, architectural design, interior design, landscape design, construction management, graphic design, and rendering. In addition, Mr. Thadani has taught at various institutions in both the undergraduate and graduate programs. Since its formation in 1993, he has been a charter member of the Congress for the New Urbanism, and was appointed to the Board in 2005.
Dhiru Thadani is now traveling in Europe and will receive a prestigious award at the 50th Anniversary of the ISOCARP Congress in Rotterdam. In his lecture at Pakhuis de Zwijger he will share his ideas and experiences how to create cities and neighborhoods that are walkable, and contain a balance and diverse range of workplaces and housing. In addition, these new developments reinforce regional planning for open space, and feature architecture that is responsive to the culture, climate, and context.
After his lecture, Jaap Modder will warm-up the discussion with Dhiru Thadani.