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Boston Society of Architects' exhibit highlights innovative reuses of urban infrastructures

Posted by Jeremy C. Fox  July 3, 2013 08:03 PM

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BSA Space urban repurpose exhibit.jpg
Boston Society of Architects
A repurposed billboard structure from the exhibit.

A new exhibit at the Boston Society of Architects’ downtown gallery examines how the cities around the world are rethinking their infrastructures and adapting them to new and expanded uses to benefit residents and visitors, the society announced.

Curated and designed by urban design director Scott Burnham, “Reprogramming the City: Opportunities for Urban Infrastructure,” is on display at the BSA Space inside the Atlantic Wharf complex.

The exhibit looks at innovations from more than 20 cities including Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, and of course, Boston.

“Designers, architects, and cities themselves are realizing that in an era of limited resources, there is a vast amount of untapped potential in the existing physical stock of the city,” Burnham said in a statement released by the society.

“A new approach of designing with the existing materials of the city is bringing a new resourcefulness and sense of opportunity to the urban landscape,” he said. “This new spirit and attitude is not only expanding the functionality of urban objects and areas but [also] increasing the creative spirit of the city itself.”

Among the projects on display is City Tickets, a collaboration between Burnham, Mayo Nissen, and the City of Boston, that explores the repurposing of parking meters to better serve city residents.

Burnham, a Boston University graduate, has led projects in 11 cities around the world, including the $32 million project Urbis, The Centre for Urban Culture in Manchester, England, and leading the Trust Design project in Amsterdam.

Projects shown in the exhibition cross boundaries between the related fields of architecture, design, engineering, and urban planning, the society said, and offer an overview in two-dimensional, three-dimensional, and moving images of resourceful approaches to urban design.

Mike Davis, president of the society, said the exhibit is in line with the mission of the BSA Space to promote the exchange of ideas between architects and the general public.

“It’s an ideal opportunity to promote an innovative exhibition that highlights the accessible, fun, and adventuring aspects of architecture and urban design,” Davis said.

The exhibit is on display at the BSA Space, 290 Congress St. in downtown Boston, through Sept. 29. The gallery is free to the public and is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends and holidays. For more information, visit

Jeremy C. Fox can be reached at
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