Archinect - News 2015-11-30T04:49:53-05:00 "Latin America is where modernist Utopia went to die." – A closer look at the changing urban landscape of Caracas Alexander Walter 2015-11-25T17:24:00-05:00 >2015-11-25T18:40:30-05:00 <img src="" width="514" height="365" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>&lsquo;El mejor anuncio de la historia&rsquo;, or &lsquo;the best ad in history&rsquo; is a picture taken in February 2008, which neatly encapsulates several aspects of the city&rsquo;s urban landscape: the formal, the informal and the promotional. '[...]Around and in between the super bloques a carpet of slums has grown, an organism that now seems to bind the blocks together in some symbiotic relationship. These are the kind of hybrid forms that are developing in Latin American cities [...]&rsquo;</p></em><br /><br /><p>Related in the Archinect news:</p><ul><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Venezuelan Government Evicts Residents From World's Tallest Slum</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Without Housing Reform, is a "Tower of David" Coming to Your City?</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Housing mobility vs. America's growing slum problem</a></li></ul> How one urban planner is helping revamp a Miami suburb "without gentrification" Justine Testado 2015-11-10T20:20:00-05:00 >2015-11-17T23:27:48-05:00 <img src="" width="514" height="343" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Germane Barnes wants Opa-Locka to be known for something else...He knows [change] can happen because he lives there, and has seen the work of a group of artists and organizers slowly change the landscape...The city's history intrigued him, not merely because it seemed like a perfect case study for his thesis about revitalizing a community without gentrification, but because it also spoke to his own experiences.</p></em><br /><br /><p>More on Archinect:</p><p><a title="In Chicago, forming economically integrated suburbs is more complex than it looks" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">In Chicago, forming economically integrated suburbs is more complex than it looks</a></p><p><a title="Welcome to Evanston, Illinois: the carless suburbia" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Welcome to Evanston, Illinois: the carless suburbia</a></p><p><a title="Berliners are getting their hopes up for transformed Kulturforum arts district" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Berliners are getting their hopes up for transformed Kulturforum arts district</a></p><p><a title="With a little compromise, illegal urban squats like Ljubljana's Metelkova Mesto can do a city good" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">With a little compromise, illegal urban squats like Ljubljana's Metelkova Mesto can do a city good</a></p> Egypt's challenges to build its new capital city Alexander Walter 2015-11-09T17:38:00-05:00 >2015-11-17T22:13:54-05:00 <img src="" width="514" height="343" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Cairo is an unruly urban sprawl that has spun out of control. Now, officials want to build a new capital in the desert -- a potent symbol of President Sisi's regime. But will it ever happen? [...] The old Cairo is an ugly city, an affront to the senses. [...] a city of contradictions, created from the bottom up, even though that had never been the intention. It has been growing wildly since the 1960s -- from 3.5 million back then to 18 million now -- against the will of the country's rulers.</p></em><br /><br /><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>Previously in the Archinect News:</p><ul><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">A New "Capital" for Cairo?</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Egypt's urban growth threatens Nile farmland</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Photographer documents Egypt's monumental housing developments in the desert</a></li></ul> SimCity and beyond: the history of city-building games Alexander Walter 2015-10-16T13:28:00-04:00 >2015-10-24T15:23:58-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="386" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Cities are everywhere. Billions of us live in them, and many of us think we could do a better job than the planners. But for the past 26 years dating back to the original SimCity, we've mostly been proving that idea false. [...] And now, here, I'm going to take you on a whirlwind tour through the history of the city-building genre&mdash;from its antecedents to the hot new thing.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Related on Archinect:</p><ul><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">The issue of homelessness in SimCity</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">How video game engines may influence the future of architecture (and everything else)</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Three guiding principles for a fine fake metropolis</a></li></ul> Africa's challenges and opportunities to get urbanization right Alexander Walter 2015-10-14T14:15:00-04:00 >2015-10-24T00:43:02-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="191" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>This is important for Africa, where despite high urbanisation rates the development focus has been primarily rural. Consider Ghana. The country&rsquo;s urban population has grown from four million in 1984 to more than 14 million today. Fifty one percent of Ghanaians now live in cities. While urbanisation rates vary across Africa, Ghana reflects an overall global trend towards a predominantly urban future. Ghana demonstrates how cities can be highly productive in Africa.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Related on Archinect:</p><ul><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">MASS Design Group to propose "Bauhaus of Africa" at U.N. Summit</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Chinese Urbanism takes root in Africa</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">A Look at Africa's Modernist Architecture</a></li></ul> Hello Wood's "Project Village" shifts architectural focus from urban to rural Julia Ingalls 2015-10-07T13:41:00-04:00 >2015-10-23T21:14:50-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="343" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>What is a village? More importantly, how rapidly can one be formed? The 150 academics, students and practicing architects participating in Project Village set out to answer these questions by constructing an entire community in a week, including a stage, a <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">pub</a>, and a residential building.&nbsp;</p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>Because the team, led by&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Hello Wood</a>, was assembled from a group of multi-national participants, there was no pre-existing notion of one national architectural heritage. The resulting installations therefore reflected&nbsp;a globalized 21st century cultural context within&nbsp;the sparse infrastructure of a rural setting, and correspondingly referenced issues such as private property, immigration, and multi-faith communities.&nbsp;</p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>Project Village, which debuted in&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Hungary</a>, is the first stage of a three year process. According to a press release, "During the first phase the creators have established a Village that&rsquo;s primarily focusing on engaging with communities, generating social interactions and testing it as a ...</p> Explore Manhattan When It Was Just Forests and Creeks With the 1609 Welikia Map Alyssa Alimurung 2015-09-28T14:29:00-04:00 >2015-09-28T14:28:57-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="325" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>The Welikia Project, formerly known as the Mannahatta Project, has gotten a powerful update that now lets you explore New York City's historic ecology using a satellite map that imagines how Manhattan might have looked back in 1609&mdash;and all the years between then and now.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html> 11th annual "Parking Day" transforms parking spaces into public spaces Julia Ingalls 2015-09-18T00:04:00-04:00 >2015-09-29T00:02:58-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="386" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>In 2005, the now defunct Rebar placed coins in a <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">San Francisco</a> parking meter not to park a car but to erect a small public park. Every third Friday in September since then, <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">activists worldwide</a> who wish to foster a conversation about the lack of public space have been transforming parking spaces into everything from greenery to art installations to places for wedding ceremonies. This September 18th, potential participants are encouraged to download the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Parking Day Manifesto</a>, which is a how-to-guide on transforming that slab of asphalt into an engaging <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">public space</a>.</p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p> Urban fingerprints reveal a city's fundamental character and composition Julia Ingalls 2015-09-17T15:10:00-04:00 >2015-09-28T23:36:47-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="325" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Like humans, cities and neighborhoods have their own unique fingerprints. The maps were created by researchers at the center&rsquo;s Urban Age program, who have been studying how the layout of rapidly urbanizing cities can affect their livability.</p></em><br /><br /><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">New York</a> is a grid, <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">London</a> is an airy whirl, <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Hong Kong</a> is dense: at least, that's according to the black and white "fingerprint" maps put together by the Urban Age program at the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">London School of Economics and Political Science</a>. The project helps researches see at a glance the macroscopic characteristics of urban environments, from density to wealth disparity to room for growth. The project has profiled urban centers all around the world, including <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Rio de Janeiro</a> and <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Mumbai</a>.</p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>For news about other innovative designs using aerially-compiled urban patterns, do read:</p><p>&bull;&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">UpStarts: Four O Nine architecture and design</a></p> Work on largest urban computer model commenced. therepublic 2015-09-08T13:05:00-04:00 >2015-09-08T13:05:51-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="514" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>The Republic, a computer model of a future urban floor plan for an administrative and institutional area has commenced and aims to be unparalleled in size and complexity. Its initial aim is to produce a series of audiovisual dialogues exploring the urban architecture. Longer term objectives are for an audiovisual ideas resource for architects, urban planners and students. What is unique to this project is the incorporation on metamaterial concepts in the design which are normally found in large geometric structures such as photonic crystals, a rapidly growing area of nano engineering. More details can be found at <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">here</a> (PDF).</p> The architect who wants New Orleans learn a lesson or two from Amsterdam Alexander Walter 2015-09-03T14:54:00-04:00 >2015-09-03T15:03:21-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="343" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>David Waggonner is an urban and environmental architect. Since Hurricane Katrina decimated his city, he&rsquo;s been focusing on urban stormwater management, mapping out designs for New Orleans that would mimic the way Dutch cities like Amsterdam and Rotterdam deal with water. In the Netherlands, people &ldquo;invite water into the city,&rdquo; meaning water is visible everywhere. [...] &ldquo;In New Orleans, we&rsquo;ve hidden and squandered the asset.&rdquo;</p></em><br /><br /><p>Related on Archinect and our sister site Bustler:</p><ul><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Louisiana is Disappearing into the Sea</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Post-Katrina: Will New Orleans still be New Orleans?</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Changing Course teams present final 100-year plans to restore Lower Mississippi River Delta</a> (Bustler)</li></ul> Antonia Malchik on the end of walking in America Alexander Walter 2015-08-31T18:39:00-04:00 >2015-08-31T18:48:41-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="341" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>For decades, Americans have been losing their ability, even their right, to walk. [...] there are vast blankets and folds of the country where the ability to walk &ndash; to open a door and step outside and go somewhere or nowhere without getting behind the wheel of a car &ndash; is a struggle, a fight. A risk. [...] we encourage car travel and discourage moving on foot. More than discourage it, we criminalise it where deemed necessary.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Related:</p><ul><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">NY Mayor de Blasio's Times Square overhaul runs into massive opposition</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">MIT's "Placelet" sensors technologize old-fashioned observation methods for placemaking</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Why Can't One Walk To The Super Bowl?</a></li></ul> Jan Gehl's perspective on making "a good urban habitat for homo sapiens" Justine Testado 2015-08-24T14:09:00-04:00 >2015-08-26T19:08:32-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="289" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Every time we build something, we manipulate the conditions of people&rsquo;s lives, but most planners don&rsquo;t know enough about this manipulation...I have worked very hard to find out what the life is that goes on inside our buildings and how our buildings influence that life...Because if you just do form, then you are doing sculpture, but if you look after the interaction between life and form, you are doing architecture.</p></em><br /><br /><p>More on Archinect:</p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Is Jan Gehl winning his battle to make our cities liveable?</a></p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Jason Danziger heals psychosis with design</a></p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">MIT's "Placelet" sensors technologize old-fashioned observation methods for placemaking</a></p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">We're suckers for any architecture that looks like us</a></p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Our infrastructure is expanding to include animals</a></p> 1920s ‘Popular Science’ Illustration Stacks the Future American City Like a Layered Cake Alyssa Alimurung 2015-08-20T13:29:00-04:00 >2015-08-25T18:20:37-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="432" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>In the 1920s urban "futurists" believed that Americans would be living and thriving in high-density vertical cities. Architect Harvey W. Corbett&rsquo;s &ldquo;May Live to See, May Solve Congestion Problems&rdquo; is one such proposal that sees everything from homes, offices, schools, green space and even aircraft landing fields stacked on top of each other for the ultimate metropolis.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html> News cycle: August's noteworthy bicycle news Julia Ingalls 2015-08-19T14:59:00-04:00 >2015-08-24T22:47:20-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="514" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Germany might still be a car-obsessed country, but it's starting to build an Autobahn for bikes.</p></em><br /><br /><p>From <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">the U.S</a>. to Germany, urban planners and major corporations are starting to purposefully design for bicycles instead of individually operated cars. In Munich, a proposed network of two-lane bike paths would radiate out from the city center to the surrounding suburbs, creating 400 miles of cyclist-only access. Meanwhile, according to WebUrbanist, international fast-food chain <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">McDonald's</a> has created an unfolding bicycle-oriented food transport container known as "<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">McBike</a>," which allows a bicyclist to visit the drive-through lane and comfortably transport a beverage and hot food home. The program was launched in <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Copenhagen</a>, and may soon make its way to a Mickey Dee's near you.</p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p> Berliners are getting their hopes up for transformed Kulturforum arts district Alexander Walter 2015-08-17T13:24:00-04:00 >2015-08-24T21:50:17-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="345" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>The neighborhood &mdash; a central district that was dismantled by the Nazis, battered by Allied bombs and radically reconfigured by postwar architects &mdash; has foiled urban planners, exasperated patrons of the arts and demoralized generations of Berliners intent on seeing their city made once more into a cohesive whole. [...] Many are hoping that all that strife is in the past now that a new museum of modern art will be built in the much-maligned arts quarter.</p></em><br /><br /><p>In recent Berlin news on Archinect:</p><ul><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Berlin's world-class museums struggle to build up excitement</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Berlin lists communist-era towers of Alexanderplatz as historical monuments; Gehry high-rise still happening</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Herzog &amp; de Meuron to redevelop Berlin&rsquo;s infamous Tacheles cultural center; locals fear gentrification</a></li></ul><p>Heading to Berlin soon? Don't miss this excellent <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><strong>Berlin City Guide</strong></a> with architectural and cultural highlights that&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">J&uuml;rgen Mayer H.</a> exclusively curated for Archinect. The Kulturforum is of course among his recommended sites.</p> When the next disaster strikes, how resilient would future-proof cities in the U.S. be? Justine Testado 2015-08-14T14:45:00-04:00 >2015-08-16T12:17:45-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="287" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>'There is no one size fits all approach &mdash; every region is completely different...' Hurricane Sandy underlined the urgency by ruthlessly exposing New York's structural weaknesses...California also suffered as historic droughts settled in, and the 2014 wave of winter storms terrorized the North, emphasizing that extreme conditions were here to stay and could strike anywhere. This bought the U.S. into line with the global situation.</p></em><br /><br /><p>More on Archinect:</p><p><a title="The Hurricane Katrina Cottages: where are they now?" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">The Hurricane Katrina Cottages: where are they now?</a></p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Coating the LA reservoir in "shade balls" will save 300M gallons of water</a></p><p><a title="How the Cascadia earthquake threatens America's coastal Northwest" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">How the Cascadia earthquake threatens America's coastal Northwest</a></p><p><a title="The Pragmatics of Adaptating to Sea Level Rise: The Next Wave @ UCLA" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">The Pragmatics of Adaptating to Sea Level Rise: The Next Wave @ UCLA</a></p><p><a title="U.S. Department of HUD announces the Rebuild By Design winners" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">U.S. Department of HUD announces the Rebuild By Design winners</a></p><p><em>Have an idea for how to address the California drought with design? Submit your ideas to Archinect's <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Dry Futures competition</a>!</em></p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p> Are apps the virtual gateway to physical gentrification? Julia Ingalls 2015-08-05T18:26:00-04:00 >2015-08-09T11:58:29-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="894" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>Laundromats have recently been closing down in San Francisco, which prompted a Google employee to tweet in response "cost of disruption: washio and others have removed need for laundromat on every block." Who needs laundromats when there's an app for that? Well, people who can't afford to spend $15 a pop on washing their socks, for starters. The tweet prompted a thoughtful article in <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Tech.Mic</a>, in which the short-term gains of disruptive app inventors are speculatively played out to their potential society-eroding ends, especially in the arenas of <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">transit</a> and health care. In this case, the article points out that the laundry delivery app in question is exactly that: a delivery service that still uses third-party launderers to actually clean the clothes, but charges for the convenience.</p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>Apparently, the San Francisco laundromats are closing mainly because of the usual gentrification pressures in the form of desirable cheap real estate, not necessarily because of apps. However, assuming ...</p> As mining threatens Kiruna, the city plans for possible demolition and relocation two miles east Justine Testado 2015-08-03T19:57:00-04:00 >2015-08-03T20:40:11-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="308" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>In a highly unusual case of urbanism, the whole town centre and its surrounding neighbourhoods are to be demolished...The 3,050 homes that would be affected by the impact of the mining &ndash; in addition to shops, offices, schools, the city hall and the hospital &ndash; will all be bought by [the LKAB mining company], knocked down and relocated. The process of moving the city will happen in phases, with the majority estimated to be completed by 2040.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Rapid mining activity in Kiruna is already posing a serious threat to the city, to the point that the mining company LKAB plans to relocate the entire municipality two miles eastward to prevent buildings from collapsing into the mine. <em>The Guardian</em> gives an overview on how locals are reacting to the relocation proposal, and how those two miles could completely change everything.</p><p>More on Archinect:</p><p><a title="Chinese coal mining company destroys nearly every building in protected village dating back to Ming dynasty" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Chinese coal mining company destroys nearly every building in protected village dating back to Ming dynasty</a></p><p><a title="Henning Larsen Architects wins Kiruna City Hall competition in Northern Sweden" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Henning Larsen Architects wins Kiruna City Hall competition in Northern Sweden</a></p><p><a title="Louvre-Lens: helping a mining town shed its image" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Louvre-Lens: helping a mining town shed its image</a></p> Beijing's challenges to become the center of Jing-Jin-Ji — a supercity of 130 million people Alexander Walter 2015-07-21T08:00:00-04:00 >2015-07-25T16:37:21-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="343" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>For decades, China&rsquo;s government has tried to limit the size of Beijing, the capital, through draconian residency permits. Now, the government has embarked on an ambitious plan to make Beijing the center of a new supercity of 130 million people. The planned megalopolis, a metropolitan area that would be about six times the size of New York&rsquo;s, is meant to revamp northern China&rsquo;s economy and become a laboratory for modern urban growth.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Related stories:</p><ul><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">China&rsquo;s "most influential architect" is not pleased with the state of Chinese urbanism</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Beijing mayor says air pollution makes his city "unlivable"</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">China Moves to Ease Home-Registration Rules in Urbanization Push</a></li></ul> New Urbanism takes over Chicago’s suburbs Alexander Walter 2015-07-07T17:20:00-04:00 >2015-07-10T14:10:19-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="386" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>But thanks to increased interest from buyers and less resistance from village governments, developers are constructing more new-urbanism-style homes in the burbs. &ldquo;Millennials and boomers are demanding it,&rdquo; explains Drew Williams-Clark, principal planner at the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html> Could Google's Sidewalk Labs help alleviate urban city problems? Justine Testado 2015-07-03T12:33:00-04:00 >2015-07-03T13:07:35-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="195" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>It&rsquo;s this inevitable dichotomy between data and real life that will likely define [Google's] Sidewalk Labs...There&rsquo;s a naivety to their worldview that might help to get things done inside a company but could prove a hurdle to progress in the public realm. Yes, the region does need more housing, but the politics of how, where, and when that housing is built are far more nuanced than Google can apparently handle.</p></em><br /><br /><p>The cloud of speculation surrounding Google as of late only grows bigger with the tech giant's&nbsp; recent launch of its independent start-up, <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Sidewalk Labs</a>. Charging further into Google's real-world endeavors, the <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">"urban innovation company"</a> vies "to improve city life for everyone through the application of technology to solve urban problems" like curbing energy use, creating more affordable housing, cutting pollution, and streamlining transportation. Could Sidewalk Labs potentially ease the growing pains of real-life urban cities, or is Google just spewing more technocratic rhetoric?</p> Jeanne Gang's proposed 160 Folsom tower in S.F. faces sudden local opposition Justine Testado 2015-06-26T13:58:00-04:00 >2015-06-30T17:31:06-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="755" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>These are strange days in San Francisco, where the clamor to build needed housing &mdash; especially at affordable levels &mdash; is matched only by the self-righteous vigor with which actual proposals for that housing tend to be opposed...But if we want a well-planned city with distinctive new buildings for all its citizens, projects like this show that good design and good policy can go hand in hand.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Developer Tishman Speyer's nearly one-year-old proposal for a 400-foot-tall residential tower, <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">which Jeanne Gang designed</a>, at 160 Folsom St. is suddenly <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">facing opposition</a> from local groups. With former mayor Art Agnos at the forefront of the opposition, the groups argue that the building promotes "economic segregation" and is yet another example of "developers wreaking vengeance" on the city, as <em>S.F. Chronicle</em>'s urban design critic John King states in the article.</p><p>Opponents claim the 400-foot tower would overshadow the nearby Rincon Park and the Embarcadero waterfront, although that area is already developed with large structures like the Gap HQ, the Hills Plaza complex, and the Infinity luxury condo complex&nbsp;&mdash; where Agnos and other opponents recently held their kickoff meeting, interestingly enough.</p><p>In terms of exterior design, King writes that Gang's corkscrew tower would be "a great addition" to San Francisco's skyline, and that the tower's visual distinction has the potential to "g...</p> Pope Francis calls for "morally driven" city design in his climate-change encyclical Justine Testado 2015-06-19T15:07:00-04:00 >2015-06-23T15:55:36-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="342" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Collectively, the encyclical affirms how important it is to make the moral case for city design. Too often, developers, urban planners and city leaders seem to think that it is obvious or implied why the decisions they make are in the best interest of the public. But there is no shortcut to articulating why our planning choices speak to the fundamental human dignity of the communities we&rsquo;re working in.</p></em><br /><br /><p><em>"Given the interrelationship between living space and human behaviour, those who design buildings, neighbourhoods, public spaces and cities, ought to draw on the various disciplines which help us to understand people&rsquo;s thought processes, symbolic language and ways of acting. It is not enough to seek the beauty of design. More precious still is the service we offer to another kind of beauty: people&rsquo;s quality of life, their adaptation to the environment, encounter and mutual assistance. Here too, we see how important it is that urban planning always take into consideration the views of those who will live in these areas.</em>"</p><p>Pope Francis tells it like it is in his latest 184-page <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">encyclical</a>, in response to humanity's "principal challenge" of global climate change.</p><p>More:</p><p><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Vatican's Renovated Public Restrooms Provides Showers, Haircuts for the Homeless</a></p> Istanbul’s introverted megaspaces Alexander Walter 2015-06-18T23:42:00-04:00 >2015-06-22T20:58:28-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="204" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>A new typology of XL-architecture is emerging in Istanbul, negating the urban context. These &lsquo;Citadels-on-Steroids&rsquo; rapidly encroach on the city&rsquo;s urban fabric. [...] This might very well be the future of all cities. As city walls and state boundaries erode under late capitalism, the walls are only rebuilt at a smaller scale to maintain immunity from the chaos outside.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html> Amsterdam's ambitious IJburg housing project on 10 artificial islands keeps growing Alexander Walter 2015-06-15T13:05:00-04:00 >2015-06-16T18:28:54-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="232" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Right now, Amsterdam&rsquo;s Center Island (Centrumeiland in Dutch) doesn&rsquo;t look like much [...] The island, in use for the first time this summer as a campsite-cum-art installation, is in fact an entirely artificial creation, lying at the heart of what could currently be Europe&rsquo;s boldest engineering and housing program. [...] The archipelago will eventually be home to up to 45,000 people in 18,000 homes, 30 percent of which will be earmarked for affordable rent.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html> The uncertain future of Moscow's urban renewal ambitions Alexander Walter 2015-06-08T20:00:00-04:00 >2015-06-10T19:12:42-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="308" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>The plan was to create a new type of city that answered the needs of Moscow&rsquo;s creative middle classes. But did the exit of Sergei Kapkov, the culture minister who ushered in these changes, also signal the end of the city&rsquo;s urban revival? [...] &ldquo;Kapkov&rsquo;s reforms provided a whole generation of young creative types with a sense &ndash; perhaps somewhat illusory &ndash; that they could do things on a small scale; that there was a real fabric of life in a public city,&rdquo; said Tsentsiper.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Related:&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">The Calvert Journal asks experts: How to fix Moscow?</a></p> "Active design" movement wants to trick you into taking the stairs Nicholas Korody 2015-06-03T12:42:00-04:00 >2015-06-08T11:16:13-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="322" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>As we move through our cities each day, we make dozens of small decisions, based on dozens of small reasons. [...] The choices we make while navigating cities are influenced by subconscious factors that planners, architects and designers are beginning to mine and leverage. Some are wielding that insider knowledge to create places that will play mind tricks &mdash; to get us to make healthier decisions.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html> Omaha to improve its Metro (for free!) Nicholas Korody 2015-05-27T20:22:00-04:00 >2015-06-01T23:00:33-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="386" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>At the end of May, Metro will debut its FORWARD plan: a fully reconfigured bus network that emphasizes more frequency, better night and weekend service, direct lines through high-ridership corridors, and grid-style access to many parts of the city. The top five routes will now all get 15-minute peak service... Rather than lobby for more taxpayer funding or jack up fares, Metro looked for more efficient ways to use its existing resources.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html> Mumbai's Dharavi 'slum': Opportunities & challenges Alexander Walter 2015-05-18T14:45:00-04:00 >2015-05-18T16:28:47-04:00 <img src="" width="514" height="321" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>The slum, of course, is the hottest button in urbanism. Beneath the clich&eacute; that half the world&rsquo;s population lives in cities &mdash; and that urban populations will double by 2050 &mdash; is the fact that only bottom-up informal settlements, or slums, can absorb several billion new residents in the timeframe. [...] URBZ is notable in that it offers a third way at looking at Dharavi &mdash; as both a failure and a better path to success than stillborn smart cities or other attempts at top-down instant urbanism.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Related:</p><ul><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Will India's 'smart city' initiative exacerbate social stratification?</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">"Great City...Terrible Place": A discussion on the urban future of India</a></li></ul>