Archinect - News 2015-09-03T21:42:06-04:00 http://archinect.com/news/article/135262578/sorry-l-a-but-the-nation-s-worst-traffic-is-in-d-c Sorry L.A., but the nation's worst traffic is in D.C. Alexander Walter 2015-08-27T13:11:00-04:00 >2015-08-27T13:13:23-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/9n/9nicj58mgkqlz20s.jpg" width="514" height="328" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>For those who assume&nbsp;Los Angeles has the worst traffic in the United States: Not so fast. Drivers in Southern California spent a whopping 80 hours sitting in traffic in 2014, according to a new report by the Texas A&amp;M Transportation Institute and the traffic data company Inrix. But the city with the dubious distinction of most time lost behind the wheel is Washington, D.C., researchers say, where commuters clocked 82 hours of delays in a single year.&nbsp;</p></em><br /><br /><p>Other metro areas snatching top spots according to the&nbsp;<a href="http://d2dtl5nnlpfr0r.cloudfront.net/tti.tamu.edu/documents/mobility-scorecard-2015.pdf" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">2015 Urban Mobility Scorecard</a> report:</p><ul><li>San Francisco-Oakland CA (78 hours)</li><li>New York-Newark NY-NJ-CT (74 hours)</li><li>San Jose CA (67 hours)</li><li>Boston MA-NH-RI (64 hours)</li></ul> http://archinect.com/news/article/134729252/melbourne-is-world-s-most-liveable-city-for-fifth-consecutive-year Melbourne is world’s most liveable city for fifth consecutive year Alexander Walter 2015-08-20T15:24:00-04:00 >2015-08-25T18:23:40-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/5q/5qd29h4nmycap13z.jpg" width="514" height="296" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>In any event, it's as you were for the "haves" at the top of list, with Melbourne taking the top spot for a fifth year running, with Vienna, Vancouver, Toronto and Adelaide/Calgary (tied at 5) completing the top five most livable cities in 2015. [...] these cities have "relatively few challenges to living standards," and enjoy a good infrastructure, healthcare system and a low murder rate. Unsurprisingly, Damascus remains the least livable city, with Syria embroiled in a bloody civil war.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Other articles related to <em>liveability</em> on Archinect:</p><ul><li><a href="http://archinect.com/news/article/134719585/think-you-live-in-a-nice-county-find-out-where-it-stands-on-the-nationwide-natural-amenities-index" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Think you live in a nice county? Find out where it stands on the nationwide Natural Amenities Index.</a></li><li><a href="http://archinect.com/news/article/108103352/planning-for-local-and-liveable-neighbourhoods-in-melbourne" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Planning for Local and Liveable Neighbourhoods in Melbourne</a></li><li><a href="http://archinect.com/news/article/115580917/is-jan-gehl-winning-his-battle-to-make-our-cities-liveable" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Is Jan Gehl winning his battle to make our cities liveable?</a></li><li><a href="http://archinect.com/news/article/106959605/melbourne-named-world-s-most-liveable-city-for-fourth-consecutive-year" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Melbourne named world&rsquo;s most liveable city for fourth consecutive year</a></li></ul> http://archinect.com/news/article/133655328/archinect-s-critical-round-up-the-week-s-best-architectural-critiques-so-far Archinect's critical round-up: the week's best architectural critiques so far Julia Ingalls 2015-08-06T17:48:00-04:00 >2015-08-09T10:32:45-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/5m/5m82619o83ots5q0.jpg" width="514" height="334" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>Over at the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/arts/la-et-cm-hawthorne-405-freeway-design-20150730-column.html#page=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Los Angeles Times</a>, Christopher Hawthorne eloquently pans the new addition to the 405 freeway, noting that "The expanded 405 might be the first L.A. freeway project to look haggard and disjointed the day it opened." His review comes at a time when infrastructure, especially in California, is starting to (violently) show signs of its age: last year, the University of California Los Angeles briefly flooded thanks to an aged <a href="http://archinect.com/news/article/105398405/water-main-breaks-on-sunset-blvd-floods-ucla" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">water main</a>&nbsp;breaking, and in July a freak thunderstorm collapsed a portion of interstate 10. Hawthorne's displeasure is focused primarily on the 405's haphazard design to please multiple neighborhoods, its tacky soil-nail construction retaining walls ("This technique is something like the comb-over of freeway design"), and its simple underwhelming-ness as a public works project.</p><p>Meanwhile, James S. Russell's thoughtful examination of Thomas Heatherwick in the <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/02/arts/design/the-price-of-thomas-heatherwicks-imagination.html?partner=rssnyt&amp;emc=rss&amp;_r=2&amp;utm_content=bufferb2c3c&amp;utm_medium=social&amp;utm_source=twitter.com&amp;utm_campaign=buffer" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">New York Times</a> delves into one of the perennially feisty debates of the architectural realm: just ...</p> http://archinect.com/news/article/133508284/us-dot-tries-to-shame-congress-into-funding-transportation-infrastructure-with-showusyourinfrawear US DOT tries to shame Congress into funding transportation infrastructure with #ShowUsYourInfraWear Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2015-08-04T19:19:00-04:00 >2015-08-05T13:00:06-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/wb/wbehnam5q4c3abc0.jpg" width="514" height="337" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>So beginning today and running throughout the August recess, we're turning our Instagram account over to you.&nbsp; Just snap a photo &ndash; please do it safely! &ndash; of the worn-out infrastructure in your neck of the woods and share it with @USDOT using #ShowUsYourInfraWear.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Public shaming has long been a tactic of the U.S. criminal justice system &ndash; there were the stocks of yore, the scarlet letters, and more recently, the tactics of felony court judge Ted Poe. Nowadays though, we tend to skip all the messiness of the public square and go straight to the internet to delve out shame &ndash; less as a sanctioned method of retributive justice, and more as a form of activism. Now, fed up with Congressional obstinacy to fund a long-term highway-planning bill, the Department of Transportation is joining the fray.</p><p>Using #ShowUsYourInfraWear, USDOT is imploring people to share pictures of surface infrastructure in disrepair with their Instagram, @USDOT. This isn't like a city's 311 service &ndash; tagging it isn't going to actually report it to local authorities &ndash; it's a rallying call for Congress to fund better transportation maintenance once it returns from a 5-week recess in September. The American Society of Civil Engineers issues a national <a href="http://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/a/#p/home" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">"report card"</a> every four yea...</p> http://archinect.com/news/article/131886682/follow-the-yellow-wooden-road-into-rotterdam-s-new-luchtsingel-pedestrian-park Follow the yellow wooden road into Rotterdam's new Luchtsingel pedestrian park Justine Testado 2015-07-14T19:46:00-04:00 >2015-07-18T14:01:20-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/b0/b0v3ahtp8ertr3dp.jpg" width="514" height="343" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>Rotterdam recently welcomed <a href="http://www.luchtsingel.org/en/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">The Luchtsingel</a>, a communal endeavor to spruce up the long-neglected Hofplein neighborhood in the heart of the city. Locally based architecture practice <a href="http://archinect.com/firms/cover/87503546/zus-zones-urbaines-sensibles-b-v" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Zones Urbaines Sensibles</a> (ZUS) devised The Luchtsingel in 2011. The focal point of the emerging "three-dimensional cityscape" is a nearly 400-meter wooden pedestrian bridge that was largely built from crowdsourced funds, accompanied by a network of refurbished public spaces.</p><p><img title="" alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/y4/y484b5g4zwl05qg2.jpg"><img title="" alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/ei/eikh35mt8q15r3eg.jpg"></p><p>"<em>Based on the idea of Permanent Temporality, the Luchtsingel introduces a new way of [city-making]. This means using the city's evolutionary character and existing forms as a starting point. Therefore, we have developed new instruments for design, financing, and planning,</em>" said ZUS partner Elma van Boxel in a statement.</p><p><img title="" alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/ql/ql7y1kfr2xgxgxkc.jpg"></p><p>The project gained traction when ZUS set up the "I Make Rotterdam" crowdfunding campaign for the bridge. The campaign sold over 8,000 boards painted in a&nbsp;hard-to-ignore shade of yellow inscribed with the supporter's name...</p> http://archinect.com/news/article/131869805/as-bicycle-ownership-in-north-korea-rises-pyongyang-introduces-bike-lanes As bicycle ownership in North Korea rises, Pyongyang introduces bike lanes Alexander Walter 2015-07-14T12:59:00-04:00 >2015-07-14T13:06:12-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/gc/gchygiit7cyy6idk.jpg" width="514" height="308" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>North Korea has installed cycle lanes on major thoroughfares in Pyongyang in an apparent bid to cut down on pedestrian accidents, as more residents are able to afford to buy bicycles. Bicycles are an expensive but increasingly popular mode of transport for many in the country where private car ownership, although on the rise, is still rare. [...] As recently as 2014, cycling was still illegal for women, though the ban was much flouted.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Related:</p><ul><li><a href="http://archinect.com/news/article/130715505/north-korean-architect-of-new-pyongyang-airport-reportedly-executed-by-kim-jong-un" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">North Korean architect of new Pyongyang airport reportedly executed by Kim Jong Un</a></li><li><a href="http://archinect.com/news/article/90763575/lessons-from-north-korean-urbanism" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Lessons from North Korean urbanism</a> &amp; <a href="http://archinect.com/news/article/90910949/lessons-from-north-korean-urbanism-pt-2" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">part 2</a></li><li><a href="http://archinect.com/news/article/105259431/what-the-future-looks-like-to-north-koreans-who-have-never-left" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">What The Future Looks Like To North Koreans Who Have Never Left</a></li></ul> http://archinect.com/news/article/130333304/hanoi-s-alleys-struggle-to-accommodate-their-new-neighbors-high-rise-developments Hanoi's alleys struggle to accommodate their new neighbors: high-rise developments Alexander Walter 2015-06-24T16:17:00-04:00 >2015-06-25T12:37:54-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/c1/c119ef1a1dfc5a4b06eda341b50fe9f7.jpg" width="514" height="349" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>High-rise buildings and apartments are crowding small alleyways and residential areas, investors ignoring the huge pressure they are putting on already weak infrastructure. [...] Hai, a resident of Thanh Xuan District, said locals are most worried about the danger of fire [...] High-rise developments also put a huge strain on local power and water supplies, struggling sewage systems and storm-water drainage, creating more hazards for neighbouring residents.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><head><meta></head></html> http://archinect.com/news/article/129714634/the-pulaski-skyway-tells-the-tale-of-america-s-aging-highway-system The Pulaski Skyway tells the tale of America's aging highway system Alexander Walter 2015-06-16T13:49:00-04:00 >2015-06-16T15:59:36-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/xs/xs2ygki09i3deaqs.jpg" width="514" height="411" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Just north of Newark, New Jersey, the Pulaski Skyway became the country&rsquo;s first so-called &ldquo;superhighway&rdquo; &mdash; a 3.5-mile raised roadway running over the top of some of the most heavily industrialized property in the country. [...] In infrastructure terms, the Pulaski is what&rsquo;s called &ldquo;functionally obsolete,&rdquo; meaning it doesn&rsquo;t meet modern design standards &mdash;and the money being spent to fix it up won&rsquo;t change that.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><head><meta></head></html> http://archinect.com/news/article/126886713/our-infrastructure-is-expanding-to-include-animals Our infrastructure is expanding to include animals Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2015-05-07T14:07:00-04:00 >2015-05-13T19:05:40-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/58/586cad6766cd8f7ae71daf8cc04b6fe1.jpg" width="514" height="343" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>municipal infrastructure is being expanded to include living creatures. In many ways, of course, this is simply the contemporary urbanization of a practice that goes back millennia. However, the ensuing juxtapositions &ndash; of 21st-century landscapes and cities being maintained not by high-tech machines or by specialty equipment but by neo-medieval groups of trained animals &ndash; can be quite jarring. Animal labour is once more becoming an explicit component of the modern metropolis</p></em><br /><br /><p>The absolute premise, and conclusion, here is that human urbanism is ineluctably woven within all animal ecologies, and that harnessing inter-species relationships within urban systems can be advantageous for every bit of the food web. A few instances from the piece are:</p><ul><li>landscaping llamas for Chicago's O'Hare's "Grazing Herd"</li><li>falcons in Dubai trained to thin out pesty pigeon populations</li><li>waste-clearing pigs in Cairo</li></ul><p>Using natural animal processes to the urban-human's advantage is all well and good, but as the article points out, it's not one that can be easily "scaled". When urban needs outpace the natural rhythms of a supportive ecological system, when we <em>just can't scale nature big enough,&nbsp;</em>humans will simply create their own animal helpers &ndash;&nbsp;<em>New Scientist&nbsp;</em>alludes to a future in which animals are modified to better serve human needs.</p> http://archinect.com/news/article/125364007/ode-to-the-stack-los-angeles-s-iconic-infrastructure Ode to the Stack, Los Angeles's iconic infrastructure Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2015-04-15T15:40:00-04:00 >2015-04-20T19:46:49-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/89/89j3t1cpw0gnddtp.jpg" width="514" height="308" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>The Four Level, or Stack as it&rsquo;s sometimes known, was the first interchange of its kind when it fully opened in 1953. [...] It may seem a cliche to simply associate LA with its freeways, but the connection between the infrastructure and the city&rsquo;s image is strong. It&rsquo;s not just about driving, it&rsquo;s about a new form of urban living in the postwar era [...] &ldquo;LA kind of emerged at the forefront of that development and it became recognised as a freeway metropolis&rdquo;</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><head><meta></head></html> http://archinect.com/news/article/123207486/are-driverless-pods-the-future-of-public-transportation Are driverless pods the future of public transportation? Nicholas Korody 2015-03-18T17:34:00-04:00 >2015-03-23T22:23:20-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/ry/ry7i5uq0k23b4j6b.jpg" width="514" height="329" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Driverless pods, gliding above city streets using a network of elevated guideways. This is SkyTran -- but is it the future? SkyTran wants to do away with train schedules and central stations to develop a grid system above the ground with multiple "off ramps" acting as stations where users can board pre-booked pods &ndash; a cab service for the skies. Call for SkyTran on your smart phone and a computer-controlled, magnetically levitating pod arrives. It will whisk you across the city...</p></em><br /><br /><p>SkyTran claims the pods, weighing just 300 lbs, would consume about a third of the electricity used by today's hybrid cars. And the infrastructure can be built for $10 million per mile, at least according to the CEO Jerry Sanders.</p><p>Later this year, the company plans to complete its first pilot project at the campus of Israel Aerospace Industries in Tel Aviv. &nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><img title="" alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/mu/mui1wlrq2kzt1lxa.jpg"></p><p><img title="" alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/sk/skoenlexeemr862q.jpg"></p><p><img title="" alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/37/37dipan4usg7edbw.jpg"></p> http://archinect.com/news/article/122507983/bjarke-ingels-and-oliver-wainwright-talk-new-york-dryline Bjarke Ingels and Oliver Wainwright talk New York Dryline Alexander Walter 2015-03-09T14:08:00-04:00 >2015-03-15T16:01:52-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/f5/f5cdbqiqi2mr77e3.jpg" width="514" height="395" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>There aren&rsquo;t many architects you would believe could hold back seas and save the world from being drowned by Biblical floods. But when you meet Bjarke Ingels, anything seems eminently possible. [...] If New York has to build 10 miles of flood defences to protect the city from another Hurricane Sandy, why not conceive the barrier as a brand new waterfront park? Climate security as leisure amenity. You can almost hear the standing ovation and all-American whooping in the background.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Previously:&nbsp;<a href="http://archinect.com/news/article/101030520/a-closer-look-into-the-big-u-big-s-winning-proposal-for-rebuild-by-design" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">A closer look into &ldquo;The BIG U&rdquo;, BIG&rsquo;s winning proposal for Rebuild By Design</a></p> http://archinect.com/news/article/117748809/about-that-troubled-seattle-tunnel-an-interview-with-local-advocate-cary-moon About that troubled Seattle Tunnel – an interview with local advocate Cary Moon Archinect 2015-01-06T18:44:00-05:00 >2015-01-06T18:55:02-05:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/m6/m6m3oef23dlfw3f7.jpg" width="514" height="335" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>If there&rsquo;s anything positive to emerge from the current mess, it&rsquo;s that local advocates like Cary Moon, who warned against building the tunnel in the first place, are commanding attention again. Moon recently took to the pages of the local alt-weekly, the Stranger, to argue that in light of the tunnel project&rsquo;s spectacular, slow-motion meltdown, the city should explore other options.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Previously:&nbsp;<a href="http://archinect.com/news/article/115652337/in-seattle-a-sinking-feeling-about-a-troubled-tunnel" target="_blank">In Seattle, a Sinking Feeling About a Troubled Tunnel</a></p> http://archinect.com/news/article/117729512/california-finally-breaking-ground-on-first-high-speed-rail-segment California finally breaking ground on first high-speed rail segment Alexander Walter 2015-01-06T13:02:00-05:00 >2015-01-08T14:03:47-05:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/44/4446923c344aae41a4a472c3af2e13e6.jpg" width="514" height="289" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>California's bullet-train agency will officially start construction in Fresno this week on the first 29-mile segment of the system, a symbol of the significant progress the $68-billion project has made against persistent political and legal opposition. [...] But the milestone marked by Tuesday's groundbreaking ceremony also will serve as a reminder of the enormous financial, technical and political risks still faced by the Los Angeles-to-San Francisco project.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><head><meta></head></html> http://archinect.com/news/article/115652337/in-seattle-a-sinking-feeling-about-a-troubled-tunnel In Seattle, a Sinking Feeling About a Troubled Tunnel Alexander Walter 2014-12-10T13:36:00-05:00 >2014-12-10T23:02:07-05:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/v2/v2e8whp4x0ba050f.jpg" width="514" height="373" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Ancient Egypt endured plagues of locusts. Seattle has its tunnel, which over the last year has featured a series of setbacks and fiascos that, depending on one&rsquo;s outlook, can be the setup for a punch line, or an eye-rolling narrative of put-upon endurance. In the latest blow, project engineers said this week that 30 or more buildings in the historic Pioneer Square area [...] had unexpectedly settled, possibly because of water pumping related to the project.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><head><meta></head></html> http://archinect.com/news/article/113925415/postpolitical-infrastructures Postpolitical Infrastructures Orhan Ayyüce 2014-11-18T10:27:00-05:00 >2014-11-24T13:19:55-05:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/av/avtllgyopwl8t19o.jpg" width="514" height="791" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>The architect today is no &lsquo;fountainhead.&rsquo; It is rather sad to watch today&rsquo;s &lsquo;starchitects&rsquo;, designing their weird-looking signature buildings. These seem now always to be either museums or condos for billionaires. The brand-name architect just build useless luxury housing for the 1% and their trinkets. The actual design of the world is now in the hands of other people.</p></em><br /><br /><p><a title="Posts by McKenzie Wark" href="http://www.publicseminar.org/author/kenwark/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">McKenzie Wark</a>&nbsp;pens a rather a wake up call of a book review on Easterling's new book&nbsp;<em>Extrastatecraft: The Power of Infrastructure Space </em>in which<em>&nbsp;</em>Easterling offers a set of subsidiary metaphors for contemporary infrastructure design: multipliers, switches, and topologies.</p><p><em>"The multipliers include: cars, elevators, mobile phones. The first, the car, was the multiplier that made possible one of the precursor forms of the greenfields city, the greenfields suburb. But &ldquo;Levittown was simple software.&rdquo; (74) Its repeated unit-forms were few. Sadly, it may be the case that the United States never quite acquired the higher-order practices of building forms at the next scale. Hence the endless attempts to solve spatial problems with yet more versions of the Levittown software.</em></p><p><img title="" alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/lu/lu2cdyux014yons4.jpg"></p><p><em>The switch is something like an interchange highway. The switch is a macro-order feature compared to the multiplier, shaping where the multipliers can circulate. Topology might designate the art of patterning switches and ...</em></p> http://archinect.com/news/article/112801104/robot-ray-parks-your-car-at-the-airport Robot Ray Parks Your Car At The Airport Alexander Walter 2014-11-03T13:08:00-05:00 >2014-11-05T17:43:54-05:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/ac/ac16cb97fc281ba668b0d61dbcaa92f3.jpg" width="514" height="270" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Are you in a hurry to catch your flight and still need to find a parking place? Meet Ray, a shiny robot that parks your car at D&uuml;sseldorf Airport in Germany. Ray makes sure you don&rsquo;t have to park miles away from the terminal, eliminating the hassle of finding a parking place. Just drop off your car within a few meters from the check-in area [...]. When you come back from a holiday or business trip, the robot will make sure your car is ready to go when you walk out of the airport.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><head><meta></head></html> http://archinect.com/news/article/112334716/grimshaw-gruen-s-l-a-union-station-master-plan-approved-for-implementation Grimshaw + Gruen's L.A. Union Station Master Plan approved for implementation Justine Testado 2014-10-28T13:20:00-04:00 >2014-10-28T14:08:46-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/x6/x6t43vyqpkbpfpcn.jpg" width="514" height="367" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>The L.A. Metro Board of Directors officially approved the Los Angeles Union Station Master Plan in downtown L.A. to advance from planning to implementation. For the past two years, Metro has worked with a consultant team led by <a href="http://archinect.com/firms/cover/22827902/grimshaw-architects" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Grimshaw Architects</a> and <a href="http://archinect.com/gruenassociates" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Gruen Associates</a> to expand the iconic station, which is registered as a national historical landmark. Since Union Station opened in 1939, ridership continues to approach 110,000 trips per day and is expected to increase up to nearly 197,000 per day by 2040. L.A. Metro purchased the station in 2011.</p><p><img title="" alt="" src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/rz/rzarh8kozm2h8nrn.jpg"></p><p>The master plan development program consists of 3.25 million sq. feet of the Union Station property. The plan includes the preservation of the historic station, renovations to the station's perimeter, and adding new commercial developments like retail, hotel, and housing.</p><p>With today's approval, Metro can begin its initial implementation strategy for near-term projects, which includes a programmatic environmental review of the recommended trans...</p> http://archinect.com/news/article/111504452/atlanta-plans-big-for-bikes-and-atlantans-turn-out-big-time Atlanta plans big for bikes, and Atlantans turn out big time Alexander Walter 2014-10-17T18:13:00-04:00 >2014-10-21T23:25:47-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/cb/cbbe99a87424a62e808801fed41f0280.jpg" width="514" height="270" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>The massive Beltline and an impressive grid of protected lanes that will connect the trail system to key urban destinations are poised to remake transportation in the city that anchors the country's ninth-largest metro area. [...] As the video above shows, Atlanta's embrace of active space is part of a psychic shift in a city that's shaking off its old Sprawlville USA image with a combination of bike, transit and affordable housing infrastructure.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Similar bike-friendly development is underway in the South's <em>other </em>notorious mega sprawl metro area, Houston: <a href="http://archinect.com/news/article/105248171/the-bayou-greenways-plan-a-game-changer-for-houston" target="_blank">The Bayou Greenways Plan: A Game-Changer for Houston?</a></p> http://archinect.com/news/article/110334101/report-highlights-vulnerability-of-amtrak-s-nyc-tunnels Report highlights vulnerability of Amtrak’s NYC tunnels Alexander Walter 2014-10-02T13:49:00-04:00 >2014-10-08T23:02:37-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/4c/4c1cbfd5bff06b60b85958fa3bc6eebb.jpg" width="300" height="198" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>A new engineering report assessing the damage caused to the Amtrak-owned Hudson River and East River tunnels in New York City by Superstorm Sandy in October 2012 recommends a phased process of maintenance works, which will require taking individual tunnel tubes out of service for extended periods.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><head><meta></head></html> http://archinect.com/news/article/109564767/china-s-pearl-river-delta-tying-11-cities-into-a-megaregion China's Pearl River Delta: Tying 11 Cities into a Megaregion Alexander Walter 2014-09-22T14:18:00-04:00 >2014-09-23T12:52:41-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/f7/f72fefa7434bfe273756d1a5d9a1a545.jpg" width="514" height="300" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Today, on China&rsquo;s southern coast, the integration of the Greater Pearl River Delta (PRD) is turning fiction into fact (sans the harsh lawman), with 11 cities linking to create an urban area of 21,100 square miles (55,000 sq km) and a population of up to 80 million. The nine cities of the PRD, plus the special administrative zones of Hong Kong and Macau, are becoming increasingly linked by a series of bridges, tunnels, roads, and high-speed rail networks.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><head><meta></head></html> http://archinect.com/news/article/107949061/olympic-infrastructure-displaces-brazilian-families Olympic Infrastructure Displaces Brazilian Families Nicholas Korody 2014-09-02T15:21:00-04:00 >2014-09-02T15:21:48-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/rp/rpmhst4y30tijhod.jpg" width="514" height="343" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Later this month, about 900 of the 1,500 families who live in Vila Uni&atilde;o will start to move out to make way for the TransOl&iacute;mpica rapid bus system (BRT) to be built for the 2016 Rio Olympics. It is one of the biggest favela resettlements since Rio was chosen to host the games, with some 500 families also resettled from 2010 to 2011 for the construction of the TransOeste BRT.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><head><meta></head></html> http://archinect.com/news/article/107021448/why-portland-is-building-a-multi-modal-bridge-that-bans-cars Why Portland Is Building a Multi-Modal Bridge That Bans Cars Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2014-08-20T14:44:00-04:00 >2014-08-21T19:51:42-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/d4/d4a71e57b5385003c7fa91759c8a9458.jpg" width="514" height="342" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Tilikum Crossing is the nation's first multi-modal bridge that will be off-limits to private automobiles. It will carry MAX light rail trains (the impetus for construction) as well as Portland's streetcar line and city buses, and of course pedestrian and bike lanes on both sides&mdash;but no cars. [...] "Transit has a huge impact on urban planning. I mean, if you look at our city, it was designed around streetcars. On some level, it has to be part of their DNA."</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><head><meta></head></html> http://archinect.com/news/article/107016621/rockaway-pipeline-stirs-controversy Rockaway Pipeline Stirs Controversy Nicholas Korody 2014-08-20T14:09:00-04:00 >2014-08-28T14:11:24-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/s8/s8yw6ph8cfz0eht7.jpg" width="514" height="302" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>A new pipeline called the Rockaway Delivery Lateral Project is under construction in the Rockaways. It will deliver 647,000 dekatherms of natural gas to New York City each day &mdash; enough to power 2.5 million homes. Activists ... say the project is inherently dangerous and is just the latest sign of a broken approval and monitoring process for the United States&rsquo; energy infrastructure.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Concerned activists and locals may have good reason to be worried. Prior pipeline accidents, such as the 2010 San Bruno explosion, have caused extensive damage and even deaths. The Al Jazeera article notes that "since 1986, there have been about 8,000 significant pipeline incidents in the United States, which have resulted in over 500 deaths, more than 2,300 injuries and billions of dollars in damage." Additionally, <a href="http://co.williams.com/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Williams</a>, the company contracted to build the pipeline, is already subject to a federal probe after a string of incidents at other pipelines. Designed to stretch beneath popular beaches, the Rockaway pipeline would be particularly vulnerable, some argue, pointing to the recent devastation of Hurricane Sandy.</p><p>Incidentally, the pipeline would run beneath Fort Tilden, currently the host of MoMA PS1's "Rockaway!," a public arts exhibition. In an already abandoned structure in the dunes, Patti Smith set up a gilded four-post bed that is exposed to the weather. As the summer st...</p> http://archinect.com/news/article/106959605/melbourne-named-world-s-most-liveable-city-for-fourth-consecutive-year Melbourne named world’s most liveable city for fourth consecutive year Alexander Walter 2014-08-19T19:10:00-04:00 >2014-08-19T20:37:22-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/5o/5oma1fcgjzmghae6.jpg" width="514" height="289" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>The Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU) claims its annual Liveability Survey could be used to "assign a hardship allowance as part of expatriate relocation packages," among other things. But that needn't apply to those in Melbourne, which for the fourth year running has been declared the best city in the world to live. The Australian culture hub was buoyed by superlative healthcare, infrastructure and education as well as a murder rate of 3.1 per 100,000 people, half the global average of 6.2.</p></em><br /><br /><p>While three Canadian cities made the ranking's top 10 (again), U.S. cities keep failing to score high.</p><p>The world's top cities for liveability are:</p><p>1. Melbourne, Australia</p><p>2. Vienna, Austria</p><p>3. Vancouver, Canada</p><p>4. Toronto, Canada</p><p>=5. Adelaide, Australia</p><p>=5. Calgary, Canada</p><p>7. Sydney, Australia</p><p>8. Helsinki, Finland</p><p>9. Perth, Australia</p><p>10. Auckland, New Zealand</p> http://archinect.com/news/article/106649647/flying-robots-monitoring-failing-infrastructure Flying Robots Monitoring Failing Infrastructure Nicholas Korody 2014-08-15T19:19:00-04:00 >2014-08-18T19:20:50-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/9p/9p2spnsz2cp9cnny.jpg" width="514" height="343" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>As a report from the Obama administration warns that one in four bridges in the United States needs significant repair or cannot handle automobile traffic, engineers are employing wireless sensors and flying robots that could have the potential to help authorities monitor the condition of bridges in real time.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><head><meta></head></html> http://archinect.com/news/article/106402301/la-s-aging-infrastructure-will-cost-the-city-billions LA's Aging Infrastructure Will Cost the City Billions Nicholas Korody 2014-08-12T14:27:00-04:00 >2014-08-15T00:17:19-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/vj/vjend77nyverlxt8.jpg" width="514" height="338" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>From buckling sidewalks to potholed thoroughfares to storm drains that can&rsquo;t handle a little rain, the infrastructure that holds [Los Angeles] together is suffering from years of deferred maintenance. Bringing pipes that deliver water to 3.9 million people up to snuff could cost $4 billion [...] The bill for repaving streets will be almost that much, according to estimates from a city consultant, and patching or replacing cracked sidewalks will require $640 million.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><head><meta></head></html> http://archinect.com/news/article/106403110/oakland-hires-its-first-chief-resilience-officer Oakland Hires Its First “Chief Resilience Officer” Alexander Walter 2014-08-12T13:50:00-04:00 >2014-08-18T20:31:46-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/64/6445119f5f345242ee96e19851a32ad1.jpg" width="514" height="341" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Oakland has earthquakes, droughts and a host of other resilience problems to tackle. Now it has a Chief Resilience Officer to lead the charge. Today, Oakland Mayor Jean Quan and Michael Berkowitz, president of The Rockefeller Foundation&rsquo;s 100 Resilient Cities initiative, will jointly announce that Victoria Salinas has been tapped as the city&rsquo;s first Chief Resilience Officer, a position being created in other cities across the world, as well.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Related: <a href="http://archinect.com/news/article/106329191/resilience-on-the-fly-christchurch-s-scirt-offers-a-model-for-rebuilding-after-a-disaster" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Resilience on the fly: Christchurch&rsquo;s SCIRT offers a model for rebuilding after a disaster</a></p> http://archinect.com/news/article/105555911/gas-pipelines-explode-in-taiwan-city-killing-24 Gas Pipelines Explode in Taiwan City Killing 24 Nicholas Korody 2014-08-01T14:26:00-04:00 >2014-08-01T14:27:08-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/w9/w9dxv38lxssjkocl.jpg" width="480" height="270" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Multiple gas pipeline explosions have killed 24 people and injured 257 others in Taiwan's second city, emergency officials said. Witnesses said Thursday's blast in Kaohsiung sent flames shooting 15 storeys into the air, and entire blocks, packed with shops and apartment buildings, were set ablaze [...] The director of the Central Disaster Emergency Operation Centre, said the leaking gas had been identified as propene, meaning that the resulting fires could not be extinguished by water.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><head><meta></head></html> http://archinect.com/news/article/105398405/water-main-breaks-on-sunset-blvd-floods-ucla Water Main Breaks on Sunset Blvd, Floods UCLA Nicholas Korody 2014-07-30T14:02:00-04:00 >2014-07-30T14:03:20-04:00 <img src="http://cdn.archinect.net/images/514x/0a/0agwsf6m6q2zomgq.jpg" width="514" height="288" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>The rupture of the 90-year-old main sent a geyser shooting 30 feet in the air and deluged Sunset Boulevard and UCLA with 8 million to 10 million gallons of water before it was shut off more than three hours after the pipe burst, city officials said. The huge break blanketed parts of the campus with water and mud, leaving school officials with a daunting cleanup task. City officials said they had not determined what caused the 30-inch-diameter pipe to burst.</p></em><br /><br /><p><a href="http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-california-drought-worsen-20140718-story.html" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">And with 81% of the state of California in "extreme drought conditions,"</a> any waste of water is particularly devastating...</p>