Protestors against low-income housing demolition are not just fighting for their homes, but often for their ability to stay in London at all. The small amount of “affordable” housing being discussed as a replacement is really a figleaf. — citylab.com
"The public sector stopped making public space a long time ago," Los Angeles architect Jon Jerde told Wired magazine rather matter-of-factly in 1999. [...]
A little more than two decades later, there is something quaintly fatalistic about Jerde's attitude toward the frail state of public space. In Los Angeles, at least, it has returned pretty dramatically to health. — latimes.com
[RIBA] has launched the contest to create a self-sustainable future for those living on Tristan, a tiny community “ruled by the weather”, part of the Tristan da Cunha group of islands. [...]
Tristan’s government, led by Alex Mitham, called in Riba to manage the process of finding an architect to overhaul residential property as well as carry out urgent replacement of the government buildings, currently little more than agricultural sheds which “are nearing the end of their useful life”. — independent.co.uk
All of America’s cement consumption during the [20th] century adds up to around 4.4 gigatons (1 gigaton is roughly 1 billion metric tons).
In comparison, China used around 6.4 gigatons of cement in the three years of 2011, 2012 and 2013 [...]
The country is urbanizing at a historic rate, much faster than the U.S. did in the 20th Century. More than 20 million Chinese relocate to cities each year, which is more people than live in downtown New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago combined. — washingtonpost.com
We are delighted to devote the entirety of this episode to an interview with Tod Williams and Billie Tsien. Our discussion spanned their nearly 30 years (and counting) working together, focusing not on individual projects but their architectural philosophy, their material explorations, and their...
When CU’s board of trustees decided last year to start charging tuition, its chair Richard S. Lincer claimed that to do so was “the only realistic source of new revenue in the near future.”
The Attorney General’s office will be looking into the decisions that left the university in such a precarious financial situation [...]
It will also investigate the decision to start charging tuition itself, which was the subject of protests, demonstrations, multiple occupations, and, currently, a lawsuit — hyperallergic.com
Tataouine, the town in Tunisia where George Lucas filmed parts of Star Wars, has become embroiled in the country’s unrest with Isis. The town’s simple domed structures became iconic after they were used for Luke Skywalker’s home planet of Tatooine, and die-hard fans often make pilgrimages to them. But the town has become increasingly unsafe, as it is a waypoint for Isis fighters travelling to and from training bases in Libya, 60 miles to the east. — theguardian.com
The article doesn't note that the design of the set is based off the architecture of the adjacent Berber-speaking village of Matmata. Tourists are driven in old Land Rovers by guides across the sweeping dunes of the Northern Sahara to the more famous set, which isn't actually inhabited, but is...
From time to time, our Omnibus columnists check in to provide commentary on issues of design, policy, and history and their impact on the life and form of the city today. Stephen Rustow’s first column scaled the heights of New York’s skyscrapers to consider “The Privatization of Prospect.” Here, in his second installment, Rustow looks at three intangible forces that greatly influence the shape of our built environment: zoning, finance, and the building code. — urbanomnibus.net
Houston’s iconic NRG Astrodome “can and should live on” as a multi-use park that will enhance the quality of life for residents of the city, serve as a popular tourist destination, and catalyze economic development that enhances the greater NRG Park and benefits the region as a whole, according to a report released today from the Urban Land Institute (ULI). — uli.org
Over a hundred years ago, the first ships passed from the Atlantic to the Pacific through the Panama Canal. One of the greatest engineering feats ever, the Panama Canal is entering a new stage in its history in order to stave off the threat of obsolescence presented by “post-Panamax” ships, or...
As the Vision Zero conversation widens, a new dimension is emerging to the approach. Increasingly, planners and advocates are talking about creating cities rich in human interaction, cities that provide a healthier environment that puts people above cars in a variety of ways...[At the same time,] Stockholm is already focusing on walkability, even if not under the Vision Zero rubric. — CityLab
Related:Study Links Walkable Neighborhoods to Prevention of Cognitive DeclineLos Angeles on cusp of becoming 'major' walkable city, study saysTulsa Mayor Hasn’t Ruled Out a Sidewalk Next to New Flagship Park
A source close to [Hyperloop Technologies Inc.], who was not authorized speak publicly, confirmed the company has moved into the space, which was chosen in part so Hyperloop could be around artists and designers and other creative types in a space big enough to build large-scale hardware. [...]
Funded by a reported $8.5 million in seed money, the company has raised an additional $20 million of the estimated $80 million it will need to build a five-mile Hyperloop test track — latimes.com
To establish a use case it is essential to understand the ‘users’; the human beings who a service is supposed to help. This means really getting to know those people. The service should be built around their needs, not those of the city government or technology provider. — Ross Atkin
The technology of supertall buildings is a bit like genetic testing or nuclear energy: a volatile form of power. Technological capacities have outpaced our judgment. We know we can do it, but we don’t know when not to do it. And so some endlessly wealthy mogul [...] will eventually move into a preposterously expensive penthouse so far above the Earth’s crust that the air is thin and gales hammer at the glass. A mile’s not science fiction. It’s not even an outer limit. — nymag.com
A new analysis authored by Todd Litman at the Victoria Transport Policy Institute concludes that sprawl costs the U.S. economy more than $1 trillion every year. [...]
The optimal density Litman uses in the report is only about 23 people per hectare. Add those 2.2 billion people to global cities at a density of about Atlanta, and we'd need the equivalent of all the land in India to accommodate them. — washingtonpost.com
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