Smog continues to choke Beijing
The Chinese capital issued its highest red fog alert for a second day on Wednesday, keeping highways closed in and around the city which is already under a smog alert after weeks of choking winter pollution.
China's weather bureau warned of visibility of less than 50 meters in some areas, leading many airports to cancel flights.
Air pollution is one of the most significant public health issues facing major cities around the world. Find out more here:Working indoors not enough to protect you from air pollution, according to new studyThese are the most-polluted cities in the USReducing Turin's smog with free public... View full entry
Defacing the stone: a history of vandalism on famous architectural landmarks
For as long as there have been landmarks, there have been people willing to deface them in the name of politics, art, fame or sheer stupidity.
— The Guardian
From the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge to the Trevi fountain in Rome, this Guardian article explores a brief history of temporary vandalism on famous landmarks (and it's not just artfully placed tarps: try a dangling VW Beetle!). From the annals of the vandals:Detroit issues arrest for... View full entry
Stalled out: Thomas Heatherwick's "New Bus for London" nixed by Mayor Sadiq Khan
Partly in order to help pay for a transit fare freeze, Sadiq Khan has halted the order for the double-decker, triple-doored Thomas Heatherwick-designed "New Bus for London," which would have replaced the old fleet of Routemaster buses. Much like Heatherwick's troubled Garden Bridge proposal, the... View full entry
AIA study reveals architects want material manufacturers to step up their digital game
As any architect who has spent precious time trying to identify a chrome versus silver nickel plated kitchen faucet for a client can attest, outdated websites and their corresponding vague specifications from building products and materials manufacturers makes life unnecessarily tedious. This... View full entry
Can 1970s sustainability practices enhance Canada's 2017 architecture?
Did architects have sustainability figured out in the 1970s, and can the lessons they learned help contemporary architects design for the challenges of climate change? In an attempt to answer this question, Canada is taking a closer look at its previously built sustainable architecture during the... View full entry
Trump's properties have suddenly become potential targets for terrorism
Even before Donald Trump became president-elect, Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for his name to be scrubbed from Istanbul’s Trump Towers. Erdogan pinned his plea to Trump’s Islamophobia, saying that the candidate “has no tolerance for Muslims in America.”
Now that Trump is weeks from assuming the presidency, cities that host his many branded properties have an additional concern to consider: the potential terrorism threat brought by his name.
— Washington Post
More on the President-elect:With Trump's Presidency dawning, the final Jane Jacobs work "Dark Age Ahead" wins new relevancyElaine Chao wants speedier approvals for DOT's infrastructure projectBefore Trump has even taken office, his infrastructure plan faces an uncertain futureCities should be very... View full entry
This week's picks for London architecture and design events
Hello 2017! Perhaps your resolution this year was to see more of London and its unique design scene? This year, with the recent additions of The Design Museum, Newport Street Gallery, and the infamous Switch House extension, means that there has never been a better time for design in this city... View full entry
The logistics of building NASA's carbon-dioxide insulated, "Ice Home" on Mars
If you don't think you can handle another year on Earth, the possibility of dwelling comfortably on another planet is closer than you might expect. After announcing a winning design from Clouds Architecture Office and Space Exploration Architecture last October, NASA has released more detailed... View full entry
A Boom Interview: Mike Davis in conversation
“The middle class has finally come downtown but only to bring suburbia with them. The hipsters think they’re living in the real thing, but this is purely faux urbanism, a residential mall. Downtown is not the heart of the city, it’s a luxury lifestyle pod for the same people who claim Silverlake is the ‘Eastside’ or that Venice is still bohemian.”
Jennifer Wolch and Dana Cuff track down elusive writer Mike Davis for Boom California.+A previous conversation with Mike Davis for Archinect, "Meeting Mike Davis" View full entry
As President Obama leaves the White House, a closer look at his urban policy legacy
City residents and urbanists had reasons to believe Obama would usher in a new urban era. [...]
Now, as he leaves the White House, Obama’s legacy is being evaluated on many fronts, including within the realm of urban policy. In a new book called Urban Policy in the Time of Obama, academics appraise his successes and failures. CityLab spoke with the book’s editor, James DeFillippis, an associate professor in the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University.
Related stories in the Archinect news:What does President Obama's final year in office mean for architecture?Black Lives Matter and the politics of protesting in privatized spaceTod Williams Billie Tsien Architects selected to design the Obama Presidential Center View full entry
Editor's Picks #460
In response to Archinect’s December theme, Faith, Menis Arquitectos submitted a project of theirs from 2012, Holy Redeemer Church. Sited in Tenerife, the Church has a heavy, Brutalist-esque design and actually resulted in a new certified material (already in use for another project in Poland)... View full entry
How a mobile home community created a co-op and bought its own land
Park Plaza is a mobile home park, or what industry calls a manufactured housing community. Five years ago, the residents banded together, formed a nonprofit co-op and bought their entire neighborhood from the company that owned it. Today, these residents exert democratic control over almost 9 acres of prime suburbs, with 80 manufactured houses sited on them.
"There are no precise figures, but the U.S. Census Bureau estimates there are more than 8 million manufactured houses across the country. Housing specialists say they're an important source of affordable housing."Related stories in the Archinect news:5 housing experts offer opinions about Ben... View full entry
With Trump's Presidency dawning, the final Jane Jacobs work "Dark Age Ahead" wins new relevancy
At a time when pundits and political scientists were celebrating the end of history, pointing to an emerging Democratic majority and extolling the virtues of a flat world of globalization, she ominously predicted a coming age of urban crisis, mass amnesia, and populist backlash in her final work, Dark Age Ahead. Eerily prescient as always, rereading the 2005 book today serves as a survivors’ guide to the Age of Trump.
"Jacobs outlines an increasing distrust of politicians and politics, a burgeoning new urban crisis in cities, worsening environmental degradation, entrenched segregation, and an “enlarging gulf between rich and poor along with attrition of the middle class” as signals and symptoms of a coming... View full entry
Top Features: Our Favorite Feature Articles of 2016
These are the articles that made big waves in 2016 – not just in traffic, but in defining the discussions architects were having. From professional practice issues to academia to interviews and showcases, we present to you our favorite original editorial of the year:One student's solution to the... View full entry
Boring: how serious is Elon Musk about his latest traffic-solving venture?
Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk has a pretty good sense of humor, but sometimes we can't tell when he's just joking or mulling his next big idea.
For example, on Saturday Musk took to Twitter to say out loud what every traffic-plagued Los Angeles resident is silently screaming inside: The city is a gridlocked hellscape.
"Traffic is driving me nuts," wrote Musk.
But he didn't stop there. He also raised the idea of boring through obstacles to alleviate traffic woes.