Times Square has always been about reinvention — in order for the New York Times' headquarters to be built (and give the spot its name), the Pabst Brewing Company's Pabst Hotel had to be demolished. But in the late 1970s, after decades of grandeur followed by decades of decay, imagining the future of Times Square became a particularly pressing project. [...]
Here are some plans for the future of Times Square, some of which never caught on and some of which still have a chance. — nymag.com
Laura Amaya published an interview with Alfredo Brillembourg, founder and co-director of Urban-Think Tank. Therein he signed off with this hopeful statement "I would say we are, now in the 21st century, in the expanded field of architecture. We are challenged, but we believe that this is one of...
The bridge, should it be built, would be about a mile long. It would span Sinclair Inlet, connecting Bremerton and Port Orchard, about 15 miles west of Seattle. Today, it’s a 10-mile, often traffic-clogged, drive between the towns. Rep. Jesse Young, whose district includes these two towns, thinks using an old carrier or two would make a fine tourist attraction and tribute to the military. — Wired
The issue of water supply in the context of climate change was the topic for the recent 5KL: Water symposium, organized by The Architectural League and The Cooper Union Institute for Sustainable Design.
Twelve experts in water resource design and management — from architects to geographers to former government officials — addressed the carbon intensity of providing a clean and adequate water supply and how design and planning can contribute to that goal. — urbanomnibus.net
Far from reducing his workload or resting on his considerable laurels, the 80-year-old Meier and his partners are also wrapping up construction on several other projects, including the HH Resort and Spa in Gangneung, South Korea; the Leblon office building in Rio de Janeiro; the 140-unit Rothschild Tower in Tel Aviv; the Cittadella Bridge in Alessandria, Italy; and Teachers Village, a mixed-use development in Newark, New Jersey. — The Real Deal
Founded by Gerald D. Hines, the annual Urban Land Institute Hines competition challenges multidisciplinary graduate student teams from North American universities to propose a comprehensive redevelopment program for a designated U.S. metro area. The ideas competition is set up as a design exercise...
Students in UIC’s “Visionary Cities Project” have pitted a selection of urbanist theories against one another, to see how historical visions of urbanism compare on a common ground. The studio, run by Alexander Eisenschmidt at the University of Illinois at Chicago, takes urbanist models and...
Today, the real-estate situation in Ordos has turned macabre. Video billboards along the city’s major roadways display mug shots of fugitive developers who have skipped town, fleeing their debts....In the shadows of the deserted construction sites and vacant hotels, there are people. They are the citizens of Ordos — not the inhabitants of a ghost town, but the pioneers of a novel kind of 21st-century urban life. — NYT - T Magazine
For fans of the park, the gift from the Diller-von Furstenberg foundation represented more than the revival of Pier 54. It was a statement that Hudson River Park deserved to be in the same league as the city’s other signature, showy spaces. — The New York Times
More details -- or opinions, perhaps -- are surfacing for the proposed Pier 55 "culture island", which media mogul Barry Diller commissioned Thomas Heatherwick to design for New York's Hudson River Park. Since the plan was first publicly announced back in November, followed by a lease agreement...
The costs of this misfiring property market are huge, mainly because of their effects on individuals. High housing prices force workers towards cheaper but less productive places. [...]
Tot up these costs in lost earnings and unrealised human potential, and the figures become dizzying. Lifting all the barriers to urban growth in America could raise the country’s GDP by between 6.5% and 13.5%, or by about $1 trillion-2 trillion. — economist.com
Justin McGuirk’s Radical Cities: Across Latin America in Search of a New Architecture should be required reading for anyone looking for ways out of the bleak social inequality we’re stuck in. There were 40 million more slum dwellers worldwide in 2012 than there were in 2010, according to the UN. Private markets clearly can’t provide universal housing in any way approaching efficiency, and governments are often hostile to the poor. — Metropolis Magazine
In his book, McGuirk analyzes numerous de facto housing solutions for overcrowded cities, including the infamous "Torre David" in Caracas, an abandoned high-rise which became an iconic squatter's structure partly because of government ineptitude and indifference.
To promote its Nightstop program, in which volunteers offer homeless people ages 16 to 25 spare beds, homelessness charity Depaul UK launched a poster campaign Thursday that uses the architecture of buildings to help win the hearts and minds of passersby.
Publicis art director Dan Kennard and copywriter Ben Smith told me in an email that the idea for the design came from “that quite true observation that in life, there are two sides to pretty much every story.” — Slate.com
When Loft Living was first published, artists’ laments about real estate in New York City mirrored the concerns that have plagued residents for much of the last century. Namely, it’s tough to find a suitable and affordable place to live. Since the late ’80s, the tenor of that complaint has shifted from one of anxiety to one of fear... — Guernica
Guernica magazine interviewed sociologist Sharon Zukin following the 25th-anniversary release of her 1989 landmark book "Loft Living" last year. Revisiting her timely book -- which focuses on NYC's SoHo neighborhood when upscale real estate properties took over industrial lofts and artists'...
Yesterday, the city of Los Angeles installed its first ever parking-protected bike lanes. They’re on Reseda Boulevard in Northridge, part of the mayor’s Great Streets Initiative. As of this morning, the project is roughly one-quarter complete. The new protected lanes, also known as cycletracks, are mostly complete on the west side of Reseda Blvd from Plummer Street to Prairie Street. The full one-mile protected lanes will go from Plummer to Parthenia Street. — LA Streets Blog
Megaprojects almost always fall short of their promises—costing too much, delivering underwhelming benefits, or both. Yet...cities still fall for them, seduced by new technologies and the lure of the perfect fix. A mix of factors has given Seattle a particularly acute sense of angst. The project depends on a singular piece of engineering. And Bertha’s building a highway for cars in a city where workers overcrowd buses and commuters wrap themselves in waterproof everything to bike in the rain. — Bloomberg
Bedecked with amusingly cutesy illustrations, Bloomberg tells the exasperating tale of the giant tunnel drill dubbed Bertha, which began digging the new State Route 99 tunnel underneath downtown Seattle in summer 2013 to replace the current street-level Alaskan Way Viaduct and ideally clear up the...
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