It is well established that white roofs can mitigate the urban heat island effect, reflecting the sun's energy back into space and reducing a city's temperature. In a new study of Guangzhou, China, researchers found that during a heat wave, the effect is significantly more pronounced. Reflective roofs, also called cool roofs, save energy by keeping buildings cooler, thus reducing the need for air conditioning. — Science Daily
According to a new study by Berkeley lab researchers Dev Millstein, Ronnen Levinson, and Pablo Rosado, alongside Meichun Cao and Zhaohui Lin of the Institute of Atmospheric Physic in Beijing, so-called "cool roofs," or roofs painted white, substantially reduce the urban heat island effect during...
Back in 1 A.D., ancient civilizations like the Mayans experienced “urban booms” of their own. This mind-boggling interactive map made by Esri puts thousands of years of global population growth into perspective, ultimately showing us that NYC is kind of just a blip on the radar—or in this case, the 2,000-year timeline of life. — 6sqft
While some residents may be more concerned about their overflowing rubbish bins than maintaining ancient monuments, for many the survival of modern Rome will depend on the preservation of the past. — The Guardian
As Rome moves forward without a mayor, the city is taking on the restoration of both the Colosseum and the Porta Maggiore basilica while updating the modern city.More about Rome on Archinect:Was Rome really a "City of Marble"?A breakneck tour of contemporary architecture in RomeContemporary Art...
Buildings in Delhi’s residential areas were restricted to two storeys, with construction permitted on only a fraction of the space on the third floor, so on top of homes, families built small dwellings for their own use, as accommodation for domestic staff or to rent out cheaply. Exposed to the elements, the single room on the top floor became known evocatively as the barsati – derived from the Hindi word for rain, barsaat. — the Guardian
"These apartments – generally, a small shack with a large terrace – afforded a new generation of urbanites cheap living space near the centre of town... But it’s a typology that, as land values rise and the population grows, is fast disappearing. While there are no official figures...
In addition to the dense mixed-use development above the rail yards, the new draft calls for doubling the size of Drexel Park, a river overlook, a series of boardwalks and green spaces along the west bank trail of the Schuylkill, and a transit terminal for buses. — Philly.curbed.com
I hate this historical turn, which for me is contained most neatly in the High Line...The trend I mean is this: toward ersatz, privatized public spaces built by developers; sterile, user-friendly, cleansed adult playgrounds with generic environments that produce the innocuous stupor of elevator music; inane urban utopias with promenades, perches, pleasant embellishments, rest stops, refreshments, and compliance codes. — New York Magazine
Jerry Saltz analyzes how the rise of bad, privatized public spaces has actually been great for public art. However, these "nightmares of synthetic space" bring with them significant downsides such as a loss of "quietness, slowness, whimsy, stillness, different rhythms, anything uneasy...
The Centre for Urban Design and Mental Health is planning to launch a new, biannual journal in early 2016.
This online journal will help address the challenge of there not being many journals explicitly publishing research on the links between urban design and mental health right now. [...]
Do you have a relevant research paper, case study, review, comment piece, photograph, book review or other relevant content, (or a good suggestion for the journal's name)? If yes, please submit — urbandesignmentalhealth.com
Interested in submitting? Here's the details from the Urban Design / Mental Health website:This journal is not currently peer-reviewed. Editorial decisions will be made by Layla McCay (UD/MH Director) and Itai Palti (UD/MH Fellow and Guest Editor of the edition). The journal will be open-access...
Perkins Eastman is taking two of the best-loved urban land-use stories of the Bloomberg era—the High Line and Times Square—and combining them into one.
The Green Line extends the logic of changes that have already taken root along the limited stretch of Broadway running through Times Square. [...] proposal builds on the work of Jan Gehl and Snøhetta, the architects who pedestrianized Times Square. Yet it also echoes the High Line by James Corner Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro. — citylab.com
The question is especially important now, given the world’s rapidly increasing population and the accelerating drift of people from countryside to cities. Should we tinker or somehow revamp existing cities to cope, or should we build new places to dwell? — BBC News
Jonathan Glancey looks back through history, at attempts to create the ideal town. Given the many failed attempts, can architects succeed in shaping a truly habitable ideal city? He believes the answer is yes.
Dr. Gerald Brett Weiss ... was killed when he was hit from behind while riding his bicycle in the community of Indian Wells, CA. [...]
his family won a $5.8 million judgment against Indian Wells, claiming that the city was negligent in not providing sufficient width for bike lanes or lighting [...]
California is one of thirteen states that follows the Pure Comparative Fault Rule, meaning that even if the city is only partially at fault—even only one percent—the plaintiff can recover damages. — ssti.us
Weiss was hit from behind by an allegedly drunk driver in June of 2012, on a road that, previous to a redesign in 2005, had been marked as a bike route and had bike lanes.More news on cycling design and safety:Senator proposes mandatory helmets for California cyclistsProtected bike lanes...
If architecture is the ultimate fourth dimensional experience, then “Architectural Guide China” by Evan Chakroff, Addison Godel and Jacqueline Gargus is a remarkable fourth dimensional tour guide. It encapsulates not only the physical attributes and detailed locations of architecture in China...
When fully built, [the New Urbanist, corporate development] Lavasa intends to consume 100 sq km...and will cater to a total population of up to 300,000 in five 'towns' built on seven hills...[But] how does it turn itself from a quirky weekend getaway into a fully fledged 'smart city' where people live and work full time? — The Guardian
In Detroit, there were 3,500 sales of single-family homes in 2014. Only 462 of them received a mortgage. That means that nearly 87 percent of sales were in cash — and that doesn’t include homes sold in foreclosure auction. Comparatively, the overall metro area saw only 53 percent in cash sales the same year. Nationwide, it was 43 percent.
“The number one issue that we, in the end, identified in Detroit is that it’s incredibly hard for homebuyers to get a mortgage right now,” say Svenja Gudell.. — Next City
Related coverage:U.S. Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale, "The Architectural Imagination", now open for submissionsParticipating architects announced for the US Pavilion of the 2016 Venice BiennaleHow Detroit can learn to revive its derelict industrial sites from other citiesDetroit issues...
The short history of autonomous vehicles has already shown us that in a closed environmement, cars that drive themselves are pretty great...the problems only begin when you introduce them to real world, non-autonomous environments [...]
So Google's new patent makes sense: it contains some new idea on how the cars can communicate with pedestrians on the road as a kind of replacement for all the hand-waving and other non-mechanical signals used by drivers in road situations. — City Metric
In theory, driving mainly consists of looking through glass, turning a wheel, and putting pressure on one of two pedals. But, as everyone knows, in practice, driving means swerving to avoid tires on freeways, slamming on brakes to escape collisions, waving with your hand to signal to the driver at...
The digital production studio Visualhouse has released film and renderings of how SL Green’s One Vanderbilt will meet the street, and also remind us just how gargantuan the tower will be. According to the tower’s architects Kohn Pedersen Fox, the tower will rise 1,501 feet to its spire, making it the third tallest building in the city upon completion. — 6sqft.com
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