The Municipal Art Society of New York has developed a new tool that shows where development could bring the most change across the city's five boroughs. This resource is a continuation of the group's "Accidental Skyline" initiative, an effort to curb the "as-of-right" development (which allows developers to bypass some regulatory hurdles) that has resulted in some of New York's tallest and skinniest new skyscrapers. — citylab.com
The Supreme Court on Thursday unanimously struck down a Massachusetts law that barred protests near abortion clinics.
The law, enacted in 2007, created 35-foot buffer zones around entrances to abortion clinics. State officials said the law was a response to a history of harassment and violence at abortion clinics in Massachusetts, including a shooting rampage at two facilities in 1994.
The law was challenged on First Amendment grounds by opponents of abortion — nytimes.com
Massachusett's 35-foot buffer zone was initially enacted as a defensive mechanism, responding to a history of harassments and violence around clinics' entrances. The law had previously barred anyone from entering a fixed buffer zone around entrances to reproductive health care facilities...
Chinese diplomats on Wednesday said Congress’ decision to rename the street in front of Beijing’s embassy in the U.S. capital after a Chinese dissident is "really absurd" [...] On Tuesday the House Appropriations Committee voted to rename the street outside the Chinese Embassy in Washington, D.C., to “Liu Xiaobo Plaza” — after a Chinese dissident who received the Nobel Peace Prize in absentia and is currently serving an 11-year prison term for subverting the government’s authority. — Al Jazeera
This is not the first time that place-naming – or toponymy – has provoked a political dispute. Actually, it's pretty likely that as long as people have been naming places, other people have been getting upset about it. For example, as immortalized by Jimmy Kennedy in the classic song, Istanbul...
While searching for images of highway interchanges in urban areas, I came across these historic aerial photos of Detroit on a message board, showing how the city fabric has slowly eroded. It’s a remarkable record of a process that has scarred many other American cities. — usa.streetsblog.org
The documentary Lagos Wide and Close - An Interactive Journey into an Exploding City, arose from Rem Koolhaas' 2001 visit to Lagos, Nigeria with filmmaker Bregtje van der Haak, hoping to document a phase in one of Africa's fastest growing cities. The doc's unique direction allows viewers to...
"...these days, the future of this hidden beach on the San Francisco Peninsula is being fought in a courthouse 25 miles away, in a battle that has become the latest class-charged standoff involving a wealthy entrepreneur in this polarized part of California..." — the New York Times
The struggle being waged over Martin's Beach is just one in a long history of disputes over public beach access in California. While legally everything below the mean tide line is public, physical walk paths often have to be carved out of private property, something not perfectly accounted for in...
"...just as planning for response to an industrial accident doesn’t make an industrial accident more likely, so too planning for relocations should not make them more likely... It is .... likely that the slow-onset effects of climate change will lead many to voluntarily migrate in anticipation that conditions will worsen. Those who are left behind – and who will need government assistance to relocate – thus may be particularly vulnerable." — Brookings Institute
The pressure to start preparing for inevitable relocations due to global warming and the resultant rise in sea levels is growing for many communities around the world. For some, the time for preparation is already running out and the time for action is now. In the United States, the first "climate...
“The future — of a walkable, transit-friendly Los Angeles — is being built right now,” the report says. “It will allow people to drive everywhere they want, assuming they can put up with the traffic, and provide the option of walkable urbanism for those who want it.” — latimes.com
Following their "How Does the Brain Respond to the City?" event last month, Van Alen Institute released a short video expanding on the Dumbo Mental Map Project. Collaborating with GSAPP's Cloud Lab, the video gives an insider look at the experiment, which uses EEG brain computer interfaces to...
You can’t build your way out of congestion. It’s the roads themselves that cause traffic. The concept is called induced demand, which is economist-speak for when increasing the supply of something (like roads) makes people want that thing even more. [...]
What [economists] Turner and Duranton (and many others who’d like to see more rational transportation policy) actually advocate is known as congestion pricing. This means raising the price of driving on a road when demand is high. — wired.com
Popular shows also are important predictors of the future of the built environment, thanks to Hollywood’s extensive consumer research and the instant feedback to current shows, and so TV tends to reflect how we live today and, more importantly, what we aspire to tomorrow. [...]
We selected the most popular of six eras that captured best how we aspired to live “as seen on TV” based on time period and the development pattern that was being represented. — nextcity.org
Police simulations such as these offer a peculiarly spatial insight into the ways humans attempt to make sense of the world. [...]
Someone builds a surrogate or a stand-in—a kind of stage-set on which to test their most viable theories—then they control that replicant world down to every curb height and door frame. Architecture then comes along simply as ornamentation, in order to give this virtual world a physical footprint — bldgblog.blogspot.com
Pay-per-minute benches, 'pig ears' to prevent skateboarding, devices that emit an unpleasant sound only teenagers can hear … cities have many tactics to discourage 'unwanted' behaviour — theguardian.com
7th Making Cities Liveable Conference 2014Healthy – Sustainable – Resilient – CitiesThe 7th Making Cities Liveable Conference will examine the challenges, opportunities, trends and issues currently facing sector professionals. Delegates and presenters will examine how to plan for Healthy...
The wisdom of surrounding transit stations with "seas" of park-and-ride lots may be turning. In theory, park-and-ride seems like a great transportation compromise, converting full-trip drivers into part-trip riders. In practice, the opposite often occurs, with former non-drivers now commuting part of the way by car.
That unexpected practical shift can increase vehicle miles traveled in a metro area, subverting the sustainability goal of transit. — citylab.com
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