The rhetoric of smart cities would be more persuasive if the environment that the technology companies create was actually a compelling one that offered models for what the city can be. But if you look at Silicon Valley you see that the greatest innovators in the digital field have created a bland suburban environment that is becoming increasingly exclusive — European Commissioner for the Digital Agenda for Europe
Back in September Rem Koolhaas gave a talk at the High Level Group meeting on Smart Cities, Brussels, 24 September 2014. During the talk he asked what really makes a city "smart", and argued that it's critical for smart cities and governments to converge again. h/t @Bruce Sterling
Proving that some market somewhere will find a value for anything, a company called Orbital Insight is now tracking "the shadows cast by half-finished Chinese buildings" as a possible indicator for where the country's economy might be headed. — bldgblog.blogspot.com
Daniel Campo, an urban planner and professor of planning at Morgan State University, is particularly interested in those recreational spaces that aren’t planned or designed, but are appropriated by residents for their own purposes. [...]
Dylan Gauthier, a public artist, educator, and writer based in North Brooklyn, walked around these parks with Campo to discuss the benefits of unplanned spaces for recreation [...]. — urbanomnibus.net
Not far from the Brandenburg Gate, Potsdamer Platz was a no man’s land during the Cold War. Then the Berlin Wall fell, and the German authorities made it a petting zoo for celebrity architecture. The corporate headquarters of Germany’s new global swagger.
But the ambitions for Potsdamer Platz, like the hopes and fears about a united Germany, turned out differently. The architecture was not so great. Many companies fled. — nytimes.com
The architect today is no ‘fountainhead.’ It is rather sad to watch today’s ‘starchitects’, designing their weird-looking signature buildings. These seem now always to be either museums or condos for billionaires. The brand-name architect just build useless luxury housing for the 1% and their trinkets. The actual design of the world is now in the hands of other people. — Public Seminar Commons
McKenzie Wark pens a rather a wake up call of a book review on Easterling's new book Extrastatecraft: The Power of Infrastructure Space in which Easterling offers a set of subsidiary metaphors for contemporary infrastructure design: multipliers, switches, and topologies."The multipliers...
"The pied-à-terre tax is seen by New York’s wealthiest 1 percent as a question of fairness" - James Parrott, the chief economist at the Fiscal Policy Institute — NYT
New data from the Census Bureau’s 2012 American Community Survey, confirms the high vacancy rate in certain "billionaire buildings" and neighborhoods of Manhattan. Some are making the case that an additional tax should be levied for these pieds-à-terres.
"We need to retreat, especially intellectually...from the idea that we can keep on building anywhere we want. New Yorkers are tough. They can take whatever nature throws their way. But you just can’t grow forever at the expense of the sea" - Professor Ted Steinberg — NYT
Going beyond the more well known and singular, such as U.S. HUD's Rebuild By Design competition, Alan Feuer, Greg Moyer and Melanie Burford highlight various more quotidian infrastructural and planning efforts underway. With an eye toward not just rebuilding but resilience, the Metropolitan...
Dubbed “Dementia Village” by CNN, Hogewey is a cutting-edge elderly-care facility—roughly the size of 10 football fields—where residents are given the chance to live seemingly normal lives. With only 152 inhabitants, it’s run like a more benevolent version of The Truman Show [...]
Last year, CNN reported that residents at Hogewey require fewer medications, eat better, live longer, and appear more joyful than those in standard elderly-care facilities. — citylab.com
Adapting to an unprecedented aging population means adjusting elder-care expectations and forms. So-called "Silver" architecture aims to address this growing population, but what about an urbanism of the elderly? Knowing that active social bonds can actually have long-term health benefits, why...
To capture more energy from the sun, one company is putting solar panels where they've never gone before: in the street.
This week, the Dutch company SolaRoad officially opened the world's first solar roadway in a suburb outside of Amsterdam. The 230-foot (70 meters) stretch of energy-absorbing concrete and glass will be used as a bicycle path for commuters, according to the company. — Live Science
A community of tiny houses for the homeless opened this weekend in downtown Madison, Wisconsin — built by a coalition of homeless individuals and members of Occupy Madison...
Four people, including one couple, will move into the first set of three finished homes on privately owned land this week. The next phase of the project will see six homes, another bathroom, and community room complete with a kitchen and laundry facility built in the spring. — Al Jazeera
After being approached over two years ago about the idea, Barry Diller initiated a design competition, ultimately selecting British architect Thomas Heatherwick of Heatherwick Studio, famous for designing the Olympic caldron for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Landscape architect Mathews Nielsen will also lend his hand. Some critics of the idea are not happy about the secretive planning and how private funds will be used to construct a public park. — 6sqft
Billionaire media mogul, and largest private donor to the High Line, Barry Diller has pledged $130 million of the $170 million total to build a floating park and performance venue known as Pier 55 off 14th Street in the Meatpacking District. The 2.7-acre park will be located 186 feet off land, and...
The McMillan Sand Filtration Site is one of Washington, DC's most conspicuous mysteries. Unbeknownst to the thousands of commuters and residents that pass by its rusted gates daily, below this sprawling parcel of land lies a series of vast underground caverns built in the early 20th century by the Army Corps of Engineers as a natural purification facility for DC's turbid water supply. — Vimeo
The latest episode of PBS Digital Studios’ Unusual Spaces series visits mysterious abandoned silos and underground reservoirs at the McMillan Sand Filtration Site, just 2 miles north of Capitol Hill in DC.
Rotterdam has been crowned as the best city in Europe at today’s Urbanism Awards. The post-industrial city in the Netherlands beat off strong competition from Aarhus in Denmark and Turin in Italy.
The award is one of five given out annually by the Academy to recognise the best, most enduring or most improved urban environments. Voted on by Academicians, each award covers a number of social, economic and environmental factors, including good governance and commercial success. — Academy of Urbanism
Additionally, Aberystwyth in Wales won the "Great Town" award. The lead assessor for the award, Tim Challans, stated, "The town’s resilience in recovering from the winter storms demonstrates how its people are passionate about their home.”Holbeck Urban Village in the UK won the "Great...
Louisville is currently implementing such a system, what the city’s bike department, Bike Louisville, is calling “Neighborways.” The city hopes these new bike boulevards will encourage and enable bicyclists and pedestrians to take advantage of alternate-route options for moving safely around the city—and eventually lead to an uptick in biking overall. — brokensidewalk.com
Developed with the help of a team of volunteer researchers, urban planners and designers, this new online tool allows anyone to view the staggering amount of publicly-owned lots that once had an urban renewal plan in the pipeline but were scrapped due to bureaucracy. By mapping out all of the vacant spaces across the city, 596 hopes that we as a community can take a top-down approach to turning these urban blights into public gardens, play lots, and spaces where people can “co-create.” — 6sqft
From 1949-1974 NYC took on an urban renewal project that resulted in the bulldozing of "slums" across Manhattan. The vast majority of the proposals planned for the land floundered and today nearly 15,000 lots across the city lay vacant. 596 Acres, a grassroots land access nonprofit, had developed...
SUBMIT NEWS: submit in 60 seconds!