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...
Welcome, Player 1! You can now play the classic arcade game PAC-MAN in Google Maps with streets as your maze. Avoid Blinky, Pinky, Inky, (and Clyde!) as you swerve the streets of some famous places around the world. But eat the pac-dots fast, because this game will only be around for a little while. — googlemaps.com
In the quest to make parking suck less, there are apps that help you find a space, and meters where you can pay with a swipe of your credit card. But LA has launched a simple, low-tech solution to make parking better: Well-designed signage that offers no ambiguity whatsoever when it comes to where you can park, when you can park there, and how much it will cost. — Gizmodo
I had doubts about accepting this project. I didn’t want to become a pawn for politicians, but the residents gave me a mandate. The public understood that it could act collectively in order to improve its situation - Architect — Haaretz
Project's architect Senan Abdelkader is well known to NY Times a few years back via Nicolai Ouroussoff. A distinct aesthetic language from Senan Abdelkader: an apartment building in an Arab neighborhood near Bethlehem.An apartment building, designed by Senan Abdelkader, in an Arab neighborhood...
Alastair Graham hopes Violence Prevention Through Urban Upgrading, an initiative of the government of Cape Town, South Africa, will end better. He calls the effort, which has been revamping areas around train stations since 2006, part of “a package of potential solutions … either improving safety, or improving socioeconomic situation, or improving quality of life.” The project is aimed at curbing violence by augmenting the public spaces in which violent crime frequently occurs [...]. — nextcity.org
...Fernando Casado and Paula García, the founders of the Towards the Human City project, [are] travelling the world to find how cities are trying to be more people-oriented...Trends like smart cities make us believe that large structures are needed to change urban spaces, yet there are countless examples of transformative bottom-up initiatives that have come from a simple idea and flourished without public money. It is this citizen-led type of urbanism that they hope to highlight and champion. — The Guardian
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