A vast urban pathology
But it is traffic that has sealed Dhaka’s reputation among academics and development specialists as the great symbol of 21st-century urban dysfunction, the world’s most broken city. It has made Dhaka a surreal place, a town that is both frenetic and paralyzed, and has altered the rhythms of daily life for its 17.5 million-plus residents.
— NYT - T Magazine
Jody Rosen writes about Dhaka's legendary traffic congestion.For more check out; more incredible photos by Nicolas Chorier and get LIVE: Traffic updates for Dhaka city via The Daily Star. Or read about how the UNDP-designed Bus Finder Feature and Transport Pioneers program is trying to solve... View full entry
Tom Wiscombe redesigns the L.A. billboard (and is chosen over Zaha Hadid's proposal)
Although Los Angeles has had its battles over supergraphics—those painted on advertisements that often stretch multiple stories on a building's facade—the billboard as a concept has received substantially less attention, unless the provocative imagery on it causes fender benders. However, Tom... View full entry
British construction criticised for lack of innovation by government report
The review highlights the sector’s dysfunctional training model, its lack of innovation and collaboration, and its non-existent research and development culture.
Low productivity continues to hamper the sector, while recent high levels of cost inflation, driven by a shortage of workers, has stalled numerous housing schemes as they have become too expensive to build.
Read more UK industry news here: Mayor of London launches probe into the impact of foreign investment in city's real estateEngineering giant Arup announces imminent layoffs following Brexit voteThe former-football stars tackling England's affordable housing shortage View full entry
NYC breaks ground on One Vanderbilt, its second tallest tower
Designed by the tall tower pros at Kohn Pedersen Fox Architects, One Vanderbilt will rise to become the second tallest tower in NYC and the tallest tower in Midtown. However, unlike the city’s other skyscraper additions noted for their slim silhouettes, this tower will be a behemoth occupying a full block between Vanderbilt and Madison avenues and East 42nd and East 43rd streets; the site is also directly adjacent to Grand Central Terminal.
On Tuesday morning, developer SL Green held an official groundbreaking ceremony for the KPF-designed One Vanderbilt.The tower, which will rise 1,401 feet when completed in 2020, will be New York City's second tallest, and one of its largest with more than 1.6 million square feet of office space... View full entry
Javier Senosiain's low-income "bio-architecture" housing proposal
Forming a closer, more harmonious bond between humanity and nature is the underlying goal of Javier Senosiain's organic or so-called "bio-architecture." His buildings often take the shape of organic forms--in one case, mythic serpent Quetzalcoatl--while simultaneously harvesting rainwater and... View full entry
Can Cleveland combat climate change with compact communities?
Although Cleveland often serves more as a punchline than a solution (the Cuyahoga River caught fire in 1969 due to pollution), a climate change conference convened by the United Nations and currently being held in Quito, Ecuador sees new potential in the city. As StreetsBlog reports, if Cleveland... View full entry
MONU #25 looks at Independent Urbanism
A city in a country that recently gained independence is likely to undergo processes of radical transformation and massive restructuring and re-imagining that are not only societal, political, and economic in nature, but can also impact the planning system of a city and influence its built-up environment.
— Bernd Upmeyer, Editor-in-Chief, October 2016
A city in a country that recently gained independence is likely to undergo processes of radical transformation and massive restructuring and re-imagining that are not only societal, political, and economic in nature, but can also impact the planning system of a city and influence its built-up... View full entry
Landmarks reveals new renderings for Studio Gang's Natural History Museum expansion project
In light of the Landmarks Preservation Commission's approval of Jeanne Gang's expansion plan for the American Museum of Natural History, the Commission has revealed a slew of new renderings, which show the $325 million project from various angles, as well as new views of the surrounding parkland. Chairwoman Meenakshi Srinivasan referred to the new Richard Gilder Center for Science, Education and Innovation as a “stunning piece of architecture” and an “absolutely wonderful addition.”
The absorbing design of China's anti-flood "sponge cities"
Is flood mitigation the new frontier in urban planning? China, whose urban centers have regularly been experiencing infrastructure-shuttering floods, is actively encouraging its metropolises to start reshaping themselves to handle the new reality via the so-called "sponge city" program. As an... View full entry
"Our architecture works harder than your architecture": Inside the city of Arcosanti
Can cities be built not only to be harmonious with their environment, but to outperform traditional architecture? The residents of Arcosanti, Arizona, which is profiled in this video excerpt from the Atlantic, seem to think so. Part campus, part permanent dwelling, Arcosanti embraces the concept... View full entry
‘We are building our way to hell’: tales of gentrification around the world
My issue is not with areas being improved, it is how gentrification is about one demographic of our society changing an area for themselves and not for the benefit of everyone.
— the guardian
Portland, US: ‘We are currently building our way to hell’“I am a 70 year old carpenter and I have seen more decay in the quality of life in the last three years in Portland, Oregon – pearl of culture in the Great Northwest – with the one-term mayor ‘Chainsaw Charlie Hales’ who was... View full entry
Pave paradise? American cities are rethinking parking spaces
The US has long been the world leader in building parking spaces. During the mid 20th century, city zoning codes began to include requirements and quotas for most developments to include parking spaces. The supply skyrocketed. A 2011 study by the University of California, estimated there are upwards of 800m parking spaces in the US, covering about 25,000 square miles of land.
— the Guardian
Increasingly, cities are rethinking this approach. As cities across the world begin to prioritise walkable urban development and the type of city living that does not require a car for every trip, city officials are beginning to move away from blanket policies of providing abundant parking.For... View full entry
Editor's Picks #455
Amelia Taylor-Hochberg featured Orhan Ayyüce’s interview with "The Wire" actor Bob Wisdom from LA Forum's summer issue, in Screen/Print #45. Therein, the two spoke of the show’s depiction of race and crime in American cities, as well as the actor’s own observations on east vs. west coast... View full entry
An ambitious plan to overhaul Penn Station, by moving Madison Square Garden
Penn Station is much more than a transportation center. As the heart of the Northeast Corridor rail system, it has the potential to link downtown to downtown along the Eastern Seaboard in a way far more economical, expedient and environmentally sustainable than air travel.
But while the governor’s recently announced plan is a step toward this goal, more must be done. What we propose in addition is a completely new commuter station on the site of Madison Square Garden
The proposed plan for Penn Station's redesign comes by way of Vishaan Chakrabarti, founder of the Practice for Architecture and Urbanism. Previously, Chakrabarti was the director of Manhattan's Department of City Planning under former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, where he also... View full entry
Public art: I Am From St. Johns
Spiro Kostof, concluding his history, tells us we need "to come to terms with our past and to take shelter and find pride in the continuities of time and place. This is not alone a professional imperative. All of us—architects and users, environmental policymakers and consumers of such... View full entry