Banfield’s dedication to environmental issues was born by chance in 2000, when she moved with her husband and three children to Clayton...Together with Carlos Varela, her legal-minded neighbor, Banfield created a community association to defend the rainforest. She remained on the front lines for years, sacrificed her architectural career and eventually began public campaigns for a variety of environmental causes. — Ozy
Although the Harvard GSD formed the Office for Urbanization recently to study the effects of sea rise and climate change, Vice Mayor of Panama City Raisa Banfield has taken a more direct approach, physically halting flood-prone projects during construction and connecting with like-minded...
From 1917 to 1991 in the former Russian Empire, and from 1945 to 1989 in the countries it dominated after the war, there was no real private ownership. No landowners, no developers, no “placemakers” - in half of Europe. Did this mean public space was done differently, and are attitudes to it different in those countries? [...] observed more closely, public space here is every bit as complex as it is elsewhere in Europe. — theguardian.com
Related stories in the Archinect news:Owen Hatherley on a Stalinist city's efforts to "de-communize"The New East is where western starchitect dreams come true (or turn into nightmares)Michael Kimmelman on Public Squares
Residents of just four American metropolitan areas have had regular access to healthy air in recent years. Those four places — Burlington-South Burlington, Vt.; Honolulu; Elmira-Corning, N.Y.; and Salinas, Calif. — had the pleasure of breathing air consistently free of unhealthy ozone, short-term particle and year-round particle pollution from 2012 to 2014,according to a new national air quality report card from the American Lung Association.
The air everywhere else was less consistently clean. — Washington Post
Actually, air quality has significantly improved in American cities since the passing of the 1970 Clean Air Act and subsequent legislation. This year marked the lowest particle pollution levels in 16 years for all but four of the top 20 most-polluted cities.Still, things remain pretty grim: more...
The solar power industry is about to get a big boost in San Francisco. On April 19, the city’s Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to become the first major US metropolitan area requiring that new buildings install solar photovoltaic (PV) panels on their roofs.
California already mandates that new buildings with 10 floors or less designate at least 15% of their rooftop area (pdf, p8) as being ready for solar panel installation. — Quartz
"The city of San Francisco now requires that builders actually install solar panels in these areas (at a minimum) starting in 2017. Larger buildings are exempt for now."Curious about other efforts to make American cities reduce their carbon footprint through harvesting solar energy?...
A religious organization sued the city of San Francisco to remove an open-air urinal from a popular park that it calls unsanitary and indecent.
The Chinese Christian Union of SF filed a civil complaint last week demanding the city remove the concrete circular urinal from iconic Dolores Park.
The group says the urinal, which is out in the open and screened only with plants for privacy, "emanates offensive odors," ''has no hand-washing facilities" and "it's offensive to manners and morals." — AP
For more toilet-related designs, check out these links:This Nano Membrane Toilet could solve the world's sanitation crisis – and charge our phonesToilets for everyone: the politics of inclusive design"Toilet Talk" – gender inclusivity in public restrooms, featuring...
Even where protected lanes are in place, when they meet up with busy intersections, those protections typically go away, and the logic behind their design can quickly fall apart...Will more widespread standards for bike lane treatment at intersections ever emerge in the U.S.? The Transportation Research and Education Center at Portland State University aims to move that conversation forward with its newest study. — CityLab
Portland State University's TREC research group is working to develop a resource that will aims to help transportation agencies in any city design the safest and most useful bike lane infrastructure for both cyclists and drivers.More on Archinect:The Bike Wars Are Over, and the Bikes...
What happens in domestic interiors appears to be very relevant for our societies.
Bernd Upmeyer, Editor-in-Chief, April 2016 — http://www.monu-magazine.com/news.htm
What happens in domestic interiors appears to be very relevant for our societies. At least, that is what Andrés Jaque argues in our interview entitled "The Home as Political Arena" for this new issue of MONU. This issue, "Domestic Urbanism", deals with the domestic aspects of cities, and...
the city's council voted unanimously to create a program to "develop autonomous vehicles as public transportation."
The council's vision is for self-driving vehicles to provide "on-demand, point-to-point transportation," with citizens "requesting a ride using their smartphone." The shuttles wouldn't replace public transportation, but augment it [...]
Phase one of the city council's program includes reaching out to companies like Tesla and Google to explore "potential partnerships." — theverge.com
Beverly Hills isn't the only city considering adding on-demand driverless vehicles to its transportation offerings – but given its small size, affluence, and well-maintained road infrastructure, it could be a prime zone for testing municipal adoption of autonomous vehicles.As an on-demand public...
Brooklyn is finally getting a new skyscraper development worthy of its 2.6 million populace. Today, the Landmarks Preservation Commission approved SHoP Architects‘ vision for 9 DeKalb Avenue, a rehabilitation of the landmarked Dime Saving Bank that will marry it with a dramatic, supertall skyscraper behind, the first 1,000+ foot building to arrive in the borough. To bring back more of the building’s grandeur, its exterior and interior spaces will be restored. — 6sqft.com
Newcastle’s Grade II-listed The Gibson Street Baths building was constructed in 1906 by FH Holford as a public swimming pool and wash house.
Informal planning guidance says the building could be converted for a range of uses, from private or student residential accommodation to leisure and sports facilities, a hotel, studios or restaurant. ‘The planners are going to be very flexible,’ says Riggall. ‘The city council really wants to see it brought back into use’. — thespaces.com
More UK news stories:RIBA launches 2016 funding for new architecture researchBrunel’s Thames Tunnel transformed into an underground theatreTen Top Images on Archinect's "Bricks & Stones" Pinterest Board
Legally, sidewalk repair is the responsibility of homeowners, but historically, enforcement of upkeep has been thin. [...]
“[sidewalks] should be part of the money we spend on transportation ... because people who walk are transporting themselves on their feet.” [...]
The liability is actually two-tiered: The property owner is responsible if someone sues after an injury due to poorly maintained sidewalks, but the city has secondary responsibility because sidewalks are public infrastructure. — nextcity.org
Related on Archinect:Sidewalks, New York's "most desirable real estate"Not all sidewalks are created equal in D.C.Why Los Angeles is struggling to fix thousands of miles of sidewalksHumanizing street design with 'shared space'Antonia Malchik on the end of walking in America
Facing a potentially bruising ballot fight over real estate development next year, Los Angeles' political leaders announced Wednesday that they will seek a sweeping update of the plans that govern the size and density of new buildings that go up in scores of neighborhoods.
Mayor Eric Garcetti and several council members said they want the Planning Department to revise nearly three dozen “community plans” by 2026, a task that will require the hiring of 28 new employees at a cost of $4.2M a year. — latimes.com
In related news:Nation's first combined housing complex for LGBT youth and seniors coming to HollywoodPlanning War Zone: The Battle for L.A.Top 7 Reasons to Oppose the Los Angeles Neighborhood Integrity InitiativeIt's easier now to tear down "historic homes" in Beverly Hills than before – is...
Cars conquered the daily culture of American life back when top hats and child labor were in vogue, and well ahead of such other innovations as radio, plastic, refrigerators, the electrical grid, and women’s suffrage.
A big part of why they’ve stuck around is that they are the epitome of convenience...Convenience (some might call it freedom) is not a selling point to be easily dismissed [...]
In almost every way imaginable, the car, as it is deployed and used today, is insane. — theatlantic.com
Related on Archinect:More Americans are becoming "mega-commuters", U.S. Census stats showIs America actually shifting away from its car obsession? Not entirely.Can a loss of driver autonomy save lives?Q&A with Kati Rubinyi, author of The Car in 2035: Mobility Planning for the Near...
We need to think of technology-enabled furniture as a platform for integrating other technology because in a small apartment it is not practical to put in conventional systems...I don't believe in smart homes, I believe in dumb homes that you put smart things into. If smartness is embedded in the walls then your home becomes obsolete in five years time — BBC news
”...it might be that loneliness is often due to circumstance.
The thing with cities is we are absolutely surrounded by people...We can see other people living richer, more populated lives than our own. At the same time, we can feel very exposed … there are lots of eyes on everyone. That is why the loneliness of the city has a particularly distinct tang to it.
Loneliness, however, is often like bad weather, “it passes through our lives”. — The Guardian
More about mental health on Archinect:The Internet and the Future of LonelinessAn environmental psychologist on why boring design is bad for your healthHow urban designers can better address mental health in their work, according to a new think tankStudy Links Walkable Neighborhoods to Prevention...
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