Architecture critic Owen Hatherley travelled to Nizhny Novgorod to visit Avtozavod, a purpose-built “workers’ paradise”. The idealism may have gone, but its legacy remains strong — calvertjournal.com
When Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne looks at L.A., he sees the city shaped by immigrants. Landmark buildings in Koreatown that adapt and evolve with a new generation. Houses in Arcadia that allow Chinese homeowners a proud, conspicuous place in a new country. Street life across the region that takes its cue from the way Latino neighborhoods blur the line between public and private. — latimes.com
The median per capita income in Los Angeles is $27,900. The average rent for a two-bedroom apartment—and, frankly, this sounds low to us—is said to be about $1,400.
You can do the math. It's very difficult to keep a roof over your head in this town.
Yet another analysis has confirmed this. The folks at Rent.com looked at median rent and median income in America's largest cities and concluded that L.A. is one of the five worst places in the nation for renters. — LA Weekly
Can billionaires remake the Manhattan shoreline? Apparently so, in light of the news that a new park will be just offshore in the Hudson River, largely financed by the media mogul Barry Diller and situated, conveniently, a short walk from his office in Chelsea.
The new park will also be near the High Line, allowing for an easy tour of how private wealth is remaking the city’s public spaces. This trend isn’t unique to New York [...] — NY Times
Julia Ingalls reviews, the built work and paper architecture of Jimenez Lai. To wit "regardless of the medium...Understanding the role of storytelling within design is fundamental to all of Lai's work". jla-x commented "The most interesting drawing that he did was a series of plans of a space...
“Uneven Growth: Tactical Urbanisms for Expanding Megacities” is, at least nominally, about urbanism and architecture. [...]
The problems, not the solutions, presented in “Uneven Growth” are very real. Before Gadanho and his teams of architects, planners, and researchers can suggest productive solutions, they would do well to acknowledge that their fellow practitioners hold responsibility for the very state of urban affairs they seek to remedy. — blouinartinfo.com
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
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