Canada's 24,000 km Great Trail to complete next year, but is already falling short of expectations
When it hits its completion date, which is expected to be in time for Canada’s 150th birthday next July 1, it will cover about 24,000 kilometres...But some think The Trans Canada Trail is better in concept than in execution...Some early adopters of the trail...claim that some parts of it are off limits to bicycles while other parts are spread out and hard to actually access.
Since construction began in 1992, the Trans Canada Trail — which is now being promoted as The Great Trail — is 87 percent complete. Organizers of the recreational trail claim that Canadians will be able to use the route from coast to coast once it's complete next year. But unsurprisingly... View full entry
“To ignore this is to ignore one of the great resources of the region": Frank Gehry on the LA River Revitalization project
River LA, formerly the Los Angeles River Revitalization Corporation, has posted a video interview with Frank Gehry about his work on the LA River revitalization project. The nonprofit organization works to build public support for the project. “I think when I started it I had trepidation,”... View full entry
What would happen if LA replaced all its lawns with drought-tolerant landscaping?
A new study by researchers at the University of Southern California found that replacing all lawns with drought-tolerant vegetation would have a net cooling effect of 0.2°C — but the science is less obvious than you might think. In fact, converting lawns has resulted in daytime warming of up... View full entry
Diller Scofidio + Renfro win $1.3 billion 'Pearl Eco-Island' competition in the South China Sea
The South Sea Pearl Eco-Island development is funded by HNA Group and will include houses, hotels, a cruise ship port, yacht harbour, spa and theme park. [...]
The jury said the “singular and clear” design would “create a beautiful, iconic form rising naturally out the landscape, recalling the volcanic caldera of the area, and shape the island into a continuous structure that would be an extremely efficient compaction of resort, retail, and housing."
The "eco" stands for... well, it depends. To HNA Group: “This proposal is one for a truly a human-made island that celebrates all that makes such water-bound places so attractive and beautiful, while contributing to our understanding of deep, intrinsic ecology.” To the Permanent Court of... View full entry
20 excellent films that feature cities as principal characters
What would "Lost in Translation" be without Tokyo, or "In Bruges" without, well, Bruges? This engrossing Taste of Cinema piece selects 20 films released from the 1930s up to the cinematic present in which the city and its surrounds play a vital role in the narrative. The piece then delves into... View full entry
Artificial nature: Frederick Law Olmsted and the invention of landscape architecture
An unmistakable irony creeps vinelike through Olmsted’s landscape theory: It takes a lot of artifice to create convincing “natural” scenery. Everything in Central Park is man-made; the same is true of most of Olmsted’s designs. They are not imitations of nature so much as idealizations, like the landscape paintings of the Hudson River School. Each Olmsted creation was the product of painstaking sleight of hand, requiring enormous amounts of labor and expense.
— The Atlantic
For more on Olmsted and his parks today, check out some past articles:First commemorative statue of Frederick Law Olmsted to be unveiled in North CarolinaObama chooses Jackson Park as the site for his Presidential CenterAlbright-Knox Gallery announces short list of firms for $80m expansion... View full entry
A monument to outlast humanity
“My good friend Richard Serra is building out of military-grade steel. That stuff will all get melted down. Why do I think that? Incans, Olmecs, Aztecs—their finest works of art were all pillaged, razed, broken apart, and their gold was melted down. When they come out here to fuck my ‘City’ sculpture up, they’ll realize it takes more energy to wreck it than it’s worth.”
— New Yorker
Heizer, a pioneer of the earthworks movement, began “City” in 1972. A mile and a half long and inspired by ancient ritual cities, it is made from rocks, sand, and concrete mined and mixed on site.“ ‘City’ is one of the most important works of art to have been made in the past century... View full entry
Take a VR tour of Yosemite National Park with President Obama
Among the several tributes to the U.S. National Park Service's centennial birthday today, The White House, National Geographic, Felix & Paul Studios, and Oculus released “Through the Ages: President Obama Celebrates America’s National Parks”, a 360-degree VR video featuring stunning... View full entry
A look at some cities revitalizing their blighted rivers
Los Angeles wants to rethink its river. [...] And LA isn’t the only metropolis looking to reclaim its once-mocked waterway. Cities around the world are realizing that water can be a cultural and recreational asset, not something to hide or pillage, and it seems no waterway will be wasted for long.
Related stories in the Archinect news:Gruen Associates, Mia Lehrer, Oyler Wu appointed to design L.A. River Greenway in San Fernando ValleyWhat's happening with Frank Gehry's masterplan for the LA River?A plan to clean up the River Spree around Museum Island in Berlin View full entry
A remarkable time lapse video of Los Angeles
From the Venice Canals to the detritus-strewn cliffs overlooking downtown to the interior of a hospital, this time lapse video by Mason Thibo surveys the edgy splendor of Los Angeles, allowing a glimpse not only of the city's extraordinary variety of neighborhoods, but the way people (and... View full entry
From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration
Last year, the group released a report documenting more than 4,000 lynchings between 1877 and 1950.
After that report, Mr. Stevenson launched a project to collect soil from unmarked lynching sites around the country. The soil will be placed in glass jars that will be on display at the museum.
Campbell Robertson highlights plans by the Equal Justice Initiative, to build a national memorial to victims of lynching and open a museum that explores African American history from enslavement to mass incarceration.h/t @Rob Holmes View full entry
Monumental land art emerges in Montana's new Tippet Rise Art Center
"They have strong architectural properties: they create space, they provide shelter and shade, they change the thermal and acoustical properties of the surrounding context and thus they enable new activities and programs to take place. But also, they can live empty without looking like empty buildings...”
— The Creators Project
Land art installations stand majestically against the pristine Montana landscape at the Tippet Rise Art Center, a working sheep ranch turned art destination that opened in June about an hour away from Billings and 2.5 hours north of Yellowstone. Ensamble Studio principals Antón García-Abril... View full entry
Come on in, the water's fine: Rio sailors say worries about water quality overblown
Despite reports of dangerous levels of pollution in Rio's Guanabara Bay and concerns that floating garbage could damage or slow competitors' boats, sailors at the 2016 Olympics are showing little or no fear of getting into the water [...]
Many said the dangers of sailing in Rio have been overblown and worried that the water concerns are overshadowing some of the most exciting and challenging sailing of their lives.
So far, the Rio Olympics seem to be going pretty well. But before they opened, a series of issues plagued the preparations. For some background, check out these links:Athletes refuse to move into Rio's Olympic Village, citing “blocked toilets, leaking pipes and exposed wiring”Rio... View full entry
Dan Graham hates conceptual art
Dan Graham points his finger at conceptual art as it practiced today and taught in schools. Makes a lot of sense when it is overused and over-appropriated meaninglessly and endlessly. I don't think he would say that forty years ago. Though, he spares Lawrence Weiner. View full entry
Donald Trump, usher of America's postindustrial urban blight
Casinos like the Taj Mahal have destroyed Atlantic City’s public space. Gambling’s arrival replaced the outward-looking hotels, shops, and promenades of the mid-century boardwalk with clusters of dark, labyrinthine resorts, set back from the street and enclosed behind monitored security gates. [...]
Atlantic City’s model of a plush, self-contained casino abutting a ruined neighborhood has become a synecdoche for the last forty years of American urban development.
To dissect the urban effects of Trump's Atlantic City casino, Sam Wetherall traces the city's history as a booming resort town through the early 20th century, and into its current economic crisis:In 2014 alone, casino closures cost Atlantic City more than ten thousand jobs, a staggering figure for... View full entry