As President Obama leaves the White House, a closer look at his urban policy legacy
City residents and urbanists had reasons to believe Obama would usher in a new urban era. [...]
Now, as he leaves the White House, Obama’s legacy is being evaluated on many fronts, including within the realm of urban policy. In a new book called Urban Policy in the Time of Obama, academics appraise his successes and failures. CityLab spoke with the book’s editor, James DeFillippis, an associate professor in the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University.
Related stories in the Archinect news:What does President Obama's final year in office mean for architecture?Black Lives Matter and the politics of protesting in privatized spaceTod Williams Billie Tsien Architects selected to design the Obama Presidential Center View full entry
Traveling the world to understand 'The Future of Cities'
The inevitable, and accelerating, growth of cities is an undisputed premise in contemporary urbanist discourses. With the rapid rise of entirely new cities proliferating around the globe, questions arise of how much in urban life can be improved with a blank slate. This short film from The... View full entry
Airbnb reveals its top 17 trending city neighborhoods for travel
The hottest Airbnb deals are—surprise!—a little bit out of the way.
The home-and-room rental platform has revealed the top 17 neighborhoods whose bookings grew the most this year, based on 140 million arrivals at 3 million homes. Peppered throughout are terms like “off the usual tourist path” or “a tranquil outpost” and “though detached from city proper.” [...]
While smaller than many of Airbnb’s major markets, these neighborhoods could be in for even more growth in 2017.
In a data analysis report unveiled yesterday, Airbnb summarizes what travelers are allegedly looking for this year:"In cities like Miami and Seoul, travelers to this year’s trending neighborhoods can connect with Experience hosts for local access you won’t find in typical tourist guides: In... View full entry
Opinion: City life is 'out of sync' with the electoral systems that led to Trump and Brexit
The very thing that makes modern cities vibrant and culturally dominant – increasing population density, and the atmosphere and networks that result from it – has left them politically under-represented. Meanwhile, the scattered and thinned-out populations of many struggling rural and small town areas distribute their voters through the British and American electoral systems much more efficiently.
— Andy Beckett – The Guardian
Related on Archinect:The V&A's Martin Roth on Brexit: 'Me-first mentality' spreading through Europe is 'brutal'Brexit means Brexit: architects Rob Hyde, Katy Marks and Mark Middleton on how Brexit could change UK-architecture (and how architects could change Brexit), on Archinect Sessions... View full entry
São Paulo named Grand Prize Winner in 2016 Mayors Challenge
As part of this year’s Bloomberg Philanthropies Mayors Challenge, the Brazilian megacity drafted a proposal for a digital interchange platform designed to connect vendors with restaurants, markets, and other retailers in an effort to make it easier for them to sell their wares. On Wednesday, São Paulo’s proposal was named the winner of the third ever Mayors Challenge, which gives it a $5 million cash prize to implement the idea.
"Four other cities will also receive $1 million each to implement their respective proposals. The winners include two Colombian cities, Medellín and Bogotá, as well as Santiago, Chile, and Guadalajara, Mexico."Click here to learn more about the winning proposal "São Paulo: Growing Farmers’... 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
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
Los Angeles' urban core is full (unlike most other major U.S. cities)
This isn't your grandfather's urbanization: population figures in major U.S. cities, which on the whole are on the uptick after declining in the 1960s, are adding residents not to their already built urban cores but rather in the form greenfield sprawl, which makes use of farmland and lightly... View full entry
The argument against zoning
Zoning, although designed with the benign intention of keeping toxin-spewing industrial factories away from residential properties, has certainly been used for ill: ask any African-American family in the 20th century whose application to use their VA entitlement to buy a house was denied due to... View full entry
We Need Smarter Ideas On How To Grow Our Cities
These days, you can find a Steve Pomerance in cities across the country — people who moved somewhere before it exploded and now worry that growth is killing the place they love.
But a growing body of economic literature suggests that anti-growth sentiment, when multiplied across countless unheralded local development battles, is a major factor in creating a stagnant and less equal American economy.
— New York Times
How autonomous vehicles will accelerate suburban sprawl
If Mr. Ratti’s projections are correct, and self-driving cars can radically reduce traffic without cannibalizing existing mass transit—the hypotheticals pile up—it is possible that self-driving cars will make many cities livable in a way they aren’t now. Imagine if every U.S. city had a hybrid public-private mass-transit system on par with those in New York City or Washington, D.C., comprised entirely of self-driving vehicles.
Related stories in the Archinect news:Would self-driving cars be useful to people living outside urban cores?The "algorithmic dreams" of driverless cars, and how they might affect real-world urban designHow prepared are American cities for the new reality of self-driving cars? View full entry
Half the world lives in cities – or not
Last month, the journal Science published a special issue examining the challenges and opportunities of an urbanizing world. Titled “Urban Planet” and featuring an image of clouds wafting across skyscrapers in Dubai, the issue opened with an eye-catching statistic: “More than half of the world’s people now live in cities.”
Of course, that number would be even more impressive if it were actually true.
According to the article, the statistic that half the world's population lives in cities is misleading. Many of these people live in towns and small urban enclaves, not the bustling metropolises conjured by the stat.The author argues that such thinking makes one overlook sprawling fringe... View full entry
Google's Sidewalk Labs contemplates building an entire city
The Information notes that building a city could allow Sidewalk Labs to “rethink government, social policy, and data-driven management.” [CEO Dan] Doctoroff explained that “thinking about a city from the Internet up is really compelling,” while also noting that “cities are hard. You have people with vested interest, politics, physical space…But the technology ultimately cannot be stopped.”
— 9 to 5 Google
Alphabet's Sidewalk Labs joins the rarefied stable of companies potentially looking to expand from an initial service (in this case, improved WiFi access and traffic flow in cities) into a fully-fledged social experimentation machine. Will they build 21st century company towns or create a... View full entry
Rising popularity of urban exploration on social media is leading to more injuries and deaths
A rising number of daredevil stunts such as scaling skyscrapers and parachuting from tall structures is being fuelled by competition for online acclaim, according to “urban explorers”, who warn more people are dying as a result.
The immense popularity of online videos of people climbing the world’s tallest buildings, including the London Shard, had turned urban exploration, which traditionally involves surreptitiously exploring the off-limits corners of towns and cities, into an extreme sport
— the Guardian
Urban exploration, or "urbex," has a long and interesting history, involving clandestine networks of people sharing skills and knowledge of the infrastructure of cities. But, driven more by a desire for likes than exploration, people are increasingly getting themselves into dangerous... View full entry