Hope for Detroit would seem far-fetched if you had been on the "pornography of ruins" tour I have been going on for years, led by various residents over the years. But, it turns out that those tours were provided by folk who had lost their beloved city. I recently began to hang around with a younger crowd: Mark Nickita, for example, an architect and a maniacal optimist, and a serial small-scale entrepreneur who runs Archive DS, an architecture and urban design firm in downtown Detroit... — features.blogs.fortune.cnn.com
Atterwasch is tiny, its single street lined with sturdy brick and stone houses. The village has a single church whose bells peal out at noon each day, a small volunteer fire department, and a cemetery with a special section devoted to German soldiers who died nearby in the closing months of WWII.
Atterwasch may soon be gone.
Vattenfall, a Swedish energy company, hopes to relocate the village and its residents in order to strip-mine the ground underneath for lignite, or "brown coal." — news.nationalgeographic.com
The low hipster homeownership rate of the past five years translates into a market of potentially millions of first-time homebuyers looking to find a home that matches their budget and fits into their hipster lifestyle. Real estate investors who want to tap into that trend should start with location: finding homes in communities with a heavy hipster demographic, and that are affordable for that demographic. — RealtyTrac
The Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning received a $1.3m grant Monday from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The gift will fund architecture and humanities research on metropolitan issues in cities like Detroit, Mexico City and Rio de Janeiro for the next four-and-half years. The Mellon Foundation delivered the “Architecture, Urbanism, and the Humanities” grant to the University, which supports scholarship and higher education at the intersection of architecture and the humanities. — record.umich.edu
New York - and San Francisco, London, Paris and other cities where cost of living has skyrocketed - are no longer places where you go to be someone. They are places you live when you are born having arrived. They are, as journalist Simon Kuper puts it, "the vast gated communities where the one percent reproduces itself". — aljazeera.com
“What hides behind the literary aspect of this report are deep reflections on the lessons, errors, approaches and paths of China’s previous urbanizations efforts,” concluded an editorial in the newspaper Southern Metropolis Daily. The state-controlled People’s Daily gushed: “If we want high rises, we even more need the fresh mountain waters. Only by seeing the past can we grasp the future.” — qz.com
Called Lumiere, it's a four-day festival expected to attract tens of thousands of spectators to see the city's historic cathedrals, walls, bridges and squares illuminated by splashes of light. Projects range from LED and neon sculptures to large-scale projections by leading artists and lighting designers from Ireland and beyond. — cnn.com
As part of our quest to find out what makes cities smart, we throw a spotlight on infrastructure: How can information technology and urban planning help to make us more flexible and mobile? At the same time, mobility is just one aspect of a wide spectrum of complex networks that govern life in an urban context. In view of limited resources and changing climate, another factor seems even more pressing: energy consumption and conservation. — betterymagazine.com
To its critics—and even many of its fans—“culture” and “Dubai” barely belong in the same sentence. The city is perhaps the world’s most extreme example of a business-first, built-from-the-sand boomtown. But Shoufani and her fellow Poeticians have become a prime exhibit in a debate that has broken out with renewed vigor in the Arab world and among urban theorists worldwide... — bostonglobe.com
Indeed, one of the main criticisms of such design is that it aims to exclude already marginalised populations such as youths or the homeless...Preventing rough sleeping is a recurring theme. — BBC Future
Frank Swain discovers the "unpleasant designs", of modern cities. He talks with Selena Savic, a PhD student at the Ecole Polytechnique Federerale de Lausanne in Switzerland, who co-authored a book on the subject this year. h/t Bruce Sterling
The Freedom Ship would be home to 50,000 people and have its own airport, casinos and shopping centers. The Florida-based company behind the city of the sea says it is hopeful it can raise the $1 billion needed to begin construction on the massive vessel. — nydailynews.com
For other cities, order comes easily. Washington, D.C. was built all at once on the Potomac River to the specifications of the 1791 L’Enfant Plan; a half-century later, Paris was gutted and remade, top to bottom, per Georges-Eugène Haussmann’s instructions. Things in Toronto have always been a little less tidy—instead, we’ve got “messy urbanism,” as American urban planner James Rojas has called in. — thegridto.com
Despite concerns about the sustainability of the glass-walled condo and the monotony they have brought to the Toronto skyline, these are not issues that concern city planners. That’s someone else’s department.
For planners, the main thing is to ensure that everything fits in — in other words, that nothing stands out. As long as a building isn’t too tall, too dense, or too good, the department is happy to give its approval. — thestar.com
In his 12-year tenure, Bloomberg built a gleaming Oz of new parks and plazas, skyscrapers and bike lanes. This didn’t stop plenty of terrible buildings from going up. But a focus on streets and architecture redrew whole swaths of the city: Brownstone Brooklyn boomed, the High Line opened, industrial wastelands became waterfront playgrounds. Urban living became a cause, a public good. Design, down to the curbside and the public bench, was no longer an afterthought... — nytimes.com
From the sparsely dotted Chinese walking man to the top-hat-wearing, cane-bearing Dane, almost a hundred “walking men” are displayed life-size on banners that line the sidewalk.
“It’s important to me that they are on human scale because they really represent us,” said Ms. Barkai.
Only rarely are the icons depicted as women, she noted. Of the hundreds of images in her collection, Ms. Barkai has only “about six or seven women, mostly from European countries.” — blogs.wsj.com
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