The slum, of course, is the hottest button in urbanism. Beneath the cliché that half the world’s population lives in cities — and that urban populations will double by 2050 — is the fact that only bottom-up informal settlements, or slums, can absorb several billion new residents in the timeframe. [...]
URBZ is notable in that it offers a third way at looking at Dharavi — as both a failure and a better path to success than stillborn smart cities or other attempts at top-down instant urbanism. — nextcity.org
When Loft Living was first published, artists’ laments about real estate in New York City mirrored the concerns that have plagued residents for much of the last century. Namely, it’s tough to find a suitable and affordable place to live. Since the late ’80s, the tenor of that complaint has shifted from one of anxiety to one of fear... — Guernica
Guernica magazine interviewed sociologist Sharon Zukin following the 25th-anniversary release of her 1989 landmark book "Loft Living" last year. Revisiting her timely book -- which focuses on NYC's SoHo neighborhood when upscale real estate properties took over industrial lofts and artists'...
Megaprojects almost always fall short of their promises—costing too much, delivering underwhelming benefits, or both. Yet...cities still fall for them, seduced by new technologies and the lure of the perfect fix. A mix of factors has given Seattle a particularly acute sense of angst. The project depends on a singular piece of engineering. And Bertha’s building a highway for cars in a city where workers overcrowd buses and commuters wrap themselves in waterproof everything to bike in the rain. — Bloomberg
Bedecked with amusingly cutesy illustrations, Bloomberg tells the exasperating tale of the giant tunnel drill dubbed Bertha, which began digging the new State Route 99 tunnel underneath downtown Seattle in summer 2013 to replace the current street-level Alaskan Way Viaduct and ideally clear up the...
Alastair Graham hopes Violence Prevention Through Urban Upgrading, an initiative of the government of Cape Town, South Africa, will end better. He calls the effort, which has been revamping areas around train stations since 2006, part of “a package of potential solutions … either improving safety, or improving socioeconomic situation, or improving quality of life.” The project is aimed at curbing violence by augmenting the public spaces in which violent crime frequently occurs [...]. — nextcity.org
As the Vision Zero conversation widens, a new dimension is emerging to the approach. Increasingly, planners and advocates are talking about creating cities rich in human interaction, cities that provide a healthier environment that puts people above cars in a variety of ways...[At the same time,] Stockholm is already focusing on walkability, even if not under the Vision Zero rubric. — CityLab
Related:Study Links Walkable Neighborhoods to Prevention of Cognitive DeclineLos Angeles on cusp of becoming 'major' walkable city, study saysTulsa Mayor Hasn’t Ruled Out a Sidewalk Next to New Flagship Park
...last week at an economic development conference, the Egyptian government announced it was planning a giant new building project to the east of Cairo. The new city, which could eventually cover 700 km sq, doesn't currently have a name, and is being referred to simply as "The Capital"...If all goes to plan, the city will serve as the new administrative and financial capital of Egypt. — City Metric
A new analysis authored by Todd Litman at the Victoria Transport Policy Institute concludes that sprawl costs the U.S. economy more than $1 trillion every year. [...]
The optimal density Litman uses in the report is only about 23 people per hectare. Add those 2.2 billion people to global cities at a density of about Atlanta, and we'd need the equivalent of all the land in India to accommodate them. — washingtonpost.com
When I speak with a student about nightlife they have something different in mind than a 65-year old town planning manager. In the municipalities, finding contacts is difficult - often nobody feels responsible or capable of speaking. That should change. — DW.de
There are sleepy cities and cities that never sleep. There are cities famed for their raucous nightlife, and others whose adolescent residents dream of leaving. According to the German urban scientist Jakob F. Schmid, interviewed for DW.DE, "Nightlife often defines the character of entire streets...
Beneath the vertiginous LED-strip lighting of Michael Maltzan's Billy Wilder Theater, a diverse audience gathered last Tuesday for a talk entitled "The Next Wave: Urban Adaptations for Rising Sea Levels." Co-presented by the Hammer Museum and UCLA’s Institute of the Environment and...
A new study by Thomas Laidley, a sociology doctoral student at NYU [...], uses satellite images to develop a new and improved “Sprawl Index,” which he links to a wide range of outcome measures.
Perhaps the biggest surprise is that L.A. ranks as the least sprawling metro in the country, ahead of New York and San Francisco. — citylab.com
“This corridor of shame that I call Van Ness and Market is just a spectacular example of failed urban planning.” [...]
“In the built environment, as one writer puts it, all our warts and our glories are there,” says Paul Groth, an architectural historian at UC Berkeley. “You can tell how we’re treating our fellow humans in the built environment. It really is an autobiography.”
So, what does Groth think our current architecture says?
“Greed.” — KQED
Al describes CityCenter as the product of “the Bilbao effect: the notion that buildings designed by celebrity architects bring in tourists, and in particular a higher-end type of visitor”. MGM’s version was to bring in name-brand architects such as Daniel Libeskind, Helmut Jahn and Norman Foster [...].
“It goes against the casino design convention,” Al says, “by having towers that let in natural light and meet the street the way buildings do in other cities” – with retail spaces, not gaming. — theguardian.com
Is this the promising future of Giza 2030? What is the status of Giza 2030 after the Egyptian Revolution in 2011? Would it be a curse or a blessing if I were from Giza? And my message to the current Egyptian regime is this: if this is the future of Egyptian cities, please leave the situation as it is. — thisbigcity.net
Prince Charles urges architects to place pedestrians “at the centre of the design process” as part of a 10-point “master plan” he has devised for the developments of towns and cities.
He also calls for many street signs to be removed. “Slow” and “Reduce Speed Now” signs, for example, should be taken down and replaced by features such as squares, bends and trees that “naturally” encourage motorists to reduce their speed. — telegraph.co.uk
[...] Argonne scientists are taking on a challenge not usually associated with sophisticated computing: urban design. They say that for such large-scale developments, expert opinions, or even standard modeling, will no longer do. Instead, we need detailed simulations that will integrate immense amounts of data into one framework and project different scenarios for the designers to consider. Their initial prototype, called LakeSim, focuses on Chicago Lakeside. — nextcity.org
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