For decades, Americans have been losing their ability, even their right, to walk. [...] there are vast blankets and folds of the country where the ability to walk – to open a door and step outside and go somewhere or nowhere without getting behind the wheel of a car – is a struggle, a fight. A risk.
[...] we encourage car travel and discourage moving on foot. More than discourage it, we criminalise it where deemed necessary. — aeon.co
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Every time we build something, we manipulate the conditions of people’s lives, but most planners don’t know enough about this manipulation...I have worked very hard to find out what the life is that goes on inside our buildings and how our buildings influence that life...Because if you just do form, then you are doing sculpture, but if you look after the interaction between life and form, you are doing architecture. — Metropolis
More on Archinect:Is Jan Gehl winning his battle to make our cities liveable?Jason Danziger heals psychosis with designMIT's "Placelet" sensors technologize old-fashioned observation methods for placemakingWe're suckers for any architecture that looks like usOur infrastructure is expanding to...
In the 1920s urban "futurists" believed that Americans would be living and thriving in high-density vertical cities. Architect Harvey W. Corbett’s “May Live to See, May Solve Congestion Problems” is one such proposal that sees everything from homes, offices, schools, green space and even aircraft landing fields stacked on top of each other for the ultimate metropolis. — 6sqft.com
Germany might still be a car-obsessed country, but it's starting to build an Autobahn for bikes. — Fast Company
From the U.S. to Germany, urban planners and major corporations are starting to purposefully design for bicycles instead of individually operated cars. In Munich, a proposed network of two-lane bike paths would radiate out from the city center to the surrounding suburbs, creating 400 miles of...
The neighborhood — a central district that was dismantled by the Nazis, battered by Allied bombs and radically reconfigured by postwar architects — has foiled urban planners, exasperated patrons of the arts and demoralized generations of Berliners intent on seeing their city made once more into a cohesive whole. [...]
Many are hoping that all that strife is in the past now that a new museum of modern art will be built in the much-maligned arts quarter. — nytimes.com
In recent Berlin news on Archinect:Berlin's world-class museums struggle to build up excitementBerlin lists communist-era towers of Alexanderplatz as historical monuments; Gehry high-rise still happeningHerzog & de Meuron to redevelop Berlin’s infamous Tacheles cultural center; locals fear...
'There is no one size fits all approach — every region is completely different...' Hurricane Sandy underlined the urgency by ruthlessly exposing New York's structural weaknesses...California also suffered as historic droughts settled in, and the 2014 wave of winter storms terrorized the North, emphasizing that extreme conditions were here to stay and could strike anywhere. This bought the U.S. into line with the global situation. — CNN
More on Archinect:The Hurricane Katrina Cottages: where are they now?Coating the LA reservoir in "shade balls" will save 300M gallons of waterHow the Cascadia earthquake threatens America's coastal NorthwestThe Pragmatics of Adaptating to Sea Level Rise: The Next Wave @ UCLAU.S. Department of HUD...
Laundromats have recently been closing down in San Francisco, which prompted a Google employee to tweet in response "cost of disruption: washio and others have removed need for laundromat on every block." Who needs laundromats when there's an app for that? Well, people who can't afford to spend...
In a highly unusual case of urbanism, the whole town centre and its surrounding neighbourhoods are to be demolished...The 3,050 homes that would be affected by the impact of the mining – in addition to shops, offices, schools, the city hall and the hospital – will all be bought by [the LKAB mining company], knocked down and relocated. The process of moving the city will happen in phases, with the majority estimated to be completed by 2040. — The Guardian
Rapid mining activity in Kiruna is already posing a serious threat to the city, to the point that the mining company LKAB plans to relocate the entire municipality two miles eastward to prevent buildings from collapsing into the mine. The Guardian gives an overview on how locals are reacting to...
For decades, China’s government has tried to limit the size of Beijing, the capital, through draconian residency permits. Now, the government has embarked on an ambitious plan to make Beijing the center of a new supercity of 130 million people.
The planned megalopolis, a metropolitan area that would be about six times the size of New York’s, is meant to revamp northern China’s economy and become a laboratory for modern urban growth. — nytimes.com
Related stories:China’s "most influential architect" is not pleased with the state of Chinese urbanismBeijing mayor says air pollution makes his city "unlivable"China Moves to Ease Home-Registration Rules in Urbanization Push
But thanks to increased interest from buyers and less resistance from village governments, developers are constructing more new-urbanism-style homes in the burbs. “Millennials and boomers are demanding it,” explains Drew Williams-Clark, principal planner at the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning. — chicagomag.com
It’s this inevitable dichotomy between data and real life that will likely define [Google's] Sidewalk Labs...There’s a naivety to their worldview that might help to get things done inside a company but could prove a hurdle to progress in the public realm. Yes, the region does need more housing, but the politics of how, where, and when that housing is built are far more nuanced than Google can apparently handle. — psmag.com
The cloud of speculation surrounding Google as of late only grows bigger with the tech giant's recent launch of its independent start-up, Sidewalk Labs. Charging further into Google's real-world endeavors, the "urban innovation company" vies "to improve city life for everyone through the...
These are strange days in San Francisco, where the clamor to build needed housing — especially at affordable levels — is matched only by the self-righteous vigor with which actual proposals for that housing tend to be opposed...But if we want a well-planned city with distinctive new buildings for all its citizens, projects like this show that good design and good policy can go hand in hand. — San Francisco Chronicle
Developer Tishman Speyer's nearly one-year-old proposal for a 400-foot-tall residential tower, which Jeanne Gang designed, at 160 Folsom St. is suddenly facing opposition from local groups. With former mayor Art Agnos at the forefront of the opposition, the groups argue that the building promotes...
Collectively, the encyclical affirms how important it is to make the moral case for city design. Too often, developers, urban planners and city leaders seem to think that it is obvious or implied why the decisions they make are in the best interest of the public. But there is no shortcut to articulating why our planning choices speak to the fundamental human dignity of the communities we’re working in. — nextcity.org
"Given the interrelationship between living space and human behaviour, those who design buildings, neighbourhoods, public spaces and cities, ought to draw on the various disciplines which help us to understand people’s thought processes, symbolic language and ways of acting. It is not enough to...
A new typology of XL-architecture is emerging in Istanbul, negating the urban context. These ‘Citadels-on-Steroids’ rapidly encroach on the city’s urban fabric. [...]
This might very well be the future of all cities. As city walls and state boundaries erode under late capitalism, the walls are only rebuilt at a smaller scale to maintain immunity from the chaos outside. — failedarchitecture.com
Right now, Amsterdam’s Center Island (Centrumeiland in Dutch) doesn’t look like much [...] The island, in use for the first time this summer as a campsite-cum-art installation, is in fact an entirely artificial creation, lying at the heart of what could currently be Europe’s boldest engineering and housing program. [...]
The archipelago will eventually be home to up to 45,000 people in 18,000 homes, 30 percent of which will be earmarked for affordable rent. — citylab.com
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