The US has long been the world leader in building parking spaces. During the mid 20th century, city zoning codes began to include requirements and quotas for most developments to include parking spaces. The supply skyrocketed. A 2011 study by the University of California, estimated there are upwards of 800m parking spaces in the US, covering about 25,000 square miles of land. — the Guardian
Increasingly, cities are rethinking this approach. As cities across the world begin to prioritise walkable urban development and the type of city living that does not require a car for every trip, city officials are beginning to move away from blanket policies of providing abundant parking.For...
The Obama administration Monday is calling on cities and counties to rethink their zoning laws, saying that antiquated rules on construction, housing and land use are contributing to high rents and income inequality, and dragging down the U.S. economy as a whole [...]
The White House published a “toolkit” of economic evidence and policy fixes to help local political leaders fight back against the NIMBYs that tend to hold sway over municipal zoning meetings. — Politico
In related news:Take a VR tour of Yosemite National Park with President ObamaObama chooses Jackson Park as the site for his Presidential CenterStonewall Inn formally declared as national monumentTod Williams Billie Tsien Architects selected to design the Obama Presidential Center
“Village” may not seem like the right term for a cluster of tenement-style walkups that can house more than 100,000 people. Chengzhongcun hang onto the name partly because of the familiarity evoked by the traditions and small-scale businesses that thrive among their migrant populations, and partly because when modern Shenzhen began growing, these places really were just villages in the middle of the city. — foreignpolicy.com
Related stories in the Archinect news:A tragic tale of live-and-let-die development on Shanghai's Street of Eternal HappinessAi Weiwei calls modern Chinese architecture 'fatalistic'Take a look at the rapid urbanization of China's Pearl River Delta
There is something romantic about the idea of a holdout, a David to the big developer's Goliath, a protagonist for whom home matters more than money, a solitary survivor. In the Pixar movie "Up," the holdout is the hero. In the real-life Seattle version of the story that reportedly inspired the film's premise, an elderly woman who refused to sell her home became — along with her home itself — a city icon. — washingtonpost.com
In practice, though, modern cities grow out of older ones in large part through the unglamorous process of parcel assembly — of fitting together the once-smaller pieces of the city, "Tetris"-like. And while the result often produces fantastically bizarre neighbors, cities can't...
Researchers from the Urban Displacement project, a joint UCLA and UC Berkeley effort, recently released a gentrification map of Los Angeles.
They examined the city from 1990 to 2000 and up to 2015, focusing on neighborhoods near transit stops. The goal was to see if these areas saw higher rents and more displacement than other areas.
The answer? Yes — with some exceptions. — scpr.org
Some of the UCLA researchers' key findings for Los Angeles Country (via the project's website, urbandisplacement.org):Our analysis found that areas around transit stations are changing and that many of the changes are in direction of neighborhood upscaling and gentrification.Examining the changes...
When a group of Burners describing themselves as the Black Rock City Ministry of Urban Planning announced a design competition last fall for a new urban plan for Burning Man, Phil Walker had never given the matter much thought.
“I’m actually not a Burner. I’ve never done it,” says Walker, the senior associate vice president for CallisonRTKL, an architecture firm and design consultancy. “Maybe a bit of vicarious living for a middle-aged suburban dad is what appealed to me.” — citylab.com
"So Walker didn’t set about to change the orientation of Black Rock City [...] instead, he built out a “kit of parts” for simple streetscape interventions that he says can have a dramatic impact on urban flow and cultural space."Related Burning Man stories in the Archinect news:Rod Garrett...
Part of the challenge throughout California and plenty of other communities...is that we tend to make local policy — and housing policy in particular — as if the only people who matter in a community are the ones who go to bed there at night.
We don't think of people who work but don't "live" there, or who'd like to live there but can't afford to, or who once lived there but had to leave, or who could access better jobs if only they could move there, or who commute through there... — the Washington Post
You may effectively live your life within, say, San Francisco or Washington, D.C., going to school there, working there, dropping your children at day care there, spending your money and your waking time there. But if, at the end of the day, you go sleep somewhere else, you are invisible to the...
[T]he city of Bao'an in Shenzhen is setting its sights on revamping the 30 kilometer, 12-lane G107 highway...By rethinking the notion of a highway and envisioned with a series of utopian-like renderings, [Avoid Obvious Architects + Tetra Architects & Planners] proposed “a smaller, more fluid, multi-layered thoroughfare that will be a spectacular starting point of growth for an organic smart city.” — Bustler
"Spark a blackout, fix a pipe, or clog the toilets. Test your building’s engineering when dinosaurs invade, lightning strikes, or the earth quakes. Find out what keeps skyscrapers standing tall and people happy in them all." So says the description of the newly launched Skyscrapers by Tinybop, a...
According to the Los Angeles Times, the sunny city of Phoenix, Arizona might become a little cooler, as the city develops a plan to give 25% of the city a tree canopy by 2030. Currently, the city has about half as much shade.The city plans to use a mix of steel 'trees', native plants like...
Today, Airbnb is revealing a new division tasked with inventing new futures for the company, called Samara. Airbnb is also unveiling Samara’s first project: a communal housing project designed to revitalize a small town in Japan. That model isn’t meant to be a one-off. After this project, Airbnb will look to scale it to other declining small towns across the world. The idea is that Airbnb could become a force not only in sharing homes, but in urban planning. — FastCo.Design
Airbnb's experiment in urban planning was sparked by the success of an elderly woman in a rural Japanese town, Tsuyama Okayama, who listed her home on the site. While near Japan's most famous cedar forests, the town didn't receive many tourists.But build it and they will come: soon, tourists...
To help ease California’s housing crisis, Gov. Jerry Brown and state lawmakers are turning to people’s backyards.
Multiple bills with the endorsement of Brown are moving through the Legislature to make it easier for homeowners to build small units on their properties, whether in their garages, as additions to existing homes or as new, freestanding structures.
[Mayor] Eric Garcetti and other supporters hope the relaxed rules will spur backyard home building to combat a housing shortage.. — Los Angeles Times
For more on Los Angeles' major housing crisis, check out these links:Los Angeles sues property owner who allegedly evicted tenants for Airbnb flipLA has a housing crisis – but the problem isn't those fancy new towersMeditating on the "Past Future Housing" of Los Angeles with Morgan Fisher and...
Sidewalk Labs, a secretive subsidiary of Alphabet, wants to radically overhaul public parking and transportation in American cities, emails and documents obtained by the Guardian reveal.
Its high-tech services, which it calls “new superpowers to extend access and mobility”, could make it easier to drive and park in cities and create hybrid public/private transit options that rely heavily on ride-share services such as Uber. — the Guardian
"But they might also gut traditional bus services and require cities to invest heavily in Google’s own technologies, experts fear."In related news:Google's Sidewalk Labs contemplates building an entire cityU.S. says computers qualify as drivers in Google's autonomous vehicles; won't even have to...
Although the game was simulating an environment from 1989, urban planners these days still run into problems trying to get officials to think about their city in the long run. Climate change and sea level rise is a very crystalline example of the way city officials get in their own way and set themselves up for larger obstacles later on [...]
Playing SimCity 2000 nowadays is a strange but wonderful way to realize what defines a city is not what it currently is, but what it could be. — inverse.com
More on simulations and gameplay for city planning:SimCity and beyond: the history of city-building gamesThree guiding principles for a fine fake metropolis"Cards Against Urbanity," the hilarious and surreal urban planning gameCalifornia Water Crisis? Now there's a board game for that!As It Lays...
I’m not so critical about New York, because they have this very firm grid-pattern. Even the newer buildings are lined up on good streets. If you stand in front of the Empire State Building, you can’t really guess how tall it is, because it meets the street in a friendly way. [...] It’s not so important how high the building is, or how much it looks like a perfume bottle, it’s more important how it interacts with the city. — commonedge.org
Related stories in the Archinect news:Jan Gehl's perspective on making "a good urban habitat for homo sapiens"Is Jan Gehl winning his battle to make our cities liveable?How to design that elusive "Perfect Town"
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