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"
There would be homes and industry surrounded by trees, hills and lakes. Above all, there would be no prejudice, poverty or slums, according to a Soul City brochure...Despite its name, Soul City was never intended to be an all-black town, but rather, a multi-racial community built and managed by black people.
[But] Portions of the area resemble a ghost town, rotting – or perhaps waiting. Could Soul City ever be resurrected? — The Guardian
Read up on the rise and halt of Soul City, a suburb that attorney and civil rights activist Floyd McKissick envisioned for North Carolina's Warren County in the late 1960s-70s.More on Archinect:"Quintessential America" at play in the Museum of African American History and CultureFor Libertarian...
Outdoor air pollution has grown 8% globally in the past five years, with billions of people around the world now exposed to dangerous air, according to new data from more than 3,000 cities compiled by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
While all regions are affected, fast-growing cities in the Middle East, south-east Asia and the western Pacific are the most impacted with many showing pollution levels at five to 10 times above WHO recommended levels. — The Guardian
According to the WHO data, the most polluted city in the world is Onitsha, a booming port city on the coast of Nigeria. With almost 600 micrograms per cubic meter, the city has around 30 times the recommended level of PM10 particles (the larger, but still dangerous, air pollutant particles).In...
She would ask us to look at the consequences of these sub-economies for the city – for its people, its neighbourhoods, and the visual orders involved...Talking with Jacobs, it became clear that community battles were, for her, simply part of a wider inquiry as she sought to better understand, and develop concepts for, the role of cities in the economy. — The Guardian
And if you haven't already noticed it, there's a special Google Doodle celebrating Jacobs' 100th birthday.More on Archinect:U.S. Transportation Secretary Foxx on the troubled relationship between infrastructure and race: "We ought to do it better than we did it the last time"A closer look at the...
“I believe it’s important for all ages to interact on a day to day basis. It...hopefully removes the labelling of people as ‘elderly’ or ‘past it’ and the self-fulfilling behaviours that are often generated by this.”
“Cities need cross-generational activities...People living alone of whatever age can become isolated, lonely and then mental health problems can develop.”
“Teach young people that we are not going to move over, nor do we have to.” — The Guardian
How do you define an age-friendly city? Share in the comment section below.More on Archinect:Nation's first combined housing complex for LGBT youth and seniors coming to HollywoodLoneliness is on the rise throughout the world's citiesMidwest developer planning shared residence for seniors and...
A religious organization sued the city of San Francisco to remove an open-air urinal from a popular park that it calls unsanitary and indecent.
The Chinese Christian Union of SF filed a civil complaint last week demanding the city remove the concrete circular urinal from iconic Dolores Park.
The group says the urinal, which is out in the open and screened only with plants for privacy, "emanates offensive odors," ''has no hand-washing facilities" and "it's offensive to manners and morals." — AP
For more toilet-related designs, check out these links:This Nano Membrane Toilet could solve the world's sanitation crisis – and charge our phonesToilets for everyone: the politics of inclusive design"Toilet Talk" – gender inclusivity in public restrooms, featuring...
Facing a potentially bruising ballot fight over real estate development next year, Los Angeles' political leaders announced Wednesday that they will seek a sweeping update of the plans that govern the size and density of new buildings that go up in scores of neighborhoods.
Mayor Eric Garcetti and several council members said they want the Planning Department to revise nearly three dozen “community plans” by 2026, a task that will require the hiring of 28 new employees at a cost of $4.2M a year. — latimes.com
In related news:Nation's first combined housing complex for LGBT youth and seniors coming to HollywoodPlanning War Zone: The Battle for L.A.Top 7 Reasons to Oppose the Los Angeles Neighborhood Integrity InitiativeIt's easier now to tear down "historic homes" in Beverly Hills than before – is...
Everything from sidewalks and curbs to streets, building designs, urban layouts, and living patterns will change as computers take the wheel.
“We’re looking at the broader urban effects—and urban opportunities—of this technology,” says Illinois Tech architect Marshall Brown, one of the team members in the Chicago school’s Driverless Cities Project. “It’s in the news a lot, but nobody’s been discussing what it will actually do to cities.” — wired.com
Related stories in the Archinect news:The "Impossible" Car – Faraday Future's lead designer, Richard Kim, on One-to-One #17World's first fully autonomous taxi service will arrive in Singapore later this yearGoogle's self-driving car hits bus and causes its first crash
The thorny task of comparing crime rates across the world is tricky because legal interpretations vary. Sweden's definition of rape is not the same as America’s, for example. Murder however should be easier to record because there is an identifiable victim, something that can be counted. But the way in which this is done in poorer, often more corrupt countries makes truly comparable statistics hard to pin down. Where there are inefficient public health systems or police, it is even harder. — the Economist
"Latin American and Caribbean countries suffer disproportionately compared with elsewhere, mainly because of inequality, poor rule of law, impunity and corrupt institutions that are infiltrated by drug cartels. Only two countries outside the region feature on either chart, South Africa and the...
The Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize 2016 is conferred on Medellín, the second largest city in Colombia after the capital Bogotá.
Having overcome challenges of uncontrolled urban expansion and years of violence due to social inequalities, Medellín has undergone a remarkable transformation over the past two decades. Through bold leadership, long-term plans and social innovation, the city’s leaders have tackled its most pressing issues and improved the economy... — Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize
The Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize is a bi-annual award give to a city to honor "outstanding achievements and contributions to the creation of liveable, vibrant and sustainable urban communities around the world."Organized by the Urban Redevelopment Authority and the Centre for Liveable...
This got us thinking about what it takes to build an ideal town: should pubs be on every residential corner or on the high street? How many trendy coffee shops are too many? Are libraries still a thing? We didn't have the answers to any of those questions, so we spoke to Matt Richards – a planner at property consultancy Bidwells – to find out what makes the perfect town. — VICE
Related stories in the Archinect news:Turning the “ugliest building in Liverpool” into an exemplar of public healthUrbanism as a public health issue: Oklahoma City's battle with obesityJan Gehl's perspective on making "a good urban habitat for homo sapiens"How urban designers can better...
Since I think there are a lot of folks out there who genuinely haven't made up their minds about the initiative, or aren’t familiar with it yet, I'd like to summarize some of the most important reasons to oppose it when it comes time to vote this November. - — Better Institutions
The looming battle for the future of development in Los Angeles is becoming more and more pronounced. One wonders if the public will ever grasp the relevance to their lives and vote with reliable information in coming November for this crucial issue?In this age of rapid commodification of the...
Beijing is stepping up measures to fight against smog and pollution by building a web of ventilation corridors as one of its plans to combat climate issues, according to municipal authorities.
“Ventilation corridors can improve wind flow through a city so that wind can blow away heat and pollutants, relieving urban heat island effect and air pollution,” Wang Fei, deputy head of Beijing’s urban planning committee, told Xinhua News Agency. — CCTV America
The planned "ventilation corridors" would range from less than 80 meters to more than 500 meters wide and – hopefully – do what their name suggests, providing a conduit for wind to blow away pollutants like particulate matter.Five major corridors are planned for the Chinese capital, running...
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