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
The plan was to create a new type of city that answered the needs of Moscow’s creative middle classes. But did the exit of Sergei Kapkov, the culture minister who ushered in these changes, also signal the end of the city’s urban revival? [...]
“Kapkov’s reforms provided a whole generation of young creative types with a sense – perhaps somewhat illusory – that they could do things on a small scale; that there was a real fabric of life in a public city,” said Tsentsiper. — theguardian.com
As we move through our cities each day, we make dozens of small decisions, based on dozens of small reasons. [...]
The choices we make while navigating cities are influenced by subconscious factors that planners, architects and designers are beginning to mine and leverage. Some are wielding that insider knowledge to create places that will play mind tricks — to get us to make healthier decisions. — NextCity
At the end of May, Metro will debut its FORWARD plan: a fully reconfigured bus network that emphasizes more frequency, better night and weekend service, direct lines through high-ridership corridors, and grid-style access to many parts of the city. The top five routes will now all get 15-minute peak service... Rather than lobby for more taxpayer funding or jack up fares, Metro looked for more efficient ways to use its existing resources. — CityLab
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
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