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
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
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