While the cult of the star architect has soared over the decades and property developers have displaced bankers as the new super-rich, the figure of the local town planner has become comic shorthand for a certain kind of faceless, under-whelming dullard. [...]
“Planning has become unpopular, disconnected from the public and increasingly beholden to the developer rather than the people it is meant to serve.” — theguardian.com
At the broadest level, it's fair to say that urban mobility didn't have the most encouraging day. In recent years, conservative transportation policy has been much more inclined to favor highways serving rural and outer suburban regions than alternative modes that boost balanced city networks [...] But at the city and county level, where most transit initiatives occur, the midterms yielded a number of big victories, in keeping with the general success of transit ballot measures in recent years. — citylab.com
Beavercreek, Ohio, nabbed its own infamous place in civil rights history last year, when the Federal Highway Administration ruled that the suburb had violated anti-discrimination laws by blocking bus service from nearby Dayton. [...]
The Beavercreek case illustrates larger, more widespread problems with America’s transportation system [...]. The Kirwan Institute is producing a one-hour documentary exploring the Beavercreek case and how racism can influence transportation decision making. — usa.streetsblog.org
Los Angeles' vast freeway system is incomplete — at least by the standards of its architects. In the 1940s, freeways were sketched through Santa Monica Boulevard, along Melrose, Highland and La Brea avenues, and near the Griffith Observatory. Many of L.A.'s freeways were built during the 1960s, but a combination of a freeway revolt, skyrocketing costs and a failure to increase the gas tax doomed the expansion of the freeway system during the 1970s. — LA Times
OMA and OLIN Studio have been selected to design the new 11th Street Bridge Park in Washington D.C. The competition was held as part of the 11th Street Bridge Park project initiative, which will transform an old freeway bridge into D.C.'s first elevated park. From the six shortlisted teams in phase one of the nationwide competition, and down to four finalists, OMA + OLIN won with their proposal, "Anacostia Crossing." — bustler.net
Joel Kotkin, a fellow at Chapman University and an untiring defender of the suburbs, begins a recent column in the Washington Post with a valid question: “What is a city for?” He then proceeds to get that question completely wrong. But really, we should be thanking him. In his article, he neatly sums up many of the key myths emerging from the anti-urbanism set, making my job of debunking these myths a lot easier. — thisbigcity.net
Today, on China’s southern coast, the integration of the Greater Pearl River Delta (PRD) is turning fiction into fact (sans the harsh lawman), with 11 cities linking to create an urban area of 21,100 square miles (55,000 sq km) and a population of up to 80 million.
The nine cities of the PRD, plus the special administrative zones of Hong Kong and Macau, are becoming increasingly linked by a series of bridges, tunnels, roads, and high-speed rail networks. — urbanland.uli.org
"Giving the boulevard back to the people... makes the streets habitable again," says Sean O’Malley of SWA. — swa group
How does a 10-block neighborhood intervention of volunteers in Highland Park, Los Angeles link to a $325 million streetscape and storm water infrastructure transformation in Shenzhen, China? “This is about giving the street and the boulevard back to the people,” says Sean O’Malley...
Architecture theorist Jacob Dreyer explains how the Stalinist model of urbanism – a centrally planned component within a national economic unity – is thriving in modern China — theguardian.com
Melbourne is now a more expensive place to live than New York. The increasing cost of living, and in particular, the cost of housing risks seriously undermining the city’s liveability.
Plan Melbourne, the new metropolitan strategy for the city, recognises that housing affordability is one of the pressing issues facing Melburnians. The strategy offers a set of concepts aimed at shaping the city’s future and – the government hopes – addressing housing affordability and choice. — thisbigcity.net
Urban densities are not trivial, they severely limit the transport mode choice and change only very slowly. Because of the large differences in densities between Atlanta and Barcelona about the same length of metro line is accessible to 60% of the population in Barcelona but only 4% in Atlanta. The low density of Atlanta render this city improper for rail transit. — usa.streetsblog.org
“The cities we’re working on were neglected by Saddam Hussein, so they have little basic infrastructure,” says Elliot Hartley, 36, a director of Garsdale Design. But why can’t Iraqis redesign their own cities? “There has been a massive brain drain of professionals from Iraq over the years, and a lack of investment in local government planning departments, which means that the skills aren’t there – yet,” [...].
More improbably yet, only one member of the family firm [...] has set foot in Iraq. — theguardian.com
France has embarked on an ambitious plan to remake Paris -- and, in the process, solve its suburbs problem. On Jan. 1, 2016, Paris, along with Clichy and more than 120 of its closest suburbs, will be enfolded into the Métropole du Grand Paris, an ambitious but still ill-defined project to create a sort of uber-city -- an overarching metropolitan government for the greater Paris area, encompassing around 7 million inhabitants and over 270 square miles. — Foreign Policy
This ambitious project will be the first of its kind in the world, one that planners hope can become a model for other cities. The Parisian suburbs – or banlieues – are notoriously underprivileged. Generally, Paris and its environs are markedly economically segregated: the central city is...
In the wake of economic reforms in the 1990s that helped set off the largest urban migration in history, China had the rare opportunity to embrace cutting-edge city-building approaches as it expanded its skyline. It could have avoided the mistakes that made Los Angeles into the land of gridlock, or bypassed the errors that turned the banlieues of Paris into what one American planner calls “festering urban sores”.
But China looked back instead of forward. — theguardian.com
Today the Pruitt-Igoe site is once again in the spotlight, but this time because of a new bid to “get the economic flywheel going in the right direction again,” in the words of private developer Paul McKee, the force behind the proposed NorthSide Regeneration project. [...] The lynchpin of it all would be to get the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency—the high-tech eyes and ears of the Defense Department—to relocate to where the towers of Pruitt-Igoe once stood. — citylab.com
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