For all of the dubious attention attracted by the “Bilbao Effect” theory [...] a more prosaic, and arguably more important aspect of museum location has received little attention: not which city a museum is built in, but where in that city. Locations that would once have seemed inevitable, such as Chicago parkland, are hugely contentious in the 2000s, while locations previously unthinkable in that year – an abandoned lumbermill in Bilbao [...] – are now commonplace. — theguardian.com
Most modern Chinatowns are serving less as a singular manifestation of Chinese-American life than as a central gathering place for people to experience Chinese culture...And indeed, Chinatowns themselves were often built on the ground of former ethnic enclaves that had organically dissolved...But as Chicago’s Chinatown demonstrates, this is not a predictable story. More than a hundred years after its founding, the neighborhood has a dynamism that can’t be neatly scripted. — Next City
From a concrete ditch, the river is now, very, very, very slowly becoming that green, recreational space many supporters have imagined. But, the question is, what's taking so long?
As anyone who's ever set out to build in Los Angeles knows, things aren't always as simple as they seem. A vision becomes reality at a glacial pace, which can be a good or bad thing. — kcet.org
Germane Barnes wants Opa-Locka to be known for something else...He knows [change] can happen because he lives there, and has seen the work of a group of artists and organizers slowly change the landscape...The city's history intrigued him, not merely because it seemed like a perfect case study for his thesis about revitalizing a community without gentrification, but because it also spoke to his own experiences. — Curbed
The wildly successful BEACH installation is down to its final exhibition days at Washington D.C.'s National Building Museum. Since opening on July 4, over 120,000 visitors both young and old "splashed" around in its bubbly waters, lounged about on the "shore", and perhaps saw a live band rock out...
Gehry insists that he isn't interested in the river as the site for new landmarks. He says he told the Revitalization Corp. board members who first visited his office last year that he would take on the job only if he could look at the river primarily in terms of hydrology. [...]
"I told them I'm not a landscape guy. I said I would only do it on the condition that they approached it as a water-reclamation project, to deal with all the water issues first." — latimes.com
In Detroit, the American Dream has become an American Paradox: Corporate-backed revitalization downtown belies the continued deterioration of sprawling neighborhoods of single-family homes; [...] white newcomers trickle in by choice, just as many black natives have no choice but to stay where they are.
What’s that? It doesn’t sound like the up-from-the-ashes, post-industrial renaissance Detroit you’ve been hearing about of late? — Columbia Journalism Review
Developed with the help of a team of volunteer researchers, urban planners and designers, this new online tool allows anyone to view the staggering amount of publicly-owned lots that once had an urban renewal plan in the pipeline but were scrapped due to bureaucracy. By mapping out all of the vacant spaces across the city, 596 hopes that we as a community can take a top-down approach to turning these urban blights into public gardens, play lots, and spaces where people can “co-create.” — 6sqft
From 1949-1974 NYC took on an urban renewal project that resulted in the bulldozing of "slums" across Manhattan. The vast majority of the proposals planned for the land floundered and today nearly 15,000 lots across the city lay vacant. 596 Acres, a grassroots land access nonprofit, had developed...
The jury is in and the Los Angeles River's future seems to be bright. After more than six months of intense lobbying by the city, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Army Corps) has announced that it will be recommending a more ambitious $1-billion plan to restore an 11-mile stretch of the Los Angeles River from downtown through Elysian Park. — kcet.org
No absentee landlords or faraway investors allowed. Only Michigan residents and businesses [...]
The idea is to lure neighbors, not investors or opportunists (#NeighborsWanted is the city's hashtag for the program). And that does not include out-of-state urban homesteaders dreaming of cheap property in Detroit. Right now, the land bank is focusing on otherwise intact neighborhoods, as opposed to those parts of town where vacant parcels outnumber the residents who've stuck around. — washingtonpost.com
With billions in federal, charity and insurance dollars flowing in after [Hurricane Katrina], there were suddenly resources for change.
“The city essentially got the opportunity to do a do-over,” said Carol Bebelle, a lifelong New Orleanian and executive director of Ashé Cultural Arts Center. [...]
In many ways, it was a top-to-bottom re-imagining of the cityscape.
So, is the city in a better place than it was nearly nine years ago? It depends on how closely you look. — equalvoiceforfamilies.org
If there is any one lesson that I have learned in my life as a city planner, it is that public spaces have power. It's not just the number of people using them, it's the even greater number of people who feel better about their city just knowing that they are there.
Public space can change how you live in a city, how you feel about a city, whether you choose one city over another, and public space is one of the most important reasons why you stay in a city. — TED
Over the next few years, two professional sports teams are in a position to radically reshape much of the fringe of Atlanta's downtown core. [...]
Neither stadium deal has been the public relations coup that Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed surely hoped for. [...]
There's an inherent messiness to these dual, competing narratives – one of downtown reinvestment, the other a triumph of the suburbs. — theatlanticcities.com
Late in 2011, [Zappos CEO] Hsieh became even more legendary by announcing almost larkishly that he’d be leading a $350 million effort to rejuvenate a blighted stretch of Las Vegas’ downtown […]
His plan was to spend much of his own personal fortune to transform this lifeless area about a mile north of the neon blitz of the Strip into an entrepreneurial tech nirvana. [...]
Doubters have no place in the ecosystem. Pragmatists stand little chance. A love of hyperbole prevails. — Wired
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