Led by growing demand for new schools, hospitals, cultural facilities and municipal buildings, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) increased in May following its second monthly drop this year. [...] (AIA) reported the May ABI score was 51.9, up from a mark of 48.8 in April. This score reflects an increase in design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 61.5, up from a reading of 60.1 the previous month. — calculatedriskblog.com
The boom in China stock prices that has created more than 100 new billionaires and billionaire families in the past month is continuing this week. [...]
Tu Shanzhong, chairman of Pubang Landscape Architecture, became China’s newest landscape architecture billionaire after shares in his 31%-owned Pubang Landscape Artchitecture closed at a record high of 38.53 yuan [...]. Our estimate of his fortune, at $1 billion on Wednesday, includes discounts for collateralized shares and includes dividends. — forbes.com
New York and London remain the world’s most global cities, as they are the only cities to rank in the top 10 of both the Global Cities Index and the Global Cities Outlook according to the A.T. Kearney Global Cities 2015 [...]. San Francisco leads the Global Cities Outlook due to its strength in innovation. Other cities ranking at the top of the Global Cities Outlook include London (#2), Boston (#3), New York (#4), and Zurich (#5). — atkearney.com
For lovers of city rankings:Melbourne named world’s most liveable city for fourth consecutive yearForbes Releases Baffling "Coolest Cities" ListFor skeptics: The Top 6 Reasons to Be Wary of City Rankings, Ranked
Riding a stretch of increasing levels of demand for thirteen out of the last fifteen months, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) dropped in April for the second month this year. [...] (AIA) reported the April ABI score was 48.8, down sharply from a mark of 51.7 in March. This score reflects a decrease in design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 60.1, up from a reading of 58.2 the previous month. — calculatedriskblog.com
The forest of elevator cores sprouting up around town tells us that we’re living in a once-a-century moment—a sugar rush of development unseen here since our parents’ parents’ time. But the dirty little secret behind Boston’s building boom is that it’s profoundly banal—designed without any imagination, straight out of the box, built to please banks rather than people. — bostonmagazine.com
Economic boom isn't always congruent with good architecture in other cities either:The new 5 over 1 Seattle, where "everything looks the same"Blair Kamin not impressed by Chicago's latest housing developmentsJeff Sheppard calls downtown Denver's new housing developments "meaningless, uninspiring"
For the second consecutive month, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) indicated a modest increase in design activity in March. [...] The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the March ABI score was 51.7, up from a mark of 50.4 in February. This score reflects an increase in design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 58.2, up from a reading of 56.6 the previous month. — calculatedriskblog.com
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
Among this new breed of towers, design elements not directly tied to profit are often downgraded or eliminated as overall costs climb. [...] With today’s mathematically generated super-spires, it’s best to paraphrase Mae West: “Architecture has nothing to do with it.”
[...] much as the new super-tall New York condos may serve that same general purpose, these are no works of art. If, as Goethe posited, architecture is frozen music, then these buildings are vertical money. — The New York Review of Books
After its first negative score in ten months, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) showed a nominal increase in design activity in February, and has been positive ten out of the past twelve months. [...] The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the February ABI score was 50.4, up slightly from a mark of 49.9 in January. This score reflects a minor increase in design services [...]. The new projects inquiry index was 56.6, down from a reading of 58.7 the previous month. — aia.org
How much more does it cost the public to build infrastructure and provide services for sprawling development compared to more compact neighborhoods? A lot more, according to this handy summary from the Canadian environmental think tank Sustainable Prosperity.
To create this graphic, the organization synthesized a study by the Halifax Regional Municipality [PDF] in Nova Scotia, and the research is worth a closer look. — streetsblog.org
In the last 20 years, just one NFL stadium has been built solely through private funding. [...]
Still, when it comes to getting the best deal out of an arena, leaving taxpayer money off the tab is only a good start.
Studies have repeatedly shown that sports teams don’t have the far-reaching economic impacts that one might assume, and experts have noted that stadiums aren’t as catalytic as some franchise owners might tout. — nextcity.org
Cultural giving among America’s top philanthropists fell slightly in 2014, according to an annual ranking of the 50 largest charitable donors released last week by the Chronicle of Philanthropy. This news might come as a surprise to US museum directors, who have been swiftly—and quietly—raising eight-, nine-, and ten-figure donations from eager patrons. Their ambitious capital campaigns make the austerity measures of the recent recession feel like a distant memory. — theartnewspaper.com
Following a nine-month stretch of positive billings, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) showed no increase in design activity in January. [...] The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the January ABI score was 49.9, down from a mark of 52.7 in December. This score reflects a very modest decrease in design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 58.7, down from the reading of 59.1 the previous month. — calculatedriskblog.com
Manhattan may be a bustling metropolis filled with busy people rushing off to work, the theatre, restaurants and the myriad attractions the city has to offer. A replica in China, complete with knock-offs of Rockefeller Center and the Hudson River, is missing that one key element that makes New York, New York: the people. [...]
“All of these tall buildings just appeared,” one local man recently told CTV News. — ctvnews.ca
New York, Boston, Chicago, and other major metros have a lot of construction activity, but also a lot of architects. It's a competitive field made more so by the sheer number of talented firms in the same handful of cities. That contributes to the culture of stress and overwork that many architects bemoan [...]. By contrast, an ambitious architecture practice can carve out a niche for itself in a second-tier city, where the scene is often dominated by "legacy" firms that play it safe. — citylab.com
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