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
There were ten out of twelve months of increasing demand for design services in 2014, and the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) points to a healthy outlook for the nonresidential construction industry. [...] The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the December ABI score was 52.2, up from a mark of 50.9 in November. [...] The new projects inquiry index was 58.2, following a mark of 58.8 the previous month. Design contracts posted a mark of 49.9, after a 54.9 score in November. — aia.org
While some remain cynical about homeownership, the U.S.'s foreign-born population still regards it as a symbol of attaining the American Dream. [...]
Last year, immigrant households made up 11.2 percent of owner-occupied housing according to the JCHS—that’s up from only 6.8 percent in 1994. — theatlantic.com
Buoyed by sustained demand for apartments and condominiums, coupled with state and local governments moving ahead with delayed public projects, the Architecture Billings Index (ABI) has been positive for seven consecutive months. [...] (AIA) reported the November ABI score was 50.9, down from a mark of 53.7 in October. This score reflects a slight increase in design activity [...]. The new projects inquiry index was 58.8, following a mark of 62.7 the previous month. — calculatedriskblog.com
The architecture profession is back on the rise as the American economy recovers, according to NCARB's 2014 Survey of Architectural Registration Boards. For starters, the number of architects has grown by 3.1 percent since 2011.Collecting data from all 54 U.S. territories (including District of...
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