Damien Hirst cancels his Ilfracombe eco-town plans
Isn’t Ilfracombe already a town?
Yes, but Hirst was deeply involved in the application process for an eco-friendly, 750-home development known as the Southern Extension.
That’s a terrible name for a town.
Which is probably why the scheme was known as Hirst-on-Sea until recently.
Hirst, who lives nearby, has now withdrawn from the project. His company, Resign, says it could not find a developer to build houses “in keeping with our vision”.
— The Guardian
Looks like Damien Hirst's plan to build 750 eco-friendly homes in the English seaside town of Ilfracombe isn't going to happen after all. When we first reported about the artist's town-development ambitions back in 2012, the announcement was greeted with skepticism from Archinect readers. Two... View full entry
As President Obama leaves the White House, a closer look at his urban policy legacy
City residents and urbanists had reasons to believe Obama would usher in a new urban era. [...]
Now, as he leaves the White House, Obama’s legacy is being evaluated on many fronts, including within the realm of urban policy. In a new book called Urban Policy in the Time of Obama, academics appraise his successes and failures. CityLab spoke with the book’s editor, James DeFillippis, an associate professor in the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University.
Related stories in the Archinect news:What does President Obama's final year in office mean for architecture?Black Lives Matter and the politics of protesting in privatized spaceTod Williams Billie Tsien Architects selected to design the Obama Presidential Center View full entry
Diana Balmori, revered landscape architect, has died at age 84
Landscape architect and innovative urbanist Diana Balmori has died at age 84, as announced by her firm's website. The Spanish-born Balmori, who founded her own firm in New York City at age 58, was known for her site-defining and inventive landscape architecture works, including the Abandoibarra... View full entry
MEDIAN: an urbanism exhibition from "the most privileged and uninhabitable location in Los Angeles—the middle of the road."
Now through August 25, take an immersive, tongue-in-cheeky video tour through Los Angeles at WUHO Gallery, with David Hartwell and Bill Ferehawk's "MEDIAN".Enter the narrow, deep gallery space and be at the center of MEDIAN–an "experimental moving image installation" projected onto the length... View full entry
Half the world lives in cities – or not
Last month, the journal Science published a special issue examining the challenges and opportunities of an urbanizing world. Titled “Urban Planet” and featuring an image of clouds wafting across skyscrapers in Dubai, the issue opened with an eye-catching statistic: “More than half of the world’s people now live in cities.”
Of course, that number would be even more impressive if it were actually true.
According to the article, the statistic that half the world's population lives in cities is misleading. Many of these people live in towns and small urban enclaves, not the bustling metropolises conjured by the stat.The author argues that such thinking makes one overlook sprawling fringe... View full entry
On the rapid privatization of public space in post-communist cities
From 1917 to 1991 in the former Russian Empire, and from 1945 to 1989 in the countries it dominated after the war, there was no real private ownership. No landowners, no developers, no “placemakers” - in half of Europe. Did this mean public space was done differently, and are attitudes to it different in those countries? [...] observed more closely, public space here is every bit as complex as it is elsewhere in Europe.
Related stories in the Archinect news:Owen Hatherley on a Stalinist city's efforts to "de-communize"The New East is where western starchitect dreams come true (or turn into nightmares)Michael Kimmelman on Public Squares View full entry
Breaking CAD: from meth house to Ball State studio project
A group of fourth-year Ball State architecture students are refurbishing a former meth house in the Thomas Park-Avondale neighborhood in Muncie as a studio project.
The studio class is working with ecoREHAB, a local nonprofit that provides sustainable rehabilitation of housing and neighborhoods. “The whole goal is to revitalize the community more so than to earn money,” said Taylor Sheppard, a senior architecture major.
— The Ball State Daily
For more on drugs in architecture:Narquitectura: Inside the Fortified Palaces of Mexico's Drug LordsPowering Mumbai with Magic Mushroomsa new memorial to the victims of [drug war] violence View full entry
National Geographic takes a closer look at the world's great urban parks
This is the urban park of today. Unlike the neatly drawn public spaces of an earlier age, these parks are reclaimed from the discarded parcels of our cities: Stranded patches of woods, abandoned military bases and airports, storm-water systems, rail lines and bridges, places where scraps of land are pieced together like quilts or strung together like beads.
The experimentation is global.
— National Geographic
Related stories in the Archinect news:A critical look at Downtown L.A.'s ambitious plans for two new public parksWhat if: Perkins Eastman's "Green Line" proposal turns Broadway into a 40-block park in the heart of ManhattanAs Garden Bridge procurement process is headed for review, London group... View full entry
What are the world's most violent cities?
The thorny task of comparing crime rates across the world is tricky because legal interpretations vary. Sweden's definition of rape is not the same as America’s, for example. Murder however should be easier to record because there is an identifiable victim, something that can be counted. But the way in which this is done in poorer, often more corrupt countries makes truly comparable statistics hard to pin down. Where there are inefficient public health systems or police, it is even harder.
— the Economist
"Latin American and Caribbean countries suffer disproportionately compared with elsewhere, mainly because of inequality, poor rule of law, impunity and corrupt institutions that are infiltrated by drug cartels. Only two countries outside the region feature on either chart, South Africa and the... View full entry
Medellín wins 2016 Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize
The Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize 2016 is conferred on Medellín, the second largest city in Colombia after the capital Bogotá.
Having overcome challenges of uncontrolled urban expansion and years of violence due to social inequalities, Medellín has undergone a remarkable transformation over the past two decades. Through bold leadership, long-term plans and social innovation, the city’s leaders have tackled its most pressing issues and improved the economy...
— Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize
The Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize is a bi-annual award give to a city to honor "outstanding achievements and contributions to the creation of liveable, vibrant and sustainable urban communities around the world."Organized by the Urban Redevelopment Authority and the Centre for Liveable... View full entry
New app monitors the urban environment and its affects on mental wellbeing
As the number of people moving to cities continues to rise, with 66% of the global population expected to live in urban areas by 2050, it is critical to understand how urban living is affecting us
— Urban Mind
Living in a concrete jungle has its pros and its cons, but how exactly does urban living affect mental wellbeing? A new cross-disciplinary project intents to find out by using a smartphone app called Urban Mind. The app is designed to monitor various aspects of a metropolitan environment... View full entry
How to design that elusive "Perfect Town"
This got us thinking about what it takes to build an ideal town: should pubs be on every residential corner or on the high street? How many trendy coffee shops are too many? Are libraries still a thing? We didn't have the answers to any of those questions, so we spoke to Matt Richards – a planner at property consultancy Bidwells – to find out what makes the perfect town.
Related stories in the Archinect news:Turning the “ugliest building in Liverpool” into an exemplar of public healthUrbanism as a public health issue: Oklahoma City's battle with obesityJan Gehl's perspective on making "a good urban habitat for homo sapiens"How urban designers can better... View full entry
Rem Koolhaas and Kunlé Adeyemi sit down with Guardian Cities to discuss Lagos
In 1997 two architects set out to rethink Lagos, an African megacity that had been largely abandoned by the state. Amid the apparent chaos and crime, they discovered remarkable patterns of organisation. Two decades later, Rem Koolhaas and Kunlé Adeyemi discuss the past, present and future of the city – and reveal why their own project never saw the light of day
"...it was the ultimate dysfunctional city – but actually, in terms of all the initiatives and ingenuity, it mobilised an incredibly beautiful, almost utopian landscape of independence and agency." - Rem KoolhaasRelated stories in the Archinect news:Koolhaas guides viewers through bustling Lagos... View full entry
Photographer captures the changing face of Shanghai
Graham Fink has been documenting the demolition sites of Shanghai for five years, trying to capture the state of flux during this period of rapid urbanisation. His Ballads of Shanghai exhibition is at London’s Riflemaker gallery until Sunday.
— the Guardian
With an eye for the juxtaposition of graphic imagery and demolition sites, Graham Fink takes fascinating images of a city under the midst of mass transformations. His camera is drawn, in particular, to remnants of street art and commercial advertisements. For other depictions of the built... View full entry
You (Still) Have to Pay for the Public Life
Moore’s appreciation of Disneyland was notorious in an era when the ‘truthfulness’ of modern architecture was largely unquestioned.
— places journal
"No architectural essay of the time foretold the preoccupations of postmodernism more memorably: “You Have to Pay” featured the very first architectural appreciation of Disneyland, which had opened just ten years earlier. Moore’s provocation would be upped three years later when Robert... View full entry