Since terrorism has become one of the guiding forces in urban design, the incorporation of immense fortifications into everyday streets has spawned an entire industry of defensive architecture [...]
The latest developments in this rising tide of urban paranoia are on display this week at the Counter Terror Expo in west London’s Olympia, a sprawling trade show that proudly claims to showcase “the key terror threat areas under one roof”. It is an enormous supermarket of neuroses [...]. — theguardian.com
This morning, Southwest Airlines announced that non-profit organizations in six U.S. cities will receive Placemaking grants to help them reimagine and reactivate important but underutilized public spaces in their city. [...]
Albuquerque, New Mexico: Civic Plaza
Ft. Myers, Florida: Lee County Regional Library
Jacksonville, Florida: Hemming Park
Milwaukee, Wisconsin: 4th & Wisconsin Area
Portland, Maine: Congress Square Park
St. Louis, Missouri: Strauss Park — pps.org
Just three proposals left in the second attempt of the St. Petersburg Pier design competition in St. Petersburg, Florida. Back in 2012, "The Lens" by Michael Maltzan Architecture and Tom Leader Studio won the original competition, but that design was kicked to the curb after local group Concerned...
Alastair Graham hopes Violence Prevention Through Urban Upgrading, an initiative of the government of Cape Town, South Africa, will end better. He calls the effort, which has been revamping areas around train stations since 2006, part of “a package of potential solutions … either improving safety, or improving socioeconomic situation, or improving quality of life.” The project is aimed at curbing violence by augmenting the public spaces in which violent crime frequently occurs [...]. — nextcity.org
"The public sector stopped making public space a long time ago," Los Angeles architect Jon Jerde told Wired magazine rather matter-of-factly in 1999. [...]
A little more than two decades later, there is something quaintly fatalistic about Jerde's attitude toward the frail state of public space. In Los Angeles, at least, it has returned pretty dramatically to health. — latimes.com
After moving a few times in Cincinnati throughout the later half of the 20th century, the Contemporary Arts Center relocated into its current home at the Lois & Richard Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Arts in 2003. Designed by Zaha Hadid, who won the commission in the late 1990s, the...
I love the mall as much as I love the urban walking experience, museums and movie theaters. Today the stripmall is not just a part of my everyday life in Los Angeles [...] it is also a memory from my own suburban adolescence growing up in Illinois.
Jon Jerde, the LA architect both celebrated and loathed for his role in spreading shopping malls across US suburbia, died this month. Some might scoff at his life’s achievement. I am not one of them. — theguardian.com
Times Square runs on spectacle. Bigger and brighter is always better. And though plenty of New Yorkers wear their criticism of Times Square as a badge of local honor [...] one of the most iconic public spaces in the world. In recent years, as stretches of Broadway formerly open to vehicular traffic have been repurposed as pedestrian plazas, opportunities to activate the “crossroads of the world” with events, performances, and public art installations have ballooned. — urbanomnibus.net
NYC has been the focal point for recurrent demonstrations over the last couple of weeks, with large, long marches, die-ins and rallies. This is not surprising, since NYC is the most populous city in the country. But even more than that, the urban environment — dense, centralized, vertical, walkable — creates spaces that are conducive for these protests to pick up steam. The existence of public spaces, such as Union Square and Washington Square Park, function as easily accessible rallying points. — america.aljazeera.com
The Economist Intelligence Unit puts Melbourne in first place, followed by Vienna, Vancouver, Toronto, Adelaide and Calgary. There is never any mention, on any list, of London or New York, Paris or Hong Kong. There are no liveable cities where you might actually want to live. [...] Liveability, it seems, is defined by a total absence of risk or chance, pleasure or surprise. It is an index of comfort, a guide to places where you can go safe in the knowledge you’ll never be far from a Starbucks. — theguardian.com
Nodding to the Taksim Square political protests in May 2013, the Serra Gate installation by Istanbul practice GAD Architecture artistically interprets and also invites passers-by to examine the influence of urban interventions in the public realm. Serra Gate, which was inspired by the large-scale sculptures of artist Richard Serra, highlights how protesters created makeshift living spaces inside the park and the streets... — bustler.net
[...] the bridge will be closed at night, won't allow entry to cyclists or groups of 8 or more without prior booking, and will ocassionally be closed off for fundraising events. Right. So less a public bridge than a privately-managed tourist attraction, then. [...]
The east of London, on the other hand, could actually use another crossing, with or without limits to access — citymetric.com
Public space like the plaza in Al Fawwar is mostly unheard-of in Palestinian camps across the West Bank. Architectural upgrades raise fundamental questions about the Palestinian identity, implying permanence, which refugees here have opposed for generations. [...] Camps were conceived as temporary quarters. The absence of public space was then preserved over the years to fortify residents’ self-identification as refugees, displaced and stateless. — nytimes.com
Someone has told the bouncers to be nice. It is now standard for architectural anoraks like myself to find ourselves challenged by smile-less security as we go about our blameless business – no loitering, no photography, no looking, as if al-Qaida scouts would do their dastardly work in this way or as if, years after the invention of the camera phone, photography can be controlled as it could in the age of the tripod. But not at the base of the Cheesegrater. — theguardian.com
Meandering down a section of Robson Street on the iconic 800 block in downtown Vancouver, passers-by can sit, relax, play, and socialize on the "Urban Reef" installation. Designed by Kaz Bremner and Jeremiah Deutscher with local furniture collective Higher Works, Urban Reef won the inaugural VIVA Vancouver: Robson Redux design-build competition out of 78 submissions worldwide. — bustler.net
The competition had entrants create a temporary urban installation to transform the block to a welcoming public plaza from Canada Day (July 1) until Labor Day (September 1).More details on Bustler.Check out a timelapse video and the making-of teaser below.
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