The architect today is no ‘fountainhead.’ It is rather sad to watch today’s ‘starchitects’, designing their weird-looking signature buildings. These seem now always to be either museums or condos for billionaires. The brand-name architect just build useless luxury housing for the 1% and their trinkets. The actual design of the world is now in the hands of other people. — Public Seminar Commons
McKenzie Wark pens a rather a wake up call of a book review on Easterling's new book Extrastatecraft: The Power of Infrastructure Space in which Easterling offers a set of subsidiary metaphors for contemporary infrastructure design: multipliers, switches, and topologies."The multipliers...
Are you in a hurry to catch your flight and still need to find a parking place? Meet Ray, a shiny robot that parks your car at Düsseldorf Airport in Germany.
Ray makes sure you don’t have to park miles away from the terminal, eliminating the hassle of finding a parking place. Just drop off your car within a few meters from the check-in area [...]. When you come back from a holiday or business trip, the robot will make sure your car is ready to go when you walk out of the airport. — popupcity.net
The L.A. Metro Board of Directors officially approved the Los Angeles Union Station Master Plan in downtown L.A. to advance from planning to implementation. For the past two years, Metro has worked with a consultant team led by Grimshaw Architects and Gruen Associates to expand the iconic station...
The massive Beltline and an impressive grid of protected lanes that will connect the trail system to key urban destinations are poised to remake transportation in the city that anchors the country's ninth-largest metro area. [...]
As the video above shows, Atlanta's embrace of active space is part of a psychic shift in a city that's shaking off its old Sprawlville USA image with a combination of bike, transit and affordable housing infrastructure. — peopleforbikes.org
A new engineering report assessing the damage caused to the Amtrak-owned Hudson River and East River tunnels in New York City by Superstorm Sandy in October 2012 recommends a phased process of maintenance works, which will require taking individual tunnel tubes out of service for extended periods. — railjournal.com
Today, on China’s southern coast, the integration of the Greater Pearl River Delta (PRD) is turning fiction into fact (sans the harsh lawman), with 11 cities linking to create an urban area of 21,100 square miles (55,000 sq km) and a population of up to 80 million.
The nine cities of the PRD, plus the special administrative zones of Hong Kong and Macau, are becoming increasingly linked by a series of bridges, tunnels, roads, and high-speed rail networks. — urbanland.uli.org
Later this month, about 900 of the 1,500 families who live in Vila União will start to move out to make way for the TransOlímpica rapid bus system (BRT) to be built for the 2016 Rio Olympics. It is one of the biggest favela resettlements since Rio was chosen to host the games, with some 500 families also resettled from 2010 to 2011 for the construction of the TransOeste BRT. — Al Jazeera
Tilikum Crossing is the nation's first multi-modal bridge that will be off-limits to private automobiles. It will carry MAX light rail trains (the impetus for construction) as well as Portland's streetcar line and city buses, and of course pedestrian and bike lanes on both sides—but no cars. [...]
"Transit has a huge impact on urban planning. I mean, if you look at our city, it was designed around streetcars. On some level, it has to be part of their DNA." — citylab.com
A new pipeline called the Rockaway Delivery Lateral Project is under construction in the Rockaways. It will deliver 647,000 dekatherms of natural gas to New York City each day — enough to power 2.5 million homes. Activists ... say the project is inherently dangerous and is just the latest sign of a broken approval and monitoring process for the United States’ energy infrastructure. — Al Jazeera
Concerned activists and locals may have good reason to be worried. Prior pipeline accidents, such as the 2010 San Bruno explosion, have caused extensive damage and even deaths. The Al Jazeera article notes that "since 1986, there have been about 8,000 significant pipeline incidents in the United...
The Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU) claims its annual Liveability Survey could be used to "assign a hardship allowance as part of expatriate relocation packages," among other things.
But that needn't apply to those in Melbourne, which for the fourth year running has been declared the best city in the world to live.
The Australian culture hub was buoyed by superlative healthcare, infrastructure and education as well as a murder rate of 3.1 per 100,000 people, half the global average of 6.2. — cnn.com
While three Canadian cities made the ranking's top 10 (again), U.S. cities keep failing to score high.The world's top cities for liveability are:1. Melbourne, Australia2. Vienna, Austria3. Vancouver, Canada4. Toronto, Canada=5. Adelaide, Australia=5. Calgary, Canada7. Sydney, Australia...
As a report from the Obama administration warns that one in four bridges in the United States needs significant repair or cannot handle automobile traffic, engineers are employing wireless sensors and flying robots that could have the potential to help authorities monitor the condition of bridges in real time. — ScienceDaily
From buckling sidewalks to potholed thoroughfares to storm drains that can’t handle a little rain, the infrastructure that holds [Los Angeles] together is suffering from years of deferred maintenance. Bringing pipes that deliver water to 3.9 million people up to snuff could cost $4 billion [...] The bill for repaving streets will be almost that much, according to estimates from a city consultant, and patching or replacing cracked sidewalks will require $640 million. — Bloomberg BusinessWeek
Oakland has earthquakes, droughts and a host of other resilience problems to tackle. Now it has a Chief Resilience Officer to lead the charge.
Today, Oakland Mayor Jean Quan and Michael Berkowitz, president of The Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities initiative, will jointly announce that Victoria Salinas has been tapped as the city’s first Chief Resilience Officer, a position being created in other cities across the world, as well. — nextcity.org
Multiple gas pipeline explosions have killed 24 people and injured 257 others in Taiwan's second city, emergency officials said. Witnesses said Thursday's blast in Kaohsiung sent flames shooting 15 storeys into the air, and entire blocks, packed with shops and apartment buildings, were set ablaze [...] The director of the Central Disaster Emergency Operation Centre, said the leaking gas had been identified as propene, meaning that the resulting fires could not be extinguished by water. — Al Jazeera
The rupture of the 90-year-old main sent a geyser shooting 30 feet in the air and deluged Sunset Boulevard and UCLA with 8 million to 10 million gallons of water before it was shut off more than three hours after the pipe burst, city officials said.
The huge break blanketed parts of the campus with water and mud, leaving school officials with a daunting cleanup task. City officials said they had not determined what caused the 30-inch-diameter pipe to burst. — LA Times
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