Mayor Eric Garcetti's office released a statement yesterday announcing that Gruen Associates, Mia Lehrer + Associates, Oyler Wu Collaborative, and civil and structural engineering firm Psomas will design the final 12 miles of the San Fernando Valley portion of the Los Angeles River Greenway. The...
Block a highway, and you upend the economic life of a city, as well as the spatial logic that has long allowed people to pass through them without encountering their poverty or problems. Block a highway, and you command a lot more attention than would a rally outside a church or city hall — from traffic helicopters, immobile commuters, alarmed officials. — the Washington Post
The article notes that, historically, highway construction decimated black communities, such as in St. Paul, Minneapolis, Baltimore, Oakland, and many other cities. In New York, Robert Moses explicitly used highways to clear "slums," in the process devastating parts of the Bronx and other black...
The city of Los Angeles has selected HDR to serve as program manager for the next three years for its robust Sidewalk Repair Program. The 30-year, $1.4 billion program aims to repair sidewalks to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and ensure universal access for all Angelenos. The second largest city in the U.S., Los Angeles is home to roughly 11,000 miles of sidewalks, many of which hinder passage because of cracks, buckles and bulging tree roots. — hdrinc.com
Related stories in the Archinect news:Why Los Angeles is struggling to fix thousands of miles of sidewalksMichael Maltzan proposes greening L.A.'s 134 freewayAlissa Walker imagines a "utopian" Los Angeles in 2056
Columbus, Ohio, has won a $50m prize for its plans to smarten up its transport system. The money is made up of a $40m Smart Cities grant from the Department of Transportation (DOT), a $90m fund put up by private sector partners and a further $10m from Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s charity Vulcan, which will be used to finance electric vehicle infrastructure. — globalconstructionreview.com
Columbus managed to beat six rival cities that were shortlisted by the DOT earlier this year:Austin, TexasDenver, ColoradoKansas City, MissouriPittsburgh, PennsylvaniaPortland, OregonSan Francisco, CaliforniaRelated stories in the Archinect news:Imagining the future cyberattack that could bring...
There are simply too many ways for an attacker to get into your computer now. If you log on to the office network with a smartphone, or if you carry a laptop between work and home..you make it very easy for intruders to enter the office network [..]
With Wi-Fi hot spots, which can be easy to tap into, popping up everywhere, and with ever more network-enabled devices entering both the office and the home—smart TVs, smart front-door locks—intruders have a panoply of ways to break into your life. — the New Yorker
"Looming darkly over this almost Mordorian cyber threatscape is the prospect of cyber war—a future conflict fought with weaponized code that can do physical damage to infrastructure, and potentially kill people." According to this New Yorker article, cybersecurity experts look...
"If you design for everyone to drive, then what will you get? Congestion." [...]
“We really need to shift now, from a situation like this, where you have a heavy parking load associated with an apartment building in a very urban setting, to way less parking,” [...]
"You really have to start with the density and less parking. If you don't, then you've lost your opportunity, because once you've built that infrastructure, it's so difficult to undo that." — news.wabe.org
More on the parking problem and pedestrian infrastructure:Los Angeles County has 3.3 parking spots for every car, taking up 14 percent of its landTrading Parking Lots for Affordable HousingDanish parking garage invites to stay and playOne Woman's Quest to Design Parking Lots People Don't...
Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said Tuesday he seriously considered ordering a shutdown of the entire Washington Metro subway system last week and may still do that if local officials don't follow Transportation Department safety directives.
"We have the ability to withhold (federal) funds from Metro. We have the ability to shut Metro down, and we're not afraid to use the authority we have," Foxx said told reporters. "This is serious business." — AP
"Local officials have yet to identify the root cause of incidents involving electrical arcing, smoke and fire, and so have no plan for how to fix the problem, he said."For more on the dilapidated state of American infrastructure:U.S. Transportation Secretary Foxx on the troubled...
As Seattle’s Alaskan Way Viaduct sat free of cars overhead and drivers attempted to move around the city during the roadway’s planned 2-week closure, a new drone video Tuesday showcased again what all the fuss is about. A view inside the SR 99 tunnel won’t get much better than this until you’re actually able to drive through it. [...]
The 4-minute video captures what has been built behind nearly 1,600 feet of mining along Seattle’s waterfront. — geekwire.com
"The idea that you can replace the 10 trips with one autonomous car and travel less distance, that’s the biggest misconception," says Fagnant. "You can get rid of vehicles, but not vehicle miles traveled. Without ridesharing, there's an 8 to 10 percent increase in vehicle miles traveled based on simulations we've run in Austin. You’re not replacing trips [..] the vehicle has to bounce between locations, and relocate to where it’s needed. Those in-between miles will create a lot of extra travel." — curbed.com
Related stories in the Archinect news:How prepared are American cities for the new reality of self-driving cars?The U.S. just got $4 billion to spend on self-driving carsMore Americans are becoming "mega-commuters", U.S. Census stats show
As a child, Anthony Foxx knew he couldn’t ride his bike far from home without being blocked by a freeway. By the time he became U.S. transportation secretary he understood why.
“We now know — overwhelmingly — that our urban freeways were almost always routed through low-income and minority neighborhoods, creating disconnections from opportunity that exist to this day,” [...] “I really believe that this is an issue that has been on the shelf collecting dust for a long time,” Foxx said. — washingtonpost.com
Related stories in the Archinect news:The U.S. just got $4 billion to spend on self-driving carsWhy American infrastructure funding keeps facing such an uphill battleRobert Moses vs. Jane Jacobs: The Opera
Infrastructure was once at the heart of American public policy. Works such as the Los Angeles Aqueduct, Hoover Dam, and the Interstate Highway System transformed the economy. Today, we spend significantly less, as a share of G.D.P., on infrastructure than we did fifty years ago [...] polls show that infrastructure spending is popular with a majority of voters across the income spectrum. Historically, it enjoyed bipartisan support from politicians, too. If it’s so popular, why doesn’t it happen? — newyorker.com
America faces a two-part problem. It’s no secret that the country has fallen behind on infrastructure spending. But it’s not just a matter of how much is spent on catching up, but how and where it is spent. Advanced economies in Western Europe and Asia are reorienting themselves around robust urban clusters of advanced industry. Unfortunately, American policy making remains wedded to an antiquated political structure of 50 distinct states. — Parag Khanna | the NY Times
More on the infrastructural mess in the US:How prepared are American cities for the new reality of self-driving cars?DC in grid lock after unexpected Metro shutdownShould the children of Flint be resettled?Dispatch from Flint: How architects can help, on Archinect Sessions #54
Sitting atop Lake Washington, the new State Route 520 is now the longest floating bridge in the world—beating its predecessor, the old State Route 520, by 130 feet [...].
This new bridge has stronger pontoons than the last one, and can withstand more buffeting from wind and waves. It also has a stormwater collection system, bus lanes in both directions, a path for bikes and pedestrians, and the capacity to someday accommodate a light rail system. — atlasobscura.com
Related stories in the Archinect news:Seattle builds village for the homelessSeattle's proposed 101-story 4/C Tower considered as too tall by the FAASusan Surface, the "humble pioneer" for socially responsible design
In Tijuana, another architect is devising a plan to turn the Tijuana River channel into a solar farm that could provide power to as many as 30,000 homes.
Rene Peralta, co-founder of the Tijuana firm Generica and director of an architecture master's program at San Diego's Woodbury University, thinks that his city can transform this unwieldy piece of infrastructure into a renewable energy plant and water-cleaning station. — The Los Angeles Times
February 2016 was the hottest month in several thousand years, so it seems like a good idea to start transforming erstwhile urban heat islands into power-generating rivers. Below, Generica's rendering of the proposed redesigned Tijuana river channel:For more on projects that turn seemingly...
A rising number of daredevil stunts such as scaling skyscrapers and parachuting from tall structures is being fuelled by competition for online acclaim, according to “urban explorers”, who warn more people are dying as a result.
The immense popularity of online videos of people climbing the world’s tallest buildings, including the London Shard, had turned urban exploration, which traditionally involves surreptitiously exploring the off-limits corners of towns and cities, into an extreme sport — the Guardian
Urban exploration, or "urbex," has a long and interesting history, involving clandestine networks of people sharing skills and knowledge of the infrastructure of cities. But, driven more by a desire for likes than exploration, people are increasingly getting themselves into dangerous...
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