As hammers clang and views vanish
residents are taking aim at the disruption caused by construction, the uprooting of cherished institutions, the buildings’ designs and the ever-higher prices attached to the housing that they fear will alter neighborhoods fundamentally.
C. J. Hughes examines how some NYC residents are reacting to an ongoing boom in construction, enabled/exemplified by the rezoning of 37 percent of the city under the Bloomberg administration. From filing noise complaints, pushing for height moratoriums, to fighting against the loss of public... View full entry
New restrictions on public space in England and Wales could make "unusual or unpopular" behavior criminal
Public Space Protection Orders, or PSPOs, came into existence last year under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. Similar to the much-derided anti-social behaviour orders (asbos), PSPOs allow for broad powers to criminalise behaviour that is not normally criminal. But where asbos were directed at individuals, PSPOs are geographically defined, making predefined activities within a mapped area prosecutable.
For a primer to this piece, check out:Taking a stand against privately-owned public spacesAnd for more on contested public spaces:Christopher Hawthorne on the recovery of public space in Los AngelesLocals welcome The 606, a.k.a. Chicago's "High Line", but anxiety for its future remainsNot all... View full entry
Editor's Picks #426
Julia Ingalls reviewed "Work on Work" the current exhibition at Los Angeles’ Architecture + Design Museum, co-organized by Gensler and UCLA’s cityLAB. Therein she writes "This feeling of being at an un-airconditioned business conference is not helped by the next section of the exhibit, in... View full entry
Taking a stand against privately-owned public spaces
the place where cities get “remade” is in the public rather than private sphere. Part of the problem, then, with privately owned public spaces (“Pops”) ... is that the rights of the citizens using them are severely hemmed in. [...]
[Pops] feel too monitored, too controlled, to allow this communal activity to simply unfold. London, and many other cities, are failing miserably to enable diversity in people’s engagement with such spaces.
More news from the public space:Urban design influences how public protests can take rootChristopher Hawthorne on the recovery of public space in Los AngelesLocals welcome The 606, a.k.a. Chicago's "High Line", but anxiety for its future remainsNot all sidewalks are created equal in D.C. View full entry
Our Parks Are Not for Sale
Community activism that simply nibbles at the edges is not enough. Small-scale rebellions can raise consciousness and help bring needed improvements to cities, but what we really need is a revolution.
In the Winter 2013 issue of Dissent (the quarterly magazine of politics and ideas), Alex Ulam follows a thread From the Gold Coast of New York to the Venice Biennale. He argues Spontaneous Interventions "was not an outlier at the Biennale" but indicative of a general movement in... View full entry
Editor's Picks #264
The latest Showcase feature profiles the Summer House in Austria by Judith Benzer Architektur, the design of which is oriented by the cubature of the Kellerstöckel (wine house), typical of the Southern Burgenland region. stroke123 liked it but wondered "how does the roof shed water? Waterproof membrane and concealed gutters and downspouts?".
The latest Showcase feature profiles the Summer House in Austria by Judith Benzer Architektur, the design of which is oriented by the cubature of the Kellerstöckel (wine house), typical of the Southern Burgenland region. I particularly loved the detailing for sharp edges of the cubature... View full entry
Thomas Balsley on NYC’s greater obligation
Putting aside the legal and constitutional issues that have been the focus of the Zuccotti debate, design really can help balance the competing imperatives of openness and order. And in fact Zuccotti Park’s particular design manages this relatively well—it certainly can’t be faulted for having made the recent situation any worse.
— The New York Observer
In light of the recent attention paid to the concept of POPS and the struggle over the usage rights of public space, Thomas Balsley (one of the foremost landscape architects in NYC, who happens to have designed more Privately Owned Public Spaces, than anyone else) shared his thoughts on the... View full entry
Editor's Picks #234
Orhan noted that in the language of "architectural poetics, the living room bathes you in a beautiful California light, washes your soul and takes your thoughts into the Pacific Ocean through the large window which sets the elevation on that side. Outside is wide and open, nurturing the peaceful inner space, this is something only great architecture can bless you with and masterfully achieved as in Schindler made experience."
Orhan Ayyüce, reported on his visit to Schindler's 1926 Lovell Beach House which the MAK Center and its brilliant curatorial team were able to gain access to as a 2011 fund raising event. Orhan noted that in the language of "architectural poetics, the living room bathes you in... View full entry