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
Ahead of a special Guardian Cities event, the renowned urban ‘rethinker’ says cities should be six or seven storeys high, Helsinki is on the verge of revolution, and that he’s sceptical of London’s cycle superhighway plans [...]
Practice partner Søholt puts forward one way of improving a city’s liveability: “Mix the city and assemble the people rather than dispersing them.” — theguardian.com
When Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne looks at L.A., he sees the city shaped by immigrants. Landmark buildings in Koreatown that adapt and evolve with a new generation. Houses in Arcadia that allow Chinese homeowners a proud, conspicuous place in a new country. Street life across the region that takes its cue from the way Latino neighborhoods blur the line between public and private. — latimes.com
City Hall. It's traditionally the place where technology gets stuffed into a drawer and forgotten. But as budgets recover from the Great Recession and smartphone-toting citizens prod municipal officials, cities are now more Boston Dynamics than Boss Tweed. Soon the pols will be promising sensor-driven pots that cook the chicken for you, just the way you like it. — wired.com
While the cult of the star architect has soared over the decades and property developers have displaced bankers as the new super-rich, the figure of the local town planner has become comic shorthand for a certain kind of faceless, under-whelming dullard. [...]
“Planning has become unpopular, disconnected from the public and increasingly beholden to the developer rather than the people it is meant to serve.” — theguardian.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
Architecture theorist Jacob Dreyer explains how the Stalinist model of urbanism – a centrally planned component within a national economic unity – is thriving in modern China — theguardian.com
It is not rare for a civilisation to abruptly falter, give way and fold into a new one. This insight seems obvious in the territories of the former Soviet Union — a universe transformed into a memory overnight. [...] that a city turned ruin continues to be inhabited, that the collapsing buildings and boulevards stained by a thousand footsteps, after the apocalypse, host new forms of human life, new memories. Harbin, in the far north-east of China, used to be a very Russian metropolis. — calvertjournal.com
Eating food that’s grown locally and sustainably is a fantastic and increasingly popular idea, but it’s also expensive. Producers tend to drown under marketing and distribution costs, and struggle to find retail channels for their products. To assume that urban farms can escape that trap because of their extreme proximity to consumers would be a mistake; getting food to consumers has proven a logistical nightmare for them as well. — citiscope.org
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...
I asked myself the question: so what struck me about the process of thinking across boundaries and reimagining planning in the issues that we have been discussing in our celebration of DPU [The Bartlett Development Planning Unit]’s 60th anniversary in this conference. At the risk of simplifying a complex and dynamic set of discussions, I want to make six points. — thisbigcity.net
This automated garage is ideal for dense urban areas, says Yoka, vice president of program development at the International Parking Institute, based in Alexandria, Virginia. A Philadelphia-area native and self-described "super parking nerd," her niche is sustainable parking, something that many people, upon first hearing the phrase, assume is a contradiction. But for a building designed to house cars, says Yoka, The Lift at Juniper Street is surprisingly green. — citylab.com
But, with all this push to quantize and characterize, there are dangers. Cities clearly are more than a new kind of physics problem. They are also creations of the human imagination and, as such, they live or die by the quality of the imagination we bring to them.
Thats why no discussion of the health of cities can be complete without thinking about the role of art — public art. — npr.org
IABR–2014–URBAN BY NATURE–, the sixth edition of the International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam (IABR), claims that we can only solve the world’s environmental problems if we solve the problems of the city.Looking through the lens of landscape architecture, IABR–2014– redefines...
What does a city look like? If you’re walking down the street, perhaps it looks like people and storefronts. Viewed from higher up, patterns begin to emerge: A three-dimensional grid of buildings divided by alleys, streets, and sidewalks, nearly flat in some places and scraping the sky in others. Pull back far enough, and the city starts to look like something else entirely: a cluster of molecules.
At least, that’s what it looks like to Franz-Josef Ulm, an engineering professor [...]. — bostonglobe.com
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