Open data, and the interactive mapping and data visualization that can come of it, has become a de facto engagement and storytelling tool among contemporary journalists, social justice activists, and civic-minded technologists. But despite its allure, open data’s potential for fostering civic engagement and creating transparency and dialogue is plagued by issues of usability, access, and quality control. — urbanomnibus.net
A new building in Vancouver's West End neighbourhood is getting some attention because of its segregated entrances for condo residents and those living in social housing units.
The West End Neighbours community group says the market-priced condo units and social housing units for the 19-storey high-rise for 1171 Jervis Street will also be branded differently at the entrances and have separate amenities.
The development permit was approved Monday by city staff. — cbc.ca
There are ways to bring elegance to 5 over 1 structures, but it requires a high degree of skill and commitment. Only a very talented designer can take such a limited palette of materials and make the resulting building interesting, if not elegant. But developers must be willing to hire those skilled designers. Many are simply not interested. [...] Hence, the wildly uneven — and often uninspiring — architecture in Seattle today. — crosscut.com
Similar tenor in other booming parts of the nation:Blair Kamin not impressed by Chicago's latest housing developmentsJeff Sheppard calls downtown Denver's new housing developments "meaningless, uninspiring"
If Los Angeles aims to add more housing, it should look at the neighborhoods lining its long-maligned river to do it. [...]
The city could make a big dent in Mayor Eric Garcetti's goal of adding 100,000 housing units by 2021 if it streamlines permitting and creates incentive zones in places along the river [...].
The report comes in the wake of a billion-dollar plan by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to revamp 11 miles of the L.A. River north of downtown [...]. — latimes.com
Residential design doesn't have to stop at neat rows of identical apartment buildings or houses, although sometimes it's what is inside a home that can leave the biggest impression. But what's most important is the availability of high-quality housing that suits the various needs for people from...
This is a tale of two new West Loop high-rises and what they say about Chicago's apartment building boom, which has restored construction cranes to the skyline but has yet to give us architecture with a capital "A."
The buildings — the underwhelming Arkadia Tower in Greektown and the better-than-average JeffJack Apartments west of Union Station — are the latest products of the construction surge [...]. — chicagotribune.com
It's a big deal when Denver's top architect publishes an essay saying this city is failing at design downtown. That we are building one mundane apartment building after the next. That we are wasting the opportunity to become a national leader and ruining the urban landscape by putting profit above civic pride.
Jeff Sheppard said all that [...] in a guest editorial in last Sunday's Denver Post. And we'd be wise to hear him and do what he's suggesting: Knock it off immediately. — denverpost.com
Justin McGuirk’s Radical Cities: Across Latin America in Search of a New Architecture should be required reading for anyone looking for ways out of the bleak social inequality we’re stuck in. There were 40 million more slum dwellers worldwide in 2012 than there were in 2010, according to the UN. Private markets clearly can’t provide universal housing in any way approaching efficiency, and governments are often hostile to the poor. — Metropolis Magazine
In his book, McGuirk analyzes numerous de facto housing solutions for overcrowded cities, including the infamous "Torre David" in Caracas, an abandoned high-rise which became an iconic squatter's structure partly because of government ineptitude and indifference.
The phrases "public housing" or "low-income housing" do not generally conjure thoughts of architectural innovation. [...]
But it doesn't have to be that way, as several recent housing developments in Los Angeles prove. Instead, they pose the question: What if low-income housing was perceived as leading the vanguard of innovative, responsive architecture? — kcet.org
Terry, 77, is Prince Charles’ favourite architect, a purveyor of classical confections from his drawing board in the quaint Essex village of Dedham. Scruton, 71, a philosopher of aesthetics, is a vocal enemy of modern architecture and author of The Classical Vernacular: Architectural Principles in an Age of Nihilism (as well as I Drink Therefore I Am: A Philosopher’s Guide to Wine). — The Guardian
When the Lambert Houses were completed in 1973 as part of the Bronx Park South Urban Renewal Area, the complex was quickly recognized as a significant architectural and social contribution. [...]
So when UO columnist Susanne Schindler learned that Phipps is planning to demolish and redevelop the Houses, citing structural issues and significant security concerns, she wanted to understand what went wrong at this much-lauded site. — urbanomnibus.net
I had doubts about accepting this project. I didn’t want to become a pawn for politicians, but the residents gave me a mandate. The public understood that it could act collectively in order to improve its situation - Architect — Haaretz
Project's architect Senan Abdelkader is well known to NY Times a few years back via Nicolai Ouroussoff. A distinct aesthetic language from Senan Abdelkader: an apartment building in an Arab neighborhood near Bethlehem.An apartment building, designed by Senan Abdelkader, in an Arab neighborhood...
Protestors against low-income housing demolition are not just fighting for their homes, but often for their ability to stay in London at all. The small amount of “affordable” housing being discussed as a replacement is really a figleaf. — citylab.com
Single-story homes, with open spaces, floor-to-ceiling glass walls and clean, serene lines. Bernie fell in love. He paid $30,000, and raised three children in the house. In fact, Parents Magazine once said an Eichler was the best house in the U.S. for raising children. — npr.org
In times when the rest of the city is rapidly becoming extremely expensive, Amsterdam’s ugly light gray and pink-yellow housing blocks are staying affordable, with rents contingent on income. Their continued presence in the city is becoming a memorial for a once-existing Amsterdam, in which almost all space in the city was equally distributed. — failedarchitecture.com
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