This week, we dip into the swamp of whether so-called "poor doors" (separate entrances for affordable and market-rate housing tenants) are discriminatory, highlighting discussion points made in the wake of New York's decision to make them illegal. We also follow up on the investigation into a...
The United States Embassy in Grosvenor Square, a Modernist concrete building in the heart of Mayfair, London’s most exclusive neighborhood, has been a potential terrorist target for years, creating anxiety for both employees and neighbors...So a new embassy [by KieranTimberlake] is under construction for a move by 2017, and the residents of Mayfair are relieved. But this being Britain, the new embassy has become the object of debate and, in some quarters, ridicule. — The New York Times
“Our work creates actionable strategies, integrating healthy building protocols, healthy products and green science with design research to directly impact the health of our building materials,” said Alison Mears, dean of the School of Design Strategies at Parsons and director of the [Healthy Materials Lab]. — The New School’s Parsons School of Design
Co-founded by The New School's Parsons School of Design, Healthy Building Network, Green Science Policy Institute and Health Product Declaration Collaborative, the Healthy Materials Lab (HML) is focused on reducing the amount of toxic substances found in building materials, while also encouraging...
In an unfortunate sequence of events, reports earlier this week state that the U.S. House Appropriations Committee voted to cut Amtrak funding by an estimated $260 million -- one day after a fatal Amtrak passenger-train derailment in Philadelphia on May 12. As investigations on the accident ensue...
Lotte World Mall has finally received approval by the Seoul city government to open up its aquarium and movie theater, five months after the facilities were shut down due to safety concerns. [...]
Lotte World Mall has been embroiled in several safety issues since it opened its doors in October. Several construction workers fell to their deaths during the construction of the annexed skyscraper [...]. — Korea JoongAng Daily
Most buildings in the country today use the minimum structural safety standards that the government has prescribed, say building safety experts and structural engineers.
"Our codes offer the lowest level of earthquake safety protection. We are designing for one-fifth the intensity that might hit a particular earthquake zone," says Sangeeta Waj, technical director at global design firm AECOM.
Experts however point out that there is no separate code in India for high rise buildings. — The Economic Times
From time to time, our Omnibus columnists check in to provide commentary on issues of design, policy, and history and their impact on the life and form of the city today. Stephen Rustow’s first column scaled the heights of New York’s skyscrapers to consider “The Privatization of Prospect.” Here, in his second installment, Rustow looks at three intangible forces that greatly influence the shape of our built environment: zoning, finance, and the building code. — urbanomnibus.net
The Fire, Buildings and City Planning Departments are writing rules to govern what are called occupant-evacuation elevators — cars that can, in special circumstances, be used to move people down in an emergency. [...]
Experts who have spent years studying building evacuations believe that approach has become outmoded and is in itself potentially dangerous as extremely tall skyscrapers increasingly pierce the New York skyline. — nytimes.com
Sen. Carol Liu on Wednesday announced a bill, SB 192, that will require bicycle riders to wear helmets or face a $25 fine.
“Any responsible bicycle rider should wear a helmet,” Liu said ... “This law will help protect more people and make sure all riders benefit from the head protection that a helmet provides.” — sacbee.com
California law currently requires anyone under 18 to wear a helmet when riding a bike, nonmotorized scooter, skateboard, or wearing in-line or roller skates. Liu's SB 192 bill would extend this provision to everyone, not just minors, and also require cyclists to wear reflective clothing at night...
By shutting down New York City’s subways, commuter rail, and roads for this week’s storm-that-wasn’t, Governor Andrew Cuomo and the state-run Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) made the right call. [...]
The city has learned the hard way that the best way to keep people off the streets is by shutting down mass transit. [...]
Preemptively shutting down subways before Hurricane Irene in 2011 and Superstorm Sandy in 2012 worked well in keeping people home. — city-journal.org
Earlier this week we reported on Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett’s decision to prevent construction of a sidewalk on Riverside Drive that would provide walking access to a major new city park. Local advocates say the lack of a sidewalk will make the park harder to get to on foot, and they don’t buy the mayor’s explanation that people will be safer if there’s no sidewalk tempting them to walk. — usa.streetsblog.org
In fact, as many as 600 million birds die in window collisions in the U.S. and Canada every year, scientists estimate. [...]
A growing awareness of the threats to bird populations has prompted new laws and voluntary guidelines in cities from Toronto to San Francisco. Along with "green" building programs, these new rules are spurring demand for bird-friendly glass among architects, glass manufacturers, and their clients. — news.nationalgeographic.com
SketchFactor ... is a Manhattan-based navigation app that crowdsources user experiences along with publicly available data to rate the relative "sketchiness" of certain areas in major cities. [...]
The founders are also bracing for potential complications from an app that asks anonymous users to judge a neighborhood's sketchiness. After all, fear can be subjective. And the site could be vulnerable to criticisms regarding the degree to which race is used to profile a neighborhood. — crainsnewyork.com
If liberal cultural and educational institutions are to operate with any integrity in that environment, they must insist on a change of the rules: abolish the recruitment debt system, pay a living wage, allow workers to change employers at will and legalize the right to collective bargaining. Otherwise, their gulf paymasters will go on cherry-picking from the globalization menu [...] while spurning the social contract that protects basic human rights. — nytimes.com
Cycling advocacy group People for Bikes has selected six U.S. cities to receive funding and consultation for new protected bike lanes, as part of its Green Lane Project. The annual Project collaborates with cities over two years to expedite the installation of protected bike lanes, one of the ways...
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