The Obama administration Monday is calling on cities and counties to rethink their zoning laws, saying that antiquated rules on construction, housing and land use are contributing to high rents and income inequality, and dragging down the U.S. economy as a whole [...]
The White House published a “toolkit” of economic evidence and policy fixes to help local political leaders fight back against the NIMBYs that tend to hold sway over municipal zoning meetings. — Politico
In related news:Take a VR tour of Yosemite National Park with President ObamaObama chooses Jackson Park as the site for his Presidential CenterStonewall Inn formally declared as national monumentTod Williams Billie Tsien Architects selected to design the Obama Presidential Center
To most people, zoning and land-use regulations might conjure up little more than images of late-night City Council meetings full of gadflies and minutiae. But these laws go a long way toward determining some fundamental aspects of life: what American neighborhoods look like, who gets to live where and what schools their children attend.
And when zoning laws get out of hand, economists say, the damage to the American economy and society can be profound. — the New York Times
"Studies have shown that laws aimed at things like “maintaining neighborhood character” or limiting how many unrelated people can live together in the same house contribute to racial segregation and deeper class disparities. They also exacerbate inequality by restricting the...
By the year 2020, however, America’s fourth largest city will be able to claim a “premier” botanic garden all its own in the form of Houston Botanic Garden (HBG). [...]
And, as it turns out, some folks living in the neighborhoods abutting the golf course would rather not see a stunning botanic garden designed by the same Dutch landscape architecture firm behind the redevelopment of New York City's Governors Island take its place. And it’s not because they're necessarily gaga over golf. — mnn.com
To learn more about the Houston Botanic Garden master plan, which recently won mayoral approval, click here.Related stories in the Archinect news:Does Houston's architecture lack poetry?The Astrodome: The World's Largest Indoor Garden?The Bayou Greenways Plan: A Game-Changer for Houston?
The pull of the Hollywood sign has...generated anger along the winding roads in those hills as homeowners have complained of a crush of motorists clogging roads, hikers in the middle of narrow streets and smokers flicking cigarettes into flammable brush... Now some homeowners are taking their battle to court, demanding that the city close a popular path into Griffith Park used to view the famed sign until the effects on the neighborhood have been fully evaluated. — latimes.com
The residents of Beachwood Canyon, a very affluent neighborhood, argue that traffic to one of the only public trails leading to the iconic Hollywood sign is a public safety issue. Claiming that the city has failed to properly address environmental concerns, they've formed a group, Homeowners on...
[Paris] has not built a modern skyscraper since the 1970s, when the 231-metre tall Tour Montparnasse sprung up – much to the horror of the locals, many of whom still consider it an eyesore. — The Independent
In a narrow vote, the city of lights approved Herzog & de Meuron's Tour Triangle, a 42-story skyscraper that will be the tallest building to be built in Paris since the 1970s. In 2010, the city voted to remove its multi-decade-long height restrictions of 36 meters on new buildings, which were...
Campaigners opposed to the planned Garden Bridge over the River Thames in London have won the right to challenge a council's approval for it.
The judicial review of Lambeth Council's decision to give planning permission for the £175m bridge will be heard in June.
Questions were raised about bridge's funding and its impact on views across the river of St Paul's Cathedral. — bbc.com
A legal challenge is being launched in the High Court against plans to build a garden bridge over the River Thames in central London.
A south London resident claims Lambeth Council unlawfully granted planning permission for the £175m bridge.
Michael Ball, from Tulse Hill in Lambeth, fears its impact will be "devastating".
Lambeth Council said the bridge would potentially benefit "both the local and wider London economy". — bbc.com
The steel structure looms large from Midge Cross and Scott Johnston's back porch. And from the beginning they say Architect Tom Kundig and his partners ignored land covenants meant to prevent any ridgeline buildings that would be visible from below.
"To me it was the extended third finger," said Cross. "Like, 'Up yours, Mazama, we can put this here and the heck with you guys.'" — komonews.com
In the fall of 2012, Tom Kundig of Olson Kundig Architects built a private cabin on the picturesque ridge of the Methow Valley in Washington. Prior residents of the valley's Mazama community were miffed by the ruined view, and claimed that the cabin violated "protective covenants for visual...
The Spofford Juvenile Center was a particularly painful landmark in the Hunts Point community in the Bronx when it was built in 1957... [Majora Carter] envisions the Spofford site combining mixed-income housing, open space and economic development that would appeal to the neighborhood’s existing demographics. Carter is a supporter of affordable housing, but thinks that if it’s built in isolation, you still haven’t solved the problems of employment and a lack of amenities. — nextcity.org
Friday, August 29:MIT's MindRider helmet draws mental maps as you bike: The prototype is currently being used to create a mental-map and guidebook for NYC, and an upcoming Kickstarter campaign will attempt to fund the project for commercial sale.In Beirut, a grassroots push for more grass...
Today is day two in court for architect Louis Cherry and his wife, Marsha Gordon, for the hearing that will decide the fate of their new home in the historic Oakwood neighborhood of Raleigh, North Carolina. Back in March, a neighbor complained that the "modernist" style of Cherry's home didn't...
Europe is undergoing a revolution in energy production that requires massive new infrastructure to support the shift to renewables. But do new power lines always have to result in blight? Some utility companies are hoping that designer power masts can help overcome local opposition. — spiegel.de
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