Seattle’s Bell Street Park design may change the way many urban planners think about street development. The $5 million renovation along Bell Street between 1st and 5th Avenues incorporates mixed car and pedestrian designs, planters, and a level plane between the street and sidewalks. This no curbs approach offers a more pedestrian-friendly avenue and forces drivers to slow down. It’s a design that mixes cars and pedestrians in a manner that would make urban design advocates happy.
A memorial for the attacks in Norway on July 22nd, 2011, which killed 77 people was recently approved following a design competition. The approved project will cut the island as a representation of the permanent loss of the lives affected by the 2011 attacks.
Household waste is a big problem for New York City. They city produces 14 million tons of trash each year, which is hauled to landfills in New Jersey, Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. The solution may lie in ten composting hubs proposed for the city.
The team at Make Architects have developed an alternative to permanent kiosks. Their design, which is based on origami, allows the prefabricated kiosks to be unfolded upon arrival.
"…they are a sculptural and enigmatic presence even when closed for business"
Artist Ben Foster has created a number of life-sized animal sculptures out of aluminum. The sculptures, designed with geometric shapes were photographed by Foster using the countryside as a backdrop.
Urban explorers face arrest and death to examine parts of cities you’ll likely never see
"I’m always asking myself why I can’t remain sitting in my chair," says Erling Kagge. The explorer recently joined Steven Duncan, another urban explorer, to see first hand what lies beneath New York City.
Underground tunnels and pathways aren’t open to the public, but that doesn’t keep urban explorers like Kagge and Duncan from submerging into the depths of city undergrounds.
By Liam Rolfe
Innovation Districts. I stumbled onto this idea as I was glancing over articles on Planetizen. Honestly, I am still skeptical of the idea of creating little sectors of tech companies in larger cities. First off these kind of companies (like Facebook, Twitter) require ample amounts of space and large campuses and I wonder if cities, especially older ones, can provide the necessary space required. Secondly, if you have been paying attention to the news you would see that many citizens of large cities (especially San Francisco) are protesting these companies because they drive up rents and bus their employees on private buses which utilize the public stops. So would you really want to move these kind of companies into a city where the citizens are already up in arms? Honestly when you look at all of these problems you might think “Wow, this will never work.” My answer would be a simple “yes.”
Today in cities around the world people are mobilizing ideas to foster change. From the “indignados” in Madrid, to the Occupy Wall Street movement in New York to the massive mobilizations in the Avenida Paulista in São Paulo, citizens want to change governments and policies to build better cities and societies. How can we transform this energy into real change for our cities?
In London, architect Thomas Heatherwick has plans to build a pedestrian bridge that doubles as a park. The Garden Bridge would span the River Thames and hold 2 million pounds of soil topped with some 270 trees, bushes and flowers, making it one of the greenest bridges in the world.
The Washington, D.C. metro system, its omniscient track spanning 106.3 miles throughout the nation’s capital and surrounding areas, contains a grand total of 86 stations. During my time as a four-year university student in the district, I made it my personal goal to visit every single one of them.
It was a bucket list of sorts. I knew that not all the Metro stops would provide an exciting abundance of lesser known outlets for entertainment. Some of the stations are simply parking lots, designed for commuters to drop off their cars on the way to work and take the high-speed rail into the less traffic-friendly parts of the city. Several of the stations are within walking distance of one another in the same general area, so seeing one of them is theoretically like seeing two or three.
"I knew that not all the Metro stops would provide an exciting abundance of lesser known outlets for entertainment."
Pedestrians are the souls of our cities, stop ticketing them
Recent ticketing of jaywalkers by the LAPD has sparked debates among urbanists. Some believe jaywalking should be legalized, or at least not enforced, while others feel pedestrians need to follow laws in the same manner as motorists.
In Los Angeles, where pedestrian traffic is on the rise in a city that has been dominated by cars for decades, many believe pedestrians should be given the privilege of jaywalking. “L.A. needs jaywalking,” Nelson Algaze, a Los Angeles architect, told the New York Times. “It’s so stupid. What it does is it inhibits the vitality of Los Angeles. When you go to New York, when you go to Chicago, when it’s safe to cross the street, you just cross the street. You just do it.”
"WHAT IT DOES IS IT INHIBITS THE VITALITY OF LOS ANGELES"
Millennials: Fix Philly Public Schools or We’re Outta Here
By Jeff Deeney
The Pew Charitable Trusts released a discouraging study earlier this month, “Millennials in Philadelphia; A Promising but Fragile Boom,” (PDF) that details the opinions of young people who say they love city living but see themselves leaving in the future. Philadelphia’s failing school system figures prominently in the reasons young people may migrate elsewhere in the decade to come, along with perennial Philly problems like drugs and crime and a limited job market that continues struggling to compete with New York City and Washington, DC.
Last year, the city of Los Angeles completed the world’s largest LED retrofit. On June 18, 2013, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced that the city had replaced its yellow-hued, high-pressure sodium streetlights with 141,089 LED fixtures. For the city, this means cleaner, better looking lighting and reduced energy use.
For years, scientists have been warning about the affects of rising global temperatures. Even President Obama reflected on this important issue in his State of the Union speech in January. “Climate change is a fact,” he said. A statement which echoes what many scientists have known for decades.
"CLIMATE CHANGE IS A FACT"