Although Houston has been expanding outward for decades, its bus system has hardly kept up. This is not surprising given the track record for many American cities where cars take precedence over public transit. But what is unexpectedâ€”to the point of being radicalâ€”is a proposal that will grant greater, more efficient access to Houstonâ€™s commuters for not a penny more than its current cost.
Buckle up: the gap between commercial space travel and the present moment is rapidly narrowing.Â Virgin Galactic and Spaceport America (designed by FosterÂ + Partners)Â recently signed an agreement with the Federal Aviation Administration granting access to airspace in New Mexico, with designs to turn the ground beneath into a commercial spaceflight center.
Dunlavey Street in central Houston typifies the image of a Southwestern city street. It’s a sprawling, four lane affair that is approximately 50 percent usable, 80 percent pedestrian unsafe, and, in this case, 100 percent in need of an update. Transportation officials are evening out the numbers forÂ a proposed road diet that would reduce the four-lane street to two and using the outer lane space for parking, improved sidewalks, and bike lanes.
Soto: The Houston Penetrable
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
ThroughÂ September 1, 2014
The final installation in JesÃºs Rafael Sotoâ€™s Penetrables seriesâ€”Houston Penetrableâ€”will be on view at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, as of May 8. An interactive display of 24,000 PVC tubes, each hand painted and tied, will hang from the second story of the museumâ€™s Cullinan Hall.
This year, the Europe-based New Cities Foundation is bringing its annual New Cities Summit to the Dallas Arts District, from June 17 to 19. Eight hundred global thought leaders will convene at the Winspear Opera House to listen to speakers, engage in workshops, and take advantage of world-class networking opportunities. The Architectâ€™s Newspaper is one of the summit media partners. AN Southwest editor Aaron Seward recently spoke to Mathieu Lefevre, the Executive Director of the New Cities Foundation, about what the organization has on tap for this yearâ€™s summit, whose theme is Re-imagining Cities: Transforming the 21st Century Metropolis.
Aaron Seward: Let’s start by getting some background on the New Cities Summit. What is it? Why did it start? And what does it hope to achieve?
Mathieu Lefevre: The New Cities Summit started when the New Cities Foundation was set up, in 2010. Itâ€™s a non-profit whose mission is to make cities better. The event is aimed at shaping the global conversation and adding to the creative thought leadership surrounding how to shape what we are calling the Century of Cities. We held the first summit in 2012 in Paris; then we went to SÃ£o Paulo, Brazil, in 2013; and this year weâ€™re coming to Texas.
President Obama will reportedly nominateÂ San Antonio Mayor Julian CastroÂ to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development. If confirmed by the senate, Castro will succeed Shaun Donovan, a trained architect, who has been at the agency since 2009. Donovan is expected to head the Office of Management and Budget.
Dallas developer Shawn Todd is proposing a $100 million parking-garage-and-park combo for a downtown parking lot that Dallas has been trying to get underway for years now. And while stories about parking garages arenâ€™t exactly a dime a dozen, Toddâ€™s plans are making a particularly idiosyncratic splash. Besides a massive media screen, a Trader Joe’s grocery store, and adding a plethora of parking spots toÂ downtown Dallas, the garage and park wonâ€™t cost the city a penny. Todd plans to pay for it all by himself.
How the greenway might look as it passes through Expressway Park.
As AN reported in our latest Southwest edition, Baton Rouge and New Orleans are gearing up for changes across their respective urban landscapes with two new master plans by landscape architecture firmÂ Spackman Mossop Michaels. The firm has shared these before and after views of the proposed Baton Rouge Greenway, which provides “a vision for a greenway that connects City-Brooks Park near LSUâ€™s campus on the south side of the city to the State Capitol grounds to the north, while stitching together adjoining neighborhoods and other smaller landscaped areas along the way” Slide back and forth to see existing conditions and SMM’s plans for the area and be sure to learn more about the projects in AN‘s news article.
Jamie Carpenter, the world-renowned architect who has left his mark on projects like New York City’s Millennium Tower, Brooklyn Bridge Park, and others, recently revealed his latest work, Light Veil, at Dallasâ€™ Cotton Bowl Stadium. The Cotton Bowl Public Art Project, a $25.5 million endeavor aimed at revamping the stadium, included a contest that Carpenter won out for equipping the stadium with a new facade.
Museum of Fine Arts Houston
1001 Bissonnet, Houston
Through May 26
The Leatrice S. and Melvin B. Eagle Collection is one of the most remarkable decorative arts collections in the world, and goes a long way toward challenging the idea that there is a difference between decorative and high art. Although primarily American in scope, it also encompasses significant pieces by acclaimed international artists.