Although the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has yet to secure funding for itsÂ planned $1 billion restoration of the Los Angeles River, projects along the waterway’s banks are sproutingÂ up regularly, including parks, cafes, trails, and even new buildings. The latest, reported KCET, is the Elysian Valley Marsh Park, a three-acre landscape expansion on what was once an auto body complex in LA’s Elysian ValleyÂ neighborhood.
Earlier this month, the Van Alen Institute announced Future Ground, an internationalÂ design competition that is hoping to attract fresh strategies for reusing the many vacant lots that dot New Orleans. The competition is seeking submissions from landscape designers, architects, planners, public policy wonks, and pretty much anybody in the business of shapingÂ urban environmentsÂ andÂ is supported byÂ the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority (NORA), which owns more than 2,000 vacant lots.
There are somewhere aroundÂ 30,000 empty lots and abandoned structures throughout New OrleansÂ today, most of themÂ leftÂ byÂ Hurricane Katrina, which devastated the cityÂ in 2005. As the 10-year anniversary of the storm approaches, Future Ground is looking toÂ createÂ design and policy strategies capable of adapting toÂ changes in density, demand, climate, and landscape in New Orleans over the next half-centuryÂ in an effort to turnÂ these abandoned landscapes into lasting resources.
All the topÂ names in New York City architecture are vying for a piece of Brooklyn Bridge Park, but whether any of their designs will be realized still remains to be seen. As community groups try to blockÂ Mayor de Blasioâ€™s controversial plans to bring affordable housing to Michael Van Valkenburgh‘sÂ celebrated park, the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation has unveiled 14 design proposals for two coveted development sites on Pier 6. Those proposals were unveiled just hours before a Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation meeting that was packed with community members voicing their strong opposition to any new development in the park.
It seems like just yesterday that Los AngelesÂ opened its first downtown Parklet, a sparkling new design on Spring Street by architects utopiad.org, designers Berry and LinnÃ©, and builders Hensel Phelps. But a few weeks ago that design (already getting a little shabby from weather and use) was rammed and badly compromised by an errant motorist, leaving it closed, and leaving downtown without a parklet to speak of more than two yearsÂ after the cityâ€™s parklet program began.
Work wrapped up this summer on Bittertang Farmsâ€™ installation at Ragdale, the nonprofit artistsâ€™ community in Chicagoâ€™s North Shore suburbs, and true to its plans the straw amphitheater springs forth from a lush hillside in Lake Forest, Illinois.
With tens of millions of dollars,Â New York City hopes to jumpstartÂ a transformation of Brooklynâ€™s Sunset Park neighborhood into a hub for artists and tech companies. As the Wall Street Journal reported, the city is spendingÂ $100 million to transform part of the Brooklyn Army Terminalâ€”an old navy-supply hubâ€”into space for light manufacturing. That investment is just one piece of the millions of dollars flowing into the neighborhood from real estate investors.
While the money will be significant, giving new life to Sunset Park’s industrial corridor will take more than artisanal pickles and startups. It will takeÂ great public space and significant improvements to the neighborhood’s streetscape.Â At this point, however, it’s not clear if that type of investment is in the cards.
The West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (WKCDA) has released concept images for their waterfront park in the West Kowloon Cultural District. Once installed, the park will be a breath of fresh air (both literally and figuratively) for residents in the urban sprawl of Hong Kong, China. Read More
Fujiko Nakaya: Veil
Philip Johnson Glass House
199 Elm Street, New Canaan, CT
Through November 30
For its 65th anniversary, Philip Johnsonâ€™s Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut, is hosting an exhibition by Fujiko Nakaya that utilizes the historic site itself. Veil shrouds the Glass House as well as the surrounding landscape with fog by running fresh water through high-pressure pumps. The fog will be heavily released then dissipated at set time intervals to obscure the visibility of the area and create a unique experience for visitors.
Michael Van Valkenburgh AssociatesÂ (MVVA) has taken its talents up north to Canada with the new Corktown Common park in Toronto. The 18-acre public spaceâ€”which is part of the burgeoning, 80-acreÂ West Don Lands neighborhoodâ€”was created with ArupÂ and developed by Waterfront Toronto, the government-funded corporation spearheading the revitalization of the city’s waterfront.