Blair Kamin convened a panel of designers at the Chicago Architecture FoundationÂ last Wednesday for a discussion around themes explored in his recent series â€œDesigned in Chicago, Made in China,â€ in which the Chicago Tribune architecture critic assessed the effects of that countryâ€™s rapid development on urbanism and design. Read More
From its streets to its rivers to its skyline, Pittsburgh is a city in transformation. The Steel City is diversifying its economy, improving its streetscape and becoming a new hub for the creative class. Business InsiderÂ has even declared Pittsburgh to be â€œThe Next Hipster Haven.”Â But the transformation has meant more than coffee shops, bike-share, and startupsâ€”even though thatâ€™s certainly playing a part. As theÂ city changes, though, itâ€™s too easy to ask if Pittsburgh is the â€œNext [Enter City Here].â€ Because the â€œNext Pittsburghâ€ will not be the â€œNext Austin,â€ or even the â€œNext Portland.â€ It’s shaping up to be something entirely itâ€™s own. Simply put, “The Next Pittsburgh” will be just that.
An unusually vertical Frank Lloyd Wright building in Wisconsin will open its doors to the public for the first time since its construction in 1950. The Research Tower in Racine, Wisconsin has housed SC Johnson for 32 years, anchoring its 153-foot tall mass with a distinctive â€œtaprootâ€ foundation.
OMA has been selected to design the BogotÃ¡ Centro Administrativo Nacional (CAN) new civic center, situated at the heart of the cityâ€™s main axis, Calle 26. Steered by partner-in-charge Shohei Shigematsu, the 680-acre mixed-use design occupies a footprint as large as Washington, D.C.â€™s National Mall and will operate as the cityâ€™s government headquarters with intermixed residential, educational, retail, and cultural developments, all which encourage continuous activity within separate districts. The design intends to integrate civic and public life while connecting to local destinations.
The US National Academy of Sciences has published the resultsÂ of a survey performed in April 2012 of the forests of Cambodia, which uncovered a monumental, intricate landscape of low-density urban sprawl connected to ancient ruins of Angkor Wat that dates back to more than 700 years, invalidating archaeologistsâ€™ current understandings of pre-industrial urbanism.
Casinos have landed in Ohioâ€™s three largest cities, now that Cincinnatiâ€™s $400 million Horseshoe casino is open for business. Eric Douglas, a member of the Congress for New Urbanism, has an interesting post as a guest blogger for UrbanCincy on the casinoâ€™s supposedly urban character.Â While Horseshoe casinos in Cleveland and Cincinnati have been billed as â€œtruly urbanâ€ establishments, he writes, â€œcasinos are not known to be particularly friendly urban creatures.â€
Notes from The Innovative Metropolis: Fostering Economic Competitiveness Through Sustainable Urban Design
Covering ground from Sao Paulo to Copenhagen, a set of multi-disciplinary discussions were convened in Washington, DC yesterday by the Brookings Institution and the Sam Fox School at Washington University in St. Louis, to explore the synergies between urban design, policy, and finance required to realize innovation in the way we construct our environment. The discussions focused on global case studies relative to urban mobility, technology, and environmental adaptation, against the backdrop of global urbanization and climate change.
While lessons were gleamed, it was clear that what was needed was “not one urbanism,” as Dean Moshen Mostafavi of the Harvard GSD put it, but “Urbanisms,” tuned to the “logic” of a given geography, climate, and culture. While existing within larger ecologies that, as Valente Souza of Mexico City asserted, may contain “their own solutions,” cites are, as Amy Liu of the Brookings Institution emphasized “complex economic systems” and any sustainable initiatives must address consumer demands. As Alex Washburn, Chief Urban designer for New York City summarized, “all change is driven by desire.”
Watch videos of the proceedings of “The Innovative Metropolis” on the Brookings Institution website.
Cities matter. In the Midwest recent headlines have read like an urban planning syllabus: post-industrial rebirth attracts a new generation of urbanites downtown, the roll-out of high-speed rail begins to pick up pace, and while innovative solutions to the regionâ€™s well-documented problems abound, a lingering fiscal crisis and unfunded pension liabilities threaten to squash even the most attainable aspirations.
Those topics and more made the agenda at University of Illinois Chicagoâ€™s annual Urban Forum held Thursday, whose lineup included the mayors of Columbus and Pittsburgh, as well as U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood. â€œMetropolitan Resilience in a Time of Economic Turmoilâ€ was the topic at hand.
In an ongoing endeavor to blend public art, architecture, and urbanism by artists Siyuan and Hwee Chong, The Doors ProjectÂ subversively projects a series of doorsÂ onto public spaces in Singapore, reflecting the struggles of the urban poor and underprivileged. But while commenting on despair, the real message is one of faith, hope and empowerment. â€œWe wanted to make a statement about life, and jolt people to think,â€ the artists said in an interview at Yolo. â€œInstead of following the light at the end of the tunnel, why not carry our own lights, and create our own doors! Itâ€™s really about rolling up our sleeves, and creating the opportunities we want for ourselves.â€