Sustainable development plan for Northeast Ohio takes top honors in 2015 National Planning Awards

Northeast Ohio Sustainable Communities Consortium

Northeast Ohio Sustainable Communities Consortium

A plan to steer northeast Ohio toward sustainable growth won a top planning award this week, joining schemes and firms from Austin to Los Angeles on a list of the year’s best urban planning work.

More after the jump.

Urban culture ‘consulates’, Miami ‘science barge’ among winners of first Knight cities challenge

The Knight Foundation awarded, among many others, an idea for a network of new “consulates” initially located in Detroit, Philadelphia and New Orleans that will offer an entrée into local culture. (Claire Nelson)

The Knight Foundation awarded, among many others, an idea for a network of new “consulates” initially located in Detroit, Philadelphia and New Orleans that will offer an entrée into local culture. (Claire Nelson)

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation announced Tuesday the winners of the first Knight Cities Challenge, awarding a total of $5 million to 32 projects that include “consulates” for local culture in Detroit, Philadelphia, and New Orleans, and “a social kitchen” in downtown Gary, Indiana.

Continue reading after the jump.

Unveiled> Columbus, Ohio redevelops site of dead downtown mall

(NBBJ)

(Courtesy NBBJ)

The future came into focus last week for the site of a defunct mall in downtown Columbus, Ohio. By the time City Center mall closed in 2009, only its parking structure remained a popular destination. Columbus Downtown Development Corporation replaced the dead mall with Columbus Commons, a nine-acre park slated for mixed-use development over the coming years.

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Breathe easy: Louisville art installation tracks air pollution in real time

"Air Bare" is an installation by Louisville, Kentucky's Urban Matters, Inc. It turns real-time air quality data into a game for public education. (Urban Matters)

“Air Bare” is an installation by Louisville, Kentucky’s Urban Matters, Inc. It turns real-time air quality data into a game for public education. (Urban Matters)

Save for the extreme examples—Beijing‘s “airpocalypse,” for exampleair pollution is often an invisible problem. For at least a brief period, designers from Brooklyn and data scientists from San Francisco hope to change that in Louisville, Kentucky.

Continue reading after the jump.

Cleveland delays $25 million lakefront bridge for pedestrians and bicyclists

(City of Cleveland)

(City of Cleveland)

An iconic pedestrian bridge planned for downtown Cleveland has been delayed, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer‘s Steven Litt. Originally planned to be ready in time for the Republican national convention in 2016, the $25 million steel bridge would connect the northeast corner of Cleveland’s downtown Mall to an open space on the shores of Lake Erie between the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and the Great Lakes Science Center.

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Enormous architecture-shaped pillows will fill a vacant field for Chicago’s third annual Ragdale Ring

(Design With Company, The Ragdale Foundation)

(Design With Company, The Ragdale Foundation)

A suburban field on Chicago’s North Shore will host a fantastical summer pavilion fashioned after a toy box, with outsized pillows in the shape of architectural elements, according to designs selected as the winner of the third annual Ragdale Ring competition.

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Chicago wants your ideas for the future of the Chicago River

Chicago riverwalk (Courtesy Sasaki Associates)

Chicago’s riverwalk is undergoing a massive expansion, but what’s next? (Courtesy Sasaki Associates)

What’s downstream for the Chicago River? Mayor Rahm Emanuel this week directed a panel of experts to draft a long-term plan for the network of Chicago-area waterways, announcing $350,000 in grants from the Joyce Foundation, the Chicago Community Trust, and steel company ArcelorMittal to start a project dubbed “Great Rivers Chicago.”

Continue reading after the jump.

Sprucing up Twin Cities transit stations

Minneapolis Metro Transit Trains at Target Field Station. (Mark Danielson / Flickr)

Minneapolis Metro Transit Trains at Target Field Station. (Mark Danielson / Flickr)

With the Midwest’s winter thaw underway, Minneapolis residents have an eye to the outside. But for the 40 percent of the city’s downtown workers that walk, bike, or ride transit to their jobs throughout the winter, public spaces play a year-round role. Downtown transit stops in particular see tens of thousands of Twin Cities denizens on any given weekday, yet their designs range from utilitarian to downright unwelcoming.

Continue reading after the jump.

Shanghai Talks> Christopher Drew, director of sustainability for Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill

AN's Midwest Editor (right) interviews Christopher Drew of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architects in Shanghai. (Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat)

AN’s Midwest Editor (right) interviews Christopher Drew of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architects in Shanghai. (Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat)

Last September, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat invited me to serve as the special media correspondent for its Shanghai symposium, entitled Future Cities: Towards Sustainable Vertical Urbanism.

I conducted video interviews with dozens of architects, developers, building managers, and others on topics relevant to tall building design and sustainable urbanism. Among the many designers, engineers and other tall building types I interviewed was Christopher Drew, director of sustainability for Chicago’s Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture.

Watch the video interview after the jump.

Chicago’s Field Museum becomes just second such building to get Gold under LEED EB O+M

Chicago's Field Museum (GoCal83 via Flickr)

Chicago’s Field Museum (GoCal83 via Flickr)

Chicago‘s natural history museum, the Field Museum, announced Monday it has earned a Gold rating from the U.S. Green Building Council under the LEED for Existing Buildings Operations and Maintenance (EB O+M) program, becoming just the second museum in the nation to do so. (The Madison Children’s Museum is the other.)

Continue reading after the jump.

New HOK stadium renderings show off St. Louis for restless Rams football franchise

A proposal for a new NFL stadium in downtown St. Louis. (HOK)

A proposal for a new NFL stadium in downtown St. Louis. (HOK)

Missouri’s football fans are savoring plans for a new NFL stadium in downtown St. Louis, but it remains unclear if the HOK-led designs will be enough to keep the Rams from leaving. Read More

Just six logs keep this cafe warm and cozy in Buffalo, New York

Cafe Fargo in Buffalo, New York has no mechanical heating system. (Florian Holzherr)

Cafe Fargo in Buffalo, New York has no mechanical heating system. (Florian Holzherr)

Wintry Buffalo, New York is about the last place you might expect to find a building with no mechanical HVAC system. Yet that’s where a pair of architects fired up their custom-designed masonry heater, also called a kachelofen, which warms a contemporary cafe space by burning just six logs per day—even through a record-breaking winter where the average temperature was just 22.8 degrees.

Continue reading after the jump.

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