Governor Cuomo unveils ambitious plans to overhaul New York’s Penn Station

City Terrain, East, News, Urbanism
Friday, January 8, 2016
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(Courtesy NYS Governor's Office)

Aerial view of the Empire State Complex (Courtesy NYS Governor’s Office)

The lead-up to New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo‘s State of the State address feels like a government-backed encore of “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” Instead of lords a-leaping and swans a-swimming, Cuomo brings infrastructure upgrades a-plenty in his 2016 Agenda.

The governor promised funds to the Gateway and East Side Access tunnels, the Javits Center, new Metro-North stations in the Bronx, the MTA (wi-fi a-comin’!), and an airport on Long Island. Arguably the biggest proposal is the Empire State Complex, a $3 billion redevelopment of New York City’s Penn Station and its surroundings.

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How Salt Lake City might add buildings in the medians of its extra-wide streets

(Courtesy Kentlands Initiative)

(Courtesy Kentlands Initiative)

Over the course of four years, the Granary District of Salt Lake City has been trialling “median development” whereby pop-up shows, stands, and other forms of temporary architecture exist literally in the middle of the street. Now, James Alfandre, director of the Kentlands Initiative, proposes something more concrete.

Continue reading after the jump.

Vince Bertoni nominated to lead Los Angeles’ planning department

A new planner in town: Vince Bertoni, at a town hall meeting last September (Eddie Rivera/ Courtesy Pasadena News Now)

A new planner in town: Vince Bertoni, at a town hall meeting last September. (Eddie Rivera/ Courtesy Pasadena News Now)

At the top of the year, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti kicked off 2016 by putting his attention toward the future of L.A.’s physical shape as he nominated Pasadena Planning Director Vince Bertoni as the new head of the Los Angeles Department of City Planning (LADCP).

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In the Bronx, delays seem interminable for long-anticipated Roberto Clemete Plaza

(Courtesy Garrison Architects)

(Courtesy Garrison Architects)

“The Hub,” in the Bronx neighborhood of Mott Haven, couldn’t be better named: it’s the center of commercial activity in the South Bronx, and one of the busiest intersections in the city. As its dense avenues are packed with shoppers and commuters, the city moved to expand and improve Roberto Clemente Plaza, a public space that’s a respite from the hectic nearby streets. Read More

In El Paso, architects explore border politics through a temporary installation in a bus depot

City Terrain, Environment, Southwest
Wednesday, December 30, 2015
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FLASH Installation: Architecture at Rush Hour (Courtesy AGENCY)

FLASH Installation: Architecture at Rush Hour (Courtesy AGENCY)

To architect Ersela Kripa, “borders are much thicker than we imagine.” She and her partner Stephen Mueller (AGENCY) are building on the strong legacy of theory and practice at the US-Mexico border with their students at Texas Tech University El Paso. This fall, students produced FLASH Installation: Architecture at Rush Hour, a daylong “tactical occupation” of an underused bus terminal at the El Paso/Juárez border.  Read More

With LinkNYC, New York City says goodbye payphones, hello free wi-fi

City Terrain, East, News, Urbanism
Tuesday, December 29, 2015
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(intersection_co / Instagram)

(intersection_co / Instagram)

It is the beginning of the end for New York City’s ubiquitous public payphones. This morning, one of the City’s first public Wi-Fi hubs was installed near Manhattan’s Union Square as part of the LinkNYC initiative, through which 10,000 “Links,” or kiosks, will be installed across all five boroughs. Read More

Central Park’s Adventure Playground, designed by Richard Dattner, reopens after yearlong renovation

The newly rehabilitated adventure playground (Courtesy Central Park Conservancy)

The newly rehabilitated Adventure Playground (Courtesy Central Park Conservancy)

The Richard Dattner–designed Adventure Playground, one of New York City’s most beloved recreational spaces, recently reopened after a yearlong renovation by the Central Park Conservancy. Read More

New York City’s ubiquitous sidewalk sheds re-imagined by PBDW, Gensler, Gannett Fleming, and Francis Cauffman

Construction sheds, like this one on Roosevelt Island, are usually uncomely and often impede pedestrian traffic (Nick Normal / Flickr)

Construction sheds, like this one on Roosevelt Island, are usually uncomely and often impede pedestrian traffic (Nick Normal / Flickr)

What’s uglier than a construction shed? The sheds cover nearly 200 miles (!) of sidewalks across the five boroughs, enveloping pedestrians in drab tunnels of darkness. Past competitions in New York City have attempted to resolve the ubiquitous blight that sheds present, but the winning designs were never implemented. Now, the New York Building Congress has announced four winners of its Construction Shed Design Competition, an invitation to create a more aesthetically pleasing shed.

More after the jump.

Meet The Green Line: How Perkins Eastman would remake Broadway through Manhattan into a 40-block linear park

(Courtesy Perkins Eastman)

(Courtesy Perkins Eastman)

By now, the “Bilbao Effect” is metonymy for a culture-led revitalization of a postindustrial city driven by a single institution housed in a starchitect-designed complex. The wild success of Manhattan’s High Line generates regional seismic effects—the Lowline, the QueensWay, and the Lowline: Bronx Edition all cite the high queen of linear parks as their inspiration. Upping the ante, Perkins Eastman unfurls the Green Line, a plan to convert one of New York’s busiest streets into a park.

Continue reading after the jump.

100 Fountains will revive New York City’s esteemed public drinking culture

City Terrain, Design, East, Urbanism
Tuesday, December 15, 2015
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A drinking fountain on the High Line (Eden, Janine and Jim / Flickr)

A drinking fountain on the High Line (Eden, Janine and Jim / Flickr)

Water, water, everywhere,
Nor any drop to drink.
—Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

Though New York has the some of the cleanest municipal tap water, New Yorkers now consume 1.25 billion bottles of water annually. A contributing factor to the rise in bottled water consumption is the decline in the number of public drinking fountains. New York–based Pilot Projects would like to revive the grand tradition of public bubblers through a novel design/build competition.

More after the jump.

Designer envisions a Miami Beach that embraces the rising sea

#beachlife at this year's Design Miami/Art Basel (Courtesy joeldanielsz / Instagram)

#beachlife at this year’s Design Miami/Art Basel (Courtesy joeldanielsz / Instagram)

This year’s Art Basel/Design Miami was a wash. The tallest stilettos could not save feet from floodwaters that inundated streets and forced partygoers under small tents. Even when it’s not raining, water bubbles up through stormwater grates and sewers, a result of the city’s porous limestone bedrock.

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Plan uses solar, algae to transform the Tijuana River into sustainable infrastructure

The plan transforms the concrete channel into a sustainable piece of urban infrastructure. (Courtesy GENERICA Architects)

The plan transforms the concrete channel into a sustainable piece of urban infrastructure. (Courtesy GENERICA Architects)

All the chatter may be around Frank Gehry and the Los Angeles River, but that waterway is not the only channelized river on the West Coast. More than 40 years ago a 10.5-mile long stretch of the Tijuana River was concretized as a flood control channel to make more development possible. If Gehry’s scheme is all about hydrology, a new proposal for the Tijuana River is about electricity.

Continue reading after the jump.

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