Farming Detroit: City considers expanding urban agriculture to include raising and slaughtering livestock

City Terrain, Midwest, Urbanism
Wednesday, December 9, 2015
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It is currently illegal to keep livestock in Detroit. (<a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AHahn_CLP_Germany.JPG"> oman Köhler</a> Wikimedia Commons)

It is currently illegal to keep livestock in Detroit. ( Roman Köhler Wikimedia Commons)

Adding to its normal population of lions and tigers, Detroit may be gaining a whole new demographic of furry inhabitants if proposed legislation passes in the spring allowing urban farmers to keep livestock in the city limits.

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MVRDV’s winning idea to convert an old shopping mall and parking garage into a public street and urban lagoon

(COURTESY MVRDV)

(COURTESY MVRDV)

MVRDV, with the Urbanist Collaborative and LLJ Architects, won a competition to transform “T-axis,” 590,000 square feet of China-Town Mall and Haian Road, in downtown Tainan, Taiwan. To reconnect the city and nature, the China-Town Shopping Mall will be removed, a green, public corridor will be built along Haian Road, and an urban lagoon will be created within the former underground parking garage. Construction is planned to begin fall of 2016.

More after the jump.

Contrary to popular belief, the sacred “T” in TOD may not be necessary for reduced car dependence

City Terrain, East, Urbanism
Monday, December 7, 2015
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NJ Transit (Marcin Bajer / Flickr)

NJ Transit (Marcin Bajer / Flickr)

Urban planning credo states that, through design and policy interventions that improve access to public transportation, Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) reduces car dependency and encourages individuals to walk, bike, bus, or take the train to their destination. Well, maybe. A University of California, Berkley study suggest that, for rail, the T in TOD may not be necessary to reduce car travel in neighborhoods that are dense and walkable, with scarce parking.

Continue reading after the jump.

Over a quarter of the streetcar systems taking shape in the U.S. are in Midwest cities

Proposed Milwaukee Streetcar in the Third Ward neighborhood of Milwaukee. (Milwaukee Streetcar)

Proposed Milwaukee Streetcar in the Third Ward neighborhood of Milwaukee. (Milwaukee Streetcar)

According to the American Public Transportation Association, a public transit advocacy group, there are more than 90 cities in the United States that are actively considering implementing streetcar systems. Of those 90, over a quarter are in the Midwest. Though all in different stages of planning, development, and construction, a handful are well underway, with service beginning as early as 2016.

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Construction on Philly’s 40th Street Trolley Portal by Andropogon finally moves ahead

Rendering of 40th Street Trolley Terminal (Courtesy andropogon)

Rendering of 40th Street Trolley Terminal (Courtesy Andropogon Associates)

Plans are finally underway to remake Philadelphia’s 40th Street Trolley Portal. In conjunction with the city, nonprofit University City District (UDC) will transform the boring, character-free concrete SEPTA trolley terminal, adjacent to the University of Pennsylvania, into a social space for one of Philly’s most vibrant areas.  Read More

Toronto’s ambitious plan for a linear garden under the Gardiner Expressway is made of 55 “outdoor rooms”

The vision for the project includes a grand staircase at Strachan that doubles as seating for an urban theater. (Image Courtesy PUBLIC WORK)

The vision for the project includes a grand staircase at Strachan that doubles as seating for an urban theater. (Courtesy PUBLIC WORK)

Toronto’s waterfront is separated from the city by the elevated Gardiner Expressway. While access underneath is relatively easy, it isn’t a pleasant transition. Torontonians, however, can expect some changes to their waterfront corridor as 10-acres of new public space and a mile of multi-use trail are being built under the highway.

COntinue reading after the jump.

With major financial support in place, Detroit’s bike share program pedals into the fast lane

Philly Indego Bikeshare

Philadelphia’s IndeGo bike share program provides a model on which to base new start up programs in cities like Detroit. ( Tyree303/Wikimedia Commons)

Detroit will soon be joining the over 70 other U.S. cities with bike share programs. The 350-bike, 35-station system is on track to open in 2016, with recent monetary support from public and private sources.

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SOFTlab’s “Nova” pavilion brightens cold New York nights with psychadelic light

City Terrain, East, News, Urbanism
Monday, November 23, 2015
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(Courtesy 3M)

(Courtesy 3M)

Suburban folk mark the change of seasons with spring peepers, the sound of leaf blowers, and first frosts. City dwellers rely on other environmental cures: pumpkin spice lattes, heat season, and festive public art installations. Last week, the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership Business Improvement District (BID) and the Van Alen Institute welcomed crowds to SOFTlab‘s Nova, the 2015 winner of the Flatiron Public Plaza Holiday Design Competition.

More after the jump.

Under budget pressures, WXY reveals new ideas for long shuttered Brooklyn War Memorial

Preliminary renderings show WXY-designed vision for a revamped Brooklyn War Memorial (Courtesy Downtown Brooklyn Partnership)

Renderings show WXY-designed vision for a revamped Brooklyn War Memorial (Courtesy Downtown Brooklyn Partnership)

The band Barenaked Ladies famously speculated on what a million dollars could buy: a little tiny fridge filled with pre-wrapped sausages, K-cars, a woman’s eternal, undying love, or fancy ketchups.  Well, this isn’t the nineties anymore, and, as community leaders in Brooklyn are learning, seven figures will not be nearly enough to renovate and preserve the Brooklyn War Memorial.

COntinue reading after the jump.

Here’s the plan to turn Boston’s Fenway Park into an enormous wintertime ski jump

City Terrain, East
Friday, November 13, 2015
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(Image via boston.redsox.mlb.com)

(Courtesy Boston Red Sox)

Architects designing ski jumps is one of our favorite typologies, as the megastructure meets the athletic show to produce some of the most Nike-swoosh-like structures out there. Boston is going to get a new mutation of the type when a huge, 140-foot ski jump will be installed on the baseball field, in the shadow of The Green Monster. Actually, it will tower over the Green Monster by 100 feet, as well as the entire structure of Fenway. We have seen all kinds of things on fields, like Bon Jovi concerts and Monster truck rallies, but the huge snow-covered structure is one of our favorites. What is yours?

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Collective–LOK steals hearts to win 2016 Times Square Valentine Heart Design competition

Art, City Terrain, East, News, Urbanism
Thursday, November 12, 2015
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The winning design (Courtesy Collective-LOK)

The winning design (Courtesy Collective-LOK)

The Times Square Alliance takes “I ♥ New York” quite literally. For the past eight years, the nonprofit organization has invited architecture and design firms to create public art that responds to a Valentine’s Day theme. This year the Times Square Alliance partnered with the Center for Architecture to administer the competition. Collective-LOK stole the hearts of jurists to win the 2016 Times Square Valentine Heart Design competition.

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New York state parks to see a billion dollar influx of maintenance funding by 2020

City Terrain, East, News, Preservation
Friday, November 6, 2015
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Letchworth State Park (Rayhan A)

Letchworth State Park (Rayhan A)

After years of disinvestment, the New York park system is receiving the funding it needs to address more than a billion dollars of neglected maintenance across the state’s 213 parks and historic sites.

Continue after the jump.

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