Tunnel trouble under the Hudson River is an immanent threat to the New York region’s transit system

City Terrain, East, Transportation
Tuesday, November 3, 2015
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The NY-NJ region would see more traffic if a Hudson River rail tunnel closed for repairs (Sumith R / Flickr)

The NY-NJ region would see more traffic if a Hudson River rail tunnel closed for repairs (Sumith R / Flickr)

Two rail tunnels connecting New Jersey to New York are the main arteries of the regional transit system. Riders usually don’t need to focus on the infrastructure that carries them to their destinations—unless something goes wrong. Each day, 500,000 commuters use mass transit—Amtrak, PATH, and NJ Transit—to travel from New Jersey to New York and back.

After more than one hundred years in service, the rail tunnels are rapidly deteriorating. “Tunnel Trouble,” a new video released by the Regional Plan Association (RPA), warns of the dire consequences for transit on the Eastern seaboard if one of the tunnels were shut down for extensive repairs.

Watch the video here.

With help from a TIGER grant, the Bronx River Greenway is one mile closer to completion

Concrete Plant Park (Courtesy Majora Carter / Flickr)

Concrete Plant Park (Courtesy Majora Carter / Flickr)

As of October 27th, the Bronx River Greenway is one mile closer to completion. The United States Department of Transportation awarded a $10 million TIGER grant to the city to build three bridges and a three-quarter mile path connecting the South Bronx‘s Concrete Plant Park with nearby Starlight Park. Though modest in scale, the grant adds momentum to the decades-long movement to green one of the most industrial areas in the borough.

Continue reading after the jump.

Removal of Vancouver’s Viaducts: Making room for housing, culture, and parks

Vancouver without the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts. (Courtesy City of Vancouver)

Vancouver without the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts. (Courtesy City of Vancouver)

On October 27th, the Vancouver City Council voted 5–4 to remove the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts, making space for housing, culture, and parks.

The viaducts were part of a proposed freeway system through East Vancouver in 1971, until residents protested, and the project was abandoned. In June 2013, the city council made a unanimous vote to study the potential impact of removing the viaducts that connect the downtown to neighborhoods on the city’s East side.

Continue reading after the jump.

Ocean Liner S.S. United States may dock in Red Hook after ship-shape conversion

Rendering of the proposed S.S. United States conversion (Courtesy GBX)

Rendering of the proposed S.S. United States conversion (Courtesy GBX)

New York City has 520 miles of coastline. The city’s coastline-to-swanky-offshore-vessel ratio, however, is seriously skewed. Although New Yorkers may enjoy drinks on the Frying Pan, at Chelsea Piers, or visit the oil tanker cultural center aboard the Mary A. Whalen, in Red Hook, there is certainly room for another moldering boat-turned-modern-recreation-and-entertainment-space. Read More

Buffalo greens up with new form-based land use and zoning codes

City Terrain, East, News, Urbanism
Wednesday, October 28, 2015
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(Courtesy Andrew Nash / Flickr)

(Courtesy Andrew Nash / Flickr)

Some claim that the city of Buffalo, New York, was not named for the large plains mammal but for the beau fleuve, the beautiful Niagara River, that empties into Lake Erie near the city. Regardless of whether this story is true or apocryphal, it’s undeniable that Buffalo is reprising its environmental heritage with the Green Code, a comprehensive update to the city’s zoning and land use regulations.

Read More

Oslo plans to make its city center free from cars in four years

Köpcentret Oslo City (Jenny Andersson, News Øresund / Flickr)

Köpcentret Oslo City (Jenny Andersson, News Øresund / Flickr)

Norway currently boasts three World Rally Championship drivers (second only to France), all of considerable pedigree, yet its capital city of Oslo is planning to remove cars for good. Along with the proposal to ban cars is the plan to build 37 miles worth of bike lanes by 2019 and a new system for handicap bus services and delivery vehicles.

Read More

New York City’s Port Authority Bus Terminal is set for a $7 to $10 billion overhaul

City Terrain, East, News, Transportation
Monday, October 26, 2015
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Port Authority Bus Terminal. (Flickr / Eric Allix Rogers)

Port Authority Bus Terminal (Flickr / Eric Allix Rogers)

Over the next 15 years, $7–10 billion dollars will be spent to overhaul one of the saddest, most depressing places on earth. The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey (PANYNJ) voted this month to transform the 65 year old Port Authority Bus Terminal, on Eighth Avenue at 42nd Street, and build a new station on the next block.

Read More

Bartram’s Mile greenway by andropogon one step closer to connecting Philly to its riverfront

(Courtesy andropogon)

(Courtesy andropogon)

Philadelphia’s landscape architecture firm andropogon is redesigning a one mile segment of publicly owned, underused riverbank along the Schuylkill between Grays Ferry Avenue and 58th Street. Industrial development and highway construction has separated residents from the western bank of the riverfront for decades. Andropogon’s design goals for Bartram’s Mile include integrating the site with existing trails and bike infrastructure, managing stormwater, connecting the riverbank to its urban surroundings, and a design that highlights Bartram’s Garden, the oldest botanic garden in the United States.

Continue after the jump.

Philadelphia’s Healthy Rowhouse Project helps low-income residents weatherize their homes

Philadelphia's Healthy Rowhouse Project prevents abandonment through home repair assistance (Courtesy Jukie Bot/Flickr)

Philadelphia’s Healthy Rowhouse Project prevents abandonment through home repair assistance. (Courtesy Jukie Bot/Flickr)

For many homeowners and landlords, big ticket repairs can leave gaping holes in the budget. For many low income homeowners, mending a leaky roof or weatherizing an older home can be prohibitively expensive. Vital repairs go unmade, damaging the structure and exposing residents to mold and weather extremes. Responding to this challenge, the Design Advocacy Group, a coalition of planners, architects, and activists, founded the Healthy Rowhouse Project (HRP) in 2014.

Continue reading after the jump.

Analysis shows rapper (and urban planning enthusiast?), Drake, loves cities, is really sad about suburban sprawl

City Terrain, East, News, Urbanism
Thursday, October 22, 2015
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Drake (courtesy Drake)

Drake (courtesy Apple Music)

Brentin Mock at CityLab has produced an absolutely insane and brilliant interpretation of Drake’s 2015 single, “Hotline Bling.” It turns out, according to Mock, that Drake is not signaling an appreciation for James Turrell, nor is he sad about an ex-girlfriend. Instead, Mock’s line-by-line exegesis reveals that Drake is “sad about poor city planning.”

Continue reading after the jump.

AECOM Urban SOS: All Systems Go Competition winners announced

The Winning Submission Plan (Courtesy AECOM and Van Alen Institute)

The Winning Submission Plan. (Courtesy AECOM and Van Alen Institute)

Three graduate design students at the University of Pennsylvania—Daniel Lau, Joseph Rosenberg, and Lindsay Rule—have claimed the top spot in AECOM’s sixth annual Urban SOS competition. Their project, called The THIRD Reserve, is an urban landscape concept that would, in theory, allow Singapore’s food production system to become self-sufficient. The team takes home $7,500 in prize money and has access to up to $25,000 to support the project.

More after the jump.

Philadelphia’s Bergmann Associates reveal plans for Grays Ferry Triangle pedestrian plaza on South Street

Proposed design for Grays Ferry Plaza (Courtesy Bergmann Associates)

Proposed design for Grays Ferry Plaza. (Courtesy Bergmann Associates)

Philadelphia’s South of South Neighborhood Association (SOSNA) Grays Ferry Avenue Triangles Committee is making moves on a new plaza at 23rd Street at South Street. This plaza follows the well-trod path of its predecessors, touting amenities like seating and trees, as well as building South Philly’s neighborhood identity and civic pride.

Continue reading after the jump.

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