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.

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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New York promotes active design at the 2015 FitCity conference

East, Transportation, Urbanism
Tuesday, December 1, 2015
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(Credit: AIA New York)

(Courtesy AIA New York)

Last month, AIA New York and the New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene held the tenth annual FitCity conference. The event, which hosted a multi-disciplinary group of nearly 500 participants ranging from architects and designers to policymakers and public health officials, explored some of the approaches and strategies that could be implemented to create a more healthful and “fit” New York City.

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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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The long history of a tall sidewalk: How elevated skywalks have failed cities in the United States

Minneapolis-Skyways

The Minneapolis Skyway system near IDS in 1980 (City of Minneapolis Archives)

Skywalks, or elevated sidewalks, continually resurface as an urban solution to alleviate pedestrian traffic, provide additional retail space, and offer a safe alternative to sharing space with automobiles. However, each time a skywalk is actually realized, problems abound.

Continue reading after the jump.

New York opens the Randall’s Island Connector, linking the South Bronx to one of New York City’s best parks

East, News, Transportation, Urbanism
Monday, November 16, 2015
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(Courtesy NYCEDC)

(Courtesy NYCEDC)

South Bronx cyclists, skateboarders, and pedestrians now have easy access to Randall’s Island, one of New York’s largest recreation areas. Initiated by the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) in 2013, the Randall’s Island Connector opened this Saturday, November 14.

More after the jump.

Japanese government to fund a maglev train line between DC and Baltimore

East, News, Transportation
Wednesday, November 11, 2015
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The JR Maglev train, used on the experimental Yamanashi railway that US state and federal officials rode in trip to Japan last spring (Courtesy t-mizo / Flickr)

The JR Maglev train, used on the experimental Yamanashi Maglev Test Track that US officials rode on trip to test the technology in Japan last spring (Courtesy t-mizo / Flickr)

You can do a lot in fifteen minutes: cook some surf-and-turf, blast through paperwork, star in a mediocre crime drama, or travel 40 miles between major East Coast cities. Well, not yet. Given the excruciatingly slow pace of infrastructure modernization in the U.S., there will be a wait on that last one, probably for decades.

Yet, the U.S. is taking small steps towards twenty-first century transportation. Last week, the U.S. Transportation Department granted $27.8 million in Federal Railroad Administration funds to the Maryland Department of Transportation and the Maryland Economic Development Corporation to conduct feasibility studies for a maglev train line that will run between DC and BaltimoreRead More

Tonight! Join AN’s Matt Shaw in exploring energy, politics, and architecture in New York

W57 by BIG, part of the "Lifestyle" section of the book. Drawing by Janette Kim and Erik Carver (Courtesy Princeton Architectural Press)

W57 by BIG, part of the “Lifestyle” section of the book. Drawing by Janette Kim and Erik Carver (Courtesy Princeton Architectural Press)

Tonight, Monday, November 9, at New York’s AIANY/Center for Architecture, AN Senior Editor Matt Shaw will be moderating a book talk between Janette Kim and Erik Carver, the authors of The Underdome Guide to Energy Reform, a new book released by Princeton Architectural Press. Stop by at 6:00p.m. tonight for light refreshments and beautiful drawings alongside a discussion about the future of ecologically minded architecture and urbanism.

More info after the jump.

Cone PWN: Video captures Brits dressed as traffic cones blocking streets in southwest London

(Courtesy Chris Anson via the Evening Standard)

Cause of commotion. (Courtesy Chris Anson via the Evening Standard)

In the southwest London borough of Kingston upon Thames, police officers were left giggling at the sight of walking traffic cones early last Sunday morning. The police file even read: “Males dressed as traffic cones, blocking the street like traffic cones.” However, the Evening Standard has revealed that the act isn’t just a drunken parade, rather a protest against Über car service.

Continue after the jump.

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.

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.

Richard Rogers beats Norman Foster and UNStudio for Taoyuan International Airport terminal commission

The winning design by Richard Rogers

The winning design by Richard Rogers. (Michael Speaks)

Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners have fought off fellow British architecture practice Foster + Partners and Amsterdam-based UNStudio to design the Terminal 3 building at Taoyuan International, Taiwan’s largest airport. The firm won by a unanimous decision, AN has learned. In 2014, the airport was the world’s 11th busiest passenger airport.

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