In gentrifying Brooklyn, illicit luxury housing is sprouting from community gardens

Larceny and deed fraud are on the rise, and those with a mind for leaving confusing trails of paperwork are profiting from illegitimate purchases of land. A classic case of this can be found on Maple Street in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Brooklyn.

But the garden quickly began showing weeds…

Enrique Peñalosa plans to give Bogotá the best transit system in the developing world

Enrique on a bus headed from Denver to Boulder (ITDP / Flickr)

Enrique on a bus headed from Denver to Boulder. (itdp / Flickr)

An economist who once advised Colombian President Virgilio Barco, Enrique Peñalosa is now a revered urban planner in the city of Bogotá. Having once served as Bogotá mayor from 1997 to 2001, Peñalosa is now back for his second stint and pledges to provide his city with the best public transportation system in the developing world.

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Philadelphia set to appoint the first-ever Complete Streets Commissioner

City Terrain, East, News, Transportation, Urbanism
Wednesday, February 3, 2016
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(karmacamilleeon / Flickr)

(karmacamilleeon / Flickr)

Philadelphia officially recognizes cyclists as a constituency deserving special protection. This week, Mayor Jim Kenney announced the creation of a “Complete Streets Commissioner,” a new position in city government to oversee the creation of more bike-friendly infrastructure. But the story gets complicated from there.

Continue reading after the jump.

Philly’s University City to undergo a ground-up rethink by Ayers Saint Gross, ZGF, and OLIN

ZGF Architects designed a tower programmed for offices, retail, and apartments that look out onto an OLIN–designed public square. (Courtesy ZGF)

ZGF Architects designed a tower programmed for offices, retail, and apartments that look out onto an OLIN–designed public square. (Courtesy ZGF)

In West Philadelphia, a team of developers, planners, and architects are asking one of urbanists’ favorite questions: How can a mega-development be made to feel like a neighborhood, and not a bland corporate campus plopped in the middle of the city? Lead developers Wexford Science + Technology and the University City Science Center are spearheading the from-scratch transformation of a former superblock into a sort of mini city within a city.

Continue after the jump.

Going green at ULI’s VerdeXchange: The L.A. River, development, and the future of Los Angeles

The green future of the L.A. River is the subject at the VerdeXchange. (@andresjcruz/ Instagram)

The green future of the L.A. River is the subject at the VerdeXchange. (andresjcruz / Instagram)

If words were water, the Los Angeles River would be overflowing its banks. If pronouncements were viable projects, a very green sustainable Southern California is in the offing. There certainly were a lot of words and pronouncements at the industry heralded “FutureBuild” convocation in L.A. this week, staged over two days by the venerable VerdeXchange conference with the Urban Land Institute.

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Gina Pollara named President of the Municipal Art Society of New York

Courtesy MAS

Gina Pollara. Courtesy MAS

Architect, author, and urban designer Gina Pollara, has been appointed President of The Municipal Art Society (MAS). Frederick Iseman, Chairman of the MAS Board of Directors announced that the move will take effect immediately. Pollara is best known for overseeing construction of Louis Kahn’s memorial to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, when she was executive director of Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park. The project was completed in October 2012, although it lay dormant for decades after Kahn’s death in 1974.

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The end of the Los Angeles’ Sixth Street bridge brings a subdued HNTB-Maltzan design

Architecture, Transportation, Urbanism, West
Thursday, January 28, 2016
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Recent renderings of the Sixth Street Bridge. (HNTB with Michael Maltzan Architecture/ Courtesy Mayor Eric Garretti/ Facebook)

Recent renderings of the Sixth Street Bridge. (HNTB with Michael Maltzan Architecture/ Courtesy Mayor Eric Garretti/ Facebook)

So long, Sixth Street Bridge. We knew it was coming, but Wednesday marked the last day the iconic Art Deco span would be open to the public. Built in 1932, the iconic double-loop overpass over the L.A. River will live on in movies, videos, and photos.

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James Corner–designed pedestrian street, the Nicollet Mall, gets budgetary rethink in Minneapolis

Nicollet Mall_08

Nicollet Mall is planned to be used in all four seasons. The improved pedestrian street will include space for changing art installations. (Courtesy James Corner Field Operations)

MinneapolisJames Corner–designed Nicollet Mall redevelopment project has hit a speedbump as an initial construction bid has come in at over $24 million over the $35 million construction budget.

Continue after the jump.

Woody and The Donald

East, Eavesdroplet, Urbanism
Friday, January 22, 2016
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(Courtesy Gawker)

(Courtesy Gawker)

Here is a story to file under the Republican presidential primary, celebrity, radical American politics, and affordable housing policies in New York City. The Conversation writer Will Kaufman reports that the “This Land is Your Land” folk singer Woody Guthrie lived in Federal Housing Authority–financed housing in Coney Island‘s Beach Haven. Those residences were constructed by non other than Fred Trump, Donald’s father.

The story continues…

Anticipating Venice: In Tijuana all architecture is social

Architecture, Urbanism, West
Thursday, January 21, 2016
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IMG_5934

Ad hoc architecture in Tijuana (Rene Peralta)

On a Friday evening in early January, roughly 50 Tijuana denizens met at the currently established architecture academy, Escuela Libre de Arquitectura, located near the Tijuana red-light district of Zona Norte. They were gathered to hear anthropologist Pablo Landa, curator of the Mexican pavilion at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale, speak about the focus of the pavilion. Students, architects and members of different local NGO’s took the occasion to dialogue with Landa about the role a city like Tijuana could have within the theme Reporting From the Front set by biennale director Alejandro Aravena.

Continue reading after the jump.

New York City to receive $176 million in federal funding for East Side coastal resiliency project

Rendering of the East Side Coastal Resiliency Project. (Courtesy City of New York)

Rendering of the East Side Coastal Resiliency Project. (Courtesy City of New York)

New York City will receive $176 million in federal funding for disaster recovery. The funding would be put towards a section of the project extending from the northern portion of Battery Park City to Montgomery Street on the Lower East Side.

More after the jump.

Architects turn to the sea with real proposals for subaquatic living

FLOATING CITY BY AT DESIGN. (COURTESY AT DESIGN)

FLOATING CITY BY AT DESIGN. (COURTESY AT DESIGN)

Sub-aquatic colonization is as alien as inhabiting Mars, yet both topics trend in the design world. Some designers believe residing in the deep sea would resolve crises over food, energy, water, and carbon dioxide. Here are six proposals for subaquatic cities, some of which are being realized, despite resembling post-apocalyptic films.

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