Architects confront global warming at Columbia GSAPP’s Climate Change and the Scales of Environment

Dean Amale Andraos begins the conference (Columbia GSAPP / Instagram)

Dean Amale Andraos begins the conference (Columbia GSAPP / Instagram)

On Friday, December 4th—while hundreds of officials gathered in Paris for the COP21 UN climate change conference—scholars, historians, scientists, architects, and designers came to Columbia GSAPP’s Avery Hall for a similarly urgent conference, “Climate Change and the Scales of Environment.”

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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
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.

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Enough Buildings: the Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture

Architecture, International, Urbanism
Saturday, December 5, 2015
Opening day at Re-Living the City at the Former Dacheng Flour Factory in Shenzhen. (Mimi Zeiger/AN)

Opening day at Re-Living the City at the Former Dacheng Flour Factory in Shenzhen. (Mimi Zeiger/AN)

“City-ness” is at the heart of the Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture, which kicked off last Friday in Shenzhen, China. Titled Re-Living the City and curated by Aaron Betsky, Alfredo Brillembourg, Hubert Klumpner, and Doreen Heng Liu the event brought together architects, designers, urbanists, and makers on the site of the former Dacheng Flour Factory not far from Shekou Port.

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The Rockwell Group gets in touch with their emotions at the pop-up Museum of Feelings

East, Open, Urbanism
Friday, December 4, 2015
Scented crystals in the Radiant Berry Room (Audrey Wachs / AN)

The Museum of Feelings (Audrey Wachs / AN)

Usually, strong smells wafting from the Hudson River are bad news. This time, though, there’s nothing to worry about: household fragrance maker Glade has partnered with the Rockwell Group to create a pop-up branding exercise on the waterfront outside of Brookfield Place. The Museum of Feelings ask visitors to reflect on how the senses, especially smell, contribute to emotion. It’s like raving with James Turrell at the Yankee Candle factory outlet store—plus crystals. Read More

Definitely not a library: Herzog & De Meuron unveils new stadium for Chelsea soccer club in London

Architecture, Design, Development, Urbanism
Thursday, December 3, 2015
(Courtesy Herzog de Meuron)

(Courtesy Herzog de Meuron)

British soccer team Chelsea FC has submitted plans to the local authorities to construct a new 60,000-seat stadium at Stamford Bridge, their current home ground. The proposal, designed by Herzog & de Meuron, brings with it a price tag of $750 million. The Swiss duo are known for their stadia designs, notably with the Bird’s Nest Stadium in Beijing, the Allianz Arena in Munich, and a wispy venue in Bordeaux. Read More

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.

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New York promotes active design at the 2015 FitCity conference

East, Transportation, Urbanism
Tuesday, December 1, 2015
(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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Detroit is looking for planners to envision its East Riverfront

Development, Midwest, News, Urbanism
Monday, November 30, 2015
The East Riverfront area in downtown Detroit to be master planned.

The East Riverfront area in downtown Detroit to be master planned.

Detroit has begun the search for planners to envision new development along its East Riverfront of the Detroit River. Penned by the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy (DRFC) and the City of Detroit Planning and Development Department, a request for qualifications is now open until December 4th.

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

City Terrain, East, News, Urbanism
Monday, November 23, 2015
(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.

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


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.

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