Chicago opens newest segment of revamped Riverwalk

Mayor Rahm Emanuel at the opening of a new segment of the Chicago Riverwalk. (Office of the Mayor, Chicago)

Mayor Rahm Emanuel at the opening of a new segment of the Chicago Riverwalk. (Office of the Mayor, Chicago)

Despite a smattering of gray skies, Chicago inaugurated another stretch of its revamped riverwalk this Memorial Day weekend, and visitors were eager to explore the newly expanded public space.

Continue reading after the jump.

Paris pushes for car-free River Seine quayside park as anti-pollution measures tighten

(Courtesy Luxigon)

(Courtesy Luxigon)

In keeping with Paris’ mounting aversion to automobiles, Mayor Anne Hidalgo recently announced plans to bar motorists from the banks of the River Seine by summer 2016. This latest blow to motorists occurs in tandem with the all-or-nothing anti-pollution target Hidalgo set last year of banning all non-electric or hybrid vehicles from Paris’ most polluted streets by 2020.

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Step Inside MVRDV’s psychadelic skyline design for Seoul’s High Line

Seoul Skygarden by MVRDV

Seoul Skygarden by MVRDV

Just when you were getting tired of more High Line copies, Dutch architects MVRDV has breathed new life into the genre with their winning proposal for the “Seoul Skygarden,” a 3,000 foot long section of disused elevated highway. Their design doesn’t simply reappropriate the space into a linear public parkway—it uses the original 1970s structure as the basis for an urban horticultural extravaganza.

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Here’s the final stage design of Thomas Heatherwick’s controversial London Garden Bridge

london-garden-bridge-final-designs-6

Dan Pearson’s landscapes are the last part of the design for London’s controversial Garden Bridge to be unveiled. Courtesy Arup.

The final touches have been put on London’s now-infamous Garden Bridge, designed by Heatherwick Studio with Arup and landscape designer Dan Pearson. The most recent renderings, released early this week, show exactly what the spaces on the bridge will look like by offering an up-close look at the garden-like landscaping. The Garden Bridge Trust (GBT) describes it as an “oasis of escapism.”

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Wonders of the World: Ashikaga Park in Japan begets a fairytale dreamscape with thousands of dripping wisteria blooms

Ashikaga Park (Courtesy Sarah Sutter)

Ashikaga Park (Courtesy Sarah Sutter)

If marveling at Spring’s fledgling flora will usher in warmer weather quicker, here’s something to ogle. The wisteria blooms at world-famous Ashikaga Park, located 50 miles from Tokyo, Japan, gives New York City’s botanical garden a run for its money with its live hanging curtains of cascading petals that render a fairytale-like dreamscape.

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High Line designer James Corner tapped to design Miami’s “Underline” linear park

Beneath the Metrorail in Miami. (Flickr / Melissa Venable)

Beneath the Metrorail in Miami. (Flickr / Melissa Venable)

Just about every city on planet earth wants to build its own version of New York City‘s hugely popular High Line. The ever-growing list includes Miami that plans to turn a 10-mile stretch of underutilized land beneath its elevated Metrorail into a park and bike path. The project is called “The Underline” because, well, you get it.

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Minneapolis takes a cue from the Netherlands with city’s first woonerf shared street

A woonerf street in Jimbocho, Tokyo. (Rob Ketcherside via Flickr)

A woonerf street in Jimbocho, Tokyo. (Rob Ketcherside via Flickr)

A residential development in downtown Minneapolis is set to give the city its first woonerf, a road type developed in the Netherlands that integrates vehicle traffic and parking with pedestrians, bicyclists and public amenities. Read More

AN Video> Tour Philly’s future Reading Viaduct with the designers behind the visionary linear park

The Architect’s Newspaper is introducing a new video series focusing on the places, people, and processes behind news-making projects. We begin with a tour of Philadelphia’s Reading Viaduct, an abandoned rail line that advocates hope to transform into an elevated park, a grittier take on Manhattan’s celebrated High Line. With the city and state pledging millions toward the project, the Viaduct park is moving closer to reality. Come along with us for a first look.

With slight alterations, controversial Brooklyn Bridge Park development to start back up

Architecture, Development, East
Friday, February 20, 2015
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The Pierhouse in January. (Courtesy Field Condition)

The Pierhouse in January. (Courtesy Field Condition)

In our recent story about the current development surge happening in and around Dumbo, we touched on the controversy surrounding the Pierhouse—an under-construction hotel and condo complex next to the Brooklyn Bridge. The Marvel Architects–designed building, which will help cover Brooklyn Bridge Park‘s maintenance costs, has riled up local residents who say it is blocking their views of the iconic bridge.

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Video> Shanghai Talks: Toronto city planner James Parakh talks skyscraper design, sustainable urbanism

Last September the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat invited me to serve as the special media correspondent for its Shanghai symposium, entitled “Future Cities: Towards Sustainable Vertical Urbanism.”

I conducted video interviews with dozens of architects, developers, building managers, and others on topics relevant to tall building design and sustainable urbanism. Among the many designers, engineers and other tall building types I interviewed was Toronto City Planner James Parakh.

Watch the video interview after the jump.

Here’s the Urban Land Institute’s plan for turning the Houston Astrodome into a park

Even though it has been an empty, rotting hulk for nearly a decade, Houston hasn't been able to make a decision on the Astrodome. (Courtesy Uffah!!!/flickr)

Even though it has been an empty, rotting hulk for nearly a decade, Houston hasn’t been able to decide whether to save or raze its beloved/neglected/hated Astrodome. (Courtesy Uffah!!!/flickr)

In late January 2014, an Urban Land Institute (ULI) Advisory Services panel presented recommendations for the dilapidated Houston Astrodome. The report follows several ill-fated dome reuse attempts, including a plan and $200 million bond referendum to turn it into a convention center that was shot down by Harris County voters in 2013. The ULI panel was definitive in its assessment. The dome, it stated, must be saved. It also unveiled a plan, complete with design sketches and funding strategies, to transform the former stadium into a public park that could be completed in time for Super Bowl LI, which Houston is hosting in 2017.

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Less Resistance, More Teamwork: UK cities embrace resiliency with hard-working landscapes

Newcastle University. (Courtesy OOBE Ltd.)

Newcastle University. (Courtesy OOBE Ltd.)

Major cities in the United Kingdom such as London and Newcastle have adopted a gentler approach to flood resilience—harnessing features of the existing landscape instead of erecting fortifications.

Continue reading after the jump.

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