Eavesdrop> The Mean Streets of Suffolk County

City Terrain, East, Eavesdroplet, Transportation
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
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Center Drive South in Suffolk County. (Courtesy Google)

Center Drive South in Suffolk County. (Courtesy Google)

Bicycling magazine may have named New York City the nation’s best city for cycling—surprising many from calmer towns—but even more stunning is their selection of the worst place to pedal: nearby Suffolk county. Don’t worry Suf-folks, it’s not strictly personal. You’re way of life is symbolic of our national transportation imbalance. “Really, right now, the worst city is in the suburbs,” said Bicycling’s editor in chief Bill Strickland. “We picked Suffolk to be  emblematic of that.” And urbanists wonder why they get tagged as elitists.

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Three big-name teams shortlisted for Mesa, Arizona plaza

City Terrain, Landscape Architecture, West
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
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Colwell Shelor+West 8+Weddle Gilmore proposal (City of Mesa)

Colwell Shelor+West 8+Weddle Gilmore proposal (City of Mesa)

If all goes according to plan, Mesa, Arizona is going to have one heck of a public plaza in the center of its downtown. The city just unveiled schemes from three teams, selected from a recent RFQ (PDF), to design the space, located on an area currently occupied mostly by local government buildings and surface parking lots. According to the city, the site, meant to accommodate up to 25,000 people, would host annual events like the Mesa Arts Festival, Arizona Celebration of Freedom, and the Great Arizona Bicycle Festival.

Continue reading after the jump.

Bright public art installation to light up New York City’s cold, dark winter

Art, City Terrain, Design, East, Lighting, Newsletter
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
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New York Light and the Flatiron Building. (Courtesy INABA)

New York Light and the Flatiron Building. (Courtesy INABA)

The summer is officially over, folks. The beaches are closed, the sun is switching to its seasonal, part-time schedule, and your coworkers are drinking Pumpkin Spice Lattes again. There is no ignoring an inevitable truth: winter is coming and there is nothing you can do about it. Well, if you live up north that is. You could move to Florida, but beyond that, there is nothing you can do about it. For those of us stuck in New York City this holiday season, it’s not all bad news. We will soon be able to feast our frostbitten eyes on a new public art installation in front of the Flatiron Building.

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New round of TIGER Grants goes out to cities and states

The Brooklyn Greenway. (Courtesy NYC DOT)

The Brooklyn Greenway. (Courtesy NYC DOT)

The federal Department of Transportation has issued its latest round of its Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants for cities and states around the country. The grant program was created in 2009 through President Obama’s economic stimulus package and has since provided $3.5 billion to 270 projects. While the DOT has not officially announced the recipients of these new grants, which total $600 million, multiple politicians have been touting the money heading to their districts. Here are some of the projects we know about so far.

Continue reading after the jump.

Gehry unveils latest design for controversial Eisenhower Memorial in Washington D.C.

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Frank Gehry has offered up another design for his remarkably controversial Eisenhower Memorial in Washington D.C. The revised approach comes a few months after the National Capital Planning Commission shot down Team Gehry’s last design which included massive metal tapestries and columns that obstructed views of the capitol dome.

Continue reading after the jump.

New plan unveiled for a more pedestrian-friendly Lower East Side

City Terrain, East, News, Urbanism
Tuesday, September 9, 2014
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The transformed Orchard Street. (Courtesy The Lower East Side Business Improvement District and PilotProjects)

The transformed Orchard Street. (Courtesy The Lower East Side Business Improvement District and PilotProjects)

One of Manhattan’s most historic streets could soon become one of its most pedestrian-friendly. That is, if a plan for a revamped Orchard Street from the Lower East Side’s Business Improvement District (BID) is approved by the city. The plan, which was unveiled at a community board meeting last week, calls for curb extensions, bike corals, planters, tree beds, and benches along a six-block stretch of the street. The plan also calls for a pedestrian plaza on adjacent Broome Street.

Continue reading after the jump.

Pictorial> Shortlisted firms share their visions for San Francisco’s Presidio

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CMG’s Observation Post proposal for the Presidio in San Francisco. (Courtesy CMG)

As AN just reported, five teams have shared their plans for the new Presidio Parklands, a 13-acre recreational site lying between Crissy Field and the Presidio’s Main Post. The schemes follow on the heels of a the Presidio Trust’s rejection last February of three teams’ proposals for a nearby cultural center. The winner will be chosen this January. See below for slideshows of all the available renderings of the projects. The teams—invited to compete last March—took their proposals quite far in terms of detailing and strategy. Be sure to read more about the project here.

View the renderings after the jump.

Report warns of runaway sprawl in Columbus, Ohio

A land-use map projecting suburban sprawl around Columbus, Ohio. (Courtesy Mid Ohio Regional Planning Commission, Columbus 2020 and ULI Columbus)

A land-use map projecting suburban sprawl around Columbus, Ohio. (Courtesy Mid Ohio Regional Planning Commission, Columbus 2020 and ULI Columbus)

By 2050 the city of Columbus, Ohio and its expanding suburbs could more than triple the city’s footprint, according to a new study examining sprawl around Ohio’s capital.

Continue reading after the jump.

Five new apps put urban planning at your fingertips

oppspace

(Courtesy OpportunitySpace)

In the age of apps, we have seen basic human activities like eating, dating, shopping, and exercising be condensed into simple swipes and clicks. It’s a brave new world and one that has folded-in the complex process of financing, developing, and designing new projects. And in recent years, there has been a batch of new apps designed to help planners, architects, cities, and the general public create more livable cities. Here are a few of those apps that caught AN’s attention. Read More

Video> How Sasaki is transforming the Chicago Riverwalk

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The Chicago Riverwalk. (Courtesy Sasaki)

As construction crews continue to pull the Chicago Riverwalk farther into the city’s iconic waterway, Sasaki Associates has released a short documentary about the $100 million transformation. And it’s worth a watch because what’s happening in Chicago is more than your typical “reclaiming public space” type of story.

Read More

Grimshaw’s transit-oriented public plaza breaks ground in the Bronx

Fordham Plaza. (Courtesy NYC Department of Transportation)

Fordham Plaza. (Courtesy NYC Department of Transportation)

The New York City Department of Transportation recently broke ground on the second phase of Fordham Plaza’s reconstruction in the Bronx. The revamped space will have all the standard-issue pieces of a New York City pedestrian plaza—the planters, benches, seating, trees, lights, and kiosks—but, ultimately, the plaza represents a significant investment in existing transportation infrastructure.

Read More

Could Olmsted & Bartholomew’s 100-year-old parks plan finally happen in Los Angeles?

Emerald Necklace Expanded Vision Plan (The Conservation Fund)

Emerald Necklace Expanded Vision Plan (The Conservation Fund)

One of the highlights of this author’s recent exhibition, Never Built Los Angeles, was a comprehensive, and interconnected, parks plan for Los Angeles assembled by the landscape firm Olmsted and Bartholomew in 1930. That old plan is seeing some new life in the Los Angeles community. If the proposed Emerald Necklace Expanded Vision Plan is realized, that idea would come to life almost a century after it was proposed.

Continue reading after the jump.

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