New York City Calls For Free, Outdoor Wi-Fi Network With Reinvented Payphones

City Terrain, East, News, Urbanism
Wednesday, May 7, 2014
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NYFi proposal by Sage and Coomber Architects

NYFi proposal by Sage and Coombe Architects. (Courtesy Sage & Coombe)

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has issued an RFP to create a network of free, outdoor Wi-Fi hotspots across all five boroughs. The network would become one of the largest in the country, and have a significant impact on the city’s streetscape. That’s because the plan transforms New York’s aging system of payphones—commonly known today as al fresco “toilets”—with what are being described by the city as public connection points.

Continue reading after the jump.

On View> Rights of Way: Mobility & the City Tackles Interrelated Urban Issues

(Courtesy BSA Space)

(Courtesy BSA Space)

Rights of Way: Mobility and the City
BSA Space
290 Congress Street, Suite 200
Boston
Through May 26

Rights of Way: Mobility and the City examines transportation and mobility in the global city through dozens of examples of how the city is shaped by the ways people move through it. Curated by James Graham and Meredith Miller of architecture studio MILLIGRAM-office, the exhibition seeks to demonstrate that our urban environment is a result of a complicated set of negotiations between designers, policy makers, the private sector, and individual residents.

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Slideshow> Michael Van Valkenburgh’s Design for Tulsa Park

05b-tulsa-oklahoma-park-mvva-archpaper05a-tulsa-oklahoma-park-mvva-archpaper

As AN reported in our recent Southwest edition, Michael Van Valkenburgh is hard at work on plans for a massive park in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  According to the article, “The community expressed a strong need for the park to accommodate not just children, but the whole family unit. Having a variety of activities for a wide age range became a primary factor in the development of the design.” The $300 million waterfront plan is expected to be complete by 2017. MVVA shared this set of renderings with AN to keep us excited in the meantime.

More after the jump.

Dramatic New Sculpture for Boise City Hall Hopes to Activate The City’s Civic Heart

Art, City Terrain, West
Monday, May 5, 2014
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(CTY Studio)

(CTY Studio)

Boise, Idaho–based architects CTY Studio and design company Ecosystems Sciences have won an RFP to design a new public sculpture for Boise’s soon-to-be-renovated City Hall Plaza. Both the sculpture and the plaza are expected to be completed by fall 2015. The $200,000 sculpture, called Terrain, Civics, Ecology, will be made up of nine 20-foot-tall steel panels, arranged in a circle to create an enclosure that pedestrians can walk through.

More after the jump.

Letter to the Editor> Let There Be Light

The site could become part of the Grand Center arts and culture district. (Courtesy Gluckman Mayner)

The site could become part of the Grand Center arts and culture district. (Courtesy Gluckman Mayner)

[Editor's Note: The following are reader-submitted comments in response to the article “Born Again” (AN 02_02.19.2014_MW). Opinions expressed in letters to the editor do not necessarily reflect the opinions or sentiments of the newspaper. AN welcomes reader letters, which could appear in our regional print editions. To share your opinion, please email editor@archpaper.com. ]

This reminds me quite a bit of the never-built proposal, Bombed Churches as War Memorials (1945), published in London after WWII, which presented various designs for bombed-out churches to be preserved in ruined form with the addition of garden plantings and a few amenities.

Continue reading after the jump.

Filed Under: , ,

Louisville Names Winners in Competition to Creatively Reuse Abandoned Lots Across the City

(dye scape)

(dye scape)

In January Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer implored local designers and developers to propose ideas for 250 of the city’s several thousand vacant lots. Last week they announced four winners, which included gardens of dye plants for local textile production; a Habitat for Humanity–style homeownership program; environmental remediation via lavender fields; and meditation gardens made of recycled materials.

See the winning proposals after the jump.

Friday> One Day In LA, an Open Source Investigation of Los Angeles

City Terrain, West
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
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Screen Shot 2014-04-01 at 1.14.49 PM

Looking up at Downtown LA’s skyline.  (onedayinla.org)

This Friday hundreds of filmmakers, non-profits, and citizens will take place in One Day In LA, a “media creation event” compiling videos that investigate the future of the city. The resulting shoots, which are being collected on onedayla.org, will be shared in an interactive archive and (in edited form) on a television series on public TV about the future of the American city. Continue reading after the jump.

Michael Kimmelman Proposes A Queens-Brooklyn Waterfront Streetcar

The proposed streetcar route. (Courtesy New York Times)

The proposed streetcar route. (Courtesy New York Times)

As development along the Brooklyn and Queens’ waterfront has increased dramatically over the years, transportation options—for residents old and new—has not. The number of glass towers, startups, and parks along the East River has only been matched by style pieces on new “it” neighborhoods from Astoria to Red Hook. But, now, the New York Times’ Michael Kimmelman has used his platform to launch a plan to change that equation, and give these neighborhoods the transportation system they deserve.

Continue reading after the jump.

Second “Arterial Slow Zone” Arrives in the Bronx

DOT Commisioner Polly Trottenberg at the announcement. ( Flickr / NYCSTREETS)

DOT Commisioner Polly Trottenberg at the announcement. ( Flickr / NYCSTREETS)

Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero is coming to another dangerous New York City corridor. NYC Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg and city officials announced that the Grand Concourse in the Bronx will become the second of the city’s 25 planned “arterial slow zones.” The speed limit on more than five miles of the busy road will be lowered to 25-miles-per-hour, and traffic signals will be retimed to protect pedestrians. The announcement comes weeks after an eight-mile stretch of Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn and Queens was given the same treatment.

Milwaukee pushes urban agriculture for vacant land

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett is pushing a plan to turn parcels of city-owned vacant land into urban farms and orchards. The HOME GR/OWN program has long been stalled, but received a boost from the Bloomberg Mayors Challenge.

Continue reading after the jump.

Can a Canadian Furniture Magnate Save Citi Bike?

Citi Bikes docked in NYC. (SLGCKGC / FLICKR)

Citi Bikes docked in NYC. (SLGCKGC / FLICKR)

Given the past few weeks of Citi Bike news, the events that played out over last weekend shouldn’t come as a surprise. But, alas, they do. Bixi— the bankrupt Montreal company behind Citi Bike‘s glitchy equipment—was purchased by, who else, a Canadian furniture magnate named Bruno Rodi. Yes, the man whose company sells living-room furniture and bills itself as the “spécialiste du sofa” will himself become the “spécialiste du vélo.”

It gets stranger after the jump.

Before & After> Gustafson Guthrie Nichol Imagines a Pedestrian-Friendly Seattle

seattle-streetscape-01bseattle-streetscape-01a

The streets of downtown Seattle are set for a major overhaul, thanks to a new masterplan by Gustafson Guthrie Nichol. As AN reported in our recent West Coast edition, the Seattle-based firm has made recommendations to improve the pedestrian realm “centers on uniting the fragmented parts of the Pike-Pine corridor, two major thoroughfares at the heart of the retail core running east-west from Interstate 5 to the waterfront.”

Check out their dramatic proposed transformations overlayed on Seattle’s existing streetscape for a better look at how pedestrians and cyclists will fare under the plan.

More after the jump.

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