Could LA’s Transit Measure Still Pass? By all accounts Measure J, the LA County ballot proposal to extend 2008′s Measure R funds and speed up transit projects around Los Angeles, appears doomed to failure. But it seems that the vote counting isn’t done, and it’s getting closer. According to LA Metro’s blog, The Source, the measure now has 65.66 percent of the vote (up about a half percentage point from earlier tallies), about one percent shy of the 66.67 it needs for approval. There are about 100,000 votes yet to be counted, and by Metro’s own admission it’s unlikely, but possible, that it will pass. Stay tuned for the final update by December 4.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford Ousted from Office. Today, contentious Toronto Mayor Rob Ford was removed from office following a court ruling in a years-old conflict of interest case. The mayor has made enemies of many urbanists over the years, including Creative Class author Richard Florida, who called him “the worst mayor in the modern history of cities.” More recently, Ford drew the ire of Toronto’s bike community after making good on a promise to remove bike lanes from city streets. The mayor has vowed to appeal the decision and has the option to run for office again in an upcoming election.
Atlantic Yards Jobs Nonprofit Closes Doors. Brooklyn United for Innovative Local Development (BUILD), a nonprofit dedicated to connecting unskilled local workers to jobs on the Atlantic Yards site, is calling it quits. According to Atlantic Yards Report, the organization has locked its doors and will dissolve all operations by the end of next week. Before winding things up, BUILD helped to organize the hiring for the recently-completed Barclays Center.
Architecture and the Media #4: Evolving Media Platforms. The last in the popular year-long Architecture and the Media series is this Thursday evening, November 8! The topic: Evolving Media Platforms. Join editors Jenna McKnight (Architizer), Stephanie Murg (Unbeige), Susan Szenasy (Metropolis) and writer Alexandra Lange (Design Observer) for a discussion with Molly Heintz (Architect’s Newspaper) about online journalism and social media, 6-8pm at the Center for Architecture, 536 LaGuardia Place. Click here for TICKETS.
DesigNYC Call for Non-Profits and Pro Bono Designers: Healthy Communities. Calling non-profits and pro bono designers! DesigNYC announces its 4th cycle of projects with the theme “Healthy Communities.” DesigNYC is looking for project ideas that “encourage physical activity in urban spaces, advocate a better access to healthy food, clean air and/or water, or carve out room for peace and quiet” as well as design strategies that might include everything from creating educational campaigns and initiatives to ways of reducing pollution or poor health habits to building playgrounds, community gardens or green markets. The deadline for submissions is Thursday, November 1, 11:59PM. Find more submission information here.
Control This! 2012 in NYC. The 3rd Annual Control! Wednesday, November 7, 2012 (11:00 am – 7:30 pm) at the Metropolitan Pavilion (125 West 18th Street, NYC). Hosted by the IESNYC the event exhibits state-of-the-art lighting control systems and energy management systems, features three (3) AIA-accredited seminars (totaling 3.5 AIA LU Credits) that explore the ways lighting controls integrate into and perhaps have the potential to transform the built environment; and presents the first ever Lighting PlugFest. Register now for the Expo Hall and Seminars here.
What the Puck?! Brooklyn & Barclays Add Another Team. There was ice under the court all along! Or so visitors learned on the opening day of the SHoP/AECOM-designed Barclays Center. Reviews of the arena, with its distinctive weathered steel facade, have generally been positive. Now Ratner and company, and the borough they are trying to win over, can claim another major success. The New York Islanders hockey team will relocate to the Barclays Center in 2015. They currently play at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale in Nassau County.
Herzog & de Meuron Again Ready to Rise in Manhattan. Long delayed, Herzog & de Meuron’s 830-foot-tall stacked tower planned for Tribeca in Manhattan is set to resume construction imminently after a three-year hiatus, reports the Tribeca Tribune. The 57-story residential building at the corner of Leonard and Church streets has been nicknamed the “Jenga Building” for its distinctive massing that varies on each floor. The tower is expected to be complete in the spring of 2016.
Art Central At UC Davis. The University of California Davis is becoming a cultural force. The school already has three art museums (and arts alums include artist Bruce Nauman and sculptor Deborah Butterfield), and is getting ready to add another, just releasing the shortlist for its new Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art. The list is impressive, including the following design/build teams: wHYArchitecture and Gensler with BNBT Builders; HGA and DPR; Allied Works with Hathaway Dinwiddie; Westlake, Kitchell, WORK; Gould Evans, Henning Larsen, Oliver; Olson Kundig, Olveraa; and Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, SO-IL, Whiting Turner. The list was culled from an initial list of 19. The 40,000 square foot museum, located on a 1.6 acre site that is part of a long-range master plan for the university’s new south entrance, is slated for completion in 2015,
Scotch on the Rocks. RMJM may have been pushed into a corner financially over the last few years, but the firm is coming out swinging, with talking points that channel the British Bulldog himself, Winston Churchill. In a recent interview with Forbes.com, RMJM CEO Peter Morrison counts Churchill’s famous “We shall never surrender” speech as a source of inspiration and has taken to referring to the firm’s offices as “the War Rooms.” When asked about his goals, Morrison said, “Success, at all costs. We have sacrificed much, invested heavily, and we now find ourselves in a strong position post-recession with a global platform poised to support clients in all corners of the Earth.” If the RMJM outlook doesn’t improve, we wouldn’t be surprised if the Scottish management takes it up a notch by donning blue and white face paint, Braveheart-style.
Philly says Yes: Planning Commission Approves Major Projects. Philadelphia Planning Commissioners have approved several major projects for development on or near the Central Delaware Waterfront. 205 Race Street, designed by Peter Gluck, was granted several zoning variances despite mixed reactions from Old City community members. Plans to develop mixed-use residential buildings and new public space on Piers 34 and 35 were also approved.
NYIT’s New M.Arch Director. The School of Architecture and Design at New York Institute of Technology has appointed Jeffrey Raven as Associate Professor and Director of its M.Arch in Urban and Regional Planning program this fall. Raven brings extensive research, teaching, and practice experience to NYIT with specific interests resilient and sustainable planning. “The urban design field is fluid and fast-moving, with growing focus on sustainability and interdisciplinary strategies,” he said. “I was drawn to NYIT’s commitment to integrated study. That approach will prepare graduates for this emerging market, and the M.Arch in Urban and Regional Design will help stimulate this dialogue within and beyond the university.”