Second Hinterlands Proposal Poses Urban Snow as an Asset, Not a Nuisance

City Terrain
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
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Second Hinterlands_NYC_2x

(Courtesy Natalya Egon)

Now that we’re well into this winter’s snow season in New York and elsewhere, Chicago-based designers Natalya Egon and Noel Turgeon offer up some inspiration for alternative means of dealing with the wintery accumulation. The duo calls for an approach to snow clearance more deliberate in nature than the hastily-formed soot-grey masses so often seen lining city streets. Their Second Hinterlands project advocates reshaping snow over outright removal, treating the snow as a material that can be used in the creation of interactive landscapes within designated urban areas.

Read more after the jump

Penn State Students Present Visions for Pittsburgh Neighborhood

(Courtesy Jessica Lock)

(Courtesy Jessica Lock)

Fourth and fifth-year landscape architecture students at Penn State’s College of Art and Architecture recently presented their proposals for reshaping a Pittsburgh neighborhood. The twelve participants in the school’s Pittsburgh Studio spent most of the semester focusing on Hazelwood, a neighborhood set to host a new site for a historic branch of the city’s Carnegie Library.

Read more after the jump

Zip Lines Over the Ohio River? Louisville Designer Says It’s Possible

City Terrain, Midwest, Transportation
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
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(Russ Renbarger)

(Russ Renbarger)

Louisville, Kentucky has asked its residents for help in determining the future vision for the city, and citizens sent in thousands of ideas on how to improve Possibility City. Among the crowd-sourced suggestions were many promoting alternative transportation, whether improving bike infrastructure to building light rail to, well, even more alternative methods of getting around.

Local Russ Renbarger proposed what he calls RiverZips, a mile-long zip line across the Ohio River that would convey people between Kentucky and Indiana—more of a ride than an adventure, says Insider Louisville.

Continue reading after the jump.

Minneapolis City Council to vote on mixed-use makeover for Downtown East neighborhood

Minneapolis Downtown East could get an overhaul from developers looking to turn surface parking lots into mixed-use programming. (Ryan companies/DML)

Minneapolis Downtown East could get an overhaul from developers looking to turn surface parking lots into mixed-use programming. This rendering shows a park that would result. (Ryan companies/DML)

In its last scheduled meeting of the year, Minneapolis City Council could give the go-ahead on a $400 million mixed-use development near the new Vikings stadium. Surface parking lots currently occupy much of that land.

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune editorial board called the Downtown East neighborhood “a part of the city’s commercial core in desperate need of new life.” The newspaper stands to benefit from the project, as the editorial announces—they plan to sell five blocks of nearby property, including their current headquarters, and move downtown.

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Chicago’s Divvy bikeshare wants your help placing new stations

A screenshot of Divvy stations, in blue, and suggestions in green. (Divvy)

A screenshot of Divvy stations, in blue, and suggestions in green. (Divvy)

Chicago’s Divvy bikesharing program wants your help placing new bicycle rental stations throughout the city. The Divvy Siting Team will consider your suggestions at suggest.divvybikes.com—they’ve already mapped many public suggestions alongside the 300 existing stations.

Last month the program announced its intent to become North America’s largest bikesharing system. Divvy will add 175 stations by the end of 2014 and, pending state and federal funding, bring another 75 online after that, raising the total to 550 stations.

As it expands, Divvy could address previous criticisms about equal access. Though it started by focusing on the Loop and other high-density downtown areas, the program has expanded into many neighborhoods. Still, many are unserved—Uptown is the northern terminus, while much of the West, Southwest, and South Sides have no stations.

Baltimore’s Hopscotch Crosswalk Colossus

City Terrain, East, Urbanism
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
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BALTIMORE'S HOPSCOTCH CROSSWALK (COURTESY GRAHAM CORELL-ALLEN/ VIA FLICKR)

BALTIMORE’S HOPSCOTCH CROSSWALK (COURTESY GRAHAM CORELL-ALLEN/ VIA FLICKR)

Crossing the street in Baltimore just got a lot more fun. The city has just unveiled its newest dispatch: a “hopscotch crosswalk” transforming the downtown street crossing at the corner of Eutaw and Lombard streets into an entertaining diversion for pedestrians. The project was a component of the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts for the Bromo Seltzer Arts & Entertainment District’s desire in incorporate public art in various areas of the city.

Continue reading after the jump.

New York Expands Public Plaza Program to Create and Maintain Affordable Spaces

City Terrain
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
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(Courtesy Mathews Nielsen)

Rendering of possible Bogardus Plaza update in Tribeca. (Courtesy Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects)

For the past five years under the leadership of Janette Sadik-Khan, the New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) has re-appropriated underused street space as public plazas for pedestrians. The Bloomberg Administration–initiated projects have been well received in neighborhoods like Herald Square and Tribeca; however, some of the less affluent neighborhoods who would like to have a plaza have been hindered by the cost. Each plaza is sponsored by local businesses and fundraising for construction and regular maintenance can seem a daunting task. Until now.

Continue Reading After the Jump.

Video> Ray LaHood Says Congress is Scared to Make Infrastructure Investments

City Terrain, National
Monday, December 9, 2013
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After the fatal MetroNorth crash in New York City last week, former Obama administration Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood claimed that Washington is “afraid” to invest in transportation infrastructure improvement. On MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program, LaHood said the recent train tragedy was only another example of the problems lurking in America’s infrastructure and that the $48 billion set for transportation use by the economic recovery plan was “not enough money,” something Congressional members later acknowledged. Only in states where the people have voted for infrastructure referendums is progress occurring. He called for nationwide leadership to follow suit.

Calatrava Offers First Glimpse of Liberty Park at World Trade Center When Unveiling Church Design

City Terrain, East
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
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Santiago Calatrava's St. Nicholas Orthodox Church and Liberty Park. (Courtesy Port Authority of New York & New Jersey)

Santiago Calatrava’s St. Nicholas Orthodox Church and Liberty Park. (Courtesy Port Authority of New York & New Jersey)

The cat is out of the bag. An elevated park, covering over an acre of ground at the Word Trade Center site, will ascend 25 feet above Liberty Street in Lower Manhattan. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey had tried to keep the project—named Liberty Park—under wraps, but last month, Santiago Calatrava, the architect of the new St. Nicholas Orthodox Church, posted images of the building on his website, which also revealed the design of the adjacent park. Continue reading after the jump.

Video> Landscape Architect Laurie Olin Tells All in New Documentary

City Terrain, East
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
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The Cultural Landscape Foundation has released the latest documentary in its ongoing Oral History series, which documents the lives and careers of pioneering landscape architects through in-depth interviews, archival footage, and on-site videography of their most noteworthy projects. The most recent edition focuses on Laurie Olin, recipient of the National Medal of the Arts and one of the nations most esteemed landscape architects.

Continue reading after the jump.

Few Are Choosing to Park It In Boston Pop-Up Parks

City Terrain, East
Monday, December 2, 2013
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(Courtesy Boston Transportation Department)

Designed by local firm Kyle Zick Landscape Architecture, the Jamaica Plain parklet in Boston has seen little use since its grand opening in September. (Courtesy Boston Transportation Department)

From Los Angeles to Chicago, city governments across the nation have been following San Francisco’s early lead and popping up parklets on their streets, mini sidewalk-side public parks for rest, small group gatherings, and people watching.

This summer, Boston joined in on the trend, installing its first parklet in Mission Hill in September and another in Jamaica Plain at Hyde Square. While these spaces have seen success in other cities, the Boston Globe reported that the Boston parklets have shown disappointing usage during what should have been their prime season.

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“Urban Fold” Paper City Creator Set Puts Twist on Traditional Building Blocks

City Terrain, National
Friday, November 22, 2013
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(Courtesy Urban Fold)

Urban Fold caters to builders of all ages with an city planning toy entirely of paper. (Courtesy Urban Fold)

In a hybrid of LEGO and origami, Paper Punk has created their first boxed set of punch-and-fold, customizable paper building blocks. Urban Fold is the California-based company’s newest creation by founder Grace Hawthorne, a designer, author, and artist from San Francisco who currently teaches at Stanford University’s d.school (Institute of Design). The set gives builders the opportunity to create a paper city in punchy colors and patterns, inspired by Berlin graffiti and the photography of Matthias Heiderich.

Continue Reading After the Jump.

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