Portland, Oregon to Portland Place, London: Job Done! Architects Complete Cycling Tour Across America

International
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
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P2P riders and welcoming group ride up The Mall. (Richard Hanmer)

P2P riders and welcoming group ride up The Mall. (Richard Hanmer)

[ Editor's Note: Peter Murray, of the New London Architecture center, together with a dozen architects and planners, is biking from Portland, Oregon to Portland Place in London, studying how cities are responding to the demand for better cycling infrastructure. He reports from the start of his ride. The Architect’s Newspaper is USA media sponsor of the trip and will post periodic updates of these architects on bicycles. ]

We had a fantastic welcome in London on Saturday, a fitting and rewarding end to our great adventure.

There were over a hundred riders who set off with us from Savill Gardens in Windsor Great Park. The weather was fair and The Crown Estate kindly provided coffees and bacon butties for everyone, served from the elegant gridshell of the Savill Building designed by Glenn Howells. I had selected this as our starting point for the ride into London because, not only did it provide a good meeting point at a reasonable distance from Portland Place, but back in 2005 I organised the design competition for the building—and was pleased to see it maturing so beautifully, the green oak sourced from the Royal Park now sporting a rich grey patina with the warping slats adding to its rustic air.

Continue reading after the jump.

Cycling into Times Square: An Update from Architects & Urbanists Riding Across the Country

National
Monday, July 8, 2013
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The team poses for a photo in Times Square. (Courtesy Peter Murray)

The team poses for a photo in Times Square. (Courtesy Peter Murray)

[ Editor's Note: Peter Murray, of the New London Architecture center, together with a dozen architects and planners, is biking from Portland, Oregon to Portland Place in London, studying how cities are responding to the demand for better cycling infrastructure. He reports from the start of his ride. The Architect’s Newspaper is USA media sponsor of the trip and will post periodic updates of these architects on bicycles. ]

At the beginning of last week we finished the first major leg of the tour – we arrived in New York. After nearly 4,000 miles of riding the group took the Hoboken Ferry to 39th Street, cycled a short way up the West Hudson Greenway and then crosstown into Times Square.

The Greenway is one of the best bits of cycling infrastructure in the city and forms part of the Hudson River Park, a series of landscaping and regeneration projects on the site of the old docks and a fantastic new public amenity. The pedestrianisation of Times Square and the cycle route along Broadway are the most visible of the improvements to the public realm engineered over the last decade by the Bloomberg administration, led by the charismatic Department of Transport (DoT) Commissioner Janette Sadik Khan. So popular is the area with pedestrians and tourists that we found it hard to cycle through the crush when we arrived there; but the huge digital screens that cover every building in the Square provided a photogenic backdrop.

Continue reading after the jump.

Grimshaw Architects to Host the P2P Welcome Reception in NYC

East
Thursday, June 27, 2013
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p2p_party_01

This past April a team of British bicycle riders embarked on a cross-country trek, pedaling out of Portland, Oregon towards their final destination, Portland Place London. The cyclists, all involved in the architecture, property, and planning industry, embarked on this incredibly long journey, which involves pedaling across the United States and then from Ireland to the UK, to study the way that cities are adapting to people’s growing tendency to choose the bicycle as their primary mode of transportation.

On July 2, 2013 Grimshaw Architects, a sponsor of P2P along with The Architect’s Newspaper, invites you to the P2P Welcome Reception where they will celebrate with UK architect and journalist Peter Murray and his P2P team in New York City as they conclude the first part of their cycling adventure, the 4,089-mile-long US leg of their bike ride. Their 4,347 mile voyage will be come to an end in July 2013 after they complete the final 258 mile bike ride across the UK and London. The festivities will take place at Grimshaw’s New York office at 637 West 27th Street. 

Discovering Cities: An Update from Architects & Planners Biking Across the Country

National
Thursday, June 27, 2013
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Cycle lanes and landscaping in Indianapolis. (Eric Fischer / Flickr)

Cycle lanes and landscaping in Indianapolis. (Eric Fischer / Flickr)

[ Editor's Note: Peter Murray, of the New London Architecture Center, together with a dozen architects and planners, is biking from Portland, Oregon to Portland Place in London, studying how cities are responding to the demand for better cycling infrastructure. He reports from the start of his ride. The Architect’s Newspaper is USA media sponsor of the trip and will post periodic updates of these architects on bicycles. As the P2P team gears up for its triumphant arrival in Manhattan on Sunday (June 30th) having completed the U.S. leg of the trip, Peter Murray looks back at some of the highlights of the last week’s riding. ]

One of the delights of cycling across the States has been to experience cities whose names were familiar to me but whose contemporary characteristics and qualities were a void. I am ashamed to admit that when first researching our route through Pittsburgh my main ideas of the city were influenced by scenes of Pennsylvania’s shrinking steel industry from Michael Cimino’s 1978 film The Deerhunter. Instead, I found that Pittsburgh is “the regeneration capital of the U.S.,” eds and meds have replaced steel and it has a fast-improving bicycle infrastructure. Much of the credit for this last piece of progress must go to the energy of Scott Bricker and Lou Fineberg who founded Bike Pittsburgh just over a decade ago. The city still has a long way to go but it has bike lanes and riverside trails and it is highly probable that the next Mayor will be the Democrat Bill Peduto, who is a strong supporter of better biking. Of buildings in the city, we much enjoyed H. H. Richardson’s powerful Allegheny Courthouse and Jail with its rough stone masonry and Romanesque detailing.

Continue reading after the jump.

Minneapolis, Cycling City: An Update From Architects & Urbanists Biking Across the Country

National
Tuesday, June 4, 2013
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Cyclists and Frank Gehry. (Grant Smith)

Cyclists and Frank Gehry. (Grant Smith)

[ Editor's Note: Peter Murray, of the New London Architecture center, together with a dozen architects and planners, is biking from Portland, Oregon to Portland Place in London, studying how cities are responding to the demand for better cycling infrastructure. He reports from the start of his ride. The Architect’s Newspaper is USA media sponsor of the trip and will post periodic updates of these architects on bicycles. ]

We liked Minneapolis—it ended our sojourn in the wilderness of South Dakota, we saw some nice things, met a lot of cool people and the biking there is great!

On our journey plan we had highlighted the fact that the city was host to a bevy of starchitects—Herzog and de Meuron with the 2005 Walker Art Gallery extension, Jean Nouvel with the Guthrie Theater of 2006, and Frank Gehry at the Weisman Museum which opened in 2011.

Continue reading after the jump.

Cycling Across America: An Update From Architects & Urbanists Cycling Across the Country

National
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
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The riders and Tom Jestico (our van driver). (Grant Smith)

The riders and Tom Jestico (our van driver). (Grant Smith)

[ Editor's Note: Peter Murray, of the New London Architecture center, together with a dozen architects and planners, is biking from Portland, Oregon to Portland Place in London, studying how cities are responding to the demand for better cycling infrastructure. He reports from the start of his ride. The Architect’s Newspaper is USA media sponsor of the trip and will post periodic updates of these architects on bicycles. ]

Reaching Mount Rushmoor was a significant—indeed iconic—moment of the trip, our sense of arrival heightened by the steep and long hill that takes the visitor up to the Avenue of Flags and the rather pompous facilities that are in stark contrast to the desolate scenes one remembers from Hitchcock’s North by North West.

Continue reading after the jump.

Squandered Land: An Update From Architects & Urbanists Biking Across the Country

City Terrain, National
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
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(Courtesy Peter Murray)

(Courtesy Peter Murray)

[ Editor's Note: Peter Murray, of the New London Architecture center, together with a dozen architects and planners, is biking from Portland, Oregon to Portland Place in London, studying how cities are responding to the demand for better cycling infrastructure. He reports from the start of his ride. The Architect’s Newspaper is USA media sponsor of the trip and will post periodic updates of these architects on bicycles. ]

When the author Bill Bryson moved back to the US from England he wrote a goodbye book entitled Notes from a Small Island. I was frequently reminded of Bryson’s analysis as I rode through Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. By comparison to these great open spaces England is neat and manicured, with everything in its place.

Continue reading after the jump.

Main Street USA: An Update From Architects & Urbanists Biking Across the Country

National
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
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psp_update_01

[ Editor's Note: Peter Murray, of the New London Architecture center, together with a dozen architects and planners, is biking from Portland, Oregon to Portland Place in London, studying how cities are responding to the demand for better cycling infrastructure. He reports from the start of his ride. The Architect’s Newspaper is USA media sponsor of the trip and will post periodic updates of these architects on bicycles. ]

Cycling through the small towns of Idaho and Montana provides useful lessons for the English visitor about the growth of settlements in the US and allows interesting comparisons with the development of urban structure in Britain.

While we in the UK have high streets, they are a very different sort of place to main streets. English settlements often developed around market squares, their structure defined by the relationship between the church and the ‘big house’ occupied by the feudal landlord as well as topographical features and land ownership.

Continue reading after the jump.

A Global Bicycle Trek from Portland, Oregon to London’s Portland Place.

Newsletter, West
Friday, May 3, 2013
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(Grant Smith)

(Grant Smith)

Peter Murray, of the New London Architecture center, together with a dozen architects and planners, is biking from Portland, Oregon to Portland Place in London, studying how cities are responding to the demand for better cycling infrastructure. He reports from the start of his ride. The Architect’s Newspaper is USA media sponsor of the trip and will post periodic updates of these architects on bicycles.

Portland is to America what Copenhagen is to Europe: everyone looks to it as an exemplar cycling city, and it has been continually improving its cycling infrastructure for more than 40 years – the first Bicycle Masterplan was published in 1973. As a result, 6 per cent of Portland commuters now bike to work and the Active Transport Alliance’s annual Bike Commute Challenge attracts over 700 participant companies. Cycling is undoubtably a part of Portland’s culture with its Neighbourhood Greenways, bicycle boulevards, routes across key bridges, safe routes to school and the Eastbank Esplanade – a wide path shared with walkers and joggers overlooking the Willamette river. The city was awarded platinum status by the League of American Bicyclists and acclaimed by Bicycling magazine as number one for cycle-friendliness.

Continue reading after the jump.

Join Architects and Urbanists On A Bike Ride From Coast to Coast

International
Friday, April 19, 2013
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Riders in Paul Smith Socks. (Greg Bartley)

Riders in Paul Smith Socks. (Greg Bartley)

The English architectural editor, author, and founder of the London Festival of Architecture, Peter Murray, is also a devoted urban bicycle activist. Murray always arrives at events in London with a bicycle helmut under his arm because it’s the only way he moves around the city. He believe’s that “cyclised cities are civilised cities” and has organized group rides around Britain and Europe to publicize the need for cities to become more bicycle friendly. To demonstrate that commitment and to promote cycling, Murray and a group of peers are taking a 4,347 mile ride.

Continue reading after the jump.

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