Toronto Bikers Revolt Against Mayor’s Attempts to Remove Bike Lanes

International
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
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Protesting bike lane removal in Toronto. (Shawn Micallef/Spacing Toronto)

Protesting bike lane removal in Toronto. (Shawn Micallef/Spacing Toronto)

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has proven to be a controversial public figure, whether it’s unsafe reading while driving, or now, removing Toronto’s recently installed bike lanes on Jarvis Street.  Yesterday, city crews showed up in large scrubbing trucks to scrape away thin dividing lines from the street, only to encounter a small collection of riders who would not stand by idly. Instead the cyclists chose to lie down, sit, and ultimately blockade the street scrubbing vehicles, eventually forcing them to leave for the day.

But the bike lane removal protests picked up again today.

Foster, SOM and WXY Explore Grand Ideas for the Next 100 Years at Grand Central Terminal

East, Newsletter
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
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(Courtesy SOM)

(Courtesy SOM)

The neighborhood around Manhattan’s Grand Central Terminal is about to undergo monumental change as the Bloomberg administration pushes to upzone areas around Park and Madison avenues. Already, Norman Foster recently unveiled his plans for a new 425 Park tower, viewed as a precursor to what’s bound to be a taller neighborhood and the NYC Department of Transportation announced intentions to close Vanderbilt Avenue to automobile traffic to help with already-overflowing sidewalks.

But in anticipation of Warren and Wetmore‘s Grand Central celebrating its centennial next year, the Municipal Art Society (MAS) asked three firms—SOM, WXY, and Foster+Partners—to re-envision the Beaux-Arts masterpiece and its surrounding midtown neighborhood with an eye toward the train station’s next 100 years. The results of the Grand Central…The Next 100 project were unveiled at this year’s MAS Summit for New York City, which wrapped up on Friday and included both down-to-earth and fanciful visions for the future of Manhattan.

Continue reading after the jump.

After Four Decades, FDR Four Freedoms Memorial Park Dedicated

East
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
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Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island. (Paul Warchol / Courtesy FDR Four Freedoms Park)

Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island. (Paul Warchol / Courtesy FDR Four Freedoms Park)

This morning former President Bill Clinton, Governor Andrew Cuomo, and Mayor Michael Bloomberg joined in a dignitary-studded dedication ceremony for the long awaited Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Memorial Park on Roosevelt Island’s southern tip. The four-acre triangular park, designed by architect Louis Kahn, features 120 Linden trees leading to a half-ton bronze bust of Roosevelt at its crest surveying the U.N. Headquarters and the East River. The sculpture by American artist Jo Davidson sits on a alcove of white granite inscribed with excerpts of the president’s renowned Four Freedoms speech.  While the forty-years-in-the-making memorial does not officially open to the public until October 24th you can catch an early glimpse on October 19th when the park will be featured as Archtober’s Building of The Day.

Check out a slideshow after the jump.

Welcome to Staten Eye-Land: World’s Tallest Ferris Wheel to Anchor New Waterfront Development

East
Thursday, September 27, 2012
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The planned New York Wheel development includes the world's tallest Ferris wheel. (Courtesy NYC Mayor's Office)

The planned New York Wheel development includes the world’s tallest Ferris wheel. (Courtesy NYC Mayor’s Office)

Today, thousands of tourists and New Yorkers make a loop on the Staten Island Ferry between the borough and Manhattan, but as soon as 2016, they will also be able to make a vertical loop on the world’s tallest Ferris wheel, anchoring a new mixed-use project on the North Shore waterfront in St. George. Mayor Bloomberg today unveiled plans for Harbor Commons, which includes 350,000 square feet of retail space for 100 outlet mall stores, a 200-room, 120,000 square foot hotel, and a massive green-roofed parking structure, but all eyes were on the project’s neighbor; the 625-foot-tall New York Wheel will offer stunning views of New York City and its Harbor to an estimated 4.5 million people per year.

COntinue reading after the jump.

THE URBAN POLDER: WHAT NEW YORK’S WATERFRONT CAN LEARN FROM THE DUTCH

East, East Coast
Monday, September 24, 2012
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As it faces a changing climate, the Netherlands is undergoing an “extreme makeover”: the country that fashioned its landscape so distinctly to keep water out is now adjusting its centuries-old strategy of self-defense: it is letting the water back in. This new Dutch relationship to water holds critical lessons for New York as it prepares more than 500 miles of metropolitan waterfront for an ever wetter future. Author and journalist Tracy Metz shares research from her new volume Sweet & Salt: Water and the Dutch, followed by a discussion with panelists Susannah Drake (dlandstudio), Klaus Jacob (Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory), Michael Marrella (New York City Department of City Planning), and moderator James S. Russell (Bloomberg News and The Agile City) on strategies for living in harmony with water, and what New York City could learn from Dutch techniques. Join us for a special reception following the program.

Please RSVP to rsvp@vanalen.org.

This program is presented with The Consulate General of the Netherlands in New York. It is part of Archtober, NYC’s month-long festival of architecture activities, programs, and exhibitions.

 


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The Grass Looks Greener On The Riverside

East, East Coast
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
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WNYC Transmitter Park Waterfront (Photo Credit: juliewoodnyc via Instagram)

WNYC Transmitter Park Waterfront (Photo Credit: juliewoodnyc via Instagram)

Green outdoor space, outside of Central Park, is often thought of as a rare commodity in New York City; but now it doesn’t have to be. The recent opening of WNYC’s Transmitter Park on the East River in Greenpoint, Brooklyn is one of the many projects that will be improving over 500 miles of shoreline across the city.

Breaking ground back in 2010, Transmitter Park is now finally open for the public to enjoy. As part of the Waterfront Vision and Enhancement Strategy(WAVES) citywide initiative, Transmitter Park supports the plan’s vision to provide more open recreational space for the city’s residents and a functional waterfront that will no longer display decaying industrial sites. The park is also a result of the 2005 Greenpoint-Williamsburg rezoning meant to provide local residents and visitors with continuous public access to the waterfront.  The new park includes1.6-acres of open space with an esplanade for passive recreation, a new overlook to the south, new seating, and a pedestrian bridge built across an excavated historic ferry slip. The center of the park offers a large open lawn with a nautical themed children’s play area that reflects the site’s context, spray showers, and nature gardens.

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Sao Paulo’s Infinity Tower

International
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
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http://www.kpf.com/projects/Project104/17346_hr.jpg

Rising almost 400 feet (120 meters) above Sao Paulo’s financial district, reminiscent of a ship setting sail, is the Infinity Tower designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates. With its cutting edge technology and unique design, one of Sao Paulo’s first Class-A towers is attracting high profile tenants, including Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, Bloomberg, Facebook and Louis Vuitton.

Read More

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Video> Progress at the World Trade Center Site on 11th Anniversary

East
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
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For the eleventh anniversary of September 11, The Architect’s Newspaper has been reviewing progress at the World Trade Center site. Last Thursday, AN visited SOM’s One World Trade to survey the view from the 103rd floor and check in on construction of the tower’s spire. Friday, a trip to the top of Fumihiko Maki’s Four World Trade on Friday showed the less-publicized view of the site. From both vantage points, the hum of activity—both from construction crews and visitors to the memorial plaza—was readily apparent.

Of particular interest were substantial developments at the Vehicle Security Center, where a new entryway on Liberty Street will send security measures beneath a new St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church. It was heartening to read in today’s New York Times that the conflict between Governor Cuomo and Mayor Bloomberg over the Memorial Museum, reported here last year, was resolved in time for ceremonies this morning.

For all the talk of delays, an extraordinary amount work has been accomplished. As a tribute, AN has compiled a video montage showing continued progress at the site on this historic day.

Brooklyn Navy Yard Announces Blockbuster Media Plan

East
Friday, August 17, 2012
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Brooklyn Navy Yard hope to build media hub with Steiner Studios.

Brooklyn Navy Yard hope to build media hub with Steiner Studios.

Brooklyn Navy Yard and Steiner Studios have come up with a gigantic plan for a media hub to be spread across 50 acres of the former ship yard. According to the New York Times, the $400 million project depends on an influx of $35 million from the state and $2.5 million from the federal government to build out water, sewers, and electric infrastructure.

Navy Yard CEO AndrewKimball gave a pointed shout out to the governor and mayor in the Times piece, indicating yet another project making a mad dash to get on the boards before Mayor Bloomberg’s tenure comes to an end in 2013. Though the Navy Yard lost out on its bid to be the locale for the city’s new tech campus that ended up on Roosevelt Island, it does occupy an all-important corner to the Brooklyn Tech Triangle, where nearly 10,000 people work in that sector.

Proposals About New Microapartments Highlight Benefits and Drawbacks

East, West
Monday, August 6, 2012
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Planning commissioner Amanda Burden, Mayor Bloomberg, and HPD Commissioner Wambua stand in a spatially accurate visualization of a possible Micro-Apartment layout for New York City’s Kips Bay competition. (Courtesy of NYC Mayor’s Office)

Take a minute to imagine what you would do if you had to cram your life into 270 square feet. In a typical ranch-style home, 270 could be a master bedroom, or a small living room, or a one-car garage. Now how about 220 square feet? It might make a shed or a bedroom. Now imagine this 15 by 18 foot or 15 by 15 foot space as your home.

Though it might sound more like another Ikea advertisement, two high-rent cities—New York and San Francisco—have been playing with the concept of permitting very small “micro-apartments” to alleviate high rents. By creating smaller housing, the idea goes, prospective renters will have a less expensive option and the city will be able to increase the density of residential units without increasing building size, always a contested point in neighborhood planning.

Continue reading after the jump.

Growing Season in Full Swing at New York City’s Largest Rooftop Farm

East
Friday, August 3, 2012
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Mayor Bloomberg, Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Strickland, Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation CEO Kimball and Brooklyn Grange CEO Ben Flanner today toured the largest rooftop farm in New York City. (Edward Reed)

Mayor Bloomberg, Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Strickland, Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation CEO Kimball and Brooklyn Grange CEO Ben Flanner today toured the largest rooftop farm in New York City. (Edward Reed)

Urban rooftop farming is on the up-and-up in New York City and across the country. Putting his official stamp of approval on the movement, New York Mayor Bloomberg stopped by the city’s largest rooftop farm, the 43,000-square-foot Brooklyn Grange atop a building in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. With the growing season in full swing, the plants were towering nearly as high as the Manhattan skyline in the distance.

Continue reading after the jump.

Will New York’s Bike Lanes Last? Gil Penalosa Addresses the Planning Commission

East
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
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The 8th Avenue Complete Streets program keeps cyclists safe from cars and car doors. (Courtesy NYCDOT)

The 8th Avenue Complete Streets program keeps cyclists safe from cars and their doors. (Courtesy NYCDOT)

With only 75 weeks left in New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration, cyclists the city over will inevitably be concerned about the next mayor’s stance on bike lanes and street designs lest initiatives put in place under Bloomberg fall from grace. One need only to recall Marty Markowitz’s parodic tricycle stunts poking fun at bike lanes or former NYC DOT commissioner Iris Weinshall’s efforts to remove a protected bike lane from Brooklyn’s Prospect Park West to realize that the concern is not unfounded.

At yesterday’s regularly-scheduled City Planning review session, former Bogotá Parks Commissioner Gil Penalosa was invited to give a pep talk, placing a particular emphasis on bike lanes. He warned an audience filled with commissioners and planning staff that as the weeks wind down before the mayor leaves office, they’d better get cracking at PR and permanence: the public needs to become even more familiar with the bike network and the infrastructure needs to become permanent—and striped bike lanes won’t cut it!

Continue reading after the jump.

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