Christopher Hawthorne wrote an interesting article about the Olympic Architecture and was interesting to read about his conversation with Sasaki about the Beijng Olympic Green as follows:
“I was put through to Dennis Pieprz, the president of the firm, who oversaw its work on the Green. After I asked him whether he would be in the capital during my visit and available to give me a tour of the results, there was a long pause.
“Well, I haven’t been to Beijing in quite some time,” he finally said, explaining that Olympic officials had taken over and modified the Sasaki plan so extensively that the firm now basically disavows the final product.
And there it was, plain as day on the firm’s website, when I went back to check: “Sasaki had no involvement in the design and implementation of the final landscape for the Beijing Olympics.”
So much for signature Olympic architecture. This is something closer to the reverse: A firm anxious to scrub its name from the official record before the Games get underway.”
SOURCE: Los Angeles Times – Chinese architects the winners in Games – .
The Associated Press and other news outlets have reported over the last few weeks on the growing trend for young people and empty nesters moving downtown in major cities across the USA to save on fuel costs and to reduce their travel time.
The other growing trend is more people opting to use public transport to get to work whether it be driving to a station and riding to work.
Both of these shifts in commuter patterns is due to fuel however it is not solely in the USA, across Europe and Asis are changing their habits however many governments have been left lagging on public transport as they never anticipated a huge spike in oil.
Let’s hope this shift to downtown living and use of public transport stays for the long term and creates more livable walkable cities.
The reference SOURCE: Associated Press – Renters go downtown to save on gas, commuting
The city took a tentative step this week toward fulfilling the dream of a certain kind of urban idealist, saying that it will explore the possibility of creating a bike-sharing program that could make hundreds or even thousands of bicycles available for public use.
“This is a really big deal,” said Wiley Norvell, a spokesman for Transportation Alternatives, an advocacy group for cyclists, pedestrians and transit riders. “In the realm of things you can do to boost bicycling in a city, bike-share is at the top of the list.”
The city asked companies and organizations interested in running a bike-sharing program to provide assessments of how it could work.
SOURCE: NYTimes.com – City Will Explore Broad Bike-Sharing Plan –
Stitched together by developers from fields and gravel pits, Apple Valley has worked for years to build the kind of downtown where residents can leave home in the morning and walk to the bus, their jobs or local stores.
New restaurants and a hotel, townhouses and a park with water fountains where kids can play have already sprung up in the Central Village, but right next door, there are still empty fields.
The housing market slump caused a slowdown in development that forced city leaders to plead earlier this summer to hang onto public funding that is key to their vision: a $2.3 million Livable Communities grant from the Metropolitan Council to build underground parking below an as-yet-unbuilt complex of housing and businesses on Galaxie Avenue.
SOURCE: Star Tribune – Vibrant urban villages? Plans don’t fit reality.