Managing Traffic in the Urban Age

The human species is, at this moment, in the process of becoming a mainly urban animal after a thousand generations spent mainly in rural conditions. Many economists and sociologists see this trend as our potential salvation in a world heading toward 9 billion people, although there are some big ifs.

Gridlock already is estimated by some experts to cost New York City up to $20 billion a year in lost productivity. India’s cities are mired in traffic. China is seeing ever more millions abandon bicycles in favor of autos. We’re heading toward a world of a billion cars sometime around 2020.

Do you live in or around a city, and if so how do you get to work? Would you take a train or bus if traffic thinned out? Should drivers essentially pay for transit riders?

Read more @ New York Times  – Managing Traffic in the Urban Age – Dot Earth – Climate Change and Sustainability by Andrew Revkin

Canadian architecture revival in Toronto

Canadian architecture, especially in Toronto, is undergoing a revival of sorts. Whether the projects are heralded or panned, the Michael-Lee Chin Crystal at the Royal Ontario Museum, the colourful box-on-stilts (the Sharp Centre for Design) at the Ontario College of Art and Design and the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts (the new home of the Canadian Opera Company and the National Ballet of Canada) have got people talking.

Here at home, a new Congress Centre may soon provide us with something to talk about.

“Good architects are deeply concerned about society and culture and their relationship with a properly built environment,” Frascari said yesterday. “The students at Carleton are taught how to create more valuable, healthy, secure, sustainable and meaningful buildings and cityscapes.”

Read more @  – More than just concrete walls– Kerry Thompson.

WWII-era bomber donated to Great Park

In years past, building a central park was about creating an escape from urban life with little nod to what it was replacing.

But the designers (Ken Smith Landscape Architects) of the Orange County Great Park, which is being built on 1,347 acres of the former El Toro Marine Corps base, are taking a new approach, embracing the site’s military past rather than bulldozing it.

In one such move, the park’s board today plans to accept the donation of a World War II-era patrol plane and bomber as the first artifact for an aviation museum expected to feature dozens of historic aircraft and memorabilia.

Read more @ Los Angeles Times WWII-era bomber donated to Great Park  by Tony Barboza 

Romp with architecture mixes styles, results at Crown Hall

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s principles of free-flowing, flexible space were in full view during a first-time collaboration between Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and Illinois Institute of Technology architecture students over the weekend.

The German-born modernist architect, who designed IIT’s Crown Hall in the 1950s with the idea of opening up the interior for multiple uses, may not have had dance performances in mind. But the interplay between settings created by the school’s aspiring architects and filled in by dancers at Crown Hall underscored Mies’ belief that an efficient structure can be endlessly transformed.

Read more @ chicagotribune.comRomp with architecture mixes styles, results at Crown Hall by Lucia Mauro

Urban Design Competition site choosen in Dallas

464-acre site south of downtown Dallas has been chosen as the study area for the sixth annual ULI (Urban Land Institute,USA) Gerald D. Hines Student Urban Design Competition, an ideas competition for university students created to honor the legacy of urban development pioneer Gerald D. Hines, chairman of the Hines real estate organization and a laureate of the Urban Land Institute J.C. Nichols Prize for Visionaries in Urban Development.

Read more at ULI: Testing a New Generation

Drought, sprawl, focus of architects’ concepts for Atlanta

A hundred years from now, Atlanta may look drastically different from the city it is today, as planners work to eliminate its 21st century problems of drought and urban sprawl with water collection centers, smaller highways and residents living in new urban areas.

Those aspects were revealed Tuesday as part of an architects’ competition called “City of the Future: A Design and Engineering Challenge,” a series filmed for The History Channel. Last year, futuristic designs of New York, Chicago and Los Angeles were examined. This year the show is focusing on Atlanta, Washington and San Francisco.

“The city at this point actually has to sustain itself,” said Bishop. “We have to create systems within the community itself to allow it to adapt.”

Read more @ – Drought, sprawl, focus of architects’ concepts for Atlanta by Daniel Yee of  Associated Press

HOK Designs First LEED Gold for Latina America

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has certified the first LEED Gold building in Latin America. Located in Paseo de la Reforma in Mexico City, the HSBC Bank Headquarters Tower features a redesigned facade, public spaces, and interiors by architecture firm HOK.

The 400,000-square-foot, 24-story redesigned Torre Angel building is a pilot project for HSBC’s new global workplace standard initiative and serves as the firm’s Mexican headquarters.

HOK Designs First LEED Gold for Latina America – 1/28/2008 – Interior Design.

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