The City Council is considering a proposed ordinance that would curtail “mansionization.” If the measure passes, the maximum allowable size of a house on many residential lots would drop from about 7,000 square feet (excluding garage) to about 3,000.
The use of the word “mansion” here is not complimentary. It’s meant to conjure up a scenario in which a residential street of, say, 1920s cottages or 1950s ranch houses suddenly gets a new neighbor — a 3,500- or 4,000-square-foot house with two full stories. Though meeting the required setbacks, the building’s bulk makes it more visually prominent than the older houses on the street. What’s more, it may have an architectural style or features that some find ugly — or simply out of place on the block. The result: unhappy longtime homeowners bemoaning the changing character of their neighborhood — loss of privacy, sunlight, views or charm — and demanding that City Hall do something.
Read more @ Los Angeles Times – The monstrosity next door – Todd Gish.
Ottawa needs to redevelop to improve the lives of city residents but growth should not be in the Greenbelt, says Larry Beasley, one of Canada’s top urban planners and a senior adviser to the National Capital Commission.
The chairman of the NCC, Russell Mills, recently sparked controversy by saying that the city might want to build on some of the less vital parts of the Greenbelt, a 20,000-hectare ribbon of land owned by the federal government that encircles central Ottawa.
Read more @ Ottawa Citizen – Hands off Greenbelt, urban planner says.
Two Massachusetts cities made the top 10 list in the March issue of Popular Science’s 50 most innovative cities in the U.S.
Boston was ranked third — behind San Francisco and Portland, Ore. — and Cambridge sixth on the list of “greenest” cities based on criteria such as electricity use, transportation habits, air quality and recycling programs. Popular Science used raw data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Geographic Society’s Green Guide which collected survey data and government statistics for American cities of over 100,000 people in more than 30 categories.
Out of a possible 30 points cities could score based on the criteria Boston scored 22.7 and Cambridge scored 22.2 points.
Read more @ Boston Business Journal: Boston, Cambridge recognized as green cities –
The stand-alone mall isn’t dead. It’s just dysfunctional. That was one of the sentiments expressed at an Urban Land Institute panel that tackled the question, “Can stand-alone malls survive?” The question was posed Thursday, during ULI’s annual Reinventing Retail conference at the Wilshire Grand Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles.
The comment about the dysfunctional nature of traditional stand-alone malls came from panelist Shaheen Sadeghi, founder of Costa Mesa, CA-based LAB Holding, a firm that eschews traditional malls in favor of projects like its youth-oriented “the Lab” in Costa Mesa, a center that the developer describes as an “anti-mall.”
Read more @ GlobeSt.com – ULI Asks: ‘Can Stand-Alone Malls Survive?’.
The Museum of Modern Art and P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center announced the winner of the ninth annual MoMA/P.S.1 Young Architects Program: WORK Architecture Company from New York.
This year, five finalists selected by a closed nomination process were asked to present an urban landscape for the large entrance courtyard of P.S.1, with the allotted project budget of $70,000.
Read more @ MoMA and P.S.1 Announce Young Architect Winner – Dexigner