In year-end reviews, writers and pundits on urban affairs often missed a very important transformation that occurred in 2007, one that will have reverberations possibly for generations to come. This change has come in the politics of public transit.
Fast forward to 2007 when the City of Toronto announced an ambitious Transit City plan costing billions of dollars. Some critics decried the plan a pie in the sky as it had no funding commitments.
Within a few months, however, Premier Dalton McGuinty announced his government’s commitment not only to fund the TTC plan, but to include ambitious targets for GO Transit and other municipal transit authorities. The commitment was to fund $11 billion of the $17 billion required for the plan, and advocate to the federal government for the remainder.
TheStar.com | comment | Green light for transit after years of stagnation.
Kyu Sung Woo Architects, an international architectural practice headquartered in Cambridge, Mass. has designed the new Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art in Overland Park, KS. The museum, home to a significant collection of contemporary artists including: Dana Schutz, Kehinde Wiley, Uta Barth, Kerry James Marshall and Do-Ho Suh, will bring an exciting new presence to the campus of Johnson County Community College and will serve as the starting point of a campus-wide art installation program.
Artdaily.org – The First Art Newspaper on the Net.
Steven Holl Architects, an award-winning firm with extensive experience in the arts, has been selected to design the initial academic buildings for Princeton University’s new arts and transit neighborhood.
The firm, with offices in New York and Beijing, is led by Steven Holl, who was named America’s Best Architect by Time magazine in July 2001 for “buildings that satisfy the spirit as well as the eye.”
At Princeton, the firm will be responsible for designing several buildings to house the Program in Theater and Dance, components of the Department of Music, the Lewis Center for the Arts and the Society of Fellows in the Creative and Performing Arts. Encompassing an estimated 135,000 gross square feet, the preliminary plans include a black box theatre, a large dance studio, an orchestral rehearsal studio, several smaller acting studios, dance studios, music practice rooms, classrooms, support spaces, a café and offices.
Mark Burstein, executive vice president noted that the landscape architect who collaborated with Holl on the water treatment facility in Connecticut was Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, the same firm that will be working on the Princeton project. Sustainable building and landscaping practices will be of key importance.
Comparing old and new aerial photographs, state environmental officials last year spotted a suspicious-looking change in the landscape in Methuen, near the Dracut line. In July, they visited a horse stable on Tyler Street and confirmed that the owner had graded and filled wetlands without a permit, in violation of state environmental laws and regulations.
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As a result, the Department of Environmental Protection fined Lisa M. Pappalardo $10,225 and ordered her to restore the damaged wetlands, in a clear example of how detailed aerial images today can be used to help a government regulatory agency do its job.
Read more at – The Boston Globe – Improper development spied from sky Eric Moskowitz
Savvy designers are helping homeowners collect and reuse storm water rather than see it all wash away.
WHILE you watched much-needed showers race down the driveway and spill into street drains two weeks ago, did you perhaps think: How can I harness that rainfall? How can I save that water for a yard that has endured drought-like conditions?
It turns out that “harvesting” rainfall is not only good for the garden, but also good for the environment.
Read more at LA Times – Imagine: Rain, rain, stored away – Annie Wells