Urban Planning

Post image for Models of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Utopia Show the Architect as City Planner

Frank Lloyd Wright believed dense urban cities would never make it into the next century. He wrote that “the citizen of the near future preferring horizontality — the gift of his motorcar, and telephonic or telegraphic inventions — will turn and reject verticality as the body of any American city.”

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Post image for Remix the Urban Jungle in the Cloud

I suspect most of us take the designs of our cities and streets for granted, at least when they’re working the way we want them to. But planning a single street requires myriad decisions. A nifty new web app called Streetmix, made by the current fellows of Code for America, lets you think about and play around with all those choices.

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Post image for Urban Heroes of Istanbul: It’s About Public Space

ISTANBUL — Last Monday night, the word on Twitter was that the police tanks were coming back to the square from the southeast. Thousands rallied, adorned in their bike helmets, swimming goggles, and bright smiles underneath their gas masks.

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Post image for Imagining the Payphones of the Future

I suspect everyone who’s wandered around New York — or any major city, really — has had the experience of walking past a payphone and wondering about its fate. Public phones often strike me as the ultimate objects in transition, relics from a pre-digital age dotting the cityscape. It may be a coincidental sign of the times that the vendor contracts for New York City’s more than 11,000 (!) payphones will expire next year.

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Post image for Wait for the Bus, Charge Your Phone

Design consultancy Pensa’s new video concept explores on-the-go charging stations for our gadgets.

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Reactor

The High Line Gets Drrrty

by Kyle Chayka on June 21, 2011

Post image for The High Line Gets Drrrty

The High Line Section 2 is New York City’s latest stab at utopia, so it only makes sense that people love it. But maybe they love it a little too much? Gothamist publishes a photo essay of couples canoodling on the High Line lawn, and all of a sudden, the lawn gets closed for cleaning. Cleaning of what, exactly?

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Post image for A Tour of the High Line’s New Section 2

Section 2 of the High Line, an elevated railway running down Manhattan’s Tenth Avenue renovated by architectural firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro that has quickly become an urban design icon, opens to the public today. But visitors to the park yesterday were greeted with a soft-opening preview, complete with popsicle vendors, public art projects and plenty of opportunities to lounge in the grass. The new section may not cause as much stir as the launch of the first, but the 10-block stretch from 20th to 30th street is full of subtle surprises, from flyover walkways to hidden forests.

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Post image for Historic Chelsea Seminary Building to Become Generic Condo

The General Theological Seminary in Chelsea (located on Ninth Ave between 20th and 21st Street) was established in 1817 and remained a holdout of patrician architecture for almost 2 centuries. Now, to relieve its mounting debt, the seminary is selling off buildings and land to luxury developers. The designs for the latest redevelopment were just released by Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners, and guess what? They look terrifyingly bland.

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