Latest Articles in Urban Planning

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A New Model for Suburbia

Hong Kong architect Otto Ng drew inspiration from challenges facing the modern world to design an innovative suburban model that could become reality. His model, called Transcity, blurs the line between urban and suburban to foster a sustainable infrastructure.
October 1, 2012
Vintage urban city scene

A Brief History of the Birth of Urban Planning

At America's first urban planning conference, held in New York in 1898, a British planner asked whether he and his colleagues were striving for beautiful people or beautiful cities. Is urban planning about physical design, he wondered, or about making things easier for the people who live in our urban spaces? It was an essential question for the field, which really wasn't born until the early 20th century.
September 5, 2012
Penn South

Modernism 2.0: A Tower in the Park Even Jane Jacobs Could Love

No one plans to get old; it just happens. Real-estate fantasies, however, tend to be ageless. To misquote the late Nora Ephron, we’ve been having the same real-estate fantasy for decades. And though we’ve varied it a little—what we’re wearing—Greenwich Village, with its organically evolved and artificially preserved mix of row houses, local businesses, and effervescent street life, remains an archetype of good urban planning.
August 28, 2012
green design ideas from terreform one's mitchell joachim at dwell on design

Radical Sustainability with Mitchell Joachim

Environmental thought leader, architect, and urban designer Mitchell Joachim joined Dwell editor Amanda Dameron Friday, June 21, at Dwell on Design, sharing his most innovative ideas for the city of the future. In classic Joachim fashion, his fascinating presentation was a volley of high-concept solutions delivered with characteristic charm and humor. Here, we share slideshow highlights—and a few of Joachim's highly-quotable gems.  
June 23, 2012
Picnurbia pop-up park Vancouver Art Gallery

Pop-up Parks

Eager for public space, communities re-create their streets as temporary cafes, playgrounds, and bike lanes.
May 18, 2012
Urban park plan illustration by Röllerhaus Pictureworks & Design Co.

Seattle's Next-Wave Design Firm?

A year and a half ago, while on sabbatical from Olson Kundig Architects, Kevin Scott conceived of Röllerhaus Pictureworks & Design Co. A mix of design firm, artist/designer collective, and advanced illustration company, Rollerhaüs is trying to blaze a new trail for what a design firm can be. "The practice type I’m trying to create doesn’t exist so I don’t have any sort of model I can work from," says Scott. "What I’m trying to do is blend a kind of idea-based practice, as embodied by an IDEO, with the artistry and communication of a visual effects firm (like Industrial Light & Magic) that operates primarily in architecture and urbanism." Curious to learn more about Scott's work and vision, I asked him a handful of questions—about his eclectic background, his favorite rendering tools, and Seattle's design scene.
May 7, 2012
Urban writer and author Jane Jacobs

Jane Jacobs Video

I was so pleased to come across this video recently on the website Grist—a nearly ten-minute film about creating healthy neighborhoods, narrated by the late, great urban writer and activist Jane Jacobs and produced by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. I've read Jacobs before (she is best known for her classic tome The Death and Life of Great American Cities) but I've never heard her speak. Here, in her later years, she endearingly discusses the impact on automobiles on neighborhoods and our health; how to create dignified places where people will be proud to live (and how to do it affordably); and why cities should provide places for skateboarders "to do their weird skateboarding thing."
April 30, 2012
KAC SporanoMooney sky

Kimball Art Center Finalists

Last week I was in Park City, Utah, home of the Kimball Art Center. Founded in 1976, and housed in what was once the Kimball Bros. auto garage, the Kimball is a living museum offering the people of this sleepy ski town (unless you show up for the Sundance Film Festival) gallery space, classes, education, and community engagement. And it's about to nearly triple in size thanks to its Transformation Project. Five architecture firms out of a shortlist of some 200 have been selected by the Kimball to design the extension it hopes to open by 2015. Check out the slideshow to see which designs have made the cut and to learn more about how this particular architecture competition works.
January 25, 2012
ff aaron 010612

Friday Finds 01.06.12

We're back this New Year with the first Friday Finds of 2012. Scroll down to find out more on New York's lost subway stations, Dutch designer Thomas Eyck, an art installation made up of thousands of stickers, and a clip from one of our favorite IFC shows.
January 6, 2012