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Latest Articles in Urban Planning

ff 081211

Friday Finds 8.12.11

We present to you our weekly roundup of all things interesting, exciting, and design-related that we discovered on the web. Scroll down for a look at a new book on urbanism by Thom Mayne of Morphosis, a stop motion film shot with a smartphone, and a vending machine for cyclists.
August 12, 2011
Yerba Buena Street Life Plan

Yerba Buena Street Life Plan

Recently in San Francisco, the Yerba Buena Community Benefit District and CMG Landscape Architecture unveiled the Yerba Buena Street Life Plan. The plan is meant to serve as a master plan for the mixed-use neighborhood known as Yerba Buena that is located south of Market Street and includes prominent public buildings and spaces such as the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Contemporary Jewish Museum, Yerba Buena Gardens, and the Moscone Center. The goal of the plan, meant to be implemented over the next ten years, is to create an identity for the neighborhood and foster a sense of community where residents and passers-through can stop and enjoy the area and engage with its outdoor spaces.
August 8, 2011
ff alejandro 071511

Friday Finds 7.15.11

Do you consider yourself a cat person or a dog person? According to Hunch, the blog that Aaron found this week, that distinction also correlates with your T.V. show preferences. Dog people will gravitate to Seinfeld, SNL, and House whereas the favorites of cat people are X-Files, Big Love and Xena: Warrior Princess. Xena? Haven't head that in while. Also not to miss: a video preview of the Summer Jubilee at the Walker Art Center where the series of events includes teaching kids important life skills, like, "how to esacpe from a trunk and hot wire a car." Never a dull moment in Finds o' Friday.
July 15, 2011
Parklet Planter

Powell St. Parklet

San Francisco's thriving Pavement to Parks initiative—dozens of street parking spaces have been transformed into small, hardscaped parks the city over—arrived on center stage Wednesday. After success outside scruffy Mission District coffee shops and pram-litered Noe Valley, some of the most iconic blocks of San Francisco are newly widened with torqued aluminum raling, drought-tolerant plants, and enough space for pedestrian-choked Powell Street to breathe. The cash came from Audi (more on that to follow) and the design from landscape architect Walter Hood. I walked the eight new parklets with Hood and metal fabricator Scott Atthowe when they were unveiled. Here's what I saw.
July 14, 2011
72hr thumb

72 Hour Urban Action

The other week I attended a gathering at REBAR in San Francisco, in honor of Israeli architects Kerem Halbrecht and Gilly Karjevsky's cool project, 72 Hour Urban Action. Held last September and billed as "the world's first real-time architecture competition," the 72 Hour Urban Action contest brought 120 architects, artists, students, designers and craftspeople from twenty countries around the world to the city of Bat-Yam, Israel. Teams had three days and three nights to build projects that responded to the needs of their assigned sites, or "missions." The three winning projects will remain on site permanently.
May 3, 2011
Greensburg GreenTown Conversation

Daniel Wallach of GreenTown

After an EF5 tornado devestated the tiny town of Greensburg, Kansas, (then populartion 1,500) in 2007, the residents came together and did the unbelievable: Rebuilt as a sustainable town. Leading the charge were the mayor, city administrator, city council president (who assumed the role of mayor just three weeks after the storm), the governor (then Kathleen Sebelius), and two residents from nearby Stafford County: Daniel Wallach and Catherine Hart. In January, we sent photographer Alec Soth to document the town as it is today, nearly four years after the tornado struck, for our May 2011 Photo Issue. Here, we chat in further depth with Wallach about the days after the storm and the latest construction and developments.  
April 21, 2011
Mack Scogin

Mack Scogin on OSU's Knowlton Hall

A decade ago, the Ohio State University Austin E. Knowlton School of Architecture called upon Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects to accomplish a formidable task: create the consummate teaching tool by designing its new building. The structure was completed in 2004 and christened Knowlton Hall. In December, we sent photographer Ian Allen to Ohio to capture the building and its occupants in the midst of final reviews (the resulting images are featured in our May 2011 Photo Issue). Here, we share our extended interview with architect Mack Scogin on the design process, the donor's mandate to use marble, and Scogin's favorite space in the grand structure.
April 18, 2011
The Big Well in Greensburg, Kansas

We're Not in Kansas Anymore

On May 4, 2007, Greensburg, Kansas, was wiped off the map. An EF5 tornado ravaged the small town of 1,400 residents, destroying or severely damaging 95 percent of the city. Less than a week later, however, the survivors did the incredible: At a meeting under a tent, they rallied to rebuild as a sustainable city.   Some community members at first were skeptical, but they later embraced the idea of following in the footsteps of their ancestors, who had lived off the land. With the backing of the city, state, and federal governments and the nonprofit Greensburg GreenTown, founded by nearby Stafford County residents Daniel Wallach and Catherine Hart, the town has become a sustainable mecca—boasting more than 25 green projects so far and attracting thousands of eco-tourists.
April 6, 2011
Transit Seats LAMetro

Best Design for Transit Seating

This weekend our pals over at The Bay Citizen came out with a very alarming report: After running a few tests on the seats of San Francisco's two main transit systems—Muni and Bay Area Rapid Transit—the fabric covering BART seats is disgusting. Beyond the spilled lattes and the occasional pool of vomit, scientists found all manner of bacteria, including methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, a dangerous flesh-eating bacteria. I'd been chatting with an editor friend of mine at the Citizen and we agreed that Dwell would throw its design journalism hat in the ring with an interview on what separates good transit seating from bad. I had a chat with Paul Martus, senior industrial designer with American Seating about just this thing. Martus has worked on seating on buses and in public spaces. American Seating traces its legacy back to the 1880s and counts city bus lines, Fenway Park, and Madison Square Gardens as just a few of its clients. Here's what Paul had to say.   
March 7, 2011
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