Thursday, May 09, 2013
Norman Foster: Paris does not need skyscrapers.
The most beautiful cities of the future will be inspired by today's most sustainable cities. And it does not mean that build up. Paris, London and Copenhagen are these cities. Of course, Manhattan is a shining example in terms of energy consumed, the presence of high buildings is beneficial. Many people go to work on foot, others use public transport. Few people own a car. But Copenhagen, Paris, Munich and Berlin are all cities in which to walk, they are durable and offer a high quality of urban life. You need a good mix of uses and buildings. Consider Copenhagen and Detroit, with a population and a similar climate: the second is three times higher population density than the other and yet it consumes ten times more energy, mainly because of gasoline. Under these conditions, I do not see how Paris would need skyscrapers.
Monday, March 25, 2013
British Bus Shelter
The bus shelter is the small stone building on the left. You can see it in Google Street View or after the jump.
It's Almost Enough to Make Me Forget How Much I Dislike the East Midtown Plan
Daddy Warbucks: "“Whenever I encounter an obstacle of some kind, I spend an enormous sum of my personal fortune, and I usually get my way.”
Hizzoner: "I never thought of that."
(Mayor Bloomberg paid for performers from four Broadway shows)
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
The consensus in New York is building - Quote of the Day
What is new about the large corporate quarters now under construction is that they are all being planned and designed in a “whole cloth” fashion in a single glass and steel style for a single class of user and resident. The first of these zones—the World Trade Center Complex, Hudson Yards, Cornell’s Roosevelt Island technology campus, Atlantic Yards, and, if the mayor’s planning and real estate gurus have their way, the Sunnyside Yards in Queens—all have precedents in exurban corporate campuses and districts across American.
But in New York these corporate landscapes have a unique profile—except for the Cornell campus—in that they are built on concrete pads above parking and transportation lines that link them to the surrounding city and boost and their values as real estate. Like Battery Park City, which may be considered a precursor and a model for these developing quarters, they are purposely isolated and apart form the surrounding city like a suburban, gated community. The World Trade Center is the first of these places to arise in New York, and though it has the powerful Michael Arad memorial at its center and humanly scaled Snøhetta museum, we won’t really understand this landscape until the scaffolding and chain link fence come down on its perimeter. Though its plan partially inserts the old Manhattan grid into the project, from the look of it, it will be a monstrously scaled landscape of foreboding spaces, underground shopping, and bland skyscrapers landing on bare concrete. The quality of the area is typified by Tower One: the 1,776-foot-tall boring and bland middle finger to the rest of the city. This landscape represents a sad lost opportunity for what could have been a model of a mixed-use quarter that resembles the best parts of this metropolis. But this type of attention was never devoted to that other corporate city on a concrete pad, Hudson Yards, which seems to be planned for a commercial district of Houston rather than New York. The High Line will of course meander through this area and it will have at least one fascinating new urban type, Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s Culture Shed, which will roll along tracks just next to the elevated park. But from the looks of the shiny real estate presentation drawing of the area, it will likely be the most corporatized landscape this city has ever seen. Some may consider Hudson Yards a “planned” community but in truth it is the result of a process that only looks at the bottom line (and the Houston streetscape) not what this city has been at its best or might be at its best in the future.
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Baseball on the radio and the joys of summer can't be far behind.
People ask me what I do in the winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring.
Monday, February 11, 2013
New York Bike Wars
"There are not only 8.4 million New Yorkers but at times 8.4 million traffic engineers," said JS-K. "And we’re, you know, very opinionated.” (Frank Bruni, Bicycle Visionary, New York Times, September 10, 2011).
Some evidence of that:
Ethan Kent, Ciclovia, Is NYC Ready?, Streetsblog, June 6, 2007
Brian Paul, Copenhagen Comes to New York?, Remapping Debate, February 9, 2011
John Cassidy, Battle of the Bike Lanes, The New Yorker, March 8, 2011
Matt Chaban, Bike Lames! Straw Men on 10-Speeds in New York's Last Culture War, New York Observer, March 9, 2011
Aaron Naparstek, The New York City Bike Lane Backlash is Completely Irrational, Naparstek Post, March 9, 2011
Matthew Shear, Not Quite Copenhagen, Is New York too New York for bike lanes?, New York, March 20, 2011
Brad Cuozzo, Murder on Broadway, Pedestrian lanes blighting biz, New York Post, July 14, 2011
Brad Aaron, In the Tortured Mind of Steve Cuozzo, Even Street Trees Are a Threat, Streetsblog, July 15, 2011
Adam Sternbergh, ‘I Was A Teenage Cyclist,’ or How Anti-Bike-Lane Arguments Echo the Tea Party, The 6th Floor Blog, New York Times, March 9, 2011
Ben Fried, Bin Laden Is Dead, But the Second Avenue Bike Lane Lives On, Streetsblog, July 8, 2011
Steve Cuozzo, The bike-lane cancer Metastasis on Columbus, New York Post, December 12, 2012
Ben Fried, Help Make Sense of Crazy Steve Cuozzo, Streetsblog, December 13, 2012
Noah Kazis, The NBBL Files: PPW Foes Pursued Connections to Reverse Public Process, Streetsblog, December 20, 2012
Noah Kazis and Ben Fried, The NBBL Files: Weinshall and Steisel Manufactured Anti-Bike Coverage, Streetsblog, December 20, 2012
Denis Hamill, 'I hate bike lanes' and support the mayoral candidate who will put the brakes on them, New York Daily News, January 29, 2013, updated January 30, 2013
Christopher Robbins, Daily News Columnist: Big Crashes’ Await Cyclists Who Use Bike Lanes, Gothamist, January 30, 2013
Matt Flegenheimer, Anxiety Over Future of Bike Lanes, New York Times, February 13, 2013
“Someone was saying, ‘Well, you know, Janette Sadik-Khan is trying to domesticate the city.’ As though being run over by a taxi was a sign of New York’s urban vitality.” (Chaban, op. cit.)
Hear Bloody Hear: London Mayor—Get Bigshots Out of Cars, Onto Transit “Like Everybody Else"
THE QUOTE comes from an excellent article in Streetsblog, but instead of linking to it directly from Twitter I wanted to first direct people to this quote from a Matt Chaban article in the Observer: "
“Nobody on Park Avenue walks,” [New York City developer] Michael Shvo said last month....
“I stopped walking a decade ago,” said Mr. Shvo nonchalantly, a statement of success rather than disability.After the jump, Chaban continues:
Nearby was Irwin Cohen, the man who turned the old Nabisco factory into the Chelsea Market. With the High Line nearby, he had seen the transformative power of an impressive infrastructure project firsthand—so how might he feel about reclaiming the Park Avenue median as an actual park?
“That’s ludicrous,” his wife Jill Cohen said. “What if you’re coming here? Where would your driver stand the car?”
“I don’t know that Park Avenue needs it,” a friend piped up. “The sidewalks are plenty wide already.”
“As long as they don’t make it bike lanes,” Mr. Cohen said.