The new taxi design

This has been all over the media, so for those who are anxiously following the story, you can watch the exhibit being built with the Design Trust photo journal, Day zero and Day One.

And don't miss Deborah Marton's conversation on WNYC. Here's the Design Trust's info on the exhibit.



How can Brasilia be worse? Check out the new secret capital of Myanmar (Burma).

Congestion-pricing a possibility sooner than we think?

Is a green mall an oxymoron? It will be built based on LEED specifications, but LEED does not guarantee that it will be in a place that will be easily accessed by transit and pedestrians, have good public spaces, etc. More at TreeHugger.


Update on those London Toilets

via bubblejam.net


and another article on the loos in London.


Active retail, active transit

I was walking around Brooklyn Heights a couple weeks ago and noticed this little entrance beckoning me with a flower seller and food vendors. It turns out it was the Clark Street station for the 2/3 line. A lot of retail for subway stations are underground, and I really liked that this one helped make the entrance inviting before you have to go underground. If you look towards at the back, there's the ticket booth. For people who know this station, maybe it's obvious, but then again, maybe it's something you take for granted. It certainly makes a morning commute much more inviting.


The Anti-McMansion

I loved the examples in this BusinessWeek article featuring the Japanese phenomenon of infill development - really really infill, filling the cracks of the city, essentially. Plots of land are between 300-400 square feet, and they still manage to build a home, with space for parents.

Slide show

via Mocoloco


CB9 and Columbia on Manhattanville

This news is a bit old, but last week I attended the New York APA's event on Manhattanville, where Columbia and CB9 both had a chance to update the planning community on the status of the project. I think that majority of the design proposals that have been circulated have not changed significantly since Columbia made its intentions known.

Some elements of note are: Columbia is seeking a change in zoning for 35 acres in this community, though it is directly developing 17 acres; both Columbia Business School and the liberal arts school will be up there; there's going to be a magnet math, science and engineering high school managed by the Board of Ed, which will start accepting students this coming Fall despite the lack of a physical building; a community benefits agreement is in the works; and eminent domain is still in consideration.

As far as status in the City approval process, it still seemed a bit unclear. Is the Environmental Impact Statement pending? And there was a mention of carbon neutral development on the part of CB9. Though the idea may be well known within the advocacy community, and has definitely reached the decision-makers of private development, this was the first time I've heard about the issue within a specific community development context. Are other community's advocating for this with their respective projects?

Also, maybe this is petty, but this is the glossy vision that Columbia is selling:

And this is the place where people debated it last week.

I hope Columbia is hosting some of the discussion in settings that reflect the importance of the issue, as part of its outreach.

Columbia's Manhattanville proposal
Pratt Center's CB 9 initiative


A new public space for Dumbo

Will Dumbo get a new public space in the middle of one of its streets?

The triangle seems to have gotten a whiff of inspiration from the Gansvoort proposal, though there isn't a big blank structure from a bridge there.

There are many intersections like these around New York, and sometimes it does seem that the City has given up making them useful for people and instead turning them over to cars. Now that there's greater community-based interest in reclaiming these space, the challenge is how to make the triangles provide for people without making them all feel the same.


More on Moses

In anticipation of the next week's event about Robert Moses, here's more on Moses from Ada Louise Huxtable of the WSJ, an older article from Phillip Lopate, and the Karrie Jacobs article that seems to have inspired the event.

On Tuesday, March 20, view the museum’s current exhibition, “Robert Moses and the Modern City: Remaking the Metropolis”, and join Metropolis contributing editor Karrie Jacobs as she shares her views in a compelling talk, “Landscape by Moses.” Jacobs will highlight a number of Moses’s peculiar landscapes and discuss whether or not they have been successfully integrated into the daily life of our city. Refreshments and light hors d’oeuvres will be served. Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Avenue, NYC, 6:30 p.m. Space is limited. Please respond to: RSVP@metropolismag.com.


Ending "endless sitting"

I don't know if banning sitting is ever really the answer; that's what Berkeley, CA is thinking about doing.


LBC public market

When you think about Long Beach, CA, you don't think public spaces. But here are some shots of the very popular farmers market held every Sunday in the Alamitos Bay Marina's parking lot. Adjacent is a little flea market.

It's a shame that the easiest way to get there is by car. Judging by how crowded the market was on Sunday, the demand is there.