Archive for the ‘Architecture’ Category

January 27 2014

The Modern Algerian Architect – Nothing More than an Underling?

January 27th, 2014Posted by 

In Algeria, it is a nearly unanimous observation that the country’s architectural output is mediocre. This opinion also occurs at the highest levels of the government, considering that in 2006, the President of Algeria himself commented negatively upon “the inadequacy and repetitive nature of the majority of architectural output.” We could legitimately place the blame […]

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January 23 2014

Kansas City, Missouri’s Mayorial Climate Action Plan

January 23rd, 2014Posted by 

Currently there is no universal agreement on the degree, cause, or the severity of climate change. There is, however, a significant agreement on the rise of global emissions due to the quantitative aspects of measures and their contribution to these changes. Regional industries are all highly impacted by climatological change or are subject to likely regulatory or […]

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January 22 2014

Bike Paths and the City of the Future, from London to Montreal

January 22nd, 2014Posted by 

I am a fan of the graphic novel series Les Cités obscures by Schuiten and Peeters, which depicts life in autonomous, futuristic city-states that are, above all, very strange. But, there is a bit of this fantastic world in the new project by the well-known British architect Norman Foster, who has proposed the creation of […]

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January 20 2014

Toronto’s Planning Outpaces its Policy

January 20th, 2014Posted by 

In Scarborough, Toronto’s east end, a three-bedroom house will cost almost the same to buy as a two-bedroom condominium apartment. It isn’t difficult to guess which most home buyers might choose. Toronto’s Official Plan is to increase density in the city through mid-rise construction along designated avenues – arterial roads that could accommodate and become […]

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January 16 2014

Rethinking Placemaking: Book Review of “Urbanism Without Effort”

January 16th, 2014Posted by 

Ideas about cities are always changing, but the fundamentals of urban living stand the test of time. Urbanism Without Effort, written by Seattle native Chuck Wolfe, suggests that we consider the basics when faced with the complexities of planning cities. Using illustrations of various urban environments around the world, it articulates an idea that I have […]

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January 14 2014

The Invisible Rivers Under Buenos Aires

January 14th, 2014Posted by 

In his recently published book, Buenos Aires, Ciudad Inundable, or Buenos Aires, A Flooding City, biologist Antonio Brailovsky exposes a vivid reality of the urban situation of Buenos Aires, a city imposed onto nature. As exposed in a previous post, Buenos Aires has a complicated relationship with the environment that surrounds it; the city is […]

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January 14 2014

The Covered River that Gave Belfast its Name

January 14th, 2014Posted by 

Belfast is derived from the Irish Name of Béal Feirste meaning the mouth of the River Farset. Now, the River Farset is covered and contained in a pipe. Old drawings show it as bustling river which once was the heart of Belfast’s industrial development. The capital city of Northern Ireland was founded on a muddy ford […]

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January 09 2014

KCP&L Using Complexity to Simplify Problems with the SmartGrid

January 9th, 2014Posted by 

The energy industry is a gigantic web of information and non-linear processes that have different networks, feed-ins, and balances between supply and demand on a second-by-second basis. Even at the city level, providing power adequately to all citizens and incurring minimal losses is a challenge all in itself. In the context of global emissions, energy […]

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January 09 2014

A Farewell to The Grid, from Gina Kiani of the East Bay, California

January 9th, 2014Posted by 

It’s hard to believe that my internship with Global Site Plans (GSP) has come to an end. Being a contributor to The Grid has helped me hone my skills as a writer; to more effectively convey and articulate my topics of interest. Focusing on topics of urban planning, through the lens of sustainability and geographic information […]

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January 08 2014

Transforming Movie Palaces into Religious Temples in Lima, Peru

January 8th, 2014Posted by 

The crowd slowly gathering outside the former grand movie theater on a Sunday afternoon is not so different from the crowd that used to gather in this same spot a few decades ago. These people, however, are not here for a show, but to attend a religious service. In Lima, these vintage cinemas no longer […]

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December 31 2013

Space Standards Continue Shrinking in the United Kingdom

December 31st, 2013Posted by 

Recently, Governments within the United Kingdom have proposed a housing standards review considering the minimum space standards. First announced in 2010, the government stressed the need for an industry-led examination of housing standards. This topic was aroused by the shocking statistics of new homes that were being built at smaller sizes than the already existing homes. […]

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December 30 2013

400 New Housing Units in Rennes, Brittany, France

December 30th, 2013Posted by 

It’s done! After more than ten years in the making and several large changes, the future Madeleine development zone behind the Nantes Bridge was approved by the Municipal Council. The first incarnations of this operation date back to 2002. At the start, the project consisted of restructuring Pompidou Boulevard. It was too large, not very […]

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December 27 2013

Farewell to The Grid, from Minneapolis’ Abbey Seitz

December 27th, 2013Posted by 

Having lived in Minnesota for the entirety of my life, I did not think there was much more I could learn about this state. I associated the suburbs with my past, and I sought to find new adventures in far-off cities. However, after coming home to Minnesota, and moving to Minneapolis, I realized that I […]

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December 26 2013

Oakland Among Five California Cities Awarded in First Round of Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities

December 26th, 2013Posted by 

The Rockefeller Foundation announced their 100 Resilient Cities Centennial Challenge during their 100th birthday on May 14th, 2013. Following over 1,000 registrations and 400 applications from cities around the world, the first group, having “demonstrated a dedicated commitment to building their own capacities to prepare for, withstand, and bounce back rapidly from shocks and stresses,” […]

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December 26 2013

Civic Participation in Jinan, China’s Historic Preservation

December 26th, 2013Posted by 

A couple weeks ago, a series of photos were posted online that showed some historic buildings in the city of Jinan were under threat of demolition as a result of a construction site. The photos attracted a lot of comments on the Internet, and many people accused the developers of damaging the century-old buildings. The […]

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December 25 2013

Events, Follies, Brick and Glass: A Visit to Philip Johnson’s Glass House

December 25th, 2013Posted by 

When your home is a glass house, how can you have privacy? In her 1998 book “Women and the Making of the Modern House,” Alice Friedman offered the following perspective on the way this particular glass house was used. Rather than actually enabling outsiders to satisfy their curiosity about what went on inside (…) the Glass House […]

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December 25 2013

The Unwelcomed “Mini-Disneyland” of Puteaux, Île-de-France, France

December 25th, 2013Posted by 

Multiple Santa Clauses, candy and cookies, and a Christmas tree. Recently, the city council organized a festival for the inauguration of the “theater village” made up of about ten stores surrounding a fenced-in area overlooking Richard Wallace Boulevard, directly in line with what was supposed to be a “green area.” The grouping of buildings was […]

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December 23 2013

A Farewell to The Grid, from Allyson McAbee

December 23rd, 2013Posted by 

New Orleans, Louisiana is a small and unique city. Somehow, even with a population of 37,000 people, you will always bump into someone you know. With that said, a sense of community is the constant throughout Nola’s dynamic changes and progress. We all want to be more involved, have a voice within our community, and make […]

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December 23 2013

Toronto’s Victorian Distillery Becomes a Popular Pedestrian-Only Cultural Hub

December 23rd, 2013Posted by 

Ten years ago, if you mentioned “Gooderam and Worts,” you likely got a blank stare. Today, mention the area under its new name, the Distillery District, and Torontonians will list many things they love about it: brick pedestrian-only streets, historic buildings, arts and theatre, boutique shops (no chains allowed), restaurants, the Mill Street Brewery, and […]

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December 19 2013

Soaring Skyscrapers: Local Governments Have Fallen Into Height Worshipping Trap

December 19th, 2013Posted by 

Starting from the first skyscraper in Shanghai Lujiazui to the Broad Group high profile announcement of the world’s tallest building – Changsha ‘Sky City’ plan, there has been increasingly dense concrete jungle growth during the past two decades. Compared to the heated growth of skyscrapers in America in the 1930s, which represented the rising power […]

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