January 01 2014

A Farewell to The Grid, from Sunny Menozzi

January 1st, 2014Posted by 

Throughout the past year, I have lived in Honolulu, Hawaii; Fayetteville, North Carolina; Astana, Kazakhstan; and Boston, Massachusetts, all at varying distances from my native Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Writing for The Grid during this exciting time was a great opportunity that empowered me to be an explorer of these cities. The Grid’s bloggers offer local insights […]

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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 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 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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December 19 2013

How Hidden Architectural History Shapes Seattle’s Downtown

December 19th, 2013Posted by 

Louis Sullivan famously stated “Form follows function.” One of the main functions of a downtown building should be to be usable to the public. In Seattle, this is done through privately-owned public spaces and architectural nuances. Sometimes this is obvious; but often the best public spaces are in hidden places. The Seattle Architecture Foundation leads […]

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December 18 2013

The Role of Beauty in Infrastructure: Kazakhstan’s Almaty Metro Inspires

December 18th, 2013Posted by 

I recently rode the Almaty Metro, in Kazakhstan, at present a single-line subway that opened in 2011 after being under construction since the late days of the Soviet Union. Exiting at Almaly station, I was captivated by a stained-glass mural, which led me to contemplate the role of beauty in infrastructure–specifically in American subway station […]

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December 17 2013

Nothern Ireland Considering Demolition of Historically Significant & Listed Buildings

December 17th, 2013Posted by 

Belfast has a vast array of historically important buildings that reflect how the city has evolved. Even though these buildings have been labeled as protected, they are still at risk of demolition. The PAC (Public Accounts Committee) has said that the “body responsible for safeguarding the buildings is not doing enough to protect the most vulnerable.” The […]

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December 11 2013

Station Square: From Train Depot to Tourism Hotspot

December 11th, 2013Posted by 

Station Square has had a storied history in the city of Pittsburgh for over 100 years. The 52-acre site was originally the location of the Pittsburgh train terminal, which was the central station of the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad. The Pittsburgh train terminal was built in 1897 by William George Burns, and was the […]

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December 03 2013

It’s History, But Not Preserved: The Demolition of The University of Ulster, Belfast

December 3rd, 2013Posted by 

What should happen to worn out buildings? Should they be refurbished or demolished to make way for a new design? Questions like these often come up in situations of regeneration, such as in Belfast with the redevelopment of University of Ulster. The University of Ulster is currently situated in Belfast, but there are also campuses in […]

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December 03 2013

Green Roof Policies Stumble in Guangzhou, China

December 3rd, 2013Posted by 

Guangzhou has carried out the green roof policy for more than one decade, but the implementation has encountered challenges. A report released by the Guangzhou Institute of Landscape Gardening showed that the green roof area of ​​Guangzhou accounted for an estimated total area of ​​only 0.5%, which is far less than Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen. […]

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November 27 2013

Architect Michel Cantal-Dupart Warns of Grand-Paris’ Mediocrity

November 27th, 2013Posted by 

To reduce Grand Paris to metro and train lines is to forget the demands for integration made by neighborhoods, and also solidarity with our less affluent fellow citizens. It ignores the imperative to conduct urban planning, and it is also an assault against residents. All of this is summarized in a twenty page report given […]

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November 27 2013

How Cities Come Alive: A Book Review of “Life Between Buildings”

November 27th, 2013Posted by 

People and buildings are connected – they have been and will continue to be so. Life Between Buildings: Using Public Space is a classic that applies substance and quantitative research to the field of urban planning. Jan Gehl, author of Cities for People, takes his analysis beyond urban design to talk about how public spaces […]

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November 25 2013

Reflections on Contemporary Architecture and Drummondville, Quebec, Canada

November 25th, 2013Posted by 

Should a cultural heritage site, or a street with 19th-century architecture, be obliged to retain its traditional design and architecture? In my opinion, this is a pertinent question in situations where several local administrations, with help from their urban planning advisory councils, tend towards mimicry, and therefore reproduce a style of architecture from the past […]

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November 25 2013

Saving the Planet One Costumed Bike Party at a Time

November 25th, 2013Posted by 

In the United States, a car-driven society, there has been a recent trend toward becoming more conscious of vehicles and their cost on the environment. For some time now the number of vehicles driven in the U.S. has been declining, while the number of bicyclists has been increasing. This trend is obvious in a city […]

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November 25 2013

Toulouse’s Exhibition Center to Begin Construction in 2015 in Toulouse, Midi-Pyrénées, France

November 25th, 2013Posted by 

The public inquiry into Greater Toulouse’s future exhibition center began November 4th, and will come to a close on December 13th. The Urban Community of Greater Toulouse hopes to obtain a recognition of public interest in 2014 so that work may begin in 2015. An essential step in the plans for the exhibition center, set to open […]

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November 21 2013

Pike Place Market Was Almost A Hockey Arena

November 21st, 2013Posted by 

Pike Place Market is one of Seattle’s most iconic landmarks, and is most favorable for tourist activity. While today no one doubts its importance and historic value, in the past planners had proposed to replace the market and revitalize the area with new development; even a hockey arena. Nowadays, it is difficult to think why such […]

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November 21 2013

UNL to Redesign Student Union in An Effort to Perpetuate A Modernized Ideology

November 21st, 2013Posted by 

Public Universities are always looking to grow and expand to attract incoming collegiate students. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln in the city of Lincoln, Nebraska is no different and in the coming years, they have some big plans for its campus. While sports facilities and arenas, updated academic buildings, and dorms have taken shape towards a […]

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November 20 2013

Homeowners’ Associations: Friend or Foe of Aesthetic Diversity?

November 20th, 2013Posted by 

While in Almaty, Kazakhstan, I observed apartment-dwellers’ eclectic modifications to their balconies. As these extended from otherwise homogeneous Soviet-period apartments, I noted how this eccentricity contributed to the distinctive character of Almaty’s cityscape.                             In the United States, condominium and home owners’ […]

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