August 12 2014

A “Better Market Street:” The Revitalization Plans for San Francisco’s City Center

August 12th, 2014Posted by 

Market Street serves as the primary artery of San Francisco serving to filter hoards of pedestrians, bicyclists, and cars through its corridor. Despite the daily quarter of a million people using transit, over 200,000 pedestrians walking its corridor, and thousands of cyclists on the street, Market continues to fall short as a destination point for […]

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August 08 2014

In Nantes, France, Exceptional Architecture for the Maison du Batîment

August 8th, 2014Posted by 

In a tenuous economic context, one must be daring! But the gamble waged by the Fédération du Batîment des Pays de la Loire and de Loire-Atlantique has paid off. On Friday July 4th, after eighteen months of work, some 360 professionals attended the inauguration of their “Maison du Batîment,” an exemplary building by Tetarc. Designed by the Nantes […]

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July 21 2014

The SFMOMA Expansion: Increasing Community Connection Through Transparency

July 21st, 2014Posted by 

Commonly, the most dreaded hurdle for architects is: How to address the site in a way which does not dismiss the surrounding urban fabric. Drawing in the occasional pedestrian would be a compliment, but it is not always that simple. A building’s connection with both city and site can often become clouded and disjointed with […]

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July 17 2014

Microclimatic Improvements for Panepistimiou Street in Athens, Greece

July 17th, 2014Posted by 

An approval was finally signed regarding the environmental conditions of the Panepistimiou Street’s rehabilitation project in Athens. Other projects were also included in this meeting, such as the extension of the tram network and the regulation of traffic in the center of the city. This whole project has a total budget of 78.5 million Euros and […]

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July 16 2014

San Francisco’s de Young Museum: “Smart” or Not?

July 16th, 2014Posted by 

When considering building materials, what do you think of? Glass, steel, concrete, stone, wood, and some subtleties in between? The utilization of these materials in a building, act as a palette for the designer, giving life or another dimension to the structure. But what if these materials could reach beyond their static existence and give […]

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July 11 2014

Navarinou & Plato’s Academy Parks: Communities Create Public Space in Athens

July 11th, 2014Posted by 

Currently, in the city of Athens, Greece, there are various initiatives lead by local groups and community members, taking action to improve city life by any means necessary. Is it possible that these activities could bring a series of changes to the city landscape, that otherwise may be very unlikely to happen. On opposite sites in central Athens, residents […]

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July 03 2014

“Los Lampicos” Fight to Rid Thessaloniki, Greece of Graffiti and Waste

July 3rd, 2014Posted by 

It is a Sunday afternoon in Thessaloniki’s New Waterfront. The summery weather is suddenly interrupted by a short rain and the team “Los Lampicos” (“lampico” is a Greek slang word meaning pristine) sits under a shelter to protect its materials. Today’s target, cleaning two central sculptures of graffiti, is almost over. The recorder is on. […]

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June 17 2014

Greek Bathing Water Classified as Excellent Quality by European Union

June 17th, 2014Posted by 

European bathing waters were characterized as high quality in 2013 and 95% of them satisfy the minimum quality requirements. In fact, beaches fared best compared to lakes and rivers, according to the annual report of the European Environment Agency. All bathing areas in Cyprus and Luxembourg were classified in the report as of “exceptional,” whereas […]

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June 13 2014

Druid Hill’s Memorial Pool: A Meaningful Green Space in Baltimore

June 13th, 2014Posted by 

A 2007 article from Landscape and Urban Planning defines a few of the many roles intended in landscape architecture when planning public parks and gardens: Supporting biodiversity and providing ecosystem services; Providing urban residents with natural environments; Influencing the physical and mental well-being of users; and Offering social benefits and a shared space within diverse […]

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June 10 2014

Parintins, A City in the Amazonas State of Brazil, Struggles with Waste Disposal

June 10th, 2014Posted by 

During a visit to Parintins (a city in the far eastern region of the state of Amazonas), on May 31st to June 1st, Representative Luiz Castro (of the Popular Socialist Party or PPS), found the Municipality to have been negligent with regard to the critical situation of the city dump. The landfill, where all kinds […]

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June 05 2014

Eco-Districts: How San Francisco Does The Sustainable City

June 5th, 2014Posted by 

Sustainability can be a difficult thing to measure and even more difficult to implement, especially at a city wide scale. Many cities are bringing it down a notch and addressing sustainability at a local scale. San Francisco is one of a few cities that is adopting the eco-districts approach to individually addressing a cities various sustainability […]

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June 03 2014

Billboards that Literally Breath & Create Potable Water in Lima, Peru

June 3rd, 2014Posted by 

I have to confess that I am impressed by the social engagement of the future engineers from UTEC (University of Engineering and Technology), who have continuously been innovating to improve the quality of life (which is often mediocre) of the residents of their home country of Peru. Last year, the group drew the attention of […]

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June 03 2014

From Grey to Green: or, How to Make Green Roofs Legal in Buenos Aires

June 3rd, 2014Posted by 

Recently, many things have changed in Buenos Aires concerning environmental awareness and policies towards more responsible urban planning - ones that are in tune with the rest of the world. As mentioned in previous posts, the government of the city is making huge changes in waste management, sustainable transportation and promoting an overall “green” mentality. However, until not […]

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May 29 2014

Must we Build More? The Town of Wengen, Switzerland says No

May 29th, 2014Posted by 

Is there a limit to the size of a city? In Wengen there is, and it has been reached. Due to the ban on secondary residences in Switzerland, construction has come to a halt in many tourist towns where second homes already occupy more than 20% of the housing stock. Is this an appropriate way […]

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May 27 2014

Social Housing as a Solution to the Ecological Impasse, France

May 27th, 2014Posted by 

I have already thought, and on a number of occasions, to support the construction of social housing on this blog. But beyond the preconceptions, very often caricature-esque, which would render a left-wing activist as a “public” and collective housing partisan because he is “social” by nature, while a right-wing activist would be defending the rise […]

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May 27 2014

The Importance of Native Plants in Baltimore’s Streetscapes

May 27th, 2014Posted by 

Many cities are recognizing the need to return natural green spaces to their streetscapes, not only for visual appeal, but for environmental sustainability. Baltimore recognizes that native plants are needed to ensure biodiversity and balance within the local ecosystem with plans to establish “native plant communities.” This is especially important in Baltimore as it attempts […]

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May 26 2014

Underground Public Parking Lots: An Idea That Should be Buried in Brussels, Belgium

May 26th, 2014Posted by 

At the end of January of this year, the City of Brussels announced its project for reorganizing the city center’s squares and boulevards, labelled “A New Heart for Brussels!” to great fanfare. The most striking proposition of this plan is the redevelopment of public spaces in the heart of the city’s historic center, consisting of […]

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May 15 2014

Static Exteriors & Historical Preservation in Wengen, Switzerland

May 15th, 2014Posted by 

Just like energy, space is not created. It is something that already exists but can be transformed. As architects, it is our job to create a sense of place from an existing environment. Nowhere is this more evident than in Wengen, Switzerland, where designers must work with the existing housing stock due to the building […]

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May 14 2014

A Century-Old Waterloo, Canada Home Becomes A Model of Energy Efficiency

May 14th, 2014Posted by 

High levels of energy consumption is one of the most pressing issues of today’s world. Almost every function of our modern lifestyle is powered by electricity. North Americans are some of the highest consumers of electricity in the world, with data from 2011 showing the US ranking number 9 in the world with 12,924 kWh […]

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April 25 2014

Preparing for the Worst: Resilience in Washington, D.C.

April 25th, 2014Posted by 

A recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) highlights the fact that the effects of climate change are already transpiring, and that cities will need to adapt to these changes. As a city with large amounts of land residing in a low-elevation coastal zone, the most pressing challenge for Washington, D.C. will […]

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