Urban Sandbox

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The Beauty of Japan’s Artistic Manhole Covers | Colossal

<p>Japan is a country full of amazing art. Some of it is housed within museums and galleries while others are right underneath our feet. I’m talking, …

RoomScan Draws a Floor Plan When You Hold Your iPhone Against the Wall

iOS: You might need a floor plan of a room but you don't always have one handy. If you can't ask for one and don't want to go through all the trouble …

Public Murals by A’shop Crew on the Streets of Montreal | Colossal

<p>Montreal based A’shop crew is an artist-run production company that creates graffiti murals, street art, and other public art displays. Most of …

kateoplis

Work begins on the world's first 3D-printed house

Treacle-black plastic oozes from a nozzle at the bottom of a small tower in Amsterdam, depositing layer upon layer of glistening black worms in an orderly grid. With a knot of pipes and wires rising up to a big hopper, it looks like a high-tech liquorice production line. But this could be the …

Surreal Drawings, Paintings and Murals by Rustam QBic | Colossal

<p>With a wildly surreal imagination, artist Rustam QBic from Kazan, Russia creates fish adorned with houses and windows, elephants sprouting giant …

Placemaking Leadership Council - Inaugural Meeting

How to Fill a Library With People Instead of Books

A new study by researchers in Queensland, Australia, examines the role of libraries as hotbeds for collaboration, and why people engage — and don’t …

Citizen Placemaker: Mary Lou Carolan Brings the Library Out Onto the Lawn

In our <b>Citizen Placemaker</b> series, we chat with amazing and inspiring people from outside the architecture, planning, and government worlds (the more …

No Kids Allowed: How Our Street Design Is Killing Play

Five Essential Elements of a Placemaking Campaign

Lately, as we analyze the information generated through the inaugural Placemaking Leadership Council and begin planning the future of a larger effort …

“The Porch”: Transforming Underutilized Parking into Premier Public Space

<b>Philadelphia, PA Parking → Public Plaza</b><p>The Porch plaza opened in November 2011, replacing what was previously an underutilized parking lane and plain …

Crowdfunding a New Urban Identity

<i>No ordinary street fair, this new generation of urban festival draws on the ideas—and donations—of internet-empowered masses to help cities shape</i> …

Announcing the Placemaking Leadership Council

For those of us who are passionate about the public spaces in our communities, this is an extraordinary time. The general awareness of the importance …

Is traffic always bad?

Move to Detroit, land of opportunity

When Detroit filed for bankruptcy last month, it wasn’t much of a surprise. With its boarded-up houses, abandoned schools, declining public services and shrinking population, it had become the country’s most depressing city. At least, that’s how it looked to outsiders.<p>The good news about Detroit's …

Using Mixed‐Use Education to Build Communities

“It takes a village to raise a child.” Most people believe this adage, but is it still valid today? Can its suggestion of small, rural communities …

High School

Detroit by District: Linking generations in Southwest

In Detroit, we hear a lot about making the city more appealing for young professionals. The "live, work, play" mantra of the GIlbert companies and …

The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces

<i>“Just bring your own contents, and you create a sparkle of the highest power,”</i> Anaïs Nin wrote about the poetics of New York in 1939. But what, exactly, are those contents, and how does a city keep its sparkle?<p>In 1970, legendary urbanist and professional people-watcher <b>William “Holly” Whyte</b> formed a …

5 Reasons Pittsburgh is a Must-Visit City for Walkers & Bikers

Today, the smokestacks and steel mills that made the great city of Pittsburgh famous are mostly long gone. The “City of Champions,” as it is called, …

Jane Jacobs

Jane Jacobs (1916-2006) was an urban writer and activist who championed new, community-based approaches to planning for over 40 years. Her 1961 …

Detroit Bikes Making Steel Real in the Motor City

While Shinola has been getting all the press lately (factory tour here), there is a small new company doing manufacturing a new vision of American …

What is Placemaking?

<b>What if we built our communities around places?</b><p>As both an overarching idea and a hands-on approach for improving a neighborhood, city, or region,</b> …

The Placemaking Roundup: An Agenda for Change

On the opening morning of the Placemaking Leadership Council inaugural meeting, 13 PLC members gave brief remarks, accompanied by a single image, on …