Fletcher Studio

By David Fletcher | Fletcher Studio's Wunderkammer: Articles on Landscape, Urbanism, Art, Ecology, Typography, Unicorns, Music, Birds, you name it.... Enjoy!

Arts District bike lanes and pedestrian-friendly projects around LA will get millions from the state

Nearly $15 million awarded to make the neighborhood safer for walkers and bicyclists<p>Last week, the California Transportation Commission awarded more than $100 million to 62 active transportation projects around the state, including $14.85 million for a host of bike lanes and pedestrian-friendly …

Urbanism

Berlin Plans a New Network of Bike Superhighways

Can Germany’s capital become the next great bike-friendly city?<p>Twenty years ago, Berlin’s network of sidewalk paths marked it out as one of Europe’s best places to ride a bike. But as the German capital knows well, it’s not easy to keep a reputation as a bike-friendly city. Nowadays, Berlin looks …

What is Yarn Bombing?

<b>Yarn bombing, yarnstorming, guerrilla knitting or crocheting, urban knitting or crocheting, graffiti knitting or crocheting</b> – these are all names for …

Street Kintsugi: Artist Rachel Sussman Repairs the Roads with Gold

As part of an ongoing series titled Sidewalk Kintsukuroi, artist Rachel Sussman (previously) brings the Japanese art of kintsugi to the streets. …

Celebrating the First Ecology Parks in London

In November 2016 there was a celebration in London: it had been 40 years since the idea of creating an Ecology Park in central London was first …

Ecology

America’s first sustainable urban agrihood is growing in Detroit

This week, the Michigan Urban Farming Initiative (MUFI) revealed its plans for the first Sustainable Urban Agrihood in the North End.<p>Wait, an agrihood? It’s an alternative neighborhood growth model, positioning agriculture as the centerpiece of a mixed-use development. There are some agrihoods …

Farming

6 Low-Cost Techniques to Activate Underused Urban Space

“Public space is the new backyard,” says Hamish Dounan, Associate Director of CONTEXT Landscape architects. “Great landscape architecture projects …

anish kapoor to install an endless black whirlpool in brooklyn

the spiraling whirlpool is treated with an all-natural black dye, creating a seemingly endless hole, into which visitors are invited to carefully …

Brooklyn

Park-rich Queens needs trains more than green space afforded by QueensWay, which passes

Reactivate a rail line in a Queens transit desert<p>Good transportation is the lifeblood of any city, and New York is certainly no exception. If people …

Long Island Rail Road

For L.A. Street Vendors, a Step Toward Legality

Decriminalization gives vendors a measure of safety from a potential crackdown on immigrants. But advocates say there’s still work to be done.<p>After literal decades of fruitless back-and-forth in City Hall, Los Angeles City Council appears to have finally taken measurable action on the issue of …

San Francisco Takes a Step Back From Raised Bike Lanes

Sometimes they just can’t prevent cars from parking in the pathway.<p>In the battle of cars versus raised bike lanes, the cars just won a small battle in San Francisco.<p>The city had planned on installing a two-inch raised, mountable lane on a section of Polk Street, where, on average, cars hit one …

The Great British Vegetable Crisis

Extreme weather has caused British vegetable shortages—but is the real problem an unsustainable food system?<p>This winter has brought unusually icy and rainy weather to Southern Europe, causing floods and ruining the Mediterranean vegetable crops on which British grocery stores rely. As a result, …

The City Obsessed With Dogs Made an App Just for Them

It was only a matter of time before a canine-friendly app sprung up Tel Aviv.<p>Tel Aviv wasn’t kidding when it claimed to be the dog-friendliest city in the world. The Israeli city has one of the highest numbers of dogs per capita—1 for every 17 residents—and the pups’ pampered treatment is enviable. …

A Data Visualizer Created a Mossy Map of Berlin's Green Spaces

Sebastian Meier used vegetation and a laser cutter to show the city’s parks and ponds.<p>If you wanted to know the locations of Berlin’s many parks, you could Google them. Or if you’re Sebastian Meier, you could reach over to the wall and <i>feel</i> them, thanks to this nifty map made from verdant vegetation.<p>…

An Incomplete Dictionary of Show Birds

Photographer Luke Stephenson captures these finely feathered creatures in all of their gorgeousness<p>How many birds do we pass every day without ever …

Nature

A/D/O Design Academy's "Utopia vs Dystopia": Celebrating creative, scientific and inspiring makers and thinkers at the impressive new Greenpoint space

We were quick to visit A/D/O's recently renovated Greenpoint space when it was unveiled, but our return this past weekend offered an opportunity to see it in action as the design community center it was always imagined to be. Attendees were eager to learn and be inspired by each other and the …

Utopia

Link About It: Urinals Encourage Public Peeing in Paris

There's no stopping public urinators, and now the city of Paris has (like many other places) decided to support the act—but with a beneficial outcome. Now with the Uritrottoir (which translates to "pavement urinal") people can pee on the street <i>and</i> help public gardens grow. Each Uritrottoir has two …

France

Ross Pavilion International Design Competition Launches for Emblematic Edinburgh Site

The Ross Development Trust in collaboration with the City of Edinburgh Council and Malcolm Reading Consultants has launched a global search for an …

Scotland

Baseline bus rapid transit corridor design gets council's OK

Plan involves expropriation of 15 properties, partial expropriation of 200 more<p>Ottawa city council has unanimously approved a proposal to build a …

Urban Design

The millionaire's darling: Zaha Hadid's urban artworks – in pictures

The late architect was a favourite of wealthy clients in part for her bold visions of futuristic cities, including extensive subterranean development – a collection of which are being displayed at Zaha Hadid: Early Paintings and Drawings at the Serpentine Sackler gallery, London, until Sunday

The High Line's Next Balancing Act

The famed “linear park” may be a runaway success, but it’s also a symbol of Manhattan’s rising inequality. Can its founder help other cities learn from its mistakes?<p>When Robert Hammond first conceived of turning a disused elevated railway on Manhattan’s West Side into a high-design “linear park,” …

Chattanooga’s forgotten alleyways come back to life with architectural installations

Passageways is a community outreach project that ‘activates the urban alley through architecture’<p>Four alleyways in downtown Chattanooga, Tennessee have been reclaimed and transformed into dynamic public spaces thanks to a community outreach project by AIA Tennessee and River City Company, the …

Urbanism

Constrained and tamed: Will the Elbe be deepened again?

A court in Germany will decide whether Hamburg's Elbe River should be deepened to allow mega freighters to more easily reach the inland port. …

Germany

Lakefront Trail separation project moves one step forward

Dividing the Lakefront Trail into separate paths for cyclists and pedestrians to help ease congestion and reduce collisions moved a step forward Wednesday when the Chicago Park District board approved a $1.7 million contract for engineering and design services.<p>The approval of the two-year, $1.7 …

Urbanism

CBC Arts

Transforming the unused area under Toronto's Gardiner Expressway into a public art space<p>The disregarded space under the Gardiner Expressway will …

Toronto

China Tries 'Vertical Forests' for its Air Pollution Problem

They might not fix it, but they'll look good trying.<p>A "vertical forest" will soon be gobbling up carbon dioxide in the pollution-sick Chinese city of Nanjing. Italian architect Stefano Boeri announced plans to build a complex with two towers that will hold 1,100 trees and 2,500 cascading plants and …

Air Pollution

Who's Still Fighting Climate Change? The U.S. Military

Norfolk, Virginia<p>Despite political gridlock over global warming, the Pentagon is pushing ahead with plans to protect its assets from sea-level rise and other impacts. Here's how.<p>Ten times a year, the Naval Station Norfolk floods. The entry road swamps. Connecting roads become impassable. Crossing …

Seven more LA streets will be treated to ‘Great Streets’ makeovers

Improvements are coming to streets in East Hollywood, Watts, Park Mesa Heights, and more<p>Since it’s introduction in 2013, LA’s Great Streets Program has reinvigorated thoroughfares with the addition of such pedestrian friendly features as plazas, art, and safer crosswalks.<p>The streets and commercial …

Los Angeles

15 Meatless Snacks and Appetizers for the Perfect Super Bowl Party

The Super Bowl is this Sunday! Have you planned your game day menu yet? Every year, millions of people tune in to watch the big game. Even if you’re …

Foodies