Urban Design For Everyone (UD4U)

By Matthew Clapper | Most recent and interesting Urban Design news, brought to you by the team at udforu.com

Seattle Climbs but Austin Sprawls: The Myth of the Return to Cities

Be skeptical when you hear about the return to glory of the American city — that idealized vision of rising skyscrapers and bustling, dense downtowns. Contrary to perception, the nation is continuing to become more suburban, and at an accelerating pace. The prevailing pattern is growing out, not …

Cities

Opinion: The real lesson from the I-85 crisis

The opening of I-85 four weeks early is certainly a momentous event that should make us all proud. The fact remains, however, that we have a very …

Cities

Worldwide Launch of the Global Street Design Guide

Digital release, translations makes the guide available at no cost to planners<p>For Immediate Release <br>May 16, 2017<p>Press Contact: <br>Abhimanyu Prakash …

Cities

Farming the World: China's Epic Race to Avoid a Food Crisis

China’s 1.4 billion people are building up an appetite that is changing the way the world grows and sells food. The Chinese diet is becoming more …

Agriculture

Chicago Plan Commission OK’s transformative North Branch initiative

The move clears a path to opening the industrial land to new offices, residences, and green space<p>The Chicago Plan Commission voted yesterday on a sweeping measure to revisit the primarily industrial zoning of a 3.7-mile stretch of the Chicago River’s North Branch between Kinzie Street and Fullerton …

Urban Design

Eight Streetcars Planned In U.S. Cities That Could Break Ground By 2020

Streetcars are experiencing a renaissance in American cities. After Portland and Seattle led the way in the early 2000s, eight more cities have …

Urban Design

MVRDV's Skygarden, a Transformed 983-Meter Former Highway, Opens in Seoul

Today the Mayor of Seoul opened the Skygarden, a 983-meter elevated walkway designed by MVRDV which utilizes a formerly abandoned highway in the …

North Korea

Detroit’s New Streetcar Is Cool and All, But It Can’t Save a City

Something crazy is happening in Detroit, something not seen since 1956: Streetcars are running downtown. The QLine takes riders on a 25-minute jaunt …

Urban Design

Does the proposed Sodo arena site have a light-rail advantage over KeyArena?

The presence of Link Light Rail stations in Sodo often is cited as an advantage. But two companies proposing to renovate KeyArena say an upgraded …

Seattle

China’s Shenzhen Waterfront to be Transformed by Laguarda.Low Masterplan

New York-based firm Laguarda.Low are set to transform the Bao’an district in Shenzhen, China with a 128-acre large-scale waterfront masterplan. …

When Will Bikes Rule the City?

CityLab explores the ever-changing role of the bicycle, the machine that makes cities better.<p>In college, I worked a summer as a bike messenger in the late 1980s, which was roughly when that profession—pre-email—was enjoying a swashbuckling pop-culture mini-renaissance. (Remember when Ed Koch tried …

Cities

Why More People Didn't Get Hurt in Times Square

Pedestrian injuries in New York City’s most crowded space have plummeted since a recent redesign. But the real fix is to ban cars entirely.<p>Twenty-two people were injured and one person was killed when a driver raced through a busy sidewalk in Times Square on Thursday. In the immediate aftermath, …

Urban Design

Plan to curb panhandling takes people from begging to work

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Cleaning trash and landscaping public parks might not be glamorous work, but Derek Cote says it beats begging for change in a traffic median at rush hour, and he's looking forward to his hometown giving him a chance to do it.<p>"As soon as I get an ID, I'll be doing it," Cote, …

Cities

Design Groups Say 'Whoa' to Soccer City Proposal for Former Charger Stadium Site

San Diego is experiencing "déjà vu only all over again" (to quote Yogi Berra). Only a short while after saying no to the Charger's ultimatum of $2 …

In South Loop, plans for city within the city begin taking shape

A year after grabbing control of the largest undeveloped site in downtown Chicago, Related Midwest is thinking big while taking it slow.<p>Over the next two decades, the developer envisions creating a city within the city on the 62-acre parcel along the Chicago River, south of Roosevelt Road, that …

Chicago

The Wrong Way to Grow a City

A lesson from Cleveland: To avoid deepening inequality, prepare for economic growth before it starts.<p>The story of Cleveland, as with many other Rust Belt cities, is a story of falling from grace. How is “grace” measured? Population rankings, mostly. Cleveland was America’s 5th biggest city in 1920, …

Cities

New York City Seeks the 'Holy Grail' of Street Design

Why do some intersections have such high pedestrian injury rates? It’s not all about the number of cars.<p>In 2011, there were 15 injury-causing crashes at Seventh Avenue and West 23rd Street in New York City. Nine involved pedestrians struck by vehicles. The intersection boasts one of the highest …

Urban Design

LaGuardia AirTrain moves forward as engineering firm signs on

The AirTrain is expected to cost $1.5 billion over the next 10 years<p>Following the release of the request for proposals (RPF) in February, Governor Andrew Cuomo has now selected Parsons Brickerhoff Inc. to carry out some early engineering and planning work for an AirTrain that would connect …

Airports

22 photos: Atlanta Beltline’s Eastside Trail extension right now

Coming soon: legal access to all of this!<p>About 11 months since construction launched on the Atlanta Beltline’s Eastside Trail extension, the long-awaited civic amenity and alternate travel route is clearly coming down the home stretch.<p>Final plantings and crosswalks are going in. Bases are being …

Atlanta

Batting blight with big data

As Midwestern Rust Belt cities grapple with painful economic transitions, housing blight threatens to choke out once-thriving urban centers.<p>Detroit, …

Harvard

Ryan Gravel and Tim Keane are sketching a smarter city plan for Atlanta

The father of the BeltLine and Atlanta’s planning commissioner are designing with five core values in mind<p>Photograph by Wedig & Laxton. Illustrations …

Urbanism

Inside N.Y.C.’s Plan To Fight Climate Change Through Architecture

The city wants architects to start designing for bigger, badder weather.<p>While Washington, D.C., is busy denying climate change, New York City, which doesn’t have the luxury of pitting politics against science, is planning for its effects. Last week, the mayor’s Office of Recovery & Resiliency (ORR) …

Climate

New Details Emerge For Transformation of the Port Lands

It's the next great frontier of development, yet instead of cowboys and tumbleweed, you will likely only find brownfield sites and industrial …

Urbanism

Silicon Valley's Beleaguered Transit System Getting an Overhaul

Gary Richards reports from the South Bay Area:<p>Faced with a $21.4 billion operating shortfall and a staggering loss of riders, the Valley …

City issues plan for 760 acres along Chicago River, likely to bring building boom

Billions of dollars in commercial real estate development, as well as new sports fields, bridges, a new Metra station and other infrastructure could soon be coming to a 3.7-mile stretch along the Chicago River, after the city on Monday unveiled its final draft of proposed zoning and land use …

Urban Design

Cities Are About To Change Forever. Here Are 3 Key Decisions They Must Make

Disruptive technology and businesses are dramatically reshaping how we move around cities.<p>When Model-Ts started rolling off Ford’s Highland Park production lines in 1908, there were only around 200,000 cars on the roads in the U.S. Few foresaw the spread of suburbia, out-of-town shopping, …

Cities

The New Suburban Crisis

Once the key driver of the American dream, the suburbs have reached the end of a long era of cheap growth. Now their advantages to economic mobility have nearly disappeared.<p>During the mid-1980s, before anyone thought of the suburbs as being on a downward trajectory, the urban designer David Lewis, …

Cities

These Cities Are Replacing The Worst Kind Of Infrastructure With The Best

R.I.P. parking lots.<p>In car-dependent Dallas, parking lots are ubiquitous downtown. But one lot will soon be de-paved and turned into a park. Nearby, another parking lot is turning into a temporary urban farm before it also becomes a park. Something similar is happening across the U.S. as cities …

Urban Design

Why London’s Mayor Withdrew Plans For One of the World’s Most Beautiful Bridges

Sadiq Khan has just withdrawn support for the Thomas Heatherwick-designed Garden Bridge in London<p>Everything about the plan seemed perfectly whimsical. London-born architect and designer Thomas Heatherwick would create a beautiful bridge rich with overgrown foliage to span across the River Thames. …

Urban Planning