Urban Design For Everyone (UD4U)

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

CityLab Daily: All the Lonely People

Also: The geography of urban violence, and the health-care consequences if “digital redlining.”<p><i>Keep up with the most pressing, interesting, and important city stories of the day. Sign up for the CityLab Daily newsletter here.</i><p>What We’re Following<p><b>Finding community:</b> Cities large and small are reputed …

Loneliness

A Divided Neighborhood Comes Together under an Elevated Expressway

Where North Claiborne Avenue runs through the 7th Ward and Tremé neighborhoods of New Orleans, old men play dominoes, a farmer sells watermelons from …

Urban Design

Chicago’s ‘Art on theMART’ to debut world’s largest video display in September

The multimedia projection will shine a new light on Chicago’s Art Deco Merchandise Mart<p>An ambitious plan to transform the facade of Chicago’s iconic 1930’s Merchandise Mart into a massive canvas for projected art is just weeks away from dazzling residents and tourists alike. Dubbed “Art on …

Art

Greenville’s Unity Park gets its first major donation from Synnex

Given its sheer size and location, the redevelopment of County Square is one of the biggest — and the most important — developments in Greenville’s …

Greenville

This “city” for people with dementia is the future of memory care

“It’s going back to how we did it before we institutionalized our way of treating elderly,” says one of the architects.<p>The average nursing home can be depressingly institutional. For the growing number of people suffering from dementia, these facilities are even worse: Their repetitive architecture …

Alzheimer's Disease

What Divides Fresno

More than 50 years after redlining was outlawed, the legacy of discrimination can still be seen in California’s poorest large city.<p><i>Editor's Note: This article is part of a series exploring the vast racial and economic inequality in Fresno, the poorest major city in California. These stories were</i> …

Comment: Less is more for urban parks

The <i>Birmingham Post</i> recently reported on a petition, directed at the city council and the metropolitan mayor Andy Street, which demands a large new …

Revitalizing the Historic Downtowns and Main Streets of Our Communities

A healthy downtown is both a symbol of community pride, history, and a civic and social center for positive interaction.<p>At Pratt’s School of …

Workers cleaning out one of New York City’s dirtiest canals have uncovered historic relics covered in toxic gunk

The Gowanus Canal is one of the dirtiest bodies of water in the United States.<p>The canal has become more and more polluted by runoff and dumping over the past few decades. Raw sewage tanks overflow into it, giant clumps of bacteria have been found at the bottom of the canal, and officials have …

Our first look at Alphabet’s smart city

Timber towers and smart pavement: Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs is sharing an early glimpse of its Toronto development.<p>Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs and Waterfront Toronto—the entity formed by Canada, Ontario, and the city of Toronto—have shared an early peek of design plans for Sidewalk Toronto, the …

Smart Cities

Rethinking How We Build City Streets

When streets change, it’s usually not a good thing. Who among us takes pleasure in spreading potholes, deafening roadwork or time-sucking detours?<p>But …

The world’s first “high-tech eco village” will reinvent suburbs

ReGen village, in the Netherlands, will collect and store its own water and energy, grow its own food, and process much of its own waste. Also: no cars.<p>A half-hour commute from Amsterdam, a piece of farmland is slated to become a new kind of neighborhood. Vertical farms, along with traditional …

Vacancy: America’s Other Housing Crisis

As empty homes sit in purgatory, neighborhoods fray and cities are left to pick up the bill.<p>The image of America’s housing crisis is of pricey, increasingly unaffordable housing in superstar cities. And there is too little housing—a scarcity—in those places. But there is another, even more …

The Future of the U.S. Looks a Lot Like Chicago

Of all America’s major cities, Chicago may be unique. The rest of the nation — particularly newer, faster-growing cities — should pay close attention to its evolution, because the future of America looks a lot like Chicago.<p>While Chicago has a vibrant core, it’s not as dauntingly expensive as New …

Visualizing the Hidden ‘Logic’ of Cities

Some cities’ roads follow regimented grids. Others twist and turn. See it all on one chart.<p>In Chicago or Beijing, any given street is likely to take you north, south, east, or west. But good luck following the compass in Rome or Boston, where streets grew up organically and seemingly twist and and …

Parking Has Eaten American Cities

A new study documents the huge amount of space taken up by parking, and the astronomical costs it represents, in five U.S. cities.<p>Parking eats up an incredible amount of space and costs America’s cities an extraordinary amount of money. That’s the main takeaway of a new study that looks in detail …

Downtown San Diego Is Booming. Here's Why

Downtown San Diego is booming with residential and commercial development. No longer is it the once sleepy navy town boasting the best climate in the country. The weather remains beautiful year-round while the city has reinvented itself as a dynamic place to live, work and play.<p>The Downtown San …

Urban Design

How Cars Divide America

Car dependence not only reduces our quality of life, it’s a crucial factor in America’s economic and political divisions.<p>Urbanists have long looked at cars as the scourge of great places. Jane Jacobs identified the automobile as the “chief destroyer of American communities.” Cars not only clog our …

Bicycle Commuting

rotterdam's floating park is made entirely from recycled plastic waste found in the maas river

<b>in rotterdam, the recycled island foundation has retrieved debris from the city’s rivers and</b> <b>port to create a prototype floating park, which is now</b> …

The politics of wishful thinking: American cities and their commitment to the expressway

<b>» If cities want to reduce automobile use and address climate change, the status quo simply isn’t good enough. In Chicago, a once-in-a-lifetime</b> …

Urban Design

Finding the Untapped Potential of Alleys

“We’re starting to realize they’re just as powerful as a park or plaza.”<p>In the early aughts, a former skateboard kid named Daniel Toole was chafing at his slick corporate job in Seattle. To feel more like his rulebreaking teenage self, he cut through back alleys on his way to work. He liked their …

Why 96 million plastic ‘shade balls’ dumped into the LA Reservoir may not save water

In 2015, the world watched as a video of 96 million “shade balls” getting dumped into the Los Angeles Reservoir went viral. The purpose of the balls: …

Don’t ban scooters. Redesign streets.

Cities are regulating mobility startups, but ignoring the real problem—there’s still too much space for cars<p>Over the last few months, I’ve spent a lot of time looking at century-old images of U.S. streets. There’s a window of a dozen or so years at the beginning of the 20th century, at the dawn of …

Will Mecanoo’s “Blue District” in Utrecht Promote a Generation of Urban Centenarians?

That’s the goal, at least. Mecanoo has released designs for a large-scale development in Utrecht inspired by “blue zone” regions - areas where …

Boston neighborhoods: How they got their names

Geography, infills, independence movements—all these and more played roles in shaping the city’s positional vocab<p>Boston is named after the town of Boston in eastern England. But what about the city’s neighborhoods? A lot of them have similar roots in old Albion, while a sizable chunk are tethered …

How The Digital Revolution Will Make Cities Produce Everything They Consume… Again

<i>This summer, July 11-13, the annual</i> <i>Fab City Summit</i> <i>will take place in Paris at the Paris City Hall and Parc de La Villette. The yearly event will</i> …

10 Streets that Changed America

From Broadway to Wilshire Boulevard, a new PBS show examines how street life defines our city life<p>Americans define their homes in many different ways, but few parts of the landscape capture the culture of a city or the rhythm of daily life better than a signature street. From small town Main …

How Cincinnati Salvaged the Nation’s Most Dangerous Neighborhood

Leaning on the power of local corporations, officials engineered a renaissance in the city’s heart.<p>Just five years ago, David Knox and two colleagues took a risk. They relocated their nascent organization to Over-the-Rhine, a Cincinnati neighborhood that had been the site of days of civil unrest in …

The Van Alen Institute, in Partnership with The New Yorker, Explores Climate Change in Miami

In its new Sessions series, the nonprofit shows the effects of climate change through a variety of lenses<p>"The results are visible," says landscape architect Jennifer Bolstad of the effects of climate change on Miami. "Even if people say they don’t believe in climate change, they believe in an …