Urban Design For Everyone (UD4U)

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

Pierce Skypark, Houston's Dream for a Freeway After Cars, Inches Forward

As early as next year, Houston could have a rough outline for the first highway park in the United States.<p>The Texas Department of Transportation is …

Urban Design

Nashville Mayor Wants Quick Fixes for Transportation Woes

Heavy traffic moves away from and toward the downtown area of Nashville. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)Nashville’s population is booming. Between new …

Cities

The American Cities With the Worst Sprawl -- and How They’re Trying to Change

When I tell folks I’m in city planning, I’m invariably asked how I would design a city from scratch. My go-to answer: type “imacheat” into the dialog …

Urban Design

50 incredible public-space transformations captured by Google Street View

Google Street View turned 10 years old in 2017. The technology allows people from anywhere in the world to explore landmarks, natural wonders, and even their own front yards.<p>Over the years, Google Street View has captured some spectacular public-space makeovers: A parking lot became a park, a …

Urbanism

Adaptive Signal System Kicks Pedestrians To The Curb

Carolyn Mawbey is irked. The feisty 68-year-old former New Yorker gets around Seattle’s Uptown neighborhood mostly on foot but when the …

Cities

Penn’s Landing update: Total funding secured for I-95 capping park project

Plus, a whole bunch of new renderings<p>What was once thought of a pipe dream is set to become reality: The state of Pennsylvania, City of Philadelphia, and the William Penn Foundation have committed to raising the last $10 million needed for the the Penn’s Landing capping and civic spaces project.<p>In …

Delaware Valley

The hidden ways that architecture affects how you feel

As more of us flock to urban living, city designers are re-thinking buildings’ influence on our moods in an era of “neuro-architecture”.<p>“We shape our buildings and afterwards our buildings shape us,” mused Winston Churchill in 1943 while considering the repair of the bomb-ravaged House of …

Cities

Retailers might turn parking lot dead space into biz opportunity

The vast, mostly vacant parking lots around many malls and big box stores could be paved with gold.<p>Faced with shrinking sales, mall operators, big …

Real Estate

America's First Urbanist

George Tucker was a 19th century public intellectual who appreciated cities as engines of progress and offered some of the clearest early statements on their behalf. His ideas today still sound impressively modern.<p>Nearly two centuries before Edward Glaeser or Richard Florida, there was George …

Ralph Waldo Emerson

The empathy machine: can VR stop bad city developments before they happen?

From ‘meeting’ a resident affected by HS2 to ‘cycling’ along a proposed bike lane through the city, VR can have a powerful impact in the real world<p>When I first meet him near Euston station in central London, the Norwegian architect Haavard Tveito is carrying a copy of Ernest Cline’s dystopian novel …

Cities

A Dramatic Plan To Rebuild Penn Station & Restore Its Lost Grandeur

<i>A rendering of what Penn Station would look like under the Rebuild Plan. (Provided by Atelier & Co)</i><p>As a metaphor for Penn Station's present and …

Penn Station

SFU students launch 'Airbnb of parking' to rent out your spot

City of Vancouver says renting parking is 'typically not allowed' without permits<p>The idea started last summer, when SFU students Thamer Matar and …

Vancouver

City growth dips below suburban growth, Census shows

By William H. FreyNewly released census statistics are casting doubt on the view that this will be the “decade of the city.” Since 2010, there have …

Cities

The Effective Management Our Urban Parks Need

Urban parks are critically important to a city’s social, economic and ecological health. But sound management and long-term maintenance are essential.<p>…

Urban Design

Which wards have seen the most zoning changes so far this year?

The 1st and 27th wards have seen the most zoning activity so far in 2017<p>Chicago has been leading the nation in corporate investment (four years in a row) and in residential tower construction, but the level of demolition activity, new construction, and number of zoning changes being granted to …

Housing

Rampage spurs calls to ban cars from NY's Times Square

NEW YORK (AP) — Is it time to get cars out of the Crossroads of the World?<p>The vehicle rampage that killed a teenage tourist in New York's Times Square this month has prompted conversations whether the city should still be allowing cars, cabs and trucks to cruise down the neon-lit blocks where huge …

Times Square

How Chicago Is Quickly Becoming The Social Entrepreneurship Capital In The US

Chicagoans have a sweet spot for social responsibility.<p>One of the most underestimated entrepreneurship hubs in the United States is, without question, Chicago.<p>It gets some love here and there, and has definitely risen in the ranks (both nationally and globally) over the past few years, but in …

Entrepreneurship

When a Town Pays for Uber Rides Rather Than Creating a Bus System

In recent years Innisfil, Ontario, has been growing rapidly. The town of 36,000 people is about an hour outside Toronto, and has seen clusters of new …

Uber

It's June, and Parklets are bustin' out all over

I was shocked, shocked to see a Parklet pop up on Elm Street in Toronto. I have seen<p>parakeets damn autocorrectParklets in Florence and Philadelphia …

Cities

Flat white urbanism: there must be better ways to foster a vibrant street life

Iconic architectural pieces may attract large numbers of tourists but are not the only things that live in the memories of visitors to Australian …

Coffee Drinks

LoDo: A renaissance owed to Coors Field, urban pioneers and smart politics

More than a decade before the gates of Coors Field first opened to enthusiastic Rockies fans, the dark and dormant blocks of Denver’s old warehouse …

Denver

Berlin could build a 6-mile greenery-lined bike path under its U1 subway

A community-led proposal envisions converting the abandoned space beneath Berlin’s elevated U1 subway line into a “grand boulevard for bike traffic” …

Urban Design

Copenhagen cycle jams tackled with electronic information panels

Danish capital last year saw more bicycles enter city than cars, with almost half of residents cycling to work or school<p>Copenhagen now has so many cyclists that the city is installing electronic information panels along its bike lanes to help prevent two-wheeled traffic jams.<p>In what city hall has …

Cycling

Eric Reguly on how self-driving cars will kill cities, not save them

This TreeHugger was so excited when first confronted with the idea of the self-driving car almost six years ago. Even back then it was predicted that …

'Guerrilla Bike Lanes' Prove a Reluctant City Wrong

Officials in Latvia’s capital keep saying there’s no room for dedicated lanes. Cycling activists just showed them how it’s done.<p>When city officials insist there’s no room for bike lanes, how can you change their minds? For cycling activists in Latvia’s capital, the answer was to do it …

$1 billion, 6-year Union Station revamp will include food hall, hotel, residential towers

The crowning of Chicago firm Riverside Investment & Development as the leader of a massive Union Station redevelopment answered two key questions: Who won? And what will they build?<p>Amtrak President and CEO Wick Moorman, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and other officials announced Thursday the selection of …

Chicago

Is the Urban Renaissance Over?

The suburbs might be growing faster right now, but don’t be glum about the prospects for urban growth and revitalization.<p>Earlier this week, <i>The New York Times</i> published an op-ed from Jed Kolko—”Seattle Climbs but Austin Sprawls, The Myth of the Return to Cities”—offering up another iteration of his …

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 …