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Thinking Like the Dutch

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Urban development re-imagined on the Sandy-affected coast

To understand water management, there is no better country to learn from than Holland. The famously waterlogged nation has a system of dikes, dams and windmills that dates back to the Middle Ages, and it’s also where you’ll find the most innovative thinking about coast management today.  So when Shaun Donovan, Obama’s housing secretary, was selected to head up  the......read more

On Tuesday, March 24, an overturned fish truck turned Seattle into a parking lot, giving residents of this traffic-clogged city yet another reminder of the pitfalls of a transportation system built almost entirely around automobiles. The truck was headed south on State Route 99 carrying a load of frozen cod when it tipped, blocking all southbound lanes of one of just two main north-south......read more

Favela Painting

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Artists give Rio community a radiant makeover.

In Santa Marta, a hillside favela in the heart of Rio de Janeiro, two artists from Holland are using a massive art intervention to transform the community. Jeroen Koolhaas and Dre Urhahn originally came to Brazil in 2005 to shoot a documentary on the vibrant favela music scene. They never left. The two stayed in Rio to form Favela Painting, an organization dedicated to creating "striking......read more

Delancey Underground: The Low Line

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Subterranean park proposed for Manhattan's Lower East Side

In New York City, where land for parks is scarce, the biggest new green space is the High Line, a mile-long stretch of elevated railroad repurposed as park. Now, a group of innovative urbanists is proposing a subterranean version. As reported in this week’s issue of New York Magazine, the Delancey Underground (affectionately dubbed "The Low Line") would convert the......read more

Luxembourg Steel Mill Reinterpreted As Public Park

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Brilliant urban design thinking by AllesWirdGut Architektur

In Luxembourg, Austrian architecture firm AllesWirdGut has re-envisioned the site of an obsolete steel mill as an elegantly designed urban park. Leaving the skeletal elements of the the old factory in place, the architects let the site's hidden qualities shine through the new design. From their description: Seating areas and new trees are concentrated into islands, which leave empty......read more

High Line's Final Phase Unveiled

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New York's most visited park gets ready to go the distance

Six years ago, New Yorkers were introduced to the idea of converting a historic freight rail line into a public park. Since then, the High Line has become the city's most visited park. Now NYC parks officials and Friends of the High Line have revealed designs for the for the third and final section of the High Line, and we're pleased to say that it looks incredible. The final phase is being......read more

City Camouflage by Roeland Otten

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Dutch designer disguises ugly public buildings in urban spaces

What to do with public eyesores in the inner city? It should come as no surprise that the Dutch have dreamed up a novel way of beautifying them. Designer Roeland Otten, best known for the amazing ABChairs he released in 2010, uses the power of camouflage to disguise ugly public buildings in Amsterdam and Rotterdam. If you're picturing drab green military canvas draped over buildings, think......read more

Bike Cities of the Future

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How cycling will inspire the urban forms of tomorrow

If the 20th century belonged to the car, the 21st century belongs to the bicycle. More and more people are choosing bikes as their primary mode of transport, and bike share programs have spread across 535 cities in 49 countries (and counting). But will urban forms follow suit? Will cycling change the city? Dr. Steven Fleming, author of "Cycle Space: Architecture and Urban Design in the Age of......read more

Giant 'Death Ray' Shield Proposed in Dallas

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Blossoming sculpture would protect important museum from scorching solar glare

Since opening in 2003, the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas has catalyzed the development of a new neighbourhood in the city. But one of the buildings that the museum helped attract to the area has become its biggest threat. Museum Tower, a 42-story condo high-rise, is clad in a glassy exterior that reflects sunlight onto the Nasher property, killing plants and ruining art. The tower is the......read more

Gardens NYC: Creative Living

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Garden as canvas.

Ten years ago, when artist Greg Van de Hey felt the creative impulse, he'd make a painting. But now, with two young kids, there just isn't enough time to make art. That's where his garden comes in. Whether it's building a rain barrel, making a grapevine trellis, or making wine, the young dad can always find a garden project that satiates his creative drive. It all plays into......read more

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