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The NYPL's Open Maps Project adds 20,000 High Res Maps

The New York Public Library has released more than 20,000 high resolution cartographic works (maps!) for free, to view and download. "We believe these maps have no known US copyright restrictions." All can be viewed through the New York Public Library’s Digital Collections page and downloaded through their Map Warper. (Via) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 31, 2014 - 11 comments

 

Building Goes Up, Building Goes Down

Watch NYC Gentrify Through Google Street View GIFs
posted by The Whelk on Feb 21, 2014 - 135 comments

Planning Love

V-Day cards for planners, architects, urban designers, landscape architects, transportation engineers, and those who love them.
posted by parudox on Feb 14, 2014 - 15 comments

The Light that will Be

After Michael Mann set out to direct Collateral, the story’s setting moved from New York to Los Angeles. This decision was in part motivated by the unique visual presence of the city — especially the way it looked at night. Mann shot a majority of the film in HD (this was 2004), feeling the format better captured the city’s night lighting. Even the film’s protagonist taxi needed a custom coat to pick up different sheens depending on the type of artificial lighting the cab passed beneath. That city, at least as it appears in Collateral and countless other films, will never be the same again. L.A. has made a vast change-over to LED street lights, with New York City not far behind. Why Hollywood Will Never Look the Same Again on Film: LEDs Hit the Streets of LA & NY
posted by timshel on Feb 3, 2014 - 71 comments

Sociologist Cat is Watching You Text...in Public

Keith Hampton, an associate professor in Rutgers' School of Communication and Information, filmed people in Bryant Park (among other locations) in an ongoing effort to recreate and update sociologist William H. Whyte's Street Life Project. [more inside]
posted by DiscourseMarker on Jan 20, 2014 - 3 comments

This is Chicago

City of Necessity, a 22-minute documentary from 1961, explores race, class, life, and culture in midcentury Chicago. WBEZ writeup by Lee Bey.
posted by dinty_moore on Jan 11, 2014 - 6 comments

Healthy cities: public health and urban planning

A new Report on the State of Health + Urbanism (pdf) from MIT looks at the relationship between urban planning and public health, with some surprising findings. The cities covered are Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Minneapolis, New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. [more inside]
posted by gingerbeer on Dec 31, 2013 - 52 comments

Be sure to zoom out....

Buildings in the Netherlands by year of construction is a map worth getting lost in.
posted by oulipian on Sep 1, 2013 - 19 comments

Public Space

L.A.'s urban parks: for the homeless, too? 'The new small parks include features that homeless advocates say are meant to harass. But managers contend they just want to prevent people from living there.'[LA Times - for access, use private browsing function in your browser]. [more inside]
posted by VikingSword on Aug 31, 2013 - 96 comments

“It is very good here, I can drink here everyday and nobody bothers me.”

For Anting New City, China asked for an idealized theme park of a Teutonic village, but instead they got a modern Bauhaus inspired ghost town. Only about 1,000 people live in this Shanghai mega-suburb that was built to be home to 50,000 residents. (via)
posted by spamandkimchi on Aug 29, 2013 - 45 comments

Bringing water back to light

A hundred years ago streams got in the way of urban planning so people covered them up. Today towns and cities are looking to bring these streams back into light thus reducing flood risks, improving water quality, and revitalising neighbourhoods.
posted by AlienGrace on Aug 2, 2013 - 23 comments

Forensic Topology

Forensic Topology. "In his 2003 memoir Where The Money Is: True Tales from the Bank Robbery Capital of the World, co-authored with Gordon Dillow, retired Special Agent William J. Rehder briefly suggests that the design of a city itself leads to and even instigates certain crimes—in Los Angeles’s case, bank robberies. Rehder points out that this sprawling metropolis of freeways and its innumerable nondescript banks is, in a sense, a bank robber’s paradise. Crime, we could say, is just another way to use the city."
posted by homunculus on Jul 13, 2013 - 14 comments

The Moon Doesn't Have A Bed, Bath and Beyond... Yet

Samuel Aston Williams shows maps of the spread of urban sprawl in several American and international cities over 30 years, as seen from space.
posted by reenum on Jun 25, 2013 - 36 comments

Maybe go back to Rockville after all...

Montgomery County MD, a wealthy, sprawling suburban county outside of Washington DC - its blandess famously mocked by REM's ("Don't Go Back to Rockville.) - is moving towards adopting some of the most progressive and potentially transformational approaches to suburban/urban planning in the US. Driving the change is a concern that young, creative millenials are no longer interested in moving out to the suburbs.
posted by RandlePatrickMcMurphy on Jun 10, 2013 - 84 comments

The Modern Moloch

Jaywalking, in time and space
posted by eotvos on May 9, 2013 - 8 comments

No Sanitation? No Services? No Problem!

Megabumtopia (explanatory Reddit thread) is a virtual libertarian paradise which houses over a million happy Sims without worrying about things like 'power' or 'sewage treatment' or 'drinkable water'. SimCity's recent launch problems have been discussed previously on Metafilter.
posted by codacorolla on Apr 7, 2013 - 145 comments

Can we please stop drawing trees on top of skyscrapers?

Want to make a skyscraper look trendy and sustainable? Put a tree on it. Or better yet, dozens. However, "There are plenty of scientific reasons why skyscrapers don’t—and probably won’t—have trees, at least not to the heights which many architects propose. Life sucks up there. For you, for me, for trees, and just about everything else except peregrine falcons." [more inside]
posted by daisyk on Mar 26, 2013 - 65 comments

Biketown, USA

What happened to a place in Michigan when cars were banned for 115 years?
posted by mathowie on Mar 14, 2013 - 82 comments

Night City, here we go

Is San Francisco The Brooklyn To Silicon Valley's Unbuilt Manhattan? Much has been said about how San Francisco should build up and become a new Manhattan. (Previously.) Similarly, much has been said about the utterly boring suburban sprawl that is Silicon Valley. (At least in San Jose.) The Awl's Ken Layne points out that there's a lot of underdeveloped land in between that isn't exactly virgin wilderness- and suggests making more out of it: an entire metropolis, in fact. Alexis Madrigal at The Atlantic Cities mentions that Redwood City is the neighborhood of the future. [more inside]
posted by Apocryphon on Jan 9, 2013 - 134 comments

Welcome to San Francisco. Now what the hell are you doing here?

San Francisco can become a world capital. First it needs to get over itself.
posted by MattMangels on Dec 5, 2012 - 227 comments

Hudson Yards

In a few weeks, ground-breaking will begin on the far West Side. The project: Hudson Yards, the largest real-estate development ever undertaken in the city's history, an enormous mini-metropolis whose planning might have left even Robert Moses dumbstruck. - Wendy Goodman [more inside]
posted by Egg Shen on Oct 9, 2012 - 22 comments

'You actually have to really build a collaborative relationship with the people on the ground if you want to have any hope of understanding what’s going on.'

"Let’s Map Who Owes The Local Warlord Money": Meet An Urban Planner For Cities That Don't Yet Exist (via Small Wars Journal). [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jul 30, 2012 - 6 comments

Building resilient cities and towns with fiscal conservatism

"...Charles Marohn and his colleagues at the Minnesota-based nonprofit Strong Towns have made a very compelling case that suburban sprawl is basically a Ponzi scheme, in which municipalities expand infrastructure hoping to attract new taxpayers that can pay off the mounting costs associated with the last infrastructure expansion, over and over." Building resilient cities and towns with fiscal conservatism. [more inside]
posted by invitapriore on May 8, 2012 - 46 comments

Are Cities a Political Liability?

Obama to Cities: Drop Dead—the Life and Death of a Great American Urban Policy
posted by beisny on Feb 15, 2012 - 69 comments

The price of parking

“I truly believe that when men and women think about parking, their mental capacity reverts to the reptilian cortex of the brain,”
posted by latkes on Dec 29, 2011 - 66 comments

Crosswalk to Nowhere.

What do you mean the building codes require us to install handicapped-accessible crosswalk? Fine. Here's your fucking crosswalk. [more inside]
posted by schmod on Nov 11, 2011 - 118 comments

But this could be almost anywhere.

Highrise: One Millionth Tower is an interactive documentary, architectural visualization, and virtual transformation featuring a highrise development in Toronto. Presented by the National Film Board of Canada. (via Chrome Experiments)
posted by OverlappingElvis on Nov 8, 2011 - 3 comments

It's like KittenWar for urban spaces

Which place looks safer? Which place looks more unique? Which place looks more upper-class? MIT is crowdsourcing a "perception network" to analyze people's subconscious judgments about urban spaces. Preliminary results for Boston, New York City, Vienna, Salzburg, and Linz (Austria). [more inside]
posted by desjardins on Sep 28, 2011 - 45 comments

Cities for People

Danish architect Jan Gehl on making cities safe for people, the art and science of designing good cities for walking, and how to plan good cities for bicycling.
posted by parudox on Jun 27, 2011 - 39 comments

Megacities on the move

Forum for the Future, a UK-based non-profit, has produced a series of short videos depicting possible future scenarios for sustainable urban mobility. Titled "Megacities on the move," the series explores "how we will live and travel in the cities of 2040". The four scenarios are (links to Vimeo): Planned-opolis , Communi-city, Renew-abad, and Sprawl-ville. [more inside]
posted by thescientificmethhead on Jun 26, 2011 - 23 comments

Historic preservation as gentrification and discrimination

[Urban planning] allows discrimination but dresses it up as discriminating taste. So says an opinion piece in Reason magazine titled Urban Design Hipsters are Evil. [more inside]
posted by desjardins on Jun 15, 2011 - 59 comments

Kickstarting a City

Cities as Software is an article by Marcus Westbury about Renew Newcastle's low-budget, DIY model for renewing urban spaces. "...You need to start by rewriting – or hacking – the software to change not what the city is but how it behaves." [more inside]
posted by oulipian on May 24, 2011 - 38 comments

Seoul tears down an urban freeway and the city can breathe again

Seoul tears down an urban freeway and life goes on
posted by aniola on Apr 5, 2011 - 104 comments

London's Unfinished Ringways

Unfinished London's long awaited second episode is a wonderful DIY documentary about London's failed 'Ringways' road-building project, made and presented by Jay Foreman. The first episode, about a branch of London's underground that was never built, is also excellent (and much more fun that you might expect). [Previously.]
posted by hot soup girl on Mar 14, 2011 - 22 comments

Urban Design

Candy Chang is a public installation artist, designer, urban planner and 2011 TED Senior Fellow based in New Orleans. Her Civic Center creates projects that try to "make cities more comfortable", and encourage residents to envision alternate urban realities: "I Wish This Was...." (site) / The NYC Street Vendor Guide / "Before I Die... In NOLA" / The Restroom Map Notepad / The Sexy Trees of the Marigny 2011 Calendar / The Neighbor Doorknob-Hanger / A Nice Place for a Tree and Post-It Notes for Neighbors. (Via). [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 2, 2011 - 7 comments

Mega-City One

China is planning to merge the nine cities around the Pearl River Delta, producing the worlds largest city.
posted by Artw on Jan 29, 2011 - 51 comments

Brisbane Flood!

Before and After the Flood. Startling pictures of recent events in Brisbane.
posted by not_that_epiphanius on Jan 18, 2011 - 45 comments

The High Cost of Free Parking

"Eighty-seven percent of all trips are made by personal vehicle and 99 percent of those trips arrive at a free parking space." But that free parking comes at a high cost according to Donald Shoup's research. He advocates for charging the right price for on-street parking and for removing off-street parking requirements. Shoup's ideas are coming to the streets in San Francisco's new demand-responsive parking system. Loyal Shoupistas work to spread and implement his ideas.
posted by parudox on Jul 13, 2010 - 192 comments

We were promised jetpacks. (Not the band.)

What are the things that will help create more Nimble Cities? (This post is heavy with slate-related links.) Slate asks readers to help make transportation in and between cities more efficient, safe, and pleasant. "While we're certainly not opposed to your most forward-looking proposals: Let's fire up Chicago's once sprawling pneumatic tube network; let's not let those zeppelin masts go to waste!--what we're most interested in are things in the here and now, things that are already making (or will soon be making) a difference in your city." Should cities install moving sidewalks? How about eliminating parking spaces or bicycle highways? [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Jul 8, 2010 - 81 comments

What to Do About Suburbs?

As suburbs become home to more poor people, immigrants, minorities, senior citizens and households with no children and we face what may be the end of suburbia, planners are wondering what do we do with suburbs? [more inside]
posted by lunit on Jul 7, 2010 - 127 comments

Play Houses

The World's Strangest Housing Communities. Brazilian dystopia, mysterious Midgetville, mock California in China, deserted Taiwan futureland and Indian utopia [also Paulville - 100% Ron Paul Supporters].
posted by meech on Apr 5, 2010 - 40 comments

Itty Bitty City Committee

Model cities are useful to city planners and architects. But they're also beautiful. [more inside]
posted by emilyd22222 on Mar 4, 2010 - 23 comments

Warping Maps with NYPL

New York Public Library is crowdsourcing the rectification of maps in their digital gallery. Help match rare maps of NYC to more precise current maps, browse rectified maps, or lend a hand rectifying maps of Haiti to help relief efforts.
posted by exesforeyes on Feb 21, 2010 - 9 comments

OASIS

The New York City Open Accessible Space Information System Cooperative (OASIS) is an online, interactive mapping and data analysis application that gives an incredibly detailed view of New York City's open spaces and how they are used. The map enables overlays of information like: transit; parks, playgrounds and open space; zoning and landmarks; current and historical land use; social services; demographics; and environmental characteristics.(via The Ministry of Type, who like OASIS mainly for its pretty map possibilities.) [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco on Dec 15, 2009 - 5 comments

NOLA Cycle Project

One effect of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans was to render existing bike maps of the city obsolete and incomplete. The NOLA Cycle Bike Map Project is a grassroots effort to create a comprehensive, freely-available bicycle map for New Orleans (like those that already exist for Chicago, Portland, and other cities). Because the project is driven by DIY maps produced by individuals and by volunteer social events organized around mapping different locations that can then be added to the project's database, it's been described as "Wiki-style involvement in the real world." (Here's some video of the project.) [more inside]
posted by liketitanic on Oct 29, 2009 - 4 comments

San Francisco's Black Exodus

San Francisco's Black Exodus. Since the last report in 1990, San Francisco’s Black population has dropped by 40 percent, faster than any other major city in the country. In an effort to reverse the loss, Mayor Gavin Newsom started the African American Out-Migration Task force in 2007. [more inside]
posted by lunit on Aug 13, 2009 - 27 comments

Expensive gasoline is good for you

The author of a new book on how rising oil prices will change America makes the claims that higher gasoline prices will make the country healthier and safer. Christopher Steiner asserts that, for every $1 that gasoline prices rise, obesity rates drop by 10% (as people walk more and eat out less). As for "safer", that comes in when high gasoline prices force police out of their cruisers and onto bicycles and foot patrols, where they can interact more closely with their communities. [more inside]
posted by acb on Jul 22, 2009 - 61 comments

The Price of Anarchy

Braess' paradox and the price of anarchy [PDF]: "We had three tunnels in the city and one needed to be shut down. Bizarrely, we found that car volumes dropped. ... We discovered it was a case of Braess' paradox, which says that by taking away space in an urban area you can actually increase the flow of traffic, and, by implication, by adding extra capacity to a road network you can reduce overall performance." [more inside]
posted by parudox on Dec 27, 2008 - 15 comments

Meet you at the Circl-Serv!

"The plans for Victory City have evolved over a period of 38 years, nurtured by the vision and dedication of Victory City's inventor, Orville Simpson II [no relation]. Mr. Simpson conceived of the general idea of Victory City in 1936, when he was only 13 years old. Afraid of being ridiculed, Mr. Simpson kept his ideas about designing and building the City of the Future to himself … a secret vision he held in his mind... It wasn't until 1960 — after he had embarked on a lucrative career in real estate investing and apartment building management — that Mr. Simpson decided to make his ideas about Victory City known to the general public."
posted by Miko on Dec 7, 2008 - 35 comments

Freeways Without Futures

The Congress for the New Urbanism has just released Freeways Without Future, their top-10 list of aging highways that should be demolished in favor of city-friendly boulevards. "There's a whole generation of elevated highways in cities that are at the end of their design life," says John Norquist, head of the Congress for the New Urbanism. "Instead of rebuilding them at enormous expense, cities have an opportunity to undo what proved to be major urban-planning blunder." Take that, Robert Moses.
posted by Afroblanco on Sep 28, 2008 - 54 comments

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