Urbanism

Cities

Design o’ the times: Empowering minorities to shape urban landscapes

A spate of new design-based public schools aims to increase the number of minorities practicing design and architecture.

Cities

This old house: Why fixing up old homes is greener than building new ones

A new study finds that retrofitting old buildings is almost always more eco-friendly than building new ones, and provides the most immediate bang for the buck in the fight against climate change. The implication: Save old cities and we might spare the planet as well.

Sprawl

Sick of the suburbs: How badly designed communities trash our health

There’s no way around it: The suburbs make us sick. One brave researcher has set out to spread the word -- and suggest healthy alternatives.

Living

How to start urban composting in your building

Dirt is great stuff: You can grow things in it, which means that in the future when the only thing left is climate change, zombies, and Terminators designed to look like Kardashians, it will be …

Paris had the High Line before the High Line was cool

Oh, New York. You think that you've got a cool new idea, but always (always!) Europe beats you to it. NYC’s been getting all kinds of excited about its High Line park, an abandoned train platform converted into a wonderland of local plants, awesome places to sit and people-watch, and hibiscus ice pop vendors. But at TreeHugger, Alex Davies points out that NYC is just a couple decades late to the elevated park party. For almost 20 years, Parisians have been enjoying a stroll above city streets on the Viaduc des Arts. And just like the High Line, the elevated platform is a converted rail line.

Photographer turns unrelenting boringness of suburbia into art

Jason Griffiths is an assistant professor of design at Arizona State, and apparently living in the middle of all that desert sprawl got to him after a while. In the early aughts he jumped into a car, drove all over the country, and made a discovery so banal it’s practically a tautology: Suburbia is the same everywhere.

Urbanism

Karaoke and the power of ‘bottom-up self-organization’

In the season of budget-busting holiday spectacuthons, some cities are finding more humble ways to liven up parks and public spaces -- and the only fireworks are the ones residents bring with them.

Mexico City cuts crime by banning cars

Banning cars from Mexico City's Centro Historico and replacing streets with pedestrian pathways has increased nighttime foot traffic and decreased crime, say local business owners. Before the street got pedestrianized, neighborhood business owners used to …

Cities

The city speaks — and artist Candy Chang finds fresh ways to listen

Photo:Randal FordThe house was a nightmare. “It had been collecting dust and graffiti since Katrina and there was something very shabby and Brothers Grimm about it,” says Candy Chang, an artist and graphic designer who …

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