February’s top news stories covered a variety of topics from resiliency to city data to what an architect needs to know. Take a look at the top five stories as voted by our readers’ clicks that kept you coming back last month.
(COURTESY WE DESIGN)
Rethinking the Waterfront
Brooklyn redefines the waterfront as a place for stormwater management.
Earlier this month Brooklyn Borough president Eric Adams announced the release of Stormwater Infrastructure Design Guidelines, which have the potential to generate exemplary landscape design and benefit all of New York City. The Design Guidelines propose to integrate green infrastructure techniques with a 14-mile continuous corridor for bicycles and pedestrians along the Brooklyn waterfront. The new plan, titled The Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway: An Agent for Green Infrastructure, Climate Change Adaptation and Resiliency, illustrates how stormwater infrastructure would enhance the Greenway.
Feature> The Eyes of Data are Upon You
Using Big Data to analyze traffic, energy use, water flows, air quality and other factors, architects and planners are designing the smarter cities of tomorrow.
Architects and Planners across the country are harnessing the potential of Big Data to build information-laden city-scale models. By gathering and synthesizing such factors as traffic, energy usage, water flows, and air quality, the urban design field is hoping to layout smarter, more efficient, and more resilient forms of development. John Gendall logs on to find out more.(COURTESY ARCHITECTURE FOR HUMANITY)
Good Intentions, Bad Management
Inside the closure of Architecture for Humanity.
The San Francisco–based nonprofit Architecture for Humanity (AFH), a 15-year-old organization dedicated to providing critical buildings in areas of need, shut down operations abruptly on January 1st of this year. The official announcement from the board of directors, which came nearly three weeks later, said that the organization was filing for bankruptcy because of “serious funding challenges… the deficit combined with budget overruns and an overall decrease in donations finally became an insurmountable situation.” Coming at a time when the economy is doing well and an interest in bettering the world through design is pervasive, the closure was all the more surprising. The specifics about how the organization got itself into financial straits are still outstanding. But the overall arc indicates that the organization had trouble with the challenge that so many small businesses face—how to scale up in a sustainable way.
Comment> Michael Sorkin
Two hundred and fifty things an architect should know.
1. The feel of cool marble under bare feet.
2. How to live in a small room with five strangers for six months.
3. With the same strangers in a lifeboat for one week.
4. The modulus of rupture.
5. The distance a shout carries in the city.
Feature> As the Camera Flies
Photographer Vincent Laforet’s immersive aerials show a stunning perspective of New York City nightlife.
New York City has been photographed from nearly every vantage point: sweeping panoramas, up close in detail, and from high above. But few images have captured the city’s density and sprawl, its tightly packed grid, its constellation of yellow and neon colored lights, and its changing skyline quite like Pulitzer Prize–winning photographer Vincent Laforet’s recent aerial series, Night Over New York.