Daily digest: Circle of Heroes memorial paused over protests, Surfside survivors search suspended due to collapse fears

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Daily digest: Circle of Heroes memorial paused over protests, Surfside survivors search suspended due to collapse fears

New York State revealed renderings and broke ground on the Essential Workers Memorial and Park on June 25. (Courtesy the Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo)

Welcome back to another Thursday news roundup, this one full of updates to past stories and continuations of ongoing drama.

Here’s what you need to know today:

Search for survivors of the Surfside condo tower collapse is paused over fears of collapse

The partial collapse of a 12-story condo tower in Surfside, Florida, is threatening to turn into a full failure, forcing rescuers to pull back their operations. Search and rescue teams were still digging through the rubble to find the 145 people who are currently unaccounted for, but paused operations earlier today out of fear that the rest of the building could come down. This came ahead of President Biden’s trip to survey the collapse site today. At the time of writing, the confirmed death toll has risen to 18.

H/t to the New York Times

Construction of New York’s Circle of Heroes memorial paused after residents protest

Work began last week on a permanent memorial to the essential workers who lost their lives during the COVID pandemic in Manhattan’s Battery Park, but after residents protested the project, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo put the pause on construction. The Circle of Heroes site was picketed by local residents, including those camping out overnight to prevent construction, over claims that the memorial would further reduce open green space in the area and that no locals were consulted on the project, including Community Board 1. The project is being handled by the state-run Battery Park City Authority (BPCA), and is sited on State of New York-owned land. The memorial is part of the larger Essential Workers Park being installed in Battery Park, and residents also raised concerns over plans to swamp existing mature trees with non-native Red Maples.

The BPCA will reportedly solicit community feedback on the project before resuming work.

H/t to Hyperallergic

Climate change is ruining America’s roads

As record-breaking high temperatures smothered the Pacific Northwest earlier this week, drivers had to contend with buckling roads. As the concrete slabs used for the road expand and contract, the extreme heat can cause them to expand too far and jump up, creating bubbles and buckles in the road. Although roads paved purely with blacktop are less likely to buckle, extreme heat can cause them to soften and deform (while extreme cold can cause them to harden and crack). As higher temperatures become the new norm, planners will need to take these effects into account when choosing a road material.

H/t to VICE

Geothermal heating and cooling is poised for its big breakout

Speaking of climate change-induced heat exposing the weak points of America’s energy infrastructure, geothermal heat pumps seem to be poised to break through in a big way. Although sometimes touted on big-name LEED-certified buildings, using pumps to draw heat from the ground in colder months and cold air in warmer times is more efficient than using natural gas or oil and doesn’t produce any emissions. However, the cost of installation is currently prohibitively high for most homeowners to consider, even if it bear out over time in lowered energy bills (not to mention having to drill down for the loop). Still, more and more companies are jumping in to offer cheaper services, and government subsidies, perhaps as part of a larger climate package, could drop the cost even further.

H/t to Earther

OMA reveals a first look at its new Billionaires’ Row tower

The latest supertall tower for Manhattan’s Billionaires’ Row first announced on June 17 has a designer… and images. OMA will reportedly be designing 41-47 West 57th Street, an 1,100-foot-tall mixed-use tower that’s slated to rise in Midtown Manhattan. Developer Sedesco has offered to install new ADA-compliant elevators at the 56th Street and 6th Avenue F subway station in exchange for an additional 52,000 square feet of floor space. As-is, the 63-story tower would include 119 apartments, 158 hotel rooms, and a 10,212-square-foot restaurant. Design-wise, the new tower took cues from the other skyscrapers on the street—the new rendering shows a slim, tapering tower that appears to tilt in the opposite direction of 111 West 57th Street’s slant.

H/t to New York YIMBY

This 3D-printed rocket maker is converting an old Boeing plant into its new headquarters

Relativity Space, an up-and-coming manufacturer of 3D-printed rocket parts, is taking over at what was once a Boeing C-17 plant in Long Beach, California. The 1-million-square-foot facility, sited on a 93-acre property, will become the company’s new headquarters with room for up to 2,000 employees, a metallurgy lab, and most importantly, room for Relativity Space’s massive printers. Currently, the company can print metal panels up to 32 feet tall.

H/t to Urbanize Los Angeles