Greetings and welcome back to another roundup of today’s noteworthy news, notably compiled after Amazon and Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos successfully returned from a 10 minute ride to the edge of space. Earthside, massive (unrelated) wildfires are causing chaos across North America from Oregon all the way to Toronto.
Here’s what you need to know today:
The U.K.’s infrastructure is buckling under extreme heat
The United Kingdom declared its first-ever extreme heat warning yesterday, as temperatures hit record highs across England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. While the 88-degree Fahrenheit highs of Northern Ireland and 86 degree highs seen in London might not sound like much to American readers, the average summer temperatures typically hover around 60 degrees. Add in the region’s typical humidity and the fact that only half of U.K. homes have air conditioning (on account of not normally needing it), and older and younger residents currently run the risk of heat-related health complications.
H/t to Gizmodo
The inaugural NY Luxury Design Fair is postponed to 2022
The first edition of the NY Luxury Design Fair, a new home furnishings and design trade show that was slated to debut in Manhattan’s Javits Center on September 9, has been delayed to 2022 over the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The show, organized by the Chicago-based theMART and heralded as the evolution of the Architectural Digest Design Show at Pier 94, will now take place on September 8 through 11 according to a press release put out by the fair yesterday.
Ten percent of all NYCHA playgrounds are shuttered, need to be replaced
More than one in ten playgrounds owned and operation by the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) are shuttered and in dire need of repair but the ailing authority lacking the funds to do so. Rusted and ruined equipment sits behind chained gates at 89 such playgrounds across New York, some of which have been closed for years. It’s estimated that each on average will cost $500,000 to repair and reopen—that’s maintenance money the agency, already starved for cash before the pandemic and emerging with even less, doesn’t seem to have available.
H/t to The City
Restorative Ground is installed in Hudson Square
Restorative Ground, the urban intervention from feminist design platform WIP Collaborative first announced last September, has been installed in New York City’s Hudson Square neighborhood. The interactive installation extends from the sidewalk into King Street, with eye-catching bright orange play and lounge structures intended to entice visitors and nearby office workers into relaxing outdoors (while remaining at a safe distance from one another). Restorative Ground was the winner of the 2020 Care for Hudson Square competition sponsored by the Urban Design Forum, Hudson Square BID, and Hudson Square Properties, and will eventually be disassembled and reinstalled in another NYC neighborhood.
Over 60 percent of U.K. architecture firms are being slowed by material shortages
It isn’t just France that’s feeling the pinch of material shortages; a new survey from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) reports that 63 percent of U.K. architecture firms are experiencing project slowdowns as a result of shortages. High prices, import complications from Brexit, and a resurgent building industry are all tightening supply, and a construction labor shortage is also speculated to be in the pipeline as COVID-19 cases continue to rise across Britain.
H/t to Dezeen
Foster + Partners joins Atlanta’s massive Centennial Yards project
The $5 billion Centennial Yards master plan to overhaul downtown Atlanta’s Gulch (around the Mercedes-Benz Stadium) has been revised to be more pedestrian-friendly, and developer The Centennial Yards Company has brought on Foster + Partners to assist with design work alongside Perkins&Will. Approximately one million square feet of the project is undergoing design right now, with residential and commercial portions slated to open in 2024. Once complete, Centennial Yards will contain entire new blocks of hotel, commercial, office, and residential space, with 20 percent of those units set aside as affordable for 99 years.
H/t to Urbanize Atlanta