Daily digest: Reebok launches an Eames Office collaboration, the Port Authority releases AirTrain alternatives, and more

AirTrain To Nowhere

Daily digest: Reebok launches an Eames Office collaboration, the Port Authority releases AirTrain alternatives, and more

A rendering of the AirTrain pulling into LaGuardia Airport. (Courtesy former Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Office)

Good afternoon and welcome back to one more roundup of what’s going on today in a very, very busy news week.

Here’s what you need to know:

After backlash, the Port Authority release alternatives to the LaGuardia AirTrain

New York Governor Kathy Hochul officially put a pause on former Governor Andrew Cuomo’s $2.1 billion AirTrain to LaGuardia Airport in October of 2021, and now the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has released a set of alternative plans that would bring mass transit options to the Queens airport instead.

The agency has released 14 different alternatives, viewable on its website, and will hold two public workshops on March 16 and March 24 to gather feedback.

The 14 options under consideration include:

  • Two potential subway line extensions, both on the N and W lines but along different routes;
  • Five potential light rail connections;
  • Five bus routes;
  • Ferry service up the East River and into Bowery Bay and Flushing Bay on either side of the airport, with complementary shuttle bus services, and;
  • Unspecified “emerging technologies,” including autonomous shuttles or busses, narrow tunnels like the kind Elon Musk’s Boring Company would dig, or personal rapid transit options. This last options are more for the agency to determine how such technologies could be applied to the route, rather than prescriptive for the entire length.

H/t to 6sqft

Reebok partners with Eames Office for design-inspired sneakers

Fitness footwear and apparel giant Reebok and Eames Office have teamed up for their first ever partnership, presenting two new sneakers bearing patterns inspired by the textiles of Charles and Ray Eames. Both will be available on March 17 at 10 A.M. EST—the first reproduces a Ray Eames painting from 1939, while the second is branded with a dot pattern created by Charles Eames in 1947.

The ASLA responds to the recent IPCC report

The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) has responded to the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report, a dire summary of the planet’s state by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

“This is the direst warning yet from the IPCC, and only reiterates the critical importance of our shared vision, which guides all our work—to plan and design healthy and resilient communities for all,” said ASLA President Eugenia Martin, in the organization’s statement. “Working closely with other planning and design disciplines, we must accelerate our collective efforts to protect and restore natural systems and help communities get onto more resilient pathways. We must help communities around the world get ready for a much different world in 2100.”

The report is stark and in no uncertain terms lays out that governments around the world have failed to heed the call and prevent catastrophic levels of warming. In a future where “unreversible” warming will cause greater floods, fires, famines, and droughts, the ASLA contends that the role of landscape architects will become more important than ever to help mitigate the worse effects.

Atlanta will resume its free architecture tours starting this weekend

Phoenix Flies is returning to Atlanta for its 19th year of architecture tours starting this Saturday, with more than 60 stops featured between then and March 27. That’s in-person, too, after the program went virtual during the pandemic. The full program can be viewed here and includes a host of walking tours across the city and talks.

H/t to Urbanize Atlanta

This megalithic Midwest landlord has been raising rents by pushing evictions

The fastest-growing landlord in the Midwest, Monarch Investment and Management Group, is in the crosshairs after an explosive CityLab report alleged the company used the pandemic as a pretext to evict its tenants and raise rents across the country—despite a federal eviction moratorium. After raising rents, the company would reportedly evict tenants from Kansas City to St. Louis when they couldn’t afford to pay, and only a tiny fraction were able to contest the move.

H/t to Bloomberg CityLab

NEOM reveals a mountain retreat for the Saudi megaproject

Saudi Arabia has revealed another part of NEOM, the latest component to the futuristic city-state set to have flying cars, an artificial moon, and a 106-mile-long linear city dubbed THE LINE. Whether any of this will ever be built is, of course, anyone’s guess, but today Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced TROJENA, a mountainous component that will feature outdoor skiing and accompanying village right in the center of NEOM. TROJENA, slated for completion in 2026 according to the NEOM Company, will be divided into six districts: Gateway, Discover, Valley, Explore, Relax and Fun.

NEOM also revealed The Vault on Twitter as part of TROJENA, what they call a vertical village consisting of two massive glass cliffs bridged by biomorphic strands and housing in the center. The responses were as expected, with most expressing skepticism that anything will be built.