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San Francisco To Help Citizens Create “Better Streets”

  One of Jane Jacobs’ most valuable contributions to the understanding of cities was her faith in the wisdom of the urban dweller. She argued that the physical city—and any approach to city planning—could not be separated from the wisdom of each individual inhabitant, “People who know well such animated city streets will know how […]

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Public Art, If It Holds Up

If all the world is a stage, according to Shakespeare, all the city is a kunsthalle in the eyes of the New York City Department of Transportation. Bogardus Plaza, a tiny pedestrian plaza carved out of a little-used block of Hudson Street in Lower Manhattan and named for architect James Bogardus, the inventor of the cast-iron […]

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The pandemic changed everything—or so we thought

The following text was drafted in response to the initial prompt in AN’s “Post-Pandemic Potentials” series. A subsequent response by Phil Bernstein will follow next week. Read more about the series here. Barely a few weeks ago, while self-isolating in London during the grimmest, darkest day of the pandemic, I was among the many who […]

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MVRDV, Snøhetta among shortlisted firms for 16 Tech bridge in Indianapolis

Six finalists have been announced in the bid to design a 350-foot-long multi-modal bridge to accommodate pedestrians, cyclists, and vehicles while serving as an “architectural centerpiece” of the 16 Tech Innovation District, a 50-acre mixed-use development currently underway on the edge of downtown Indianapolis. Per a press statement released by 16 Tech, the firms were […]

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Architecture and design organizations speak out as protests over racial injustice continue

Earlier this week, AN published a mission-redefining statement written by Kimberly Dowdell, president of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA), in the wake of the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man who was killed in public view at the hands of members of the Minneapolis Police Department on May 25. “As architects, […]

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Open Streets Initiative will aid cities in optimizing coronavirus street closures

Oakland is doing it. Philadelphia is doing it. Minneapolis is doing it. Denver is doing it. Milan is doing it. Boston and neighboring cities are doing it. And now—after one aborted attempt and a whole lot of handwringing from City Hall—New York City is doing it, too. With summer just around the corner and cooped-up […]

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Fifteen architects and designers will advise design of Rikers Replacement jails

In October 2019, the City Council approved a controversial Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) application for the $8.7 billion plan to construct four new smaller jails to replace the Rikers Island complex. Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, and the Bronx would each get a community jail building that the reformists and their supporters in the Mayor’s […]

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Is Trump holding up NYC congestion pricing and Second Avenue Subway funding?

Congestion pricing is at the traffic-alleviating heart of a $51.5 billion funding strategy developed by New York’s Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) to raise funds for upgrades and repairs that will help resuscitate the agency’s flailing, failing New York City Subway system. But the plan, which would provide the MTA with $15 billion in bond sales […]

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In conversation with Meejin Yoon

J. Meejin Yoon is a cofounding principal of Höweler + Yoon Architecture and, since January 2019, the Gale and Ira Drukier Dean of Architecture, Art, and Planning at Cornell University. Previously, she was the head of the Department of Architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she was also a professor for 17 years. […]

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The Surveillance Technology Oversight Project wants to curb surveillance abuses

Without a suspicious eye or an advanced degree in software engineering, it can be nearly impossible to keep abreast of the evolving role surveillance technology has had in the law enforcement of the built environment. Biometric databanks, facial recognition cameras, cell phone trackers, and other watchful devices have been quietly installed throughout our major cities […]

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MTA announces $51.5 billion capital plan with commitment to accessibility

The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is set to begin exercising its $51.5 billion capital plan this year—the largest budget approved in agency history. In a press release this week, the MTA announced it’s now looking for qualified design-build firms to work on accessibility projects across 23 subway stations in the city. “Accessibility is […]

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As the Rikers Island replacement plan moves forward, activists and architects look for alternatives

On September 3rd, to the dismay of many community members and prison reform activists, New York City’s Planning Commission (CPC) approved Mayor de Blasio’s “Smaller, Safer, Fairer” plan to shut down Rikers Island‘s jail facilities and replace them with four smaller borough-based centers by 2026. With CPC’s 9-to-3 approval, the plan now moves forward to […]

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Letter to the editor: Now is the time to close the Rikers jails

The United States incarcerates more people, at a much higher rate, than any other country on the planet. Five times as many people are locked up in America today, per capita, than 50 years ago, with devastating consequences for families and communities. In New York City, the eight sprawling jails on Rikers Island are symbols […]

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