World Wide Wednesday: Architecture in Manhattan, L.A.’s new subways, and South Korea’s man-made city

Each week we will be focusing on blogs from around the world dealing specifically with urban environments. We’ll be on the lookout for websites outside the country that approach themes related to urban experiences and issues.

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Public transit got a big boost in Los Angeles last week as the city unveiled 8 new subway stations as part of the city’s “Gold Line extension”. The six mile extension — which includes six stations above ground and two below– has been hailed by the L.A Times as “among the most significant civic milestones the city has reached in several years”.

Within two years the city of Providence, Rhode Island could have a substantially transformed downtown, as city officials have approved a plan to relocate a major highway away from the center of the city. The relocation of Interstate 195 will open up approximately 20 acres for development in the city’s core that lies within walking distance of Providence’s historic waterfront and commercial downtown.

In a Times interview with Pritzker Prize-winning architect Thom Mayne last week, Mayne discusses his latest project, a recently completed building for New York’s Copper Union college. Mayne’s first Manhattan buildings, described by Times journalist Richard Lacayo as ” a compelling project…[that] really brings the streetscape alive” is located in Mahattan’s East Village and holds holds offices, laboratories and classrooms.

The South Korean government is on its way to creating a city from scratch and “the largest private real-estate development in history” on a 1,500 acres man-made island in the Yellow Sea. Located about 35 miles West of Seoul, New Songdo City is on schedule to open in 2015 complete with schools, apartment buildings, retail space and numerous architectural features based on city’s around the world.