Urban Planet: The (New) World’s Tallest Tower

Urban Planet is a daily roundup of 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.

• In Changsha, China, there are plans afoot to build the world’s tallest tower. At 220 storeys, the Sky City Tower comes in ahead of Dubai’s Burj Khalifa. The air conditioning company turned property manager erecting the building is promising to do so in as little as three months using prefab components. The question remains whether there will be enough tenants to fill the building’s 1 million square metres of floor space. (Globe and Mail)

• Behold, HavvAda – designer Dror Benshetrit’s answer for what to do with a billion cubic meters of dirt. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has proposed the construction of the Istanbul Canal. Of course, carving out this canal will produce a lot of displaced earth, so Erdoğan put out the call for creative ideas for what to do with it. The result, HavvAda, is a man-made island community off the coast of Istanbul, Turkey. Each of the six hills pictured above would be supported by a geodesic dome. Benshetrit emphasizes that the plan is more of a vision that an actionable idea. (Fast Company)

• SimCity, longtime nursery for burgeoning city planners, is set to release a new version in February 2013. This version of the game, first released in 1989, adds the a multiplayer dimension – allowing users to share resources between their cities or to specialize and trade. The game emphasizes the perils of energy choices – highlighting the negative health impacts and public opinion that can come as a result of a local coal or nuclear plant. (FastCompany)

• The Southern California Institute of Architecture, The Architect’s Newspaper and LA Metro recently issued an open invitation for ideas that would increase public transportation ridership in L.A. Architects, Li Wen and Shawn Gehle, have responded with NETWORK_LA. The app mines existing data streams to make a more responsive, accurate and personal transit experience for riders. The Trip Finder function, for instance, performs fastest route calculations which consider parallel options such as shared bikes, scooters and cars. In a city where 67% of the population drives to work alone, Wen and Gehle feel that their app could significantly increase transit ridership without major infrastructure investments. (FastCompany)

Image from Daily Mail

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