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 in Toronto.
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• Far from oversized Coors light cans, the Utah Transit Authority in cooperation with the University of Utah is running a federally funded bus stop design competition called Next Stop Design. A total of 88 designs and ideas have been submitted so far and are available for rating on their website.
• The idea of a shared space “is more a way of thinking than a design concept,” writes Gary Toth, a veteran Traffic engineer with the New Jersey Department of Transportation. Read his essay about the history of shared spaces, how they came about, what their role is in traffic control and how they can become sites of political contestation.
• An all-elevated $5.29-billion train project in Hawai’i that intends to build 21 stations three stories in the air has local residents concerned about the visual impact of the new commuter line, which would move an estimated 95,000 people a day in and out of urban Honalulu.
• From back alley to beautiful ampitheatre, check out how a simplistic, semi-circular structure transformed an outdoor space in Kolding, Denmark.
• When Frank Gehry was asked by an audience member in a recent speaking event about why iconic architecture so often fails to create good public spaces, the Toronto-born architect dismissed the question with a wave of his hand, “much like Louis XIV might have used to wave away some offending underling,” writes James Fallow of The Atlantic. Was the “starchitect’s” reaction out of character or perhaps revealing of the common failing of landmark architecture to enhance its surrounding public spaces?
photo by Oscar Alonso Algote