World Wide Wednesday: Paris/NYC, Gehry, Arts Funding

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.

• Would New York with Parisian streets still be New York? Planners at Columbia University pose this question with a map and rendering of New York superimposed with the grand boulevards of Paris. (Untapped Cities)

• New Yorkers are welcoming Frank Gehry’s latest addition to the city’s skyline with trepidation. The Spruce Street project is  Gehry’s first skyscraper and the tallest luxury residential tower in the city’s history. NYT critic Nicolai Ouroussoff says it “epitomize[s] the skyline’s transformation from a symbol of American commerce to a display of individual wealth.”

• In Tel Aviv, reports Sustainable City Blog, a member of city council suggests instituting a participatory budgeting process.

• A new report by the Urban Land Institute questions the wisdom of slashing arts funding during tough economic times. According to the study, the nonprofit arts sector generates $166.2 billion (US) annually and is responsible for 5.7 million jobs in the US. Far from a one size fits all approach, the report profiles the unique initiatives of Miami, Boston, Denver and Philadelphia.

Seattle Bike Blog profiles the progress of the Vulnerable User bill (SB 5326). The bill seeks increased fines and penalties for drivers who kill or injure pedestrians or cyclists.

Photo by Charles-Antoine Perrault

Do you have a World Wide Wednesday worthy article you’d like to share? Send the link to