The knowledge and energy hubs of San Francisco and Texas are among the year’s biggest economic winners.
The top six best performing metros were all tech hubs: The previously mentioned three, plus Provo, Utah; Raleigh-Cary in North Carolina’s Research Triangle; and Salt Lake City. Rounding out the top ten were four Texas cities: Houston, Fort Worth, Dallas and San Antonio. Other tech powerhouses in the top 25 include Seattle at 11 and Boulder at 13.
Energy centers also rank high up the list. This is evident in the strong showing of metros in the Lone Star State, home to seven of the top 25 best performing metros, and five in the top ten. The energy economies of Lafayette (19) and Baton Rouge (21), Louisiana, also place in the top 25 of large metros, the latter of which rose 55 spots in ranking last year alone.
The number of women in UK architecture firms is falling, and many urbanists are worried by the ‘very, very male-dominated’ worlds of planning and construction. So how would cities differ if women designed them?
Norm Miller's insight:
Aside from Zaha Hadid who else can you name that is a signature woman architect?
The East River Skyway aims to alleviate transit congestion along the Brooklyn waterfront by taking commuters off the grid.
The East River Skyway is a proposal for a multi-phase urban gondola to connect the growing residential and commercial corridors between Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. The proposal calls for an aerial transit system to be built out in stages, with the first line connecting the Lower East Side and Williamsburg. Subsequent lines might include a connection between Lower Manhattan, Dumbo, and Brooklyn Navy Yard, as well as a line threading between Midtown, Roosevelt Island, Long Island City, and Williamsburg...
These become great for residents and tourists but the lawyers often find the liabilities too much of a concern when the gondolas pass over roads, bridges or people in some way. Hope this one actually happens.
Architecture firm RMJM has won a competition to design a landmark tower for Doumen, China, with plans for a 93-metre-high structure covered in scales.
Proposed at the intersection of two rivers in Zhuhai, the Doumen Observation Tower was designed to mimic the movement of water and aquatic life in the coastal city, sometimes known as the Chinese Riviera. The tower's curving form will be clad with 1,400 bent panels, made from perforated aluminium. These will give the structure its scaly appearance, whilst shading the interior from direct sunlight...
Zaha Hadid has completed a building for the American University of Beirut, which cantilevers out over a public courtyard and a series of elevated pathways.
The IFI's design builds upon the institute's mission as a catalyst and connector between AUB, researchers and the global community. Routes, views and links within the campus converge to define the IFI as a three-dimensional intersection; a space for university's students, fellows and visitors to meet, connect and engage with each other and the wider world.
The building takes full advantage of the region's tradition and expertise of working with in-situ concrete. Passive design measures, high efficiency active systems and recycled water technologies minimize the building's impact on the local and wider environment.
The French studio “X-TU” Architects perceived the competition-winning French pavilion for the 2015 Milan Expo design proposta that responds implicitly to theexpo thème “Feeding the Planet. Energy for life”. They introduce a unique construction established around a vision of the market hall as a “le centre” for agricultural produzione.
Starting this summer, the city is installing a network of high tech lamp posts that will keep track of all kinds of information about the environment and people passing by through sensors. The data collected by Web-connected sensors will be used to help urban planners make the city safer and make traffic flow better. All of this while also tracking environmental factors like air quality.
Curated by urban strategist Scott Burham, the latest exhibition at theDAC explores the array of untapped potential in our urban environments. Through installations such as a light therapy bus stop and a billboard that converts humidity into drinking water, the show will consider how infrastructure can encourage human interaction, perform alternative functions or assume an entirely new role.
New businesses in Detroit are helping revitalize the economy. One of those new businesses is the Social Club Grooming Company, a barbershop/salon that promotes sustainability.
Norm Miller's insight:
Think of the possibilities, we could have blond landscaping in California, or use white hair to make it look like winter. Jokes aside I love the idea of using things that were waste as a valuable input.
Growing from the artificial lake at the center of Wujin, China is a fantastic new structure – “The Lotus Building” from Australian architecture firm Studio 505. Considering its natural form, it’s only appropriate that The Lotus Building is designed with the importance of the environment in mind.
Studio 505 explains:
“The project has been designed to minimise energy usage- with over 2500 geothermal piles driven through the base of the artificial lake, The entire lake water mass and ground beneath is utilised to pre-cool (summer) and pre-warm (winter) the air conditioning systems for both the lotus and the two storey building beneath the lake. The project is also mixed mode and naturally ventilated and utilises evaporative cooling from the lake surface to drive a thermal chimney within the main flower pod.”
Canadian design collective Daily Tous Les Jours brought their fantastic musical light swing installation to the Green Box Arts Festival in Green Mountain Falls, Colorado. The interactive swing set titled simply, The Swings, is comprised of illuminated panels that trigger audible tones that harmonize as people swing. As more and more people join in the act of swinging turns into randomly improvised melody and light show...
London based Heatherwick Studio have won a competition to design a Learning Hub at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. The construction of the Hub, part of a £360 million scheme, will be the first redevelopment of its campus in twenty years. Having already won the BCA Green Mark Platinum Award for Sustainability from the Singaporean Government, the design seeks to redefine the aspiration of a university building. Within this new context the purpose of the university is to “foster togetherness and sociability” so that students can meet and learn in a space that encourages collaboration.
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