The 5 Coolest New Parks and Public Spaces In the U.S.

Urban Land Institute has announced its Open Space Awards, celebrating five exceptional new parks and public spaces across the U.S. But what's even more exciting is what these green spaces replaced: A freeway, a mall, a truck-loading facility, a rail yard, and a cemetery. » 10/24/14 9:00am 10/24/14 9:00am

Washington DC's Very Own High Line Will Clean Its Dirty River Water

The Anacostia River that runs through Washington DC has historically been known as, well, not the cleanest river in the country. A new elevated park straddling the river plans to filter the dirty water with a waterfall feature (apparently projected with Frederick Douglass's face). It's the winning design announced… » 10/16/14 4:30pm 10/16/14 4:30pm

A Bittersweet Walk On the High Line's Latest (and Last) Leg

For the past five years, New Yorkers have enjoyed that linear green thoroughfare known as the High Line, which has been slowly extending up the West Side of Manhattan since 2009. Yesterday, the third and final phase of the park was completed, and it's both happy and sad—that a great project was seen to completion, and… » 9/24/14 4:36pm 9/24/14 4:36pm

4 Futuristic Designs for DC's Very Own High Line

Not to be outdone by New York City's beloved High Line (the final, most unwieldy phase of which opens this fall), Washington DC is planning its own elevated park, which will sail over the Anacostia River on a former freeway bridge. Four visions for the park have been released as part of a competition. And they're… » 9/12/14 9:00am 9/12/14 9:00am

11 Clever Ways Cities Are Taking Advantage of Public Space

A garden skyscraper. A sidewalk library. A floating pool. A DIY bike park. These are some of the finalists in the Place By Design competition announced today by SXSW Eco, a new sustainability conference by the organizers of SXSW. Which one makes the greatest impact on a city? » 8/26/14 2:25pm 8/26/14 2:25pm

The World's Biggest Picnic Blanket Is Growing in the Swiss Countryside

An art installation that plans to be the world's largest picnic blanket is currently checkerboarding its way through the green rolling hills of Switzerland. This summer, about 1,500 picnickers have ventured to the site, which is adorably named BIGNIK. And it's only going to get bigger. » 7/17/14 10:58am 7/17/14 10:58am

How Alleys Are Becoming Pathways to Urban Revitalization

This might just be the most desolate alley in Denver. Under the Evans Avenue Bridge and a stone's throw from the railroad tracks, this is an absolutely forgotten urban place, complete with the requisite tires, mattresses and beer bottles amidst the waist-high tumbleweeds. » 5/16/14 1:00pm 5/16/14 1:00pm

Why Southwest Airlines Is Building Parks in Each of Its 90 Cities

Over the last 47 years, Southwest Airlines has built a vibrant—if a little goofy—airborne community. Now some of that culture is fueling urban improvements on the ground. Southwest's new initiative called the Heart of the Community is working to build public spaces in all of the 90 cities the airline serves. » 4/15/14 3:40pm 4/15/14 3:40pm

Ditch Your Car And Grab A Bike For These 9 Open Streets Festivals

Around the world, cities are transforming busy streets into public spaces, if only for a few blissful hours. These open streets festivals create safe, healthy recreation areas for residents and help cities carve out space for biking, walking, skating, rolling, strolling, stretching, and even dancing. » 4/04/14 1:00pm 4/04/14 1:00pm

6 Freeway Removals That Changed Their Cities Forever

It seems counterintuitive, right? Rip out eight lanes of freeway through the middle of your metropolis and you'll be rewarded with not only less traffic, but safer, more efficient cities? But it's true, and it's happening in places all over the world. » 3/26/14 10:00am 3/26/14 10:00am

D.C.'s Planning Its Own High Line On a Freeway Bridge

The runway success of the High Line has sparked trendy rail-to-trail conversions across the country. Now D.C. is offering its own twist: A park on a span of decommissioned freeway that crosses the Anacostia River. Maybe they'll call it the "Highway Line." » 3/06/14 1:20pm 3/06/14 1:20pm

These Staged Pictures Are Perfect Visions of Imperfect Public Spaces

It may seem, at first glance, like a typical summer scene. But the photographs of busy beaches, airports and public buildings by Alex Prager are actually elaborately choreographed images. A new exhibition, Alex Prager: Face in the Crowd, features large-scale color photographs that capture her glorified versions of… » 1/28/14 3:20pm 1/28/14 3:20pm

An emerging maker culture building Cincinnati, a "Green Line" making a Mexican city healthier, and a car-free festival changing L.A.—all that, plus preserving post offices in an age of email and three plans to save San Francisco from a housing crisis, in this week's Urban Reads. » 1/27/14 3:40pm 1/27/14 3:40pm

Being on a Smartphone Makes You More Likely to Use Public Spaces—Kinda

In the 1960s, a sociologist named William H. Whyte revealed something interesting about the behavior of people in parks and plazas across the U.S.: people liked being with people. But has that changed now that everyone carries a tiny computer in their hands? According to a new study: no. » 1/22/14 10:40am 1/22/14 10:40am

Visiting the Downtown Project's New Vegas Parks: Pretty, But Private

On the Downtown Project's website, among several lofty goals—such as adding ground-level density and creating passionate communities for downtown Las Vegas—one goal sticks out as a bit different, if not simply odd: "Create the shipping container capital of the world." » 1/08/14 7:55pm 1/08/14 7:55pm

Do We Have a Legal Right to Light?

With supertall towers popping up along Central Park's southern edge like wildly expensive luxury mushrooms, Manhattan's largest park is about to be cast into shadow—some as long as half a mile. The real estate boom is stirring up a debate: Do we have a "right to light"? » 10/31/13 2:00pm 10/31/13 2:00pm

Why We Don't Need Parking Day Anymore

As you're driving around town today, you may find yourself asking these questions: Why are they sold out of astroturf at the hardware store? How did this cello end up in the street? Who are these people doing yoga in my parking spot? Welcome to the ninth annual Parking Day. » 9/20/13 10:20am 9/20/13 10:20am

A Giant House Filled with Hammocks to Hang Out In. Don't Mind the Boobs…

Sometimes I think the Europeans know how to live. In Vienna, Austria they've created a gigantic 5-story "hangout spot" complete with hammocks to sprawl out in. The best part is the view. It's a gigantic Tower of Boobs. » 7/08/11 11:40pm 7/08/11 11:40pm