In the 80s and 90s, the 911 system in the US became overloaded with people calling to report things like wayward couches and double-parked cars—not emergencies, yet situations where city officials could help. In 1996, Baltimore successfully tested a system that diverted these requests to a separate number. In 1997,…
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.
Like oversized fishing bobbers used as flower vases, these 20 trees planted in colorful buoys are designed to add whimsy and nature to Rotterdam’s industrial waterfront. The installation, named Dobberend Bos, or “bobbing forest” in Dutch, will be released into the city’s harbor in March.
New York City has plenty of parks that revamp aging transit infrastructure: The High Line transforms a decrepit elevated rail route, the Lowline reclaims forgotten tunnels. But neither of those is as ambitious as the Green Line, a concept that would turn a major street into a linear park.
Manhattan’s rails-to-trails High Line sparked a global trend of turning old transit infrastructure into parks. But a new breed of public spaces aren’t waiting for the transportation around them to stop running—they’re transforming the ground below the still-active elevated tracks.
Parks aren’t always built just so we can enjoy the trees. On Governor’s Island in New York City, a truly unique public space will bring nature back to a former military base–and it’s engineered to withstand the catastrophic storms that climate change will bring. It’s called The Hills, and in this documentary, we talk…
It was 90 degrees at 10:00 a.m. when I stepped off the Orange Line in the LA neighborhood of Van Nuys. A perfect day for the beach, or for the pool, or for positioning yourself directly beneath those little misters you can find at finer restaurants in the Valley. But I was about to embark upon a very different Los…
Last year, a group of homeowners who live in the Hollywood Hills had directions to the Hollywood Sign changed on Google Maps to keep tourists away from their streets. All the tourists, that is, except for the ones who rent their properties on Airbnb. They want those tourists to know exactly where the Hollywood Sign is.
Los Angeles’s Griffith Park is home to miles of hiking trails, the Hollywood Sign, and at least one mountain lion. Now, suddenly, the park has a teahouse, secretly installed by a group of anonymous artists on a hillside overlooking the city.
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.
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…
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…
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."