Much as The High Line transformed an old freight line into an urban greenway, the proposed conversion of the six-decades-disused trolley terminal on the Lower East Side into a park called Delancey Underground, will inevitably be known as the Low Line.
We survey different aspects of urban and regional sustainability having to do with real estate development, design and construction, environmental regulatory policy, and the creation of a visionary tomorrow, learning the lessons from history’s good, bad, and ugly.
Newhall Ranch: Feds OK Massive Flood Plain Development
The US Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers resolved their differences and advanced one of the largest sprawling developments ever contemplated in California on 12,000 acres along the Santa Clara River in northwest Los Angeles County. Newhall Ranch would create a city for 60,000 on a six-mile stretch of the wild, open, agricultural, free-flowing river flood plain.
Urban Humanity Revival: Walkable Neighborhoods and Mass Transit
The time is now to invest in walkable neighborhoods accessed by mass transit with opportunities for cultural coming together and societal participation, instead of environmentally-destructive sprawl, cultural intolerance, societal alienation, and personal anonymity.
Anaheim Platinum Triangle: Visionary Urban Village or Missed Opportunity?
Anaheim’s conflicted planning is ruining the opportunity to create a dense urban village, high-speed-rail-friendly for tourists, sports fans, and 25,000 new residents.
Suburban Sprawl: Serpentine Sameness from the Skies
Helicopter photos by Christoph Gielen reveal the beautifully-designed patterns and shapes of our auto-dependent homes on the range, walking not preferred, neighbors as yet uncontacted, wildlife unwelcome, sustainable future in question.
Megacities Rise from the Egyptian Desert
Unsustainable urban sprawl continues to spread through the world responding to massive population growth and poor planning practices, as people clamor to escape the crowded, contaminated, crime-ridden urban miasma like Cairo.
Planned Petrodollar Utopia for Kazakhstan?
Called Astana, it is the world’s latest example of a rare but persistent type, the capital built from zero. It is in a line that includes St Petersburg, Washington DC, Canberra, Ankara and Brasilia and like them it provokes a question: can a city, in all its teeming complexity, really be planned? Or does the attempt lead only to a synthetic simulacrum, a kind-of city that is not quite the real thing?