FEATURED THIS WEEK : NANCY LEVINSON
The Great Depression of the 1930s inspired FDR's New Deal, which built thousands of public works that remain vital to this day. Our Great Recession has so far failed to spur a new New Deal, even as essential American infrastructure decays and collapses. Why? Certainly there's no shortage of innovative design thinking. The real dilemma is that we confront our crisis in a market-driven culture that's suspicious of public sector solutions — and more, of the very idea of the public.
To complement Linda Samuels's article on the WPA 2.0 competition and symposium, we are pleased to feature expanded visual presentations and videos of the finalists' projects.
The WPA — Works Progress Administration — was the largest of the various agencies that made up FDR's New Deal. It was a big-picture federal response to the Great Depression that created millions of jobs and funded thousands of projects, including major infrastructure and public buildings. Can we envision a new WPA in response to the Great Recession? This was the challenge that cityLab, the urban design think tank at UCLA, set for itself with WPA 2.0, an ambitious program that's so far comprised a competition and exhibition, with a web-based exhibition scheduled for next month. Here, as part of our intensifying focus on infrastructure, Linda Samuels reports on the WPA 2.0 competition and symposium, and on the challenges of moving from vision to implementation.
For well over a century the fantastical destruction and rebirth of New York City has been the subject of books, cartoons, comics, paintings, movies, television shows and multimedia art. As architect Beth Weinstein says, in her review of Max Page's The City End
, "Anxiety about the city's readiness to cope with attack long predates the events of September 11, 2001. From the 18th century to the present, preparedness, as concept and reality, has been an always ungraspable goal, given the city's escalating and diversifying population as well as the rise of increasingly unruly means of destruction, in the hands of real or imaginary enemies." Those enemies are still afoot — this Sunday's season premiere of 24
finds Jack Bauer and his fellow counter-terrorists operating from their new base in NYC.
QUILIAN RIANO, DK OSSEO-ASARE
Buenaventura is one of Colombia's most profitable seaports, and its most notorious city. Plagued by drug traffickers and paramilitary gangs, poverty and corruption, it was called the country's "deadliest city" in a New York Times
report. This past summer architects Quilian Riano and Dk Osseo-Asare ignored the warnings of friends and family and traveled to the port on the Pacific. They've returned with a multidimensional narrative — analyses, interviews and images — of the struggling city, where the proposed solutions might be part of the problem.
PLACES ARCHIVE: WINTER 2006
A veteran city planner and educator analyzes the anemia of U.S. planning, and detects signs of life in neighborhood activism.
University of Maryland, School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation
The School provides a process through which our students and the professional community can express the creativity, acquire the technical capacity, accept the social responsibility, and recognize a sense of history to make the decisions that shape the built environment. Through research, practice, outreach and teaching, students learn to understand the built environment at all scales: from the history, design, function and impact of a single building or public space to the operation, physical form and socioeconomic system of a metropolitan region.