Cities + Places
04.22.14: Nicole Huber & Ralph Stern
From the American West to West Berlin
On Places, Nicole Huber and Ralph Stern explore the "border crossings" of Wim Wenders — the director's cinematic journeys from Paris, Texas
to the West Berlin of The Wings of Desire
On Places, Sandy Isenstadt explores our remarkable new era of urban lighting design and technology, which is inspiring "entirely new ways of thinking about the city at night."
Hating Bourbon Street
On Places, Richard Campanella upbraids the Bourbon Street haters and scrutinizes the politics of authenticity in New Orleans.
“The Spectacle of Growth”
On Places, Jonathan Massey reviews the 10th São Paulo Architecture Biennial, considering architectural and artistic responses to the wave of economic and urban development reshaping Brazil.
Pedro Levi Bismarck
Architecture and the Aestheticization of Politics
On Places, Pedro Levi Bismarck deciphers the Turkish government plan to transform the vital public space of Taksim Gezi Park into a shopping mall with a nostalgic Ottoman facade.
A Life in Ruins
On Places, a story about the incongruency of clients’ desires and the hope many architects secretly harbor, that architecture is a conduit to the real. (Features audio recording by the author.)
A Tower in Manhattan
On Places, editor/writer Owen Edwards remembers living in — lucking into — a tower in Manhattan in the '70s, back when the city was less rich and more open.
Dallas Is a Story I Tell
On Places, Jim Williamson remembers growing up in Dallas, and explores the oddity of memory, the blurring of shared national tragedy with the personal and ordinary.
The Village Against the World
On Places, Dan Hancox tells the story of a village in Andalusia that for the past three decades has been working — successfully — to create a communist utopia.
Resilience in Red Hook
On Places, Alexandros Washburn, chief urban designer for New York, describes the frightening onset and complicated aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, which devastated the city last October.
The Highway Not Taken: Tony Smith and the Suburban Sublime
On Places, David Salomon explores the life and work of the artist and architect Tony Smith — including his mid-career epiphany on the New Jersey Turnpike.
Walking the Darkness Home
On Places, Adelheid Fischer recounts a journey to the Grand Canyon — to a dangerous and redemptive place that by turns epitomizes and defies the expectations (and clichés) of the famous landscape.
Techno-Pastoral Fantasies at Hong Kong International
On Places, Max Hirsh explores the surprisingly diverse landscape around the new Hong Kong International Airport, from a giant new pop-concert arena to an ancient fishing village.
Camino del Diablo
On Places, photographer Mark Klett journeys along the Camino del Diablo in the Sonoran Desert, much of which is now a bombing range, and finds a landscape of forbidding danger and compelling beauty.
On Places, a portfolio of recent photographs of Calcutta, by Alan Thomas, portrays a once great but now peripheral city.
The City and the Sea
On Places, Tom Vanderbilt surveys the landscape and politics of New York City after Hurricane Sandy, focusing on both early response and long-range planning.
05.28.13: David Burney & Nancy Levinson
An Interview with David Burney: On New York and the 21st-Century City-State
On Places, an interview with New York City Design and Construction Commissioner David Burney, who reflects on the urban design record of the Bloomberg years, the post-Sandy recovery effort, and the rise of the 21st-century city-state.
05.23.13: Thomas Locke Hobbs & Aaron Rothman
On Places, a portfolio by the photographer Thomas Locke Hobbs, drawn from his years in Buenos Aires.
“Everyone a Tourist”
On Places, a slideshow of photographs of the Mayan ruins at Chichén Itzá, by Jim Bassett, contrasts the romantic tradition of travel photography with the realities of mass tourism.
05.02.13: Peter Holzhauer & Aaron Rothman
On Places, a slideshow by photographer Peter Holzhauer, of his recent work on Los Angeles, curated by Aaron Rothman.
Motor City Breakdown
On Places, Jerry Herron looks at the troubled portrait of Detroit — and its spectacular decline — in recent books and films.
04.15.13: Lawrence Vale & Annemarie Gray
The Displacement Decathlon
On Places, Lawrence Vale and Annemarie Gray compare the cases of communities displaced by the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, where plans for the 2016 Games are unfolding, and Atlanta, 20 years ago.
Creatures of Helsinki
On Places, a slideshow of photographs by Ken McCown highlighting the "creatures of Helsinki" — the myriad animals, crafted of stone or wood, that adorn the architecture of the Finnish capital.
Head of the Dragon: The Rise of New Shanghai
On Places, Daniel recounts the fast-forward and often ruthless reinvention of Shanghai — its transformation from moth-balled relic of Maoism to one of the world's most dynamic and contradictory cities.
Beautiful and Terrible: Aeriality and the Image of Suburbia
On Places, D.J. Waldie explores the relationship between aerial photography and the postwar suburban boom, a relationship at once materialistic and transcendent, "beautiful and terrible."
Paju Bookcity: The Next Chapter
On Places, Shannon Mattern visits Paju Bookcity in South Korea— a special economic zone dedicated to books —and high-style architecture — now being remade for the digital era.
My Beautiful City
On Places, a story by David Heymann, on Austin then and now, and a heartbreak of a house commission; with an audio recording by the author.
12.06.12: Michael Light & Aaron Rothman
Above Lake Las Vegas
On Places, aerial photographs of the bankrupt luxury communities of Lake Las Vegas, by Michael Light.
12.03.12: Dave Jordano & Aaron Rothman
Detroit, As Is
On Places, a portfolio by the Detroit-born photographer Dave Jordano, drawn from his latest series, Detroit Unbroken Do
wn; with an introduction by Aaron Rothman.
The Unreal Estate Guide to Detroit
On Places, Andrew Herscher challenges the usual view of Detroit's decline: "What if Detroit has not only fallen apart and emptied out but also become a new sort of urban formation that only appears depleted through the lens of conventional urbanism?"
The Forgotten Line
On Places, photographer Thomas Jorion documents la petite ceinture
, the abandoned railway line that circles Paris, and remains the city's last great wasteland.
On Places, Robert Macfarlane recounts his journey to the "formidably difficult" Minya Konka, in western China, which has long attracted devout Buddhists and intrepid mountaineers.
What the Nation’s Best-Educated Amateur Planners Learned from Hurricane Isaac. And Gustav. And Rita and Katrina. And Cindy, Ivan, Lili, Isidore, and Georges.
On Places, geographer Richard Campanella analyzes the many lessons that New Orleanians have learned from weathering powerful hurricanes — and he argues that the toughest test is yet to come.
Lafayette Park: Living in Ordered Exhibition
On Places, Melissa Dittmer describes the experience of living in Mies van der Rohe's Lafayette Park in Detroit, where the glass-and-steel architecture encourages "a sense of intimacy that fosters community."
Factory of the World: Scenes from Guangdong
On Places, journalist Hsiao-Hung Pai investigates the living and working conditions of migrant laborers in Guandgong, and what she sees as the increasing ruthlessness of Chinese urbanism.
09.27.12: Mark Robbins & Nancy Levinson
On Places, a portfolio of Mark Robbins's photographs of Rwandan households —part of his ongoing exploration of culture, space, decor and the body.
Beyond Zuccotti Park: Making the Public
On Places, in the wake of Occupy Wall Street, Jeffrey Hou argues that we need to focus not only on ensuring the right to public space but also on the "making of the public
as an engaged citizenry."
09.17.12: Jonathan Massey & Brett Snyder
Occupying Wall Street: Places and Spaces of Political Action
On Places, Jonathan Massey and Brett Snyder explore the physical places and virtual spaces of Occupy Wall Street — the "hypercity built of granite and asphalt, algorithms and information."
09.17.12: Jonathan Massey & Brett Snyder
Mapping Liberty Plaza
On Places, Jonathan Massey and Brett Synder present their maps of Zuccotti Park, tracking "the transformation of a corporate plaza into a testing ground for radical idea about the reorganization of society."
09.06.12: Daniel Kariko & Aaron Rothman
On Places, a portfolio by photographer Daniel Kariko records the fragile and changing landscapes of the barrier islands of southern Louisiana.
Journey’s End: Wim Wenders in Texas
On Places, Enrique Ramirez explores the making of Wim Wenders's Paris, Texas,
and how the strange and atmospheric film captures the elusive essence of Houston.
Steven Boyd Saum
Accidents Will Happen: Lessons on Honey, Smoked Pig Fat, Atomic Disaster and the Half-Life of Truth
On Places, an essay by an American who is hiking in a Ukrainian forest when he hears about an accident at a nearby nuclear power plant. In the land of Chernobyl — ten years after the explosion — nothing is quite as it seems.
Revolution of the Thirsty
On Places, Karen Piper argues that the ongoing Egyptian Revolution is about not only political freedom but also the right to water: it is a "revolution of the thirsty."
Territory Jam: Tehran
On Places, Rudabeh Pakravan analyzes the rise of illegal satellite TV in Tehran, which allows residents to watch state-banned shows — and which has made the private home "the true public realm" in the Iranian capital.
Paris: Life Forms
On Places, a slideshow by Kenny Cupers documenting the nuanced realities of life in the public housing estates of suburban Paris.
An Xiao Mina
Art Village: A Year in Caochangdi
On Places, An Xiao Mina describes her volatile year in the Beijing arts district of Caochangdi, which was being threatened with demolition.
The Trash Heap of History
On Places, Michael Ezban explores the past and present of Monte Testacccio, the great landfill of imperial Rome — and finds a precedent for contemporary landfill reclamation projects.
20 Years Later: Legacies of the Los Angeles Riots
On Places, California historian Josh Sides assesses the dynamic changes in South Los Angeles in the 20 years since the riots of 1992.
04.16.12: Aaron Paley & Amanda Berman
CicLAvia: Reimagining the Streets of Los Angeles
On Places, Aaron Paley and Amanda Berman argue that the semi-annual CicLAvia — which bans cars from parts of L.A. — is inspiring Angelenos to imagine a new urban future.
The Last Pedestrians
On Places, Jerry Herron traces the intersecting lives of architect Albert Kahn, artist Diego Rivera and industrialist Edsel Ford — and how they all shaped the visioin of Detroit as industrial powerhouse.
04.05.12: Placement & Corine Vermeulen
Living with Mies: The Towers at Lafayette Park
On Places, photographer Corine Vermeulen and the design collective Placement offer a glimpse of life in Lafayette Park, the Mies van der Rohe-designed residential complex in Detroit.
03.29.12: Robert Adams & Aaron Rothman
We Are in a Western Town
On Places, Aaron Rothman explores the enduring power of the photographs of Robert Adams, and what they reveal about the paradoxical landscape of the American West.
UPSTATE: Design, Research, Real Estate
On Places, a profile of UPSTATE, the urban design center at the Syracuse University School of Architecture, including an interview with directors Julia Czerniak and Joe Sisko and a slideshow of projects.
A Method of Living
On Places, photos by David Schalliol show the dramatic transformation of public housing in Chicago — the demolition of the city's infamous projects and their replacement with mixed-income, new-urbanist-style communities.
Louis Curtiss and the Politics of Architectural Reputation
On Places, Keith Eggener assesses the work of the neglected Kansas City architect Louis Curtiss — and highlights the politics of professional repuation.
Hospitality Begins at Home
On Places, Deborah Gans visits a digital installation by Israeli artist Maya Zack and the In-House Festival in Jerusalem, and is inspired to explore the spatio-political dimensions of homeland
01.12.12: Dave Jordano & Aaron Rothman
On Places, the Detroit Rephotography Survey, by Dave Jordano, documents the same sites in the early 1970s and 2010.
The Forgetting Machine: Notes Toward a History of Detroit
On Places, Jerry Herron tracks the decline and fall of his home city of Detroit, from ruin porn to the demolition of Hudson's to Henry Ford's first horseless carriage.
12.15.11: Kathleen Robbins & Mary Carol Miller
On Places, photographer Kathleen Robbins and writer Mary Carol Miller focus on the cotton farms of their native Mississippi — a changing landscape and vanishing livelihood.
11.17.11: Lisa Findley & Liz Ogbu
South Africa: From Township to Town
On Places, Lisa Findley and Liz Ogbu describe the ongoing struggle to transform the once segrated black townships of South Africa into diverse and thriving towns.
11.14.11: Robert E. Lang & Arthur C. Nelson
On Places, planners Robert Lang and Arthur Nelson argue that the United States can now be understood in terms of a new geography of large and powerful "megapolitan" regions.
Bird on Fire: Lessons from the World's Least Sustainable City
On Places, Andrew Ross analyzes the contradictory political and economic forces that once made Phoenix the fastest-growing city in the U.S. — and today a prime casualty of the crash.
Above Grade: On the High Line
On Places, writer Phillip Lopate traces the pre-history of the High Line, and ponders whether New York City's elevated park will be a victim of its own success.
Cynthia E. Smith
Design with the Other 90%: Cities
On Places, Cynthia Smith, curator of the Cooper-Hewitt exhibition "Design with the Other 90%: CITIES," offers an in-depth look at her research into socially responsive urban design in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
Everything Sings: Maps for a Narrative Atlas
On Places, geographer Denis Wood and his landscape architecture students map the ordinary, everyday things of a residential neighborhood in Raleigh, North Carolina.
I Watch Slacker to Read Austin in the Original
On Places, architectural historian and Texas native Enrique Ramirez assesses Richard Linklater's Slacker
and recalls Austin in an earlier and less self-conscious era.
The Road to Exurbia
On Places, James Barilla recounts the rural pleasures of growing up in a hill town in Western Massachusetts — yet regrets the deep environmental footprint of low-density exurban life.
An Excerpt from S P R A W L
On Places, a passage from Danielle Dutton's comic novel S P R A W L
, which pieces together a theory of the American suburb.
Sarah at the Palace
On Places, a short story by Ryan Harty set in an apartment complex half a mile from the Las Vegas strip.
On Places, fabulist Emily Mitchell conjures up an alternate history of the United States.
No One Heard a Thing the Night the Chicken Died
On Places, a short story by Urban Waite set on a family farm adjacent to a new golf course in Long Beach, California.
What Does Fiction Know?
On Places, novelist Richard Powers grapples with Berlin's history in this meditation on place and narrative.
North Texas Strip
On Places, a slideshow by Leigh Merrill, whose photographs of the Dallas strip depict places that look familiar but are in fact digital fabrications — a kind of Texas tall tale.
The Place That Roger Built
On Places, a slideshow of photographs by Justin Partyka of Walnut Tree Farm, the old Suffolk farmstead where late environmental writer Roger Deakin lived and worked.
Scenes from Surrendered Homes
On Places, urban historian Alex Schafran looks closely at Douglas Smith's photographs of foreclosed homes in California, and sees poignant documentation of the personal toll of the great recession.
David T. Hanson
On Places, a photo essay by David T. Hanson, focusing on the massive coal mine at Colstrip, Montana, and the complicated nexus of energy politics and land use in the American West.
On Places, a poem by D.H. Tracy, a salute to England on Independence Day.
Point of Astonishment
On Places, architect Ken McCown's photographic record of a New Zealand journey — where the panoramic vistas and unpolluted atmosphere recall what the Western U.S. was like decades ago.
Below the Sill Plate: New Orleans East Struggles to Recover
On Places, architect Deborah Gans describes a multi-year effort to rebuild neighborhoods in post-Katrina New Orleans — and the limited results to date.
On Places, architect Kian Goh explores LGBT public spaces in contemporary New York, where activism confronts gentrification.
"We Just Want To Be Tourists"
On Places, Karen Piper describes a recent trip to Torres del Paine National Park in Chile, where upscale adventure tourism confronted local political protest.
No More Play
On Places, Michael Maltzan argues that Los Angeles is on the brink of its latest transformation — and at a point where "the very word city
no longer applies."
05.05.11: Donald Judd & Elizabeth Felicella
101 Spring Street
On Places, an essay by Donald Judd on the Soho building where he lived and worked, and selected images of its interiors, by New York photographer Elizabeth Felicella.
04.29.11: Gita Lenz & Gordon Stettinius
Gita Lenz: New York Views
On Places, a gallery by the mid-century New York photographer Gita Lenz, whose long neglected work is gaining new recognition.
Jane Jacobs, Andy Warhol, and the Kind of Problem a Community Is
On Places, Tim Mennel compares the radically different New York worlds of Andy Warhol's Factory and Jane Jacobs's Village — and comes to some provocative conclusions.
04.05.11: Michael Light & David L. Ulin
L.A. Day/L.A. Night
On Places, a portfolio of images by photographer Michael Light, exploring Los Angeles in the day and at night, with an essay by David L. Ulin.
03.24.11: Alejandro Cartagena & Aaron Rothman
On Places, a portfolio of images by Mexican photographer Alejandro Cartagena, documenting the ecological effects of rapid urbanization.
Black in Back: Mardi Gras and the Racial Geography of New Orleans
On Places, Tim Culvahouse charts the complex racial geography of New Orleans (and looks in on the Rex and Zulu Mardi Gras parades).
Tahrir Square: Social Media, Public Space
On Places, Mohamed Elshahed argues that the physical occupation of Tahrir Square in Cairo was just as vital as online social media to the early success of the January 25 Revolution.
02.24.11: Dorothy Tang & Andrew Watkins
Ecologies of Gold: The Past and Future Mining Landscapes of Johannesburg
On Places, Dorothy Tang and Andrew Watkins explore the ecological rehabilitation of the defunct gold mines of central Johannesburg.
02.17.11: David Clements & Douglas Haller
Writing on the Wall
On Places, a portfolio of photographs by Detroit local David Clements, of some of the many hand-painted signs and murals found throughout the Motor City.
This Is Flint, Michigan
On Places, Wes Janz probes the ongoing decline of Flint, Michigan, and wonders about the role of the architect in a city where there's more demolition than design.
02.10.11: Brian Rosa & Adam Ryder
The Edge of Light: Wendover
On Places, photographs by Brian Rosa and Adam Ryder document the nighttime mysteries of Wendover, where military history, land-speed racing and the casino industry make for unexpected juxtapositions.
The New Public Landscapes of Governors Island: An Interview with Adriaan Geuze
On Places, Brian Davis interviews landscape architect Adriaan Geuze of West 8 about his design for a major new public park on Governors Island in New York Harbor.
The New Orleans Corner Store
On Places, architect Tim Culvahouse continues his series on the built character of New Orleans, with a look at the humble but sociable corner store and its role in the restoration of the city.
01.27.11: Alejandro Cartagena & Aaron Rothman
On Places, a selection of images by Mexican photographer Alejandro Cartagena, documenting the rapid suburbanization and disappearing natural landscapes of Monterrey.
Soundscapes: Burning Man
On Places, a selection of soundscapes — ranging from dust storms to diesel generators — recorded by architect Nick Sowers at the latest Burning Man.
Burning Man and the Metropolis
On Places, Nate Berg looks at Burning Man, and how a beach party in San Francisco mushroomed into a week-long temporary city of 50,000 out in the Nevada desert.
What Passes for Beauty: A Death in Texas
On Places, architect Jim Williamson recollects the aesthetic frustration and unexpected epiphany of his first project as an architect in Midland, Texas, the commission for the gravesite of the wife of an oil millionaire.
The Roma of Rome: Heirs to the Ghetto System
On Places, historic preservationist Jon Calame documents, in words and images, the state-sponsored enclaves — or ghettos — that house the Roma, or Gypsies, of Rome.
On Places, photographer Justin Partyka explores the Saskatchewan prairie, where the agricultural life is giving way to the urban, and the landscape is an uneasy record of the change.
On Places, photographer Frank Schirrmeister wanders at dawn with a large format camera through the empty streets of Berlin.
On the Trail of the Berlin Wall
On Places, writer Millay Hyatt treks the 100-mile trail of the former Berlin Wall, and observes the complicated merging of east and west, past and present.
On Places, Thomas Fisher explores "viral cities," looking at historic and contemporary pandemics, and arguing for stronger links between the practices of urban design and public health.
On Places, Mimi Zeiger reviews Street Value
, the new book about Downtown Brooklyn and the dynamic interplay of shopping and planning, of politics and race and class.
Stoop, Balcony, Pilot House: Making It Right in the Lower Ninth Ward
On Places, architect Tim Culvahouse assesses the post-Katrina architecture in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans sponsored by Brad Pitt's Make It Right Foundation.
09.27.10: Interboro Partners
What's Going On in the Garment District?
On Places, an interactive section created by the Brooklyn-based Interboro Partners offers a detailed look at "what's going on in the garment district" of Manhattan.
09.23.10: Mabel O. Wilson & Peter Tolkin
Listening There: Scenes from Ghana
On Places, architects Mabel Wilson and Peter Tolkin curate a slideshow based on their research into the complex legacy of tropical modernism in Ghana.
Size Matters: Small Towns with Big Things
From the Burj Khalifa to the world's biggest ball of twine, size matters. On Places, architectural historian Keith Eggener takes an expansive look at largeness, especially "big things in small towns."
Hallowed Ground, Worldly City: Ground Zero and the Struggle for Lower Manhattan
On Places, James Sanders looks at the current controversy over the proposed Islamic center near Ground Zero in a larger context, noting that New York City has for most of its history "abhorred the very idea of memorials."
The East Anglians
On Places, a portfolio by photographer Justin Partyka, documenting a deep-rooted but fragile agrarian community in East Anglia.
08.04.10: Luther Thie & Kathrine Worel
Frontiers: On the Edge in Merced and Malibu
On Places, a portfolio of photographs by Luther Thie and Kathrine Worel, documenting houses and homes on the frontiers of the contemporary economic and environmental crises.
07.26.10: Alexandra Lange & Mark Lamster
Lunch with the Critics: The New Lincoln Center
"Lunch with the Critics," a new feature on Design Observer, begins with Alexandra Lange and Mark Lamster's visit to the recently revamped Lincoln Center.
Shanghai's Avenue Queue
On Places, MIT urban historian Lawrence Vale reports on the Shanghai Expo, from the national pavilions to the media restrictions to the record-breaking queues.
Detroit: Syncopating an Urban Landscape
On Places, Dan Pitera, of the Detroit Collaborative Design Center, curates a portfolio of projects by artists, architects and activists who are reshaping the city's abandoned landscapes.
Borderland/Borderama/Detroit: Part 3
On Places, the third and final installment of "Borderland/Borderama/Detroit," an exploration of the rise and fall — and persistence — of Detroit, and what it means in American culture, by writer and historian Jerry Herron.
Borderland/Borderama/Detroit: Part 2
On Places, part 2 of "Borderland/Borderama/Detroit," an exploration of the rise and fall — and persistence — of Detroit, and what it means in American culture, by writer and historian Jerry Herron.
Borderland/Borderama/Detroit: Part 1
On Places, the first installment of "Borderland/Borderama/Detroit," an exploration of the rise and fall — and persistence — of Detroit, and what it means in American culture, by writer and historian Jerry Herron.
Building Brooklyn Bridge Park: An Interview with Matthew Urbanski
On Places, landscape designer Brian Davis interviews Matthew Urbanski, principal of Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, about Brooklyn Bridge Park, a major new public park in New York City.
Streets: Into the Sunset
On Places, a portfolio by photographer Leigh Merrill of photo-fabrications of the streets of San Francisco — images that are, like home ownership in America, an unsettling mix of fantasy and reality.
Center for Urban Pedagogy
The Water Underground
On Places, watch The Water Underground
, a video from the Center for Urban Pedagogy that tracks the complex — and contested — systems of water supply, treatment and waste that serve New York City.
Havana: Nostalgia Is a Dangerous Business
On Places, New York architect Belmont Freeman reviews the recent literature on Havana architecture and urbanism, including Havana Revisited: An Architectural Heritage
On Places, urban planning professor Timothy Beatley, author of Green Urbanism
, reviews Green Metropolis
, by David Owen, which argues that Manhattan is the greenest city in the U.S.
Adventure Playground: John V. Lindsay and the Transformation of Modern New York
On Places, James Sanders on the transformation of New York City that began in the Sixties under Mayor John Lindsay — the reinvention of the city from a workaday zone to a scenic setting for urban play, an "adventure playground."
Take Me To
On Places, a gallery of images of downtown Chicago by photographer Bill Guy.
People's Way: Urban Mobility in Ahmedabad
On Places, New Zealand-based design writer Meena Kadri rides the new bus-rapid-transit in Ahmedabad, a system that strives to mix old and new, rich and poor — and even offers yoga classes to the drivers.
Delta Urbanism and New Orleans: After
On Places, the second of a two-part essay by Richard Campanella, on the ongoing struggles of New Orleans to rebuild after Hurricane Katrina.
Delta Urbanism and New Orleans: Before
On Places, an excerpt from Delta Urbanism: New Orlean
s, geographer Richard Campanella's account of the ongoing environmental and political struggles of post-Katrina New Orleans — and why a great American city remains pathetically vulnerable to further catastrophe.
03.26.10: Gavin Browning, Greta Hansen & Cheryl Wing-Zi Wong
On Places, selected images from Trans Siberi
a, the new exhibition at Columbia's Studio-X New York, focusing on the administrative buildings of the Communist party in the former Soviet Union and China.
Open Secrets: Photographs of Japan
On Places, photographs by Alan Thomas that explore the "peculiar geometries" of urban Japan — the small-scale improvisational spaces in between the big planned projects, and beyond the busy entertainment districts and the crowded department stores.
The Olympics and the City
Vancouver planning director Brent Toderian talks with Planetizen's Nate Berg, about how the city has met the urban design challenge of playing host to the Winter Olympics.
In Chicago Self-Park
, editor and photographer Alan Thomas explores the city's large multistory parking structures, which "give the viewer inside a particular way of framing the cityscape beyond."
Lethal T-Square: Architecture, Violence, Renewal
Robert Moses is often compared with Baron Haussman. Keith Eggener argues that he can be compared as well with the vigilante-architect played by Charles Bronson in Death Wish
Hector Fernando Burga
A View of Haiti from Liberty City
Miami-based urban designer Hector Fernando Burga asks difficult questions about how urban designers can respond effectively to the disaster in Haiti.
The City's End
Architect Beth Weinstein reviews The City's End: Two Centuries of Fantasies, Fears and Premonitions of New York's Destruction,
by architectural historian Max Page — just in time for the season premiere of 24
, which finds Jack Bauer and his fellow counter-terrorists relocated to NYC.
Center for Urban Pedagogy
Bodega Down Bronx
Why is it easier to get fresh produce in Park Slope than in the South Bronx? Places presents Bodega Down Bronx
, a video from the Center for Urban Pedagogy, that examines where and why New York's bodegas get their food.
A City in Search of Good Fortune
Architects Quilian Riano and Dk Osseo-Asare report on the profitable but notorious port of Buenaventura, Colombia, as the city battles drug traffickers and paramilitary gangs, poverty and corruption; and they fear that the proposed solutions might be part of the problem.
Center for Land Use Interpretation
An online gallery extracted from Urban Crude
, an exhibition created by the Center for Land Use Interpretation, documenting the metropolitan petroscape of Los Angeles.
Jan Otakar Fischer
Berlin: The Art of Reunification
On the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, architect and writer Jan Otakar Fischer describes the failed competition to create a reunification memorial — and explores the thorny questions of German memory and identity.
11.03.09: Frieder Schnock & Renata Stih
Open Space: Berlin After Reunification
Berlin-based artists Renata Stih and Frieder Schnock curate an online gallery to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
William L. Fox
Writer and critic William L. Fox reviews Las Vegas
, by Nicole Huber and Ralph Stern, probing the improbable success of the gambling-entertainment world-city constructed in the midst of the Mojave.
A portfolio of photographs, with images ranging from the American West to Vatican City, by landscape architect Ken McCown.
New Orleans-based writer Dorothy Ball reviews Richard Campanella's Bienville's Dilemma
, a panoramic study of the history and geography of New Orleans that spans from the early 16th century to Hurricane Katrina and its troubled aftermath.
Mind the Map
The new map of the London Underground tried to de-clutter the diagram by removing the River Thames; architect Ian Baldwin analyzes the error.
Niagara: It Has It All
Architectural historian Barbara Penner reviews Inventing Niagara
, by Ginger Strand, drawing out the contradictory mix of reverence and exploitation inspired by the famous falls.
The Past Is Promenade: On the High Line
Architect Ian Baldwin contemplates the High Line and sees in New York's newest park a rare and valuable form of urban place: a slow corridor.
09.12.09: Nicole Huber & Ralph Stern
Urbanizing the Mojave
America's greatest boomtown has gone bust. Architects Nicole Huber and Ralph Stern explore the cultural and environmental consequences of the rapid expansion of Las Vegas into the Mojave Desert, tracing a troubled history of mining, militarization, tourism, and water politics.
The Infrastructural City
Los Angeles depends upon vast infrastructural systems that are breathtakingly powerful, yet vulnerable to disruption, even disaster. Landscape architect Chris Reed reviews The Infrastructural City
Architectural historian Keith Eggener visits the boyhood homes of Mark Twain and Walt Disney, and finds in each an all-American mix of historic fact, popular fantasy and commercial exploitation.
05.15.09: Whitney Moon
Reclaiming the Ruin
The second coming of Detroit.
Don't Call David Adjaye A Starchitect
Lauded and pilloried (well, by one client), the U.K. sensation, David Adjaye, heads to our shores.
The fantasy of converting Governors Island to a pedestrian playground is closer to becoming a reality.
12.15.06: Amy Murphy
Seattle Central Library: Civic Architecture in the Age of Media
In the Seattle Public Library, Rem Koolhaas and OMA work to transform architecture into media interface.