Public / Private
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.
TEDification versus Edification
On Places, Simon Sadler explores the magical thinking and many contradictions of the TED Talks.
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.
On Places, urban forecaster Anthony Townsend considers the vulnerability of smart cities to power failures, hackers and software bugs.
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.
Housing and Hope
On Places, Arjun Appadurai explores the global challenges of housing in megacities, and argues for the relationship of secure housing to human dignity and full citizenship.
Public and Common(s)
On Places, Reinhold Martin explores the philosophical understandings of the terms public
, from the 20th-century treatises of Arendt and Habermas to recent books by Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri.
After the Storm: Climate Change and Public Works
On Places, Nancy Levinson argues that the accelerating crisis of climate change suggests a newly intensified political agenda for design activism.
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?"
11.08.12: Josh Wallaert
State of the Commons
On Places, Josh Wallaert reviews the Wiki Loves Monuments USA photography contest — and highlights the increasing privatization of our infrastructure of public information.
Scarcity contra Austerity
On Places, Jeremy Till explores the distinction between the political ideology of austerity and the physical condition of scarcity — and argues that a sharper understanding of scarcity will enable designers to operate more creatively.
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."
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.
06.25.12: Reinhold Martin, Raphael Sperry, Amit C. Price Patel, Liz Ogbu & Tom Angotti
The Housing Question
On Places, a debate inspired by the MoMA exhibition Foreclosed: Rehousing the American Dream
, organized by the Buell Center and Architects/Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility.
Marginalia: Little Libraries in the Urban Margins
On Places, Shannon Mattern surveys
the rise of the little library, of the myriad pop-up, guerrilla and ad-hoc libraries that build on the DIY energy and political edge of tactical urbanism.
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.
Housing Chicago: Cabrini-Green to Parkside of Old Town
On Places, Lawrence Vale recounts the troubled saga of Chicago's now-demolished Cabrini-Green, and the mixed-income new-urbanist style communities that are replacing the old public housing.
Housing and the 99 Percent
On Places, Jonathan Massey traces a history of American home ownership, from the boosterism of the 1920s to postwar suburbia to the housing bubble to current foreclosure crisis.
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
On Places, Austin Troy assesses the massive infrastructure required to bring water to the arid American West — and the huge amount of energy that makes it possible to take a shower in Los Angeles.
Occupy: The Day After
On Places, Reinhold Martin explores how Occupy Wall Street might challenge the structural inequities of finance capitalism, and how architects and urbanists can contribute to the next phase of the movement
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.
Occupy: What Architecture Can Do
On Places, Reinhold Martin explores the role of architecture in the Occupy Wall Street movement — and in the larger challenges of constructing a better and more equitable society.
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.
04.11.11: Robert Dawson & Josh Wallaert
Public Library: An American Commons
On Places, photographer Robert Dawson documents public libraries across the United States, emphasizing their vital — and now threatened — role as an American commons.
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.
Dreams, Dust and Birds: The Trashing of Owens Lake
On Places, Karen Piper narrates the latest chapter in one California's longest water wars: Los Angeles' efforts to undo the environmental damage done to Owens Lake, decades after its waters were diverted to supply the thirsty metropolis.
New Deal Utopias
On Places, photographer Jason Reblando documents the Greenbelt Towns created by the New Deal of the 1930s — an earlier era's response to tough times.
Denise Hoffman Brandt
The View to America Street from Mrs. Fair’s Front Door, July 21, 2009
On Places, landscape architect Denise Hoffman Brandt offers a vivid portrait of the ongoing post-Katrina struggles of one neighborhood, and one household, in New Orleans.
Working for the People
Completing his doctorate in geography, Timothy Mennel produced not a typical dissertation but Everything Must Go: A Novel of Robert Moses's New York
. On Places, read an excerpt, in which Moses and Frank Lloyd Wright take a drive through Harlem and the Bronx.
The Public Works
Why isn't the Great Recession inspiring a new New Deal? The essential dilemma, argues Places editor Nancy Levinson, is that we no longer believe in public sector solutions — or even in the public itself.
Working Public Architecture
Can we envision a contemporary counterpart to the New Deal of the 1930s? Architect Linda Samuels reports on WPA 2.0, the ambitious competition and symposium created by cityLab at UCLA.
Community: The American Way of Living
Think American suburbia is a sprawl of homogeneous privatopias? The U.S. curators of the Rotterdam Architecture Biennale argue that you haven't been paying attention.
Learning from New Orleans, or why we really need a new New Deal.
04.01.89: Catherine Brown, William Morrish
Western Civic Art: Works in Progress
In 1989 Phoenix, Arizona, commissioned one of the first public art master plans. The city now has one of the strongest public art programs in the country.