“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.
Zeuler R. M. de A. Lima
Lina Bo Bardi and the Architecture of Everyday Culture
On Places, Zeuler Lima recounts key moments in the prolific but under-appreciated career of the Italian-Brazilian modernist Lina Bo Bardi, and offers a slideshow of significant projects.
Methodolatry and the Art of Measure
On Places, Shannon Mattern surveys the new wave of urban data science projects and argues that practitioners are trending toward an obsession with data-for-data’s-sake and an idolization of method.
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.
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.
Who's Your Data?
On Places, Carl Skelton argues that the public needs new tools of citizenship to participate fully in the digital cities of the near future.
Building Hyperdensity and Civic Delight
On Places, Vishaan Chakrabarti argues that the hyperdense city is more prosperous, equitable, ecological and delightful — and vital to America's strength as a nation.
Eric W. Sanderson
Roads to Rails
On Places, Eric W. Sanderson lays out his plan for a modern streetcar revival, supported by municipal investment in urban rail.
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.
Motor City Breakdown
On Places, Jerry Herron looks at the troubled portrait of Detroit — and its spectacular decline — in recent books and films.
The Irrational Exuberance of Rem Koolhaas
On Places, Ellen Dunham-Jones assesses the protean career of Rem Koolhaas and his provocative efforts to marry art and capitalism, radicalism and pragmatism, icon-making and city-making.
03.28.13: Arturo Soto & Aaron Rothman
On Places, a portfolio by Mexican photographer Arturo Soto, focusing on the visual infrastructure of the street, the unremarkable environs of everyday life.
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.
The Emergence of Container Urbanism
On Places, Mitchell Schwarzer charts the rise of container urbanism from the mid 20th century to now, focusing especially on the dynamic potential of repurposed shipping containers to shape a new kind of city life.
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.
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.
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."
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."
Olympic Urbanism: The Athletes' Village
On Places, a slideshow on the urban form of Olympic Villages, from derelict ruins in Berlin to suburban townhomes in Sydney to public housing in Athens.
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.
Zone: The Spatial Softwares of Extrastatecraft
On Places, Keller Easterling explores the phenomenal rise of the free zone — an opportunistic urban hybrid that's powered the rise of glittering world cities like Singapore and Dubai.
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.
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.
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.
The Interventionist’s Toolkit: Project, Map, Occupy
On Places, Mimi Zeiger explores the unfolding dynamic — and tension — between the grassroots tactics of activist designers and the institutional strategies of New York's cultural leaders.
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.
03.06.12: Giovanna Borasi & Mirko Zardini
On Places, Canadian Centre for Architecture curators Mirko Zardini and Giovanna Borasi explore the changing social and political concepts of “healthy” buildings and cities.
03.01.12: Alexandra Lange
How to Be an Architecture Critic
So you want to learn how to talk about buildings? Alexandra Lange suggests starting with “Sometimes We Do It Right,” Ada Louise Huxtable's classic review of the Marine Midland Bank Building in New York.
01.19.12: Ila Berman & Mona El Khafif
Design, Research, Impact: URBANlab at CCA
On Places, a profile of URBANlab at the California College of the Arts, including an interview with Ila Berman and Mona El Khafif and a slideshow of projects.
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.
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.
Adam Harrison Levy
Urbanized: An Interview with Gary Hustwit
An interview with filmmaker Gary Hustwit, director of Helvetica
and the new documentary Urbanized
, which opens this weekend in New York.
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.
Landscape Optimism: An Interview with Chris Reed
On Places, Quilian Riano interviews landscape architect Chris Reed, who describes the rise of landscape urbanism from an academic movement in the 1990s to an increasingly influential set of ideas and practices.
Beyond Foreclosure: The Future of Suburban Housing
On Places, Aron Chang argues that the foreclosure crisis highlights the need to transform suburban housing — to make it responsive not to dated demographics and wishful economics but to the actual needs of a diversifying and dynamic population.
The Interventionist’s Toolkit: Our Cities, Ourselves
On Places, the latest installment of Mimi Zeiger's ongoing series The Interventionist's Toolkit,
which explores diverse tactics and projects in DIY urbanism.
What Does Fiction Know?
On Places, novelist Richard Powers grapples with Berlin's history in this meditation on place and narrative.
Blue Urbanism: The City and the Ocean
On Places, planning professor Tim Beatley makes a case for blue urbanism — a new planning focus on how the design of cities affects the health of the planet's oceans.
On Places, a profile of the University of Arkansas Community Design Center, which has turned Northwest Arkansas into a laboratory for the creative retrofitting of postwar suburbia.
The Interventionist's Toolkit: Posters, Pamphlets and Guides
On Places, in the second of her series on The Interventionist's Toolkit, Mimi Zeiger reports on the ingenious use of print media to spur urban activism — and even revolution.
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.
The Interventionist's Toolkit
On Places, Mimi Zeiger reports on what she calls "the interventionist's toolkit" — architects' and urbanists' creative responses to the economic slump.
On Places, photographer Frank Schirrmeister wanders at dawn with a large format camera through the empty streets of Berlin.
Notes Toward a History of Agrarian Urbanism
On Places, Charles Waldheim sketches a history of agriculture in cities, from Frank Lloyd Wright to ecological urbanism.
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.
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.
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.
Paper Architecture, Emerging Urbanism
On Places, Tim Love explores the latest generation of paper architecture being created by under-employed designers — and argues that the current recession offers a real chance to align progressive theory with urban practice.
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 Architect as Urbanist: Part 2
On Places, architectural historian Robert Bruegmann continues his analysis of Paul Rudolph's late work, with a focus on several extraordinary projects in southeast Asia.
The Architect as Urbanist: Part 1
On Places, architectural historian Robert Bruegmann argues that the later and lesser known work of Paul Rudolph — best known for his architecture building at Yale — deserves renewed attention.
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."
Architect, Park Thyself
The auto-urban relationship, writes Ian Baldwin, is "fumbling, overheated, unsatisfying for both parties." Baldwin reviews House of Cars: Innovation and the Parking Garage
, currently on exhibit at the National Building Museum, and The Architecture of Parking
, by Simon Henley.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Curating the Open City
Kees Christiaanse, curator of the Rotterdam Architecture Biennale, outlines a compelling vision of the open city of the 21st century.
Metaphor Remediation: A New Ecology for the City
Cities are the new frontiers green living, and Andrew Blum argues that we need to revise the old metaphors: will Half Dome give way to the high-rise as the new emblem of environmentalism?
08.05.09: Nina-Marie Lister
Ecological planner Nina-Marie Lister explores innovative ways to regenerate urban waterfronts.
Will Miss Brooklyn Bow Out?
The redevelopment of the Atlantic Yards was based on a false assumption of Brooklyn's inferiority complex.
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 State of City Planning Today
A veteran city planner and educator analyzes the anemia of U.S. planning, and detects signs of life in neighborhood activism.
In No Order Whatsoever
Just before his death in 1984, the influential urban planner Kevin Lynch compiled a list of topics he thought important for the future of cities. The list is as relevant as ever.