Created for client Marjolein Jonker, Walden Studio’s abode is the first tiny house to be legally placed with a temporary permit by a municipality in the Netherlands. Despite its small…
The former head of SEIU says it’s time to rethink many of the basics about unions and the workplace.
Chattanooga’s form-based code is part of an innovative vision for the city’s economic, environmental and cultural future. Following a recent visit to Chattanooga, Bruce Katz wrote in a Brookings Institute blog, “Something special is happening in Chattanooga.” As Katz points out, too often venture capitalists “pay too little attention to small and mid-sized cities with …
Several modern public housing projects are not only beautiful living spaces, but smart, money-saving, eco-friendly designs using innovative technologies.
Curls of white concrete and a water-filled courtyard surround this museum of Baroque art and culture in Mexico by Japanese architect Toyo Ito
The American Institute of Architects Committee on the Environment has announced its list of the top 10 green projects for 2016.
America’s great public research universities, which produce path-breaking discoveries and train some of the country’s most talented young students, are under siege. The result may be a significant weakening of the nation’s preeminence in higher education. Dramatic cuts in public spending for state flagship universities seem to be at odds with widespread public sentiment. Americans say they strongly believe in exceptional educational systems; they want their kids to attend excellent and selective colleges and to get good, well-paying, prestigious jobs. They also support university research. After 15 years of surveys, Research! America found in 2015 that 70 percent of American adults supported government-sponsored basic scientific research like that produced by public universities, while a significant plurality (44 percent) supported paying higher taxes for medical research designed to cure diseases like cancer or Alzheimer’s. Nonetheless, many state legislators seem to be ignoring public opinion as they essentially starve some of the best universities—those that educate about two-thirds of American college students.
According to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ recently completed Lincoln Project report, between 2008 and 2013 states reduced financial support to top public research universities by close to 30 percent. At the same time, these states increased support of prisons by more than 130 percent. New York City’s budget office reported in 2013 that incarcerating a person in a state prison cost the city roughly $168,000 a year. California apparently does it on the cheap: It costs roughly $64,000 annually for each prisoner—a bit more than the cost of a year at an Ivy League university (average tuition is $50,000) and far more than at the University of California, Berkeley, ($13,000) or at CUNY ($8,000).
All this amounts, arguably, to a pillaging of the country’s greatest state universities. And that pillaging is not a matter of necessity, as many elected officials would insist—it’s a matter of choice. If Wisconsin’s governor and legislature succeed in eliminating or emasculating tenure for faculty members at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, they can say goodbye to the greatness of that institution of higher learning. If Florida’s governor asks students in the humanities or arts to pay higher tuition than those who major in business or STEM subjects, Florida’s universities are apt to deteriorate in quality. And just so it doesn’t seem like I’m cherry picking, consider what North Carolina’s governor said not long ago: “If you want to take gender studies, that’s fine, go to a private school and take it. But I don’t want to subsidize that if that’s not going to get someone a job.” The consequence of such policy choices, it seems, is that tuition will go up and access for kids from poorer families will go down.
One of the world’s greenest buildings 14 feet above sea level prepares for climate change
Dezeen editor Anna Winston identifies 10 of the key architecture and design trends of 2015, including ocean plastic and “broken-plan” living.
Housing tax breaks for the rich are worth more than housing subsidies for the poor.
In Toronto, researchers recently found that people living on tree-lined streets reported health benefits equivalent to being seven years younger or receiving a $10,000 salary rise. As well as studies revealing benefits from everything from improved mental health to reduced asthma, US scientists have even identified a correlation between an increase in tree-canopy cover and fewer low-weight births. And economic studies show what any estate agent swears by: leafy streets sell houses. Street trees in Portland, Oregon, yielded an increase in house prices of $1.35bn, potentially increasing annual property tax revenues by $15.3m.
The EU Open Data Portal provides, via a metadata catalogue, a single point of access to data of the EU institutions, agencies and bodies for anyone to reuse.
They built fortunes and Paris:
In the seventeenth century, all these factors came together, and Paris became the European capital of conspicuous consumption when a new kind of wealth began to be very ostentatiously exhibited…All through the century, incalculably ostentatious displays of opulence were rolled out by non-Parisians of humble birth. The most publicized cases involved your men from poor families in the French provinces who, once they reached the French capital, had managed to amass fortunes. To a man, they owed their rags-to-riches stories to their instinct for the working of the age’s equivalent of high finance…
Guidebooks presented this financial elite’s impact on the cityscape as a noteworthy feature of modern Paris; their authors never failed to point out when a residence they recommended as particularly fine belonged to a man of finance. And indeed more than half the homes new to Paris in the seventeenth century and considered then and now to be of architectural significance were built by men who made their fortunes in finance rather than inheriting them. These men, who early in the century became known as “financiers,” were more than three times as likely as the scions of the great old families to build a home in seventeenth-century Paris and thereby to have helped create the original modern French architecture. And, as a 1707 work explained, this was evident to all: “Everyone knows that it’s because of the financiers that [Paris] has the special glow for which it is so renowned at present.”
The financiers were not the only group responsible for the “special glow” with which memorable modern architecture enveloped the city. A second profession also made a meteoric rise to prominence in the city on the move: the real-estate developer….
In the seventeenth century, Paris became a city in which to many the lure of money seemed omnipresent… a city that was “paradise for the rich and hell for the poor”…
Writers of every stripe… spoke of men of new wealth in the same way, as “leeches” who were bleeding the country dry and making paupers of honest citizens…..
The stories of Parisian financiers inspired the creation of other new words… nouveau riche… “the plague of our century”…”absolutely teeming with nouveaux riches, flaunting the fruit of their plundering of widows and orphans.”…
Parvenue, “one day a servant, the next, master of the house.”…
Millionnaire was initially a synonym for nouveau riche and parvenu, and individual of humble origins whose vast wealth was both sudden and ill-gotten….
Read the book – well worth the time.
How Paris Became Paris – The Invention of the Modern City by Joan DeJean, Bloomsbury Publishing
The value of many oceanfront properties on the East Coast could drop dramatically if Congress were to suddenly end federal beach nourishment subsidies. Values could fall by as much as 17 percent in towns with high property values and almost 34 percent in towns with low property values. A gradual reduction of the subsidies, in contrast, is more likely to smooth the transition to more climate-resilient coastal communities.
Sprawl costs the American economy more than $1 trillion annually, according to a new study by the New Climate Economy. That’s more than $3,000 for every man, woman, and child.
These costs include greater spending on infrastructure, public service delivery and transportation. The study finds that Americans living in sprawled communities directly bear $625 billion in extra costs. In addition, all residents and businesses, regardless of where they are located, bear an extra $400 billion in external costs.
via Sprawl costs US more than a trillion dollars a year | Better! Cities & Towns Online.
Small-scale urban spaces can be rich in biodiversity, contribute important ecological benefits for human mental and physical health (McPhearson et al., 2013), and overall help to create more livable cities. Micro_urban spaces are the sandwich spaces between buildings, rooftops, walls, curbs, sidewalk cracks, and other small-scale urban spaces that exist in the fissures between linear infrastructure (e.g. roads, bridges, tunnels, rail lines) and our three dimensional gridded cities.
via Urban Life and a Microscopic Attention | Sustainable Cities Collective.
We are living in the midst of the urban century. Though it is common knowledge that the world is urbanizing, it can be striking to visualize this growth on a map. This animation from Unicef maps countries’ urban populations from 1950 to 2050, and shows that urbanization is a global phenomenon set to continue for decades:
Maps and Measurements of the Expansion of Cities | Sustainable Cities Collective.
Herbert Marcuse: “The housing crisis doesn’t exist because the system isn’t working. It exists because that’s the way the system works.”
There is a far cheaper option though: giving homeless people housing and supportive services. The study found that it would cost taxpayers just $10,051 per homeless person to give them a permanent place to live and services like job training and health care. That figure is 68 percent less than the public currently spends by allowing homeless people to remain on the streets. If central Florida took the permanent supportive housing approach, it could save $350 million over the next decade.
About 60 percent of the world’s population lives along estuaries and coastal areas Of the 32 largest cities in the world, 22 are located on estuaries 90 percent of Europe’s international trade passes through estuaries and their adjacent ports Coastal recreation and tourism generate between $8-$12 billion per year in the United States alone Often called the “nurseries of the sea,” estuaries provide vital nesting and feeding habitats for many aquatic plants and animals.
The Global Estuaries Forum brings together public institutions, the private sector, researchers, and NGOs from around the globe in an effort discuss and meet the pressing and immediate challenges facing our world’s most important estuaries. Follow on Twitter at @EstuariesForum.