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Monday News Roundup

Jul 02, 2012

Happy Canada Day!

Below, you’ll find a list of some of the more interesting bits and pieces of news, art, and architecture from the last couple weeks:

How the Feds Are Building More Sustainable Cities (The Atlantic Cities)
In recognition of the three-year anniversary of the federal partnership’s formation, the three agencies have released a progress report, Three Years of Helping Communities Achieve Their Visions for Growth and Prosperity. The facts they have assembled are very, very impressive.

Human Nature: Jason deCaires Taylor’s Submerged Figurative Sculptures Form Thriving Artificial Reefs (Colossal)
Artist Jason deCaires Taylor has become famous for his immense underwater installations in locations off the coast of Mexico, the Bahamas, and the West Indies where he uses eco-friendly concrete sculptures specifically designed to harbor life. The artificial reefs are photographed and filmed in numerous stages from the moment they are first submerged to months and years later after thriving ecosystems form within his artwork.

5th Annual Creative Spaces Event (Arch Daily)
The fifth anniversary of Montreal’s Creative Spaces summer event highlights the creation of a pedestrian mall on St. Catherine, between St-Hubert and Papineau streets.

What if bus stops were designed as if bus stops really mattered? (Switchboard)
There are still bus stops that are no more than a sign on a pole, although many now have some form of shelter from wind and rain, and some have sophisticated service information posted, the most advanced ones with real-time updates.  But there is still a sense of functionality about most bus stops, whose design and amenities tend to lack imagination. That is now changing in Paris, where the RATP (Régie Autonome des Transports Parisiens), the city’s dominant transit agency, is piloting “l’arrêt de bus du future” — or bus stop of the future — for five months at a stop outside the Gare de Lyon.

Sydney Builds Separate Bike Lanes, Ridership Skyrockets 82% (Treehugger)
New research on cycling habits is in from Sydney, and it turns out that city dwellers are less likely to start biking if they’re afraid a lumbering SUV might crush their back tire or that errant car doors will send them over their handlebars. Who knew?

Three Great Stop Motion Shorts Not to be Missed (Colossal)

Company peddles bike helmet vending machines in Vancouver (The Vancouver Courier)
The company negotiating with the city to implement a massive public rental bicycle system next spring plans to sell helmets in vending machines to accommodate the province’s mandatory helmet laws.

Milestone for 4 World Trade (Arch Daily)
Last week, the final steel beam rose 977 feet into the air and was placed atop 4 World Trade Center – the 72-story tower designed by Pritzker Prize-winning Japanese architect Fumihiko Maki.

Imagine: A pedestrian mall down the middle of the eight-lane Granville Bridge? (The Vancouver Sun)
It may never come to pass, but an artist’s concept of a wide tree-lined pedestrian mall down the middle of the eight-lane Granville Bridge has become the signature idea for how Vancouver wants to modernize its transportation system.

Rebuilding downtown from scratch: striking images and a video from Christchurch (Switchboard)
Christchurch, a city of about 367,000 people (460,000 including the near surrounding area) and New Zealand’s second largest, has been forced to reconceive its downtown and many neighborhoods following a disastrous series of serious earthquakes beginning in 2010.

A New York Loft That Prizes LEGOs As Much As Mies’s Barcelona Chair (Architizer)
If there’s anything to be learned from May’s record-breaking 105 feet-tall LEGO tower in Seoul, it’s that LEGOs can, in fact, be used to build. Case in point, the  Marks/Caride Residence, a recently renovated Chelsea loft that features a staircase with railing made from nearly 20,000 LEGO blocks.