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Tactical urbanism: Why bigger isn’t always better in urban revitalization

Anyone who’s walked Chicago’s Millennium Park or New York’s High Line knows the awe-inspiring beauty of these celebrated public spaces is due not to their grand scale, but rather to their tiniest details and charming character—the manicured landscaping, quaint places of respite, tasteful art installations, lush gardens.

4 ways cold-climate cities can make the most of their waterfronts

Urban waterfronts have historically been the center of activity for many cities. They began as economic, transportation and manufacturing hubs, but as most industries changed their shipping patterns and consolidated port facilities, many industrial waterfronts became obsolete. In Europe, smaller historic ports were easily converted to be reused for leisure activities. However, in North America, where the ports were larger, it was more difficult to convert the waterfronts due to logistical and contamination issues.

SHoP Architects unveils dual-glass-box scheme for Uber HQ

The ride-hailing startup Uber continues to grow, and, as the Huffington Post reports, the company wants an office to match its soon-to-be $50 billion value.

Renderings and photographs of the design’s models have been released online. Designed by New York-based SHoP Architects and Studio O+A in San Francisco, the office will be two glass structures linked by criss-crossing bridges hanging over a tree-lined pedestrian boulevard. 

The offices will be located near Uber’s current headquarters in the up-and-coming Mission Bay neighborhood.

Michael Green Architecture designs world's tallest wood building for Paris competition

As part of a competition to alleviate Paris’ urban housing issues, Michael Green Architecture designed a carbon-neutral residential high-rise that would be the world’s tallest wood building if completed.

Tech's influence on the workplace: 4 lessons from the field

It’s tempting to generalize workplaces in the tech sector as amenity-rich, open-plan spaces filled with Millennials collaborating. Although there are plenty of workplaces that support this generalization, tech workplaces offer numerous lessons that can benefit other sectors. 

Beyond space and programmatic considerations, four tenets highlight today’s tech workplaces: strength of story, design empathy, technology presence, and hackerspace.

Chicago’s 606 elevated park opens

After 10 years in the making, Curbed Chicago reports that the Bloomingdale Trail, also known as the 606, opened to the public last weekend.

The 2.7-mile stretch repurposes an abandoned elevated train track that snakes through Humboldt Park and Bucktown.

Funded partly with a $50 million federal grant, the project cost near $100 million.

To celebrate the opening of Chicago’s very own High-Line-inspired park, a ribbon cutting and art programs were scheduled last weekend. 

Ready for takeoff: Drones await clearance for job site flights

The use of drones as construction tools took a big step forward on February 15, when the Federal Aviation Administration issued its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Small Unmanned Aircraft, which offers safety rules for drones weighing more than 55 pounds conducting non-recreational operations. And on May 6, FAA announced its Pathfinder Program, where it will work with the market to gather data to make the case for allowing drone flights for expanded commercial operations without permission.

Bjarke Ingels unveils stepped design for final WTC tower

After months of speculation, Bjarke Ingels’ firm BIG has finally released its design scheme for Two World Center, proving that the original Foster + Partners design will be replaced, Wired reports.

The long awaited and storied designs did not upset. Of the glass, staircase-meets-ziggurat-shape BIG came up with, developer Larry Silverstein told Wired: “I hadn’t seen a building like this beforehand, I hadn’t considered a building like this before, and certainly there was nothing down at the Trade Center to indicate that this would be a trend for tomorrow.” 

World’s largest hotel coming to Mecca

Each year, more than 15 million Muslims make the pilgrimage to Mecca, the holiest city in Islam. It makes sense that the city will be home to what is planned to be the largest hotel in the world.

Google launches company to improve city living

The search engine giant is yet again diversifying its products. Android Central announced that Google has co-created a startup that focuses on “developing innovative technologies to improve cities.”

The startup is called Sidewalk Labs, and Dan Doctoroff, former CEO of Bloomberg and Deputy Mayor of Economic Development and Rebuilding for the City of New York, will be its CEO. 

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