Videos and images of the tunnel boring machinery for the Second Ave subway line.
Interesting post on water infrastructure projects at the mammoth blog.
Whether immense re-configurations of watersheds on a geological scale or fine and playful tunings of the interactions between city-dwellers and the infrastructures that deliver their water, those that transmit water or those that sit on and in it, the intersection of hydrology and infrastructure is a continual fascination for mammoth.
The Times reports on a movement in Flint, Michigan famously profiled as a depressed community in Michael Moore’s Roger and Me that focuses on accelerating the decay of the city and the reduction of its size as a means to stimulate and reinvigorate the rest. Given the architectural tendency to add as the primary means of infrastructural intervention, it’s interesting to see an example where removal may be exactly what the doctor ordered.
Interesting commentary from Nicolai Ouroussoff in the Times on the reinvention of American cities and the return of the notion that the development of urban infrastructural projects is paired with thinking about the future of the city.
“The problem in America is not a lack of ideas. It is a tendency to equate any large-scale government construction project, no matter how thoughtful, with the most brutal urban renewal tactics of the 1950s. One result has been that pioneering projects that skillfully blend basic infrastructure with broader urban needs like housing and park space are usually killed in their infancy. Another is that we now have an archaic and grotesquely wasteful federal system in which upkeep for roads, subways, housing, public parkland and our water supply are all handled separately.
With money now available to invest again in such basic needs, I’d like to look at four cities representing a range of urban challenges and some of the plans available to address them. Though none of the plans are ideal as they stand today (and some of them represent only the germ of an idea), evaluated and addressed together as part of a coordinated effort, they could begin to form a blueprint for making our cities more efficient, sustainable and livable”
With case studies on New Orleans, Los Angeles, The Bronx, and Buffalo
Via an interview with Usam Haque on Ugotrade
Open Burble: essentially a framework, composed of 2m carbon-fibre modules, it had electronics embedded in 1000 helium balloons. Members of the public could configure and assemble these, inflate them and then unfurl the complex structure up to the scale of a 15 storey buidling. Finally, by shaking, rowing, twisting and bending a handlebar embedded with sensors (the same as in the Wii controller as it happens), dozens of people at once could have an effect on the Burble’s position and the colours streaming through it. Open Burble, Singapore Biennale 2006
The current issue of Next American City explores how cities are coping with the financial crisis “Issue No. 22 of Next American City gives some answers in its cover story, “Cities in Crisis.” Two other features explore urgent topics: “Now You’re Cooking with Grease,” is a timely look at the ways cities are building municipal biodiesel programs, and “The Largest Environmental Problem You’re Never Heard Of,” is just that — you’ve got to read it to hear more about the Eastern Garbage Patch. Also: transportation enthusiasts influence their locals DOTs, Richard Florida comments on the overused phrase “Work, Live, Play” and reports from Kalamazoo, Baltimore and Chicago round out the issue.”
Metropolis has a piece by Karrie Jacobs that asks, “What if we used our 46,000 miles of highway as the backbone of a new 21st-century infrastructure?”
Worth a quick look.
File under unintended consequences of success. The artificial reef off the coast of Delaware made of decommissioned New York subway cars is apparently too successful resulting in great demand for the cars. They are such a productive habitat for sea life that they attract fishing, larger open water species like tuna, and theft of traps from competing fishermen.