Why cities are full of uncomfortable benches: When designing urban spaces, city planners have many competing interests to balance. After all, cities are some of the most diverse places on the planet. They need to be built for a variety of needs. In recent years, these competing interests have surfaced conflict over an unlikely interest: purposefully uncomfortable benches. Enter the New York City MTA. They’ve installed ‘leaning bars’ to supplement traditional benches & save platform space. But designs like this carry an often invisible cost: they rob citizens of hospitable public space. And the people who experience this cost most directly are those experiencing homelessness.

Los Angeles Is Ready for the Next Mobility Revolution: “Seventy percent of Los Angeles commuters still drive to work, but the civic zeitgeist is shifting—and the city is positioning itself as a laboratory for transportation startups.”

An animated map of every Los Angeles commute: “Stuck in traffic on the freeway, drivers’ angry first thoughts are probably, “Where are all of these people even coming from?!” Now, thanks to these lovely commute maps, we can see the answer for ourselves. The maps, created and provided to Curbed by “data enthusiast” Mark Evans, use US Census data from the American Community Survey to plot the commutes of workers who travel between 20 and 100 miles to work in various counties across the US, cays CityLab.”

Narrow Streets Do More With Less: “Narrow streets confer aesthetic benefits too, not just safety benefits. You can have a canopy of trees overhanging the entire street. In Florida in June, let me tell you, that “jungle” feeling in older neighborhoods like mine is a godsend. With narrow streets and generous foliage, you can pack in quite a bit of population density, too, in a way that doesn’t feel “dense” and “urban” to people, and is thus perhaps less objectionable to aesthetic sensibilities.”

What if everything you know about the suburbs is wrong?: “Infinite Suburbia, is built for an alternative discourse that can open paths to improvement and design agency, rather than condemning suburbia altogether. Our goal? To construct a balanced, alternative discourse to architecture and urban planning orthodoxy of “density fixes all,” and in doing so ask: Can suburbia become a more sustainable model for rethinking the entire urban enterprise, as a vital fabric of complete urbanization?”


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