Pieces of Bay Area’s past become art of its future

If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, you’re used to seeing a lot of change. Businesses have turned over; old neighborhoods have changed character; new neighborhoods are springing up; Salesforce Tower is rising to replace the Transamerica Building as the Bay’s tallest. With all this growth we’re concerned about preserving character, identity and […]

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Urban SOS: All Systems Go

How can Thailand’s capital of Bangkok reduce flooding, clean up its water, and improve transportation? How can the island city-state of Singapore build food resiliency? How can Quito, Equador solve climate-change-driven water problems? Student finalist teams will present their answers to these questions on Thursday, October 15 at the A + D Museum in Los […]

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Sacramento’s transformation is underway

The state of California is the world’s eighth largest economy. Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson thinks that its capital city should reflect that—with a vibrant downtown, greater transportation connectivity, and increased environmental resilience, all leading to a renaissance for business and culture. This is not just an idea; many of the projects that would help realize it […]

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How can cities increase seismic resilience?

This week marks the 25th anniversary of San Francisco’s Loma Prieta earthquake. In 1906, three quarters of the city was destroyed by an earthquake and the fires that followed. As California routinely feels minor quakes, cities around the world continue to be devastated without warning by major seismic events. With lives, homes, businesses, and infrastructure at stake, earthquake […]

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A step forward in London’s airport debate

Image courtesy of Heathrow Airports Ltd. The commission examining options to expand London’s airport capacity has eliminated the proposal for a new airport in the Thames Estuary put forward by Fosters + Partners. In an article in the Architects Journal, Christopher Choa, principal, urban design + planning, AECOM, commented: “The Mayor should be applauded for […]

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Urban SOS: towards a new industry

Images courtesy of Urban SOS 2014 finalists. In post-industrial cities, many sites that were once centers of production are now dead zones in the urban fabric. In its fifth year, the Urban SOS competition invited students worldwide to imagine these spaces reinvigorated by new forms of industry appropriate to their modern contexts. The competition calls for […]

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Connection is King

What will define the new NBA Sacramento Kings Arena is its openness: a sense of connection from the court, to the stands, to the site, to the city. The key architectural and engineering element is what an SI.com article calls “the world’s largest patio doors.” This central design feature is a response to the area’s […]

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What should Earth Day mean?

Image: Copyright Robb Williamson / AECOM The questions of how we can find a sustainable balance between society and nature and how we design and manage our cities are of course very closely linked. As we at AECOM thought about Earth Day for 2014, we decided that to achieve the most productive results, the former […]

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Green to keep the blues at bay

Photo by the author. UK cities faced surging flood waters over the winter. The answer to future resilience lies largely with green infrastructure. That’s according to Matthew Jones, regional director, AECOM, and Michael Henderson, associate director of sustainability, AECOM, in recent articles for Water Briefing and Civil Service World, respectively. “While the flooding has taken place […]

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An evening with Jan Gehl

Last night at London’s Hackney Empire Theater, 1,100 people and I attended a screening of the film, The Human Scale. The film focuses largely on the work of Danish architect Jan Gehl (Yan Gale) and his firm, Gehl Architects. The premise of the film and Gehl’s work over the past 50 years is that modern […]

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