Subterranean Sydney: what lies beneath

When you think about the underground, does your mind immediately conjure up somewhere dark, damp and claustrophobic, with a faintly unpleasant aroma? Do you think of neon-lit parking garages, musty wine cellars and disused bomb shelters? Or, being more technically minded, are you more focused on utilities, rail corridors, or the geotechnical composition of the […]

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LA 2106: realizing the ecological metropolis

Today we revisit a concept we submitted to the History Channel’s City of the Future competition in 2006. Looking back, the thinking we did on this has deeply influenced how we approached projects and developed our practice over the following decade. With a hundred-year timescale, this remains just as potent a suggestion for the future of Los Angeles as it was […]

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Messages from NACTO “Designing Cities” 2014 Conference

The third annual NACTO (National Association of City Transportation Officials) “Designing Cities” conference, held this past October in San Francisco, was inspiring, energetic, and engaging from start to finish. Our interdisciplinary group of urban and transportation planning and design staff had the opportunity to hear from notable experts, such as former NYC DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, […]

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Exploring brick-lined sewers in Victoria

Looking at the video footage relayed back from the inspection robot making its way along the storm drain tunnel, it is difficult not to be impressed by the craftsmanship evident in the tunnel’s original construction. This is a very old tunnel, built more than 150 years ago in Victoria, British Columbia, when brick was the preferred […]

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Cities underground

When we talk about subterranean development, people most often think of underground railways or deep caverns in rock for storage of oil (pictured below) or generation of hydropower. But we build places for people underground as well—basements just below grade, deeper mined spaces, and the pedestrian linkages between these spaces and underground rail. As cities […]

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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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Iconic buildings: overcoming the risk

The design and construction of iconic buildings is fundamental to shaping our cities and how they’re in turn perceived by residents and visitors. Globally we have seen iconic buildings act as a catalyst for economic growth and urban renewal, and often they become synonymous with the city in which they’re located. Examples include the Burj […]

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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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More than a bridge

Tongzhou Canal Bridges: the smaller of two bridges with integrated promenade pavilion and amphitheater. Bridges are of as much interest to the general public as they are to designers and engineers, particularly if they are iconic and notable. Their timeless appearance and monumental size unsurprisingly strike interest and fascination among us all. In the early […]

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