Tagged With urban design

Once a tiny counter-culture gathering on a San Francisco beach, Burning Man has ballooned into what could be considered an impressive experiment in rapid urbanisation. Last year, the population of Black Rock City, which is erected for the festival in the Nevada desert, swelled to over 70,000.

Every few months we get to read the same misinformed story about "distracted walking" -- how pedestrians are too busy looking at their phones to safely walk across the street. But Facebook updates aren't the real problem here.

Riding through a city on a bike lane that's separated from cars feels great. But when you roll up to a light, the infrastructure often vanishes, leaving you feeling vulnerable as you cross busy lanes of traffic. Now a new type of intersection might keep cyclists safer and more visible. And it was created by a designer who used to make video games.

If the 350 thousand-odd Maldivians want to stay put, they may have to rebuild everything, starting with the ground they walk on. Located roughly 600km off the southwest tip of India, the island nation of Maldives sounds like paradise -- over a thousand tiny oases of white sand beach, lush tropical vegetation, and warm, aquamarine water. But as the lowest country in the world, the Republic of Maldives is also being swallowed by the ocean.

It's hard to find a more polarising architecture -- even among scholars it's most likely to be described as "ugly", "unloved", or even "hated". I'm talking about Brutalism, the blocky unfinished concrete style which used to be very common in cities around the world, but is now being demolished at an astounding rate.

Inflatable helmets, glow-in-the-dark spray paint, a laser that makes a temporary bike lane -- a heck of a lot of products have hit the market recently pledging to keep cyclists safer. But is it the responsibility of people on bikes to use any gadget necessary to stay safe? Or is this distracting from the bigger argument that we should be designing safer cities for bikers?

In the quest to make parking suck less, there are apps that help you find a space, and meters where you can pay with a swipe of your credit card. But Los Angeles has launched a simple, low-tech solution to make parking better: well-designed signage that offers no ambiguity whatsoever when it comes to where you can park, when you can park there, and how much it will cost.

It was 1973 the last time a new bridge opened over Portland's Willamette River: a double-decker span with eight lanes of freeway. Times have changed. When the Tilikum Crossing Bridge opens later this year, it will be one of the few in the US that's purpose-built for transit, bikes and pedestrians -- no cars allowed.