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Transit Infrastructure: The Latest Architecture and News

Coping with Extreme Heat: How Cities are Confronting the Heatwave in Eastern and Southern Europe

Eastern and Southern Europe is enduring a severe heatwave, with temperatures reaching over 40 degrees Celsius in many countries including Greece, Croatia, Macedonia, and Romania. Driven by hot air from North Africa, this prolonged heatwave has raised significant threats for residents and has strained the cities’ mechanisms for protection and climate mitigation. As the heatwaves expose the vulnerabilities of urban infrastructures, cities across Europe are striving to implement measures to address these challenges.

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URB Unveils Plans for a 64-Kilometer-Long Green Highway for Dubai

URB has revealed details about the Dubai Green Spine project, an urban development initiative aiming to introduce a 64-kilometer-long green corridor in Dubai. The project, aligned with the Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan, hopes to improve urban mobility and environmental quality by converting one of the city’s major arterial roads into a multifunctional public space with ample greenery, urban farms, integrated non-motorized transportation infrastructures, and community zones.

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Foster + Partners and Arup Reveal Design for California High-Speed Rail’s First Stations

As part of public ‘open house’ sessions with local communities and agencies, Foster + Partners and Arup have revealed the design for the first 4 stations of California’s High-Speed Rail. This is part of an extensive project, as the new Central Valley stations will serve as models for the design of the next stations planned along the 500-mile-long Los Angeles/Anaheim to San Francisco rail system. The open house sessions represent an opportunity for the public to explore the project, talk with California High-Speed Rail Authority planning experts, and learn more about the high-speed rail infrastructure. The project is under construction, with the first operable line scheduled to be completed between 2030 and 2033.

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Field Operations and SITELAB Reveal Urban Design Plan to Revive One of San Francisco’s Iconic Streets

SITELAB urban studio and Field Operations have revealed a design proposal to reimagine San Francisco’s iconic Powell Street. The street used to be one of the busiest pedestrian corridors in its district and a popular tourist attraction, with cable cars running up and down the street and connecting Union Square and Hallidie Plaza. Across the most popular three-block stretch, the storefronts have become mostly vacant. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, one of the reasons was the Covid pandemic, which led to a further decrease in tourism and in commercial activities. Now a new project led by designers SITELAB urban studio and Field Operations aims to revive the now underutilized transit corridor and to catalyze a renewed interest in the area.

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Carlo Ratti Associati and Engineer Michel Virlogeux Propose a Replacement for the Collapsed Baltimore Bridge

Following the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, Maryland, construction group WeBuild, in collaboration with design office CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati and engineer Michel Virlogeux, has revealed an updated design for a replacement bridge. The new cable-stayed design aims to redefine the entrance to the Baltimore Harbor and offer an improved version of this symbol of the city.

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BIG and A+ Architects Reveal Design for Mass Timber Transport Hub in France

Bjarke Ingels Group and A+Architecture have revealed the design for the 12,000-square-meter Marengo Multimodal Transport Hub in Toulouse, France. The project will expand the functionality of the city’s central station, Gare Matabiau, strengthening the area’s public transport networks by creating a hub for bus, railway, and metro, all connected under one roof. The design of the new hub takes cues from the city’s distinctive roofscape and the traditional use of the rose-colored “foraine” brick, employing a mass timber structure and low-carbon concrete to ensure a sustainable intervention adapted to its environment. The Hub is set to begin construction in 2026.

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Zaha Hadid Architects Reveals Climate-Resilient Design for Al Khuwair Waterfront in Oman

Zaha Hadid Architects have unveiled a large-scale project for the redevelopment of the Al Khuwair waterfront in downtown Muscat, the capital of Oman. The $1.3bn project covers an area of 3.3 million square meters. It aims to revitalize the area through sustainability-led design principles to accommodate the expected population growth, which is expected to almost double by 2040. The plans are developed in collaboration with Buro Happold to incorporate and transform the existing buildings on site, introduce coastal and climate resilience measures, and create an efficient transit-oriented infrastructure.

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Athens Plans to Grow Its Metro Infrastructure by a Third to Reduce Automobile Traffic

The project for implementing a fourth metro line in the Greek capital began in 2021, with the purpose of reducing the need for automobiles in the crowded city. As the 15-station new line is estimated to transport 340,000 passengers a day, up to 53,000 cars could be taken off the roads each day. While the opening of the line may be five years away, work has now begun to refurbish seven urban squares which will become stations. Despite public support for the initiative, the project has also led to some controversy, with residents fearing gentrification.

Foster + Partners Reveal Updated Designs for Manhattan’s Port Authority Bus Terminal

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has released a revised proposal for the Midtown Bus Terminal, designed by Foster + Partners and A. Epstein and Sons International Inc. After the first version of the redesign was released in 2022, now the authorities announced the publication of the revised project plans that take into account feedback from key stakeholders including commuters and the larger community. The $10 billion facility is designed to accommodate the projected 2040-2050 commuter growth and provide a better experience for one of the world’s busiest bus terminals.

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MAD Completes ‘the Train Station in the Forest,’ Their First Transit-Oriented Development in China

MAD Architects has announced the completion of the Jiaxing Train Station, the first transportation infrastructure project developed by the architecture office. Located in the historic city of Jiaxing, 100 kilometers southwest of Shanghai, the project involves the replacement of a dysfunctional station that had stood at the site between 1995 and 2019. As China has developed significantly in terms of urbanization, its train stations have grown into complicated, widespread, and uninviting infrastructures. Through their project, MAD Architects strive to return to a human scale, to create a facility that responds to the newest developments in transportation technology, while creating spaces that are comfortable and easy to navigate for its users.

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Gensler and Moody Nolan Reveal Ohio's New Airport Terminal

As the fastest-growing metropolitan city in the Midwest region, Columbus is situated amidst Central Ohio’s exciting blend of infrastructure and natural landscape. Columbus and its surroundings are currently undergoing a significant phase of cultural expansion and anticipate a population surpassing 3 million by 2050. In collaboration with Columbus-based Moody Nolan, Gensler has just revealed their design for the new terminal at John Glenn Columbus International Airport in Ohio, a facility to grow the city and support it in reaching these goals of expansion.

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Antoine Predock Proposes a New Large City Bike Lane Project for Albuquerque, New Mexico

Architect Antoine Predock has unveiled his vision for the Albuquerque Rail Trail, a multi-use trail that will connect key destinations in the greater downtown area of New Mexico’s largest city. The project set out to combine the utility of pedestrian and bicycle pathways with the culture and history of the lands, encouraging healthy recreation, cultural expression and economic development. The Rail Trail project is of the Mayor’s Institute on City Design, Just City Mayoral Fellowship.

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What’s the Point of Lower-Density Urbanism?

This article was originally published on Common Edge.

There are three primary settings in which lower-density urbanism can be useful, and where conditions favored by YIMBYs are weak or nonexistent: as a replacement for what is currently slated to be built out as sprawl, as a recovery process for existing sprawl, and in small towns that are growing. Giving up on these settings forces all development intended to combat the housing crisis into urban settings, ideally near transit, where land is much more expensive to acquire and to develop. It also allows the sprawl machine to roll on unimpeded.The best vehicle for implementing principles illustrated here at the scale of a neighborhood, hamlet, or village is not a major production builder, as these principles violate almost all of their conventional industrial practices. Instead, look to the record of stronger New Urbanist developers who are no strangers to doing things considered unconventional by the Industrial Development Complex in the interest of better places with stronger lifetime returns.

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Why Mass Transit in America Disappeared

This article was originally published on Common Edge.

As its full title somewhat implies, Nicholas Dagen Bloom’s new book, The Great American Transit Disaster: A Century of Austerity, Auto-Centric Planning, and White Flight (University of Chicago Press), tells the whole grisly story of how, in less than a century, the U.S. changed from a rail-connected nation of cities and towns to a sprawling network of increasingly congested roads. A historian and a professor of urban policy and planning at Hunter College, Bloom rejects the sort of conspiracy-driven narratives around transit’s demise and comes to an uneasy conclusion: America essentially chose the car for a variety of reasons, only one of which was automobile company collusion. I talked with Bloom about why transit in the U.S. collapsed, why it turned out differently in European cities, and the hopes for a transit renaissance.

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Consider the 15 mph City

This article was originally published on Common Edge.

When San Francisco’s MUNI spent big money on a “central subway” to Chinatown, I was doubtful. One recent Saturday, though, I revived the gallery-hopping I did before the pandemic, taking the train from Berkeley into the city, walking to one gallery near Embarcadero Station, then taking a tram past the ballpark to the CalTrain Station, where I switched to another tram to head south to Minnesota Street’s Dogpatch cluster of galleries and artists’ studios.

Twenty Years of Transforming Transportation: Where Are We Now?

“Economic shocks, climate change, and COVID-19 have changed transportation systems in a fundamental way. We can’t waste a crisis. We can increase access to transportation while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. We can achieve more mobility with fewer impacts,” argued Ani Dasgupta, president of the World Resources Institute (WRI), at the 20th annual Transforming Transportation conference. For two days, global leaders reflected on the state of transportation systems worldwide at the hybrid event in Washington, D.C., which was also watched by tens of thousands online. The event was co-organized by WRI and the World Bank.

Transportation still accounts for 25 percent of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide and up to 30 percent of emissions in developed countries. Transportation is a diverse sector that includes sidewalks, bikes, cars, buses, trains, subways, ships, and planes.

Foster + Partners and Arup Design Stations for California High Speed Rail

Foster + Partners and Arup have chosen to work together to design the Merced, Fresno, Kings/Tulare, and Bakersfield stations that will service high-speed train passengers on the first 171-mile leg of California High-Speed train (CA HSR). The Central Valley stations will be the grand entrances to America's first high-speed rail stretch, marking an important step towards providing all Californians with sustainable, carbon-free transportation. Planning, architecture, and engineering for the four new stations, which will serve as design templates for stations planned for the whole 500-mile Los Angeles/Anaheim to San Francisco line, are being done jointly by Foster + Partners and Arup.

The California high-speed rail will connect the state's mega-regions, promote economic growth and a cleaner environment, foster job growth, and conserve agricultural and protected lands. With up to 200 mph speeds, the system can travel from San Francisco to the Los Angeles basin in less than three hours. The Authority is collaborating with regional partners to implement a state-wide rail modernization plan that will spend billions of dollars on local and regional rail lines.