Skyline Stories: Getting Lost in Paris, DesignPhiladelphia, Cherry Hill Mall Turns 50, SF Model City

Paris. Does any other city conjure such images of beauty, romance and nostalgia? The Times’ former Frugal Traveler Matt Gross has an amazing post on getting lost in the city:

It was as if Paris itself knew why I had come. Or maybe I was finally seeing Paris for what it really was: a marvelous open-air cinema where the filmstrips of our memories flicker ceaselessly, even as we shoot new scenes. (NYT)

In a fun activity, he assigned a group of international high school students to get “lost” in Central Park. (World Matt)

Okay, so maybe New York rivals the City of Lights for imagery.

Density, livability, and social equity could redefine New York for the 21st century.
(NY Mag) And it’s refreshing to see New York City’s municipal architecture embracing 21st century urban planning ideals and new architects. (NYT) In Queens, PS1 and the Noguchi Museum look to Long Island City’s future with new master plans. (Urban Omnibus)

But great design isn’t limited to New York — this week DesignPhiladelphia celebrates urban life (Flying Kite Media). Much of Philadelphia’s regeneration could be attributed to Paul Levy, the head of the powerful Center City District, with a budget of $20 million. (City Paper).

Fiftieth anniversaries for the Cherry Hill Mall — which was intriguingly originally planned to be like a pedestrian mall in the suburbs ( — and for Washington D.C.’s underutilized RFK Stadium (WP).

Progressive Field's Snow Park in Cleveland. / Image via Atlantic Cities, Progressive Field.

Neighborhood regeneration could come from:
-Winter use of ballparks like in Cleveland (Atlantic Cities).
-Designing with poor people instead of for them, as a Cooper-Hewitt curated exhibit shows. (Atlantic Cities)
-Improving mass transit, as in Atlanta’s BeltLine Plan and the watered-down Grand Paris plan.
-A great seaside resort, like Blackpool, England. (BBC)

San Fracisco Scale Model in 1940. / Image via Atlantic Cities/National Archives.

Finally — who doesn’t get excited about scale models of cities? San Francisco’s from 1940 was just discovered! (Atlantic Cities)


Skyline Stories: Maps, dead malls, suburban sprawl, IM Pei ‘s T6 at JFK, Philly’s Race Street Pier and Paris.

Rethinking lots of things — how to map contemporary cities (Atlantic Cities), the single-family post-war suburban home for a more sustainable future. (NYT: Opinionator) and even how future cities could be built around airports aka aerotropolis? (Streetsblog). But sprawl continues (Tree Hugger) and Americans are becoming less mobile (USA Today).

Ryan Sullivan's alternative maps open up a new way of thinking about places. Image via Atlantic Cities.

It wouldn’t be suburbia without abandoned malls (Design Observer) and their cookie cutter cinemas. Thank you Cinema Treasures for archiving all sorts of cinemas (NYT), though I wish the UAE had some microcinemas (NYT).

New York’s Skyscraper Museum has an exhibit on supertall skyscrapers. (Design Observer) But if you can build it tall, why can’t you build on the moon yet? (Atlantic Cities) Can you see rooftop QR codes from space? (Mashable)

BMW-Guggenheim’s Urban Lab is in New York for now (BBC), and the Queens Museum has an urban lab exhibit too (QM), but that can’t stop IM Pei’s understated Terminal 6 at JFK from being torn down. City Room says it’s the city’s biggest architectural loss since Penn Station. (NYT City Room)

At least some things are preserved in New York — check out the wonderful WPA Art Deco murals in New York’s central post office (Scouting NY) and the breathtaking restoration of the Loew’s King in Brooklyn, slated to reopen in 2013. (Architect’s Newspaper).

The 1929 Loew's King is undergoing a $70 million restoration project, slated to reopen in 2013. Image via Architect's Newspaper.

Uptown in The Bronx, the city’s new affordable housing harkens back to human-scale development (NYT ArtsBeat), though it won’t bring back Louis Mattia’s former lamp shop (JVNY). Moment of online silence for East Village blogger Roy Arihood, who died this week. (Gothamist)

In Philly, the Race Street Pier connector opened, linking Old City to the Race Street Pier Park! ( And the city is reinventing the Ben Franklin Parkway one small space at a time, this time with Sister Cities Plaza. ( Center City District seems to be taking pages out of William Whyte’s seminal film/book “Social Life of Small Urban Spaces” (1979). (Atlantic Cities)

In Paris, car sharing arrived (Atlantic Cities) in Paris! The Cite de l’Architecture du Patrimoine celebrated its fourth anniversary (Batiactu) and the ambitious “Grand Paris” plan is going to involve a lot of debating with communities (Le Monde).

How could you ever want to live in the suburbs when you have these poetic videos of exiting metro stations in New York and Paris? (The Atlantic: Cities)