NYU Abu Dhabi’s Stunning Urbanist Saadiyat Island Campus

The National has wonderful pieces today on the new NYU Abu Dhabi’s Saadiyat Island campusstunningly urbanist, and designed by New Yorks’ Rafael Viñoly Architects.

While I’ll miss the Down Town Campus, whose site on the Old Fish Market seemed more aligned to NYU New York’s goal of being “in and of the city”, the Saadiyat Island campus is open and quad-like to encourage cross-discipline interaction.

It’s also sized to scale up – totaling 4.7 million square feet (!), and hosting a 21st-century IT network infrastructure to support Connected Learning.

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Skyline Stories: Kunming Bike Lane A/V Project, Franklin Court Renovations, HSP’s SEPTA Archive, Freight by Tram

Before we get in to serious stuff…check out this incredible multidisciplinary media project (left) of the bike lanes of Kunming, China — combining pictures, maps and recorded sounds of riding in the bike lane. Reminds me of the Detroit Escalator Company and bio mapping/emotional cartography. (CoLab Radio)

Traffic is just one of the problems with the world rapidly urbanizing — the urban population of developing countries is expected to grow by a million people every five days through at least 2030 (!) — but Americans have halted internal migration due to the recession, which is also causing suburban poverty to spike. (NYT)

The “ghost house” rendering of Benjamin Franklin’s home in Philadelphia. / Image via Philadelphia Business Journal.

In Philly, Franklin Court is scheduled to undergo a $21 million renovation (Plan Philly), more details on the Dilworth Plaza renovation (Landscape Online), Code Philly returns for a second year and the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission is funding new bike trails (Plan Philly. The Historical Society of Pennsylvania is ready to open an archive of PTC/SEPTA materials (Plan Philly, and longtime journalism Jim Smart has recreated the 1876 centennial in the new book “Adonijah Hill’s Journal.” (Philly.com)

In New York, the High Line received a $20 million grant to help plan the final section (NYT) and the Grand Concourse is now an historic district (NYT CityRoom).

Meanwhile Paris plans on experimenting with the complicated idea of urban freight distribution via tramway. (Transport Politic.) New French blog Banlieues 21, I think about re-thinking Parisian suburbs in the 21st century, is one of three cool new ones this week, along with the Times’ Borderlines that examines cartography and culture, Transit Maps and

Finally, a line from “A Man, a Bike and 4,100 Miles” about biking cross-country:
But I’m no longer as eager to put the past behind me as I was in the past. If there’s one thing the ride this time has impressed on me, it’s that the present is where I want to live. Never wish away distance. Never wish away time.