After the Climate March, onto the new High Line!

On Sunday afternoon, after we’ve taken to the streets to demand the world we know is within our reach — a world with an economy that works for people and the planet; a world safe from the ravages of climate change; a world with good jobs, clean air and water, and healthy communities — let’s take a walk onto that shining example of how things might work:  the High Line.

The newest, northernmost section opens Sunday afternoon, conveniently located right next to the endzone of the People’s Climate March.  More here (thanks to an unlikely source, the Wall Street Journal…):

WSJ-new High Line

Over the summer, the High Line at the Rail Yards—a stretch of the elevated park between 30th and 34th streets that also opens to the public for the first time Sunday—played host to the Argentine artist Adrián Villar Rojas and a team of collaborators who liked to get their hands dirty. The results of their work are 13 stylized cubes that look like they were dug up from the ground.

“This is the basics of life on earth,” Mr. Rojas said during the installation of the sculptures, which weigh around two tons each. “Inside you have all these tiny things that are happening, going back to billions of years ago when the first primitive organisms appeared. This is it. This is the primordial soup.”

Cecilia Alemani, the curator of High Line Art, offered a different interpretation: “Half of them look like chocolate, no?”

Creative Placemaking: Arts + Artists as Accidental Preservationists


On October 17th 2014, Hunter College in NYC will host a day long multi-disciplinary symposium exploring the influence of non-traditional practitioners of historic preservation on architectural revitalization throughout the United States. Titled The Accidental Preservationist: Artists, Artisans, Outliers & the Future of Historic Preservation, the symposium will include individuals from across the United States who don’t necessarily call themselves preservationists but whose work and passions link them to old architecture and cityscapes: artists and entrepreneurs who are inspired by buildings and places; directors of arts organizations, housing activists, and urban health advocates who are closely connected to the historic buildings and neighborhoods they interact with; artisans and makers whose craft is tied to the places where they work.

Should be fun — tickets cost $25-50…

Affordable Housing + Historic Preservation

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How Burrowing Owls Lead To Vomiting Anarchists (Or SF’s Housing Crisis Explained)


planning vs voting = balancing complicated tradeoffs vs soundbite slogans = unaffordable housing for capitalist winners. A TechCruch primer:

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

[tc_dropcap]The Santa Clara Valley was some of the most valuable agricultural land in the entire world, but it was paved over to create today’s Silicon Valley. This was simply the result of bad planning and layers of leadership failure — nobody thinks farms literally needed to be destroyed to create the technology industry’s success.[/tc_dropcap]

Today, the tech industry is apparently on track to destroy one of the world’s most valuable cultural treasures, San Francisco, by pushing out the diverse people who have helped create it. At least that’s the story you’ve read in hundreds of articles lately.

It doesn’t have to be this way. But everyone who lives in the Bay Area today needs to accept responsibility for making changes where they live so that everyone who wants to be here, can.

The alternative — inaction and self-absorption — very well could create the cynical elite paradise and middle-class dystopia…

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Community Build Days at Pier 42!


A Perfect Day in NYC — Community Building at Pier 42, the Lower East Side’s most happening waterfront hot spot! Saturday June 7th, 11am to 3pm.

Originally posted on Paths to Pier 42:

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Volunteers care for plants at a Community Build Day in May, 2013.

You’re invited to Community Build Day at Pier 42! Community Build Days are opportunities to work directly with Pier 42’s resident artists and designers to help realize installations on site, getting your hands dirty with planting, painting, and building. Please contact Anna Pelavin at if you’re interested in volunteering,


Saturday May 17, 11am-3pm

Saturday June 7, 11am-3pm

Wednesday June 25, 1-4pm

To see more photos of Pier 42 being transformed during last year’s Community Build Days, click here.


Volunteers help to build Mary Mattingly’s 2013 installation, Triple Island.

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If Mayors Ruled the World…

If Mayors Ruled the World...

Modern cities fulfill the promises of John Dewey and Walt Whitman’s paeans to democracy by allowing ‘democratic voices, ardent dreamers and lawless artists’ to inspire each other. By focusing on practical solutions to the day-to-day problems that affect their constituents, city mayors champion a mode of governance characterized by collaboration and consensus, and the global ties they create offer a more human-centered, applied style of politics than the contentiousness of national legislatures or the bureaucratic talking shops of the U.N. and European Union…

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These incredible sliding images turn Sprawlsville, U.S.A., into an urban utopia


Just add water… How Phoenix is reinventing itself

Originally posted on Grist:

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Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company. Urban Advantage, Inc.

Like the mythical bird for which is it named, the city of Phoenix, Ariz., is ripe for a radical transformation à la Fawkes. No, don’t actually set it on fire! There’s no need; the new, improved city can rise from the asphalt of the old. In fact, it’s already started.

“Phoenix is the poster child of sprawl,” says Galina Tachieva, author of the Sprawl Repair Manual and a sustainable planning partner at Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company, the lead consultant working with the city to help revamp its zoning codes. “It doesn’t receive enough credit for doing really great things, and [for] having this young generation of people who want to do great things about their city.”

The zoning overhaul is part of an initiative called Reinvent PHX, which aims to foster new, concentrated areas of economic development, making the city denser, more efficient, and more resilient to…

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