Destruction of Istanbul


“If I was a businessman, I would do everything I could to be part of this group,” said an official at Turkey’s Treasury, speaking on condition of anonymity. “There’s no way anyone can fail, there’s no way anyone can be out of business. One day you’re dealing with projects worth $1m, the next day you’re a $10bn company.”

via Newsweek.

Urban Reviewer


This is great work!

596 Acres has teamed up with Partner & Partners and SmartSign to produce a comprehensive online map showing all the adopted neighborhood master plans for New York City. It has taken us nearly two years to follow up on a Freedom of Information Law request for records of those plans and meticulous translation of paper plans into machine-readable spreadsheets to make this map.

The plans were written with a great city in mind. Huge swaths were designated for demolition, to be paid for with federal dollars. Lots that were designated this way to justify the funding for demolition had to be included in a plan that stated what they “should” be – designations like “housing,” “industrial,” and “open space.”

via Urban Reviewer.

Why Downtown Development May Be More Affordable Than The Suburbs


Downtowns throughout the country rarely get the respect they deserve, especially when it comes to the economic impact they have on their communities. There is a growing awareness that suburban development patterns – also known as “sprawl” – may be environmentally unsustainable. Meanwhile, the work done by Joe Minicozzi, a planner and founder of the consulting firm Urban3, has begun to shed new light on how suburban expansion could be economically unsustainable as well.

via Citi’s Voice: Forbes.

Why I Bought A House In Detroit For $500


Behind Will’s house was a paradise of wretched forestland. Any homes or buildings had been torn or fallen down, nature reclaiming what it had lost more than a century ago. Full-grown trees stood between dumped boats and hot tubs and railroad ties and piles of rubble, smack-dab on top of where houses used to be. A sextuplet of abandoned grain silos towered over the neighborhood. Scrappers would burn the insulation off copper wire at the bottom, and a rather congenial gentleman, since killed in a fistfight, lived in one of the boats. Occasionally Will and I would climb the towers and look out over the city, smoking cigarettes and drinking cheap beer. I’d try not to fall through the crumbling roof, and we’d point out landmarks, churches, schools, empty factories, trying to figure our place in it all.

via BuzzFeed.

An excellent first-person account on gentrification, redevelopment, and literally being a pioneer in rapidly deterioting Detroit.

Tourists instead of Developers


Photographers have flocked to the city to capture the decline; two French photographers even produced a book, The Ruins of Detroit. But since the city declared bankruptcy in July, hotels say they\’ve seen an uptick in visitors inquiring about the ruins. So have restaurants in the up-and-coming district of Corktown, near the abandoned train station.


A Home on Home Plate


Refurbished Baseball Stadium

After the Nankai Hawks were sold and moved from Osaka to Fukuoka, city planners were baffled as what to do with this 32,000 seat stadium in the heart of downtown. The solution was a simple yet innovative one – fill the outfield with homes.

via 5LIVE.

Why Can’t the Bronx Be More Like Brooklyn?


So perhaps the Bronx shouldn’t try to become a more affordable Greenwich Village (like parts of Brooklyn) or an enclave of the young, hip and ambitious (like parts of Queens). For economic inspiration, Katz suggests, the Bronx should look outside New York. Pittsburgh lost its steel industry, but the city — home to Carnegie Mellon, Pitt and other research institutions — redefined itself as a solid second-tier educational and research center. The Bronx, Katz says, is also strong in the highly coveted “eds and meds” sector. “It boggles the mind,” he says, how much hospitals and universities spend. As a result, they offer extensive potentially valuable service jobs without degree requirements.

Source: NYTimes.