Design

Revisiting Pittsburgh’s Era of Big Plans

A conversation with the trio of authors behind a new book about the Steel City’s mid-20th-century transformation.

A rendering of Quayside, the waterfront development now being planned for Toronto.

A Big Master Plan for Google's Growing Smart City

Google sibling company Sidewalk Labs has revealed its master plan for the controversial Quayside waterfront development—and it’s a lot bigger.

Aerial view of a Modernist tropical garden.

A Brazilian Vision Blooms Anew in the Bronx

The New York Botanical Garden pulls out all the stops for its new exhibit on Modernist garden designer Roberto Burle Marx.

What Cities Can Do to Help Birds and Bees Survive

Pollinators—the wildlife that shuffle pollen between flowers—are being decimated. But they may still thrive with enough help from urban humans.

Detail of a Brutalist building.

Can This Flawed Brutalist Plaza in Boston Be Fixed?

The chain-link fences are finally down at Boston’s long-closed Government Services Center, thanks to some clever design updates.

Paris Wants to Grow ‘Urban Forests’ at Famous Landmarks

The city plans to fill some small but treasured sites with trees—a climate strategy that may also change the way Paris frames its architectural heritage.

Children bike through a miniature town with scaled-down buildings and streets.

The Evolution of Miniature ‘Safety Towns’ for Kids

The pint-sized faux villages that dot America aren’t just cute—they’ve helped teach children pedestrian and bike safety since the 1930s.

The Empty Spaces That Elevate London’s Brutalist Masterpiece

A new plan aims to fill in some of the Barbican Estate’s loftier spaces and alter the original footprint. Will the integrity of the historic complex be at risk?

A photo of a enforcement official at a municipal building that was the scene of a mass shooting on May 31 in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

The Hard Questions About Staying Safe in City Hall

After the Virginia Beach shooting, cities struggle with providing security for municipal employees while still welcoming the public they serve.

The Secrets to NYC Parks’ New Signs

Over the last five years, NYC Parks has very gradually introduced a new brand identity, including streamlined signs visible at most parks today.

How to Game the Zoning Codes to Build Supertall Skyscrapers

Three supertall New York City skyscrapers reveal just how creative lawyers can be in gaming the city’s zoning codes.

Meet Mexico City’s Sign Painters

Seemingly replaced by vinyl-printed ads since the early 2000s, artists who can paint advertisements by hand are making a comeback.

How Ian McHarg Taught Generations to ‘Design With Nature’

Fifty years ago, a Scottish landscape architect revolutionized how designers and planners think about ecology. His legacy matters now more than ever.

A Designer’s Airport for the Jet Age

As this 1958 Charles and Ray Eames film shows, Dulles was truly designed for modern air travel.

A rendering of a co-living building in San Jose.

The Largest Co-Living Building in the World Is Coming to San Jose

The startup Starcity plans to build an 800-unit, 18-story “dorm for adults” to help affordably house Silicon Valley’s booming workforce.

What’s Next For Ontario Place, a Treasured Toronto Amusement Park

Premier Doug Ford wants to see Ontario Place redeveloped. A preservation battle over the vital piece of Canada’s postwar architectural history is looming.

Black-and-white photo of an architect's legs sticking out of his large tabletop model of an airport.

Escaping Reality Through the TWA Hotel

It’s now a fantasy-steeped hotel honoring the airport design of a bygone era, but the TWA Flight Center at New York’s JFK Airport was never quite real.

A photo of the facade of Chicago’s Thompson Center

The 11 Most Endangered Historic Places in America (This Year)

The National Trust for Historic Preservation’s 2019 list of imperiled buildings, neighborhoods, and districts reveals the threats that older places face.

A woman walks down a city street across from a new apartment and condominium building.

How Housing Supply Became the Most Controversial Issue in Urbanism

New research has kicked off a war of words among urban scholars over the push for upzoning to increase cities’ housing supply.

Bringing New Life to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Lost Designs

“I would love to model all of Wright's work, but it is immense,” says architect David Romero. “I do not know if during all my life I will have time.”

Paris Will Create the City’s Largest Gardens Around the Eiffel Tower

The most famous space in the city is set to get a pedestrian-friendly redesign that will create the city’s largest garden by 2024.