advertisement advertisement Last Wednesday, Haitian president René Préval asked the international aid community for $3.8 billion to rebuild his shattered country after January’s devastating earthquake. In what amounted to a fund-raiser at the United Nations, he received pledges of $5.3 billion over the next eighteen months. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton promised $1.15 billion on behalf of the United States. Most of the money will be spent on rebuilding schools, hospitals, roads, and basic infrastructure–the question is where? The earthquake destroyed much of the capital of Port-au-Prince, killing 300,000 residents and leaving 1.3 million homeless–nearly half of whom have become internal refugees. Haiti’s reconstruction plans include earmarking $500 million just to lease or purchase land for temporary settlements. They may be more than temporary. As I noted back in February, a number of urban planners and economists within and … [Read more...] about Is Haiti a Laboratory for New Urbanists? What the Country Really Needs Is Old Urbanism
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Stan Gale is exultant. The chairman of Gale International yanks off his tie, hitches up his pants, and mops the sweat and floppy hair from his brow. He’s beaming like a proud new papa, sprung from the waiting room and handing out cigars to whoever happens by. Beckoning me to follow, he saunters across eight lanes of traffic toward his baby, delivered prematurely days before. advertisement advertisement Ten years ago, Gale was a builder and flipper of office parks who would eventually become known for knocking down the Boston landmark Filene’s Basement and replacing it with a hole in the ground. But Gale’s fate began to change in 2001 with a phone call from South Korea. The Korean government had found his firm on the Internet and made an offer everyone else had refused. The brief: Gale would borrow $35 billion from Korea’s banks and its biggest steel company, and use the money to build from scratch a city the size of downtown Boston, only taller and … [Read more...] about Cisco’s Big Bet on New Songdo: Creating Cities From Scratch
advertisement TerraCycle, a New Jersey-based startup that upcycles trash into useful everyday items, has popped up on our radar many times over the past year. Because really, how can you not pay attention to a company that turns Frito Lay chip bags into speakers and makes kites out of Oreo packaging? Apparently, we aren’t the only ones with an eye on TerraCycle. The company’s latest antics will be available for a national audience beginning tonight, when Season 2 of Garbage Moguls premieres on the National Geographic Channel. If you haven’t seen the show before, National Geographic Channel offers a quick rundown: Recycling gets a makeover with a quirky Intrigued? This season will reportedly feature the development of the “Garbage Garbage Can,” a trash can made from wrappers (we interviewed the company about the Garbage Garbage Can earlier this year), the company’s first storefront, and the creation of pet products made out of dog food bags. … [Read more...] about TerraCycle Takes on TV With Garbage Moguls
The museum director stands at the windows of his 14th-floor apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and surveys his domain from a distance. The view is spectacular, with Central Park lying below like a tapestry, unrolling lush shades of green all the way to the towers and manors across town. advertisement advertisement “Right there,” he says. “Do you see it? No?” To be honest, it’s a bit difficult to pick out. “Of course you see the Guggenheim,” he adds helpfully, motioning to that building’s distinctive round silhouette. “Now look to the left. There’s the museum’s roof.” He is pointing toward the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, housed in the stately Andrew Carnegie mansion on Fifth Avenue and 91st Street. And if it is not easy to figure out exactly where it stands, it seems even more difficult to truly identify it–to describe not just its profile but its purpose, too. The Cooper-Hewitt … [Read more...] about Mister Moggridge Has Mad Ambition
Q: Dear Dan: The Snuggie is everywhere. WTF?– Shruggie advertisement advertisement Dear Shruggie, if you think you’re bewildered about the Snuggie, consider the Chinese people who make a living producing them. (“I make blanket-ponchos for Americans who are too lazy to put on a sweater.”) By the way, did you see the new Snuggie designs unveiled at Fashion Week? Zebra, leopard, tie-dye, camouflage, etc. (“I make blanket-ponchos for Americans who want to look like a zebra.”) There’s even a Snuggie Pub Crawl, which seems like the best idea of the bunch. Here’s a theory you didn’t ask for: Infomercials are great at presenting unexpected solutions to unarticulated needs. You’ve probably had a Snuggiesque experience–lying on the couch and reading a book on a cold day, and you wrap a blanket around you, but it gets frustrating because you can’t hold the book AND keep your shoulders bundled up at the same time. … [Read more...] about The Snuggie Is Everywhere. WTF?