Design

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How Does a Building Become Sacred? Best #Cityreads of the Week

A roundup of the best stories on cities and urbanism we've come across in the last seven days.

Harris & Ewing/LOC

How Did Baseball Fans Watch the World Series Before TV?

From the Play-O-Graph to the Jackson Manikin Baseball Indicator, the forgotten history of simulated ballgames.

Graffiti Artist 'Creepytings' Is Defacing National Parks

As long as National Park Service budgets shrink, vandalism is going to be a feature of our favorite natural spaces.

Photos
Steven Hirsch

A Photographer Makes the Toxic Gowanus Canal Look Beautiful

It sounds impossible, but these shots bring out an impressionist dreaminess.

NYC & Company

NYC's Newest Tourism Posters Are Aimed at Locals

A new campaign wants to lure New Yorkers to explore neighborhoods in their own city.

Mark Byrnes/City Lab

Another Great Design Toy Is Primed for Reemergence

Legos have been hailed as STEM toys—but let's not overlook the power of Play-Doh.

Photos
Library of Congress, Historic American Buildings Survey/Jack Boucher

The 'Old Met' In Its Final Days

A look back at one of the first failed preservation efforts in newly preservation-minded 1960s New York.

Videos
Julian Tryba Photography

This 'Layer-Lapse' Video of Boston Is a Lesson in Relativity

A new spin on time-lapse tech shows city features at distinct times of day, all in one frame.

Ernest Adams / Flickr

What France Can Teach U.S. Cities About Transit Design

What the French gamely call the "art of insertion" is really a multimodal understanding of streets.

Related-Oxford

Quantifying the Livable City

NYU's Constantine Kontokosta sees Big Data as a tool not just for saving energy—but for making cities healthier, more resilient, and more equitable.

Matt Brown/Flickr

London's Newest Building Seems to Be Floating Away

This architectural magic trick would make David Copperfield proud.

Maps
Morphocode

Mapping the Age of Every Building in Manhattan

A new tool called Urban Layers tracks Manhattan's rise, block by block, since 1765.

Flussbad Berlin

Berlin Wants to Build a Pool in the Middle of the City's River

The Flussbad Berlin project represents a bold, new imagining of what a metropolitan river can be.

Anthony Flint

Why Is Italy's 'National Mall' so Unwelcoming?

Caserta's La Reggia palace and grounds could bring new energy and a sense of ownership to citizens of a tourist destination—if only it wasn't so hard to get in.

Janny McKinnon/Flickr

The Gods Are Watching You Pee, so Don't Do It in Public

How ceramic tiles featuring deities might curb an Indian health hazard: Public urination.

Photos
1AM Gallery

San Francisco Experiments with Miniature Street Art

Teeny graffiti gets raised to high art.

Videos
YouTube/nostalgoteket

Eating and Drinking at the Top of London's BT Tower

A film made when the 581-foot tower was a lot groovier.

joyfull/Shutterstock.com

What We Can Learn from a Dutch Bike Traffic Jam

Even in the cycling utopia of the Netherlands, bicyclists face infrastructure problems.

New Heroes

A Dutch City Is Monitored by Giant, Unblinking Eyeballs

People won't be able to avoid the gaze of the Terrible Eyes, say the makers of this Orwellian artwork.

Datasets from the Aerial Bold Kickstarter

Turning Topography Into Typography

Aerial Bold aims to develop an alphabet out of aerial maps.