Design

Guerrilla Art and Urban Identity in San Francisco: Best #Cityreads of the Week

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

CityFixer

No One Knows When Buffalo's Pedestrian Mall Overhaul Will Be Finished

With funding arriving on a block-by-block basis, everyone is eager to see if bringing cars back to Main Street will finally make a difference.

Perhaps You'd Prefer a Bike Horn That Yells at People

When a simple "ding" is not enough.

CityFixer

A Great Place to Put Community Health Clinics: Fire Stations

A new firehouse clinic in California shows how an abundant but under-used public resource—fire stations—can be made even more useful for a community.

Why Can't We Build Skinny Skyscrapers Everywhere?

The limits to how tall and thin towers can be has more to do with markets than engineers.

Maps

A Brilliantly Restored 19th Century Visualization of U.S. City Population Shifts

A map and data enthusiast found this colorful chart that tracks where the United States grew and shrunk between 1790 and 1890. 

Russians Will Vote by App on the Fate of a Modernist Moscow Landmark

The government wants to dismantle the tower, but the structure's fans are pushing for restoration.

Photos

Faces of a Shrinking Company Town

A new photography book explores Rochester in the 12 months following Kodak's bankruptcy filing. 

Every Master Plan in New York City History, Collected in a Single Place

A Brooklyn group tracked the history of the city's urban-renewal projects—and gave some still-vacant spots a future.

A Handful of São Paulo Trash Cans Got a World-Cup Makeover

Several of them now look like squat men carrying garbage bins as backpacks. Here's why.

Why Cities Should Be More Skeptical of New Cultural Centers and Expansions

On the other side of a major U.S. arts building boom, some civic leaders still think that luring cultural centers—no matter the cost—means instant success.

Turning Demographic Data Into Delicious Food

To learn the sorry state of affairs of youth employment in Spain, try the "Unemployed Pan con Tomate."

Photos

A Photographic Homage to the Suburban Nightclubs of Europe

When the sun comes up, these postmodern fun palaces show off their architectural quirks. 

Japan's Toilennale Is Like the Venice Biennale, But for Toilets

The city of Oita is commissioning artists and designers to turn 12 of its public lavatories into working art installations.

Olmsted the Hero, Moses the Villain

History views master planners Frederick Law Olmsted and Robert Moses very differently. 

A New Typeface Inspired by the Handwriting of the Homeless

"Homeless Fonts" is a Spanish project to turn hand-scrawled cardboard signs into charitable assistance.

CityFixer

Minneapolis's Most Famous Street Gets Ready For a Makeover

Built in 1968 and last updated in 1991, Nicollet Mall is getting a new name and look.

The Strange Case of Datong, China's Half-Finished Faux 'Ancient' City

An ambitious former mayor started gutting the historic city center and replacing it with replicas. Then he left town. 

The World Cup's Balls, If Flattened, Are Psychedelic Art

When laid out in two dimensions like world maps, these soccer ball patterns become seriously groovy.