Urban and Civic

The High Line Network, a new forum for cities around the world, isn’t about cloning the park. It’s about helping other cities avoid some of its negative effects.

Who will own the smart city?

By now you’ve probably seen those silver, black and blue monoliths on the streets of Manhattan. Looking like giant cell phones, they’re part of LinkNYC,the communication network CityBridge has installed in New York City as a replacement for 7,500 pay phones. These 10,000 electronic slabs are also something else: an early and somewhat faltering step on the road to the Smart City, dressed up now as a new class of street fixture.

As in previous years, the event was launched with a mesmerizing video projection mapped onto the sails of Sydney's iconic O pera House.

Rick Smits, Senior Designer at fd2s, Austin, Texas

Rick Smits is a senior designer at fd2s in Austin, Texas. He has been with the firm for 9 years working on healthcare, civic, retail, corporate and donor recognition projects.

Rick Smits earned his Bachelor of Arts (graphic Design) degree from Columbia College Chicago.

Before joining fd2s Rick Smits worked for Comcorp/Plancom and Epstein / neXt wayfinding + design in Chicago.

Arthouse Denver helped to revitalize the downtown 14th Street area.

A complicated stakeholder group and a cadre of firms, including Arthouse Design, linked together in Denver to transform the 14th Street corridor from a dingy commuter raceway to a vibrant business district.

The Boston Redevelopment Authority was infamous for bulldozing neighborhoods and displacing residents. Now, it’s using human-centered design thinking to shake that reputation.



Pike & Rose is a mixed-use neighborhood North Bethesda, Maryland. It will occupy over 32 acres when complete, with buildings ranging up to 20 stories. It’s approximately $1.5 billion in new construction and replaces an old strip shopping center with huge parking lots, a great exercise in East coast density and reuse.

Pioneer Square is home to stark contrasts. Art galleries, boutique restaurants, high-end housing and blossoming tech startups within historic buildings are contrasted by homelessness, development limitations, a hub of mental health facilities and lack of urban-enhancing amenities. Many empty or under-utilized properties await future change, and the Map the Square team (the Young Architects Forum of Seattle AIA) sought to influence this design change by inviting the public voice.

The Sarang Community Church was established in 1978 with 800 members. The church quickly outgrew its facility in Gangnam and, as the area continued to develop rapidly, the church was left with few options for expansion to meet the spatial needs of the growing congregation. When an opportunity arose to purchase a large plot of land just a little over a mile west from the former site, the church raised the necessary funds to secure the land and began raising more funds for the construction of the new facility through the generous gifts of its members.

Blossom Interactive is an interactive sculpture connected to social media to raise awareness for hunger issues in Philadelphia. Working with the University of Pennsylvania's non-profit community engagement program, the team installed the six-foot tall flower at Locust Walk and 37th St from September 14 to 28 during Hunger Action Month. Hunger is a community problem and requires a community-wide response. Thousands of people in cities such as Philadelphia deal with hunger each day, often suffering in silence.


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