• Using “accelerated bridge construction” techniques, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation recently replaced an entire bridge—in just one weekend. You might have to see it to believe it, so check out this short time-lapse video of the 400-ton structure being slotted into place.
Next up? San Francisco’s iconic Golden Gate Bridge. With 78 prefabricated sections being installed one at a time, there’s no need to shut down the entire bridge, which carries about 112,000 vehicles every day.
• Although it’s only April, already 2012 is shaping up to be one of the most interesting years in architecture in recent memory. In this slideshow from The Atlantic Cities, see unique residential spaces, futuristic government buildings, and a striking nod to the 100th anniversary of the launch of the Titanic.
• In an event sponsored by the American Institute of Architects last Saturday, approximately 200 children in Denver, Colorado, worked alongside architects to design buildings for their dream city. The ideas ranged from the whimsical—a flying-car museum complete with wings by Trey, age 7—to the precociously practical, including a city mint.
• How do you plan for the unplannable? Inspired by the Pruitt-Igoe housing project, a “symbol of failure in civic planning” (and topic of a documentary screened at the New York Lab), Polish duo Damian and Rafał Przybyła have designed a skyscraper on wheels, ready to roll away in the face of natural or social disasters. According to them, “in an unstable world, people need the stability of self-sufficiency to truly be free.”
• Students can now slide to their classes at the Technische Universität München. Twin four-story slides have been installed in the atrium of a large school building; though they block some floor space, they’re a welcome addition for students on the top floor when they’re running late for a class down below. Reminds us of a certain Carsten Höller experience at the New Museum.
• Fear of crime can deter pedestrians from certain urban areas, but a new project in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, shows the reverse could also be true: improving street walkability reduces crime. Local residents listed desired neighborhood improvements such as street cleaning and reduced traffic speed. Police implemented the requests and made the streets more pedestrian-friendly. According to a BBC report, over a two-year period, drug crimes dropped by 30 percent and burglaries by 22 percent.
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