top-urban-deisgn-and-planning-projects-in-the-us-now-that-you-should-care-about-nyc-chicago-dc-minneapolis-las-vegas-untappedcities-nick-reale-7Image Source: Regional Plan Association’s Second Regional Plan

With public consciousness of cities at an all-time high, planning and design projects have been commanding the imaginations of urbanities in ways unforeseen. On the positive end, more governing bodies and planning agencies are placing higher value on public awareness, information dissemination, and “ground-up” development. There’s certainly a long way to go, even in cities like New York City, but below are 10 of some of the more innovative and impactful projects going on across the United States right now. Though some have captured the imagination and support of masses while others hang in limbo, all will affect the lives of many in their wake.


Image by Steve Weinik, courtesy of the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program

Commuters traveling between Philadelphia and New York, upwards of 34,000 of them daily, are getting a pop of color added to their train ride between 30th Street and North Philadelphia Stations. Meant to be viewed from inside a moving train, psychylustro is a neon-colored, multi-part temporary installation by artist Katharina Grosse. The City of Philadelphia’s Mural Arts Program invited the Berlin-based artist to create a piece of public art that would spark the imaginations of Amtrak commuters along the rather bleak Northeast Corridor.  (more…)

Reading Viaduct-Renderings-Spur-Bryan Hanes-Philadelphia High Line-001Reading Viaduct, rendering by Bryan Hanes

Back in December, we shared a list of 10 Plans for Elevated “High Line” Parks Around the World. One of these plans in Philadelphia has been in the works for more than 10 years, and is just now beginning to come into fruition. The Reading Viaduct is a mile-long stretch of elevated train tracks running through the Callowhill and Chinatown North neighborhoods of Philadelphia. Constructed in 1893, it carried commuters and freight to Center City Philadelphia for almost 100 years.


The High Line in New York City is one of the most well-known elevated parks, but around the world there are many similar urban reclamation projects underway. The success of the High Line inspired many other cities around the world to reuse and rethink space around old rail lines. Here are 10 plans from Europe, Canada, Australia, Asia, the United States and Mexico.


1952_Columbus-Circle_New-York-City_Untapped CitiesThis photograph was mislabeled in LIFE Magazine as Columbus Circle. Image Source: Getty Images

Our article on vintage photos of Columbus Circle was super popular, but we got a good number of comments saying that one of the photos was not actually Columbus Circle. Indeed, it might not even be from New York City. The photo in question by Margaret Bourke-White was sourced from LIFE Magazine with the caption: “Columbus Circle, New York City, photographed from a helicopter, 1952.” Obviously, without the Christopher Columbus statue itself, and with the existence of two plazas, this is not Columbus Circle. We decided to do some digging to figure out where this photograph is from exactly.


Philly Painting-Philadephia-Mural Arts Program-Germantown

In North Philadelphia, around Germantown and Lehigh Avenues, an entire neighborhood has been repainted in bright, fun colors as part of the city’s Mural Arts Program. We got a chance to walk through with the artists,  Dre Urhahn and Jeroen Koolhaas, who are most well-known for their work painting the Santa Marta favela in Rio de Janeiro.

The project was called Philly Painting, and Dre and Jeroen who are originally from Holland, were invited to be artists in residence in 2012. Their work goes beyond aesthetics however, their ultimate goal is to use art to transform and revitalize neighborhoods. Though they were invited by the mayor of Philadelphia, it was important to them that those in the neighborhood “understand the reasons why we’re here,” Dre tells us.