cityLAB, the UCLA urban design think tank founded by Dana Cuff, and Princeton's Center for Architecture, Urbanism and Infrastructure, founded by Mario Gandelsonas cooperated on a "Watershed". The two day symposium brought 40 scholars, architects, and urbanists to UCLA on February 3 and 4 to discuss the implications of water infrastructures for architecture, urbanism, and ecology. In contrast to the technocratic management of urban water in the past, the demands of 21st century urbanization will require the negotiation between the conflicting usages of water for sustaining life and for industrial production, balancing the demands for clean water for humans and animals, recycled water for growing and feeding plants, and for maintaining landscapes for pleasure and identity. In the process, the 20th century concept of watersheds will be transformed into soft, multi-functional territories in which design will play an important role. This symposium continued a conversation begun in Paris in June 2011.
cityLAB publishes research on California High Speed Rail
cityLAB recently completed two research projects about design and high speed rail, one funded by the Haynes Foundation and another by the Mineta Transportation Institute. Dubbed "Tracks of Change" the two projects, carried out in cooperation with Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris of the UCLA's Luskin School of Public Affairs and AUD's Roger Sherman, examine how urban design can be leveraged to influence the urban changes that will accompany fast trains while achieving the state’s transportation and and environmental goals. The projects deployed scenario planning techniques as a way of managing the uncertainty that inheres to such long-term, major infrastructural investments. The work will be published in a monograph available on-line at the Mineta Institute's web site (http://transweb.sjsu.edu), in the journal "Built Environment", in the forthcoming publication "Huburbs," and on cityLAB's own website (http://www.cityLAB.aud.ucla.edu).
cityLAB Awarded Seed Grant Funding to Investigate Ambient Urban Informatics
cityLAB has been awarded seed grant funding through the UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture and Office of the Vice Chancellor of Research to study the use of “ambient informatics,” a type of spatial computing that communicates information in everyday environments without the use of language, numbers, visual icons, or screens --think of the blinking lights warning that intermission is almost over. The cityLAB project will use ambient informatics and good design to create smart bus stops on the UCLA campus. Work on this project has just begun with AUD's Jason Payne and Dana Cuff, and Jeff Burke from Theater, Film, and Television.