Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A Personal Scout for the Road

A leading California based tech company has launched Scout™ for Android, which is a free, personal navigator that can provide customized information about where, when and how to go somewhere, and what to do upon arrival. “Scout includes voice and on-screen turn by turn GPS navigation, local search, traffic information, speech recognition, and automatic rerouting for free.”

A premier version provides unique features for such as speed traps, traffic camera information, lane assist, as well as access to Car ConnectScout is now available in Ford motor vehicles through SYNC AppLink.

Reference: Telenav Launches Scout for Android: Free, Voice-Guided, Personalized GPS Navigation App, Telenav, September 17, 2012

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Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Bus of the Future

Next time you get stuck in traffic, you may want to think about the 3D Express Coach shown here!

The 3D Express Coach, as it has been dubbed, could hold 1200 to 1400 passengers and travel up to 37 miles per hour (60 km per hour). It would help decrease traffic congestion without widening roads, and it’s powered with a combo of electricity and solar power so it’s not a big polluter.

Reference: Weiss-Roessler, Juliana, The Bus from the Future
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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Grand Park Opens in Downtown LA

A new county park known as the Grand Park opened in LA last month. It is a gathering place for city dwellers, and a venue for a major concert, a farmers’ market or a participatory dance recital. The park will have year-round events and will provide much needed green space to the downtown neighborhood.

Sandwiched between City Hall and Disney Hall, the park is the latest attempt to revitalize a neighborhood where the sidewalks once rolled up by nightfall but that now sees a new restaurant or bar opening seemingly every week.”

Reference: JENNIFER MEDINA, Los Angeles Puts a New Park at Its Heart, The New York Times, August 18, 2012
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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Digital City Visualization of the Regional Connector Project

A joint venture partnership was selected to provide conceptual design and engineering services for a $ 1.3 billion Regional Connector Project based on their digital city model. That was the key difference among competing firms to win the commission.  The digital city model allowed them to express their understanding of the context and major issues clearly.

The Regional Connector will connect the Metro Gold Line, Blue Line and Expo Line enabling passengers to travel from Montclair to Long Beach and from East Los Angeles to Santa Monica as a "one seat ride".”

Reference:  Regional Connector Transit Corridor, Metro
Photo Credit: Los Angeles Metro Regional Connector 

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Three US High Schools Focus on Urban Planning

There are three high schools that have been organized around the theme of urban planning and design. They are as follows:

1 The East Los Angeles Renaissance Academy of Urban Planning and Design

2 New York City Academy of Urban Planning and

3 Milwaukee’s School for Urban Planning and Architecture

According to the organizers “urban planners’ emphasis on community development and public participation was especially relevant to local students and their families.”

Reference: Benfield, Kaid, Innovative East LA high school features urban planning and community engagement

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Friday, June 29, 2012

Noteworthy Affordable Housing

The Sierra Bonita Affordable Housing Project in West Hollywood is an example of a well designed housing project. This 50,000 square-foot building accommodates 42 units, along with several nonprofits at the street level.

Rivaling any luxury condo project but costing just $14 million for 42-units, the energy-efficient, mixed-use building has a courtyard garden, integrated photovoltaic panels that double as shade canopies for the building’s terraces, and a gorgeous laser-cut aluminum screen fa├žade.”

Reference: Arieff, Allison, Affordable Housing That Doesn't Scream 'Affordable', the, October 21, 2011
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Sunday, June 3, 2012

Prefab Homes Tour on June 17th

Dwell magazine is organizing a tour of prefab homes in Los Angeles area on Sunday, June 17th from 10 AM to 4 PM. Following homes are included:

Backyard Plug-in, Green House, LivingHome KT1.5, LivingHome, Santa Monica I, Palms Residence.

Here is a video on Living Homes, Santa Monica California

Reference: Dwell Home Tours,

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