The growing population of homeless New Yorkers is sending creative agency Framlab up a wall–literally. The Oslo- and New York City-based agency has proposed a way to provide shelter for the city’s homeless in an arrangement of 3D-printed micro-neighborhoods comprised of hexagonal modules designed to attach to a scaffold structure, creating a second layer of properties, basically, alongside a building’s empty wall (h/t designboom). In the project, called “Homed,” the modular pods can be clustered together, creating a “cellular mosaic” with their fronts facing the street.
Way better than giant ads
Image via WNYC
Not only would the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s new electronic fare payment system make commuting more efficient, it might also save money for low-income straphangers. According to amNY, advocates and experts say the new “contactless” technology could make the system more equitable through a policy called fare capping: riders pay per ride until the daily or weekly capping rates are reached, with every ride being free after that.
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A recently-released rendering of what Uber’s flying taxi, to begin testing in 2020, might look like. (Credit: Uber Technologies via AM New York).
6sqft reported recently on testing of the CityAirbus self-piloted flying taxi by Airbus. There’s already competition ahead, it seems: Uber reported Wednesday that the company is joining the U.S. National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA) in the development of software for managing flying taxi routes–essentially “flying Ubers.” In what represents the first formal services contract by NASA dealing with low-altitude airspace, Uber plans to begin testing proposed four-passenger, 200-miles-per-hour flying taxi services in Dallas/Fort Worth, with more testing planned for Los Angeles in 2020 in advance of the 2028 Olympics.
So when can I call one?
The new owners of the massive East Village residential complex now known as StuyTown plan to spend over $10 million to install 10,000 solar panels on 56 buildings in the complex, the Wall Street Journal reports. Blackstone Group and Canadian investment firm Ivanhoé Cambridge bought the storied complex for $5.3 billion in October 2015. As 6sqft previously reported, the solar investment is part of an effort by Blackstone, one of the world’s largest private equity firms, to generate energy cost savings in its global commercial real estate portfolio. The panels will provide enough power for about 1,000 apartments each year–about nine percent of the units in the 80-acre complex–which Blackstone says will triple Manhattan’s solar power generating capacity and make it the largest private multifamily solar installation in the U.S.
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A self-driving vehicle, photo via GM
General Motors will bring a fleet of self-driving cars to a 5-square-mile section of lower Manhattan early next year, becoming the first company to deploy autonomous cars in New York City. As the Wall Street Journal learned, in partnership with driverless-car developer Cruise Automation, GM’s testing will include an engineer in the driver’s seat to monitor the performance and a second person in the passenger seat. In May, Governor Andrew Cuomo and the state began accepting applications from companies interested in autonomous technologies in New York. GM and Cruise’s planned testing will become the first time Level 4 autonomous vehicles will be tested in NYC, getting a head start on making the Big Apple a hub for self-driving cars.
More this way
Image courtesy of NYC Train Sign via Instagram
New York City life got easier when we could see live data on when the next subway train would arrive via signs on platforms, in stations and on our mobile phones. Now a Brooklyn-based startup called NYC Train Sign has created a way to display that data in our homes and businesses (h/t Curbed). In an interesting evolution of the wall clock, the company’s flagship product is an artfully-designed countdown clock that displays real-time MTA data for trains in both directions for any train stop you choose. You can add a customized text slide, logo and real-time weather updates, too.
Cool. Where can I get one?
Anyone trawling through apartment listings may have noticed the upsurge of virtually staged apartment photos. The technique has proven to be a cost-effective and speedy alternative to traditional methods of staging vacant units. For those of you not fully warmed-up to the computer-aided technique, your reservations are understandable. Photos are the most important element to viewing listings online and we’ve all seen unappealing virtually-staged photos with disproportionate furnishings and unrealistic treatments. However, over the years, the realism produced by virtual staging companies has vastly improved—to the point many of the images are indecipherable from real photographs.
In New York City, Hasten is one of the companies leading the way in producing life-like listings furnished remotely through renderers and computer programs. We had a quick chat with Hasten’s CEO, Aleksandr Lanin, to get the scoop on virtual staging and its price and time advantages over traditional methods.
READ THE INTERVIEW AT CITYREALTY…
City Airbus. Image: Airbus
If you’re stuck in city traffic, you’ll appreciate this news: Airbus helicopters has just announced that it has completed its first full-scale testing on the propulsion system of the company’s CityAirbus demonstrator, Designboom reports. The vehicle in question is a a multi-passenger, self-piloted electric vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) vehicle made for urban air mobility–in essence, a flying taxi.
Should we cancel our Uber account?
, Mon, September 25, 2017
Rendering of the facility during different weather, via THIRD NATURE
Due to a combination of population growth, car dependency and climate change, coastal cities across the country face growing issues with flooding, parking and lack of green space. As a solution, Danish architecture firm THIRD NATURE designed a 3-in-1 facility that stacks a water reservoir, parking facility, and urban space on top of each other (h/t ArchDaily). The project, called POP-UP, combines a large water reservoir with a parking garage that can move up and down as the reservoir fills and empties with water. Embracing the Archimedes principle of flotation, POP-UP works like a “piece of cork in a glass of water,” allowing the parking structure to correspond to the weight of the displaced water.
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Graphic via Citymapper
With subway disruptions and delays becoming a part of daily life in New York City, even lifelong New Yorkers sometimes have trouble finding alternative routes when their F train switches to a different line. Thankfully, there’s now an app that aims to make commuting in NYC a little less confusing. Citymapper, a transportation software start-up based in the UK, uses artificial intelligence to recommend new routes in response to MTA alert statuses. As CityLab reported, the app’s “bot” reads the complicated message from the authority and uses the relevant information to offer a clearer route change to avoid the problem.
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