affordable housing, Policy

queensbridge houses, nycha, public housing nyc

Via Wikimedia

Independent federal monitoring of the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) began this year, and the first resulting quarterly analysis is expected to be released as early as Monday, POLITICO reports. The quarterly analysis will provide a summary of progress made to date in addressing issues that have long plagued the public housing authority such as lead paint, mold, broken heating systems and shabby kitchens and bathrooms. According to sources familiar with its content, the report also contains the unexpected suggestion of using drones to inspect building rooftops and facades.

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Green Design, Manhattan, Technology, Urban Design

Although Mayor Bill de Blasio announced last year new mandates to force building owners to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as a way to fight climate change, a Dallas-based architecture firm has taken the idea of sustainable design to the next level. During last month’s International Builder’s Show, Humphreys & Partners presented a conceptual plan for a mixed-use project on Manhattan’s waterfront. In Pier 2: Apartment of the Futurethe architects tackled major issues prevalent in many cities, like affordability and energy efficiency (h/t Curbed NY). The futuristic proposal includes two towers with modular and micro-units, which would boast futuristic amenities like artificial intelligence, drones, home automation and more.

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Design, Technology, Urban Design

amazon drone, skyscraper drone, drone tower

Image courtesy of the United States Patent Office

The massive online retailer company Amazon, which recently acquired the grocery chain Whole Foods for $13.4 billion, is attempting to push even further into the future of internet commerce. The company has recently patented a “multi-level fulfillment center for unmanned vehicles,” or in simpler terms, a drone skyscraper. As co.design discovered, while patents do not necessarily mean this tower will be created, the plan has detailed sketches showing a giant beehive from where drones would fly in and out.

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From Our Partners

Last month, it was reported that the FDNY was poised to launch a drone program that would aid in emergencies. Now the word from the FDNY is that it might take a little longer to get the plan off the ground. One of the obstacles for the FDNY, and anyone who wants to operate a drone, is learning the particularly complicated regulations for New York City, and getting licensed.


Photo by Victor Chu/ Sky Tech One

Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Video

We thought Google’s new 3-D maps of NYC were cool, but this incredible aerial video of the city’s five boroughs blows Google Earth out of the water. Sky Tech One Aerial Photography created a spectacular montage of footage with the help of a drone, and what’s captured is truly something else. Spanning Lower Manhattan to Yankee Stadium to Roosevelt Island to Coney Island, and, well, everything else in between, we definitely can’t argue with their bold claim that this is the “Ultimate Aerial Video of NYC.”

[Via The Verge]

Daily Link Fix

team blacksheep, nyc aerial footage, drone video, drone over nyc, drone over cities
  • 99 Problems with NYC, But Love Ain’t One: There’s only so much love you can give to the city. You’ll find yourself nodding at basically all of these gripes Thrillist rounded up about life in NYC.
  • Drones Were Recording Your City And You Probably Didn’t Even Know: Team BlackSheep released their drones in cities to take some pretty amazing aerial shots, some even of people waving at the drone. Architizer features 20 of their best videos; looks like the one from NYC was taken sometime in winter.
  • Furniture That Encourages Activity: Imagine having to get up to turn on a light or get up on your toes for something on a shelf or even “actively” sitting in a chair – blasphemy! With so many inventions popping up that make these simple things as easy as a touch on a smartphone, French industrial designer Benoît Malta crafted his Passive Behavior collection. His furniture requires some kind of activity to be useful, such as his two-legged chair. See how that works at Treehugger.
  • Are Renovations To US Embassies Putting Employees At Risk?: Money, politics and design – seems like a balancing act right? Since 2009, when Secretary of State John Kerry commented that US Embassies look like “fortresses”, many have been re-designed to be more welcoming. But is increased appeal coming at the expense of security? Hyperallergic has an interesting op/ed on the subject.


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