Ryan A. Cunningham

Waterfronts and Preservation: Are They at Odds?

Is it ok for us to pay the billion-dollar price tag to preserve our city as is? I don’t think so. But I, like so many, don’t know what the solution is.

Red Hook flooded photo courtesy The Brownstoner Whether you call her Hurricane, Superstorm, or Frankenstorm, Sandy has brought devastation, destruction, and lasting change to our waters’ edge. Across New York City and the tri-state region, neighborhoods glimpsed the climate change forecast–massive flooding, storm surges, and rising seas. With lives lost and billions in damages, it’s safe to say our communities…

It’s Alive!

How many times in the last week, or even in the last day, have you looked at your smart phone, iPad, car, television, some type of technology, and said, “I love you”? We often treat machines as if they are living things, sometimes with tender loving care, and sometimes with a good swat. But why react so strongly towards inanimate…

Harvard GSD Releases App on Ecological Urbanism

A new app by Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, called Ecological Urbanism, is the start of a deep dive into innovation research in urban sustainability.

Tablets are revolutionizing how people interact with information. We can now walk around with libraries in our knapsacks and the touch screen interface has enabled us to bridge the physical-abstract divide. The universe is now pushed and prodded, and just as the universe is expanding, so is our access to digital information. A new app by Harvard’s Graduate School of…

Creative Approaches to Creating Resilient Communities

Ecologically-based infrastructures, or soft infrastructures, are important concepts for cities looking to become more sustainable.

Hurricane Sandy has invoked a lot of change. Whether it’s coast lines or politics, we have experienced first-hand what scientists, planners, and architects have been warning about for years, that a storm like Sandy was going to happen. “Sometime between now and 2100, a storm will dump 18 feet of seawater into lower Manhattan, flooding much of the financial district,…

Architecture for Bats

Bats are awesome. How could you not love something that uses echolocation, lives in caves, and is the only truly flying mammal? They also are really important to humanity. Bats fill a unique and important niche in our ecosystem, “one bat eats about 2,000 to 6,000 insects each night” according to BatConservation.org. And Bat Conservation International says, “A single little…

The Brilliance of Color

Recently I read an article about the most beautifully colored berry I have ever seen. At first I thought it was fake, one of those plastic berries you see in a sci-fi movie, the type of berry offered to the star ship captain by the scantily garbed alien, and as tasty as they are psychosomatic. Pollia condensata Berries, a little…

What’s a land quilt?

Ever have fond memories of feeling wrapped safely in a quilt? We all love the feeling of comfort and safety that comes with quilts, blankets and the loving hands that made them. And the quilting bee, a community of women working their craft, is well known in our folklore. Artists Tony Anella and Cara McCullogh of Albuquerque, New Mexico, have…

Civic Waterfronts

Shimmering water stretches out before you. In the backdrop the city glitters and the stones whisper to the waves. A warm breeze blows through the trees while you, from your perch on a slab of granite, cool your heels in the flowing waters and admire the stars you rarely see. That’s what I imagine when I think of a waterfront…

Racing Past a Gigawatt

The college experience,  a quintessential right of passage, has always been about camaraderie, experiences, and learning. Whether your experience was full of all-nighters, hair-pulling group projects, or last page computer crashes; in the end college prepares us for the “real world” and all its challenges. On some campuses, learning to deal with real world challenges includes tackling issues surrounding sustainable…

Gerding Edlen on The Softer Side of Real Estate Development

Portland-based developer Gerding Edlen on the importance of designing for the “software” side of a building--the occupants and community.

Living in a big city can be hard. If you live in New York, you have probably quoted the famous song, “If I make it there, I can make it anywhere.” But Portland-based developer Gerding Edlen recognizes the need for giving a softer side to the city. They develop buildings that, from my perspective, promise to be soft on communities,…

Greening Landmark Buildings in NYC

“The greenest building is… one that’s already built.”  We have heard this before. It’s often spoken in response to the argument for shiny new buildings with LEED plaques in their lobbies. For those who advocate the reuse of buildings, especially those of historic significance, there is soon to be a ‘how-to’ guide, sponsored by the Municipal Arts Society of New…

What Would NYC’s 6th Borough Look Like? Here Are 4 Ideas

The 2012 ONE PRIZE design competition, calling for new visions for NYC's waters as well as a potential sixth borough, has announced the winning teams.

We love the waterfront. It’s a great place to walk the dog, stroll with your love, and work up a sweat. And for about as long as New Yorkers have lived on the water’s edge, there have been ideas on how to make ours a city of the sea. This past Wednesday evening, the 2012 ONE PRIZE design competition, organized…

New Exhibit Garners Excitement for New York City’s Bike Share

An exhibit showcases the new Bike Share system coming to New York City in July, with 10,000 bikes at 600 hubs across Manhattan and North West Brooklyn.

I’m excited! I want Bike Share! 72% of New Yorkers agree with me according to Quinnipiac University. This week at the Center for Architecture, an exhibit opened showcasing the new Bike Share system coming to New York City in July, with 10,000 bikes at 600 hubs across Manhattan and North West Brooklyn. We all want to live next door to…