Blog Pick :: CityLab
By: Phil Reville, M.Arch Candidate
From the people that bring you The Atlantic, CityLab is a news source for all things urban. Co-founded by renowned geographer, Richard Florida (author of Rise of the Creative Class and Who’s Your CIty?), the site has a range of content from city politics to captivating infographics to to photo documentation of cities across the world. As both students in the world of design and residents to one of the most prominent cities in the United States, we need to constantly consider our own urban environment and that of cities everywhere.
The site is organized into several tabs for perusing their content, and has tabs that specifically present articles or posts with ‘Maps’ and ‘Photos’. Other tabs include, ‘Commute’, ‘Work’, ‘Housing’, ‘Design’, ‘Tech’, and ‘CityFixer’, a set of 12 categories including ‘Streets’, ‘Energy Use’, and ‘Infrastructure’ that are aimed at certain aspects of city life. The site is updated daily, so the archive of stories and posts is incredibly extensive.
Upon searching ‘Boston’, I found an article that covers the proposal made by New Balance to create their own commuter rail station. If you’ve recently driven on the Mass Pike or if you live in Allston-Brighton you’ve probably seen the giant tubular glass structure going up. This 15-acre development site known as Boston Landing will be the new headquarters of New Balance, complete with an ice-skating rink, a track, several office spaces, a hotel, and 80,000 square feet of retail space. More than this, the company is going ahead with the creation of their own commuter rail station at Boston Landing, which they will fully fund and upkeep for at least a decade once opened.
CityLab is in an odd way a breath of fresh air for us design students. We spend most of our time looking at images and graphics, but it turns out reading is important too. And if we’re going to be reading, why not be kept abreast of things concerning cities like the one in which we live. CityLab holds that, “through original reporting, sharp analysis, and visual storytelling, CityLab informs and inspires the people who are creating the cities of the future—and those who want to live there.” And if reading the news isn’t your thing, perhaps you’ll enjoy their “visual storytelling”.