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What If The Keystone XL Pipeline Was A Bike Path?

This tongue-in-cheek proposal would turn the 5,000-mile pipeline into an opportunity for localized development.

Let’s pretend that it’s 2014, and the Keystone XL Pipeline has just been approved, despite protests from millions of Americans. According to a group of landscape architects at SWA Group, the time to start planning for that day is now. “The environment it will create isn’t beautiful, useful, ornecessarily safe. If we’re not thinking about how to make it better for people, that’s a problem,” says SWA principal Kinder Baumgardner. 

So as part of an internal exercise, the SWA Group is imagining how public amenities could be woven into the 5,000-mile stretch of crude oil pipeline.

On the surface, SWA’s proposal is incredibly cynical. A bike path next to an oil pipeline is the environmental equivalent of a bandaid on a mortal wound. 

They imagine families taking summer trips along the path, stopping at oft-overlooked cultural and natural heritage sites and spending much-needed tourist dollars along the way. As a design element, it’d be fairly inexpensive to build. The real point, explains Baumgardner, is to generate development by increasing local tourism.

“There are hundreds of small towns that won’t benefit from the Oil Sands once the Pipeline is built,” he says. “What we’re talking about is an opportunity to make it into an amenity managed at a local scale.”

A map showing the diversity of ecology and climate that exist in the areas through which the pipeline will travel.

This map shows the diversity of ecology and climates that exist in the areas through which the pipeline/trail will travel.

Read the full story here.

fastcodesign:

The Mystery Behind Chipotle’s Secret, 1,500-Calorie Super Burrito

It’s noon on a Tuesday. I walk into a crowded Chipotle, and I’m so anxious that my stomach is churning. Earlier that day, I’d come across something called a quesarito, which is a full-blown Chipotle burrito wrapped inside a quesadilla, a 1,540-calorie fallen angel that one Redditor had claimed was hiding deep within Chipotle’s secret menu.

So I say the word—“quesarito”—half-expecting to be laughed out of the restaurant. Instead, the girl’s eyes open wide, like she’s seen a yeti. Then her face goes deadpan.

“We don’t have that.”

“You don’t? But it seems like … maybe you do?”

An urgent smile betrays her. “No, but if we did have it, it wouldn’t be between the hours of noon and one…”

Has your curiosity (or appetite) been piqued? See the rest of this great story here.

(Source: fastcodesign)

Here’s an interactive map that shows the median income of every neighborhood in the U.S. 
Rich Blocks, Poor Blocks is an interactive map showing the average income for every neighborhood in America. Type in your address, press search, and there you have it: Your city, shaded by income, according to data from an annual survey conducted by the Census Bureau. The greenest blocks—Census blocks, that is, not city blocks—signify the richest areas, typically bringing in an average household income of $100,000 or more a year. The reddest blocks are the poorest, with annual income somewhere around $20,000. All the rest get some shade of red or green, depending where they fall.
Check out the full story here.

Here’s an interactive map that shows the median income of every neighborhood in the U.S. 

Rich Blocks, Poor Blocks is an interactive map showing the average income for every neighborhood in America. Type in your address, press search, and there you have it: Your city, shaded by income, according to data from an annual survey conducted by the Census Bureau. The greenest blocks—Census blocks, that is, not city blocks—signify the richest areas, typically bringing in an average household income of $100,000 or more a year. The reddest blocks are the poorest, with annual income somewhere around $20,000. All the rest get some shade of red or green, depending where they fall.

Check out the full story here.


For more than a decade, the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority has treated the Atlantic as its very own graveyard, tossing thousands of old subway cars off a barge to rust away on the ocean floor. An environmental crime? Hardly.  The program creates habitats for marine life from Georgia to Jersey and  gives New York’s aging subway cars a vibrant (and free!) retirement  home.
Now, New York photographer Stephen Mallon has captured the MTA’s artificial reef program in a gobstopping  collection of stills that look like what you’d get if you combined an Ed  Burtynsky series with the freeze frames of The Matrix and the train porn of The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (without the agro hostage situation). We’ve got lots of details on the program and a selection of Mallon’s photographs above.

Check out the full slideshow over at Co. Design.

For more than a decade, the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority has treated the Atlantic as its very own graveyard, tossing thousands of old subway cars off a barge to rust away on the ocean floor. An environmental crime? Hardly. The program creates habitats for marine life from Georgia to Jersey and gives New York’s aging subway cars a vibrant (and free!) retirement home.

Now, New York photographer Stephen Mallon has captured the MTA’s artificial reef program in a gobstopping collection of stills that look like what you’d get if you combined an Ed Burtynsky series with the freeze frames of The Matrix and the train porn of The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (without the agro hostage situation). We’ve got lots of details on the program and a selection of Mallon’s photographs above.

Check out the full slideshow over at Co. Design.

Funeral homes of the future… today? Co. Design looks at a strikingly minimalist funeral home in Spain, where death is still a drag but hey, at least you’re going out in style!


It doesn’t have to be that way, as a striking new funeral parlor in coastal Spain demonstrates. The Funeral Home and Garden in Pinoso, by COR architects, is audaciously modern, a low-slung boxy thing tucked into a hillside, with a shiny black edifice that’d look terribly morose if not broken up by courtyards and generous stretches of glass.
Indoors, the funeral home is bright white and sparsely decorated with the sort of furniture you might find in the cafe of a modern-art museum. Even the chapel — the nerve center of mourning — manages to look light and airy with an all-white paint job and lots of clerestories.
A chic funeral parlor may seem a bit… misguided. After all, who thinks about architecture after losing a loved one? But that’s precisely what makes this design great: You don’t think about it. It’s so minimal and non-oppressive, it takes a back seat to your bereavement, at least that’s the idea.
Per the architects’ press release: “We understand this building as a place that will resist being forgotten, remaining in the retinas of their users, and therefore a place where the sensitive realm has to be controlled. Parameters such as sound, temperature, light, humidity, lighting, privacy, relationship with nature become very important.

” We worry that all those windows might make some people feel like they’re on display. But we’d take that over an orgy of mahogany any day.


Full slideshow when you click through. A way to start off your day!

Funeral homes of the future… today? Co. Design looks at a strikingly minimalist funeral home in Spain, where death is still a drag but hey, at least you’re going out in style!

It doesn’t have to be that way, as a striking new funeral parlor in coastal Spain demonstrates. The Funeral Home and Garden in Pinoso, by COR architects, is audaciously modern, a low-slung boxy thing tucked into a hillside, with a shiny black edifice that’d look terribly morose if not broken up by courtyards and generous stretches of glass.

Indoors, the funeral home is bright white and sparsely decorated with the sort of furniture you might find in the cafe of a modern-art museum. Even the chapel — the nerve center of mourning — manages to look light and airy with an all-white paint job and lots of clerestories.

A chic funeral parlor may seem a bit… misguided. After all, who thinks about architecture after losing a loved one? But that’s precisely what makes this design great: You don’t think about it. It’s so minimal and non-oppressive, it takes a back seat to your bereavement, at least that’s the idea.

Per the architects’ press release: “We understand this building as a place that will resist being forgotten, remaining in the retinas of their users, and therefore a place where the sensitive realm has to be controlled. Parameters such as sound, temperature, light, humidity, lighting, privacy, relationship with nature become very important.

” We worry that all those windows might make some people feel like they’re on display. But we’d take that over an orgy of mahogany any day.

Full slideshow when you click through. A way to start off your day!

Infographic of the Day: Why Do Marriages Fall Apart?

 
Based on the annual report by The National Marriage Project, it paints a picture of marriage becoming a less and less relevant factor in the way American’s live and raise children. The short version: Marriage is simply shrinking as a cultural value; where 66% of women over 15 were married in 1960, the figure has shrunk every decade since.* Now, it’s just 51%:

 
(via Co. Design)

Infographic of the Day: Why Do Marriages Fall Apart?

Based on the annual report by The National Marriage Project, it paints a picture of marriage becoming a less and less relevant factor in the way American’s live and raise children. The short version: Marriage is simply shrinking as a cultural value; where 66% of women over 15 were married in 1960, the figure has shrunk every decade since.* Now, it’s just 51%:

(via Co. Design)