THE BEST Cities

City Street Becomes Canal

City Street Becomes Canal

Decades ago, Utrecht, The Netherlands, was like many others, clamoring for more roads for motor vehicles. Now, the city has started to reverse course, transforming streets into bike paths and walkways, and restoring the city’s moat, which had been used as a motorway. BicycleDutch takes us on a virtual visit to the unusual project.

3D Printed Textscapes

3D Printed Textscapes

Artist Hongtao Zhou uses 3D printing to produce these wildly innovative works of art. Each one offers up a tactile and dimensional sculpture of a city, sculpted from letters of varying heights, and forming words which describe the locale. Some of his works are even printed on a flexible background so they bend like paper.

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Incredible LEGO Micro City

Incredible LEGO Micro City

LEGO builder Luke Taylor shows off his labor of love for the last decade – a sprawling, futuristic city made from countless bricks. Like the real deal, it’s an ever-changing, ever-growing urban landscape. Another great video from Beyond the Brick’s Joshua Hanlon.

HoleRoll Blinds

HoleRoll Blinds

Ukraine-based designers HoleRoll make these perforated blackout blinds which transform a sunny day into an evening cityscape, or a shimmering night sky, filled with stars. Available in New York, London, or starlight patterns, each cut to your specifications.

Tech Junk Cityscapes

Tech Junk Cityscapes

Italian artist Franco Recchia takes discarded old bits of electronic junk and turns them into intricate (and pricey) cityscape sculptures. We have say the Fifth Avenue one is our fave.

Jell-O San Francisco

Jell-O San Francisco

Liz Hickok creates scale models of urban sites (like San Francisco here) entirely in Jell-O. Luminously glowing, the fragile medium bears odd similarities to the city’s uncertain geological landscape.

Website: 8-Bit NYC

Website: 8-Bit NYC

It’s loading a bit slowly at the moment, but Brett Camper’s 8-Bit NYC turns New York into a 1980s RPG-style map (think Zelda); it’s created using OpenStreetMap with 256×256 tiles.

Video: Tokyo/Glow

Video: Tokyo/Glow

A crosswalk sign goes on a walk of its own in Tokyo/Glow: the rotoscoped/composited short film features a suit with high voltage LED rope lights and a translucent nylon outer shell.

Stop Motion: Metropolis

Stop Motion: Metropolis

The past and future of Charlotte, North Carolina literally unfolds in Metropolis; made by artist Rob Carter, the stop motion video is made entirely of images of buildings printed on paper.

Video: Tokyo Sky Drive

Video: Tokyo Sky Drive

YouTube user cat2525jp’s Tokyo Sky Drive truly trips the light fantastic; it’s actually a ride on Tokyo’s elevated Yurikamome line filmed on a Sony XR500V that’s vertically flipped.

Concept: Kolelinia

Concept: Kolelinia

Riding your bike on a tightrope looks precarious, but Kolelinia is actually a well thought-out and safe half pipe and cable system that lets riders avoid dangerous auto traffic.

Photos: Abandoned Detroit

Photos: Abandoned Detroit

Forget about post-apocalyptic fiction–decay has already arrived in the Motor City; Abandoned Detroit is a series of haunting photos of its forgotten theaters, banks, and other buildings.

Hollywood vs. New York

Hollywood vs. New York

If Tinseltown had its way, it’d be a smoking, flooded crater packed with aliens and Stay Puft Marshmallow Men: Hollywood vs. New York is an epic disaster homage to the Big Apple.

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Atlas of True Names

Atlas of True Names

The Big Apple becomes New Yew Tree Village with the Atlas of True Names, a set of maps which translate the names of cities into English; our favorite? Stink Onion (Chicago).

Book: Empty LA

Book: Empty LA

If you were as simultaneously awe-struck and creeped out as we were by LA Without Traffic, Matt Logue’s Empty Los Angeles is an entire 78-page photo book of a City of (no) Angels.

4-D New York Puzzle

4-D New York Puzzle

The Big Apple goes small in a big way with this 4-D Cityscape’s NYC Puzzle; the fourth dimension is time, as it includes 125 buildings from City Hall in 1812 to the Freedom Tower in 2013.

Art: Aqualta

Art: Aqualta

New York and Tokyo go the way of Venice in Aqualta, a series of images that depicts the cities after sea levels rise; life goes on, albeit with blimps, ski lifts, catwalks, and gondolas.

London-style US Highways

London-style US Highways

The US Interstate system gets reinterpreted in the style of the London Underground thanks to Cameron Booth; consistent line rules and color coding result in an amazingly readable map.

Photos: LA Without Traffic

Photos: LA Without Traffic

Tom Baker’s LA Without Traffic takes on the most car-centric city in the US; it’s eery enough that we felt a bit lost without the bumper to bumper traffic, rubberneckers and smog.

Launch Trailer: Cities XL

Launch Trailer: Cities XL

Now available: Cities XL gets a proper intro with this stunning Launch Trailer; for the uninitiated, it’s a city builder with both single player and pay-to-play MMO components.

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Art: Stenciled Buildings

Art: Stenciled Buildings

They look like run-down European tenements, but Berlin artist EVOL’s buildings are Lilliputian in size: they’re power and utility boxes that are meticulously spray painted with stencils.

The Making of Coruscant

The Making of Coruscant

This Making of Coruscant video for Star Wars: The Old Republic has us excited: the devs discuss never before seen areas and emulating the sheer scale of the planet-spanning city.

Finished: Gigantor

Finished: Gigantor

Kobe’s 59 foot tall Gigantor is finished; costing $1.5 million and weighing 50 tons, it’s Japan’s way of saying “In your face!” to the 1995 quake as it also serves as the city’s guardian angel.

Video: Rio 2016

Video: Rio 2016

We Yanks are still smarting over Chicago’s loss, but this upbeat 2016 Olympics video for Rio De Janeiro softens the blow; we love the Windy City, but check out those Brazilian beaches!

Villa de Reve Rings

Villa de Reve Rings

Mansion too pricy? Phiippe Tournaire’s handmade 18k gold/platinum Villa de Reve rings aren’t cheap, but they put the whole world on your finger; he uses Google Earth to design them.

Time Lapse: HK Typhoon

Time Lapse: HK Typhoon

Hong Kong gets walloped by four successive rain walls between 7 am and 9 pm from June 2009’s Typhoon Nangka in this beautiful time-lapse video; it was shot on a Canon 50D.

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