THE BEST Urban

Shifting Nests Microhomes

Shifting Nests Microhomes

Vancouver, BC firm BLA Design took home First Prize in the 2019 Bee Breeders Microhome Competition for their nifty sustainable housing concept. Using vacant urban lots, they propose that the land be used for low-cost, tiny homes, each packing in zones for resting, bathing, cooking, living, dining, and farming.

Social Distancing Park

Social Distancing Park

You’d think going to a park during the pandemic would be safe, but people don’t always obey social distancing rules. To solve this, Austrian design firm Studio Precht has created “Park de la Distance,” a concept urban park where each path allows just one person at a time, and hedges keep people over 6 feet apart.

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The City Animal Tier List

The City Animal Tier List

To date, TierZoo has focused its RPG-style analysis mostly on how animals survive in the wild. This time out, they’ve decided to look at their relative strengths and abilities should they make their way into urban areas, along with identifying which creatures are most effective in cities.

New York Day

New York Day

We like Samuel Orr’s four minute time-lapse because 1) the film was dynamically distilled from 100,000+ photos; and, frankly, 2) it’s fun to see 24 hours unfold in the greatest city in the world.

Factoria Joven in Merida, Spain

Factoria Joven in Merida, Spain

Selgascano Architects designed the Factoria Joven (youth factory), a creative space where urban youth can skateboard, rock climb, play music and even access the Internet through public computers.

Urban Gold Miner

Urban Gold Miner

Where do you go for the gold? California? Alaska? The Olympics? How about the gritty sidewalks of NYC’s diamond district? Raffi Stepanian has been cashing in with a butter knife for 27 years now.

Abu Dhabi – 2011 Time Lapse

Abu Dhabi – 2011 Time Lapse

Beno Saradzic’s glittering time lapse video of Abu Dhabi also gives us a history lesson; it takes us from the contributions Sheikh Zayed made in the past to the majestic metropolis it is now.

3-Way Street

3-Way Street

Ron Gabriel’s 3-Way Street thesis project tracks a camera at the Manhattan intersection of 28th and Park Avenue, where a plethora of hair-raising street traffic drama unfolds. (Thanks Mat!)

The Mute Button

The Mute Button

For Improv Everywhere’s latest mission, 23 actors and 2 dogs infiltrated a public space near the entrance to Prospect Park in Park Slope, Brooklyn, and went on “mute” at coordinated intervals.

Locals and Tourists

Locals and Tourists

Eric Fischer has come up with a clever photo series based on the Flickr geotags in major cities. Red areas are tourist photos have been taken and blue areas are the work of the locals. (Thanks Johann!)

Desktop Dumpsters

Desktop Dumpsters

These substantial steel desktop dumpsters sporting urban art from SteelPlant are conversation-grabbers. They’re cut, formed, and welded up from 14 gauge solid recycled steel. (Thanks Ryan!)

Good Samaritan Flashmob

Good Samaritan Flashmob

See anything out of the ordinary in the picture? Neither did the woman. She sure as hell didn’t expect what happened next. Would the mall janitors have received the same response?

Ode to Vancouver

Ode to Vancouver

Ligia Oancea’s enthusiastic musical tribute to her city has apparently sparked a debate as to whether this lady is for real; for now let’s just enjoy the new unofficial anthem of Vancouver. (Thanks Josh!)

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Strasse Urban Cycling Shoe

Strasse Urban Cycling Shoe

With a mix of leather and herringbone fabric, the SPD-compatible Strasse shoe harkens to an early time of pocket watches and Fedoras; the midtop profile offers added ankle support and protection.

Vanguard Jacket

Vanguard Jacket

Inspired by the classic Harrington Jacket, Triple Aught Design’s Vanguard Jacket offers a fresh modern version, with water and stain resistant fabric and a secret stow pocket in the back hem.

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.

London Tube Time Capsule

London Tube Time Capsule

Elevator passageways at London Underground’s Notting Hill Tube Station were sealed to modernize in the 1950’s; recent work at the station has revealed a rich time capsule filled with vintage ads.

Uffie: ADD SUV

Uffie: ADD SUV

Uffie’s long time coming first album, Sex Dreams and Denim Jeans, includes classics like Pop the Glock as well as new ones, like this bangin’ single featuring Pharrell Williams. Ke$ha is f*cked.

Puma Urban Bike Collection

Puma Urban Bike Collection

The 2010 bike collection by Danish bicycle company Biomega for Puma includes 5 models that combine chosen aspects of continental and folding bikes, BMXes, cruisers, and fixed-wheel designs.

Capital Gate Tower

Capital Gate Tower

The 500+’ Capital Gate tower in Abu Dhabi holds the Guinness World Record for world’s furthest leaning manmade tower. It leans at 18°, more than 4 times the angle of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

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Shed Rolltop Messenger Bag

Shed Rolltop Messenger Bag

Mission Workshop’s weatherproof Shed Rolltop Messenger Bag is designed for the urban traveler that needs organization, with main rolltop chamber and a dedicated pocket that can hold a 17” laptop.

Green Float Environmental Island

Green Float Environmental Island

Japan’s Shimizu Corporation recently unveiled plans for a self sufficient floating ecotopia covered in vegetation that generates its own power, grows food, manages waste and provides clean water.

Frightening Swiss Flashmob

Frightening Swiss Flashmob

Hundreds of people in a Swiss flashmob suddenly collapsed in the street, to the horror of unwitting passersby, to mimic events in a potential nuclear meltdown and to protest nuclear power plants.

Dutch Augmented Reality PSA

Dutch Augmented Reality PSA

This video of an augmented reality billboard in the Netherlands was set up by the Dutch government to speak out against violence that public service employees encounter while performing their duties.

Lazer Urbanize Bike Helmet

Lazer Urbanize Bike Helmet

Frankly it can be hairy riding your bike in the city at night. The Urbanize Night Helmet by Lazer eases anxiety with integrated LED lights in front and back and moisture wicking lining to keep a cool head.

Mini.Metro Bag

Mini.Metro Bag

A smaller version of the Metropolis bag, Chrome’s Mini.Metro doesn’t skimp with 1,000D Cordura, truck tarp inner liner and mil-spec seam binding. Note: $20 cheaper here. Thanks, Brian!

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