Next New York
This spring Long Island City based Forum for Urban Design is sponsoring a series of weekly workshops about the future of New York City. They are addressing some big topics and you are invited to participate by making a 5-minute pitch on a topic of your choice. They’ll be publishing the most compelling ideas this summer.

We welcome all your ideas, from napkin sketches to concrete schemes. We only ask that your proposals be bold (new ideas only please), brief (no longer than five minutes), and illustrated (with at least one diagram or sketch). This summer, we’ll publish the most compelling ideas to provoke our city’s next leaders to act.

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03/22/13 3:00pm

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Image source: hermmermferm on Flickr

Queens has a lot going on in terms of sustainable construction, alternative energy, wildlife conservation, and other environmental initiatives. In fact, many of the finest tourist attractions – and special spots for locals – in the borough have a green streak. Here are our picks for the most environmentally sustainable attractions in Queens.

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1. In the upper reaches of Astoria, the Steinway & Sons piano factory (which gives awesome tours) has been using solar energy since 2009. In fact, the factory is home to the world’s largest parabolic solar installation – a setup that involves solar troughs that focus the sun’s energy to heat fluid, which in turn helps provide the cool, dehumidified air that is necessary for the manufacture of pianos. Other sustainable features of the factory include replanting trees to replenish its wood supply; and efficient closed-loop systems to collect dust and scraps for use in other parts of the manufacturing process. And above all, what makes Steinway instruments so sustainable is that they are built to last at least 80 to 100 years.

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11/16/12 12:00pm

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Image source: policymic / Photo by Amanda Kirpatrick (click to enlarge)

Over on PolicyMic, art and architecture photographer Amanda Kirpatrick visited the Rockaways after Hurricane Sandy and wanted to understand the storm and its aftermath. She wanted to find a way to understand what had happened amidst the overwhelming massive amount of information that was coming at her via media and other sources. She decided to look at structure. (more…)

11/07/12 11:00am

Queens isn’t often recognized for its architecture, but we do have plenty of fascinating buildings. Actually, it’s fitting that some of the most noteworthy architecture in the borough reflects our incredible cultural and religious diversity. Here’s a look at some of the churches, temples, and other houses of worship that punctuate our neighborhoods with beauty.

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Image source: Wikimedia Commons

In Whitestone, the futuristic St. Nicholas Orthodox Church (GMAP) is all curves: there’s a metallic barrel roof, oval windows and accents, and a bulbous, bright blue onion dome. The Russian Orthodox house of worship was designed by Sergey Padukow of New Jersey and built in 1968, and continues to catch our attention with its retro spaceship design. (more…)

09/17/12 3:00pm

Whether you’re looking for your dream home or just want to go on a scenic stroll, here is our guide to what we think are the five most beautiful streets in the entire borough. They have five different looks and vibes, but all feature lush greenery, appealing architecture, and historic charm – and most of them have been granted landmark status, so they’re bound to stay pretty for decades to come.

1. Bow Street, Forest Hills (GMAP)

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Wandering around Forest Hills Gardens gives you that “it’s hard to believe I’m in NYC right now” feeling. The curved, privately owned streets, palatial homes, and features like the private tennis club seem odd, considering how close they are to Queens Boulevard and the subway. (more…)