The new American Dream: 100K(+ 20) | Starter Home

The Giant Pool of Money by cyu14
September 3, 2008, 2:17 pm
Filed under: Social / Cultural Issue | Tags: ,
“By late 2006, the average home cost nearly four times what the average family made. Historically it was between two and three times.” (Alex Blumberg,  

An episode from This American Life, in collaboration with NPR News, details the relationship of the economic downfall on Wall Street to that of the mortage crisis faced by many Americans. The Giant Pool of Money provides a grim look at how rampant credit and lending paired with bad decision has made foreclosures soar to record numbers in 2008.

Gentrification in Chicago by tsaeed
September 3, 2008, 1:43 pm
Filed under: Social / Cultural Issue | Tags: , , ,

Gentrification refers to trends in neighborhood development that tend to attract more affluent residents, and in many instances concentrated, upscale commercial investment.

Much of the city’s gentrification has clustered in the North Side neighborhoods of Lincoln Park and Lake View, areas that have retained a large stock of older housing, adjoin Lake Michigan and its parallel chain of municipal parks, and permit short commuting via mass transit to the downtown Loop. In the late 1950s the city of Chicago initiated a major urban renewal project in Lincoln Park, which resulted in considerable housing demolition in the southeastern portion of the neighborhood, especially along North Avenue. Within a few years, however, plans for further clearance met resistance from homeowners and renovators seeking to retain the area’s historic ambience. Old Town was Chicago’s first neighborhood to experience gentrification, as thousands of middle-class house-seekers bought and restored old single-family dwellings, two- and three-flat buildings, and coach houses.

Since the 1970s gentrification has spread to Wicker Park and Logan Square on the city’s near Northwest Side, to River North, the Near West Side, and the South Loop in central Chicago, and to the Gap in the Douglas Community Area on the South Side. Much of the residential upgrading in these areas has been initiated by large-scale developers. In Wicker Park, the Near West Side, and River North, the conversion of industrial buildings to residential and commercial uses has been commonplace. (From the encyclopedia of Chicago:

Bibliography on the history of gentrification in Chicago

The new public housing museum

Other articles:

Chicago’s Olympic Bid Stokes Gentrification Fears

Panel: Gentrification challenges public housing residents’ sense of community,12093

What went wrong with public housing in Chicago? A history of the Robert Taylor homes.

Moriyama House by cyu14
September 2, 2008, 9:27 am
Filed under: precedents, Social / Cultural Issue | Tags: , , ,

Located on a suburban lot in Tokyo, the Office of Ryue Nishizawa  (also partnered with Kazuyo Sejima to form SANNA) has a designed a community in the form of a house. Ten individual building units, built from pre-manufactured steel panels, are composed to create a flexible living space housing anywhere from one occupant to six additional renters.

Moriyama House - Tokyo, Japan

The premise of the compound explores the boundaries of public and private space. Although each individual unit is primarily private, the ample interstitial space lends itself to impromtu interaction, conversations and gatherings between tenants and the occasional passerby.

The floor plans, as well as 360 degree views, can be found at The Japan Architect.  Additional information can be found in the Dec/Jan 2007 issue of Dwell magazine.