The Omnibus Roundup – Street revisited, LA on Broadway, environmental racism, critics & Conflux

We’re always tickled by the weird and wonderful places Omnibus content pops up across the world wide web, but especially flattered when posts beget sophisticated analysis and commentary. Ulrich Franzen’s Street, made in 1969, spurred some passionate commentary when we posted it back in February, but just this week inspired a thoughtful reflection from Michael Mandiberg, for whom the film led to comparisons with the bike cultures of Shenzen, Amsterdam and Portland.

Some perspective from beyond our fair city is always welcome, and, for sure, we know how certain New Yorkers feel about the Broadway street closings, but how did this urban innovation go down in LA?

Design innovation in New York’s public realm is what the Omnibus is all about. And if you’ve been checking out the stuff we showcase, you know there is plenty of innovation afoot in this city to go around. With that in mind, we agree wholeheartedly with Andy Bernheimer’s open letter to Nicolai Ourousoff. Andy’s letter serves as a reminder to all of us – not just the architectural criticism establishment – to look closer at the wealth of socially and pedagogically engaged design practices and projects going on in New York. You can start by exploring some of the inspiring projects, speculations and opinions posted right here.

As we were reminded at our Goo Gone live talk show last month, chemical safety is defined as much by politics as by science. In a recent book, Noxious New York, American Studies scholar Julie Sze analyzes the history of urban health and the environmental justice movement in New York through a racial lens. Read a conversation between Sze and the science bloggers of World’s Fair.

On Wednesday the City DOT unveiled the first two of a series of sculptures coming to a public space near you. If you live in East Tremont, check out the plywood installation of oversized building blocks; and if you live in Red Hook, check out the wine-barrel seating with attached birdhouses. And if you live in neither, go check them out anyway.

Finally, save the dates: September 17th-20th. The Omnibus’ humble project director will be sharing some highlights and insights from the past eight months of seeking out and presenting the most inspiring urban innovations in New York at this year’s Conflux Festival. Come out in force. And stick around for the biggest psychogeographic art festival around, celebrating “the investigation of everyday urban life through emerging artistic, technological and social practice.” More info here.


The Roundup keeps you up to date with topics we’ve featured and other things we think are worth knowing about.

The views expressed here are those of the authors only and do not reflect the position of The Architectural League of New York.