New York is bullish on outdoor dining sheds, the world’s largest floating solar farm opens in Thailand, and more


Good afternoon and welcome back to even more happenings around the country (and world).

Here’s what’s going on today:

The New York City Planning Commission okays permanent outdoor dining sheds

In a unanimous 10-0 vote yesterday (with one abstention), the New York City Planning Commission approved a zoning text amendment that would make the COVID-era outdoor dining structures that have mushroomed along the city’s streets permanent. Although a group of 23 residents has filed a lawsuit against the city over what they claim to be trash buildups and late-night partying associated with outdoor dining, it’s likely the measure will pass the City Council next. It should be noted that with the program’s official legalization will come a raft of new design mandates, such as making sure the sidewalk is clear for pedestrians and that the sheds are distanced from fire hydrants and other businesses.

H/t to The Real Deal

Thailand inaugurates the world’s largest floating solar power farm

A massive floating field in Thailand is now generating electricity both from the sun and the waves below, 410 miles east of Bangkok. The floating hybrid solar-hydro farm at Sirindhorn reservoir holds 145,000 solar panels for producing power during the day, supplemented by three turbines held underneath to generate power at night. The $34 million field officially went online and began producing electricity on October 31 as the first of 16 projects in the reservoir, and they will generate a total of 2.7 gigawatts once complete. Thailand is currently on track to hit its carbon neutrality goal in 2050, and produce net-zero emissions by 2065.

H/t to Bloomberg

Bruner/Cott Architects completes an affordable housing-focused restoration in Cambridge

An old style house with a church next door
The former William Frost House and new addition behind it. (Robert Benson Photography)

In Cambridge, Massachusetts, the Boston-based Bruner/Cott Architects has completed a renovation of three historic homes as part of a new, 100 percent affordable community. At Frost Terrace in Porter Square, 1 and 2 Frost Terrace (with a new modern addition), 40 affordable units have been added to the neighborhood, with 26 of those two- and three-bedroom apartments. The units are spread across the (now former) William Frost House, built in 1865, which sits in front of the new stone-clad, five-story addition, which itself in turn is bookended by a pair of twin Shingle Style houses built in approximately 1900.

Aerial Vision at Miami’s Wolfsonian–FIU will chart the evolution of the city from the air

Starting November 19 and running through April 24, 2022, at the Wolfsonian–FIU in Miami, Aerial Vision will present a survey of how height—whether it be through the first-of-their-kind skyscrapers that ripped the clouds in the 20th century, or the commercialization of flight—rapidly changed the way mankind sees the world. (And yes, Miami will be given special significance as a travel hub.)

“It is hard for us now, more than 100 years later, to imagine the excitement surrounding the advent of skyscrapers and airplanes and to grasp their impact,” said curator Lea Nickless in a press release. “Everyone from office workers to artists and designers were affected by these newly accessible views, incorporating them into a modern consciousness that manifested in fresh creative approaches and a forever altered relationship to the larger world.”

The Biden administration will restrict oil and gas drilling at Chaco Canyon in New Mexico

Yesterday, the Biden administration proposed a federal 20-year ban on drilling in the UNESCO World Heritage Site-listed Chaco Canyon in New Mexico, part of a broader plan to protect Native sites from oil, gas, and mineral exploration. Containing the 15 Great Houses, enormous prehistoric stone structures with hundreds of rooms aligned to astronomical bodies, the canyon and surrounding Chaco Culture National Historical Park are home to millions of archeological artifacts (not to mention the cultural significance for those tribes with Puebloan ancestry).

H/t to Hyperallergic


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