Sky Trams to Reopen in New York

Aerial trams connecting New York City to Roosevelt Island are going to be back in operation next month. But will enough people want to ride these "sky bubbles" over the East River?

October 11, 2010, 12:00 PM PDT

By Nate Berg


The trams have been out of service for seven months, but major renovations have improved their safety and reliability.

"The original trams - chunky red metal on the bottom half, sliding windows above - were perfect relics of mid-1970s design. Each hanging from a brightly painted arm and emblazoned with bold sans-serif type, the trams looked, more or less, like cheerful flying buses. They ran on the equivalent of a clothesline - a single loop of wire with a vehicle at each end. If one got stuck, the other got stuck, too.

The new trams, which are receiving their finishing touches in the Roosevelt Island terminal, suggest the sleek glass-and-steel towers that ate Manhattan (and parts of Brooklyn and Queens) during the last real estate boom. Boarding one is like walking into the achingly spare living room in the sales office of some new Richard Meier project."

Monday, October 11, 2010 in The New York Times

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Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

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This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.