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China's Skyscraper Lessons; Designing Inclusive Playgrounds

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Welcome to Curbed's weekly roundup of architecture, real estate, and urban planning-related feature stories. Please be in touch if you have a story to recommend.

1. By the end of 2015, one out of every three buildings taller than 150 meters will be located in China. By 2020, six of the 10 tallest buildings in the world will have been built there. The Guardian considers the lessons China's skyscraper boom might hold for cities elsewhere in the world:

Designed by the American firm Gensler, the building forms a spiralling trunk that takes the amenities of the horizontal city block – homes, shops, offices, galleries, multiplexes – and stacks them on a vertical plane. Its "sky gardens" – around one-third of the site is green space – will showcase flora from around China, countering the predilection of developers to commercialise every square inch. According to Wood, "The commitment to public space … that's what elevates the Shanghai Tower to be a potentially fantastic building." 2. At Re-form, Vanessa Hua looks at We Rock the Spectrum, a play space designed for both children on the autism spectrum and "neurotypical" children. We Rock the Spectrum is part of a broader movement toward the design of inclusive playgrounds:

The parallels between inclusive playground design and Burning Man are not entirely unrelated: some of the most exciting new concepts for children's playscapes have taken inspiration from the desert arts festival that brings out the kid in every attendee. Increasingly, playscapes are incorporating what's known as inclusive design — not only making equipment physically accessible to families of all abilities, but also removing common social barriers. So often, disability leads to peer isolation, and these places try to remedy that problem, with structures and layouts designed to enable and encourage children to play with each other. 3. Sea levels on the east coast could rise by up to six feet by the end of this century, and the BBC examines what the city of Boston is doing to combat that rise. One possibility: canals in the city's most historic neighborhood:

The canals would mitigate sea-level rise by draining water into lower-lying back alleys and some main streets in an alternating pattern which would end at the major thoroughfare of Boylston Street, which has a subway line underneath it. 4. Photographer David Mandl has spent 15 years taking photos in Brooklyn, including images of its 120 dead-end streets. Some of these photos are now featured in Places.

· Recommended Reading archive [Curbed]