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thoughts, ideas + dialogues on urban revitalization, smart growth + neighborhood development
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Architects of Invention and Archiplan Propose “Origami Highline” for Santiago

Architects of Invention and Archiplan Propose “Origami Highline” for Santiago | green streets | Scoop.it

Chilean architects Archiplan and international office Architects of Invention have unveiled their concept design for a new public plaza in Santiago. Prepared as a competition entry, the proposal is a tribute to the late Chilean architect Fernando Castillo Velasco, sited in front of his iconic Tajamar Towers.

Entitled “Origami Highline,” the project draws inspiration from the ancient Japanese paper folding craft of origami and takes the form of a sculptural intervention in Balmaceda Park...

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BIG Reveals First Renderings for Public Square at London’s Battersea Power Station

BIG Reveals First Renderings for Public Square at London’s Battersea Power Station | green streets | Scoop.it
The New York- and Copenhagen-based practice will establish their first U.K. project with "Malaysia Square," linking Giles Gilbert Scott’s southern entrance to the Foster + Partners' and Gehry Partners' proposed Electric Boulevard high street.

The total redevelopment, led by Rafael Viñoly, FAIA, is estimated at £8 billion, or approximately $9.9 million, with BIG’s public space linking the southern entrance of Scott’s Grade II with the proposed high street, Electric Boulevard, by Foster + Partners and Gehry Partners.

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5 Cities Revolutionizing the Role of the Urban Train Station

A recent Washington Post feature entitled “Reimagining Union Station,” discusses the proposed expansion and redevelopment of Union Station in Washington, DC, a transit hub with the daily task of servicing nearly 100,000 train, bus, and subway passengers.

Despite its vital and iconic qualities, the Station suffers from a variety of structural and programmatic inefficiencies, and reminds us of the effects transportation-oriented design has on an urban environment, and the importance of maintaining a high degree of density within our cities. In the article, several other stations around the world are highlighted — particularly Grand Central Station in New York City, as good examples of how train stations ought to be designed. Stations such as the SSB Train Station in Basel, Switzerland, the Berlin Central Station in Germany, the Salzburg Central Station in Austria and the redevelopment plans for Los Angeles's Union Station match his description, both honoring the commuter experience while enhancing their larger role within the urban environment...

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Underground Culture: Designing A Museum for Los Angeles' Historic District

Underground Culture: Designing A Museum for Los Angeles' Historic District | green streets | Scoop.it

Downtown Los Angeles’s historic core is about to get its first major museum, if that’s what you want to call it. Local developer Tom Gilmore and architect Tom Wiscombe are teaming up on the complex project, which they are calling the Old Bank District Museum. It will be dedicated to contemporary Los Angeles art and located in the sub-basements, basements, ground floors, mezzanines, and roofs of three interconnected buildings along Main and Fourth streets.

“We’re going beyond the frontier of street level,” said Tom Wiscombe, principal at Tom Wiscombe Architecture and a professor at SCI-Arc. Gilmore, founder of Gilmore Associates, who has been a major player in the resurrection of the Bank District, calls the project “insanely organic.”

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What if we could rebuild New York City?

What if we could rebuild New York City? | green streets | Scoop.it
New York has become one of the world’s most populous, densely packed cities. What if you could redraw the city’s map – and build it from scratch?


If we were designing New York today, how different would it look?

The new New York City would balance the relationship between the information networks that the metropolis depends on and Earth’s finite resources.

All vital components of life would be monitored and attuned to the needs of every organism, not just humans. Supplies of food and water, our energy and waste and even our air would be sensibly scrutinised. Thanks to masses of miniaturised low-cost electronic components deployed across the city, communication becomes far easier. New York will grow and adapt to millions of new minds entering it everyday.

The city would make sure every need is provided for within its borders. How we provide nutrients, transports, and shelter would be updated. Dilapidated buildings would be replaced with vertical agriculture and new kinds of housing would join cleaner, greener ways to get around the city. What were once streets become snaking arteries of livable spaces, embedded with renewable energy sources, low-tech, green vehicles for mobility and productive nutrient zones. The former street grid could provide the foundation for new flexible networks. By reengineering the obsolete streets, we can create robust and ecologically active pathways.

While all this may sound optimistic, some of this city of tomorrow is already taking shape...

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Norm Miller's curator insight, April 18, 2014 2:36 PM

What a great academic exercise!  The question is really applicable to all new cities and city undergoing renovation.  More mixed use, greener, better transport systems, more shared everything and more self-sufficient describe the plan.

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A+ Awards Finalists Focus on Transforming Public Transit

A+ Awards Finalists Focus on Transforming Public Transit | green streets | Scoop.it

Thanks to consistently high gas prices, countless hours spent in traffic jams, and the looming threat of climate change, commuters have reversed the decades-long trend of driving personal automobiles by opting for trains, subways, and buses on their daily commute. In fact, according to The New York Times, 2013 saw a record-breaking use of public transit—the highest in any year since 1956. A report released by American Public Transportation Association stated that 10.65 billion trips were taken on public transit last year, surpassing the 10.59 billion trip peak of 2008, when oil prices surged.

As cities continue to experience economic and population growth, money has been invested in infrastructural projects that promote public transit as both a feasible and pleasant commuting option, counteracting the negative view of public transit systems created by the growth of car culture in the mid-20th century.

Projects that espouse a positive attitude towards public transit are part of a larger effort to connect disparate areas of cities and nurture community development; visit the article for links and images.

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Creating An Urban Greenway as a Community Space: the winning ideas for AIANY's QueensWay Connection competition

Creating An Urban Greenway as a Community Space: the winning ideas for AIANY's QueensWay Connection competition | green streets | Scoop.it

Plans for building a new QueensWay are moving forward. The AIANY Emerging New York Architects (ENYA) Committee revealed the winners of QueensWay Connection: Elevating the Public Realm. The biennial competition brought in ideas from around the globe on how to transform an abandoned railway into an urban greenway as a community space for nearby neighborhoods in Queens, New York.


Visit the link to view all the winning proposals...

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Norm Miller's curator insight, February 23, 2014 2:28 PM

Connecting people and transport nodes easily is a great urban planning theme

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Trylletromler: An Innovative, Accessible Pavilion in Copenhagen

Trylletromler: An Innovative, Accessible Pavilion in Copenhagen | green streets | Scoop.it

Trylletromler’ is the Danish word for the zoetrope, a 19th century device that activates an impression of movement within a still image. The Renaissance garden of Rosenborg Castle, Copenhagen, forms the context for a new pavilion that is accessible to all public, innovative in its spatial expression and is challenging by its idiom.


FABRIC therefore introduced a new spatial concept by stretching the understanding of the ‘pavilion’ towards the most elementary architectural element in garden design: the fence.

The fence is made out of three thousand standard pieces of Nordic timber, which are joined using an irregular pattern of wedges. Based on these three principles an intriguing floor plan was designed using a composition of ten perfect circles..

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Culture, Coffee & Repurposed Pallets: Urban Coffee Farm and Brew Bar at Melbourne's Food & Wine Festival

Culture, Coffee & Repurposed Pallets: Urban Coffee Farm and Brew Bar at Melbourne's Food & Wine Festival | green streets | Scoop.it

Designed for the 2013 Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, the Urban Coffee Farm and Brew Bar by HASSELL attempts to play on this element of intrigue and surprise, creating an unexpected landscape in a familiar urban setting.

A total of 125 coffee trees from a disused coffee plantation in New South Wales and over 2,000 tropical plants were used to create the effect. At the end of the festival next year, the tropical plants will be given back to the nursery that donated them, and the coffee trees will be replanted in Victoria. About 1,500 pallets were also donated for the Festival, these will also be returned to the owner and used again once the Festival is over. The shipping containers which are the undercover areas on the Farm were at the end of their life so this is their final destination.

Find more details and photos at the link.

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Streetmix: A new app lets you reimagine and redesign your city's streets

Streetmix: A new app lets you reimagine and redesign your city's streets | green streets | Scoop.it

It's easy to point out that there's something wrong with a system, such as the design of an urban street or neighborhood, but it's another thing entirely to come up with a design that would be better.

But when it comes to re-imagining the streets in your neighborhood, that process just got quite a bit easier, thanks to a new web app. With Streetmix, users design their perfect street, with the right balance of bike lanes, sidewalks, public transport and vehicle traffic lanes, just by dragging and dropping design segments and adjusting their parameters.

Some users are designing alternatives to real streets in their cities; the app uses real-world design constraints, which can help the layperson understand some of what urban planners need to incorporate in their designs and enable better communication between the planners and the population in design and use issues.


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miguel sa's curator insight, September 4, 2013 4:15 PM

Now this sounds like fun! 

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How LEDs Will Make Or Break The Skylines Of Global Cities

How LEDs Will Make Or Break The Skylines Of Global Cities | green streets | Scoop.it

LED lighting is transforming skylines all over the world—and architects, city governments, and urban denizens should take note. These illuminated nightscapes promise a new worldwide arena where global cities will compete for recognition.


It's a gradual trend that has reached a fever pitch in recent months. Recent articles from the New York Times and NY1 discuss the LED-ification of two of New York City's landmark skyscrapers: the Empire State Building and the Helmsley Building. Why the intensifying deployment of these powerful lighting systems? Well, for starters, LEDs (light-emitting diodes) are energy-efficient, long-lasting, increasingly affordable, and easily controlled by computer programs. Architecturally, these little lights can significantly change a building's nighttime character, transforming shadowy forms into immaculate performances of infinite color and vivacity...

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ParadigmGallery's comment, August 2, 2013 4:44 PM
I grew up in the "lighting industry" so I was particularly interested in this story. The absolut best part of it is the comments/interaction...Duilio Passariello and Zachary Edelson the author...
Linus Ridge's comment, August 15, 2013 6:41 AM
A really interesting article.
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Elegant Installation Brings Bright Lights and WiFi to a Public Plaza in South Korea

Elegant Installation Brings Bright Lights and WiFi to a Public Plaza in South Korea | green streets | Scoop.it

The Communication Hut by Herreros Arquitectos is hung from three poles placed beyond its floating amoeba-like ring, and sits in the trees scattered through one of South Korea’s public squares. At all times of day, the ring emits WiFi signals to encourage occupation of the space, while at night it glows to provide a feeling of safety.


The Communication Hut encourages the public to use the space as an outdoor living room. By providing a relatively unobstructed ground plane, the occupants of the space can see friends from afar and children can play safely. The suspended structure, then, gives the site its boundaries, suggesting an enclosed space where sitting and stopping is welcomed. The Communication Hut is a subtle yet effective intervention in the workings of the city...

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IBM's Smarter Cities Billboard Campaign

IBM's Smarter Cities Billboard Campaign | green streets | Scoop.it

Billboards are meant to distract and annoy, to draw attention and to not fit in. In its recent on-street ad campaign, IBM promotes its People for Smart Cities Program with billboards that are even more invasive.

Ogilvy & Mather France took the concept of the board and bent it into shapes that could – with some effort – be seen as solutions for a somewhat smarter city, London and Paris in this case. A board bends to become a bench, a rain shelter or a ramp over stairs.

Learn more at IBM’s Smarter Planet, Smarter Cities site...

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After the deluge: Brisbane's new flood resilient ferry terminal

After the deluge: Brisbane's new flood resilient ferry terminal | green streets | Scoop.it

Cox Rayner Architects and Aurecon have designed a new generation of flood-resilient ferry terminals in Brisbane.

The completed terminal at Milton is the first of many to be rolled out along the Brisbane River in 2015. The flood resilient terminal design has been inspired by the way private pontoons simply float over their piers in a flood. Michael Rayner, director of Cox Rayner, called on his own experience in the 2011 floods in designing a terminal that could also deflect debris.

The design features a pier that provides commuters with panoramic views of the Brisbane River, with the pontoon essentially tethered to the pier via the gangway. During a flood, the gangway slides across the pier as the river rises and detaches. It then swings with the current of the flood waters, secured to the side of the pontoon, to avoid the build-up of debris. The gangway incorporates a unique floor which maintains level whatever the tide. The pontoon, which is anchored at the downstream end, features a hull-shaped base that allows flood waters to flow underneath it unhindered.

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Five cities awarded UNESCO City of Design status

Five cities awarded UNESCO City of Design status | green streets | Scoop.it

Dundee, Bilbao, Curitiba, Helsinki and Turin have been awarded UNESCO City of Design status for their input to the international design industry.


The accolade, awarded by international heritage body UNESCO, recognises the contribution of the five cities to the worldwide design industry – each the first in their respective countries of the UK, Spain, Brazil, Finland and Italy to achieve the designation. The scheme aims to promote the development of local creative industries, and to foster relationships and resource-sharing between fellow Cities of Design.

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Copenhagen's 'Bicycle Snake': Aiming to Become the Best Cycling City in The World

Copenhagen's 'Bicycle Snake': Aiming to Become the Best Cycling City in The World | green streets | Scoop.it

The Ambitious Cykelslangen by DISSING+WEITLING enables Copenhagen's vision to become the best cycling city in the world by the end of 2015.

The 235-meter-long orange snake meanders 5.5 meters high above sea level from Havneholmen through the mall Fisketorvet, ending at Kalvebod Brygge. This “snake” is actually a ramp and a bridge, called the “Cykelslangen — The Bicycle Snake,” that provides more than 12,000 bicyclists with a safe route through this busy district every day.

The architecture firm DISSING+WEITLING was asked to design a ramp to replace a nearby staircase. Instead of just designing a simple ramp, they went a step further and designed a bridge. The result is a destination and focal point that can be seen for miles from the air and has also completely transformed the area for all who enjoy it.

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Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, September 17, 2014 8:08 PM

Option : Urban change and management

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Iris structures would generate wave power along the Beirut shoreline

Iris structures would generate wave power along the Beirut shoreline | green streets | Scoop.it
These conceptual three-legged structures by Najjar & Najjar Architects would allow Beirut fisherman to reclaim the coastline and generate electricity.

Najjar & Najjar Architects propose installing the kinetic Iris structures along Beirut's shoreline to provide elevated shelters that also harness the movement of the waves to generate power. Studio founders Karim and Rames Najjar believe the structures would help locals retain public access to the seafront, which has been dominated by private development in recent years.

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Norm Miller's curator insight, May 13, 2014 1:16 PM

Interesting.  Wev'e heard for some time about such technologies but few have actually implemented them.  In California it would probably never be approved by the California Coastal commission.   

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OMA and BIG present rebuilding projects for Sandy-affected communities

OMA and BIG present rebuilding projects for Sandy-affected communities | green streets | Scoop.it

OMA, BIG and WXY have unveiled proposals to revitalise parts of America devastated by Hurricane Sandy and help protect them against future emergencies.

The Rebuild by Design competition asked ten teams of architects, landscape architects, engineers and urban designers to develop proposals for different sections of America's east coast, which was struck by the hurricane in October 2012.

The competition was initiated last year by US housing and urban development secretary Shaun Donovan. The winning projects will be announced later this year and will be implemented with funding from community grants.

View more concepts at the link.

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Sylvain Rotillon's curator insight, April 5, 2014 4:02 AM

After the disaster, an opportuniyt to evolve toward a more resilient city

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Arctic Harvester Proposes Large-Scale Hydroponic-Farming Near Greenland

Arctic Harvester Proposes Large-Scale Hydroponic-Farming Near Greenland | green streets | Scoop.it

Arctic Harvester was the first prize winning entry in the “Innovation and Architecture for the Sea” category of the Jacques Rougerie Foundation International Architecture Competition, 2013.  It proposes an itinerant soil-less agricultural infrastructure designed to drift the circulating ocean currents between Greenland and Canada, exploiting the nutrient-rich fresh water released by melting icebergs as the basis for a large-scale hydroponic-farming system. The floating facility is equipped to house a community of 800 people, inspired in its compact urban form by vertically oriented, bayside Greenlandic villages and their social, cultural and economic relationship to the sea.


More details at the link.

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Laura Brown's curator insight, February 27, 2014 8:57 AM

Human beings are crowding out all life on the planet. At what point do we fix the problem of too many people on the planet, taking up more than their share of the resources and sucking everything dry? Are humans really so stupid to starve themselves (and everything else before them)?

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Designing Parking Garages With a Car-less Future in Mind

Designing Parking Garages With a Car-less Future in Mind | green streets | Scoop.it
Building adaptable structures will save time, money, and material waste.

There's a growing belief among architects and designers that all urban parking garages should be built with these "good bones," which will allow them to be re-purposed in the future. For a variety of reasons, from higher gas prices to greater densification to better transit options, city residents will continue to drive fewer cars. As a result, we'll eventually require fewer parking lots. The ability to adapt a structure rather than tear it down will save developers time, money, and material waste...

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Sou Fujimoto's Mixed-Use Building Incorporates a 'Structural Waterfall' for Miami's Design District

Sou Fujimoto's Mixed-Use Building Incorporates a 'Structural Waterfall' for Miami's Design District | green streets | Scoop.it

The Miami Design District, an 18 square-block neighborhood between Miami’s downtown and South Beach, has announced that the facade of its new mixed-use retail building will be designed by Sou Fujimoto. The two-floor, 17,000 square foot structure, which will feature “an elongated series of glass fins extending from the rooftop down to the open courtyard,” will create unique pedestrian arcades covered by a “structural waterfall.”

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The Urban Landscape: Designing With Cities, Not For Them

The Urban Landscape: Designing With Cities, Not For Them | green streets | Scoop.it
When the city is viewed not as a destination for design but as the source material for it, a new relationship between design and the urban landscape is possible.

Whether it’s repurposing a billboard to act as a humidity collection system for clean drinking water in Lima, Peru, or integrating Wi-Fi capabilities into Madrid’s paving stones with the iPavement initiative, cities are increasingly expanding the capabilities of their existing assets and reforming the urban terrain as a landscape of opportunity.


The truth is that a city has all the resources it needs; the key to unlocking these resources is seeing the urban landscape not as the end result of a previous creative process, but as the beginning of a new onea landscape to design with, not for.

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California's Unusual Plan to Cut Greenhouse Gases

California's Unusual Plan to Cut Greenhouse Gases | green streets | Scoop.it

The state is relying on cities to figure out how to cut emissions in their region. Will it work?


When California’s S.B. 375 was passed in 2008, there were many skeptics. The law aimed to get metropolitan regions around the state to cut greenhouse gas emissions through changes to development form and transportation. 

In 2011, the California Air Resources Board set GHG emissions reduction targets by metro region for passenger vehicles and 18 Metropolitan Planning Organizations were then to develop "sustainable community strategies," with integrated transportation, housing, and community development.

The idea was that smart, sustainable community design, coordinated with transportation systems that integrated walkability, bicycles, and next generation public transit, could really make a difference. It's honestly much too soon to tell whether this will work. But here's a quick look at three prominent metropolitan regions and their responses to this mandate.

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Foster and Partners Proposes a New Thames Hub Airport for the City of London

Foster and Partners Proposes a New Thames Hub Airport for the City of London | green streets | Scoop.it
Foster and Partners have designed a new airport for the Isle of Grain in the Thames Estuary, which would alleviate air traffic from Heathrow Airport.


The proposal would take on 110 million passengers at a new location that would also cut down on noise and air traffic over the city. With location near water, the architects hope the Thames Hub Airport will provide an alternative to building a third runway at Heathrow Airport.


The architects’ plan also addresses issues related to global warming and rising sea waters—the design includes a flood protection plan and builds on the infrastructure of green transportation already in place.

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Multimodal Interchange by Tetrarc Architects

Multimodal Interchange by Tetrarc Architects | green streets | Scoop.it

Tetrarc Architect’s designs for a public transport hub in Saint-Nazaire, France were recently completed. The projects – a bus shelter and a bridge – make up two points in this multi-modal interchange designed to accommodate increasing bus and rail traffic in Saint-Nazaire, while catering to pedestrians and their comfort.


The bus shelter runs parallel to the public square in front of Saint-Nazaire’s train station. The dynamic form and bright yellow hue of the roof adds visual interest to grey surroundings and makes the roof-cover a focal point, drawing pedestrians to it. It gives the impression of speed that is realised in the function of the shelter as a traffic-easing intervention. Daylighting is maximised in the shelter as the gap between its two canopies admits sunlight and a view to the sky. The glossy finish overhead and the shiny columns also reflect light, increasing visual effects both day and night. The overhang protects pedestrians from rain while glass-walled waiting areas shield passengers from the wind, all while maintaining visual connections to the surroundings.

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