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green streets
thoughts, ideas + dialogues on urban revitalization, smart growth + neighborhood development
Curated by Lauren Moss
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The Real Reason Cities Are Centers of Innovation

The Real Reason Cities Are Centers of Innovation | green streets | Scoop.it

Throughout human history, people have long found unique value in living and working in cities, even if for reasons they couldn’t quite articulate. Put people together, and opportunities and ideas and wealth seem to grow at a more powerful rate than a simple sum of all our numbers. This has been intuitively true for centuries of city-dwellers.


"What people didn’t know," says MIT researcher Wei Pan, "is why."

In a new paper published in Nature CommunicationsPan and several colleagues argue that the underlying force that drives super-linear productivity in cities is the density with which we're able to form social ties. The larger your city, in other words, the more people (using this same super-linear scale) you’re likely to come into contact with.

"If you think about productivity, it’s all about ideas, information flows, how easily you can access ideas and opportunities," Pan says. "We believe that the interaction mechanism is what drives the productivity of the city."

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Norm Miller's curator insight, June 14, 2013 2:35 AM

Similar to Ed Glaeser's views in the Triumph of be City

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Mosstika: Street Art Greens the Urban Jungle

Mosstika: Street Art Greens the Urban Jungle | green streets | Scoop.it
When we think of street art we often think of dry concrete, spray paint cans and urban wastelands... but that's not what you'll find here.

 

These creations have a drastically more “green” theme, striving to bring a bit of unexpected nature to the so-called urban jungle and in doing so a bit more life to its often weary inhabitants. The creations of gorilla street art collective Mosstika, each piece of art brings some literal green to the world, installing pieces of art with living grass and moss around the city.
In creating such beautiful pieces the New York based Mosstika, and their founder Edina Tokodi, want to give street art a new twist, providing viewers with art that they can reach out, touch and appreciate in a tactile way. In providing something beautiful that can be not only viewed but also interacted with, they hope to provide something that reconnects city-dwellers with nature and something that can in turn soulfully touch those viewers back.

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Why Ordinary Urban Experiences Motivate Change

Why Ordinary Urban Experiences Motivate Change | green streets | Scoop.it

Immersion in the real look and feel (and sometimes sound and smell) of a more compact and sustainable local experience can feed arguments for change, justify expenditures or tell how to cast a strategic election vote. Personal involvement is the most powerful and verifiable way to champion the city cause, over and above mere acceptance of empirical data, article prose and illustrations...

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Why Placemaking Requires Passion Even More Than Big Budgets

Why Placemaking Requires Passion Even More Than Big Budgets | green streets | Scoop.it

Minneapolis-based writer Michelle Bruch examines how public input helps the bottom line as much as it helps build places where people want to be.

 

Placemaking is designed to create a vision that is much more practical than a pretty architectural rendering.

"The voices of the people are significant anchors," says Fred Kent, president of the New York-based Project for Public Spaces (PPS), a nonprofit that consults with cities on how to create strong public spaces. "It creates places that are meaningful to them."

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Projects That Give Urban Places A New Lease On Life

Projects That Give Urban Places A New Lease On Life | green streets | Scoop.it

The term “alt use” has become a catchall encompassing all sorts of clever upcycling of everything from tree stumps to discarded airplanes. And if you keep your eyes open, there is no shortage of fantastic projects creating new and inventive uses for the spaces we move through daily, be they the street corner, the laundromat or our homes.

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Communities Aren't Just Places, They're Social Networks

Communities Aren't Just Places, They're Social Networks | green streets | Scoop.it
A conversation with urban sociologist Zachary Neal on his new book, The Connected City.


Cities are obviously more than just the sum of their physical assets — roads and bridges, offices, factories, shopping centers, and homes — working more like living organisms than jumbles of concrete. Their inner workings even transcend their ability to cluster and concentrate people and economic activity.

As sociologist Zachary Neal of Michigan State University argues in his new book, The Connected City, cities are made up of human social networks.

Neal took time to discuss his book and research with Atlantic Cities, explaining how cities work as living organisms and why what happens in Las Vegas cannot stay in Las Vegas.

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Remember the Edges! Placemaking for Communities

Remember the Edges!  Placemaking for Communities | green streets | Scoop.it

One of the key principles to remember when trying to create a great public square is that the inner square and outer square must work together. Active edges (sidewalk cafes, museums, shops) feed into the center; in turn, a lively scene at the heart of a square creates a buzz that draws more people to the area, generating more activity for edge uses. It’s symbiotic!

The video above illustrates this principle using imagery from our study of Alamo Plaza in San Antonio, Texas. Home to one of the most iconic buildings in America, the plaza itself is more of a place to stand for a photo op than a place where people linger and enjoy. As you can see, creating a sense of connection and flow between the inner and outer square is key to success.

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Crown Heights Participatory Urbanism

Crown Heights Participatory Urbanism | green streets | Scoop.it

Urban Design Week 2011:  Crown Heights Participatory Urbanism is a community-informed design proposal for public space located in the Crow Hill neighborhood of Crown Heights. The purpose of the project is to provide a forum for the community to rethink residual spaces created by transportation infrastructure towards a new public space network, founded on the idea of creating a common ground for residents, local community organizations, business owners, and governmental entities.

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Place Activation - Meeting Places, Seating Spaces

Place Activation - Meeting Places, Seating Spaces | green streets | Scoop.it

Urban Designers around the world argue that the park bench is a good metaphor for good urban spaces. Jan Gehl’s Public Space Public Life research revealed that Perth has increased its cafe chair seats by 74% since 1993. Improvements to our streetscapes since the initial report have been fundamental to the increasing number of people enjoying Perth’s streets.

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