green streets
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green streets
thoughts, ideas + dialogues on urban revitalization, smart growth + neighborhood development
Curated by Lauren Moss
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Pedestrian Bridge in Aranzadi Park / Peralta Ayesa Arquitectos + Opera ingeniería

Pedestrian Bridge in Aranzadi Park / Peralta Ayesa Arquitectos + Opera ingeniería | green streets |

This project consists of, on the one hand, the construction of a pedestrian bridge to improve access between the park and the city and, on the other hand, the construction of some sheds, in the park’s fruit and vegetable garden area, to serve as storage spaces for the garden concessionaires.

The bridge forms a part of the geometric design of the pedestrian and bicycle paths and the water and river systems. At the same time, it creates an ideal spot for visitors and an observation point from the bridge to view the park from the city...

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Henderson Waves: A Pedestrian Bridge Envisioned for Singapore

Henderson Waves: A Pedestrian Bridge Envisioned for Singapore | green streets |

Arising from an international bridge design competition, Henderson Waves and other connections form part of a nine kilometer stretch of leisure destination that urban planners have envisioned for in the south of Singapore. This tallest pedestrian bridge and other elevated walkways creatively link up hills, parks and attractions to extend the green and recreational spaces available, bringing people closer to nature. 
Designed by RSP Architects Planners & Engineers Pte Ltd and IJP Corporation (UK), the 274 meter long bridge springs from a scenic location off Mount Faber to Telok Blangah. At 36 meters above Henderson Road, the bridge flows organically in seven wave spans, echoing the ridges’ profiles.

Lola Ripollés's curator insight, May 16, 2015 4:27 PM

La belleza de un puente peatonal de une parque y atracciones en una zona de ocio de Singapur.

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7 Cities That Are Starting To Go Car-Free

7 Cities That Are Starting To Go Car-Free | green streets |
Urban planners are finally recognizing that streets should be designed for people, not careening hunks of deadly metal.

After over a hundred years of living with cars, some cities are slowly starting to realize that the automobile doesn't make a lot of sense in the urban context. It isn't just the smog or the traffic deaths; in a city, cars aren't even a convenient way to get around.

Now a growing number of cities are getting rid of cars in certain neighborhoods through fines, better design, new apps, and, in the case of Milan, even paying commuters to leave their car parked at home and take the train instead.

Unsurprisingly, the changes are happening fastest in European capitals that were designed hundreds or thousands of years before cars were ever built. In sprawling U.S. suburbs that were designed for driving, the path to eliminating cars is obviously more challenging.

Read further for more on the leaders moving toward car-free neighborhoods.

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Landscape Meets Architecture at Onepoto Footbridge, Auckland

Landscape Meets Architecture at Onepoto Footbridge, Auckland | green streets |

When North Shore City Council engaged Beca Architects to design the Onepoto Footbridge on Auckland's North Shore, they wanted a functional structure for pedestrians and cyclists to cross safely, but at the same time offering a unique experience for users by incorporating architectural elements into the bridge to create interest, and to blend it into the surrounding landscape.
The underlying structural concept of the bridge is a conventional two span, pre-stressed concrete beam footbridge, disguised cleverly by integrating with the architectural cladding. Designed to simulate a breaking wave, it reflects the overall vision of the bridge to recreate a journey across the Onepoto stream.
Measures were taken to preserve the sensitive coastal environment, protect native trees and wildlife, and preserve the old historic bridge in both the design and during construction.

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KSP Designs Floating ‘Urban Helix’ for Changsha

KSP Designs Floating ‘Urban Helix’ for Changsha | green streets |

KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten International has been awarded first prize for their proposal of a new “urban helix” in Changsha, China, that extends public space from the city center into Lake Meixi. The concept serves as a catalyst, marking a termination point on a new street axis that culminates into a pedestrian ramp symbolically spiraling 30 meters above a 20,000 square meter artificial island.

Considered as a “city built from scratch,” Changsha has been host to a slew of architectural and urbanist projects in recent years. From Zaha Hadid’s ambitious Culture and Arts Centre to KPF’s 120 million square foot master plan, the city has been an experimental hot bed, expecting to grow to 180,000 inhabitants within the coming years...

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An Innovative, Interactive Pedestrian Bridge over the River Hull, U.K.

An Innovative, Interactive Pedestrian Bridge over the River Hull, U.K. | green streets |

An innovative swing bridge over the River Hull has opened to the public, offering pedestrians the unique experience of riding on the bridge as it opens and closes to river traffic.

Located in Kingston, the bridge connects Hull’s Old Town Conservation Area to the undeveloped industrial landscape of the east bank. Designed as the first stage of a wider masterplan it will unlock the potential of the riverside to promote wider regeneration in the areas east of the city centre. Scale Lane Staith on the west bank has been re-landscaped with a series of stepped gardens leading to a new public square at the threshold of the bridge...

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Thomas Heatherwick's Garden Bridge: Creating Connections & Green Space in London

Thomas Heatherwick's Garden Bridge: Creating Connections & Green Space in London | green streets |

Architect Thomas Heatherwick, together with actor and green activist Joanna Lumley have conceived what they call the ‘garden bridge’; a scheme that sees a lush green space connecting north and south london, in response to a call for proposals simed at improving pedestrian links across the river Thames.

The structure is an elevated garden that will offer a place in which to enjoy unparalleled views of the city, while providing new walking routes between the popular covent garden and soho quarters. It will also enhance London’s already rich and diverse horticultural heritage of allotments and community gardens, heathlands, parks and squares; further fulfilling its reputation for being one of the greenest urban areas of its size in the world.

Sharon McLean's curator insight, December 21, 2013 6:48 PM

Urban Sustainability 

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Designing For The Carpocalypse: 5 Ideas For A Pedestrian Freeway

Designing For The Carpocalypse: 5 Ideas For A Pedestrian Freeway | green streets |
Architects and students reimagine a San Francisco highway as a public space that reattaches a severed street grid.

One of the best places to see the San Francisco skyline is at the crest of Interstate 280. From a vehicle, it's a two-second vista, but designer Brian Vargo, for one, would like it prolonged. "What if that view could become a preserved—and celebrated—part of the city?" he writes. "Imagine giving that experience to a pedestrian rather than to a car."

Vargo envisions the last several blocks of 280 as a carless paradise for bicycle and foot traffic along the lines of New York's High Line. His proposal, the HighLink, is among the 5 winning entries of the Center for Architecture + Design and AIA San Francisco's 280 Freeway Competition

Launched in June, the contest invited architects and students to reimagine the highway site as a public space that reattaches a severed street grid. Find more information and entries at the article link.

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Thomas Heatherwick reveals garden bridge designed for River Thames

Thomas Heatherwick reveals garden bridge designed for River Thames | green streets |
Thomas Heatherwick reveals garden bridge designed for the River Thames in London in collaboration with Joanna Lumley.

The design was developed by Heatherwick Studio after Transport for London awarded it to develop ideas for improving pedestrian links across the river.

"With its rich heritage of allotments, gardens, heathland, parks and squares, London is one of the greenest cities in the world," says Thomas Heatherwick. "In this context we are excited to have been selected by TFL to explore the opportunity of a pedestrian river crossing. The idea is simple; to connect north and south London with a garden."

Via Brian Yanish -
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Creating a Sustainable Urban Landscape: Manama Urban Oasis by Aétrangère

Creating a Sustainable Urban Landscape: Manama Urban Oasis by Aétrangère | green streets |

Bab Al Bahrain Urban Oasis explores the value of the cultural and natural landscape inheritance as a design opportunity to address climate issues in public space, while catalyzing the urban potential of the site in the emerging new city urbanity.

Urban Oasis is considered to be the most important public space of Manama, embodying its dynamic character and showcasing its new sustainable identity.

An urban makeover is taking place at Bahrain and its capital, Manama. The city is evolving in the global economy as the financial hub of the Middle East, and witnessing a dramatic transformation of the urban fabric.

Urban Oasis represents its strategic position and historical importance, as an opportunity to create a lively metropolitan interface, able to link and gather both the historic urban fabric and the new modern city front.

The project is composed of layers evolving in a symbiotic and sustainable way. Responding to the climate, an urban canopy will provide shade, shelter, and comfort to the pedestrian areas below, offering an oasis from the stress of urban conditions. The public ground level, with its open spaces, water landscaping and main public pedestrian and car access, will host the principal cultural and urban facilities. 

The passively cooled terrace will provide an innovative urban place, lend a sense of fluidity to the open space and allow for great views of the waterfront, while a footbridge will create a continuous pedestrian pathway to the sea. Uses here would include cafes, small retail frontage, information points and restaurants.

Among the green areas proposed to reduce the ambient temperature while creating the new microclimate, ware numerous green features: Seven circular sunken gardens which will be showcased as world vegetal biomes, which will enhance local and foreign biodiversity. Those gardens of scents will be like glazed clusters, such a protected special areas...

Learn more about the project and see more photos and diagrams at the article link.

Mário Carmo's curator insight, January 28, 2015 10:20 AM

The URBAN OASIS World Biomes will show the connection between the continents, welcoming plants from the Arabic world as well as others from the five continents at the same latitude as Bahrain. The biomes have a didactic vocation, like open books offering a world wide botanic panorama. To reduce water consumption, the gardens will filter a part of the waste water produced by the cultural facilities using purifying natural plants. The deep courtyard biomes will be irrigated with this recycled water to create the humid and dry landscapes and encourage biodiversity.

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Reading the City: What Makes a City Smart?

Reading the City: What Makes a City Smart? | green streets |

In Barcelona last month for a conference on smart cities (specifically, on how technology can make cities smarter). There were intriguing presentations and cool-looking “smart” trucks & electric bikes. I could have spent a lot more time “interfacing” with all the technology housed in the Fira de Barcelona convention center.

But I didn’t.

There are two common-sense truths to smart cities.

First, technology is awesome, yes, but we should be viewing it not as a silver bullet but one admittedly phenomenal tool of many in any city’s arsenal. (And, as many asked when the power went out during a panel discussion: How do you have a smart city with no electricity?)

Second, the most successful technologies are well-hidden — invisible, even. So after absorbing about all I could about open data, demand-based pricing and fiber optic networks, I reached a decision: I’m in Barcelona. I can learn a lot more about how a city works by actually experiencing it...

Via Jandira Feijó, Territori
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What Makes a Great City: A General Theory of Walkability

What Makes a Great City: A General Theory of Walkability | green streets |

City engineers have turned our downtowns into places that are easy to get to but not worth arriving at.

In Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time (public library), city planner Jeff Speck, who spent four years leading the design division of the National Endowment for the Arts working directly with a couple hundred mayors to help solve their greatest city-planning challenges, turns a perceptive eye towards what makes a great city and how we might be able to harness the power of a conceptually simple, practically complex, immeasurably far-reaching solution in improving the fabric and experience of urban life.

Speck outlines a “General Theory of Walkability,” focusing on the four key factors of making a city attractive to pedestrians: 'it must be useful, safe, comfortable, and interesting. Each of these qualities is essential an none alone is sufficient...'

Learn more about urban livability, how to create the conditions that enable pedestrian-oriented development, and the benefits of this approach to urban spaces to the economic, environmental, and cultural health of a city at the article link...

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A Unique Pedestrian Proposal for the future Grand Central Terminal

A Unique Pedestrian Proposal for the future Grand Central Terminal | green streets |
This past summer, New York’s Department of City Planning put forth a plan to rezone 78 blocks of East Midtown centered around Grand Central Terminal, making room for a bevy of new towers from the projected next great Manhattan build-out.

Pitched as a strategy to bolster New York amidst imminent international competition, the East Midtown Study inspired both the thrill and fear of large scale change: Could New York enhance its skyline and increase its density without losing its soul? Would Midtown become another run-of-the-mill central business district, a globalized landscape of glitzy, glass-skinned stalagmites crushing the layers of history below? Perhaps to palliate our worst Kafka-esque architectural nightmares, the city invited three renowned architecture firms, WXY Architecture + Urban Design, Skidmore Owings & Merrill (SOM), and Foster + Partners, to imagine “the next 100 years” of Grand Central Station (which is fast approaching its 100th birthday) and the surrounding Midtown cityscape.

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A Bridge That Celebrates Pedestrians Opens In Copenhagen

Designed by Studio Olafur Eliasson, and built by the non-profit charitable foundation Nordea-fonden, Cirkelbroen bridge is a gift to the city of Copenhagen to promote good living in in Denmark.

'Cirkelbroen celebrates pedestrians. It reflects the daily life and intimacy that you find around the canal in the Christianshavn neighbourhood, its houseboats and sailing boats, the unique life on the ramparts. Copenhagen’s harbour was once a centre of maritime activity, and Cirkelbroen is a testimony to that history.'

ParadigmGallery's curator insight, September 1, 2015 3:39 PM

a beautiful gift...

"Cirkelbroen bridge is a gift to the city of Copenhagen to promote good living in in Denmark"

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Five Cities Show the Future of Walkability

Five Cities Show the Future of Walkability | green streets |

To walk in our cities is more than just a simple act of transport. Walking represents an appropriation of urban space for daily life. It means being an active part of the urban environment by learning, understanding and shaping the city on a personal level. Walking is one of the most democratic and equitable ways of getting around, but it’s also one of the ways most linked to factors outside an individual’s control, like social or physical abilities and the presence of infrastructure to walk comfortably and safely.

These are the factors that define walkability, which refers to how safe, convenient, and efficient it is to walk in an urban environment. Walkability has a direct impact on urban residents’ mobility, as the term is often used to communicate how likely the average person is to choose walking over other modes of transport in a given area...

Zaiter Ramzy's curator insight, April 23, 2015 5:47 AM

Bien vu les vertus de la marche à pied urbaine pour l'appropriation du territoire par ses habitants, quelques exemples de Helsinky à Hambourg

Catherine Bossis's curator insight, April 30, 2015 5:59 AM

Je ne suis pas Bordelaise, ni au fan club du Maire de Bordeaux, je me déplace beaucoup en France. Ce week-end j'ai marché à Bordeaux et deux choses m'ont sauté aux yeux : 1- il y a des bancs (propres et agréables) partout en centre ville. On peut se reposer très facilement, ce qui facilite grandement la marche surtout des personnes à mobilité réduite (comme mes ados un peu paresseux !). 2- j'ai vu des enfants faire du vélo, ce que je ne vois pas à Toulouse par exemple où cela reste très dangereux de circuler en vélo (ce que je pratique chaque jour).  Dans d'autres collectivités Françaises j'observe un retour en arrière sur la piétonisation et la cyclabilité et c'est bien triste.

Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, June 26, 2015 11:58 PM

Walkability enhances social connectedness and community identity - therefore perceptions of liveability

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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 |

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.

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

Option : Urban change and management

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Europe's Longest Pedestrian Bridge Beautifully Illuminates Sweden's Sölvesborg Bay

Europe's Longest Pedestrian Bridge Beautifully Illuminates Sweden's Sölvesborg Bay | green streets |

In Sweden, a series of undulating arches, brightly lit by fuchsia-tinted LED lights, dance across the Sölvesborg Bay. From a distance, the structure could be mistaken for the Loch Ness Monster's mysterious glowing cousin, but these massive illuminated vaults actually support Europe's longest pedestrian bridge.

Spanning 2,480 feet—that's nearly half a mile!—the Sölvesborg Bridge was designed by Swedish design firm Ljusarkitektur in collaboration with lighting company Lumenpulse to connect the small town of Sölvesborg with a new housing district across the bay.

Norm Miller's curator insight, January 30, 2014 1:59 PM

We love city icons.

Duane Craig's curator insight, January 31, 2014 2:18 PM

Lighting up bridges seems to be in vogue.

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Snøhetta completes phase one of Times Square transformation

Snøhetta completes phase one of Times Square transformation | green streets |

Architecture firm Snøhetta has concluded the first phase of a major overhaul of New York's Times Square, continuing the initiative started in 2009 to pedestrianise large sections of the popular tourist destination.

The $55 million reconstruction project is the largest redesign of the square in decades and encompasses the transformation of five public plazas between 42nd and 47th Streets, which will be entirely reconstructed to remove any traces that vehicular traffic once ran through the square along the Broadway...

ELISA TANGKEARUNG's curator insight, January 11, 2014 9:38 PM

HE said : Don't look at me or your brother & your sister FROM THE "crowd"....TAKE A LOOK them from "THAT CROSS"! where HIS LOVE make EVERYTHING IS DONE!!!..

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Hamburg's Answer to Climate Change: An Extensive Pedestrian & Bicycle-Oriented Green Network

Hamburg's Answer to Climate Change:  An Extensive Pedestrian & Bicycle-Oriented Green Network | green streets |
The German city is planning a green network that will cover 40% of the city area, contributing to resilience and allowing biking, swimming and nature watching in the city

The European commercial hub promotes bicycling as the main mode of transportation, and plans to build a network around bikes and pedestrians, linking car-free roads to parks and playgrounds, from the city centre to the suburbs.

Welcome to Hamburg, an environmental pioneer whose planned green network will cover 40% of the city's area. "It will connect parks, recreational areas, playgrounds, gardens and cemeteries through green paths", says Angelika Fritsch, a spokeswoman for the city's department of urban planning and the environment. "Other cities, including London, have green rings, but the green network will be unique in covering an area from the outskirts to the city centre. In 15 to 20 years you'll be able to explore the city exclusively on bike and foot."

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Sinuous structure by NEXT architects wins Chinese bridge competition

Sinuous structure by NEXT architects wins Chinese bridge competition | green streets |

NEXT architects has won a competition to design a pedestrian bridge for Changsha, China, with plans for a wavy structure based on a Möbius strip.

The structure will comprise a sequence of undulating steel ribbons that combine to create a never-ending surface, with intersecting connections, based on the principal of the Möbius ringThe form is also intended to reference traditional Chinese crafts.

The bridge will create three different routes across the water, including one that reaches a height of 24 metres to offer views of the harbour, the city and the surrounding mountains. Lighting fixtures will highlight the profile of the structure after dark.

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Multimodal Interchange by Tetrarc Architects

Multimodal Interchange by Tetrarc Architects | green streets |

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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The Urban Environment: 8 Qualities of Pedestrian and Transit-Oriented Design

The Urban Environment: 8 Qualities of Pedestrian and Transit-Oriented Design | green streets |

Since 2000, a number of tools for measuring the quality of the walking environment have emerged. These tools are now used by researchers, local governments, and community groups to measure physical features related to walkability, such as building setback, block length, and street and sidewalk width.

Yet individual physical features may not tell us much about the experience of walking down a particular street. Specifically, they may not capture people’s overall perceptions of the street environment, perceptions that may have complex or subtle relationships to physical features. The urban design literature points to numerous perceptual qualities that may affect the walking experience. Other fields also contribute, including architecture, landscape architecture, park planning, environmental psychology, and the growing visual preference and visual assessment literature.

Visit the link for more information and the complete article explaining the 8 urban design qualities that enable more effective urban design planning solutions for creating quality pedestrian environments...

Anji Connell's curator insight, April 10, 2013 10:40 PM

Fascinating........"Imageability is related to “sense of place.” Gorden Cullen (1961, p. 152) elaborates on the concept of sense of place, asserting that a characteristic visual theme will contribute to a cohesive sense of place and will inspire people to enter and rest in the space. Jan Gehl (1987, p. 183) explains this phenomenon using the example of famous Italian city squares, where “life in the space, the climate, and the architectural quality support and complement each other to create an unforgettable total impression.” When all factors manage to work together to such pleasing ends, a feeling of physical and psychological well-being results: the feeling that a space is a thoroughly pleasant place in which to be."

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Innovation & Public Space: Melkwegbridge by NEXT Architects and Rietveld Landscape

Innovation & Public Space: Melkwegbridge by NEXT Architects and Rietveld Landscape | green streets |

The new Melkweg Bridge in Purmerend (NL) connects the old and new parts of the city with a unique design that accomodates both pedestrians and cyclists.

Developed by Dutch studios NEXT Architects and Rietveld Landscape, the bridge crosses the Noordhollandsch Kanaal to connect the historic city centre with the growing Weidevenne district in the south-west and is the first stage in a masterplan for the canal and its periphery. It does so with a steeply arching upper level for pedestrians and a zig-zagging lower level for cyclists and wheelchairs. The massive arch reaches the height of 12m above water level and offers incredible views over the city, with a high lookout that is an attraction in itself, letting users fully experience the relationship between the new and historic center of Purmerend.

"The aim of the design team was to create a new area with a specific identity, which could work as a connector between the old and the new centre," said NEXT Architects' Marijn Schenk...

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Green Space + Pedestrian-Oriented Development: Futian District masterplan in Shenzhen by SWA Group

Green Space + Pedestrian-Oriented Development: Futian District masterplan in Shenzhen by SWA Group | green streets |
SWA Group has been selected to redesign Futian District in Shenzhen, China.

The landscape architecture and urban planning firm hopes to transform the congested and car-dominated district of central Shenzhen into a calmer, greener space where pedestrians are welcome.

As part of SWA’s masterplan, titled Garden City of Tomorrow, residential streets will be made over with exercise areas for all age groups as well as quieter green spaces. Office streets will incorporate gardens with seating areas, while retail streets will encourage pedestrian traffic with public art and better lighting. A botanical garden in the shape of a circuit board, representing the Chinese city’s electronics industry, has been proposed for a space alongside the Civic Center.

“Our landscape and urban design strategies will rebalance Futian from a car-dominated city with a challenging street system to offer a more beautiful, more functional environment, from landscaped boulevards and greenspaces to plazas and large gathering spaces,” said Sean O’Malley, the principal leading the masterplan from SWA Group...

See more renderings and learn more about the Garden City of Tomorrow at the complete article.

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Using Smartphones to Improve Walkability

Using Smartphones to Improve Walkability | green streets |

When it comes to walking in the city, our smartphones provide us with pedestrian sat-nav, reviews of the best places to visit and even measure how many calories we’re burning. In fact, recent research suggests that our phones are encouraging us to even explore more places.

Now, a new mobile app provides an essential tool for the walkable lifestyle. It enables people to check the walkability of the street they’re standing in, as well as discover new walkable streets in other areas and add their own reviews.

The free app uses over 600,000 street ratings from, covering every street in San Francisco, New York and England. But unlike other walkability apps, which only measure how many destinations are within walking distance, the Walkonomics app provides 5-star ratings for 8 different categories of pedestrian-friendliness:

  • Road safety
  • Easy to cross
  • Pavement/Sidewalk
  • Hilliness
  • Navigation
  • Fear of crime
  • Smart & beautiful
  • Fun & relaxing

The Walkonomics mobile app provides a crowdsourcing tool for events, allowing more people to be involved, add reviews and post suggestions. With more cities to be added, the app has the potential to become the new ‘must-have’ app for not only discovering and enjoying walkable streets, but also transforming and making streets more pedestrian-friendly...

Via Jandira Feijó
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