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green streets
thoughts, ideas + dialogues on urban revitalization, smart growth + neighborhood development
Curated by Lauren Moss
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How to 'Rightsize' a Street

How to 'Rightsize' a Street | green streets | Scoop.it

The concept of a "road diet” has become increasingly popular, though the phrase fails to capture the wide variety of ways in which streets planned and paved decades ago often awkwardly fit the needs of changing communities today.


In many cases, redesigning city streetscapes is not just (or not at all) about eliminating roadway. It may be about adding parking (to benefit new businesses), or building a new median (for pedestrians who were never present before), or simply painting new markings on the pavement (SCHOOL X-ING).


According to the Project for Public Spaces, we might do better to think of the task as “rightsizing” streets instead of starving them. This week, the nonprofit planning and design organization published a series of case studies from across the country illustrating exactly what this could look like in a variety of settings. The above image pair, from the collection, shows before-and-after scenes of Prospect Park West in Brooklyn. Starting in the summer of 2010, the New York City Department of Transportation began retrofitting the street to accommodate cyclists and pedestrians crossing into Prospect Park. The whole project wasn’t simply a matter of pruning traffic lanes, but of adding yield signs, new traffic signal timing, bike lanes and pedestrian islands.

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American Grove's comment, January 28, 2013 5:56 AM
Too often space for trees (6 feet minimum) are left off the plan in a road diet.
American Grove's curator insight, January 28, 2013 5:59 AM

Munciple Arborist Beware!  Too often sufficient space for trees are being left out of the plans in road diets.  The problem is competing space for paths, bikeways, parking squeeze out an 8ft planting strip to a 4 ft planting strip or less.  4 Strip planting strips is not enough soil for shade trees. Bulb outs into parking and root bridging are innovative ways to work with the lack of space but requires an arborist to help plan. 

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Setting the Table, Making a Place: How Food Can Help Create a Multi-Use Destination

Setting the Table, Making a Place: How Food Can Help Create a Multi-Use Destination | green streets | Scoop.it

Food – we need it, we love it, and we structure our lives and cultures around it. San Antonio, Texas, is a city that is starting to structure its neighborhoods around it, starting with an ambitious redevelopment project called the Pearl Brewery. Located on 22 acres along the banks of the San Antonio River north of downtown, today’s Pearl is a multi-use campus of buildings originally founded as the J. B. Behloradsky Brewery and City Brewery over 120 years ago. The current vision for the site is for a vibrant urban district to grow out from a culinary destination that brings people together around the celebration of local food and culture...

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A. S. CohenMiller's comment, September 5, 2012 1:14 PM
We love what Pearl has been doing. Definitely worth visiting (regularly)!
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New Report: Livability and Placemaking for All Communities ...

New Report: Livability and Placemaking for All Communities ... | green streets | Scoop.it
I had the unique opportunity to participate in a “Smart Growth” bus tour of communities in North Carolina, organized last year by the Walkable and Livable Communities Institute and the Local Government Commission. We visited a variety of neighborhoods, from low-density to high, pre-car to newly developed, to learn how livable and sustainable principles can help a wide range of communities to adapt to meet the challenges of the 21st Century.

Important lessons can be learned from each of the communities we visited. None were perfect, but as Joel Garreau pointed out in Edge City: Life on the New Frontier, now-revered places like Venice and London were pieced together over centuries; flaws were frequently pointed out by critics, and fixed over time. Flaws in these places will be addressed over time as well. What is critical about each location is that they are testing out new ideas of what a sustainable future could look like. The neighborhoods that had the best sense of place were those that were created over a hundred years, and they serve as great models for how to take Traditional Neighborhood Development, Form Based Codes and other contemporary planning strategies to the next level...

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What is Placemaking?

What is Placemaking? | green streets | Scoop.it

“’Placemaking’ is both an overarching idea and a hands-on tool for improving a neighborhood, city or region. It has the potential to be one of the most transformative ideas of this century.” -Metropolitan Planning Council of Chicago

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Place Capital: Re-connecting Economy With Community

Place Capital: Re-connecting Economy With Community | green streets | Scoop.it

Reform—of transportation, food systems, and so many aspects of the way we live—is no longer about adding bike lanes or buying veggies from a local farmer; the time has come to re-focus on large-scale culture change.

Advocates from different movements are reaching across aisles to form broader coalitions. While we all fight for different causes that stir our individual passions, many change agents are recognizing that it is the common ground we share—both physically and philosophically—that brings us together, reinforces the basic truths of our human rights, and engenders the sense of belonging and community that leads to true solidarity.

Even when we disagree with our neighbors, we still share at least one thing with them: place. Our public spaces—from our parks to our markets to our streets—are where we learn about each other, and take part in the interactions, exchanges, and rituals that together comprise local culture.


Read the complete article for more on the ideas and strategies that positively contribute to our public spaces and enhance interpersonal connections, economic opportunity and placemaking.

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Creating Great Streets: What Does it Take? (Project for Public Spaces)

Creating Great Streets: What Does it Take? (Project for Public Spaces) | green streets | Scoop.it

We recently chatted with experts John Massengale and Victor Dover about their soon-to-be-released book Street Design, which details the art and practice of creating great streets for people. In researching this book, John and Victor traveled across the world evaluating and experiencing different kinds of streets. John is an architect, urbanist, owner of Massengale & Co LLC, and Board Member at the Congress for New Urbanism. Victor Dover is a Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners, Principal in the firm Dover, Kohl & Partners Town Planning, and a Board Member and National Chair of the Congress for New Urbanism...

 

Click on the link for the complete interview.

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Toward an Architecture of Place: Moving Beyond Iconic to Extraordinary

Toward an Architecture of Place: Moving Beyond Iconic to Extraordinary | green streets | Scoop.it

We all realize that a “sense of place” is of fundamental value to people everywhere — in every city, every town, every neighborhood, and every culture, for all ages.

At least, that is what the average person recognizes instinctively. It is a fundamental reality that all too often is missing from the discussion when it comes to architecture and design.

We want to steer the discussion about architecture and design toward the idea of place, and how it can contribute to healthy, comfortable, engaging public spaces and destinations. We will do that by examining both positive and negative examples. Our idea of an “Architecture of Place” is about creating design that ennobles people — that makes them feel empowered, important, and excited to be in the places they inhabit in their daily lives.

Whether we like the buildings as pure formal objects is another matter, and not of primary significance. What is truly significant is whether architecture creates a place. When we discuss a building, that criterion should be as important as whether it is “green” or “sustainable” or “iconic.”

 

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