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green streets
thoughts, ideas + dialogues on urban revitalization, smart growth + neighborhood development
Curated by Lauren Moss
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7 Rules for Designing Safer Cities

7 Rules for Designing Safer Cities | green streets | Scoop.it
As a part of its EMBARQ Sustainable Urban Mobility initiative, the WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities has created a global reference guide called Cities Safer by Design “to help cities save lives from traffic fatalities through improved street design and smart urban development."
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Infrastructure in U.S. Cities: New Urban Bikeway Design Guide

Infrastructure in U.S. Cities: New Urban Bikeway Design Guide | green streets | Scoop.it

In 2000, the District of Columbia had three miles of bike lanes. Today, the district has roughly 80 miles of bike infrastructure, and many other U.S. cities have made similar investments. Bicycling Magazine’s top 50 bike friendly cities includes some unsurprising places at the top – Minneapolis, Portland, Boulder, Seattle – but also shows how cities such as Cleveland, Miami, and Baltimore have made important strides in the last several years to improve their bike systems. Several are members of the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO), which has put out its best-selling Urban Bikeway Design Guide, first released in 2011, now with an updated second edition this year.

NACTO’s updated second edition is part of their “sustained commitment to making city streets safer for everyone using them.” Reformatted with improved structure, it features photos, diagrams, and 3-D renderings of wide-ranging best practices in design for bike infrastructure...

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Brooklyn Bridge Crossroads: Landscape plan rebuilds a gateway to the iconic bridge

Brooklyn Bridge Crossroads: Landscape plan rebuilds a gateway to the iconic bridge | green streets | Scoop.it

Every day, thousands of cyclists and pedestrians jockey for space on a narrow strip along the center of the Brooklyn Bridge. At the Brooklyn terminus of the bridge, however, the already-chaotic scene devolves into a dangerous confluence of cars, bikes, and pedestrians as the path abruptly ends in the center of a busy intersection at Adams and Tillary streets.

After five years of study, meetings, and schematic designs, however, accessing the Brooklyn Bridge will soon be improved under a plan to revamp the Brooklyn Bridge Gateway Area streetscape, encompassing Tillary Street between Cadman Plaza West and Prince Street and several blocks of Adams Street, with widened sidewalks, improved bike lanes, and increased landscaping.

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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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The Urban Garden as Crime Fighter...

The Urban Garden as Crime Fighter... | green streets | Scoop.it

Community gardens have been long-regarded as symbols of neighborhood revitalization, but could a well-tended patch of grass actually help fight crime? A recently published study by the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine suggests the answer may be yes.

Researchers randomly selected two clusters of vacant lots in Philadelphia — one that was later greened and one that functioned as the control — to examine the effects of greening. The researchers found that greening the vacant lots made nearby residents feel significantly safer, and that the greened lots could be linked to reductions in certain gun crimes in the area. Police crime data showed that area assaults both with and without guns lessened after the greening. Researchers posited that the difference could be chalked up to the fact that it’s easier to hide illegal guns and illicit activity in a trash-laden lot than it is in a green space, and that the greening may have fostered a greater sense of unity within the neighborhood...

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Complete Streets: One Size Does Not Fit All « Project for Public Spaces

Complete Streets: One Size Does Not Fit All « Project for Public Spaces | green streets | Scoop.it

Last month Gary Toth spoke at the Complete Streets Forum in Toronto about the symbiotic relationship between the Complete Streets and Placemaking movements. Early on in the talk, posted above in full, Gary points out that a complete street makes travel “safe, comfortable, and convenient” for all modes–but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it overtly provides for each one in its own area. Complete streets can often include flexible or mixed-mode areas (Salt Lake City’s green lanes are a great example), but the focus should be on creating a street that is welcoming to everyone, no matter the mode of travel.

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New Urbanism Feature: Narrower Roads

New Urbanism Feature: Narrower Roads | green streets | Scoop.it

Walkability is one of the main features of new urbanism, and narrower streets are a part of this. (This article talks about how narrower roads often work better than wide ones.) For one, narrower roads force cars to drive slower, which makes walking safer. Other things that contribute to a community’s walkability are having buildings close to the street, having tree-lined streets, on-street parking, hidden parking lots, and rear lane garages.

By promoting walkability and building narrower streets, among other things, we build communities that are family-friendly and that encourage families to stroll through their community without worry or to let their kids go biking unsupervised. Just one of the ways we strive to make your life better and greener!

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New 'Slow Zones' Make NYC Streets Safer and Greener

New 'Slow Zones' Make NYC Streets Safer and Greener | green streets | Scoop.it
This week, New York City opened its first neighborhood slow zone, where slower speed limits make roads more accessible to anyone not in a car.

The neighborhood slow zone is a six-block-square area of the Bronx where the speed limit is now 20 mph, compared to 30 in the rest of the city. Signs declaring the slow zone designation mark the entrances to this area, while "20 MPH" is painted in tall letters at regular intervals on the street as a reminder. Speed bumps help enforce the new rule.

The neighborhood is mostly residential, with a high concentration of schools and a history of injuries and fatalities.

The city's transportation commission, Janette Sadik-Khan, spoke at the opening ceremony for slow zone about how it will make the streets safer. But it will also make them greener: slower speed limits make roads more accessible to anyone not in a car.

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Trees In Transit

Trees In Transit | green streets | Scoop.it

Changes in transit design that aim to make roads and car traffic safer are one critical component of the complete streets movements underway across North America. Vehicle usage is responsible for staggering CO2 emissions, human injury and death, energy consumption, and more. Still, cars remain a part of the urban landscape, and street design that integrates them safely is imperative. Speed bumps, street markings, speed limits and other measures have all been used to create safer conditions for all users of the road. But what about trees?


Via Ana Valdés, Sandro Malfitano, Jandira Feijó
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elsa hunziker's comment, January 30, 2012 2:26 PM
Bucket list....
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Smart growth can curb traffic deaths - The Seattle Times

Smart growth can curb traffic deaths - The Seattle Times | green streets | Scoop.it

Neal Peirce / Syndicated columnist, The Seattle Times: Reducing vehicle miles traveled, combined with "smart growth" local land-use policies that focus on concentrated out development...

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Five Cities Show the Future of Walkability

Five Cities Show the Future of Walkability | green streets | Scoop.it

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...

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Zaiter Ramzy's curator insight, April 23, 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, 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, 11:58 PM

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

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Smart Highway: Glow-in-the-Dark Road in The Netherlands

Smart Highway: Glow-in-the-Dark Road in The Netherlands | green streets | Scoop.it
INDEX: Award 2013 winner Daan Roosegaarde's project has come to fruition with the installation of glowing paint on the highway to guide motorists along.

The INDEX: Award pool of innovative designs in Copenhagen all focused on improving life, with the top design being Dutch designer Daan Roosegaarde’s Smart Highway- a plan to bring intelligent roads throughout The Netherlands and eventually, the world. Now, eight months later, the first stretch of glow-in-the-dark road has opened on highway N329 near the city of Oss...

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Safer Streets Pay Off for Businesses

Safer Streets Pay Off for Businesses | green streets | Scoop.it

When policymakers think about changing a street, economic factors weigh heavily. Objections from business owners can prevent the installation of bike lanes, traffic-calming measures, and sensible parking pricing.

As a result, making the economic case for re-designing streets is imperative. But how do you measure the financial impact of more human-centric design?

The New York City Department of Transportation, which installed dozens of pedestrian plazas and hundreds of miles of bike lanes over the last six years, wanted to know. They found that no one had developed a compelling model. So the agency set out to create its own methodology...

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Smart Highways by Studio Roosegaarde

Smart Highways by Studio Roosegaarde | green streets | Scoop.it

Glow-in-the-dark roads and responsive street lamps were among the concepts to make highways safer while saving money and energy at the Design Indaba conference in Cape Town earlier this month.


The Smart Highways project by Studio Roosegaarde proposes five energy-efficient concepts that will be tested on a stretch of highway in the Brabant province of the Netherlands from the middle of this year.

The first of the concepts is a glow-in-the-dark road that uses photo-luminescent paint to mark out traffic lanes. The paint absorbs energy from sunlight during the day the lights the road at night for up to 10 hours. Temperature-responsive road paint would show images of snowflakes when the temperature drops below zero, warning drivers to take care on icy roads.

There are two ideas for roadside lighting: interactive street lamps that come on as vehicles approach then dim as they pass by, thereby saving energy when there is no traffic, and "wind lights" that use energy generated by pinwheels as drafts of air from passing vehicles cause them to spin round. Additionally, an induction priority lane would incorporate induction coils under the tarmac to recharge electric cars as they drive...


Learn more about these innovative proposals and associated technology at the article link.

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Norm Miller's curator insight, March 25, 2013 1:15 PM

First we learned to sequence traffic lights.  Now we can capture energy for better road marking.  Next we will have computer guided car tracks that let us travel more efficiently as a group better utilizing existing highways.  Add in more fuel efficient or electric cars and we have a pretty good outlook for cleaner cities and less dependency on non-renewable resources.

Jim Gramata's comment, March 30, 2013 12:09 PM
If there is one area that needs focus and improvement it is highways. Agreed!
Anji Connell's curator insight, April 14, 2013 12:59 AM

Great idea No !

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Children in Cities: Forging a Sustainable Urban Future

Children in Cities: Forging a Sustainable Urban Future | green streets | Scoop.it

Over half the world’s people – including more than one billion children – make their homes in the world’s cities, where the interconnectedness of economic, social, and environmental inequality is manifest.

The Rio+20 Conference will consider, among other things, what it takes to ensure that cities grow in a sustainable way. The transformations it envisions present an opportunity to extend the benefits of development to those currently excluded, by making sure that social support is a feature of the green economy...

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Complete Streets Success Stories Focus of New Report

Complete Streets Success Stories Focus of New Report | green streets | Scoop.it
Representative Doris Matsui (CA-5), one of the Congressional sponsors of a federal Complete Streets policy, gathered with local leaders in Sacramento last week to celebrate the findings of the National Complete Streets Coalition’s new report, It’s a Safe Decision: Complete Streets in California (.pdf), and to call for a national Complete Streets policy to make streets safer for everyone.

“Since 2009, more than 880 pedestrians and bicyclists have been injured, 30 fatally, here in Sacramento,” said Congresswoman Matsui. “These needless and preventable incidents highlight the need for Complete Streets policies, which are critical to making our communities more livable, sustainable, and most importantly, safe.”

 

The report details the success of the Complete Streets approach across the Golden State. In addition to the policy guiding the California Department of Transportation has its own policy (adopted in 2001 and updated in 2008), fifteen communities in California have adopted Complete Streets policies. A state law passed in 2008 is spurring the creation and adoption of even more policies as cities and counties update their general plans...

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Proposed Light Installation Responds to Noise Pollution in Red Hook

Proposed Light Installation Responds to Noise Pollution in Red Hook | green streets | Scoop.it

The Artists Build Collaborative is attempting to bring light and clarity to an area of Red Hook most notable for its darkness and confusion. The proposal, Silent Lights, is a system of interactive illuminated gates along a pedestrian path along Hamilton Avenue under the Brooklyn Queens Expressway. With a high concentration of both human and motor traffic in the area, the installation will respond to the surrounding vehicular cacophony by translating sound pollution into light, allowing the auditory experiencee to be both seen and heard.

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How "Pocket Parks" Make Cities Safer and Healthier

How "Pocket Parks" Make Cities Safer and Healthier | green streets | Scoop.it

A research team has found that distressed neighborhoods where vacant lots have been converted into small parks and community green spaces are associated with reduced crime when compared to neighborhoods with unimproved vacant lots. The study was conducted by a group from the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman Scool of Medicine, using Philadelphia data compiled over the last decade. In some sections of the city, residents of neighborhoods with improved vacant lots also reported “significantly less stress and more exercise,” suggesting that the improvements had an effect on residents’ perceptions of safety outdoors.

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Road Ecology: An Often Overlooked Field Of Conservation Research

Road Ecology: An Often Overlooked Field Of Conservation Research | green streets | Scoop.it
Earlier this year, the open access journal Ecology and Society had a special feature called The Effects of Roads and Traffic on Wildlife Populations and Landscape Function.

Because roads keep humans connected, they are an integral part not only of our daily lives, but also of our social structure. One important goal--shared by biologists in a number of fields--is education of the public, including those individuals that make policy decisions. Hopefully, greater awareness will lead to smarter, safer use of roadways, and choices that bode well for the future of wildlife that live in heavily-trafficked areas.

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City of Broadening Sidewalks - The Architect's Newspaper

City of Broadening Sidewalks - The Architect's Newspaper | green streets | Scoop.it

Chicago drafts first-ever master plan for pedestrians to establish specific goals on safety, pushing for an end to auto-pedestrian fatalities in 10 years, and reduce walker injuries by vehicles by 50 percent every five years.

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