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green streets
thoughts, ideas + dialogues on urban revitalization, smart growth + neighborhood development
Curated by Lauren Moss
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Food For Thought: Why Barcelona’s Markets Are “Super” Places

Food For Thought: Why Barcelona’s Markets Are “Super” Places | green streets | Scoop.it

Parks, squares, street corners, libraries, schools—these are the important social places in many cities. They are the public spaces where we relax and meet friends; in short, the places that we all share. But there is another kind of shared space that often goes unappreciated as a community hub in today’s convenience-oriented cities: the public markets where we buy our food.


While markets were historically important threads of a city’s social fabric, sanitation concerns and a cultural obsession with convenience led to their demise in many western cities in the 1950s. The “super” markets that replaced these vital public spaces were some of the first of what we now know as big box stores, and today, many millions of people around the world rely on these fluorescent, air conditioned megastores.

But in some cities, even in the developed world, traditional public markets still reign supreme!

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Norm Miller's curator insight, June 17, 2013 10:40 AM

Markets are part of great turban places.   The permanent ones planned by the cities seem best for display and amenities like places to sit and eat.  

ParadigmGallery's curator insight, July 14, 2013 8:47 PM

1. Barcelona residents rank their public markets as the second most valuable public service after libraries.

2. Barcelona’s markets are used more by disadvantaged groups than by wealthy populations.

3. Markets make it easier for residents to connect with their neighbors, especially when markets are located near other public services such as health care centers, libraries, and schools.

 

 

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All Placemaking is Creative: How a Shared Focus on Place Builds Vibrant Destinations

All Placemaking is Creative: How a Shared Focus on Place Builds Vibrant Destinations | green streets | Scoop.it

Placemaking is a process, accessible to anyone, that allows peoples’ creativity to emerge. When open and inclusive, this process can be extraordinarily effective in making people feel attached to the places where they live. That makes people more likely to get involved and build shared wealth in their communities.


“Placemaking, applied correctly, can show us new ways to help cultures emerge where openness is not so scary,” notes Dr. Katherine Loflin, the lead project consultant for the Knight Foundation’s groundbreaking study, which showed a significant correlation between community attachment and economic growth. “We could find with consistency over time that it was the softer side of place—social offerings, openness, and aesthetics—that really seem to drive peoples’ attachment to their place. It wasn’t necessarily basic services: how well potholes got paved over. It wasn’t even necessarily for peoples’ personal economic circumstances.”

The study’s other key finding was that there is an empirical relationship between higher levels of attachment and cities’ GDP growth.

Placemaking, in other words, is a vital part of economic development. And yet, there has long been criticism that calls into question whether or not this process is actually helping communities to develop their local economies, or merely accelerating the process of gentrification in formerly-maligned urban core neighborhoods. We believe that this is largely due to confusion over what Placemaking is, and who “gets” to be involved. If Placemaking is project-led, development-led, design-led or artist-led, then it does likely lead to gentrification and a more limited set of community outcomes.


Read the complete article for more on the process of placemaking and the roles community members play in creating vibrant spaces...

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Katharine Norman's curator insight, March 15, 2013 3:16 AM

Positive aspects from being connected to your community.

 

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Pedestrian Bridge in Amsterdam: an extension of the public realm

Pedestrian Bridge in Amsterdam: an extension of the public realm | green streets | Scoop.it

Designed for the [AMSTERDAM] Iconic Pedestrian Bridge Competition, the project offers more than just a possibility of crossing the Amstel river. Branching into several pedestrian trajectories, the bridge prioritizes on being an extension of the public space in front of the Hermitage Museum. In order to prolong the experience of water, the bridge comprises several routes to create a public promenade. The iconic nature of the project is seen by the design team as an emergent feature resulting from both the geometry of the bridge as well as the socially enabled functional potential.

'We see Amsterdam as a city of differences at a small scale which emphasize its local realm. Houseboats represent a specific way of living which could better highlight the local and embed a fruitful cultural echange between the visitors and Amsterdam’s way of living...'

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Facebook for cities: A social network for building better neighborhoods

Facebook for cities: A social network for building better neighborhoods | green streets | Scoop.it
Neighborland, an online platform born from an experiment in street art, helps residents cook up smart ideas for improving their communities, then gives those ideas wings.

FB for cities?

What would you do if you had a million bucks to make your neighborhood better? Turn the vacant building up the street into a healthy corner store with cross-cultural appeal? Fund 24-hour bus service? Paint giant flowers on the asphalt in every intersection?

What if there was a tool that made it easy for you share your idea with neighbors, community groups, city planners — people who could pitch in to make it a reality?

That’s the idea behind Neighborland, a sort of collective online urban planning platform that grew from a project started by artist Candy Chang in 2010. Chang slapped nametag-style stickers reading “I WISH THIS WAS ___” on abandoned buildings around New Orleans. People answered by filling in the blanks with all sorts of things they’d like to see in their neighborhoods: a grocery store, a row of trees, a bakery — to which someone else responded, “If you can get the financing, I will do the baking!”

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CityDeck: How to Increase Access to A River and Diversify Social Life Along It

CityDeck: How to Increase Access to A River and Diversify Social Life Along It | green streets | Scoop.it

What can you tell me about the areas near a lake or a river? Are they good enough to provide people recreation, entertainment or peaceful moments in the middle of the nature? Most of them ignore people’s essential needs and if we’re talking about a project in the city, then its design and functionality reduces to some benches in austere combination. It’s not the case here. The CityDeck is the heart of a multi-phase redevelopment project along Green Bay’s Fox River. The project aims to allow for significantly increased access to the river and to diversify life along it. The idea was to give people many choices about where to sit, depending on their own desires, their body type, their mood, and their attraction to various ambient light, heat, or weather conditions.

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Decoding Bangkok’s Pocket-Urbanization: Social Housing Issues + Community Architects

Decoding Bangkok’s Pocket-Urbanization: Social Housing Issues + Community Architects | green streets | Scoop.it

This is modern cosmopolitan Bangkok, the second most expensive South-eastern Asian city after Singapore.

Along with explosive city growth, the demand for urban housing has increased substantially. Due to a lack of sufficient and affordable housing, communities have settled into the cracks, eliciting a diagnosed social and institutional ‘pocket-urbanism’ that forms barriers of interaction among communities, and certainly between communities and authority figures...

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Paige McClatchy's curator insight, December 14, 2013 5:45 PM

The poor of Bangkok have been settling their communities in the cracks of wealthier areas, creating a phenomenom of "pocket-urbanization." The artical talks about an emerging "ethical turn" in architecture. People will certainly enjoy their lives better when they are empowered in their own living situations, but also we have seen how poor infrastructure is a target for the worst of natural disasters. Rebuilding these areas would be good for many parties.

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Can We Design Cities for Happiness?

Can We Design Cities for Happiness? | green streets | Scoop.it
Happiness itself is a commons to which everyone should have equal access.

That’s the view of Enrique Peñalosa, a politician who served as mayor of Bogotá, Colombia for three years, and now travels the world spreading a message about how to improve quality-of-life for everyone living in today’s cities.

Peñalosa’s ideas stand as a beacon of hope for cities of the developing world, which even with their poverty and immense problems will absorb much of the world’s population growth over the next half-century. Based on his experiences in Bogotá, Peñalosa believes it’s a mistake to give up on these cities as good places to live.

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Designing Cities with Children in Mind

Designing Cities with Children in Mind | green streets | Scoop.it
In Accra, Ghana’s capital, a local non-profit is taking two acres of undeveloped land and transforming it into a child-centric, play-friendly public centre where the entire community can re-imagine 21st century urban living.
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The Benefits of Public Markets « Project for Public Spaces - Placemaking for Communities

The Benefits of Public Markets « Project for Public Spaces - Placemaking for Communities | green streets | Scoop.it

Public markets are not just places of commerce. Successful markets help grow and connect urban and rural economies. They encourage development, enhance real estate values and the tax base, and keep money in the local neighborhood. Public markets also offer low-risk business opportunities for vendors and feed money back into the rural economy where many vendors grow, raise and produce their products.

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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 5:35 AM

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

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Achieving sustainable, inclusive cities requires better planning - UN News Centre

Achieving sustainable, inclusive cities requires better planning - UN News Centre | green streets | Scoop.it

Top United Nations officials have underscored the need to better plan the world’s urban areas, where half of the global population currently resides, to turn the ideal of sustainable and inclusive cities into reality.

“In little more than a generation, two thirds of the global population will be urban. As the proportion of humanity living in the urban environment grows, so too does the need to strengthen the urban focus of our efforts to reduce global poverty and promote sustainable development,” said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

In his message for World Habitat Day, Mr. Ban noted that better planned and better functioning cities can help ensure that everyone who lives there has adequate shelter, water, sanitation, health and other basic services. He also noted they promote education and job prospects, energy-efficient buildings and public transport systems, and a feeling of inclusiveness for inhabitants.

According to the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), the main challenges confronting cities and towns all over the world today include unemployment, especially among youth; social and economic inequalities; and unsustainable energy consumption patterns.

Urban areas are also responsible for most of the world’s waste and pollution.


“We should create a new type of city – the city of the 21st century – a smart, people-centred city, one that is capable of integrating the tangible and more intangible aspects of prosperity; a city able to rid itself of the inefficient, unsustainable urban habits of the previous century,” said Joan Clos, UN-Habitat’s Executive Director.

“It is time for changing our cities and for building new opportunities,” he stated...


Read further to learn more about the social, economic and cultural components of sustainable cities and urban growth, and the latest in the global dialogue on green development and conscientious planning and how they contribute to a healthier economy, engaged communities, and increased social equity.

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City Bountiful: The Rise of Urban Agriculture

City Bountiful: The Rise of Urban Agriculture | green streets | Scoop.it

At the Greater & Greener: Reimagining Parks for 21st Century Cities conference in New York City, Laura Lawson, ASLA, Professor and Chair of the Department of Landscape Architecture at Rutgers University, described how urban agriculture has experienced explosive growth in recent years.

According to a survey produced by the American Community Gardening Association and Rutgers University, community gardens are now found in all 50 states. Some 445 organizations responded to the survey, listing a total of 9,030 gardens. Of these organizations, 90 percent have seen increased demand over the past five years. Also, some 39 percent of the gardens listed were built just in the past five years. These organizations have a variety of goals, including food production and access, social engagement, nutrition, education, and neighborhood revitalization...

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Commuter biking could save US $17 billion a year | SmartPlanet

Commuter biking could save US $17 billion a year | SmartPlanet | green streets | Scoop.it
According to a new report on the public benefits of commuter biking, the practice can generate massive savings in health care.

The U.S. spends around $2 trillion a year on health care, according to the Council on Foreign Relations. Wouldn’t it be nice to find a way to cut back on those costs, while simultaneously improving public health and lowering carbon emissions?

Copenhagen recently published its 2012 Bicycle Account, which enumerates the considerable public benefits of commuter biking. One-third of the city’s population bikes to work, and this has benefited everything from transportation costs to security, tourism, traffic infrastructure, and public health...

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“Food Deserts” in Canadian Cities Prevent Revitalization

“Food Deserts” in Canadian Cities Prevent Revitalization | green streets | Scoop.it
Efforts to attract affluent residents to live in new downtown redevelopment projects are being hampered by a lack of basic amenities - most notable of which is access to grocery stores within walking distance.

“Food deserts” are urban areas with limited access to healthy and affordable foods. Initial research has identified serious food deserts in Saskatoon, Kingston and London, while cities such as Edmonton and Montreal were found to have generally good food access. Food deserts are often tied to low socio-economic income status and are associated with a variety of diet-related health problems.

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Steve Kingsley's curator insight, July 20, 2013 8:47 PM

No "food deserts" if you are willing to cook at home....

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Designing Social Change

Designing Social Change | green streets | Scoop.it
The Designing Social Change series examines the rapidly-growing movement to apply design approaches to social problems.

There are currently one billion people living in informal settlements around the world. By the year 2030, that number is predicted to double. A movement under the umbrella of “socially-responsible design” has set out to prove that people living in settlements have as much right to live in well-designed cities as do the rest of us.

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Rise of the Social City

Rise of the Social City | green streets | Scoop.it

The conventional view is that cities initially grew up naturally around ports or at the nexuses of trade routes. With the onset of the Industrial Revolution, cities brought together resources, great companies, and large labor forces. Cities have always been important engines of economic growth, but they are assuming an even more critical importance in today’s knowledge-driven innovation economy, in which place-based ecosystems are more important to economic growth than large corporations.


Via Flora Moon
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The Interventionist's Toolkit, Part 3: Our Cities, Ourselves

The Interventionist's Toolkit, Part 3: Our Cities, Ourselves | green streets | Scoop.it

There's a romantic appeal, maybe even a sense of imminent empowerment, in the prospect of remaking our cities and thus ourselves — a notion that if we change our environments we will change our lives, or vice versa.

But I've been wondering about how we might evaluate the results of those freedoms. How to rate the diverse architectural actions and urban interventions that seek to remake the city?

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Guest Infographic: How bike touring could save rural economies - BikePortland.org

Guest Infographic: How bike touring could save rural economies - BikePortland.org | green streets | Scoop.it
BikePortland.orgGuest Infographic: How bike touring could save rural economiesBikePortland.orgBicycle touring duo Russ Roca and Laura Crawford are well into their Bromptom bike adventure.
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