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thoughts, ideas + dialogues on urban revitalization, smart growth + neighborhood development
Curated by Lauren Moss
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High-speed Rail Hubs Attracting Development to Urban Centers

High-speed Rail Hubs Attracting Development to Urban Centers | green streets | Scoop.it

High-speed rail (HSR) has long been touted as a tool of economic development in addition to its primary function of improving connectivity and ease of travel. Now, high-speed rail also has the potential to contribute to the nation’s urban revitalization trends.


Because HSR and other rail hubs are often located in urban centers, they are attracting an influx of tourism and activity to these cities. The mixed-use and transit-oriented nature of development around HSR hubs further supports the growth of city centers and downtowns.

Hotel development is particularly advantageous around these hubs because of their accessibility to those arriving by rail. These hotels also benefit from the mixed-use environment of urban centers, which provide visitors with walkable access to retail, restaurants, and attractions. In exchange, hotels and their guests energize the surrounding area with human activity...

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François Lanthier's curator insight, January 8, 2013 2:32 PM

Des statistiques qui pourraient intéresser la ville de Québec entre autres!

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The Smart Grid in 2013: Charged for Growth

The Smart Grid in 2013: Charged for Growth | green streets | Scoop.it

In the past year, the grid has seen some remarkable highs, while also being tested to meet the basic needs of society.


On one hand, big advances have flourished, fundamentally changing the way we power our lives. Roof-mounted solar panels have gone from a costly oddity to a competitive selling point for many homes and battery-powered vehicles have gained traction.

On the other hand, the idea of progress has been challenged by a slew of weather woes that have shaken consumer confidence in our energy infrastructure. A series of intense storms, heat waves and drought made 2012 one of the toughest years globally for the grid in many years.

So what will 2013 bring? The growth of the smart grid.

A new stage is opening - where the public was once ambivalent about the smart grid, consumers are now starting to demand these improvements, spurred by the need to improve reliability, participation and the resiliency to recover from large-scale grid events.

Going into the new year, pressure to rebuild the northeast's grid with more resilience will further boost trends that point towards investment in these smart technologies to continue to expand by over 10% over the next five years.
And while efforts to date have focused on improving the grid's heavy-duty backbone, a look ahead suggests that coming smart grid efforts will reach more directly into everyday life.


Here's what's in store for 2013...

Lauren Moss's insight:

An interesting look at the future of the smart grid, renewable energy and the trends that are shaping the development of these technologies in the coming year.

In addition to energy generation, the article examines infrastructure, energy storage, distributed generation, public awareness, and social networks as communication tools...

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Urban Regeneration in Sweden: H+ by Erik Giudice Architects

Urban Regeneration in Sweden: H+ by Erik Giudice Architects | green streets | Scoop.it

The H+ project is one of Sweden’s must ambitious planning and urban renewal projects.

The ongoing process aims to radically transform the southern parts of Helsingborg connecting them to the sea through the “Blue-green connection”, a landscaped water feature. The central core of the H+ project is located around the Bredgatan area, a former industrial sector.

Located between the old city and the harbor, this area will be one of the first to undergo transformation and currently lacks housing, public services and has a poor public spaces. The aim is to transform the area into a mixed urban fabric, keeping the spirit of entrepreneurship and enhancing the collaboration between university and companies.

The varying width and depth of the central promenade gives ever new perspectives. Variation in scale and building typologies, mixing old and new, creates a dynamic urban fabric with a combination of intimate and more spectacular public spaces. Along the canal ground floors are used for education, café, restaurants, and office.


See more images and read about this ambitious and innovative urban regeneration and redevelopment project at the full article on the project.

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European cities promote cycling with everything from ‘superhighways’ to revolving bike racks

European cities promote cycling with everything from ‘superhighways’ to revolving bike racks | green streets | Scoop.it

Cycling through the heart of some European cities can be a terrifying experience as you jostle for space with cars, trucks and scooters that whizz by with only inches to spare. Thankfully for bicycle enthusiasts, a movement is afoot to create more room for cycling in the urban infrastructure.

From London’s “cycle superhighways” to popular bike-sharing programs in Paris and Barcelona, growing numbers of European cities are embracing cycling as a safe, clean, healthy, inexpensive and even trendy way to get around town.

Amsterdam and Copenhagen are pioneers of this movement and serve as role models for other cities considering cycling’s potential to reduce congestion and pollution, while contributing to public health.

The trend is catching on also outside Europe, says John Pucher, a professor of urban planning at Rutgers University in New Jersey and co-author of a new book titled “City Cycling.”

Pucher says urban cycling is on the rise across the industrialized world, though Europe is still ahead of the pack.


Read the complete article for further details on urban cycling, cycle 'superhighways', bike sharing programs, two-wheel parking, mixed-mode commuting and more...

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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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Sustainable Urbanism: a high-density, car-free vertical city in Chengdu, China

Sustainable Urbanism: a high-density, car-free vertical city in Chengdu, China | green streets | Scoop.it
Work is about to start on a high-density, car-free "satellite city" for 80,000 people close to Chengdu in China.


Designed by Chicago firm Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, the 1.3 square km 'Great City' will feature a high-rise core surrounded by a buffer landscape of open space (60% of the total area). Residents will be able to walk from the city center to its edge in just 10 minutes.

“The design is attempting to address some of the most pressing urban issues of our time,” said architect Gordon Gill. “We’ve designed this project as a dense vertical city that acknowledges and in fact embraces the surrounding landscape.”

“The sustainability framework for Great City, custom-designed based on the principles of LEED-ND and BREEAM, follows an integrated approach toward meeting the overall objectives of environmental, economic and social sustainability,” notes Peter J. Kindel, AIA, ASLA, AS+GG’s Director of Urban Design. “Great City will incorporate innovative technologies and infrastructure systems to achieve 48% energy savings of a conventional urban development.”


The architects also note that the city will use 48% less energy and 58% less water than conventional developments of this size, producing 89% less landfill waste and generating 60% less carbon dioxide...

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Metropolitan Agriculture: One Size Doesn't Fit All

Metropolitan Agriculture: One Size Doesn't Fit All | green streets | Scoop.it
S, M, L, or XL-sized metropolitan agriculture? Mia Lehrer, FASLA, Mia Lehrer + Associates, said one size definitely doesn't fit all when it comes to cities, in a session at the ASLA 2012 Annual Meeting.

In an era where it seems like any school or community can start a garden, perhaps it’s time to step back and think about the bigger picture. What’s the goal? Lehrer thinks it’s comprehensive urban agricultural systems that are relevant to the unique cultural, social, and environmental conditions of a city. Metro-region agriculture, if planned, designed, and supported financially, can address issues related to social equity and health issues like diabetes and obesity, while building regional agricultural communities and economies.

The article discusses urban agriculture at varying scales, from the city to rural communities; this is because the footprint of any city really reaches far beyond the core — to the edges, to the suburban and rural communities and economies that make the whole metropolis work.


For more on this analysis of urban agriculture and how to best plan, develop and provide infrastructure for successful and sustainable revitaliztion projects that not only boost the local economy, but community health, read the complete article. Also included are links to resources, programs, and initiatives related to metropolitan agriculture.

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The New Architecture of Smart Cities

The New Architecture of Smart Cities | green streets | Scoop.it
What makes a city a “Smart City” as opposed to a city where some “smart things” happen?


Three criteria for answering that question clearly stand out:


  1. Smart Cities are led from the top – they have a strong and visionary leader championing the Smart agenda across the city. 
  2. Smart Cities have a stakeholder forum – they have drawn together a community of city stakeholders across the city. Those stakeholders have not only created a compelling vision for a Smart City; they have committed to taking an ongoing role coordinating a program to deliver it. 
  3. Smart Cities invest in technology infrastructure they are deploying the required information and communication technology (ICT) platforms across the city, and doing so in such a way as to support the integration of information and activity across city systems.

 

It’s also important, though, to consider what is different about the structure and organization of city systems in a Smart City. How does a city decide which technology infrastructures are required? Which organizations will make use of them, and how? How can they be designed and delivered so that they effectively serve individuals, communities and businesses in the city? What other structures and processes are required to achieve this progress in a Smart City?

 

Read on to learn about the design of the infrastructures and systems of Smart Cities and view  them visually represented in an accompanying diagram.

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Urban Planning for Bicycles Hits Second Gear

Urban Planning for Bicycles Hits Second Gear | green streets | Scoop.it
Cities worldwide are increasingly becoming aware of the importance of and opportunities created by an investment in bicycle infrastructure.

This is particularly true in Australia, with the various states and cities updating their biking networks to cater to a growing need for automobile-alternative transport means.
After completing Stage One of the Melbourne Bicycle Plan, the Victorian capital is following in the footsteps of iconic European cycling cities such as Copenhagen and Amsterdam in moving towards developing a more bike-friendly metropolitan area.
The first stage of the plans ran from 2007 until 2011 and focused heavily on making initial networking upgrades and developing the foundations for new cycling infrastructure. The key focuses of that development stage were setting the groundwork for safe networks and developing greater communication with the cycling community.

Now, moving forward with the Draft Bicycle Plan for 2012 – 2016, the city’s commitment to providing ‘safe and connected bicycle routes’ has been further solidified.
According to The City of Melbourne, cyclists’ activities are expected to grow to make up six per cent of all trips to and within the city by 2016. This will account for 15 per cent of inner city peak traffic.
Now that the foundations have been set, city council hopes to build on them with the influence and inclusion of ‘cycling innovation’ standing as the next major goal...

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China Looks to Future with Tianjin Eco-city...

China Looks to Future with Tianjin Eco-city... | green streets | Scoop.it

With a cityscape that is all cranes and thrusting new towerblocks, Tianjin Eco-city could at first glance be any of the hundreds of urban areas in China expanding at a breathless pace.

But this joint Chinese-Singaporean project, which was started in 2008 and will be finished in 2020, aims to be something very different from the norm: a model for more sustainable development in a country urbanising at a pace unprecedented in history.

"With rapid urbanization, there will be new cities being built. When you're building new cities you start by going for principles of sustainability," says the project's chief executive, Ho Tong Yen, a Singaporean diplomat and government official...

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Open Data: a platform to improve city infrastructure + public services

Open Data: a platform to improve city infrastructure + public services | green streets | Scoop.it
Many cities are adopting data analytics to improve public services.

Cities are learning that data collected can be used to shorten transit times, assist in the replacement of failing infrastructure, and even make parking easier. In this always-developing technology of data analytics, many cities have already witnessed improvements. At a time when infrastructure funding at the federal level has been cut, U.S. cities are embracing technologies that lower costs while improving services. Global cities are also benefiting from the cost-savings of data analytics.

Some are claiming that data analysis technologies are creating cities as a platform. Paul M. Davis of Shareable writes that “…cities are embracing the concept of the “city as a platform,” a hyper-connected urban environment that harnesses the network effects, openness, and agility of the real-time web.” I agree that as cities adopt network technologies, they will become platforms themselves. And as platforms, cities can leverage data to implement necessary changes and act as a source for businesses and stakeholders through open data networks.

We are already seeing cities that have adopted data analytics open the data to tech firms and developers. This offers a new avenue for further improvement. Moreover, open data increases transparency...

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Architecture, landscape & urban infrastructure that transforms public spaces with civic art

Architecture, landscape & urban infrastructure that transforms public spaces with civic art | green streets | Scoop.it
There are rare artists whose work crosses so many disciplines that categories fall short. And Cliff Garten’s “civic sculptures” stretch into the worlds of architecture, landscape architecture, urban infrastructure, and masterplanning.

His large pieces consist of LED-illuminated sculptures, street furniture, landscapes, and even bridges that, while visually dazzling, are also capable of transforming neighborhoods. They are most successful when Garten partners with civic engineers who know the value of rendering the public domain on a human scale. Pieces such as Sea Spires and Avenue of Light have even been economically uplifting, helping businesses flourish within an active pedestrian environment.

An advocate of civic collaboration, Garten is well aware of the challenges for an artist. “In the context of how American infrastructure projects are organized, art tends to become the window dressing of the project rather than an essential element of the infrastructure,” he noted. “If we want infrastructure that we can take pride in owning and using, some of the fundamental aspects of how our culture regards our infrastructure and how the design professions in consort with government build our infrastructure will have to change,” he said...

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Green Infrastructure: Here's To Your Health!

Green Infrastructure: Here's To Your Health! | green streets | Scoop.it
Design teams are capitalizing on evidence that links the built environment and wellness to make better places for living, healing, and working.

Green infrastructure serving walkable, mixed-use communiities; benign construction materials; durable, day-lit buildings; renewable energy. These are ingrediencts in a familiar prescription for a more sustainable built environment. What the design community now realizes is that it's also a prescription for better public health...

 

As synergies between green building and public health become more widely understood, the pace of change may quicken. Back in New York, Chris Garvin, a sustainable design consultant with Terrapin Bright Green, serves on numerous advisory boards, including the Mayor's Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability. In Garvin's experience, "the health issue drives implementation faster than the energy issue." Hayes concurs: "Public health may be the largest motivator there is."

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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 | Scoop.it

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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Making Smarter Cities | The Atlantic

Making Smarter Cities | The Atlantic | green streets | Scoop.it
As population growth drives urbanization, the environmental impacts of cities are becoming increasingly important. By 2050, some 90% of the U.S. population and 70% of the world population will live in cities, according to the University of Michigan's Center for Sustainable Systems.

As a result, interest in "smart cities" that provide technologically advanced services and infrastructure is increasing: The global smart city market is projected to cross $1 trillion in 2016, with players such as IBM and Accenture leading the way.

"Successful cities will need to differentiate themselves to attract investment and productive residents," said Ruthbea Yesner Clarke, Research Director of IDC's Smart Cities Strategies, in a recent report. Constrained financial resources, fast-growing populations, and aging infrastructures are driving investment in smart cities, she said.
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Will Smart Technologies Shape Future Highways?

Will Smart Technologies Shape Future Highways? | green streets | Scoop.it

With the proliferation of mobile electronic technologies, interactive displays have begun to appear more frequently in fixed contexts such as smart rooms and media-driven building facades.


The latest focus of smart surface research is on the most connective element of the constructed environment: the road.


At the recent Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven, Studio Roosegaarde announced a joint effort with Heijmans Infrastructure to create the Smart Highway. This proposal for an electronically-enhanced road system fuses disparate elements of existing road infrastructure. Lighting, signage, and the roadbed are now a singular, integrated system.

The Digital Interactive Roadway designed by BIG for the Audi Urban Future exhibition in 2011 proposes a similar roadbed enhancement. The surface of the DIR incorporates strips of LED lights and a distributed network of sensors that respond directly to changing automotive and pedestrian traffic.


Visit the link to learn more about these forward-thinking projects and the potential for innovative digital technologies to shape roads and infrastructure...

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Change Your City: Top 10 Urban Transformation Projects

Change Your City: Top 10 Urban Transformation Projects | green streets | Scoop.it

Given the environmental straits we find ourselves in at present, architects and policy makers have to rethink our strategy of how to shape the city, buildings and urban space alike. This entails that we refrain from the strategies of the past and make do with the standing infrastructure that we already have.


Preserving and rehabilitating the aging steel relics of our global cities has proven an ingenious way of saving energy, while enabling newer methods of architectural planning. Projects such as the High Line have kickstarted a new age of urban regeneration–for good or bad–with initiatives from Tel Aviv to Philadelphia attempting to replicate it success on their own turf.

When it comes to urban transformation, size does not matter, per se. The subtleties of thoughtful urban projects shine through at every level, and sometime outperform their more ostentatious contemporaries.


Visit the link for photos and descriptions of 10 projects from across the globe, including public parks, infrastructure projects, cultural buildings and more...

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Creating a City-Wide Energy Internet: A new study on urban infrastructure

Creating a City-Wide Energy Internet: A new study on urban infrastructure | green streets | Scoop.it

A new research study addresses the issue of the expanding populations in cities, and provides a solution for adapting urban infrastructure for the needs created by increased density and growth.


Drawing our attention to one core idea that can make our cities more liveable for good, ‘The Time Is Right for Connected Public Lighting Within Smart Cities‘, is a study that looks into the key concepts of urbanization but applies them to a specific context of “an intelligent, networked public lighting infrastructure”. The study dissects the current issues well, reminding us that the urbanization pattern across the world leads to an obviously problematic upswing in energy and resource demand, which in turn threatens the strong identities (inter-city competition and economic performance) that cities across the planet are attempting to shape and maintain.


The solution, according to the report, is the deployment of highly efficient connectivity within cities whether that be information, operational or communication systems – the solution is required urgently. It seems clear that connecting lighting infrastructures will minimize a city’s resource intake, reduce its carbon footprint and make it more resilient and future-proofed. The ripple effects of better lighting systems in cities include safer and more liveable streets (less crime, more appealing urban space and better road safety) and adds to a city’s pull factors for multi-national organisations and tourism...

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Smart Cities and the Smart Grid

Smart Cities and the Smart Grid | green streets | Scoop.it

Smart Cities and the Smart Grid: There are natural parallels between the Smart Grid and smart cities in terms of concepts and deployments, though cities have much more experience at evolution than the traditional electrical grid. After all, they have been adopting new technologies that disrupt the status quo for centuries. The Romans created aqueducts and fundamentally changed how water could be controlled and distributed in cities. Discoveries in hygiene and disease transmission and control allowed people to healthily live in population densities with minimized odds of large scale epidemics. And then automobiles exerted their influences on cities. In each case, city systems, policies, and people changed to accommodate new technologies, new knowledge and new practices.


Now, ambitious goals such as zero net energy buildings will change the relationships that physical structures have within cities, and in turn change the relationships that occupants (full or part-time) have within buildings and within cities.


Read the complete article for more on the latest advances in the building industry, infrastructure and transportation, and how smart cities will interact with the Smart Grid...


Via Joan Tarruell, Stephane Bilodeau
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Seren's curator insight, August 26, 2013 5:09 PM

An article drawig parallels between ancient city grids and their evolution into the modern age.

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Multi Use Infrastructure at Its Most Innovative

Multi Use Infrastructure at Its Most Innovative | green streets | Scoop.it

New York City is certainly willing to pay top dollar for excellent design with a new $3 billion water treatment plant taking shape in Van Cortlandt park in the Bronx. The Croton water treatment by Grimshaw Architects and Ken Smith Landscape Architects includes some $250 million in new buildings, plazas, wetlands and meadows, and a public golf driving range, which, amazingly, sits right on top of the plant.

In a session at the 2012 ASLA Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Ken Smith, ASLA, Ken Smith Landscape Architects; David Burke, Grimshaw Architects; and Charles McKinney, Affiliate ASLA, City of New York, Department of Parks and Recreation, explained how the project is the result of NYC’s design, stormwater management, and parks policies. And while these numerous policies and design requirements were sometimes in conflict, said Smith, the design eventually succeeded because it cleverly integrated security and stormwater management features with public amenities...

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Visions of Sixth Street - plans for a new, pedestrian-friendly bridge in Los Angeles

Visions of Sixth Street - plans for a new, pedestrian-friendly bridge in Los Angeles | green streets | Scoop.it

Three finalists present plans for major new bridge in Los Angeles:

The groups—headed by HNTB, AECOM, and Parsons Brinckerhoff— have all been shortlisted to create the city’s new Sixth Street Viaduct. Their vivid public presentations were the first glimpse of what will likely be LA’s next major icon.

The original 3,500-foot-long structure, a famous rounded Art Deco span designed in 1932, has been deemed unsalvageable due to irreversible decay, and in April the city’s Bureau of Engineering called for a competition to design a new, $400 million, cable stayed structure.

Following the city’s lead, all three teams presented plans that not only showcased memorable forms, but embraced people-friendly designs, including pedestrian paths, parks, and connections to the river below. The push reveals Los Angeles’s focus on attracting people and talent through increased livability. Such moves are a welcome, if uphill battle considering that so much of the city has been designed for cars, not people...

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Top ten most EV-ready cities in the U.S.

Top ten most EV-ready cities in the U.S. | green streets | Scoop.it
PlugShare’s user data points to encouraging signs for EV charging infrastructure around the country.

The makers of an app that helps users locate electric vehicle charging stations nearby have tapped the user base for some interesting EV trends. Based on the incidence of charging stations per 100,000 residents, (taken from PlugShare’s data as well as the 2012 U.S. Census) PlugShare developer Xatori Inc. has ranked the top ten most EV-ready cities in the country.

Leading the pack is Portland, Ore., with 11.0 charging locations per 100,000 residents, followed by Dallas (10.6), Nashville (8.2), San Francisco Bay Area (6.6), Seattle (6.5), Orlando (6.3), Austin (5.3), Tucson (5.3), Honolulu (5.1), and the Washington, D.C. area (4.7).

While several of these cities may seem like unlikely hotspots for electric vehicle adoption, most of these areas do have a connection to EVs. Dallas is one of the focus areas for a Texas-based electric vehicle infrastructure company; Nashville is home to a factory that builds Nissan Leafs; Orlando is a focus area for charging station distributor CarCharging; Tucson is a focus area for Arizona-based EV infrastructure company Blink, and Honolulu, an early testing location for Israeli EV infrastructure company Better Place.

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Building The High Line In London...

Building The High Line In London... | green streets | Scoop.it

New York’s High Line is one of the most successful redevelopment projects in recent urban history. A mile-long section of a former elevated freight railway that was mothballed in the 1980s, it re-opened in 2009 as an urban park, and has become a huge hit with both tourists and Manhattanites alike: a project that has been a catalyst for regeneration, and one so successful that it has begun to attract a critical backlash.

London doesn’t want for disused infrastructure, which got us wondering: could our city have its own High Line? Turns out we weren’t the only ones pondering the idea: in early October the Garden Museum is running a High Line Symposium, at which the project’s founders will visit London and discuss how they brought it to fruition. Simultaneously, the Mayor’s office is launching A High Line for London: Green Infrastructure Ideas for a New London Landscape, an open competition to “design innovative new places that enrich London’s Infrastructure”...

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Floating Bicycle Roundabout: What real respect for bicyclists looks like

Floating Bicycle Roundabout: What real respect for bicyclists looks like | green streets | Scoop.it
Take a ride on this floating roundabout for cyclists, in the Netherlands of course.

Drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians all compete for space and safety on the streets of the world’s cities and suburbs. It’s a contentious coexistence, and the ultimate form of respect for any road user is properly designed infrastructure that allows that a person to travel with comfort and safety. In the United States, it’s clear who gets real respect (and infrastructure spending) on a regular basis- that would be the people driving cars.

Drivers have specialized facilities in abundance – take the Interstate Highway System. Pedestrians are more often an afterthought in American road design, although in some communities they are afforded crosswalks and signals designed with varying degrees of sophistication (leading pedestrian intervals, countdown clocks, etc.). And cyclists have a small but growing number of bike lanes – which are more comfortable and useful if they are separated from cars by more than just a stripe of paint. But paint is usually all cyclists get...

So what does real respect for bicyclists look like in practice? Well, one manifestation is the graceful new Hovenring, a "floating" bicycle roundabout that opened recently in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. Suspended above the roadway, the roundabout gives bikers a completely separated route over the highway. The roundabout is also lovely to look at, with a central column designed to be a beacon indicating the entrance to the community....

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A. S. CohenMiller's comment, September 5, 2012 4:13 PM
Ridiculously clever and simple!
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Concrete wastelands - rethinking the parking lot...

Concrete wastelands - rethinking the parking lot... | green streets | Scoop.it
Concrete wastelands - American parking lots should advance beyond being nothing more than concrete wastelands and become aesthetic spaces brought to life by good design.

First came mass mobilization, closely followed by the need for somewhere to put all of the cars. With 500 million spaces, the USA has significantly more parking spaces than US citizens – small wonder given that there are over 800 cars to every 1,000 inhabitants. The space-consuming demands of individual transport are integral to an infrastructure that is geared entirely toward the car. Shopping, office and recreational centers surrounded by highways and veritable oceans of parking space are an everyday part of the “American way of life”. 

But what can we do about it now? Do away with cars? And then spruce up these big gray parking lots? Debates on the issue are certainly gaining momentum in the USA. For example, international PARK(ing) Day, established in 2005 by the San Francisco-based design office “Rebar”. The initiative uses creative parking-lot happenings and alternative design projects to encourage reflection upon the urban infrastructure.

In the context of today’s approaches to urban planning, which increasingly take their cue from the concepts of community and sustainability (as exemplified by the “High Line” in New York or the rediscovery of flowing rivers and green areas in urban settings), something seems to have finally “clicked”, a turnaround in the remodeling of parking lots...

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