green streets
37.3K views | +1 today
Follow
green streets
thoughts, ideas + dialogues on urban revitalization, smart growth + neighborhood development
Curated by Lauren Moss
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by Lauren Moss
Scoop.it!

How to make public transit popular | SmartPlanet

How to make public transit popular | SmartPlanet | green streets | Scoop.it
One Canadian city shows how smart technology can help get people out of their cars and onto city buses and other forms of public transportation.

 

Public transportation usage is at a record high in the Canadian city of Brampton. Ridership increased 18 percent in 2011, tripling the national average of five percent in the first six months of last year, according to the Canadian Urban Transit Association. All told, 16.3 million riders made use of Brampton Transit in 2011, 2.5 million more than in 2010, which had already seen a 12 percent increase in ridership.

The uptick is largely due to the introduction of Brampton’s bus rapid transit (BRT) system, called Züm. Xerox helped the city launch a SmartBus system to work with its new BRT system.

“Making public transportation more predictable and easier to use makes it more popular,” said Alex Milojevic, senior manager of Business Strategies at Brampton Transit. “Xerox installed systems that our riders now depend on and that we use to provide award-winning service.”

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Lauren Moss
Scoop.it!

Tools to help cities and towns guide green development

Tools to help cities and towns guide green development | green streets | Scoop.it

  It’s one thing for advocates and pundits like yours truly to advocate the greening of cities, towns and suburbs through environmentally responsible revitalization and land development.  

But it’s quite another for local governments to develop and implement policy instruments that can make that goal easier, rather than harder, to achieve.

At best, fixing that involves specialized knowledge and the application of technical detail. And, make no mistake: in our country, it’s up the locals.

A lot of towns and cities now recognize that there is merit in going greener. They now want to encourage the kind of development that will help reduce pollution and consumption of resources while at the same time saving taxpayer money and providing beautiful, walkable, convenient neighborhoods that give people choices about how to live. But this is new territory for many jurisdictions that wish to follow good, 21st-century green practices but whose basic authorities governing how to plan and build neighborhoods haven’t changed for fifty years or more. A lucky few may be eligible for limited planning grant assistance, but most must rely on models, tools, templates, and good instincts to provide help...

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Lauren Moss
Scoop.it!

Los Angeles Seeks Pedestrians

Los Angeles Seeks Pedestrians | green streets | Scoop.it
A pilot project aims to pave the way for community-led reuses of L.A. streets.

The automobile is undoubtedly the dominant mode of travel in Los Angeles. But to write off the city as made up entirely of car-driving, bumper-to-bumper rush hour commuters is clearly an over-generalization. A growing group of Angelenos is finding ways to make transit, cycling, and walking (and, often, a combination thereof) relevant and viable in their daily lives.

A physical example of this transition opened this weekend in the city’s Silver Lake neighborhood. On a short strip of street bordering a small triangular park within a vibrant commercial area, officials from the city’s departments of planning, transportation, and public works partnered with the county’s public health department to close the street off to car traffic and convert it into an outdoor plaza. On 11,000 square-feet, the roadway has been effectively removed form the automobile grid with the simple application of paint (in glowing neon green polka-dots), bike racks and planters around the edges and seating in the middle. The project was inspired by similar street plazas created in New York City and San Francisco.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Lauren Moss
Scoop.it!

Vision of a great place to live, work and play fueled by “Smart Growth”

Vision of a great place to live, work and play fueled by “Smart Growth” | green streets | Scoop.it
Vision of a great place to live, work and play fueled by “Smart Growth”nwitimes.comTo date the results of Chesterton's "Smart Growth" plan speak for themselves in a town where the quality of life is already considered second to none by many.


To date the results of Chesterton's "Smart Growth" plan speak for themselves in a town where the quality of life is already considered second to none by many. There's a balanced mix of established and developing residential neighborhoods to meet the needs of homeowners in various price ranges, outstanding schools that are well-regarded in the state for academic excellence and quality programs, a re-energized downtown that routinely draws visitors from three states and an amazing Porter County location in close proximity to the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and Indiana Dunes State Park.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Lauren Moss
Scoop.it!

Low-Hanging Fruit: Can an Edible Forest Take Root in Seattle? - Environment - GOOD

Low-Hanging Fruit: Can an Edible Forest Take Root in Seattle? - Environment - GOOD | green streets | Scoop.it
Imagine if your neighborhood park doubled as a communal orchard. Out of fruit in the fridge? Just stroll down the block and pluck the first ripe pear you see. It may sound like a hippie fantasy, but residents of Seattle's Beacon Hill neighborhood could soon be living that dream, with a community group planning to break ground on the country's largest "food forest" this summer.

According to longtime Beacon Hill resident Glenn Herlihy, the working-class neighborhood is sparse on public green space, despite having acres of grassland spread out around around a long-defunct reservoir. While taking a class on permaculture—the agricultural philosophy that mimics the dynamics of a natural ecosystem—Herlihy and collaborators used their final project to come up with a plan to "to regenerate this land back into something edible and natural."

The result was what Herlihy calls a "dream design." "There were no boundaries here, we just kind of went nuts and designed the most sustainable beautiful garden we could think of," he says. The plan created the groundwork for the formation of a community group, outreach efforts to neighbors and local bureaucracy, and, eventually, grants from the city. Now Friends of the Beacon Hill Food Forest is working with a landscape architect and volunteers to plan and execute the project...

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Lauren Moss
Scoop.it!

What Intersections Would Look Like in a World of Driverless Cars

What Intersections Would Look Like in a World of Driverless Cars | green streets | Scoop.it
Imagining a future without lights and stop signs.

 

“The technology is pretty much already there,” says Peter Stone, a computer scientist at the University of Texas at Austin. And this was also the jarring promise of Tom Vanderbilt’s recent profile of the autonomous car in Wired. “But the question is when will it be cost-effective? When will the legal industry wrap its head around it, and the insurance industry, and when will people buy into it? I don’t know when it will actually happen. But the potential advantages are so huge that it has to happen eventually.”

Stone is thinking of the advantages for the disabled and elderly who can’t currently drive, for parents who don’t have time to take their kids to soccer (they can take themselves!), and above all for traffic safety and the more efficient movement of people everywhere.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Lauren Moss
Scoop.it!

Walk the Green Carpet

Walk the Green Carpet | green streets | Scoop.it

Public artists Gaëlle Villedary helped the French village of Jaujac celebrate the 10th year of its arts and nature trail programs by cutting a new green path through its city center. Using some 168 rollers of turf grass, spanning 420 meters (or nearly 1,400 feet), the public artists wound 3.5 tons of natural material through the streets of the old town...

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Lauren Moss
Scoop.it!

The origins of smart city technology | SmartPlanet

The origins of smart city technology | SmartPlanet | green streets | Scoop.it
Which former U.S. president can take credit for kick-starting smart city technology?

Smart cities technology is a hot topic for IT companies. But where did the idea come from?

Information Age has an interesting article exploring the early stages and progression of the business of smart city technology. Interestingly enough, President Bill Clinton can take some credit for kick-starting this technology...

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Lauren Moss
Scoop.it!

The Resurrection of the Corner Store

The Resurrection of the Corner Store | green streets | Scoop.it
Can clever zoning bring neighborhood stores back?

At its peak (1950), Washington was home to 800,000 people, around 30 percent more than its current population. So there is no question that the city can accommodate significant growth without a departure from its traditional character. That’s why allowing accessory dwellings and alley-facing homes makes so much sense. As Alpert notes, households today are smaller, so that in today’s market the way to add capacity is with more units, particularly small ones.

I love the idea of bringing back corner stores and other small retail outlets in residential areas. Where legacy stores still exist today, they are much loved. The proposed rules governing what kinds, and when and where they are allowed, are apparently complex. There seems to be an attempt to favor existing clusters and corridors of retail establishments, for example; new ones would be allowed only at a certain distance from existing ones...

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Lauren Moss
Scoop.it!

A Few Smart Ideas to Clean Up and Re-energize Cities

A Few Smart Ideas to Clean Up and Re-energize Cities | green streets | Scoop.it

Smart cities are attracting residents -- and talent -- by making investments in infrastructure that save money, clean up and integrate sustainability into city functions.

More people live in cities now than in any other time in human history -- nearly half the world's population. They are the economic engines of our society, but they are also the source of 80% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

We all have a choice in where we live, and a lot of us are moving to places where we can enjoy parks, clean air and healthy waterways. Smart cities are attracting residents -- and talent -- by making investments in infrastructure that save money, clean up and integrate sustainability into city functions (think sports arenas).

We have found a few ideas about innovative cities on Planet Forward that have potential to change the game in our urban environments...

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Lauren Moss
Scoop.it!

Urban agriculture: Growing food in our cities

Urban agriculture: Growing food in our cities | green streets | Scoop.it

City dwellers have been growing their food for millennia, but the concept of urban agriculture been formally recognized in research and public policy since the mid 90s. The International Development Research Centre played a leading role in forging this new discipline and raising awareness of it...

more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Lauren Moss from Sustainable Futures
Scoop.it!

Transforming a derelict city building into vertical gardens for nearby residents | Switchboard, from NRDC

Transforming a derelict city building into vertical gardens for nearby residents | Switchboard, from NRDC | green streets | Scoop.it
Aspiring interior designer Lucie Sadakova has come up with a striking concept to bring more green space and nourishment into a scruffy part of London. And, despite being in a sense all about an outdoor activity, it is in fact an interior transformation, a proposed adaptive reuse of an old building way past its prime.

For her final degree project at university, Sadakova designed a concept she calls Multileveled Vertical Urban Allotments, which in plain English means hollowing out the guts of an old warehouse, opening up its roof and (enlarged) windows to the elements, and filling the space with a sort of stacked series of green plots that could be gardened by nearby residents...


Via Flora Moon
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Lauren Moss
Scoop.it!

Good Clean Fun: Interactive Games Tidy Urban Spaces | WebUrbanist

Good Clean Fun: Interactive Games Tidy Urban Spaces | WebUrbanist | green streets | Scoop.it

It doesn’t matter where you go in the world: it seems like litter is always an unwelcome part of the scenery. The Swiss city of Lucerne decided to do something about their litter problem by enticing residents and visitors to have fun while throwing their rubbish away. The initiative is called “Lucerne Shines,” and in the many years since it was implemented the city has seen an exceptional response.

The project saw 16 public trash bins converted to public game stations. You won’t find any fancy touch-screen games, though – these games are all about cleaning up your mess and leaving the city a little prettier than you found it. From short mazes to free-throw lines to hopscotch, the initiative appeals to everyone who likes to have a little unexpected fun in the middle of an otherwise-ordinary day...

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Lauren Moss
Scoop.it!

How El Paso Ended Up With America's Best Smart Growth Plan - The Atlantic Cities

How El Paso Ended Up With America's Best Smart Growth Plan - The Atlantic Cities | green streets | Scoop.it

Earlier this week, the city council of El Paso, the nation’s 19th-largest city, unanimously adopted a detailed comprehensive plan built around the principles of smart growth and green development. With significant economic importance and a rich cultural history, but plagued with sprawling recent development patterns coupled with alarming rates of land consumption and carbon pollution, the city constructed Plan El Paso over the past two years. It is among the best, most articulate comprehensive plans I have ever seen.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Lauren Moss
Scoop.it!

In New Copenhagen Suburbs, Aim Is Sustainable Living

In New Copenhagen Suburbs, Aim Is Sustainable Living | green streets | Scoop.it
Hard times or not, two urban development projects — from two centuries — plow ahead.

How does a city expand and, at the same time, reduce car use and emissions? Officials in Copenhagen believe part of the answer is to build and extend a modern mass transit network while trying to eliminate the need for commuting altogether.

Copenhagen, with a population of 1.2 million in the city and its suburbs, will need to find homes for a projected 100,000 new residents by the year 2025.

Fortunately, the city still has room to grow.

In 2001, the first building in a new master-planned suburb called Orestad, south of downtown and named for the Oresund, the channel separating eastern Denmark from Sweden, was completed. Work on preparing a second major site, Nordhavn, in the docks north of the city, has just begun on land freed up by the departure of heavy industry...

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Lauren Moss
Scoop.it!

The Future Metropolis Index: U.S. Cities With The Best Urban Policies

The Future Metropolis Index: U.S. Cities With The Best Urban Policies | green streets | Scoop.it
Co.ExistThe Future Metropolis Index: U.S. Cities With The Best Urban PoliciesCo.ExistA new study breaks down the different factors that make a city liveable (innovation, sustainability, safety). Where did your city rank?

 

Want to live in a city that’s innovative, sustainable, vibrant, efficient, and eminently livable? Move to San Francisco. That’s the conclusion of the Future Metropolis Index, a study commissioned by Zipcar that examines the 36 largest cities in the country through the five dimensions listed above...

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Lauren Moss
Scoop.it!

Can a Highway Median Become an Alluring Public Space?

Can a Highway Median Become an Alluring Public Space? | green streets | Scoop.it
That's the question in Miami, where a design firm has created a temporary pop-up park, complete with sod and seating.

On one side of Miami’s Biscayne Boulevard is a thriving downtown, filled with condos and office towers. On the other side is the Atlantic Ocean, and in a few choice locations, nice waterfront parks. The division between – Biscayne – has four lanes in each direction and a 100-foot median in between that carries overhead rail tracks and parking lots. All in all, it’s a pretty wide barrier between the people and the parks.

“It’s not convenient or easy or neighborhood-accessible,” says Tony Garcia, a principal at the Street Plans Collaborative, an urban planning, design, and advocacy firm.

Instead of trying to cross the barrier, Garcia tried to bring the park closer to the people, temporarily converting the median into a pop-up public park. In partnership with the engineering and architecture firm C3TS, Garcia coordinated with the city’s parking authority to take over a 60-space lot for a week to lay down sod and put up benches...

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Lauren Moss
Scoop.it!

Kickstarting Urban Renewal with an Underground Park

Kickstarting Urban Renewal with an Underground Park | green streets | Scoop.it
An underground park in Manhattan is turning to Kickstarter to build the public support it needs to make the pipe dream a reality.

 

If this is the first you’ve heard about it, the Delancey Underground is a concept for transforming a defunct trolley terminal for streetcars coming off the Williamsburg Bridge into public space. The design would preserve the hub's unique, turn-of-the-century features, including cobblestones, rail tracks and vaulted ceilings, while integrating green design technologies, like fiber optic cables to bring natural sunlight underground. The space is nicknamed the "LowLine," a below-ground version of the beloved High Line, the park installed in abandoned tracks high above New York's Chelsea neighborhood in 2009.

If all goes well, the space will become home to more than just park-goers on a cold or rainy day. Think art installations, farmers markets, and concerts...

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Lauren Moss
Scoop.it!

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...

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Lauren Moss
Scoop.it!

Study of the Day: Towns With Small Businesses Have Healthier People

Study of the Day: Towns With Small Businesses Have Healthier People | green streets | Scoop.it
The rewards of a vibrant small business sector go beyond economics: Research shows places that rely on large retailers have more problems.

 

Sociologists are divided on how small businesses affect public health. Some say that mom-and-pop operations symbolize a greater investment in the community so proprietors may value the well-being of their employees, customers, and other local citizens more. Others, however, argue that large companies may be better at providing pension plans and health insurance...

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Lauren Moss
Scoop.it!

Suburbs, Jetsons style: MoMA remaps America [SLIDESHOW]

Suburbs, Jetsons style: MoMA remaps America [SLIDESHOW] | green streets | Scoop.it

Sky gardens! Vertical neighborhoods! “Recombinant” houses that can be taken apart and reassembled! They’re all here, in a new show at the Museum of Modern Art called Foreclosed: Rehousing the American Dream, in which teams of architects, ecologists, and landscape designers reimagined suburbia.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Lauren Moss
Scoop.it!

Do Bike Paths Promote Bike Riding?

Do Bike Paths Promote Bike Riding? | green streets | Scoop.it

The "fundamental law of road congestion" tells us that building roads creates traffic. There's such a latent demand for space on the highway that no sooner does it appear than it's filled. But whether or not a similar law applies to bike paths and bike lanes remains a mystery.

A recent study of Seattle residents found that those living near bike paths had an increased likelihood of riding, but saw no effect for bike lanes. Then again, a study in Minneapolis reached the opposite conclusion. Some recent work has found no connection between bike lanes and ridership levels at all. In short, the research picture is far from settled...

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Lauren Moss
Scoop.it!

Can US communities learn from this European suburban retrofit?

Can US communities learn from this European suburban retrofit? | green streets | Scoop.it
In 2008, the substantially updated town center of Plessis-Robinson, a suburb of Paris, was named “the best urban neighborhood built in the last 25 years” by the European Architecture Foundation. A composite of six connected districts ranging in size from 5.6 to 59 acres, the revitalization comprises public buildings, retail, market-rate and subsidized affordable housing, parks, schools, gardens, sports facilities, and a hospital. Construction was begun in 1990 and took a decade to complete.

From the beginning, the concept was to develop a highly walkable environment, while using locally sourced materials as much as possible, and preserving wetland habitat. The town as a whole now contains seven parks and gardens amounting to over 120 acres of protected green space. (There are also three industrial and technology zones housing many of the town’s 240 companies and 11,000 employees.) Architecturally grounded in traditional French forms, the rebuilt sections look much as if they have been there for years...

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Lauren Moss
Scoop.it!

What Would It Take? The Carbon Neutral City

What Would It Take? The Carbon Neutral City | green streets | Scoop.it
What would it take to shape a planet on which people, other living things, and the systems that support us can sustainably coexist? For a special issue, Momentum magazine invited experts from around the world to share their thoughts on how we might craft solutions to some of earth’s toughest challenges. Jeremy Faludi spoke with optimist Alex Steffen about what it would take to make a city carbon neutral.

 

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Lauren Moss
Scoop.it!

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!

more...
No comment yet.