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green streets
thoughts, ideas + dialogues on urban revitalization, smart growth + neighborhood development
Curated by Lauren Moss
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Green Wedgies - The Architect's Newspaper

Green Wedgies - The Architect's Newspaper | green streets | Scoop.it
While Village people focus their attention on New York University’s expansion plans and doings at the former St. Vincent’s Hospital, the future of the Hudson Square neighborhood just west of Soho is in the midst of major rezoning. The real estate arm of Trinity Church aims to transform at least 21 blocks of post-industrial Manhattan into a live/work/play zone. But critics say the Trinity plan misses a key element: open space.

Though the neighborhood sits just two blocks from Hudson River Park, it’s effectively cut off from it by a UPS distribution center, St. John’s Center’s production studios, and a controversial sanitation garage. With the riverfront park so close and yet so far, various stakeholders are now advancing ideas to eke out more green space wherever they can.

Most of the proposals call for changes to the Trinity plan, which favors taller buildings near their already proposed SHoP Architects–designed towers at 6th Avenue and Canal Street. The Trinity plan would also revamp Duarte Square, a triangle park that fronts the project. The only other accessible green space in the district is Soho Square.

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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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Top 10 U.S. cities for biking and walking | SmartPlanet

Top 10 U.S. cities for biking and walking | SmartPlanet | green streets | Scoop.it

Cities are taking steps to make biking and walking a more viable transportation option — from new bike share programs to complete streets infrastructure. Which cities are seeing their investments payoff with more commuters getting to work on bike and foot?

A new report from the Alliance for Biking and Walking analyzes bike and pedestrian data from the largest 51 cities in the U.S. and ranks them based percentage of bike/pedestrian commuters. The report also looks at the safety, economic benefits, and funding levels for bike and pedestrian infrastructure...

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Livable Cities | Philips Meaningful Innovation

Livable Cities | Philips Meaningful Innovation | green streets | Scoop.it
A great city shouldn’t just be livable, it should be lovable too. International Urban Consultant Dr. Shipra Narang reports on a two-year assignment by a team of nine experts to explore and assess the key ingredients required to create a successful city that’s fit for the future.

Brought together by the Philips Center for Health & Wellbeing, the think-tank has worked with partners including the Center for Livable Cities in Singapore to identify what makes a city truly livable...

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Research in the Urban Transformation Towards Energy Efficient Cities

Research in the Urban Transformation Towards Energy Efficient Cities | green streets | Scoop.it

Among the most significant environmental challenges of our time are global climate change, excessive fossil fuel dependency of our cities and the growing demand for energy and materials – all major challenges of the 21st century and in the meantime some of the greatest problems facing humanity. Almost half the energy consumed is used in cities and urban built-up areas, and avoiding mistakes in the urban development at early stages will genuinely lead to more sustainable cities and less greenhouse gas emission. The Zero Waste SA Research Centre for Sustainable Design & Behaviour (sd+b) is conducting research in the City of Tomorrow and the role materials and energy will play in low carbon urban models. In this context, urban design and the fundamental principles of how we will shape our cities in future is increasingly recognised in the greenhouse debate; this is about time, as previously the debate has circled around active technology for ‘eco-buildings’, but less in holistic systems thinking for entire districts and neighbourhoods.

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Welcome to the high-tech urban revolution

Welcome to the high-tech urban revolution | green streets | Scoop.it
If you’re a tech company, this is your last call to board the smart city brandwagon, because the high-tech revolution for global cities is upon...

A group of high technology firms, led by IBM and Cisco, are plunging into the city management business. In varied forms, they offer super-efficient new-generation computerized information and control systems.

If the systems prove out — and first signs are positive — the companies stand to garner billions of dollars in business. But savings for cities, measured by dollars, by livability, by human lives protected, may be far greater...

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Upper West Side Mom & Pops Get Boost from Planning

Upper West Side Mom & Pops Get Boost from Planning | green streets | Scoop.it

While the city has kept Walmart at bay—for now—banks and/or drugstores continue to consume two, three, and sometimes four or five consecutive storefronts in many parts of the city. The Upper West Side has been particularly hard hit because most of its side streets are residential. The neighborhood primarily relies on the north/south corridors of Broadway, Amsterdam, and Columbus for its shopping needs. After hearing citywide complaints about the problem, City Planning has begun to address the issue through the West Side Neighborhood Retail Streets Initiative.

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The Top 10 Smart Cities On The Planet

The Top 10 Smart Cities On The Planet | green streets | Scoop.it
Crunching a list of variables about innovation and sustainability, we rank the world's smartest cities, from New York to Hong Kong (and with an unexpected winner).

The term "smart cities" is a bit ambiguous. Some people choose a narrow definition--i.e. cities that use information and communication technologies to deliver services to their citizens. I prefer a broader definition: Smart cities use information and communication technologies (ICT) to be more intelligent and efficient in the use of resources, resulting in cost and energy savings, improved service delivery and quality of life, and reduced environmental footprint--all supporting innovation and the low-carbon economy...

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How the Dutch Got Their Bike Paths

How the Dutch Got Their Bike Paths | green streets | Scoop.it
What The Netherlands can teach us about child safety and mass protests as effective policy-benders.

This fascinating short documentary traces the rise of The Netherlands’ famous bicycle paths and examines the sociocultural factors that enabled it, from mass protests to government policy. A living testament to the “build it and they will come” ethos, these safe cycling paths not only vastly improved the city’s traffic system efficiency, but they also helped address an oil and economic crisis, lower carbon emissions, and reduce child casualties by 350%, all thanks to intelligent and focused policy decisions — something to think about as we head into an election year in the tragically car-centric U.S...

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Incheon stadium designed to turn into park after Asian Games

Incheon stadium designed to turn into park after Asian Games | green streets | Scoop.it

The Incheon main stadium being built for the 2014 Asian Games will be transformed into a public park after the sports festival, demonstrating a sustainable design in stadiums in Asia, the architecture firm that designed it has said.

The new stadium will hold 70,000 people for the games, but it can reduce down to a single-sided grandstand for 30,000 afterwards and be turned into a park.

“If the social legacy is done the way it was initially planned, I think the world will sit up and notice that Korea is leading the way in delivering a sports project legacy,” Andrew James, Populous’ senior principal, told The Korea Herald.

The key factor for the stadium’s success after the games will be linking it into the surrounding parklands, transforming it into an open and accessible building for everyone to enjoy. Populous is working on the project with local firm Heerim Architects and Planners.

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Vinnie's curator insight, February 17, 2015 7:42 PM

"Recycleable" stadium design from Korea. After planned use,mstadium can be converted into a park or a smaller venue.

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Mirror, Mirror: Playground Pavilion Gets Funhouse Treatment

Mirror, Mirror: Playground Pavilion Gets Funhouse Treatment | green streets | Scoop.it
A playground pavilion and multi-use building in Copenhagen is clad in mirrored steel on its gabled ends, giving kids a funhouse experience.

The architects say, “At night the shutters are closed making the building anonymous. During the day the building opens up, attracting the children who enjoy seeing themselves transformed in all directions. With simple means it has succeeded to transform an existing, sad and anonymous building to a unique and respectful installation in the newly renovated park.”

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How to Radically Revitalize America: A Micropolitan Manifesto

How to Radically Revitalize America: A Micropolitan Manifesto | green streets | Scoop.it
A call to artists, changemakers, and entrepreneurs to radically remake America's micropolitans.

It’s about business, but not business-as-usual. It’s about cities, but not the big ones. It’s about people. What kind of people? The artists, changemakers, and entrepreneurs redefining our physical space: no to suburban sprawl, yes to revitalized downtowns! It’s about regular people who want to live in walkable communities and strengthen a local economy. It’s about the dreamers….and the doers.

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Disused Steel Mill Yard In Luxembourg Undergoes Smart Redesign Without Forgetting Its Past

Disused Steel Mill Yard In Luxembourg Undergoes Smart Redesign Without Forgetting Its Past | green streets | Scoop.it

Similar to New York City's Highline, this disused and grim industrial area in the south of Luxembourg has been revived into a pleasant public space without deleting its past. 

LUX Stahlhof Belval-Ouest is an urban oasis between residential buildings and strange looking furnaces from the former steel industry. The space has pretty much been conserved and made friendly by incorporating plants and creating seating areas into the structures. The old industrial elements have basically been left in place as well as mosses and birch, and new designs and plants have been added to revive the space.

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Swedish Cities Close to Building a Bicycle Superhighway

Swedish Cities Close to Building a Bicycle Superhighway | green streets | Scoop.it
Sweden’s transportation authority, Trafikverket, has approved a four line bicycle superhighway between Malmö and nearby Lund.

With all the handwringing over aging infrastructure, rising energy costs, high speed rail and other public transportation projects that are spiraling in costs, cities and towns could look at solutions that can improve mobility and do not the bust the budget: bicycles and bicycle paths.

Studies have suggested that building bicycle paths can have a sizable economic impact especially when you look at the job-per-dollar ratio. To that end, towns and cities preoccupied with trying to improve their citizens’ quality of life and address metrics like their carbon footprint should take a look at what cities in southern Sweden are planning to improve their local transportation systems...

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Riverside Park South Waterfront | New York USA | Thomas Balsley Associates

Riverside Park South Waterfront | New York USA | Thomas Balsley Associates | green streets | Scoop.it

Stretching along Manhattan’s west side, Riverside Park South is an urban miracle on the Hudson and the last link in Manhattan’s west side greenway. Its creation involved working with local and state government agencies, community groups, stakeholders and the client to create a vibrant new public space that reintroduced the community to the water’s edge and responded to the unique industrial history and riparian ecology of the site...

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Cisco Brings Smart Cities Within Reach

Cisco Brings Smart Cities Within Reach | green streets | Scoop.it
Smart Cities are the future, incorporating grid monitoring and control, smart transportation pricing, green gauges, telepresence, location-based advertising and social networking.

The concept of the smart city is one that holds a lot of promise and potential in terms of how computerized, networked public infrastructure might improve energy efficiency, resource management, and the overall quality of life in cities. Given the impact that computers and smart phones have had on our personal and professional lives, it seems that the application of computer technology to the infrastructure of cities has even greater potential to change the way we live. Despite this potential, and with only a few exceptions, smart city technologies have yet to be adopted in most places.

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What makes a sustainable community?

What makes a sustainable community? | green streets | Scoop.it
Bill Burr describes Scotland's ambitious Kincluny Village project, which combines green development practices with sustainable community building...

Via Flora Moon
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What the Federal Government Can Learn From Metros

What the Federal Government Can Learn From Metros | green streets | Scoop.it
The innovative solutions we've showcased this week should inspire Washington...

The ten innovations identified over the past week illustrate that the federal government is not the only political game in town. Our nation is a federal republic and when Washington dithers, states and metros are quick to innovate on matters of national significance.

These innovations, however, are not singular events.

First, they are relevant to other states and metros that are similarly experimenting with bottom-up approaches in shaping the post-recession economy. States and metros have a long history of observing and learning from each other, and then adopting and adapting policy innovations to their own distinctive circumstances...

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Can China Support Its New Urban Majority?

Can China Support Its New Urban Majority? | green streets | Scoop.it

By the end of 2011, the population in China was about 1.35 billion. Roughly 51.27 percent of that, 690 million people, are considered urban, according to a recent announcement from China’s National Bureau of Statistics. It’s an interesting landmark, but also slightly troubling in light of another official report that warns of "grim" threats from climate change...

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Order and adaptation: What the New York grid teaches us about contemporary urbanism

Order and adaptation: What the New York grid teaches us about contemporary urbanism | green streets | Scoop.it

It’s not quite true that Manhattan’s street grid is two hundred years old. In fact the year 2011 marked the bicentennial of the project of establishing a regular and continuous grid north of 14th Street. The plan was at first far-fetched, authoritarian, and utopian. For the grid started out as an elaborate Cartesian fantasy, a diagram seemingly irreconcilable with the material realities of topography and existing settlement in the young city of New York. The Greatest Grid: The Master Plan of Manhattan, 1811-2011, an exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York (through April 15), shows how an abstract plan came to serve as the “remarkably flexible framework for 200 years of city living.” Curator Hilary Ballon also invites us to speculate on how this “vision of brazen ambition” can be further adapted to serve coming generations. What does the legacy of New York City’s master plan teach us about urbanism?

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Proving Ground - The Architect's Newspaper

Proving Ground - The Architect's Newspaper | green streets | Scoop.it

Known as the Granite City, Aberdeen, Scotland’s silvery gray townscape will soon have a dynamic new emerald heart. Designed by Diller, Scofidio + Renfro, with OLIN and Scottish architects at Keppie Design, a new hybrid park and cultural center will transform an existing park and extend over a road and rail trench to better connect the city with a highly programmed, fully accessible indoor and outdoor space with a rolling highland/lowland landscape. 

The existing park has a 65-foot grade change, so DS+R exploited the sectional possibilities of the site. “Some of the other proposals simply placed pavilions in a park,” said principal Charles Renfro. “We created a layered three- dimensional matrix, where the building is woven under and into the park.” The cultural center will include an approximately 5,000-person outdoor amphitheater—with a dramatic walkway crisscrossing overhead—a 215,000 square foot exhibition hall, and a 500-person black box theater...

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How Walkable Streets can Boost the Economy

How Walkable Streets can Boost the Economy | green streets | Scoop.it
Walkable streets are not only fun and exciting places to be, they are also profitable. Research has found that by prioritising pedestrians through making streets more walkable, both property values and shop footfall increase.
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the best way to define meaningful places

the best way to define meaningful places | green streets | Scoop.it
How should we define meaningful urban places? Who should set the stage?

Both are key questions in managing cities of the future. The answers are not new.

Harvard Professor John Stillgoe argues for personal observation of the built environment. The title of Stillgoe’s most noted book, Outside Lies Magic (1998), sets the tone for self-inquiry.

Similarly, journalist-turned-urban authority Grady Clay explains how the “undisclosed evidence” of the form and patterns of cities awaits personal discovery...

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Less express: China's Railways

Less express: China's Railways | green streets | Scoop.it

China's love affair with fast trains is gathering steam again. Undaunted by horrendous accidents and massive cost overruns, officials are planning further expansion of the country’s high-speed rail network. A new service has begun between the southern cities of Guangzhou and Shenzhen, nearly halving the travel time to 35 minutes. With trains capable of travelling up to 380kph (236mph), the service will eventually be extended to nearby Hong Kong. For those craving even faster speeds, CSR Corp, China’s biggest trainmaker, has unveiled a supertrain (pictured above) said to be inspired by the shape of an ancient Chinese sword. It should slice through the air at 500kph.

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Café vs Castle: How Contemporary Buildings can Impact Historic Urban Areas

Café vs Castle: How Contemporary Buildings can Impact Historic Urban Areas | green streets | Scoop.it
You only have to look at the queue for the latest iPhone to see that ‘new’ means a positive and desirable change for many people. But 'new' doesn't always bring positive change when modern buildings are developed in historic urban settings.

 

Case Study: Modern developments tend to either add to the socio-economic importance of the urban fabric, or reduce its historical characteristics. In the case of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, it is widely agreed that this new structure adds to the overall quality of the city, however, extravagant structures and materials can contradict the historical characteristics of an urban setting...

 

A modern development in an historic urban area can be enormously beneficial, without reducing the significance of its surroundings. But due to the importance of historical preservation, it is crucial to carefully design contemporary pieces.

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