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green streets
thoughts, ideas + dialogues on urban revitalization, smart growth + neighborhood development
Curated by Lauren Moss
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Crown Heights Participatory Urbanism

Crown Heights Participatory Urbanism | green streets | Scoop.it

Urban Design Week 2011:  Crown Heights Participatory Urbanism is a community-informed design proposal for public space located in the Crow Hill neighborhood of Crown Heights. The purpose of the project is to provide a forum for the community to rethink residual spaces created by transportation infrastructure towards a new public space network, founded on the idea of creating a common ground for residents, local community organizations, business owners, and governmental entities.

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NACTO’s New Urban Bikeway Design Guide

NACTO’s New Urban Bikeway Design Guide | green streets | Scoop.it

In an effort to create Complete Streets that are also safer for bicyclists, the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) announced the release of a new Urban Design Bikeway Guide last week. At the report launch, Janette Sadik-Khan, NACTO president and NYC Transportation Commissioner, Ray LaHood, U.S. Transportation Secretary, and Congressman Earl Blumenauer all emphasized that smart bicycle infrastructure design can not only make roadways safer for all, but can also boost economic growth.

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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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Unlocking LU 2: The Re-Representation of Urbanism

Unlocking LU 2: The Re-Representation of Urbanism | green streets | Scoop.it

Continuing the thread of review for the new landscape urbanism website, I'm discussing 'The Re-Representation of Urbanism' by Gerdo Aquino, SWA Principal as well as educator and author of the book 'Landscape Infrastructure'. As a fundamental opening to his essay, Aquino mentions the major shift that has taken place towards urbanization and linking it to Odum's ecological idea of the 'carrying capacity' as these areas continually add more people. It's interesting to think in these terms in numbers we can related to, so the example of the resource base for Los Angeles being about to support 1% of the current population is troubling - as it is a case in point (and a poignant example) of us living well above our means.

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The long drive to school: ignoring the new normal

The long drive to school: ignoring the new normal | green streets | Scoop.it
Before we can collectively move our cities and towns into twenty-first century realities, we need to understand and acknowledge where we are today and why we have a problem. Instead, we’re sleepwalking into the future.

Take Bailey Elementary School in Woodbury, Minnesota. Like most suburban-style school buildings, it has a problem: kids don’t walk to school...

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Where the Sidewalk Ends: How Our Neighborhoods Affect the Way We Move

Where the Sidewalk Ends: How Our Neighborhoods Affect the Way We Move | green streets | Scoop.it
Environmental factors could have a big influence on how often we get off our butts.

Published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, a new study examines how environmental factors—including crime rates, sidewalks, proximity to local businesses, and access to recreational facilities—change the way we walk, bike, and run.

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Mapping the trees of New York, one by one

Mapping the trees of New York, one by one | green streets | Scoop.it
A project to map the location and condition of each tree in NYC opens up doors for citizen stewardship, inviting New Yorkers to be unlikely forest workers.
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Landscape Optimism: Chris Reed on Landscape Urbanism

Landscape Optimism: Chris Reed on Landscape Urbanism | green streets | Scoop.it

It is about time that landscape practices wake up:

 

Contemporary landscape practices are witnessing a revival of sorts, a recovery of the broader social, cultural, and ecological agendas. No longer a product of pure art history and horticulture, landscape is re-engaging issues of site and ecological succession and is playing a part in the formative roles of projects, rather than simply giving form to already defined projects.


Via Ana Valdés
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Reinterpreting Green Space in West London

Reinterpreting Green Space in West London | green streets | Scoop.it
With pressure on urban space increasing as populations grow and building becomes more intensive, will gardens be a less common sight in future cities? Those interested in this subject might enjoy the upcoming Serpentine Gallery's Garden Marathon.
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Transforming Historic Urban Space Into A Vibrant Cultural District

Transforming Historic Urban Space Into A Vibrant Cultural District | green streets | Scoop.it

As the needs of cities change, older buildings can find themselves a bit redundant. The challenge for urban areas is to find a new purpose for these buildings, one which is historically respectful but at the same time creates a space that meets the modern needs of a city. This is exactly what has happened in Toronto, where a former distillery has been transformed into a varied, vibrant, and immensely popular destination for locals and tourists alike.

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Proposal Transforms Park Space Under the Manhattan Bridge

Proposal Transforms Park Space Under the Manhattan Bridge | green streets | Scoop.it

Let’s face it, outside of Central Park, Manhattan isn’t known for its abundance of open space. This is beginning to change, however, as in this increasingly innovative architectural age, people are looking to odd, underutilized remnants in the city, from abandoned rail lines to decrepit industrial buildings and toxic waterfronts to create the next amazing public space. One such space sits just beneath the Manhattan Bridge, where Architecture for Humanity has secured a grant and invited nine design firms to take on Coleman Oval Skate Park. Holm Architecture Office (HAO) with Niklas Thormark has taken on the challenge and revealed their program-driven proposal.

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How Brownfield Redevelopment Reduces Pollution

How Brownfield Redevelopment Reduces Pollution | green streets | Scoop.it

The federal Environmental Protection Agency has released a comprehensive research report demonstrating that redevelopment of contaminated industrial sites in inner cities brings substantial environmental benefits. The agency studied 163 brownfield sites in five cities, comparing their impacts with those of sites where development was likely to go had the brownfields not been available.

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New Urbanists: No Economic Recovery Without Smart Growth

New Urbanists: No Economic Recovery Without Smart Growth | green streets | Scoop.it

What happened to the United States over the past several years is most commonly described as a recession. By the technical definition of the word we’re two years into a recovery. But it sure doesn’t seem that way.
Meanwhile, a growing chorus of intellectual leaders says the country is experiencing something different than a normal cyclical fluctuation: the end of an epoch.

Leading urban thinkers believe we have reached the limits of our fossil-fueled, double-mortgaged, McMansion-based economy. Relief won’t come, they say, until America begins confronting the systemic problems that produced the meltdown, including inefficient and unsustainable public infrastructure investments and housing development.

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Why Placemaking Requires Passion Even More Than Big Budgets

Why Placemaking Requires Passion Even More Than Big Budgets | green streets | Scoop.it

Minneapolis-based writer Michelle Bruch examines how public input helps the bottom line as much as it helps build places where people want to be.

 

Placemaking is designed to create a vision that is much more practical than a pretty architectural rendering.

"The voices of the people are significant anchors," says Fred Kent, president of the New York-based Project for Public Spaces (PPS), a nonprofit that consults with cities on how to create strong public spaces. "It creates places that are meaningful to them."

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How do we create an holistic urban environment?

How do we create an holistic urban environment? | green streets | Scoop.it
A forthcoming debate between key players will introduce innovative ideas to transform our cities...

Everywhere, urban planners are creating utilitarian "smart cities" – interconnected, hard-wired, sensor-driven communities, where bus timetables appear on screens in eco-friendly homes and fridges send tweeted messages to replenish the salad drawer, using, of course, electric vehicle delivery. But the question arises: would you want to live there? Or is it better to renew what we have – whether it is a former cotton mill in the north of England or a tenement in the developing world...

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Trees In Transit

Trees In Transit | green streets | Scoop.it

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


Via Ana Valdés, Sandro Malfitano, Jandira Feijó
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elsa hunziker's comment, January 30, 2012 11:26 AM
Bucket list....
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The Only Hope for Reducing Traffic

The Only Hope for Reducing Traffic | green streets | Scoop.it
A new study makes the fundamental case for congestion pricing...

In 1962, transportation researcher Anthony Downs suggested that U.S. cities suffered from a fundamental law of highway congestion: "This Law states that on urban commuter expressways, peak-hour traffic congestion rises to meet maximum capacity." What was the case half a century ago remains true today. Except worse. In a research paper published in this month's American Economic Review, a pair of economists from the University of Toronto confirm the fundamental law of highway congestion, but argue it doesn't go far enough. 

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Narrow Houses: Yes, smaller can be better

Narrow Houses: Yes, smaller can be better | green streets | Scoop.it
As urban planners, architects and developers confront urban sprawl, rising real estate and energy prices, and rapidly changing demographics, these narrow, old working-class Montreal houses offer a glimpse of what sustainable living will look like in the future, says McGill University architecture professor Avi Friedman.

“Narrow houses consume less land and require less infrastructure. Fewer materials are used in their construction, so they are environmentally sound and cost-conscious,” he says.

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Back to the Start

Back to the Start | green streets | Scoop.it

As more and more empty and abandoned lots are transformed into active, productive neighborhood farms, communities begin to gain control of providing for themselves. As more and more rooftops are becoming vibrant gardens, like this one in Brooklyn, Gotham Greens, healthier produce is available to urban communities that may have not had access to organic fruits and vegetables previously.

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The Delirious City: A Survey

The Delirious City: A Survey | green streets | Scoop.it
Thirty-three years after Rem Koolhaas exulted in the imaginative intensity of Manhattan’s skyline, cities around the world are upping his ante.

Here, a dozen design experts from three continents, joined by New York architecture critic Justin Davidson and design editor Wendy Goodman, nominate their favorite recent (and imminent) urban inventions.

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Place Activation - Meeting Places, Seating Spaces

Place Activation - Meeting Places, Seating Spaces | green streets | Scoop.it

Urban Designers around the world argue that the park bench is a good metaphor for good urban spaces. Jan Gehl’s Public Space Public Life research revealed that Perth has increased its cafe chair seats by 74% since 1993. Improvements to our streetscapes since the initial report have been fundamental to the increasing number of people enjoying Perth’s streets.

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Are Your Streets "Complete?"

Are Your Streets "Complete?" | green streets | Scoop.it
Streets should be designed for everyone -- not just cars.

There's an urban planning term growing in popularity called complete streets. It's considered a natural complement to sustainability efforts because it calms traffic (thus saving fuel) and encourages the planting of trees (cutting CO2). It's basically the notion that our sidewalks, streets, and crosswalks are shared, not the province of one group over the other.

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Can we make nature even better?

Can we make nature even better? | green streets | Scoop.it
A new book from Emma Marris reexamines traditional views of wilderness, asserting that human influence over nature is undeniable, and that instead of fighting it, we should figure out how to use it for good.
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An ecology of gardens and yards

An ecology of gardens and yards | green streets | Scoop.it

Tucked amidst acres of asphalt jungle are cities’ unsung environmental heroes. Yards, lawns, gardens—call them whatever you please—these bits of unpaved earth play a real role in supporting thriving urban ecosystems.

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A musical & visual homage to one of our greatest city parks

A musical & visual homage to one of our greatest city parks | green streets | Scoop.it
  I consider myself very fortunate to live a little over a mile from one of the country's great places of urban refuge, Washington's Rock Creek Park.  It's a rare weekend that I'm not there riding my bike, choosing from...
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