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green streets
thoughts, ideas + dialogues on urban revitalization, smart growth + neighborhood development
Curated by Lauren Moss
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Bergamot 2? Art-Filled Market Planned on the San Pedro Waterfront

Bergamot 2? Art-Filled Market Planned on the San Pedro Waterfront | green streets | Scoop.it

The developers of Santa Monica’s gallery haven Bergamot Station are planning another art center, this time in San Pedro. “Crafted at the Port of Los Angeles,” which was just approved by the Los Angeles Harbor Department (city council approval is still pending) will offer paintings, sculptures, and other artworks sold by 500 artists sitting in open stalls. The facility, set to open next summer, will be located inside the city’s warehouses No. 9 and 10, located near Cabrillo Marina. The structures, totaling 140,000 square feet, were used by the Navy during the 1940s, then later for storage. Their clerestory windows and huge doors will allow lots of light and air inside.

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How to Bridge Neighborhood Gaps? Turn Overpasses into Main Streets

How to Bridge Neighborhood Gaps? Turn Overpasses into Main Streets | green streets | Scoop.it

The answer to one of today's difficult planning problems may lie in the Middle Ages. In cities across the US, freeways cut through communities, creating urban dead zones. To heal that damage, Columbus, Ohio built an urbanized bridge, common in 12th & 17th century Europe.

 

In Medieval and Renaissance Europe, imaginative, multifunctional bridges known as "habitable bridges" were quite common. Some hosted markets. Others contained mills that harnessed the power of the river. Many housed defensive towers or featured chapels. Beyond the novelty of having buildings on a bridge, they were highly functional, as they became natural venues for commercial trade. Perhaps the most famous habitable bridge was London Bridge, which had buildings on it from 1209 until it was rebuilt in 1831. Other surviving habitable bridges include Ponte Vecchio in Florence, Italy; Ponte di Rialto in Venice; and Krämerbrücke in Erfurt, Germany...


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Why Smart Growth is Important to Land Conservation

Why Smart Growth is Important to Land Conservation | green streets | Scoop.it

For decades, the amount of developed land in our country has grown much faster than population, in some regions of the country several times faster. In the 25-year period from 1982 to 2007, we lost some 23 million acres of agricultural land - an area the size of Indiana - irretrievably to pavement, malls, and subdivisions, according to the American Farmland Trust.

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Rail Station & Warehouse Recycled into Cultural Center & Park, Argentina

Rail Station & Warehouse Recycled into Cultural Center & Park, Argentina | green streets | Scoop.it
An old freight train loading station and warehouse and its surrounding areas were transformed into amazing public spaces.

Following the newish tradition of turning abandoned urban structures into vibrant green spaces, a surface of over 34 acres belonging to a freight rail until the 1990s was recovered and transformed into an amazing public park in Mendoza, Argentina’s fourth largest city (famous for its Malbec wine and access to the Aconcagua peak in the Andes).

Penned by B4FS architects, the project sought to pay tribute to the old use of the area, so the main route of the park follows the railway location. It also aimed at paying tribute to water, a crucial element for the city, which grew around dessert lands.

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Making Healthy Places: Designing and Building for Health, Well-being, and Sustainability

Making Healthy Places: Designing and Building for Health, Well-being, and Sustainability | green streets | Scoop.it

A new book, 'Making Healthy Places: Designing and Building for Health, Well-being, and Sustainability', by Dr. Andrew L. Dannenberg, Dr. Howard Frumkin, and Dr. Richard J. Jackson, and over 50 contributing authors illuminates the connection between how communities are designed and built and the impact on physical, mental, social, environmental, and economic well-being.

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Paris to Plant 80,000 Square Yards of Green Roofs by 2020

Paris to Plant 80,000 Square Yards of Green Roofs by 2020 | green streets | Scoop.it
Paris' recently ratified Biodiversity Plan includes a call to triple the number of rooftop gardens and green roofs in the next decade.

 

In mid-November, the Paris city council adopted a new Plan de Biodiversité. Among calls for an extension of the electric tramway system and improved management of the two forests that border the city, the plan includes a pledge to create seven more hectares (about 83,000 square yards) of green roofs and rooftop gardens throughout Paris...

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Alexander Garvin Looks at Public Spaces in New York

Alexander Garvin Looks at Public Spaces in New York | green streets | Scoop.it

Writing in The New York Times last week Christopher B. Leinberger, a professor of urban planning, took note of “a profound structural shift” in America during the last decade or so, “a reversal of what took place in the 1950s.” Back then drivable suburbs boomed while center cities decayed. Now more and more people want to settle in “a walkable urban downtown.” The most expensive housing in the country, and not just New York City, is in “high-density, pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods,” he said.

But what makes high-density neighborhoods pedestrian friendly?

Good public space for starters...

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Are freeways doomed?

Are freeways doomed? | green streets | Scoop.it

Several cities are tearing down highways and creating bold new public spaces. Are we headed for a car-free future?

The drive to tear down the huge freeways that many blame for the inner-city blight of the ’60s and ’70s is one of the most dramatic signs of the new urban order. Proponents of such efforts have data to show that freeway removal is not at all bizarre, that we can return to human-size streets without causing a gridlock apocalypse. And that may be true. But pulling down these shrines to the automobile also feels like a bold rewriting of America’s 20th-century urban script: Revenge of the Pedestrian.

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Rebuilding an affordable, sustainable community in Galveston

Rebuilding an affordable, sustainable community in Galveston | green streets | Scoop.it
Three years ago, Hurricane Ike wiped out much of Galveston, Texas, including over 500 affordable homes administered by the city’s Housing Authority. Faced with the task of starting over, the Authority began to rethink how it might improve upon its old public housing model.

With the help of McCormack Baron Salazar, a prominent national developer of economically integrated city neighborhoods, and Urban Strategies, a planning and management firm specializing in inclusive urban redevelopment, the result has been a process called Working Together for Galveston. The project’s vision statement is a model of learning from the past to create a more resilient, sustainable, and inclusive future...

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Los Angeles turns foreclosed homes into pocket parks

Los Angeles turns foreclosed homes into pocket parks | green streets | Scoop.it
It's all part of a larger plan to make Los Angeles a more livable city. In a recent speech to the Los Angeles Business Council on improving the livability of the city, Mayor Villaraigosa laid out a number of significant priorities.

 

What’s one way a city can fight blight, add green space, and increase property values at the same time? Build parks.

Los Angeles is embracing the idea and turning foreclosure sites and vacant properties into pocket parks. As part of a new initiative, the city will create 50 new pocket parks, 10 from foreclosure sites...

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NYTimes: The Death of the Fringe Suburb

NYTimes: The Death of the Fringe Suburb | green streets | Scoop.it
As demand for housing in walkable neighborhoods rises, we should be investing in carless transit options.

 

An excellent article that ties the economic mortgage crisis with the urban geography of the United States.  This is a good piece to challenge students to think about how the organzation of cities matter. 

 

The cities and inner-ring suburbs that will be the foundation of the recovery require significant investment at a time of government retrenchment. Bus and light-rail systems, bike lanes and pedestrian improvements — what traffic engineers dismissively call “alternative transportation” — are vital. We have to stop throwing good money after bad. It is time to instead build what the market wants: mixed-income, walkable cities and suburbs that will support the knowledge economy, promote environmental sustainability and create jobs...


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New 'Slow Zones' Make NYC Streets Safer and Greener

New 'Slow Zones' Make NYC Streets Safer and Greener | green streets | Scoop.it
This week, New York City opened its first neighborhood slow zone, where slower speed limits make roads more accessible to anyone not in a car.

The neighborhood slow zone is a six-block-square area of the Bronx where the speed limit is now 20 mph, compared to 30 in the rest of the city. Signs declaring the slow zone designation mark the entrances to this area, while "20 MPH" is painted in tall letters at regular intervals on the street as a reminder. Speed bumps help enforce the new rule.

The neighborhood is mostly residential, with a high concentration of schools and a history of injuries and fatalities.

The city's transportation commission, Janette Sadik-Khan, spoke at the opening ceremony for slow zone about how it will make the streets safer. But it will also make them greener: slower speed limits make roads more accessible to anyone not in a car.

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Breaking Blocks: public housing minus the superblock

Breaking Blocks: public housing minus the superblock | green streets | Scoop.it

Rosanne Haggerty, president of Community Solutions, proposes a surgical approach to Brooklyn's public housing that preserves original buildings and emphasizes breaking up the superblock with through-traffic streets, integrated urban agriculture, ground floor retail, and the incorporation of social services—all without displacing a single resident.

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Noguchi Museum Features Art as Urban Planning

Noguchi Museum Features Art as Urban Planning | green streets | Scoop.it
When the impetus for urban planning comes from the art studio instead of from public officials, you get the ideas seen in “Civic Action: A Vision for Long Island City” at the Noguchi Museum.

They aren’t granted as many opportunities as politicians or armies. But when all else fails, the visionary thinking of artists has become public policy. Ten years ago an artist turned mayor painted dilapidated buildings with bright primary colors in Tirana, Albania, performing a kind of art therapy on a depressed city. And in Bogotá, Colombia, traffic police were replaced with mimes in the hope of supplanting corruption and violence with playful street theater.

The situation in Long Island City isn’t as dire as in those localities. But that section of Queens has been threatened in recent decades by unchecked development, the loss of affordable housing and the chemical hangover of industrialization. And so the Noguchi Museum and Socrates Sculpture Park asked four artists to take a crack at city planning...

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'Urban Umbrella' Graces New York With New Scaffolding (PHOTOS) - Huffington Post

'Urban Umbrella' Graces New York With New Scaffolding (PHOTOS) - Huffington Post | green streets | Scoop.it
Mayor Bloomberg unveiled the first model of "Urban Umbrella," a beautiful new design for the city's scaffolding structures, in Lower Manhattan on Wednesday.

The design was the winner of the urbanSHED competition which sought to revamp the city's current scaffolding designed more than 60 years ago. Project Engineer Sarrah Khan, Architect Andres Cortes, and Designer Young Hwan Choi who all helped bring the structure to life were also present for Wednesday's unveiling.

Buildings Commissioner Robert Limandri praised the new structure for both its aesthetic design and safety...

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ALB: Creating public space at a retired railway

ALB: Creating public space at a retired railway | green streets | Scoop.it
Rehabilitating an inoperative railway through environmentally aware means, thereby transforming this area into a promenade that adheres to its area’s environmental constraints.

The project encompasses the entire stretch of the retired railroad and its fixtures between Albissola and Celle Ligure (SV) , transforming it into an environmentally accentuated pedestrian promenade. The project focalises the nature pathes, view points, a new overhang walkway made by corten steel and wood, The restoration of the railway tunnel will function as a "container" for visionary art exhibitions and artistic installations.

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The Power of 10 « Project for Public Spaces

The Power of 10 « Project for Public Spaces | green streets | Scoop.it
The Power of 10 is a concept PPS uses to start off a Placemaking process. The idea is that it’s not enough to have just one great place in a neighborhood- you need a number of them to create a truly lively city or town. It’s not enough to have only one superior neighborhood in a city- you need to provide people all over town with close-to-home opportunities to take pleasure in public life. And, it’s not enough to have one livable city or town in a region- you need a collection of interesting communities.

Everywhere we bring up this idea, citizens become more energized to turn their places around. The Power of 10 offers an easy framework that motivates residents and stakeholders to revitalize urban life, and shows that by starting efforts at the smallest scale you can accomplish big things. The concept also provides people something tangible to strive for and helps them visualize what it takes to make their community great.

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'Green' neighbourhood delivers a better life

'Green' neighbourhood delivers a better life | green streets | Scoop.it

A Durban neighbourhood, given a "green" makeover, has named a street in honour of the city's climate talks.

Isimosezulu COP17 Place, Cato Manor, near the city centre is touted as the country's 1st "green street".

Thirty homes were spruced up by the Green Building Council of South Africa in time for the climate change negotiations.

Each home in the cul-de-sac was kitted out with rain tanks, solar water heaters, energy-saving lights, efficient LED streetlights, special heat insulation cookers and food gardens...

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Pianos In Public Space

Pianos In Public Space | green streets | Scoop.it
People in Tilburg still talk about it. In September 101 pianos popped up in public parks, bus shelters and train stations, outside galleries and markets and even on bridges. The musical instruments were there for everyone to play and enjoy.

“Who plays them and how long they remain is up to each community. Many pianos are personalised and decorated by artists or the local community. ‘Play Me, I’m Yours’ disrupts people’s negotiation of their city and invites the public to engage with, activate and take ownership of their urban environment.”

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The Best Smart Growth Projects in America

The Best Smart Growth Projects in America | green streets | Scoop.it
The EPA's newly released list includes a green learning center and an innovative civic gathering space...

One of the country’s very best revitalizing neighborhoods and one of our most articulate city plans for a more sustainable future are among this year’s five national honorees for achievement in smart growth, awarded by the Environmental Protection Agency. The other very worthy winners include a green learning center in a small South Dakota town, a green, affordable apartment building in New Mexico and an innovative civic gathering space in Illinois...

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Will downtown comebacks, entrepreneurs reverse commercial sprawl?

Will downtown comebacks, entrepreneurs reverse commercial sprawl? | green streets | Scoop.it

Given the decline in demand for sprawl housing, it is inevitable that demand for commercial sprawl will decline as well. There is little question that for an abundance of reasons future development in America – both commercial and residential – is going to be more urban, more walkable, and less sprawling. The communities that prosper most as the 21st century matures will be the ones that recognize these shifts and welcome them with the right kind of planning, development, and amenities.

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The next small thing: How sustainable neighborhoods could reshape cities

The next small thing: How sustainable neighborhoods could reshape cities | green streets | Scoop.it
Residents and planners around the country are dreaming up innovative ways to create eco-friendly, self-reliant communities. But turning ideas into reality is a tall order.

While cities have been leaders in the effort to combat climate change, much of the action within cities occurs at the neighborhood level. "The neighborhood is a geography, a scale that resonates with people," says Rob Bennett, executive director of the nonprofit Portland Sustainability Institute. "Neighborhoods have always been a powerful and important part of how we view city-building, and how we view ourselves as citizens."

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Telling the Placemaking Story

Telling the Placemaking Story | green streets | Scoop.it

“Place matters” is a familiar declaration. Its common use shows that profiling places, especially creative, urban places, is very much in vogue. For instance, the phrase graces the Atlantic Cities masthead, is the title of a New York City project that protects distinctive local environments, frames a non-profit corporation and is a campaign of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

While placemaking is not a profession, it is certainly a practice that has spread across multiple disciplines, far beyond design and planning roots.

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Want calmer cities? Build socially sustainable communities...

Want calmer cities? Build socially sustainable communities... | green streets | Scoop.it

Environmental sustainability is now well recognized, though social sustainability – finding ways to make places work for people, that are inclusive and cohesive, and adaptable in the face of changing circumstances – is a new challenge.

There is strong evidence about the relationship between the quality of our local social relationships – the people we pass time with on the street, whether we can call on neighbors for help when we are ill – and how happy we are with where we live. The work that is needed to support this is the small scale, efforts of community development workers and local neighbourhood groups. However, this work is vulnerable to cuts in public spending, though corner cutting can have a stark long-term negative impact; the financial and social costs of neighbourhood failure are high and include raised levels of crime, unemployment and mental health problems...

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Wheely thankful...

Wheely thankful... | green streets | Scoop.it
This Thanksgiving, Elly Blue finds a whole bike basket full of things to be grateful for.

In last Sunday's New York Times, columnist Mark Bittman compiled a list of people and things in the food movement he's thankful for. The bicycle movement deserves its own list...

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