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green streets
thoughts, ideas + dialogues on urban revitalization, smart growth + neighborhood development
Curated by Lauren Moss
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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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It's not about sustainable cities; it’s about suburban jobs

It's not about sustainable cities; it’s about suburban jobs | green streets | Scoop.it
Sustainability, climate change and livability mean little to most Americans — but the implications impact everyone. How do you sell the story?
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How a California city is cleaning up, building green, & protecting residents from pollution

How a California city is cleaning up, building green, & protecting residents from pollution | green streets | Scoop.it
  Over decades, the 14-acre commercial flower nursery in Richmond, California became a severely blighted site, its old greenhouses falling into disrepair and its soil polluted with years of pesticide and herbicide applications. 

After the nursery closed, contamination posed an obstacle to redevelopment. Not a great place for housing, one might think.

But think again: these challenges are being overcome as the site is cleaned of contaminants and transformed into what will be the city’s greenest new residential development.

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Shifting the Suburban Paradigm

Shifting the Suburban Paradigm | green streets | Scoop.it
Transforming the single-family home by paying attention to what residents, and communities, really need.

How does it work on the street? In the neighborhood? How is it served by transit? Is it adaptable, allowing for the housing of extended families or the hosting of an entrepreneurial endeavor? Can the owner build an accessory dwelling to do so? (Most zoning, homeowners’ associations and CCRs don’t allow for it currently.) What needs to happen to zoning, to financing, to our very notions of resale value to change the suburban condition — and by extension, the American Dream as we know it?

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Cutting Car Use at the Neighborhood Level

Cutting Car Use at the Neighborhood Level | green streets | Scoop.it
8 European projects show how design and planning can reduce automobile dependence...

Getting people out of their cars is a common goal for many urban planners and even some developers. But the idea is not always so easy to achieve, especially in car-dependent places. Eight relatively new developments in Europe, however, offer insights into how small-scale projects can encourage alternate transportation options.

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New York City’s Underground Park

New York City’s Underground Park | green streets | Scoop.it
After the popularity of New York’s High Line park, which is located on an abandoned elevated railway, there is a new plan for a Low Line park. Yes, an underground park nearly the size of Gramercy Park.
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How the Imagery of "Urbanized" Motivates Better Places

How the Imagery of "Urbanized" Motivates Better Places | green streets | Scoop.it
Seattle-based writer and futurist Alex Steffen (left) joins Gary Hustwit on stage...

As a survey text in visual form, Gary Hustwit’s Urbanized is a frank introduction to the buzz about cities in our age of right-minded sustainability. Lurking amid the narration and vignettes is a scalable world view where the car is no longer king, and community priorities rather than government mandates often set the agenda for change.

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Working Together to Construct Better Cities

Working Together to Construct Better Cities | green streets | Scoop.it
The notion of working together for a better outcome will be familiar to anyone that has worked in the construction industry over the last 15 years. But the challenge of producing green, low carbon buildings requires even closer collaboration.
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Smart Growth America to provide free smart growth technical assistance to communities

Smart Growth America to provide free smart growth technical assistance to communities | green streets | Scoop.it

Smart Growth America is pleased to announce technical assistance will now be available to select communities interested in smart growth strategies – free of charge.

The new program has been made possible by a five-year technical assistance grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The grant will be used to provide direct technical assistance to communities across the nation on how to develop local solutions to help their communities grow in ways that benefit families and businesses while protecting the environment and preserving a sense of place.

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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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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 redundant. The challenge is to find a new purpose for these buildings, one which is historically respectful but meets the modern needs of a city.
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Pushing for a New Park in Chicago’s Lakeview Neighborhood

Pushing for a New Park in Chicago’s Lakeview Neighborhood | green streets | Scoop.it

The designers behind the Lakeview Area Masterplan are pushing ahead with a plan for a new park on a vacant lot on North Paulina Street adjacent to the Brown Line tracks. According to their research there are five vacant lots within a one block area, so there is ample land available for development.

Plans for the park include shade trees, picnic mounds and other seating, a food truck corral, bioswales and other elements. The masterplan is unusual for its emphasis on sustainability, not the typical concern of chambers of commerce. Still, the designers and the chamber believe that attractive open space will make the area more desirable to business and residents.

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Building resilient cities and towns

Building resilient cities and towns | green streets | Scoop.it

It will not be news to anyone reading this that the United States remains in the midst of the deepest economic crisis in a lifetime. Becoming more economically resilient will require a basket of solutions, including a serious look at the way we have been growing our cities and towns.

This week, Strong Towns has released a substantial new report analyzing data and arguing that we must change our development approach if we wish to end the current economic crisis. In particular, we must emphasize obtaining a higher rate of financial return from existing infrastructure investments, focusing on traditional neighborhoods where large public investments in infrastructure are currently being underutilized...

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Mass transit can help revitalize neighborhoods

Mass transit can help revitalize neighborhoods | green streets | Scoop.it

Mass transit does more than move people from Point A to Point B. When planned properly with the right community support, it can spur economic growth in struggling neighborhoods.

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Can Continental Graphics Rehab Make La Brea and Second Street a Happening Pedestrian Zone?

Can Continental Graphics Rehab Make La Brea and Second Street a Happening Pedestrian Zone? | green streets | Scoop.it

DC-based developer Madison Marquette is converting the 1930s-era buildings on the block into retail, restaurants, and creative offices (and no housing, as in old reports). Long Beach-based architecture firm Studio 111 is doing "facade renovation, interior core and shell build out, and streetscape work aimed at introducing pedestrian vitality."

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A Focus on Attracting Residents

A Focus on Attracting Residents | green streets | Scoop.it
By spending billions improving public transport, sprucing up parks and public spaces, and investing in public services, Nantes has become one of France's premier green cities.
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Taipei, Taiwan: regional rail, transportation and identity

Taipei, Taiwan: regional rail, transportation and identity | green streets | Scoop.it

In less than 30 years, Taipei, Taiwan has undergone significant transformation in its cultural identity, its urban design, and its regional transportation systems. Taipei, the largest city of Taiwan, lies on the Danshui River 25 kilometers across the Taiwan Strait from China. Taipei City has approximately 2.6 million residents, and the metropolitan region has just shy of 7 million people.

While Taipei is not the largest city in the world by any stretch of the imagination, the city is one of the most densely packed, due to the natural hilly topography and limited areas upon which to build city structures.

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