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green streets
thoughts, ideas + dialogues on urban revitalization, smart growth + neighborhood development
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A Collective Approach to Local Entrepreneurship

A Collective Approach to Local Entrepreneurship | green streets | Scoop.it

Locally owned shops were once cornerstones for products, services, employment and social networks in urban neighborhoods. The rise of automobiles, franchises and Internet shopping has forced many out of business or into niches that don't correspond with the needs of their local communities. However, in some cities they're seeing a resurgence due to creative initiatives that link grassroots activism with public- and private-sector resources.


In February, a special kind of shop opened in Amsterdam's Van der Pek neighborhood. It is called the Wisselwinkel, meaning "shift shop," because it hosts a new local entrepreneur every six months. If this trial period goes well, the entrepreneur receives assistance in setting up a more permanent location in the neighborhood.

Designed and constructed by MOS Collectief, the Wisselwinkel interior is flexible so that different startups can use it according to their needs. Along with the storefront, entrepreneurs receive practical guidance in connecting with support organizations, fulfilling legal requirements and attracting customers...

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Pedestrian Bridge in Amsterdam: an extension of the public realm

Pedestrian Bridge in Amsterdam: an extension of the public realm | green streets | Scoop.it

Designed for the [AMSTERDAM] Iconic Pedestrian Bridge Competition, the project offers more than just a possibility of crossing the Amstel river. Branching into several pedestrian trajectories, the bridge prioritizes on being an extension of the public space in front of the Hermitage Museum. In order to prolong the experience of water, the bridge comprises several routes to create a public promenade. The iconic nature of the project is seen by the design team as an emergent feature resulting from both the geometry of the bridge as well as the socially enabled functional potential.

'We see Amsterdam as a city of differences at a small scale which emphasize its local realm. Houseboats represent a specific way of living which could better highlight the local and embed a fruitful cultural echange between the visitors and Amsterdam’s way of living...'

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How Amsterdam’s Urban Form Created the Ideal Cycling City

How Amsterdam’s Urban Form Created the Ideal Cycling City | green streets | Scoop.it
Before the bicycle arrived in Amsterdam in the 19th century, the city had undergone six centuries of development, inadvertently creating a compact urban environment ideal for bicycle use.

A smaller city is more navigable by bicycle purely becaus 85% of journeys by bicycle in Amsterdam are shorter than 5km (3.1 miles). Amsterdam’s suitability for a bicycle network is about more than its size, however. A network of canals and 1,500 bridges mean it is essentially a city of islands. Most of Amsterdam’s canals were built to encourage property development, meaning many roads have water to one side and housing to the other. The result is that road widening is almost impossible. Considerations about how to adapt Amsterdam’s centre for cars were ultimately abandoned for bicycle-friendly policies. This included the development of an extensive network of segregated cycling facilities and bicycle friendly policies.

Mixed-use developments typically found in Amsterdam have further enhanced the city’s suitability for bicycle use. With home, work, and leisure opportunities located within shorter distances of each other, residents have easy access to retail, leisure, health and education facilities, critical in establishing sustainable communities...


Via Peter Jasperse
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Amsterdam’s Light Festival Sets the City Aglow With Magical LED Installations

Amsterdam’s Light Festival Sets the City Aglow With Magical LED Installations | green streets | Scoop.it

During the darkest time of the year, a vibrant festival of light and water enlivens Amsterdam.


Comprised of spectacular light sculptures, LED decorations on bridges, fiery boat parades and huge projections on public buildings, the festival brings together people in the often idyllic historic capital. Amsterdam's Light Festival is an initiative of Henk Jan Buchel, Vincent Horbach and Felix Guttmann together with Rogier van der Heiden—chief designer at Philips Lighting – this brilliant street party has a strong focus on innovation, design and sustainable lighting.

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Through trial and error, 'smart cities' are slowly getting smarter

Through trial and error, 'smart cities' are slowly getting smarter | green streets | Scoop.it
The 'smart city' concept has existed for several years, but only now, with some trial and error, are we seeing the real fruits of these efforts coming to light.

While the ambitions of Masdar City have been scaled back somewhat, Amsterdam is forging ahead, piloting a number of schemes to introduce smart technology to the way energy and other resources are managed within the city...

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The Local Food System

The Local Food System | green streets | Scoop.it

CITIES is re-interpreting urban farming as an asset for the city economy. This approach to the subject is neither revolutionary nor especially innovative, yet in the collation of an original set of parameters (community activity, urban landscapes and design applications) with existing approaches, new directions emerge...

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