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green streets
thoughts, ideas + dialogues on urban revitalization, smart growth + neighborhood development
Curated by Lauren Moss
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Radical Cities in Latin America by Justin McGuirk

Radical Cities in Latin America by Justin McGuirk | green streets | Scoop.it

A tour of informal settlements from Rio to Caracas shows cities being reclaimed in remarkable ways. But are they a viable template for the future?

In Radical Cities, Justin McGuirk travels across Latin America interviewing activist architects, community leaders and radical politicians who are devising ingenious architectural solutions to urban problems. Against a backdrop of austerity and corruption, he finds them working with marginalised citizens who are trying to meet their own housing needs and claim their right to the city.

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10 Techniques for Making Cities More Walkable

10 Techniques for Making Cities More Walkable | green streets | Scoop.it
In Jeff Speck’s excellent new book, Walkable City, he suggests that there are ten keys to creating walkability. Most of them also have something to do with redressing the deleterious effects caused by our allowing cars to dominate urban spaces for decades. I don’t necessarily agree with every detail, and my own list might differ in some ways that reflect my own experience and values. But it’s a heck of a good menu to get city leaders and thinkers started in making their communities more hospitable to walkers.


Visit the article link to read more details and examples of the author’s ten steps of walkability...

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Urban Design for the Public Realm | Sustainable Cities Collective

Urban Design for the Public Realm | Sustainable Cities Collective | green streets | Scoop.it

“Public Places – Urban Spaces” — a recently updated textbook on urban design and planning — includes a review of six place-making frameworks by the likes of Kevin Lynch, Nan Ellin and the Congress for a New Urbanism. The frameworks range from criteria to manifestos, at scales from the region to the home. While each has a different orientation, in sum they offer a mix of touchstones, principles, characteristics, goals and approaches linked with “good” urban design. They’re useful in developing standards for comparative evaluation, which can be applied adaptively toward creating healthy, democratic and attractive public space in cities...

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Explaining Transit's Secret Language

Explaining Transit's Secret Language | green streets | Scoop.it
In his new book, blogger-turned-author Jarrett Walker shows how transportation really works.

 

Walker, a consultant known for his Human Transit blog, sees his audience as "a curious and thoughtful person who cares about whether we find our way to more rational forms of urban mobility." To that end he clarifies many misguided perceptions held by those concerned with better transit development.

Instead of focusing on speed, we should elevate frequency; instead of debating technology (e.g. light rail v. bus) we should consider geometry; instead of glorifying direct service we should build more connections; instead of linking transit with restraint we should associate it with the "freedom to move."

Walker recently offered a few more transit insights to the humans who read Atlantic Cities...

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Alexandra Lange: Lessons from the High Line

Alexandra Lange: Lessons from the High Line | green streets | Scoop.it

The High Line isn't done yet, and its already the subject of history: an oral history based on interviews with Friends of the High Line cofounders Joshua David and Robert Hammond.

For those following the High Line saga in New York City and design publications, I don't think the book offers many revelations, but it does combine a chatty, accessible story with a wonderfully illustrated photographic one. I've been wrong before about what other people know, and David and Hammond are, as always, charming tour guides. I can also think of two High Line books (at least) I hope the future holds: One, a complete oral history with all the voices (government, philanthropic, architectural) who made the park happen. Something more like the slim volume Work AC put together on their MoMA PS1 Public Farm 1 project. And two, a deeper analysis of what the High Line and its proliferating linear brethren mean, for our cities, for our definition of park, for the profession of landscape architecture...


Via Jandira Feijó
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Review> LA Story - The Architect's Newspaper

Review> LA Story - The Architect's Newspaper | green streets | Scoop.it
No More Play: Conversations on Urban Speculation in Los Angeles and Beyond by Michael Maltzan.

Michael Maltzan has wisely framed his analysis of Los Angeles as a symposium, conversing with ten individuals who share his concerns about the state of the metropolis and its future. All came from somewhere else, and this gives them a critical perspective and a stubborn optimism about the potential of this urban agglomeration.

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Sustainable Urban Metabolism: How green is your city?

Sustainable Urban Metabolism: How green is your city? | green streets | Scoop.it

In the book, “Sustainable Urban Metabolism,” newly published by MIT Press, the authors set out a new program for doing something that has not yet been achieved: understanding just how many resources cities consume, and establishing, in effect, a holistic framework for producing an environmental balance sheet for every city. 

“The world needs to make a shift to become more sustainable,” says Ferrão, who is the director of the MIT-Portugal Program. “Cities are really the engines of growth, so whatever is going to happen in the world will happen in cities, particularly consumption of material resources.” Indeed, some organizations estimate that about half the world’s people now live in cities, a number likely to increase.

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Sharon McLean's curator insight, December 21, 2013 6:49 PM

Urban Sustainability

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What Makes a Great City: A General Theory of Walkability

What Makes a Great City: A General Theory of Walkability | green streets | Scoop.it

City engineers have turned our downtowns into places that are easy to get to but not worth arriving at.


In Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time (public library), city planner Jeff Speck, who spent four years leading the design division of the National Endowment for the Arts working directly with a couple hundred mayors to help solve their greatest city-planning challenges, turns a perceptive eye towards what makes a great city and how we might be able to harness the power of a conceptually simple, practically complex, immeasurably far-reaching solution in improving the fabric and experience of urban life.


Speck outlines a “General Theory of Walkability,” focusing on the four key factors of making a city attractive to pedestrians: 'it must be useful, safe, comfortable, and interesting. Each of these qualities is essential an none alone is sufficient...'


Learn more about urban livability, how to create the conditions that enable pedestrian-oriented development, and the benefits of this approach to urban spaces to the economic, environmental, and cultural health of a city at the article link...

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How Creativity Works in Cities

How Creativity Works in Cities | green streets | Scoop.it
Author Jonah Lehrer talks with us about the nexus of creativity and cities.

The human imagination is a bewildering process. How the brain comes up with great ideas is mysteriously complex.

Jonah Lehrer's ambitious new book, Imagine: How Creativity Works, takes a fascinating dive into the world of creativity and how it all works, not to mention devoting a chapter entirely to cities.

Lehrer recently took some time to chat with Atlantic Cities and expand on his ideas concerning the nexus of creativity and cities...

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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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Understanding Urbanity: 7 Must-Read Books About Cities

Understanding Urbanity: 7 Must-Read Books About Cities | green streets | Scoop.it
What airports have to do with Medieval towns, Brooklyn's bookstores and Le Corbusier.

Cities are where humanity’s creative and intellectual ideation, communication, and innovation takes place, so understanding cities is vital to understanding our civilization.

Here is an omnibus of seven fantastic books exploring the complex and faceted nature, function, history, and future of urbanity’s precious living organism, from design to sociology to economics and beyond.

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Excerpt> Cityscapes by John King Rewards the Careful Observer

Excerpt> Cityscapes by John King Rewards the Careful Observer | green streets | Scoop.it

As the San Francisco Chronicle‘s urban design critic for the last decade, John King is one of the Bay Area’s most influential champions of good architecture. He chronicles the city’s projects, both large and small, with an eye to how they how they affect the city.

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