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green streets
thoughts, ideas + dialogues on urban revitalization, smart growth + neighborhood development
Curated by Lauren Moss
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This "Story Pod" is a free-for-all lending library designed for a public park

On the edge of a recently completed civic square for the Canadian town of Newmarket, Ontario, Atelier Kastelic Buffey (AKB) have designed the “Story Pod,” a free community-supported lending library that is open to everyone.

The black box with vertical slats has two walls that pivot open like the covers of a book, welcoming people inside. Visitors can take or leave any of the books, or lounge quietly on the built-in seating and read...

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Eight Guidelines To Keep Creativity At The Heart of Cities

Eight Guidelines To Keep Creativity At The Heart of Cities | green streets | Scoop.it
Silvie Jacobi from This Big City lays out how to keep cultural production and creative industries thriving in our cities.


While creativity is associated with notions of change and innovation, there is no common ground in defining what “applied” creativity is. In cultural strategy, creativity is often used as a proxy for how much cultural consumption infrastructure a city offers. Planning creativity in favour of consumption is a risky undertaking that often gentrifies original clusters of cultural production.


Cities have been extremely important for the emergence of contemporary cultural production as they are places with extreme spatial and social density, access to infrastructure and with labour specialisation and cultural emancipation.

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EuropaCity: A New Urban Center by Bjarke Ingels Group

EuropaCity: A New Urban Center by Bjarke Ingels Group | green streets | Scoop.it

BIG with additional team members Tess, Transsolar, Base, Transitec and Michel Forgue is chosen to design an 80 Hectare cultural and commercial destination, EuropaCity in France.


The new urban center EuropaCity is located between Paris and Roissy in France’s most populated region Île-de-France, and will offer a mixture of retail, culture and leisure on an unprecedented scale around the theme of the European urban experience, diversity and culture.

BIG’s proposal is an urban form combining dense city with open landscape and will become a cultural and commercial gathering point for the surrounding cities of the Triangle de Gonesse. Like a city that is carved into the landscape, the entire facility is covered in an accessible green roof with recreational areas, hiking paths and urban farming. EuropaCity will be directly linked to the coming Grand Paris Express Metro to Charles de Gaule airport.


“EuropaCity will be an experimental hybrid between urbanism and landscape design: Center and periphery overlapped in the simultaneous coexistence of a recreational open landscape of rolling hills superimposed on an urban neighborhood of walkable streets, plazas and parks. We find that Paris these years is taking on a holistic effort to ensure that the urban periphery is given equal opportunity to be as lively and inhabitable as its historic center. EuropaCity will be an important step in this agenda.” –Bjarke Ingels, Founding Partner, BIG.

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Revitalization, Public Space + Modernism: Beko Masterplan by Zaha Hadid Architects

Revitalization, Public Space + Modernism: Beko Masterplan by Zaha Hadid Architects | green streets | Scoop.it
Zaha Hadid Architects has designed a swirling complex of apartments, offices and leisure facilities on the abandoned site of an old textile factory in Belgrade, Serbia. Covering an area of 94,000 square metres, the Beko complex will give the historic quarter a new destination on a site that is just 500 metres from the city but is currently unused and inaccessible.
Zaha Hadid Architects took influence from the twentieth century Modernist architecture typical in the capital and combined it with the studio’s signature parametric style to design a cluster of buildings (including a hotel, a congress center, galleries and shops) that flow into one another.
“The masterplan follows the region’s strong Modernist traditions and has applied new concepts and methods that examine and organize the programs of the site; defining a composition of buildings with the elegance of coherence that addresses the complexity of twenty-first century living patterns,” said Zaha Hadid.
“It is absolutely critical to invest in these public spaces that engage with the city. They are a vital component of a rich urban life and cityscape, uniting the city and tying the urban fabric together,” she added...
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Place Capital: Re-connecting Economy With Community

Place Capital: Re-connecting Economy With Community | green streets | Scoop.it

Reform—of transportation, food systems, and so many aspects of the way we live—is no longer about adding bike lanes or buying veggies from a local farmer; the time has come to re-focus on large-scale culture change.

Advocates from different movements are reaching across aisles to form broader coalitions. While we all fight for different causes that stir our individual passions, many change agents are recognizing that it is the common ground we share—both physically and philosophically—that brings us together, reinforces the basic truths of our human rights, and engenders the sense of belonging and community that leads to true solidarity.

Even when we disagree with our neighbors, we still share at least one thing with them: place. Our public spaces—from our parks to our markets to our streets—are where we learn about each other, and take part in the interactions, exchanges, and rituals that together comprise local culture.


Read the complete article for more on the ideas and strategies that positively contribute to our public spaces and enhance interpersonal connections, economic opportunity and placemaking.

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The right approach to green, inclusive revitalization

The right approach to green, inclusive revitalization | green streets | Scoop.it

  When it is done well - with inclusion, affordability, environmental and cultural sensitivity, and attention to great placemaking - few things are as good for our communities as reinvestment in aging neighborhoods. 

It’s the ultimate win-win-win: improving environmental quality and people habitat while absorbing new development without sprawl. I am pleased to report that I have found another fantastic-looking example to add to my list of favorites.

I suppose I should no longer be surprised when great, environmentally sensitive community-building comes out of the Pacific Northwest, but I can still be impressed. If you’re looking for exemplary revitalization with new, first-class green infrastructure, community facilities and mixed-income housing, take a look at what’s happening in the Sunset district of Renton, Washington, a city of about 90,000 people south of Seattle...

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Brightening Up NYC for Earth's Most Precious Resource

Brightening Up NYC for Earth's Most Precious Resource | green streets | Scoop.it

If you’ve ever been to Manhattan and gazed at the magnificent skyline, you may have noticed that most of the buildings are topped with huge wooden water tanks.

I lived there for 2 years before they were pointed out to me on a boat cruise around the island. It turns out that they aren’t ancient relics from the past, but are actually still used today on all buildings over six stories throughout the 5 boroughs. They use gravity to provide water pressure. Just as these crucial devices have gone unnoticed by many, so has the water crisis that we are facing today.


A non-profit, Word Above the Street has taken on a project to bring awareness to our Earth’s most precious resource: fresh water. The Water Tank Project will reshape the city’s skyline as artists and public school children decorate the tanks with original water-conservation themed artwork. The wrapped tanks will be up for 3 months in the Spring of 2013 for the world to see, hopefully inspiring other major cities to do the same...

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Planning for Art - The Architect's Newspaper

Planning for Art - The Architect's Newspaper | green streets | Scoop.it

Chicago revising cultural and economic development strategy.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel has long been a vocal supporter of the arts. Now City Hall is coordinating an extensive outreach effort to check Chicago’s creative pulse, seeking comment on the city’s first new cultural plan in more than 25 years.

After his election in February 2011, Emanuel directed the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) to revamp the Chicago Cultural Plan, which was created in 1986 under Mayor Harold Washington. DCASE launched a website in January to coordinate its efforts. They are expected to produce a draft plan by early summer.

“The arts are political,” said attorney Michael Dorf, who directed the process that created Mayor Washington’s plan. “They enrich us, they enrage us, they move us to action. And anything that does that is political.”

Formerly special counsel to Sidney R. Yates, chairman of the congressional appropriations committee, Dorf wanted to democratize cultural planning with the 1986 planning process. Instead of press conferences and backrooms, he said, the city should borrow from the basics of grassroots organizing.

It’s an approach Chicago’s current cultural commissioner, Michelle Boone, has revived for the 2012 plan. With the help of social media, Boone said her department is taking stock of the city’s existing cultural assets, identifying opportunities for “cultural hubs.”

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Turning an Abandoned Industrial Island into a Green Cultural Center in Paris

Turning an Abandoned Industrial Island into a Green Cultural Center in Paris | green streets | Scoop.it
A small island in the Parisian suburbs, once home to Renault car factories, is being converted into a cultural hub with a focus on sustainable development and a quality living environment.

The renewal of the site was first proposed in 1997, five years after Renault closed shop. The island and the adjacent mainland cover 74 hectares in the city of Boulogne-Bilancourt. The idea is to develop the empty industrial space into a thriving urban center, with 500,000m⊃2; of housing (one third of it for low-income residents), 250,000m⊃2; of office space and 250,000m⊃2; for shops and public space.

The project will focus equally on sustainable development and creating a quality living environment. The socially diverse "eco-neighborhood" will focus on public transportation over individual cars (an ironic turn for an old automobile plant) and feature large public spaces, filled with plant life and pedestrian walkways...

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Smart Growth = Smart Parenting

Smart Growth = Smart Parenting | green streets | Scoop.it

Put the village on hold. For the time being, it’s gonna take a parent, a councilman and a developer to raise a child.

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Why Apple’s ascension to world’s largest company is great for cities | SmartPlanet

Is there any more potent a symbol of our civilization’s shift away from oil dependency and sprawl than a mobile devices company growing larger..?

As young people turn away from cars — a phenomenon so powerful that it has had the marketing departments of car companies running scared for years — they are left with no other option than mass transit, and that means increased density, urbanism, walkability and everything else required to bring our way of life in line with planetary boundaries.

Millennials aren’t just fleeing the automobile; they’re also explicitly fleeing McMansions and the suburbs. As S. Mitra Kalita and Robbie Whelan reported in the Wall Street Journal:

Gen Y housing preferences are the subject of at least two panels at this week’s convention. A key finding: They want to walk everywhere. Surveys show that 13% carpool to work, while 7% walk, said Melina Duggal, a principal with Orlando-based real estate adviser RCLCO. A whopping 88% want to be in an urban setting, but since cities themselves can be so expensive, places with shopping, dining and transit such as Bethesda and Arlington in the Washington suburbs will do just fine.

The ascension of Apple, a company in the vanguard of firms that make devices you don’t need until you have one and become hopelessly addicted, literally represents a wealth transfer from the old economy — cars, oil, long commutes — to a new one built on a desire to capitalize on virtual connectivity by recapitulating it in the real world. The mechanism of this wealth transfer are consumers themselves, who are making decisions every day to buy an iPad instead of a new car, or to move closer to work so that they don’t have to drive at all.

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How we will live: More green, more urban, more efficient

How we will live: More green, more urban, more efficient | green streets | Scoop.it
The neighborhoods of 2039 will feel more like cityscapes with environmentally friendly, energy efficient amenities and people living closer to their jobs.

How we live is indicative of who we are, and both are changing. As city planners look to the next quarter century, they must factor in three profound shifts in modern society: information technology, mobility and climate.

As with everything else, technology is changing not just how we live and work, but the cities where we live and work. That technology has already affected social change, making younger generations more mobile and urban. Technology has also offered new solutions to some of the biggest challenges for 21st century urban planners—climate change and how we make our neighborhoods as green as possible.


More at the link...

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Catherine Devin's curator insight, April 7, 2014 9:00 AM

Il y a besoin de réfléchir à comment  intégrer les projets de durabilité en milieu urbain et les projets technologiques. On présente souvent ces derniers comme la solution aux questions posées par les premiers; c'est vrai, comme l'indiquent des observateurs du Green IT mais seulement si elles sont aussi élaborées avec une démarche RSE Au final, la technologie serait plutôt une  des composantes de nos vies futures apportant son lot de solutions et de questions... à nous de pousser à ses côtés aussi d'autres solutions  : nouvelles attitudes, nouveaux usages pour une ville durable... mais aussi désirable et humaine ?

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A Sustainable, Innovative Proposal for Taichung City Cultural Centre in Taiwan

A Sustainable, Innovative Proposal for Taichung City Cultural Centre in Taiwan | green streets | Scoop.it

The team of architects from Maxthreads Architectural Design & Planning designed the Taichung City Cultural Centre with the aim of combining nature and innovative technology.


The project defines the northern arrival gateway to Taichung Gateway Park, providing a public hub to the overall master plan. An iconic visual corridor connects the Transportation Centre to the main cultural district of the city through a vibrant pubic space, creating an unconventional and exceptional gathering space for visitors and inhabitants.

Maxthreads’ proposal introduces a strong relationship between the exterior and interior public spaces integrating into the Taichung Gateway Park. The Cultural Centre is designed in conjunction with Taichung Gateway park, and includes the integration of culture, education, tourism, environmental conservation, carbon reduction, energy conservation and sustainability.

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Why Is 'Authenticity' So Central to Urban Culture?

Why Is 'Authenticity' So Central to Urban Culture? | green streets | Scoop.it

As Jane Jacobs has said, it is in the mix of the streets where cities get their unique character and retain their independence. Authenticity comes from living in the city, rather than above it.


The more alike our cities and neighborhoods become, the harder we try to seek out spaces, food, and clothes that affirm a sense of realness and rootedness. The more alike we become, the thirstier we are for perceived individuality. And in crowded cities, being an individual means being rooted in modern notions of authenticity...

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Pedro Barbosa's curator insight, February 2, 2013 4:58 AM

Authenticity and Character. I have been talking a lot about this issues as a trend for some time and reinforce its importance for the next years.

 

Pedro Barbosa | www.pbarbosa.com | www.harvardtrends.com

ParadigmGallery's comment, February 3, 2013 3:47 PM
a lot of insight in this piece...TY
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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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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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INTERVIEW: Rem Koolhaas on the Invention and Reinvention of the City

INTERVIEW: Rem Koolhaas on the Invention and Reinvention of the City | green streets | Scoop.it

Rem Koolhaas is a leading urban theorist and a Pritzker Prize–winning architect engaged in building projects around the world. He co-founded the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), which is receiving international attention for its recent completion of an enigmatic new headquarters for China Central Television (CCTV) in Beijing.

 

Here, Koolhaas discusses how the economic and cultural changes of the 21st century are transforming world cities as well as the practice of architecture.

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America's Urban-Rural Work Divide

America's Urban-Rural Work Divide | green streets | Scoop.it

Where we live dictates an awful lot about the type of work available to us.

Farm vs. factory, bucolic green fields vs. densely packed streets: from Green Acres to The Simple Life, America's urban-rural divide has been an enduring axis of the nation's culture. Today, with less than one percent of people employed on farms, what is the underlying source of that divide?

A new Federal Reserve Bank of New York Staff Report by my Martin Prosperity Institute colleague Kevin Stolarick, Fed economist Jaison Abel, and Todd Gabe of the University of Maine, sheds new light on the underlying economic differences between urban and rural areas. It provides a detailed examination of the geographic distribution of jobs, skills, and earnings across the United States, from densely populated city centers to isolated and sparsely populated rural areas.

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Study of the Day: Towns With Small Businesses Have Healthier People

Study of the Day: Towns With Small Businesses Have Healthier People | green streets | Scoop.it
The rewards of a vibrant small business sector go beyond economics: Research shows places that rely on large retailers have more problems.

 

Sociologists are divided on how small businesses affect public health. Some say that mom-and-pop operations symbolize a greater investment in the community so proprietors may value the well-being of their employees, customers, and other local citizens more. Others, however, argue that large companies may be better at providing pension plans and health insurance...

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Designing Cities with Children in Mind

Designing Cities with Children in Mind | green streets | Scoop.it
In Accra, Ghana’s capital, a local non-profit is taking two acres of undeveloped land and transforming it into a child-centric, play-friendly public centre where the entire community can re-imagine 21st century urban living.
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Mapping Higher Education

Mapping Higher Education | green streets | Scoop.it

Mapping higher education as a potent force of development across the city, now and in the future. Essay by Mitchell Moss.

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What Makes a Great Urban Street? | The Shouting Hare

What Makes a Great Urban Street? | The Shouting Hare | green streets | Scoop.it

We recently had the opportunity to think about what makes a streetscape feel or be urban. As part of the exercise, several people from our office collected images of what they thought were landscape characteristics of a vibrant urban street and we started developing an ever evolving list: bold horticulture that stands up to the architecture, busy sidewalk in front of a skyscraper; density; not always clean and orderly; vibrant colors; places to spend money; illuminated wildly at night; trees; water; somewhere to watch people; shade; irregularity from one street/storefront to the next.

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