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thoughts, ideas + dialogues on urban revitalization, smart growth + neighborhood development
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It’s Time to Start Building Wooden Skyscrapers

It’s Time to Start Building Wooden Skyscrapers | green streets | Scoop.it
'Plyscrapers,' created out of material similar to Ikea's wooden furniture, may be the future of high-rise buildings.

In 2023, Swedish architecture firm C.F. Møller will transform the Stockholm skyline—and perhaps the very notion of skyscrapers. Last December, the designers won a competition organized by HSB Stockholm to honor the local real estate titan’s upcoming centenary with an ostentatious new high-rise. Møller submitted three designs, but the public latched onto one in particular: a thirty-four story tower made almost entirely out of wood, save for a spindly concrete core and a few steel poles on the ground floor. If constructed, the tower will be the largest mostly-wooden structure in the world. But rather than a one-off, it could be the clarion call needed to rouse the public around a new architectural trend.

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Urban Reflector: San Francisco's Massive 5M Project Bridges Neighborhoods

Urban Reflector: San Francisco's Massive 5M Project Bridges Neighborhoods | green streets | Scoop.it

Real estate development company Forest City is moving forward with a plan to build a residential and office complex on four acres around the San Francisco Chronicle building, a 1924 structure on the corner of 5th and Mission streets, where the city’s South of Market, Downtown, and Mid-Market neighborhoods intersect.

The design team for the project includes New York–based architecture firm Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF), SITELAB urban studio, and historic resources consultant Architectural Resources Group.

If approved, the scheme—located near the city’s Powell Street BART and MUNI stations—will contain 1.8 million square feet of development, including about 870,000 square feet of offices, 800,000 square feet of residences, 150,000 square feet of ground floor uses, and 34,000 square feet of open space.

In addition to the built structures, the development includes the 12,000-square-foot “Mary Square,” and a 22,000-square-foot green space on the Chronicle Building Roof. Roughly 25 percent of the project’s residences are set to be affordable units.

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Thomas Heatherwick Greens Pier55 for New York's Lower West Side

Thomas Heatherwick Greens Pier55 for New York's Lower West Side | green streets | Scoop.it

British designer thomas heatherwick is to build a public park and performance space on manhattan’s lower west side. 

Entitled Pier55, the project will replace the dilapidated pier 54 with construction expected to start in 2016. Costing in excess of $130 million USD, the scheme be funded primarily by the diller-von furstenberg family who will work alongside the hudson river park trust in developing the site.

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3 Clever Ideas To Re-Use San Francisco's Aging Infrastructure

3 Clever Ideas To Re-Use San Francisco's Aging Infrastructure | green streets | Scoop.it

Called SF RE:MADE, San Francisco-based IwamotoScott Architecture propose up-cycling Candlestick Park and two other out-of-use waterfront landmarks, the Hunters Point Crane and the Islais Creek Silos, providing alternative uses for aging 20th-century structures whose original purposes have become outdated.

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Suzette Jackson's curator insight, August 17, 2014 8:28 PM

Regenerative design requires a certain boldness by government, the courage to acknowledge when infrastructure is outdated and the future is on a different path. Kudo to SF RE:MADE

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Underground Culture: Designing A Museum for Los Angeles' Historic District

Underground Culture: Designing A Museum for Los Angeles' Historic District | green streets | Scoop.it

Downtown Los Angeles’s historic core is about to get its first major museum, if that’s what you want to call it. Local developer Tom Gilmore and architect Tom Wiscombe are teaming up on the complex project, which they are calling the Old Bank District Museum. It will be dedicated to contemporary Los Angeles art and located in the sub-basements, basements, ground floors, mezzanines, and roofs of three interconnected buildings along Main and Fourth streets.

“We’re going beyond the frontier of street level,” said Tom Wiscombe, principal at Tom Wiscombe Architecture and a professor at SCI-Arc. Gilmore, founder of Gilmore Associates, who has been a major player in the resurrection of the Bank District, calls the project “insanely organic.”

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Minneapolis breaks ground on massive downtown east development

Minneapolis breaks ground on massive downtown east development | green streets | Scoop.it

Earlier this month, workers broke ground on the largest Twin Cities real estate development project in two decades. Budding off a new stadium for the Minnesota Vikings, designed by HKS, locally based Ryan Companies saw an opportunity to redefine the Minneapolis neighborhood of Downtown East.

Their five-block mixed-use development will include two 18-story office towers for Wells Fargo, six levels of parking with more than 1,600 spaces, about 24,000 square feet of retail space, 193 apartments and a four-acre urban park near the new stadium’s northwest corner. Wells Fargo currently has 5,000 employees scattered across more than a dozen offices throughout the area.

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Sydney's Version of New York’s High Line to be Completed in 2014

Sydney's Version of New York’s High Line to be Completed in 2014 | green streets | Scoop.it
Work has begun on stage one of The Goods Line Project, a railway-turned-urban park project connecting Sydney’s Central Station to Darling Harbour.

Located in inner Sydney, the project includes a pedestrian and cycle network, creating a new urban hub and connecting more than 80,000 students, residents and visitors to the harbour’s recreational and pedestrian precinct.

The new corridor is being compared to the High Line in New York City, a public park and walkway constructed on a historic freight train line elevated above the streets of Manhattan’s lower west side...

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Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, April 19, 2014 3:07 AM

Strategies to improve urban places and liveability 

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Brooklyn Bridge Crossroads: Landscape plan rebuilds a gateway to the iconic bridge

Brooklyn Bridge Crossroads: Landscape plan rebuilds a gateway to the iconic bridge | green streets | Scoop.it

Every day, thousands of cyclists and pedestrians jockey for space on a narrow strip along the center of the Brooklyn Bridge. At the Brooklyn terminus of the bridge, however, the already-chaotic scene devolves into a dangerous confluence of cars, bikes, and pedestrians as the path abruptly ends in the center of a busy intersection at Adams and Tillary streets.

After five years of study, meetings, and schematic designs, however, accessing the Brooklyn Bridge will soon be improved under a plan to revamp the Brooklyn Bridge Gateway Area streetscape, encompassing Tillary Street between Cadman Plaza West and Prince Street and several blocks of Adams Street, with widened sidewalks, improved bike lanes, and increased landscaping.

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Bass and Flinders Gateway: A Proposed Development Encouraging Community in New South Wales

Bass and Flinders Gateway: A Proposed Development Encouraging Community in New South Wales | green streets | Scoop.it

The Bass and Flinders Gateway development in New South Wales, Australia sits at the threshold of Wollongong and the greater Illawarra region, with the Illawarra Escarpment as the backdrop and inspiration behind the design concept- an aesthetic and metaphoric link to the building’s central location at the heart of the coastal plain between the mountain and sea, resonating the energy and history of the city.


To manage the transition between the city center and its outskirts, the profile of the buildings vary, layered as the topography of the escarpment, fine-tuned to moderate between the scales of the city, the domestic to the civic, the shed to the office tower. 
At the heart of the development is a central green space, permeable to cyclists and pedestrians, importantly connected into the Wollongong city grain and its local precinct. Designed to encourage social interaction and foster a sense of community that works positively with the developing urban plan and commercial strategy of the city rather than in competition it. 

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Raymond Versteegh's curator insight, December 25, 2013 8:44 AM

Love The Design And Intention --- out there in South Wales, Australia

Norm Miller's curator insight, January 1, 2014 4:32 PM

City planning matters and yet it is so often weighed down by naive resident concerns, NIMBY types and policitians.  

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Gehry and Foster team up on Battersea Power Station redevelopment

Gehry and Foster team up on Battersea Power Station redevelopment | green streets | Scoop.it

Los Angeles firm Gehry Partners will collaborate with London office Foster + Partners to carry out phase three of the Rafael Viñoly-designed masterplan, adding a shopping street to connect the old Victorian power station with a new London Underground station, and building residential neighbourhoods on either side.

The two firms will co-design the retail stretch, known as The High Street, which will encompass shops, restaurants, a library, a hotel and a leisure centre. Foster + Partners will add residential buildings to the east, while Gehry will work on the residential zone to the west - the architect's first major project in the UK.

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Hamburg's Answer to Climate Change: An Extensive Pedestrian & Bicycle-Oriented Green Network

Hamburg's Answer to Climate Change:  An Extensive Pedestrian & Bicycle-Oriented Green Network | green streets | Scoop.it
The German city is planning a green network that will cover 40% of the city area, contributing to resilience and allowing biking, swimming and nature watching in the city

The European commercial hub promotes bicycling as the main mode of transportation, and plans to build a network around bikes and pedestrians, linking car-free roads to parks and playgrounds, from the city centre to the suburbs.

Welcome to Hamburg, an environmental pioneer whose planned green network will cover 40% of the city's area. "It will connect parks, recreational areas, playgrounds, gardens and cemeteries through green paths", says Angelika Fritsch, a spokeswoman for the city's department of urban planning and the environment. "Other cities, including London, have green rings, but the green network will be unique in covering an area from the outskirts to the city centre. In 15 to 20 years you'll be able to explore the city exclusively on bike and foot."

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How To Improve A City: 10 Feats Of Engineering From Arup

How To Improve A City: 10 Feats Of Engineering From Arup | green streets | Scoop.it

Last week, Architizer and Arup put out a call for ideas to make New York City a better place for its residents and the 1 million additional people projected to arrive in the next few decades. As a follow-up, we’ve gathered a few examples of Arup projects from around the world that demonstrate the way that design can enhance everyday life in urban areas.

One, the UK's high-speed rail line from London to the Channel Tunnel, was a massive, decades-long effort that had the regeneration of a whole city sector in its goals from the outset. Others, such as a water recycling facility in a Melbourne park, are more modest in scale and scope, but present interesting models for dealing with challenges common to many cities around the world: resource constraints, housing shortages, disadvantaged neighborhoods, natural disasters, and more.

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How to Bring China's Ghost Towns Back to Life

How to Bring China's Ghost Towns Back to Life | green streets | Scoop.it

We’ve all seen the reports on “ghost town” developments in China, showing acres of empty high-rise apartments and vacant shopping malls-Flawed financial incentives for cities, along with the poor phasing of services, amenities, and jobs create most of the problems. 

An all-too-typical example is Chenggong, the new town planned for 1.5 million that boasts the growing Yunnan University, a new government center; and an emerging light industrial area.

Fortunately, Chenggong is experimenting with a new model of urban planning. With support from the national government and planning by the China Sustainable Transportation Center.

More at the article link.

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Philippa Rose's curator insight, September 10, 2013 12:10 PM

Peter Calthrope explains the economic, environmental and social problems created by China's "ghost town" developments and considers a sustainable alternative currently being considered in the city of Chenggong.

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BIG Reveals First Renderings for Public Square at London’s Battersea Power Station

BIG Reveals First Renderings for Public Square at London’s Battersea Power Station | green streets | Scoop.it
The New York- and Copenhagen-based practice will establish their first U.K. project with "Malaysia Square," linking Giles Gilbert Scott’s southern entrance to the Foster + Partners' and Gehry Partners' proposed Electric Boulevard high street.

The total redevelopment, led by Rafael Viñoly, FAIA, is estimated at £8 billion, or approximately $9.9 million, with BIG’s public space linking the southern entrance of Scott’s Grade II with the proposed high street, Electric Boulevard, by Foster + Partners and Gehry Partners.

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Embracing the Future: the Smartest Cities In The World

Embracing the Future: the Smartest Cities In The World | green streets | Scoop.it
These cities that are doing the best at embracing the future are focusing on improving technology, equality, sharing, civic participation, and more.

Over the past several years, the idea of the being "smart" has emerged as a key mechanism for cities to find innovative solutions to the challenges that they are facing. Increased demand for infrastructure, housing, transportation, jobs, energy, food and water are all straining city governments and infrastructure, as people around the world flock to urban centers in hopes of a better life and more opportunity. For many years, the push to create smarter cities was led by technology companies looking for uses (and buyers) for their products. But in recent years, cities have begun to think more holistically about what being a smart city could mean, and have innovated new ways to modernize how a city serves its citizens.

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Irina Miroshnikova's curator insight, December 6, 2014 3:16 AM

добавить ваше понимание ...

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5 Cities Revolutionizing the Role of the Urban Train Station

A recent Washington Post feature entitled “Reimagining Union Station,” discusses the proposed expansion and redevelopment of Union Station in Washington, DC, a transit hub with the daily task of servicing nearly 100,000 train, bus, and subway passengers.

Despite its vital and iconic qualities, the Station suffers from a variety of structural and programmatic inefficiencies, and reminds us of the effects transportation-oriented design has on an urban environment, and the importance of maintaining a high degree of density within our cities. In the article, several other stations around the world are highlighted — particularly Grand Central Station in New York City, as good examples of how train stations ought to be designed. Stations such as the SSB Train Station in Basel, Switzerland, the Berlin Central Station in Germany, the Salzburg Central Station in Austria and the redevelopment plans for Los Angeles's Union Station match his description, both honoring the commuter experience while enhancing their larger role within the urban environment...

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Next-generation high-rises offer glimpses of our urban skyline future

Next-generation high-rises offer glimpses of our urban skyline future | green streets | Scoop.it
The world's cities are sprouting with plans for new towers and skyscrapers, a sign of twin booms in creativity and wealth.

When London has 250 new skyscrapers planned and building departments in cities from New York to Abuja, Nigeria, are bursting at the seams for new tower permits. The new designs display greater technological prowess, unimaginable beauty and true innovation in how people will live in tomorrow's intelligent, dense, high-rise world...

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Rebalancing Development + Community Building Projects: Reconstructing Post-disaster Japan

Rebalancing Development + Community Building Projects: Reconstructing Post-disaster Japan | green streets | Scoop.it

Nearly two years have passed since "3.11", Japan's worst disaster since the Pacific War. Now, twenty months later, we can start to see the kind of future that Japan has entered, and the values and visions that are animating its architects, designers, and artists in this period of reconstruction and renewal.

At the heart of the reconstruction challenge that Japan faces is the question of the relation between the centre and the periphery, or to put it in starker terms, between the strong and the weak. This relation is expressed in many ways – between global forces or state authority and local people; between the metropolis and the countryside; between the victims and the spared. The earnestness with which metropolitan architects have engaged local communities only underscores this asymmetry. Beyond the immediate response to disaster, what many in Japan are seeking is the rebalancing of a long legacy of uneven development.

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Eco Villa Concepts in Flavors Orchard, China by Vincent Callebaut Architecture

Eco Villa Concepts in Flavors Orchard, China by Vincent Callebaut Architecture | green streets | Scoop.it

Vincent Callebaut Architecture have designed a series of plus-energy villas for a self contained eco community in China. The Flavors Orchard project aims to encourage sustainable developments in China by showcasing the economic and environmental advantages of self sufficient buildings with efficient automated energy systems...

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Go-Ahead for Santa Monica Bergamot Transit Village by Gensler

Go-Ahead for Santa Monica Bergamot Transit Village by Gensler | green streets | Scoop.it

The Santa Monica City Council approved Bergamot Transit Village Center, a development put together by Hines and designed by Gensler.

 The project, one of the biggest in the Los Angeles area, planned for a 7-acre plot of land at 26th Street and Olympic Boulevard includes 473 residential units, 26 artist work/live units, over 370,000 square feet of creative office space, 15,500 square feet of restaurant space, and almost 14,000 square feet of retail spread across five buildings.

An expansive public plaza opens at the corner of Olympic and Cloverfield, with a curved building and bridges on three levels connecting to adjacent mixed-use space. The multi-family residential zone includes a neighborhood park and landscaped pedestrian paseo.

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Water-proofing the Future: Floating Cities & Innovative Architecture

Water-proofing the Future: Floating Cities & Innovative Architecture | green streets | Scoop.it

The lure of the sea: Pacific islands perched in glistening aquamarine, softly lapping waves caressing Europe’s beaches. Now, many of these bucket list hotspots are about to be reclaimed by our beloved sea.

Naturally, we know all about rising sea levels. Cities like Venice as well as entire coastal regions, a. o. in The Netherlands, are acutely threatened by this development. But what can we do to stave off the danger?

Climate change and the resulting greenhouse effect are in full swing. Even a truly radical gear change and turnaround in climate politics would leave our planet fighting the repercussions for a century to come. Against this background, scientists and architects join forces to develop protective solutions for people and the ground they stand on.

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Designing Parking Garages With a Car-less Future in Mind

Designing Parking Garages With a Car-less Future in Mind | green streets | Scoop.it
Building adaptable structures will save time, money, and material waste.

There's a growing belief among architects and designers that all urban parking garages should be built with these "good bones," which will allow them to be re-purposed in the future. For a variety of reasons, from higher gas prices to greater densification to better transit options, city residents will continue to drive fewer cars. As a result, we'll eventually require fewer parking lots. The ability to adapt a structure rather than tear it down will save developers time, money, and material waste...

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Sherbourne Common: A Transformed Brownfield at Toronto's Revitalized Waterfront

Sherbourne Common: A Transformed Brownfield at Toronto's Revitalized Waterfront | green streets | Scoop.it

Sherbourne Common, transformed from a brownfield site along a neglected stretch of Toronto’s waterfront, transcends the conventional definition of a park by interweaving a stormwater treatment facility with landscape, architecture, engineering, and public art. As the newest addition to Toronto’s revitalized waterfront, it's both an outdoor living room for the emerging mixed-use community and an urban park intended to serve the broader constituency of downtown Toronto.

Conceived as a catalytic node along the waterfront, Sherbourne Common was built in advance of private development. The commitment to public realm was paramount to the client’s vision for the regeneration of Toronto’s waterfront. Sherbourne Common along with other waterfront public realm contributions are becoming well used beautiful moments along the lakeshore strung together with a new waterfront promenade and a future grand boulevard. This is strong evidence of the significance and power of building public realm in generating new vibrant urban communities on post industrial lands...

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Brooklyn Cultural Experiment: A Contextual Mixed Use Development

Brooklyn Cultural Experiment: A Contextual Mixed Use Development | green streets | Scoop.it

A new mixed-use development, called “EyeBAM,” is the latest addition to Brooklyn’s burgeoning Downtown Cultural District.

Dattner Architects, Bernheimer Architecture, and SCAPE / Landscape Architecture, have been selected by the Mayor’s Office and the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development to design a 12-story building with109 apartments (40 percent affordable and 60 percent market rate), a restaurant and two arts-and-science-focused organizations, Eyebeam and Science Gallery.

Designed to engage with neighboring cultural institutions, the restaurant will flow into the new Arts Plaza, which will include outdoor seating to activate the space.

To further accentuate the cultural space, the architects plan to implement a glazed exterior on the lower levels. The material palette, composed of terracotta and brick, is a nod to Brooklyn’s architectural history.

“We wanted to create a scale and texture to the building that was both contextual to the neighborhood but also gave the building its own identity."


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Norm Miller's curator insight, October 29, 2013 1:33 PM

This is an example of what smart cities will be encouraging.

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Can Urban Planning Turn Brooklyn Into the Next Silicon Valley?

Can Urban Planning Turn Brooklyn Into the Next Silicon Valley? | green streets | Scoop.it

Planners present a smart vision for any city seeking to accommodate innovation.

A new cluster of tech activity in Brooklyn is taking shape, showing some of the momentum its West coast counterpart had decades ago, already home about 500 tech and creative companies, with demand for space expected to double by 2015.

But how do you make sure a dense urban area can accommodate that growth and transform into a zone where connectivity is a given and tech-fueled civic experimentation is encouraged?

In other words, what does it take to make Brooklyn the city of tomorrow? That’s just what the architects and urban designers at WXY Studio were tasked with figuring out...


Read the complete article to find more on the strategic plan for the Brooklyn Tech Triangle, which lays out in detail what it will take to establish a thriving tech hub in the heart of Brooklyn.

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Peter Jasperse's curator insight, September 15, 2013 2:58 AM

An interesting article on how carefull urban planning can foster the tech scene in a city: creating safe public spaces where people can meet and hook up to the internet, good management of office space so companies can grow and a high tech industries to support the tech scene. 

Not onle NY is going that way, also London (Silicon Roundabout) is working hard on it's own inner city tech hub.

John Boitnott's curator insight, September 15, 2013 1:15 PM

Can Urban Planning Turn Brooklyn Into the Next Silicon Valley?

Alison D. Gilbert's curator insight, November 12, 2013 9:51 PM

I used to live in walking distance of this area. It must have changed dramatically but it is a walk I would not have wanted to take.