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green streets
thoughts, ideas + dialogues on urban revitalization, smart growth + neighborhood development
Curated by Lauren Moss
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Public art transforms the urban canvas

Public art transforms the urban canvas | green streets | Scoop.it
Public art has evolved into an essential element of urban placemaking and social engagement.

 
'Public art is increasingly an interactive, community-based experience. A focus on “social practice,” or engaging local communities in creating change through art, is borne out in public art pieces that are as thought-provoking as they are aesthetically pleasing.
 It should come as little surprise that in the era of Facebook, Twitter and the 24/7 conversation, public art is morphing into a tool for community engagement...'

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6 New Year's Resolutions for Better City Life | Sustainable Cities Collective

6 New Year's Resolutions for Better City Life | Sustainable Cities Collective | green streets | Scoop.it

(by Cristiana StravaIt) 

It's the time of year again when we take stock of the old and pledge to be better in the new. Since our goal at Polis is to foster dialogue and cooperation for improving city life, I'm proposing a short list of New Year's resolutions to help us all live better urban lives...

Lauren Moss's insight:

An overview of practices and programs that enable a more sustainable and engaged approach to urban design and planning on the community scale.


Featured topics include:


1. Cycle and Recycle

2. Use Public Transport (More)

3. Get Involved in Your Community

4. Explore

5. Make a Map

6. Support Urban Agriculture and Community Gardens

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Bjarke Ingels designs a new public park in Copenhagen that celebrates diversity

Bjarke Ingels designs a new public park in Copenhagen that celebrates diversity | green streets | Scoop.it

Superkilen is a new urban park that cuts through the heart of Copenhagen’s diverse Nørrebro neighborhood.

The kilometer-long “Super Park”, which consists of three themed parts–is dotted with various pop artifacts and cultural mementos “sourced” from the home countries of the area’s inhabitants. Here, you’re just as likely to stumble across manhole covers from Paris and Islamic tiled fountains from Morocco as you are (ironic) neon Communist signage from Moscow and curvy benches from Brazil.

Designed in collaboration with art group Superflex and Topotek 1 architects, BIG conceived of the park as a “fusion of architecture, landscape, and art”. The team was invited to participate in the 13.4 million euro project, which aims to revitalize the neighborhood while forging a global identity capable of unifying the city’s urban fabric.


View more images and read about how the designers were able to achieve a “maximum freedom of expression”, which, according to Bjarke Ingels, transforms “public procedure into proactive proposition we curated a park for the people by the people.”

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Projecting the Social Life of Small Urban Stoops

Projecting the Social Life of Small Urban Stoops | green streets | Scoop.it

New Yorkers like to believe that they’ve perfected stoop sitting culture, but half a world away in Auckland, New Zealand, experimental design collaborative

Oh.No.Sumo has taken stoop sitting a step higher. As part of St. Paul Street Gallery‘s 2012 exhibition program of curatorial practice, Oh.No.Sumo created a small-scale tactical intervention forming an unexpected theater on a small stoop where the steps are the seats. Responding to the intersection’s lack of social life and the public’s retreat into smart-phone isolation, the Stairway Cinema creates a communal node and conversation piece.

Built from a structural pine skeleton and covered in a waterproof, tactile red fabric, Stairway Cinema projects movies shared on the Internet via social media onto a screen visible both from the stoop and the sidewalk in an attempt to remake the once-isolating medium of smart phones into the art that brings community together. According to the designers, “Our ongoing goal is to experiment with architecture and the way it can engage with the public in unique and exciting ways.”

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Gary Hustwit, Director Of "Urbanized," On Solving America's Big-City Problems

Gary Hustwit, Director Of "Urbanized," On Solving America's Big-City Problems | green streets | Scoop.it

Hustwit categorizes U.S. cities as “bad, really bad.” His proposed solution: a mix of good design, apolitical vision, and civic engagement.
Perhaps your thoughts upon leaving the house each day don’t immediately turn to the design of your urban environment and how it affects your life in the smallest and largest possible ways. You may also not be aware of how your daily choices end up, in effect, designing your city...

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How to Transform a Waterfront: Project for Public Spaces

How to Transform a Waterfront: Project for Public Spaces | green streets | Scoop.it

As more cities envision their waterfronts as lively public destinations that keep people coming back, PPS outlines the following principles to make that happen.


They are not all hard and fast laws, but rules of thumb drawn from 32 years of experience working to improve urban waterfronts around the world. These ideas can serve as the framework for any waterfront project seeking to create vibrant public spaces, and, by extension, a vibrant city.

Lauren Moss's insight:
Visit the article link for more information on the strategies and concepts outlined, including the following:

  •  Make public goals the primary objective
  • Create a shared community vision
  • Create multiple destinations
  • Optimize public access
  • Use parks to connect destinations
  • Design and program buildings to engage the public space
  • Support multiple modes of transportation and limit vehicular access
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Lorraine Chaffer's comment, June 3, 2013 3:35 AM
Making places for people improves liveability
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An iPad Guide To Building The Perfect Sustainable City

An iPad Guide To Building The Perfect Sustainable City | green streets | Scoop.it

In 2010, Harvard’s Graduate School of Design published Ecological Urbanism, a book of interdisciplinary essays on sustainable city-building. But the project had one inescapable shortcoming: When you’re dealing with a field that’s evolving so rapidly, a finite, physical book is liable to be outdated by the time it leaves the printer.

So upon completing the collection, the school commissioned Portland-based interactive studio Second Story to transform the book into an iPad app, a resource that would draw from the original text but could also be updated with new projects and papers as needed. Now available for free, the app shows how dynamic areas of study can benefit greatly from equally dynamic texts.

Features like interactive graphs are innovative ways to access data, as well as useful tools for understanding it. "While working on the app, we found that the data visualizations revealed patterns that told another meta-story that already existed in the book," he says. "Essentially, the patterns illustrated trends in sustainable design, which is attractive for both scholars and the general reader to see."


Visit the link to learn more about how this new format has given research and urban issues a stronger, more engaging and current platform with which users to engage...

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Leyteire Square, Bordeaux University: Creating an engaging urban space for the campus + community

Leyteire Square, Bordeaux University: Creating an engaging urban space for the campus + community | green streets | Scoop.it
The historical centre of Bordeaux University sets a new beginning : the Opération Campus begins with urban design at its heart.


These spaces are currently closed, intended solely for receiving deliveries, however the project intends to turn them into a lively heart of the University, where activites and interaction can take place, through a central green space.

This series of courtyards becomes a network of interactive spaces, as well as a part of the city : a number of facilities animate the center of the square (museum, café , amphitheaters) and contribute to its urban value. The addition of planted elements lends a human scale to the existing hardscape by providing shade, delineating paths, and acting to filter air, sound, and light that enters the space. This, in turn, combats the Urban Heat Island Effect, providing more pleasant interior spaces during the hot summer months.

In plan, a certain hierarchy is established between the wide-open center, and more intimate spaces along the space’s edges. This variety of spaces invites a wide range of activities common for a university campus, from eating lunch in the sun, to meeting with colleagues and professors, to hosting celebrations and festivals...


More images at the link.

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Pianos In Public Space

Pianos In Public Space | green streets | Scoop.it
People in Tilburg still talk about it. In September 101 pianos popped up in public parks, bus shelters and train stations, outside galleries and markets and even on bridges. The musical instruments were there for everyone to play and enjoy.

“Who plays them and how long they remain is up to each community. Many pianos are personalised and decorated by artists or the local community. ‘Play Me, I’m Yours’ disrupts people’s negotiation of their city and invites the public to engage with, activate and take ownership of their urban environment.”

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Decoding Bangkok’s Pocket-Urbanization: Social Housing Issues + Community Architects

Decoding Bangkok’s Pocket-Urbanization: Social Housing Issues + Community Architects | green streets | Scoop.it

This is modern cosmopolitan Bangkok, the second most expensive South-eastern Asian city after Singapore.

Along with explosive city growth, the demand for urban housing has increased substantially. Due to a lack of sufficient and affordable housing, communities have settled into the cracks, eliciting a diagnosed social and institutional ‘pocket-urbanism’ that forms barriers of interaction among communities, and certainly between communities and authority figures...

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Paige McClatchy's curator insight, December 14, 2013 2:45 PM

The poor of Bangkok have been settling their communities in the cracks of wealthier areas, creating a phenomenom of "pocket-urbanization." The artical talks about an emerging "ethical turn" in architecture. People will certainly enjoy their lives better when they are empowered in their own living situations, but also we have seen how poor infrastructure is a target for the worst of natural disasters. Rebuilding these areas would be good for many parties.