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green streets
thoughts, ideas + dialogues on urban revitalization, smart growth + neighborhood development
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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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Innovation & Public Space: Melkwegbridge by NEXT Architects and Rietveld Landscape

Innovation & Public Space: Melkwegbridge by NEXT Architects and Rietveld Landscape | green streets | Scoop.it

The new Melkweg Bridge in Purmerend (NL) connects the old and new parts of the city with a unique design that accomodates both pedestrians and cyclists.


Developed by Dutch studios NEXT Architects and Rietveld Landscape, the bridge crosses the Noordhollandsch Kanaal to connect the historic city centre with the growing Weidevenne district in the south-west and is the first stage in a masterplan for the canal and its periphery. It does so with a steeply arching upper level for pedestrians and a zig-zagging lower level for cyclists and wheelchairs. The massive arch reaches the height of 12m above water level and offers incredible views over the city, with a high lookout that is an attraction in itself, letting users fully experience the relationship between the new and historic center of Purmerend.


"The aim of the design team was to create a new area with a specific identity, which could work as a connector between the old and the new centre," said NEXT Architects' Marijn Schenk...

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After 30 Years of Bike/Ped Advocacy, How Far Have We Come?

After 30 Years of Bike/Ped Advocacy, How Far Have We Come? | green streets | Scoop.it

In 1980, the very first Pro Bike conference was convened in Asheville, North Carolina. At the time, the movement to carve out more space for bicycling on North American streets was young, and the first conference was attended by around 100 people. Thirty-two years later, the Pro Walk/Pro Bike: Pro Place is expected to draw a thousand active transportation advocates to Long Beach, California. The expanded conference title reflects the dramatic transformation of bicycling advocacy into today’s active transportation movement, as more and more people have begun to realize the importance of thinking of streets as places that tie communities together.

 

Recently, PPS’s Gary Toth and Brendan Crain had the opportunity to chat with Dan Burden, Andy Clarke, and Charlie Gandy, three advocates who have played very active roles in this transformation, to look back over the past three decades and reflect on lessons learned thus far...

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Café vs Castle: How Contemporary Buildings can Impact Historic Urban Areas

Café vs Castle: How Contemporary Buildings can Impact Historic Urban Areas | green streets | Scoop.it
You only have to look at the queue for the latest iPhone to see that ‘new’ means a positive and desirable change for many people. But 'new' doesn't always bring positive change when modern buildings are developed in historic urban settings.

 

Case Study: Modern developments tend to either add to the socio-economic importance of the urban fabric, or reduce its historical characteristics. In the case of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, it is widely agreed that this new structure adds to the overall quality of the city, however, extravagant structures and materials can contradict the historical characteristics of an urban setting...

 

A modern development in an historic urban area can be enormously beneficial, without reducing the significance of its surroundings. But due to the importance of historical preservation, it is crucial to carefully design contemporary pieces.

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How to Bridge Neighborhood Gaps? Turn Overpasses into Main Streets

How to Bridge Neighborhood Gaps? Turn Overpasses into Main Streets | green streets | Scoop.it

The answer to one of today's difficult planning problems may lie in the Middle Ages. In cities across the US, freeways cut through communities, creating urban dead zones. To heal that damage, Columbus, Ohio built an urbanized bridge, common in 12th & 17th century Europe.

 

In Medieval and Renaissance Europe, imaginative, multifunctional bridges known as "habitable bridges" were quite common. Some hosted markets. Others contained mills that harnessed the power of the river. Many housed defensive towers or featured chapels. Beyond the novelty of having buildings on a bridge, they were highly functional, as they became natural venues for commercial trade. Perhaps the most famous habitable bridge was London Bridge, which had buildings on it from 1209 until it was rebuilt in 1831. Other surviving habitable bridges include Ponte Vecchio in Florence, Italy; Ponte di Rialto in Venice; and Krämerbrücke in Erfurt, Germany...


Via Flora Moon
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Transforming Historic Urban Space Into A Vibrant Cultural District

Transforming Historic Urban Space Into A Vibrant Cultural District | green streets | Scoop.it

As the needs of cities change, older buildings can find themselves a bit redundant. The challenge for urban areas is to find a new purpose for these buildings, one which is historically respectful but at the same time creates a space that meets the modern needs of a city. This is exactly what has happened in Toronto, where a former distillery has been transformed into a varied, vibrant, and immensely popular destination for locals and tourists alike.

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Exploring the Sustainable City of Stone

Exploring the Sustainable City of Stone | green streets | Scoop.it

In the provinces of southeastern Italy, the landscape is changing, as a new world of alternative energy infrastructure blends insular hill towns, turbines and solar panels across traditional farmland. Yet, on the same horizons other, age-old reflections of local sustainable practices echo time-honored human traditions, as lessons for urban reinvention in a networked world.

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A Dialog between Ancient & Contemporary: Musée de la Romanité by Elizabeth de Portzamparc

A Dialog between Ancient & Contemporary: Musée de la Romanité by Elizabeth de Portzamparc | green streets | Scoop.it

This winning proposal for Musée de la Romanité in Nimes, France, by Elizabeth de Portzamparc had to deal with a fragile situation which required respectful and exceptional urban dialogue.

Located on the gate of the old city of Nimes, and emerging from the archaeological remains, it had to establish a complex relationship with the two thousand years old antique Arenas of Nimes.


The museum building was only a part of wider project, including urban regeneration of the "Grill“ plot, the museography, the archaeological garden landscaping and a feasibility study of a congress center and a hotel.

Two geometries coexist successfully – in contrast with the magnificence of the static, great stone volume, the Museum’s offers light and luminous presence of one fluid architecture. Acting as a gate of an urban promenade, museum reveals the Arenas through its transparent ground floor, which attracts and invites visitors inside.

The building of the museum was designed to generate coherence in the city, the inventive museography within it and the archaeological garden that extends it...

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A Master Plan for Cultural and Ecological Urbanism...

A Master Plan for Cultural and Ecological Urbanism... | green streets | Scoop.it

“This planning proposal seeks to determine community and bio-diversity from its historical pattern. The concept finds fundamental inspiration in the strong historical identity of the local railway line, and the historic identity of industrialization of Kaohsiung city.

Inspired by the culturally and biologically responsive between the new city urban fabric and existing old town Yen Chan district, the guiding principle of the master plan is to inspire a meaningful sense of community and a shared commitment to social and environmental responsibility.

The proposal also introduces a series of urban agriculture farming and integrated parks. The strategy is to infiltrate and to conceal the community and biological diversity from the nearby Wan Shu Mountain. It also reflects the historical transformation of Kaohsiung city from industrial city to a contemporary cityscape.”

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Scaling the Urban Future by Blending the Urban Past | Sustainable Cities Collective

Scaling the Urban Future by Blending the Urban Past | Sustainable Cities Collective | green streets | Scoop.it

Recently, the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Seattle-based Preservation Green Lab made urbanist media headlines (including Emily Badger’s January 25 Atlantic Cities story) with a report stating the environmental benefits of green retrofits of historic buildings, as compared to new, state-of-the-art, energy-efficient construction. In addition, a local church restored as townhouses joined the list of intriguing Seattle adaptive reuse projects typical of national trends.

 

As our surroundings evolve, can we create incentives and inspiration for transformational places that are sustainable in form, function and attention to the past? I have touched on these questions before, when highlighting hill towns as placemaking icons and profiling Italy’s re-emerging Matera, the UNESCO World Heritage site also termed “the sustainable city of stone” (in The Atlantic last year)...

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Disused Steel Mill Yard In Luxembourg Undergoes Smart Redesign Without Forgetting Its Past

Disused Steel Mill Yard In Luxembourg Undergoes Smart Redesign Without Forgetting Its Past | green streets | Scoop.it

Similar to New York City's Highline, this disused and grim industrial area in the south of Luxembourg has been revived into a pleasant public space without deleting its past. 

LUX Stahlhof Belval-Ouest is an urban oasis between residential buildings and strange looking furnaces from the former steel industry. The space has pretty much been conserved and made friendly by incorporating plants and creating seating areas into the structures. The old industrial elements have basically been left in place as well as mosses and birch, and new designs and plants have been added to revive the space.

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In Harmony with History

In Harmony with History | green streets | Scoop.it

You might not even notice, walking or driving, the new apartment building at 691 Massachusetts Ave. in the South End. That’s because it fits so beautifully into its historic neighborhood. This building isn’t just deferential to its surroundings. It’s also fresh, inventive & contemporary.

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Transforming Historic Urban Space into a Vibrant Cultural District

Transforming Historic Urban Space into a Vibrant Cultural District | green streets | Scoop.it
As the needs of cities change, older buildings can find themselves redundant. The challenge is to find a new purpose for these buildings, one which is historically respectful but meets the modern needs of a city.
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A beginning agenda for making smart growth legal | Kaid Benfield's Blog | Switchboard, from NRDC

A beginning agenda for making smart growth legal | Kaid Benfield's Blog | Switchboard, from NRDC | green streets | Scoop.it
When then-governor Parris Glendening announced a key portion of what was to become Maryland’s path-breaking land use legislation in the 1990s, he stood in the historic district of Annapolis, where Maryland’s State House is located.
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