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green streets
thoughts, ideas + dialogues on urban revitalization, smart growth + neighborhood development
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A Vision of a Carbon-Zero Urban Future: An Interview with Alex Steffen

A Vision of a Carbon-Zero Urban Future: An Interview with Alex Steffen | green streets | Scoop.it
How the world's wealthiest cities can beat back climate change.


From the Atlantic Cities:


Alex Steffen calls himself a planetary futurist. That means he has confronted some grim realities in the nearly 10 years since he founded Worldchanging.com, an online publication that pioneered coverage of climate change and related issues in the early years of the 21st century.  
He’s kept busy writing and speaking about creative, sustainable solutions that could help us find a way to survive and even thrive in the face of a planetary challenge that political leaders in the United States have been reluctant to face.
His most recent book, which comes out November 26, is called Carbon Zero: Imagining Cities That Can Save the Planet. In it, he lays out his case that "remaking the world’s wealthiest cities over the next 20 years may prove the best—perhaps the only—chance we have of avoiding planetary catastrophe."

I talked with Steffen the other day via Skype about post-Sandy climate politics, how to "ruggedize" a city, and whether we’re all doomed. This is an edited version of our conversation.


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INTERVIEW: Tweaking the Code, Greening the City

INTERVIEW: Tweaking the Code, Greening the City | green streets | Scoop.it
The second in a series of five interviews with staffers at the New York City Department of City Planning.

The interviewer interned while pursuing a master’s degree in urban planning. Read the first installment at americancity.org.

 

This past spring, the New York City Council adopted Zone Green, dozens of pages worth of tweaks to the city’s zoning code that make it easier for property owners and developers to work environmentally friendly features — from rooftop greenhouses to insulated walls — into new and existing buildings throughout the city. Here Monika Jain, project manager of the DCP-led effort and an urban designer with the department’s zoning division, talks about the ambitious overhaul that’s been two years in the making...

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The Connected City

The Connected City | green streets | Scoop.it

Cities and their influence on citizens’ behavior, community, and culture is top of mind for more than the usual suspects: urban planners and city hall officials.

Right now designers, technologists, hacktivists, and journalists are all exploring how the urban environment is going to change in coming years, as the megapolis becomes more of a reality. As Design Mind's Creative Director Scott Nazarian, states in his article in the upcoming print issue, “Cities challenge us to manage their many networks, all of which must be managed or facilitated by both people and automated systems.”

So, who are the people and organizations rethinking our cities? Mathieu Lefevre is the Executive Director of the New Cities Foundation, a new global platform for innovation and exchange on the future of urbanization. I discussed the future of the connected city with him, the places that are getting urbanization right, and technology’s role in these transformations...

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Education, Urbanization & Citizen Activism: Interview with Aseem Inam & Miguel Robles-Duran

Education, Urbanization & Citizen Activism: Interview with Aseem Inam & Miguel Robles-Duran | green streets | Scoop.it
Education is critical if we are to continue to improve our cities.

With this in mind, This Big City’s Joe Peach and Lyndsey Scofield were thrilled to get the opportunity to talk with Aseem Inam, Director of the MA Theories of Urban Practice, and Miguel Robles-Duran, Director of the MS Design and Urban Ecologies, from Parsons The New School for Design. Education, Urbanization & Citizen Activism were just some of the subjects that emerged in conversation.

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Landscape Optimism: Chris Reed on Landscape Urbanism

Landscape Optimism: Chris Reed on Landscape Urbanism | green streets | Scoop.it

It is about time that landscape practices wake up:

 

Contemporary landscape practices are witnessing a revival of sorts, a recovery of the broader social, cultural, and ecological agendas. No longer a product of pure art history and horticulture, landscape is re-engaging issues of site and ecological succession and is playing a part in the formative roles of projects, rather than simply giving form to already defined projects.


Via Ana Valdés
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Communities Aren't Just Places, They're Social Networks

Communities Aren't Just Places, They're Social Networks | green streets | Scoop.it
A conversation with urban sociologist Zachary Neal on his new book, The Connected City.


Cities are obviously more than just the sum of their physical assets — roads and bridges, offices, factories, shopping centers, and homes — working more like living organisms than jumbles of concrete. Their inner workings even transcend their ability to cluster and concentrate people and economic activity.

As sociologist Zachary Neal of Michigan State University argues in his new book, The Connected City, cities are made up of human social networks.

Neal took time to discuss his book and research with Atlantic Cities, explaining how cities work as living organisms and why what happens in Las Vegas cannot stay in Las Vegas.

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Creating Great Streets: What Does it Take? (Project for Public Spaces)

Creating Great Streets: What Does it Take? (Project for Public Spaces) | green streets | Scoop.it

We recently chatted with experts John Massengale and Victor Dover about their soon-to-be-released book Street Design, which details the art and practice of creating great streets for people. In researching this book, John and Victor traveled across the world evaluating and experiencing different kinds of streets. John is an architect, urbanist, owner of Massengale & Co LLC, and Board Member at the Congress for New Urbanism. Victor Dover is a Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners, Principal in the firm Dover, Kohl & Partners Town Planning, and a Board Member and National Chair of the Congress for New Urbanism...

 

Click on the link for the complete interview.

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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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Telling the Placemaking Story

Telling the Placemaking Story | green streets | Scoop.it

“Place matters” is a familiar declaration. Its common use shows that profiling places, especially creative, urban places, is very much in vogue. For instance, the phrase graces the Atlantic Cities masthead, is the title of a New York City project that protects distinctive local environments, frames a non-profit corporation and is a campaign of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

While placemaking is not a profession, it is certainly a practice that has spread across multiple disciplines, far beyond design and planning roots.

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Interview with Patrick Phillips of the Urban Land Institute

Ten years ago the world was jarred at seeing a financial institution of a high urban city destroyed. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan predicted that our attitudes toward the value of urban development would remain unchanged, and he may have been right. So have we, as law-makers, designers and inhabitants of the urban environment learned from what ten years ago was considered a failure in our cities and government agencies?

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