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green streets
thoughts, ideas + dialogues on urban revitalization, smart growth + neighborhood development
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Good Clean Fun: Interactive Games Tidy Urban Spaces | WebUrbanist

Good Clean Fun: Interactive Games Tidy Urban Spaces | WebUrbanist | green streets | Scoop.it

It doesn’t matter where you go in the world: it seems like litter is always an unwelcome part of the scenery. The Swiss city of Lucerne decided to do something about their litter problem by enticing residents and visitors to have fun while throwing their rubbish away. The initiative is called “Lucerne Shines,” and in the many years since it was implemented the city has seen an exceptional response.

The project saw 16 public trash bins converted to public game stations. You won’t find any fancy touch-screen games, though – these games are all about cleaning up your mess and leaving the city a little prettier than you found it. From short mazes to free-throw lines to hopscotch, the initiative appeals to everyone who likes to have a little unexpected fun in the middle of an otherwise-ordinary day...

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Alexander Garvin Looks at Public Spaces in New York

Alexander Garvin Looks at Public Spaces in New York | green streets | Scoop.it

Writing in The New York Times last week Christopher B. Leinberger, a professor of urban planning, took note of “a profound structural shift” in America during the last decade or so, “a reversal of what took place in the 1950s.” Back then drivable suburbs boomed while center cities decayed. Now more and more people want to settle in “a walkable urban downtown.” The most expensive housing in the country, and not just New York City, is in “high-density, pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods,” he said.

But what makes high-density neighborhoods pedestrian friendly?

Good public space for starters...

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Streets- The Pedestrian Loses the Way

Streets- The Pedestrian Loses the Way | green streets | Scoop.it
Before the advent of the electric and cable streetcars, pedestrians had undifferentiated dominion over both the sidewalks and the roadbed.

This changed in the 1880s with the advent of electric and cable streetcars, with their much greater weights and speeds than horse-drawn vehicles, not to mention their guillotine-like wheels. It is a comment on how we viewed our streets that, by design, passengers were meant to board streetcars in the middle of the roadway.

There are only a few places where one can recapture the old relationship of the buildings to the full width of the street...

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What is Placemaking?

What is Placemaking? | green streets | Scoop.it

“’Placemaking’ is both an overarching idea and a hands-on tool for improving a neighborhood, city or region. It has the potential to be one of the most transformative ideas of this century.” -Metropolitan Planning Council of Chicago

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Proposal Transforms Park Space Under the Manhattan Bridge

Proposal Transforms Park Space Under the Manhattan Bridge | green streets | Scoop.it

Let’s face it, outside of Central Park, Manhattan isn’t known for its abundance of open space. This is beginning to change, however, as in this increasingly innovative architectural age, people are looking to odd, underutilized remnants in the city, from abandoned rail lines to decrepit industrial buildings and toxic waterfronts to create the next amazing public space. One such space sits just beneath the Manhattan Bridge, where Architecture for Humanity has secured a grant and invited nine design firms to take on Coleman Oval Skate Park. Holm Architecture Office (HAO) with Niklas Thormark has taken on the challenge and revealed their program-driven proposal.

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Rediscovering the Urban Eye of a Child

Rediscovering the Urban Eye of a Child | green streets | Scoop.it

Several commentators have recently written about the role of children in defining the urban environment going forward. Kaid Benfield, citing to Scott Doyon, wed smart growth and smart parenting, and the merit of a child-oriented approach to help define community livability.

Given the symbiotic relationship between parenting, children and defining community, we should offer opportunity whenever possible for children to photograph and interpret cities.

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PARK(ing) Day 2011

PARK(ing) Day 2011 | green streets | Scoop.it

Occurring on the third Friday of September, PARK(ing) Day is an annual event that began with a single parking space in 2005 when Rebar, an interdisciplinary art and design studio, created the first installation in San Francisco.

Since then, the event has grown as a platform for creative 'guerilla landscaping', as well as a venue for illustrating the need for public green space, civic participation, and thoughtful community development.

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Editorial> Architecture in the Streets - The Architect's Newspaper

Editorial> Architecture in the Streets - The Architect's Newspaper | green streets | Scoop.it
It's time to get to work transforming our cities' public spaces. - Short, direct, and lively, The Architect's Newspaper is the essential read in the field.
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New York City Streets Renaissance « Project for Public Spaces

New York City Streets Renaissance « Project for Public Spaces | green streets | Scoop.it

In 2005, PPS co-founded The New York City Streets Renaissance campaign, a grassroots initiative that has catalyzed the transformation of the city’s transportation policy and brought sweeping change to NYC streets in a few short years.

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NYC May Get a New Waterfront Park on the East River

NYC May Get a New Waterfront Park on the East River | green streets | Scoop.it
A pier on the East River could be turned into a park, and be the beginning a redevelopment of Manhattan's East Side.

Although New York is a city of islands, in Manhattan, it's hard to enjoy the waterfront. But an opportunity on the East River could bring New Yorkers closer to the water from which they've long been separated by the FDR Drive. The Municipal Art Society has unveiled an ambitious plan for Waterside Pier, once owned by Con Edison. If that plan comes to fruition, the pier, which runs from 38th to 41st Street, could be the centerpiece of an East Side Waterfront Park.

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Pedestrians First at Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn

Pedestrians First at Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn | green streets | Scoop.it

Brooklyn’s grandest public space at Prospect Park has always been a work in progress. Grand Army Plaza, an oval-shaped public space, was built as the park's main entrance in 1866, serving as a buffer between nature and city. Over time, a monumental archway was added, fountains came & went, and eventually the roads were widened until the plaza was effectively cut off from the surrounding neighborhoods.

Last week, however, after months of construction to tame the out-of-control roadways, a group of civic leaders gathered in what was once a busy street to celebrate the newly reclaimed plaza. NYC DOT commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan praised the intersection's transformation into a multi-modal space, saying the changes are “an incredible invitation into the plaza to appreciate a landmark in a new way.” The transformation is not just a boon for pedestrians and cyclists, but for motorists as well, since automobile behaviors have been streamlined by new medians and pedestrian islands to reduce merging conflicts.

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Green Spaces in Megacities

Green Spaces in Megacities | green streets | Scoop.it

By 2025, there will be 20 more megacities from 21 years ago, a United Nations report revealed in March last year. A point of concern perhaps, considering these bustling metropolises are the largest contributors of air pollution, accounting for at least 80 percent of all CO2 emissions. However, with the ascension of urban growth, there has been a positive penetration of architectural practices committed to incorporating greener design functionalities.

The incorporation of green spaces has taken to the forefront of urban planning on not only a regional, but global scale. Similar to the NYC’s High Line project, the construction of garden rooftops in Shanghai has decreased air-conditioning usage by 20 percent, reduced indoor temperatures and improved building insulation.

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Crown Heights Participatory Urbanism

Crown Heights Participatory Urbanism | green streets | Scoop.it

Urban Design Week 2011:  Crown Heights Participatory Urbanism is a community-informed design proposal for public space located in the Crow Hill neighborhood of Crown Heights. The purpose of the project is to provide a forum for the community to rethink residual spaces created by transportation infrastructure towards a new public space network, founded on the idea of creating a common ground for residents, local community organizations, business owners, and governmental entities.

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People v Cars: The 20th Century Battle over Cities

People v Cars: The 20th Century Battle over Cities | green streets | Scoop.it

We meet here at the “Towards Carfree Cities Conference” to address how cities are designed, with an overriding interest in redefining what is proper and customary with respect to how streets are used. Part of the emergence of social movements in cities around the world to contest the car, whether bicycling, pedestrians, or street closures, is in response to the seeming inevitability of cars dominating our public space. But automobiles didn’t always fill our streets.

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Urban Sports’ Square: BEMOWO

Urban Sports’ Square: BEMOWO | green streets | Scoop.it

A simple response to existing situation – total lack of urban sports friendly places in Warsaw, combined with a skyrocketing demand for such space in the city – became a statement project of Polish young generation’s fine architects and many other parties. We are strongly convinced, that the space shall serve the citizens for sportsmanship, cultural and integration purposes and be planned within a framework of open discussion and collaborative development process.

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Sustainable Infrastructure as Public Amenity

Sustainable Infrastructure as Public Amenity | green streets | Scoop.it

Ok, I’m impressed.  Have you seen Sherbourne Common? If you haven’t, I suggest that  you check it out.  This is the most recent project to be unveiled as part of Toronto’s ambitious waterfront.

Designed by landscape architects Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg, Sherbourne Common is an example of how critical infrastructure – in this case a neighbourhood storm water treatment facility – can be fully integrated into a neighbourhood. The brilliant part is that the facility doubles as an elegant public space where current and future residents of the planned East Bay Front community will be able to gather, play and interact

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Project for Public Spaces: Fall 2011 Training Sessiona

Project for Public Spaces:  Fall 2011 Training Sessiona | green streets | Scoop.it

Register now for PPS' NYC-based Fall training!

Please read on for more information about the three training courses PPS is offering this October and November. The How to Create a Successful Markets training will be offered during the Summer 2012 session.

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Yerba Buena Street Life Plan - Articles - Dwell

Yerba Buena Street Life Plan - Articles - Dwell | green streets | Scoop.it
Recently in San Francisco, the Yerba Buena Community Benefit District and CMG Landscape Architecture unveiled the Yerba Buena Street Life Plan.
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