A streetscape that includes natural landscaping, bicycle lanes, wind powered lighting, storm water diversion for irrigation, drought-resistant native plants and innovative “smog-eating” concrete has earned Cermak road in Chicago the title of “greenest Street in America” according to the Chicago Department of Transport (CDOT).
Opened in October 2012, the first phase two mile stretch is part of the Blue Island/Cermak Sustainable Streetscape project which was introduced in 2009 with the aim of reducing overall energy usage by 42 percent.
Australia’s high rate of urbanisation means that most people experience a significant disconnect between their food production and consumption. Over several decades, suburban gardens have ceased to be major sites of food production and Australians reportedly have a declining understanding and appreciation of how their food is grown. Recent years have seen a renewed interest in the quality, provenance, freshness and price of food, driving a companion interest in Australians growing their own food at home or in community gardens.
This paper examines who is currently growing their own food, the motivations and barriers in relation to home and community gardening and the potential for home grown food to deliver benefits such as health and social inclusion improvements and to protect food security. The research is based on a literature review, a survey of 1,390 households across Australia and interviews with experts and community gardeners.
The neighborhoods of 2039 will feel more like cityscapes with environmentally friendly, energy efficient amenities and people living closer to their jobs.
How we live is indicative of who we are, and both are changing. As city planners look to the next quarter century, they must factor in three profound shifts in modern society: information technology, mobility and climate.
As with everything else, technology is changing not just how we live and work, but the cities where we live and work. That technology has already affected social change, making younger generations more mobile and urban. Technology has also offered new solutions to some of the biggest challenges for 21st century urban planners—climate change and how we make our neighborhoods as green as possible.
It's clear that the craze for the urban farm is no answer to feeding our teeming cities. Its value lies instead in how it can change us.
If we want to scale up regional food systems, it seems like it would be a great idea to grow a significant amount of our calories right in our cities. It’s a beautiful concept, reuniting humans and nature to solve many of the problems brought about by our urbanization. But talking to urban farmers and reading the recent research turned a cold hose (of reclaimed rooftop drain water) on my enthusiasm.
There’s a backlash underway against the general exuberance over urban farming, and, surprisingly, it’s coming from urban farmers. It’s a measured, cautious backlash — less pendulum swing than correction...
Urban Farming is not the only solution towards feeding the growing population in cities but it certainly contributes to greater food resilience, habitat and biodiversity in cities. It makes a valuable contribution to local economy and food access which is part of a much bigger picture.
Beginning in the early 1970s, an Alabama horticulturist and Tuskegee University professor named Booker T. Whatley started promoting direct marketing as a tool for small farmers. This took the form of what he called “clientele membership clubs,” as well as pick-your-own farms. Whatley traveled widely, giving as many as 50 seminars a year, and produced a small-farms newsletter with 20,000-some subscribers.
Social-media platforms like FourSquare and Twitter have been a boon for sociologists and geographers who now have entirely new ways of tracking how we move through cities, where we go, who we are, and even what we think of the world around us. There is one set of social-media platforms, however, that has been tougher to crack for useful data than others: photo-sharing sites. Their metadata can illustrate where people take photos, and how active they are. But on the whole, how do you aggregate useful data about entire cities and the differences between them from the content of millions of photos on a site like Instagram? Researchers have been working on this for the past year, and they've just posted some of the initial results from their Phototrails project here.The project is less an exploration of a specific research question, and more a first foray into what we might learn by treating user-generated photography as another source of Big Data.
The concept of a "road diet” has become increasingly popular, though the phrase fails to capture the wide variety of ways in which streets planned and paved decades ago often awkwardly fit the needs of changing communities today.
In many cases, redesigning city streetscapes is not just (or not at all) about eliminating roadway. It may be about adding parking (to benefit new businesses), or building a new median (for pedestrians who were never present before), or simply painting new markings on the pavement (SCHOOL X-ING).
According to the Project for Public Spaces, we might do better to think of the task as “rightsizing” streets instead of starving them. This week, the nonprofit planning and design organization published a series of case studies from across the country illustrating exactly what this could look like in a variety of settings. The above image pair, from the collection, shows before-and-after scenes of Prospect Park West in Brooklyn. Starting in the summer of 2010, the New York City Department of Transportation began retrofitting the street to accommodate cyclists and pedestrians crossing into Prospect Park. The whole project wasn’t simply a matter of pruning traffic lanes, but of adding yield signs, new traffic signal timing, bike lanes and pedestrian islands.
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.
Despite its long love affair with the car, Los Angeles is on the cusp of becoming a “major” walkable urban area. And doing so could do wonders for its real estate market, at least in spots.
That’s the gist of a new report released Tuesday by SmartGrowth America and George Washington University, which measured the number of walkable urban neighborhoods in 30 big metro areas and looked at the potential to develop more...
Could our cities be seaworthy – or are remarkable new proposals for floating urban communities merely utopian sci-fi?
A floating village at London's Royal Docks has the official nod, and Rotterdam has a Rijnhaven waterfront development experiment well under way. Eventually, whole neighbourhoods of water-threatened land could be given over to the seas. After decades of speculation and small-scale applications, the floating solution is finally enjoying political momentum – and serious investment...
The 19th century was a century of empires, 20th century was a century of nation states and the 21st century will be a century of cities...
This outstanding infographic (courtesy of postscapes.com) begins with some information about our current state of urbanization.
Did you know that 1.3 million people are moving to cities each week?! It then explains the need for smart cities and delves into what is required to establish these intelligent connected environments, how the smart city may take various forms in the developing worlds and what specific technologies are necessary to achieve such grand goals in practice.
As the world exceeds 7 million inhabitants, global warming nears its tipping point and a majority of the earth’s citizens live in urban areas, visionary and action-oriented planning matters more than ever.
I wrote last month about speeches by Jan Gehl, Tina Saaby, and Anna Minton at the Royal Institute of British Architects annual research symposium. Now you can watch the full videos of those and other talks.
As I write, Chris Froome, Alberto Contador, the immensely appealing Nairo Quintana and the indefatigable Richie Porte are mere days away from completing the 100th edition of the Tour de France. It's a sports event like no other, three...
Suzette Jackson's insight:
Here is Adelaide doing great things with bikes, and I am hearing about from the USA...