How to rightsize streets the right way and, more specifically, how to help communities picture what's possible when you begin to look at all that asphalt as an editable surface. Go ahead. Add a bike lane.
For decades, Montgomery County has promoted transit-oriented development as a way to provide alternatives to driving, but some say it hasn't worked, claiming most people "will drive no matter what." However, a detailed look at commuting habits in...
Kentlands Downtown's insight:
Great to see the percentage of commuters who walk in the Kentlands is double the County wide average.
As people become more engaged in the movement towards sustainable living, it stands to reason that they will first turn to the immediate environment. Outside the home, the debate is centered on the design and layout of community spaces; this is where placemaking offers valuable insights.
Placemaking, put simply, is the design of public spaces with the needs, desires, interests, and inspirations of the local community at heart. Frequently, this collaborative process can be found in what we might regard as a traditional, outdoor community area; a park or waterfront. However, as localism and sustainability take root within the priorities of decision-makers, we are also beginning to see community-minded design in more unconventional places. Ideal candidates for this new process include, for example, the layout and signage design for public service buildings such as police stations, hospitals and museums.
There are already some fantastic placemaking success stories. Indeed, the implementation of community-minded ideas is so widespread, it is difficult to pick out examples worthy of mention. The cutting edge of urban design is no longer where we design spaces with the public’s desires in mind; it is where we incorporate green thinking and technology into those spaces...
Both the Kentlands Family Barbershop (on the right) and Red Hue Boutique (to the left) are preparing their storefronts for opening on Main Street in Kentlands Downtown. Red Hue Boutique is slated to open this Saturday.
Do you sleep with a copy of The Zombie Survival Guide under your pillow? Have you been taking detailed notes on The Walking Dead? Have you been drafting your own plan for the zombie apocalypse? Time to put your training to the test at the Halloween Zombie Fun Run on November 1st at Fleet Feet Sports, Gaithersburg.
Fleet Feet Sports, Gaithersburg has announced the date for its Annual Halloween Zombie Fun Run/Walk! On November 1st at 6:30 pm, participants will be chased by zombies on a 3-mile Fun Run/Walk route through the Kentlands/Lakelands neighborhoods!
Take a minute to create a free personalized ad for your small business and American Express will give you free geo-targeted online advertising that drives to your website or Facebook page. The ads will be featured in the Small Business Saturday® media plan in November.
Make November 24th the biggest day of the year for small business. Join the over one hundred million people who were part of Small Business Saturday last year.
When public spaces work well, they serve as a stage for our public lives. So what makes some succeed while others fail?
Great public spaces are where celebrations are held, social and economic exchanges take place, friends run into each other, and cultures mix. They are the “front porches” of our public institutions – libraries, field houses, neighborhood schools – where we interact with each other and government.
In evaluating thousands of public spaces around the world, PPS has found that successful ones have four key qualities: they are accessible; people are engaged in activities there; the space is comfortable and has a good image; and finally, it is a sociable place: one where people meet each other and take people when they come to visit.
Read the complete article for a more detailed explanation of the diagram illustrating the elements that contribute to successful public spaces, as well as the qualitative and quantitative criteria to consider when evaluating any given location or site...
Urban Prototyping is a global movement exploring how participatory design, art, and technology can improve cities. Each UP Festival uses its own strategy to uniquely address that city’s specific circumstances – soliciting, testing, and deploying digital and physical projects with high potential for impact.
UP is about more than showcasing great projects – it’s about using those projects to kickstart a movement, and refocus the dialog around how citizens can shape their cities.
Congratulations to Bad Influence Band on their three Wammie nominations! Bad Influence Nominated For Three Wammie Awards www.epiphone.com Official Epiphone site: Buy electric or acoustic guitars, Les Paul electric guitars, or bass guitars.
The group brought together all of the resources from the community and converted the block into a walkable, bikeable neighborhood destination for people of all ages complete with bike lanes, cafe seating, trees, plants, pop-up businesses, and lighting.
Kentlands Downtown's insight:
An amazing idea that could be applied to Kentlands Blvd., Exchange St. and more.
In Jeff Speck’s excellent new book, Walkable City, he suggests that there are ten keys to creating walkability. Most of them also have something to do with redressing the deleterious effects caused by our allowing cars to dominate urban spaces for decades. I don’t necessarily agree with every detail, and my own list might differ in some ways that reflect my own experience and values. But it’s a heck of a good menu to get city leaders and thinkers started in making their communities more hospitable to walkers.
Visit the article link to read more details and examples of the author’s ten steps of walkability...
One of the most important aspects of any city is its collective commons, so to speak: the shared public spaces where people gather, be they streets, squares, parks, markets, playgrounds, sports facilities, or something else.
The main thing that makes Rome—and the other winners: Venice, Boston, San Francisco, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Prague, Paris, and New York—so walkable is what we planners call "fabric," the everyday collection of streets, blocks, and buildings that tie the monuments together. Despite its many technical failures, Rome's fabric is superb.
Yet fabric is one of several key aspects of urban design that are missing from the walkability discussion in most places. This is because that discussion has largely been about creating adequate and attractive pedestrian facilities, rather than walkable cities. There is no shortage of literature on this subject, and even a fledgling field of "walkability studies" that focuses principally on impediments to pedestrian access and safety, mostly in the Toronto suburbs.
These efforts are helpful, but inadequate. The same goes for urban beautification programs, such as the famous "Five B's" of the eighties—bricks, banners, bandstands, bollards, and berms—that now grace many an abandoned downtown.
Public spaces are increasingly being recognized as a crucial ingredient for successful cities, and for their ability to revitalize and create economic and social development opportunities.
Actually finding ways to build and maintain healthy public space remains elusive to many municipal governments, especially in the developing world. The vast web of streets, parks, plazas, and courtyards that define public space is often lacking, poorly planned, or without adequate citizen participation in the design process. Recognizing these challenges, the Project for Public Spaces (PPS) released earlier this month a draft of their handbook Placemaking and the Future of Cities. It’s intended to serve as a best practices guide for those wishing to improve the economic, environmental and social health of their communities through the power of successful public space.
10 fundamental principles for placemaking have been identified by PPS as the keys to vibrant, safe, and attractive public spaces:
1. Improve Streets as Public Spaces 2. Create Squares and Parks as Multi-Use Destinations
3. Build Local Economies Through Markets
4. Design Buildings to Support Places
5. Link a Public Health Agenda to a Public Space Agenda