Urban Life
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what to do to improve our lives in the city where we live
Curated by Jandira Feijó
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The Urban Environment: 8 Qualities of Pedestrian and Transit-Oriented Design

The Urban Environment: 8 Qualities of Pedestrian and Transit-Oriented Design | Urban Life | Scoop.it

Since 2000, a number of tools for measuring the quality of the walking environment have emerged. These tools are now used by researchers, local governments, and community groups to measure physical features related to walkability, such as building setback, block length, and street and sidewalk width.


Yet individual physical features may not tell us much about the experience of walking down a particular street. Specifically, they may not capture people’s overall perceptions of the street environment, perceptions that may have complex or subtle relationships to physical features. The urban design literature points to numerous perceptual qualities that may affect the walking experience. Other fields also contribute, including architecture, landscape architecture, park planning, environmental psychology, and the growing visual preference and visual assessment literature.

 

Visit the link for more information and the complete article explaining the 8 urban design qualities that enable more effective urban design planning solutions for creating quality pedestrian environments...


Via Lauren Moss
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Anji Connell's curator insight, April 10, 2013 10:40 PM

Fascinating........"Imageability is related to “sense of place.” Gorden Cullen (1961, p. 152) elaborates on the concept of sense of place, asserting that a characteristic visual theme will contribute to a cohesive sense of place and will inspire people to enter and rest in the space. Jan Gehl (1987, p. 183) explains this phenomenon using the example of famous Italian city squares, where “life in the space, the climate, and the architectural quality support and complement each other to create an unforgettable total impression.” When all factors manage to work together to such pleasing ends, a feeling of physical and psychological well-being results: the feeling that a space is a thoroughly pleasant place in which to be."

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Three reasons why Copenhagen is the world leader in urban sustainability

Three reasons why Copenhagen is the world leader in urban sustainability | Urban Life | Scoop.it

"The buzz from Copenhagen is all about its new "superhighway" for bikes. The real secret to its pioneering urban design, though, is that it puts people first on all its streets."

 

this is cool!!! 


Via Laurence Serfaty, Wa Gon, David Hodgson, Anne Caspari
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Cyclists? Pedestrians? Drivers? Who is to Blame for Urban Tension? | This Big City

Cyclists? Pedestrians? Drivers? Who is to Blame for Urban Tension? | This Big City | Urban Life | Scoop.it
As cities become more crowded, tension between pedestrians, cyclists and drivers will become impossible to ignore. Despite the benefits of walkable and cyclable cities, pedestrians and cyclists often exhibit inconsiderate behaviour.
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San Francisco To Help Citizens Create “Better Streets”

San Francisco To Help Citizens Create “Better Streets” | Urban Life | Scoop.it
One of Jane Jacobs’ most valuable contributions to the understanding of cities was her faith in the wisdom of the urban dweller. She argued that the physical city—and any approach to city planning—could not be separated from the wisdom of each individual inhabitant, “People who know well such animated city streets will know how it is. I am afraid people who do not will always have it a little wrong in their heads, like the old prints of rhinoceroses made from travelers’ descriptions of rhinoceroses.” The complication arising from Jacobs’ argument is simple though difficult to solve; how can we plan a city when planning is one part abstraction and abstraction removes us from Jacobs’ precious “real life” mentality?

 

A step towards solving this contradiction is sfbetterstreets.org, a website launched last week by the City of San Francisco. Developed by the San Francisco Planning Department in conjunction with other city agencies, the website is part of the city’s larger, “Better Streets” initiative. The legislative concept, described in San Francisco’s Better Streets Plan, is to create streets “designed and built to strike a balance between all users regardless of physical abilities or mode of travel… maximizing features for the comfort, usability, and aesthetics of people walking.”


Via Lauren Moss
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Green Space + Pedestrian-Oriented Development: Futian District masterplan in Shenzhen by SWA Group

Green Space + Pedestrian-Oriented Development: Futian District masterplan in Shenzhen by SWA Group | Urban Life | Scoop.it
SWA Group has been selected to redesign Futian District in Shenzhen, China.

The landscape architecture and urban planning firm hopes to transform the congested and car-dominated district of central Shenzhen into a calmer, greener space where pedestrians are welcome.

As part of SWA’s masterplan, titled Garden City of Tomorrow, residential streets will be made over with exercise areas for all age groups as well as quieter green spaces. Office streets will incorporate gardens with seating areas, while retail streets will encourage pedestrian traffic with public art and better lighting. A botanical garden in the shape of a circuit board, representing the Chinese city’s electronics industry, has been proposed for a space alongside the Civic Center.

“Our landscape and urban design strategies will rebalance Futian from a car-dominated city with a challenging street system to offer a more beautiful, more functional environment, from landscaped boulevards and greenspaces to plazas and large gathering spaces,” said Sean O’Malley, the principal leading the masterplan from SWA Group...


See more renderings and learn more about the Garden City of Tomorrow at the complete article.


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A Unique Pedestrian Proposal for the future Grand Central Terminal

A Unique Pedestrian Proposal for the future Grand Central Terminal | Urban Life | Scoop.it
This past summer, New York’s Department of City Planning put forth a plan to rezone 78 blocks of East Midtown centered around Grand Central Terminal, making room for a bevy of new towers from the projected next great Manhattan build-out.

 

Pitched as a strategy to bolster New York amidst imminent international competition, the East Midtown Study inspired both the thrill and fear of large scale change: Could New York enhance its skyline and increase its density without losing its soul? Would Midtown become another run-of-the-mill central business district, a globalized landscape of glitzy, glass-skinned stalagmites crushing the layers of history below? Perhaps to palliate our worst Kafka-esque architectural nightmares, the city invited three renowned architecture firms, WXY Architecture + Urban Design, Skidmore Owings & Merrill (SOM), and Foster + Partners, to imagine “the next 100 years” of Grand Central Station (which is fast approaching its 100th birthday) and the surrounding Midtown cityscape.


Via Lauren Moss
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