Urban Life
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what to do to improve our lives in the city where we live
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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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Smart Cities + Green Megaprojects of the Future

Smart Cities + Green Megaprojects of the Future | Urban Life | Scoop.it

For many years, architects and city planners from around the world have been trying to create the green ideal: an entire city built to strict environmental standards- highly functional while still retaining aesthetic value.

 

Here’s a look at some green building and community design that caught our attention in recent months and may (or may not) become reality in the next several years. Their physical footprints may be large, but by using features such as wind power, solar, rainwater recycling and advanced air quality controls, their carbon footprints don't have to be...


Via Lauren Moss
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Mercor's curator insight, January 2, 2013 6:33 AM

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Norm Miller's curator insight, January 2, 2013 4:32 PM

This is going beyond Mazdar in Dubai.  The reality is that we need to transform existing cities since starting from scratch is rare.  We need to retrofit cities more than build new ones, but still it is interesting.

Alexandre Pépin's curator insight, March 4, 2013 6:31 AM

 

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Livro reúne fotos inusitadas de dançarinos no cotidiano de grandes cidades - cultura - Estadao.com.br

Livro reúne fotos inusitadas de dançarinos no cotidiano de grandes cidades - cultura - Estadao.com.br | Urban Life | Scoop.it
#urbanlife #vidanacidade O livro Dancers Among Us (na tradução do inglês, Dançarinos Entre Nós) reuniu imagens de movimentos de dança realizados no cotidiano de grandes...
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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) | Urban Life | 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.


Via Lauren Moss
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Eduardo Paes: The 4 commandments of cities

TED Talks Eduardo Paes is the mayor of Rio de Janeiro, a sprawling, complicated, beautiful city of 6.5 million.

 

What should city planners be doing to maintain a vibrant city?  The Mayor of Rio de Janeiro explains his vision for cities and city management for the future. 


Via Seth Dixon
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Don't Reinvent The Wheel, Steal It: An Urban Planning Award for Cities That Copy

Don't Reinvent The Wheel, Steal It: An Urban Planning Award for Cities That Copy | Urban Life | Scoop.it
The world's 567,000 mayors should be poaching each other's good ideas, not reinventing the wheel.

Cities around the world may all be struggling with the same problems, from building affordable housing to boosting internet access, but a lack of dialogue means that local governments rarely copy each other’s successful ideas. The world’s “567,000 mayors are reinventing the wheel, every single one of them with everything” they do, says Sascha Havemeyer, general director of Living Labs Global, a Copenhagen-based non-profit that encourages collaboration among the world’s cities.


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Creating Resilient Cities in-Step with the Seasons

Creating Resilient Cities in-Step with the Seasons | Urban Life | Scoop.it

Creating Resilient Cities in-Step with the Seasons by Melissa Sterry, Design Scientist at the Advanced Virtual and Technological Architecture Research (AVATAR) group at University of Greenwich and Futurist and Curator at Earth 2.0 – a movement re-establishing a harmonious relationship between humanity and nature using science, art and digital creativity.


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Cities rethink urban spaces with 'pop-up' projects

Cities rethink urban spaces with 'pop-up' projects | Urban Life | Scoop.it
'Pop-up' urban planning gives cities the freedom to experiment with projects on a temporary basis, allowing innovative ideas a trial run without expensive commitment of taxpayer money.
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'Free advice for communities to support neighbourhood planning'

'Free advice for communities to support neighbourhood planning' | Urban Life | Scoop.it
Envio notícia sobre uma iniciativa que o governo inglês está a lançar designada 'Free advice for communities to support neighbourhood planning' no âmbito da política do 'New Localism' (agenda de descentralização e de redução do papel do Estado,...
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Megacities Reflect Growing Urbanization Trend

The capital of the South Asian country Bangladesh, Dhaka, has a population that is booming. However, it stands as one of the world's poorest mega-cities. This report comes from a GlobalPost series about the rise of mega-cities.


Via Seth Dixon, geofoodgraz, association concert urbain
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Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 8:50 PM

To be a megacity like this, you have to conform to urbanization. There is no possible way to have such a populated and crowed city with farmlands around. This is a place of business yet residential areas, it also is where the marketplaces are and where kids go to school. Megacities need to be a part of an urban society in order for them to stay afloat.

Bec Seeto's curator insight, October 30, 2014 6:07 PM

This is a great introduction to the demographic explosion of the slums within megacities.  This is applicable to many themes within geography.   

Sarah Cannon's curator insight, December 14, 2015 10:20 AM

I can't image or even relate to the experience of living in a place like this. With rivers polluted right outside your house. And those rivers are what people bathe in and wash their clothes. I can't imagine not being able to access clean drinking water or lacking food. The people in Dhaka endure so much their whole lives, a good percentage of them will always live in poverty.

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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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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.”


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Welcome to Ikea-land: Furniture giant begins urban planning project

Welcome to Ikea-land: Furniture giant begins urban planning project | Urban Life | Scoop.it
Where the Swedish home-furnishings behemoth once placed a couch in a living room, they now want to place you and 6,000 neighbours into a neglected corner of your city, design an entire urban world around you, and Ikea-ize your lives.
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A Green Revolution in Chicago

A Green Revolution in Chicago | Urban Life | Scoop.it

Several major projects are on Chicago's lakefront docket, aiming to complete the makeover that began nearly a decade ago and create an unbroken, 3-mile stretch of green jewels. Up first is a do-over for Navy Pier. Remade just a decade and a half ago for $225 million, the current version is widely seen as a pavement-heavy, retail-dominated tourist trap.

The new scheme, shaped by the pier's owners and Gensler design, envisions new green spaces, sculptures and pools to go along with a redesign of the shopping arcade and family pavilion. A design competition is underway. Several favorites – including Rem Koolhaas, Zaha Hadid and local architect and recent MacArthur “genius” winner Jeanne Gang – have already been eliminated.

The winning design is to be announced in mid-February, after a public viewing period of the finalists' proposals, starting February 2. The project, which is scheduled for completion for the pier's 100th anniversary, is budgeted around $200 million.


Via Lauren Moss
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Sharing time: Tracking the ‘sharrow’ on city streets

Sharing time: Tracking the ‘sharrow’ on city streets | Urban Life | Scoop.it
Not a full bike lane but better than nothing, the sharrow is popping up in cities everywhere. It's half a solution, but it points in the right direction.

A "sharrow" -- the word is an amalgamation of "arrow" and "share the road" -- is a large symbol of a bicycle topped by two chevrons pointing the way forward. More technically known as "shared lane markings," they're intended to remind two-wheeled and four-wheeled road users to share with each other, and also to encourage people on bikes to take the lane when it's too narrow to ride side-by-side with car traffic.

Visiting Seattle last weekend, it was impossible not to notice that its streets are covered in sharrows. Increasing in popularity nationwide, they got a boost in 2009 when they were officially entered into the federal transportation engineering canon. Seattle got a head start, writing them into its 2007 Bike Master Plan. Other cities began earlier, but I've never seen such a profusion as in the Emerald City...


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"Los planificadores tienen la tarea de ser mucho más imaginativos"

"Los planificadores tienen la tarea de ser mucho más imaginativos" | Urban Life | Scoop.it
"Los planificadores tienen la tarea de ser mucho más imaginativos"Entrevista a Peter Hall (http://www.cafedelasciudades.com.ar/planes_103.htm)...
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