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How to Fix America’s Bad Bike Infrastructure

This is one of the better write-ups I’ve seen on the whole discussion around cyclists obeying rules of the road. Quite simply, the rules don’t fit. And don’t get me started on motorists not obeying rules. (Like cyclists are the only ones rolling through stop signs.) A change in mindset is needed. It’s starting to happen here in Chicago, but there is a long way to go. Simply look at the way residents have cried out in anger at speed cameras. These are cameras, that will automatically ticket you for not obeying the law. (gasp!) Until we change our mindset and get serious about making the roads safer for all users, these arguments about paying your fair share (cyclists pay taxes too!) or following the “rules of the road” (just because you saw one cyclist run a red light doesn’t mean we all do) will persist. 

You’re going to like my next HuffPo article. 

via thegreenurbanist & livefrommyroom:

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"The question of what kind of city we want cannot be divorced from that of what kind of social ties, relationship to nature, lifestyles, technologies and aesthetic values we desire. The right to the city is far more than the individual liberty to access urban resources: it is a right to change ourselves by changing the city. It is, moreover, a common rather than an individual right since this transformation inevitably depends upon the exercise of a collective power to reshape the processes of urbanization. The freedom to make and remake our cities and ourselves is, I want to argue, one of the most precious yet most neglected of our human rights."

David Harvey. The Right to the City (2008)

(Source: notquitenative, via stoweboyd)

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Eighth and Peral, Boulder, Colorado

This challenging mixed-use project is located at Eighth and Pearl Streets, three blocks to the west of Boulder’s Downtown Mall. Retail uses on the ground floor provided new homes for four local businesses including a bakery/cafe. Offices, including Wolff Lyon Architects’ home, are located on the second floor. There are five residential townhomes with front porches and small gardens. Landscaped upper and lower terraces provide the internal circulation to each suite. Forty parking spaces are cleverly hidden on-site with many of them located in a garage built into the hill. Roof-top terraces provide fine views of the Flatirons. Designed to respond to Boulder’s historic platting of 25’ wide lots, there are subtle changes in brick color and building articulation, which help the new structure fit into the existing neighborhood. The building is one of the first to be built in Boulder’s Business Main Street zoning district which Wolff Lyon helped craft with city planners. Finally, this mixed-use project provides a transition from the commercial character of Pearl Street to the traditional development patterns of the historic Mapleton Hill district.

via thenewurbanist:

(via urbnist)

Copenhagen Redesigns City for Stormwater Management (and then some)

A month before I arrived in Copenhagen in the summer of 2011, I watched news footage of the worst flood the city had seen since at least 1955 (when systematic flood measurements began). It cost the city over $1 billion USD.

The same year, Copenhagen failed to earn the European Green Capital award despite pristine performance across the board of sustainability indicators except one; public green space. 

Copenhagen is now rolling out a new plan to address its challenges of both stormwater management and insufficient green space. 

Note: Darth Vader on a Segway in the last image. Well played, municipal architects.

haha i was just about to mention the segways in the renderings!

nice that they now design for rain/flooding, too. more architectural/design renderings need to include images of days when it’s not so sunny and pretty.

via secretrepublic & citymaus:

(via urbanresolve)

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Jeanne Gang: Arrival City Urbanism - #LiveWork How do ecologies and technologies intersect in cities? What impact does architecture have on our communities? Jeanne Gang shows us how architects reimagine our cities and how we live in them.

via blah-city:

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Park Boulevard Master Plan, Chicago

The Park Boulevard Master Plan rethought the site of one of Chicago’s most blighted projects. The plan called for a mix of housing types and designs, different levels of affordability, as well as for the reintegration of the site back into Chicago’s street grid. The idea was to increase the potential for creating a livable neighborhood on what had previously been a dysfunctional urban no man’s land.

In September of 2008, HUD awarded a 20 million dollar grant to the Chicago Housing Authority to continue the revitalization of the former Stateway Gardens Public Housing.

via thenewurbanist:

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Mapping vacant spaces with open data

IotXlot  (Possible City)

Eixos (Planol.info)

via humanscalecities:

(via urbnist)

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Fideicomiso: When Architects Become Developers (And Everybody Wins)
A decade before Kickstarter made “crowdfunding” a buzzword (particularly in architecture circles), a similar concept – going by a far more poetic name – was already alive and well in the streets of Buenos Aires.
Fideicomiso is a system of development which gained popularity in Argentina after the financial crisis of 2001; banks crashed, the public grew wary of developers, and a more democratic system of development gained prevalence. Under fideicomiso, the architect himself takes on the risk of development; residents collect their assets and provide them to the architect, who buys the land, funds the project and oversees the design/construction.
Now, Elias Redstone, a researcher who took part in Venice Takeaway (Britain’s Pavilion at last year’s Venice Biennale) and spent time investigating this model in Argentina, has returned to his home country – and is anxious to see if this system could be applied in Recession-struck Britain.
More on Archdaily

Fideicomiso: When Architects Become Developers (And Everybody Wins)

A decade before Kickstarter made “” a buzzword (particularly in architecture circles), a similar concept – going by a far more poetic name – was already alive and well in the streets of Buenos Aires.

Fideicomiso is a system of development which gained popularity in Argentina after the financial crisis of 2001; banks crashed, the public grew wary of developers, and a more democratic system of development gained prevalence. Under fideicomiso, the architect himself takes on the risk of development; residents collect their assets and provide them to the architect, who buys the land, funds the project and oversees the design/construction.

Now, Elias Redstone, a researcher who took part in Venice Takeaway (Britain’s Pavilion at last year’s Venice Biennale) and spent time investigating this model in Argentina, has returned to his home country – and is anxious to see if this system could be applied in Recession-struck Britain.

More on Archdaily

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Ten Ways to Transform Cities through Placemaking & Public Spaces
In 2011, UN-HABITAT and Project for Public Spaces (PPS) signed a 5-year cooperative agreement to aspire to raise international awareness of the importance of public space in cities, to foster a lively exchange of ideas among partners and to educate a new generation of planners, designers, community activists and other civic leaders about the benefits of what they call the “Placemaking methodology.” Their partnership is helping to advance the development of cities where people of all income groups, social classes and ages can live safely, happily and in economic security and in order to reach these ambitious goals, the duo recently released 10 informative steps that cities and communities can take to improve the quality of their 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
6. Reinvent Community Planning
7. Power of 10
8. Create a Comprehensive Public Space Agenda
9. Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper: Start Small, Experiment
10. Restructure Government to Support Public Spaces
Read about the details at Archdaily

Ten Ways to Transform Cities through Placemaking & Public Spaces


In 2011, UN-HABITAT and Project for Public Spaces (PPS) signed a 5-year cooperative agreement to aspire to raise international awareness of the importance of  in cities, to foster a lively exchange of ideas among partners and to educate a new generation of planners, designers, community activists and other civic leaders about the benefits of what they call the “ methodology.” Their partnership is helping to advance the development of cities where people of all income groups, social classes and ages can live safely, happily and in economic security and in order to reach these ambitious goals, the duo recently released 10 informative steps that cities and communities can take to improve the quality of their 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

6. Reinvent Community Planning

7. Power of 10

8. Create a Comprehensive Public Space Agenda

9. Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper: Start Small, Experiment

10. Restructure Government to Support Public Spaces


Read about the details at Archdaily

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Wanna Reinvent The Inner City? Reinvent Its Housing Stock
The Rock Street project came about after a local housing nonprofit tapped the university’s Community Design Center (a consortium of architects and students) to design housing for a plot of land stretched over nine vacant lots in Little Rock’s Pettaway neighborhood. Instead of building nine homes on nine lots, the team grouped the individual homes a la Chapin’s designs, creating shared outdoor spaces and pooling infrastructural resources. Homes are grouped in fours and sixteens, creating unique typologies that ring a common courtyard. “The project does a very interesting and successful job of co-mingling variations of public and private space,” commented the AIA jurors.


Stephen D. Luoni, the director of the Community Designer, acknowledges that Rock Street is a huge leap forward for most American homeowners. “Shared space is a difficult concept in contemporary America,” he tells Co.Design. “Even in urban neighborhoods, the prevalence of single-lot housing has inured residents to the homogenization in their neighborhoods and skewed conceptions of compatibility.” Community feedback from Pettaway residents was uncertain at first, because residents saw the design as a “separatist” development, which hugely surprised the design team. But after explaining the concept behind the proposal—that the entire neighborhood will benefit from the shared outdoor spaces—the community signed on.
Via FastCoDesign

Wanna Reinvent The Inner City? Reinvent Its Housing Stock

The Rock Street project came about after a local housing nonprofit tapped the university’s Community Design Center (a consortium of architects and students) to design housing for a plot of land stretched over nine vacant lots in Little Rock’s Pettaway neighborhood. Instead of building nine homes on nine lots, the team grouped the individual homes a la Chapin’s designs, creating shared outdoor spaces and pooling infrastructural resources. Homes are grouped in fours and sixteens, creating unique typologies that ring a common courtyard. “The project does a very interesting and successful job of co-mingling variations of public and private space,” commented the AIA jurors.

Stephen D. Luoni, the director of the Community Designer, acknowledges that Rock Street is a huge leap forward for most American homeowners. “Shared space is a difficult concept in contemporary America,” he tells Co.Design. “Even in urban neighborhoods, the prevalence of single-lot housing has inured residents to the homogenization in their neighborhoods and skewed conceptions of compatibility.” Community feedback from Pettaway residents was uncertain at first, because residents saw the design as a “separatist” development, which hugely surprised the design team. But after explaining the concept behind the proposal—that the entire neighborhood will benefit from the shared outdoor spaces—the community signed on.

Via FastCoDesign

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A diet for healthy city: Viktor Zotov at TEDxKyiv City2.0 

 

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Do you have an idea on how transportation could change America’s urban landscape?
What impact does urban mass transit have on the mobility of our cities in which we live, work and play?
What does the future hold for transportation investments in urban mass transit?
What forms will these new investments take and what is the result to our built environment?
 
Transform Kansas City, a collaboration between the Kansas City Regional Transit Alliance and the Kansas City Chapter of the American Institute of Architects Young Architects Forum, would like to apply these questions and solutions to the Kansas City Metropolitan Area. Transform Kansas City has launched an International Call for Ideas and is asking for submissions that illustrate transportation related or affected ideas or solutions. Transform Kansas City invites you, no matter your background or experience, to submit your ideas on transportation, urban design and architecture.
 
Kansas City is a mid-sized Midwestern American city with a population of just over 2 million people concentrated in both Missouri and Kansas. Until the 1950’s, Kansas City was a vibrant urban center with bustling activity strengthened by streetcar and passenger rail synergies. The widespread introduction of the automobile decimated the public transportation system in Kansas City. Since the end of the streetcar era the urban core of Kansas City has slowly declined to an almost halt. Infrastructure deteriorated, populations fled for the suburbs and new investments were ineffective and stagnant….until now…
 
The future of Kansas City’s urban core and the metropolitan area in general is starting to brighten. Thanks to several large scale transit investment strategies, the region has the opportunity to see urban Kansas City return to its bustling days of transit glory. A robust return to the streetcar system, high technology light and regional rail systems, and a smart grid strengthened by Google Fiber all add to endless possibilities to the Kansas City environment. 
 
Here is where you come in. We would like for you to identify and elaborate on the initiatives taking shape in Kansas City. Better yet, create your own. No idea is too large or novel. Introduce us to transformative transit projects in other parts of the world. Display original designs relevant to the Kansas City region. Inspire us!
 
Submissions are due June 30, 2013 and selected entries will be featured on the TransformKC.org website and included in an exhibition at Union Station. Please visit the website for submission criteria and medium. The TransformKC exhibition will be located in the East Hall of Union Station during the month of October 2013. The exhibit provides a great opportunity to bring your ideas, knowledge and expertise to a local, grassroots level and showcase you as a leader in the world’s built environment. 
 
For more information please visit the TransformKC.org website. 

Do you have an idea on how transportation could change America’s urban landscape?

What impact does urban mass transit have on the mobility of our cities in which we live, work and play?

What does the future hold for transportation investments in urban mass transit?

What forms will these new investments take and what is the result to our built environment?

 

Transform Kansas City, a collaboration between the Kansas City Regional Transit Alliance and the Kansas City Chapter of the American Institute of Architects Young Architects Forum, would like to apply these questions and solutions to the Kansas City Metropolitan Area. Transform Kansas City has launched an International Call for Ideas and is asking for submissions that illustrate transportation related or affected ideas or solutions. Transform Kansas City invites you, no matter your background or experience, to submit your ideas on transportation, urban design and architecture.

 

Kansas City is a mid-sized Midwestern American city with a population of just over 2 million people concentrated in both Missouri and Kansas. Until the 1950’s, Kansas City was a vibrant urban center with bustling activity strengthened by streetcar and passenger rail synergies. The widespread introduction of the automobile decimated the public transportation system in Kansas City. Since the end of the streetcar era the urban core of Kansas City has slowly declined to an almost halt. Infrastructure deteriorated, populations fled for the suburbs and new investments were ineffective and stagnant….until now…

 

The future of Kansas City’s urban core and the metropolitan area in general is starting to brighten. Thanks to several large scale transit investment strategies, the region has the opportunity to see urban Kansas City return to its bustling days of transit glory. A robust return to the streetcar system, high technology light and regional rail systems, and a smart grid strengthened by Google Fiber all add to endless possibilities to the Kansas City environment.

 

Here is where you come in. We would like for you to identify and elaborate on the initiatives taking shape in Kansas City. Better yet, create your own. No idea is too large or novel. Introduce us to transformative transit projects in other parts of the world. Display original designs relevant to the Kansas City region. Inspire us!

 

Submissions are due June 30, 2013 and selected entries will be featured on the TransformKC.org website and included in an exhibition at Union Station. Please visit the website for submission criteria and medium. The TransformKC exhibition will be located in the East Hall of Union Station during the month of October 2013. The exhibit provides a great opportunity to bring your ideas, knowledge and expertise to a local, grassroots level and showcase you as a leader in the world’s built environment.

 

For more information please visit the TransformKC.org website. 

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“A Brief History of Suburbia’s Rise and Fall
Eric Jaffe. March 14, 2013

The suburb has a claim to being one of the most successful and least loved inventions of the modern era. Many intellectuals, being city people at heart, find the suburb a hard place to love.

So writes city historian Graeme Davison of Monash University, in Australia, in a recent issueof the Journal of Urban History. Davison goes on to chronicle a brief though rather complete rise and fall of the suburban lifestyle. Concentrating on England, but drawing support from the United States and Australia, Davison tracks suburbia from its ideological roots in the Victorian era to its harsh detractors in the present.
“Like a hardy hybrid, the suburban idea has flourished even in environments remote from its origins, and outlived most of the criticisms hurled against it,” he writes.”
Photo: Shutterstock
via massurban & The Atlantic Cities: 

“A Brief History of Suburbia’s Rise and Fall

Eric Jaffe. March 14, 2013

The suburb has a claim to being one of the most successful and least loved inventions of the modern era. Many intellectuals, being city people at heart, find the suburb a hard place to love.

So writes city historian Graeme Davison of Monash University, in Australia, in a recent issueof the Journal of Urban History. Davison goes on to chronicle a brief though rather complete rise and fall of the suburban lifestyle. Concentrating on England, but drawing support from the United States and Australia, Davison tracks suburbia from its ideological roots in the Victorian era to its harsh detractors in the present.

“Like a hardy hybrid, the suburban idea has flourished even in environments remote from its origins, and outlived most of the criticisms hurled against it,” he writes.”

Photo: Shutterstock

via massurban & The Atlantic Cities: 

(via urbanresolve)

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Stowe Boyd: Richard Florida Calls For New Urban Social Compact

Joel Kotkin, a paid shill for the right-wing ‘philanthropist’ Howard Ahmanson, recently suggested that Richard Florida had abandoned his ‘discredited’ creative class theory about the richness of cities. Not only did Florida respond, and dismantle the weak arguments that Kotkin arrayed, he went on to call for a new urban social compact, to extend the benefits of dynamic cities to all of their denizens.

via stoweboyd:

(Source: thedailybeast.com)