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urbangeographies:

RETHINKING THE URBAN FREEWAY

As urban freeways age and deteriorate, cities increasingly consider removing them. In a 17-page brief on Re-Thinking the Urban Freeway, the Mayors Innovation Project reports that “the time is right” for cash-strapped American cities to consider permanent removal and conversion to boulevards and parks. Freeways often occupy valuable real estate without paying taxes and are costly to maintain. They lower property values and increase blight, the report says.

Although urban freeways were welcomed in the 1950s and 1960s as economic drivers, now they are under scrutiny for interrupting street patterns, making local businesses inaccessible, worsening pollution and demaging public health. Such diverse cities as Boston, Milwaukee, New York, Portland, Oregon, San Francisco, and Seoul are among those to have demolished highways – and they have discovered that pollution diminished, local roads absorbed traffic, and real estate values soared.

Note the “before and after” photos of the San Francisco waterfront. On top, see how the hideous Embarcadero Freeway, built in 1959, long blocked bay views and devalued the downtown waterfront. In the bottom photograph, see how installation of the Embarcadero boulevard promoted pedestrian movement and commercial revitalization of the Ferry Building and adjacent areas, after the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake prompted removal of the elevated freeway. 

(via thegreenurbanist)

inlikewiththecity:

Enrique Peñalosa on Urbanized (2011) Gary Hustwit. (via imtakingtwo, thisbigcity)

inlikewiththecity:

Enrique Peñalosa on Urbanized (2011) Gary Hustwit. (via imtakingtwo, thisbigcity)

(via thegreenurbanist)

good:

Interactive Infographic: Where Are the Jobs?
This week’s issue explores one of the most hot button issues today: job creation. Where have all the jobs gone and are they coming back?

good:

Interactive Infographic: Where Are the Jobs?

This week’s issue explores one of the most hot button issues today: job creation. Where have all the jobs gone and are they coming back?

Nicer than George Square 
a consultation is about it be undertaken by GCC about the redevelopment of George Square in Glasgow city centre, this blog is pulling together inspiration from across the world to open up discussing about what would be nicer than george square right now (currently think big, empty and essentially a massive square roundabout). 
nicerthangeorgesquare:

Is there anything George Sq could learn from The High Line in New York?Check out these stunning photos of what was achieved in New York as an old raised railway line was converted into a beautiful public space.

Nicer than George Square 

a consultation is about it be undertaken by GCC about the redevelopment of George Square in Glasgow city centre, this blog is pulling together inspiration from across the world to open up discussing about what would be nicer than george square right now (currently think big, empty and essentially a massive square roundabout). 

nicerthangeorgesquare:

Is there anything George Sq could learn from The High Line in New York?

Check out these stunning photos of what was achieved in New York as an old raised railway line was converted into a beautiful public space.

good:

Colombia Has 100 Tiny Libraries in Public Parks
The program was started more than 15 years ago, and it has continued to thrive, operating 51 mini libraries in Bogotá and more than 100 throughout the country. The libraries themselves are rather remarkable—they hold about 350 books each, and they’re operated by volunteer librarians who organize activities and help kids with their homework.
Keep reading at GOOD.is

good:

Colombia Has 100 Tiny Libraries in Public Parks

The program was started more than 15 years ago, and it has continued to thrive, operating 51 mini libraries in Bogotá and more than 100 throughout the country. The libraries themselves are rather remarkable—they hold about 350 books each, and they’re operated by volunteer librarians who organize activities and help kids with their homework.

Keep reading at GOOD.is

// crowd sourcing for community-led development and regeneration//

Spacehive: A Crowd-Funding Platform For Urban Initiatives

More urban crowd-funding initiativespop up. Only last December Spacehive was launched in the UK, a crowd-funding platform focused on ‘neighborhood improvement projects’. Spacehive says to provide “a quick and democratic way” to fund a project.

After its first three months, one first success story can be reported. The small ex-miner town Glyncoch in South Wales spent nearly seven years to raise the 800,000 pounds for a new community center, and they were still in short up to 35,000 pounds with only ten weeks left for the deadline. It was a close call for the Glyncoch initiative. Only two months ago they turned to Spacehive. Just in a nip of time — a nerve-racking 22 days — they raised the last sum that was needed to realize the project.

But by ‘neighborhood improvement projects’ Spacehive not solely aims at the large boulevards, theaters and community centers, but also at the smaller initiatives. Think about a park bench, a goal post and so on. Spacehive wants to be more socially constructive with a platform where people can connect, share and donate. Posting a concept can help you connect to others who can support. It’s free to upload projects and to donate — administration fees only have to be paid when a project is successfully funded. 

more info on spacehive

irishboyinlondon:

Gehl Architects: Time to reclaim the streets

…In 2007, Gehl Architects undertook an important study of Flushing Main Street in New York City. We found that 97,000 pedestrians walk along Main Street every day, but they are squeezed into only 30 percent of the street space. Some 56,000 motorists have access to 70 percent of the street space….

irishboyinlondon:

Gehl Architects: Time to reclaim the streets

…In 2007, Gehl Architects undertook an important study of Flushing Main Street in New York City. We found that 97,000 pedestrians walk along Main Street every day, but they are squeezed into only 30 percent of the street space. Some 56,000 motorists have access to 70 percent of the street space….

(Source: buildbettercities)

princetonarchitecturalpress:

Looking down over The High Line
From Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District up to 30th Street, through the neighborhood of Chelsea, to the West Side Yards, near the Javitz Convention Center.
From the soon-to-be-released book Up On The Roof: New York’s Hidden Skyline Spaces, available now for pre-order.

princetonarchitecturalpress:

Looking down over The High Line

From Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District up to 30th Street, through the neighborhood of Chelsea, to the West Side Yards, near the Javitz Convention Center.

From the soon-to-be-released book Up On The Roof: New York’s Hidden Skyline Spacesavailable now for pre-order.

(via thegreenurbanist)

Homes for all: a history of British housing

A new exhibition traces the history of British mass housing - and has some lessons for developers today.

"The generosity of space in Georgian and Victorian housing, in particular, is its lasting legacy," says Mike Althorpe, curator of A Place To Call Home: Where We Live And Why. “These homes have high ceilings, big windows and outdoor space, in comparison to most new housing, which has small rooms and low ceilings.”


According to a new exhibition that traces the history of British mass housing, there’s a very good reason we love old houses: space. Period homes, compared with contemporary ones, have lots of it.

Rest of the article is available in the Guardian Architecture blog

(Source: Guardian)


Article by ALEX DAVIES for Tree Hugger
Today, there’s nothing special about the roof of the downtown Toronto building that houses the Centre for Social Innovation (CSI) annex. But if the organization and the groups working with it get their way, it will become something much more, and much greener, this year: a rooftop garden that is also a common space for community engagement.
The CSI has teamed up with the About Face Collective, SKETCH: Working Arts for Street Involved and Homeless Youth and Skate4Cancer to make the dream a reality: the “Everything Roof.” The space will be designed by local artists, who will use recycled and reclaimed materials to make it into a functioning garden.

Article by ALEX DAVIES for Tree Hugger

Today, there’s nothing special about the roof of the downtown Toronto building that houses the Centre for Social Innovation (CSI) annex. But if the organization and the groups working with it get their way, it will become something much more, and much greener, this year: a rooftop garden that is also a common space for community engagement.

The CSI has teamed up with the About Face CollectiveSKETCH: Working Arts for Street Involved and Homeless Youth and Skate4Cancer to make the dream a reality: the “Everything Roof.” The space will be designed by local artists, who will use recycled and reclaimed materials to make it into a functioning garden.

(Source: paper.li)

Parasite Library Re-Uses Old Pay Phones

 


By JOOP DE BOER | Published: FRIDAY FEBRUARY 24, 2012

Pay phones are a dying breed in the streets of of New York City (and other cities). But is this a problem or an opportunity? Currently New York City counts 13,659 pay phones. Most of them are hardly used and beg for new functions. Architect John Locke is the man behind the Department of Urban Betterment, a New York-based interventionist project that is repurposing phone booths into communal libraries or book drops. Although we’ve already seen several efforts to transform old phone booths into book shops, this project is interesting as it is a parasite that uses the existing construction while leaving the phone itself untouched and fully operable. Furthermore, the installation is easy to remove.

Parasite Library Re-Uses Old Pay Phones

 

Pay phones are a dying breed in the streets of of New York City (and other cities). But is this a problem or an opportunity? Currently New York City counts 13,659 pay phones. Most of them are hardly used and beg for new functions. Architect John Locke is the man behind the Department of Urban Betterment, a New York-based interventionist project that is repurposing phone booths into communal libraries or book drops. Although we’ve already seen several efforts to transform old phone booths into book shops, this project is interesting as it is a parasite that uses the existing construction while leaving the phone itself untouched and fully operable. Furthermore, the installation is easy to remove.

urban design | communities | public policy