#Market time in San Pedro. #city #cities #market... Pedalling myths: the anti-bike lobby is flat out of plausible arguments | Oliver Burkeman. If you hold the view that bikes, and bike lanes, are among the greatest evils threatening society today, you might at first have been pleased to see this week's Toronto Sun column by Mike Strobel, which has circulated widely online.
Initially, it appears to stand in the fine tradition of anti-bike screeds such as those by the New York Post's Steve Cuozzo or Andrea Peyser, or the New Yorker's John Cassidy. All are on the frontlines of what's been called the "bikelash", brave fighters willing to stand firm against the growing popularity of cycling across north America. (One of the most prominent developments, New York's long-awaited bikeshare program, is due to launch next month.) Take a closer look, though, and you'll notice that something's amiss with Strobel's piece. The average bikelash commentator, no matter how dyspeptic, considers him or herself obliged to come up with some sort of argument. "The nitty-gritty: Streets are designed for cars, not bikes. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. EBW_WALKING_REVOLUTION. 12 Fresh Ideas for Transforming the Places We Live With Open Data - Emily Badger. This year, the Knight News Challenge has been soliciting project proposals that would open up and leverage government data anywhere at the national, state and local levels (in the U.S. and abroad).
As of last week, 886 projects are vying for a share of the $5 million in funding, all in response to this question: "How can we make the places we live more awesome through data and technology? " Amid all of the submissions are some familiar innovations we've already encountered at Atlantic Cities, formerly as nascent ideas now competing for a chance to scale up: our favorite guerrilla wayfinding campaign from Raleigh, North Carolina; Code for America's playful StreetMix web app; the San Francisco-based Urban Prototyping Festival; and a community-driven transportation planning project based on the kind of data analytics we wrote about here.
But that's barely scratching the surface of all the proposals that Knight has corralled. 1. 2. Floodprint 3. 4. "Public meetings are broadcast online. 5. 6. This "Airbnb For Storefronts" Is Creating New Opportunities In A New York Neighborhood. Despite its rapid gentrification over the past decade, New York City’s Lower East Side is still surprisingly full of vacant storefronts, as many as 200. According to Eric Ho, an architect and founder of neighborhood revitalization group miLES (Made in the Lower East Side), that’s because many landlords are content to sit on empty properties until the perfect, high-paying, long-term tenant comes along to sign a lease. The result is a constellation of unoccupied spaces that add little value to neighborhood residents, business-owners, and visitors. MiLES’s mission is to activate those storefronts, by matching up vacant units with temporary tenants, including entrepreneurs who might want a space to run a pop-up shop or education and community focused organizations looking for affordable meeting space.
It’s a tough sell, of course, in a city notorious for cutthroat landlords, but the fact that miLES is at their mercy doesn’t deter Ho. “The landlord can do whatever they want. CITIES Online | Connecting Urban Explorers. Could Coconuts Purify Urban Water Supplies? This post is also available in: Chinese (Traditional), Italian, Farsi By Kyla Mandel at Green Futures The humble coconut can offer a quick-fix for the thirsty, but could it also provide a reliable source of clean water? Research Triangle International [RTI] believes it could. With funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, it has been developing a cost-effective wastewater filtration system to tackle the problem of poor sanitation across the developing world. The new technology’s magic ingredient is cocopeat – the dust that remains after the husks are removed from coconuts, which can be used to separate and purify organic material in the water.
Wastewater is passed through a biofilter, made of cocopeat, which traps suspended solids. Cocopeat’s durability is a plus: it only needs replacing after six months of use and costs less than two US cents per day to filter enough water for one person. However, Robbins thinks there’s a case for investment. Urbanista | Why Urbanista.org? | 1. Manifesto | The Spontaneous City International.
Manifesto The Spontaneous City is dealt by its inhabitants in a never ending process of transformation and adaptation to accommodate the contemporary culture that demands change in time, collective and individual concern, broad understanding of sustainability, and surprise! Individuals and groups, including both residents and business people, re-use or re-organize spaces in apartments block, workplaces, parks and street.
The potential of city dwellers has too long been ignored. Co-design, Co-production, Co-property and Co-responsibility are no longer just fashionable terms, but accepted design forms in terms of sustainable urban development, which have to be implemented and applied more and more in a larger scope in collaboration with the big companies and local authority. The framework of The Spontaneous City has been developed through more than 20 years, according also to older principles, and is still under development. The Spontaneous City is based on four leading principles. Challenges and Warts: How Physical Places Define Local Economies.
Is this Placemaking? Some would say yes… / Photo: Brendan Crain “People develop, not places.” So writes Jim Russell in a recent post over at Burgh Diaspora, in arguing that cities are wasting their money on Placemaking when they should be focusing more directly on talent development. In his view, widely held these days, Placemaking is about plunking down “cool urban amenities” and increasing token diversity to make a city seem edgy or superficially interesting. That’s not what Placemaking is. Context (the size of a site, its location within the city, its present configuration) gives the people who choose to participate in a Placemaking process a universally agreed-upon starting point. For hard evidence of this, look to Tokyo. In his critique of Placemaking, Russell looks a bit closer to home, at Detroit. There’s a disconnect here that bothers me: in so much of the contemporary mainstream discussion of Placemaking, the signifier has become the signified.
‘Do not base policies about cycling on the views of existing committed cyclists’ Some of you will no doubt remember the advice – quoted in the headline of this post – of the 2011 Understanding Walking and Cycling Report [pdf]. do not base policies about cycling on the views and experiences of existing committed cyclists. These are a minority who have, against all the odds, successfully negotiated a hostile urban environment to incorporate cycling into their everyday routines. It is necessary to talk – as we have done – to non-cyclists, potential cyclists, former cyclists, and recreational cyclists to determine what would encourage them to make more use of this transport mode. The Report investigated the barriers to cycling (and also to walking) in Great Britain. It did so, quite reasonably, by asking people who didn’t cycle why they didn’t, and what would need to change for them to consider a bicycle as an everyday mode of transport.
Also it is essential that the urban environment is made safe for cyclists. Calls for presumed liability also fall into this category. Welcome to the Flaneur Society. The Flaneur Society was created in response to Walter Benjamin's book Berlin Childhood Around 1900. In it he explores the concept of the Flaneur, one who wanders without destination. Intrigued by this concept, the society was created to spread the concept of the Flaneur beyond academic studies and into the general consciousness of how we think of urban spaces.
The Guidebook to Getting Lost is a small pocket sized book which defines the concept of the Flaneur. Using the language of the Park Service and backcountry maps, the guide aims to introduce the participant to a city without the concern of street names and directions. Inside, there are three maps which can guide the participant to a state of Flaneuring. CITY2.0 | Citizen Powered Change. How it Works | Popularise. The Public Realm Creates the City | Own Your City. It would not be unfair to characterize the growth we are experiencing as “astronomical,” even in light of the current, apparent, slow down. Some believe we are experiencing a seismic shift; the very fabric of the city is being redefined with every newly approved application, and it’s tempting to question whether the “centre will hold.”
I was at a conference recently in the American Midwest where Toronto was identified as “the fastest growing city in the world,” and the comment rang in my ears. What does this mean? At the very least, it means we are experiencing change at a rate that most of us - and our policy frameworks – did not fathom. The future will be fundamentally different from the present; if we do not consider and attempt to anticipate the implications of this growth, we face unintended consequences. And we risk killing the golden goose – we need to identify what we value most, and ensure that as we change, we protect it. PlaceMakers | We cultivate livability. What is Placemaking? What if we built our communities around places? As both an overarching idea and a hands-on approach for improving a neighborhood, city, or region, Placemaking inspires people to collectively reimagine and reinvent public spaces as the heart of every community.
Strengthening the connection between people and the places they share, Placemaking refers to a collaborative process by which we can shape our public realm in order to maximize shared value. More than just promoting better urban design, Placemaking facilitates creative patterns of use, paying particular attention to the physical, cultural, and social identities that define a place and support its ongoing evolution. With community-based participation at its center, an effective Placemaking process capitalizes on a local community’s assets, inspiration, and potential, and it results in the creation of quality public spaces that contribute to people’s health, happiness, and well being. Placemaking begins at the smallest scale. Stats about all US cities - real estate, relocation info, crime, house prices, cost of living, races, home value estimator, recent sales, income, photos, schools, maps, weather, neighborhoods, and more.
Green Roof Blocks - Simple Solutions to Building Green! This Big City - ideas for sustainable cities. March 9, 2010 by Joe Peach Yesterday, eVolo magazine announced the winners of their 2010 Skyscraper Competition, an award that aims to ‘discover young talents whose ideas will change the way we understand architecture and its relationship with the natural and built environments.’ The nine jurors selected 3 prizes and 27 special mentions out of 430 entries from 42 countries, and considered factors such as globalisation, sustainability, flexibility, adaptability, and the digital revolution when making their considerations. The First Prize went to Malaysian Architecture students Chow Khoon Toong, Ong Tien Yee, and Beh Ssi Cze, for their prison in the sky, pictured above.
Inmates would live in a free and productive society with farming and factories supporting the world below. It’s an interesting idea that seeks to totally re-imagine the prison system, and even though the logistics of creating such a system are pretty unfavourable, the judges considered this the strongest entry. Cyclists and Pedestrians Can End Up Spending More Each Month Than Drivers - Commute. Kelly Clifton has heard this stereotype a number of times: "Cyclists are just a bunch of kids who don’t have any money," says the professor of civil and environmental engineering at Portland State University.
"They ride their bikes to a coffee shop, they sit there for four hours with their Macintoshes, they’re not really spending any money. " If you’re a shopkeeper with such suspicions, you’re probably not on board with any plan that would cut down on parking right outside your door. Cyclists are the ones with time to kill; drivers are the ones with money. This perception is problematic in a place like Portland, where the bike-friendly city government is now looking to extend the reach of bike infrastructure – and the appeal of bikes themselves – to newer riders and neighborhoods farther afield from the urban core. "As we move out beyond those areas into more auto-oriented areas," Clifton says, "we start to see businesses say, ‘Hey, wait a minute.
Top image: TonyV3112 / Shutterstock.com. The WaterTank Project. A grocery store for the people planned for West Oakland food desert. Brahm Ahmadi spends a lot of time thinking about something most people take for granted: grocery stores. But it hasn’t always been this way. As one of the founders of the nonprofit People’s Grocery in West Oakland — the Bay Area’s most notorious food desert — he and his colleagues started out with more affordable, less ambitious projects, like a mobile food delivery service and a local community-supported agriculture (CSA) box. But it quickly became clear — as several grocery chains tried to enter the neighborhood and failed, and residents were left relying on corner stores or taking long trips by public transportation to other neighborhoods — that the area needed a reliable, independent grocery store.
“Residents said, ‘What you’ve brought to the neighborhood is great, but it’s far from a complete solution,’” Ahmadi recalls. “Education and access are two sides of the same coin,” says Ahmadi. “You can’t make healthy food available and just expect people to buy it. Is Free Rent Enough to Jumpstart a Sleepy Commercial District? - Neighborhoods. For decades, about five blocks of the South Avondale neighborhood of Birmingham, Alabama, was all but vacant.
Once a small, thriving cultural district on the border of affluent sections of the city's Southside, South Avondale's business district had experienced a stunning decline in recent decades thanks to "white flight," population loss, and the closing of industrial businesses that manufactured goods such as cotton and bricks. A 2010 photo shows construction at the building that's now home to the Avondale Brewing Company, via Flickr user Dystopos So when stimulus money became available for "shovel ready" projects in Birmingham, residents and city leaders thought of South Avondale's business district. Out of more than $20 million in federal stimulus bonds allocated for streets and park renovations in Birmingham, $3 million was put toward expanding a Central Park-modeled public recreation area on the land where the zoo once sat.
Photos courtesy Avondale Brewing Company. 'Occupy Avondale' The Limits of Density - Neighborhoods. Density is all the rage these days. Urban economists, some of whom could be heard extolling the praises of "sun, skills, and sprawl" just a few years ago, now see increasing density as the key to improving productivity and driving economic growth. In his story for The Atlantic, "How Skyscrapers Can Save the City," Harvard University’s Edward Glaeser put it this way: "As America struggles to regain its economic footing, we would do well to remember that dense cities are also far more productive than suburbs, and offer better-paying jobs ... tall buildings enable the human interactions that are at the heart of economic innovation, and of progress itself.
" Well-intentioned planners and preservationists drive up prices when they stand in the way of taller and taller buildings, he argues. Overly restrictive height limitations not only impede economic progress, but make cities less, not more, liveable. There can be no doubt that density has its advantages. Top image: Flickr/terratrekking. What Are the 7 Keys to a Strong Community? - Neighborhoods. Green infrastructure Archives | Ontario's Environmental WatchdogOntario's Environmental Watchdog. News, Events | Green Infrastructure Ontario Coalition. The Strong Neighbourhoods Task Force - the United Way of Greater Toronto and the City of Toronto. ANC - Home.
Bee keeping. Toronto. Vanishing Point. Spacing. Why We Pay More for Walkable Neighborhoods - Jobs & Economy. Get Your Walk Score - Find Walkable Apartments and Rentals. Now Coveted - A Walkable, Convenient Place. Walkability. The Stunning Geography of Incarceration - Design. TXTilecity. OBlog: Design Observer.