No. 582 - 2013.0821 Brooklyn is a hub of innovative architecture and design, with dozens of young professionals commissioning or undertaking their own eco-sensitive renovations to existing brownstones and low-rise attached buildings throughout the borough. Tighthouse, a Passive House brownstone retrofit, sits at the end of a string of two-story buildings constructed in 1899 that share a tree-lined block with larger brownstones built around the same time, centrally located off Fifth Avenue in the neighborhood of Park Slope. It is the first certified Passive House in New York City and meets the standards for new construction, surpassing the EnerPHit certification. Remodeling Approach The unique retrofit of a 110-year-old house by the Brooklyn-based firm Fabrica 718 could serve as an important model for the many urban and suburban residences that need energy-saving renovations.
Emergent Urbanism, or ‘bottom-up planning’ I was asked to write an article around ‘bottom-up planning’ by Architectural Review Australia a while ago. It was published in the last issue, and I’m re-posting here. ‘Bottom-up’ is hardly the most elegant phrase, but I suspect you know what I mean. Either way, I re-cast it in the article as ‘emergent urbanism’ which captured a little more of the non-planning approaches I was interested in (note also the blog of same name, which I didn’t know about beforehand). Tools - Street Mix - A Digital Mixing Board for Your Street Last week we wrote about the idea of "rightsizing" streets in the context of a new guide from the Project for Public Spaces illustrating exactly what the concept might look like in a variety of settings. Rightsizing is really about editing the built environment, revising streetscapes to meet the changing needs of drivers, bikers and pedestrians. It turned out that Code for America was toying with the very same questions about how to rightsize streets the right way and, more specifically, how to help communities picture what's possible when you begin to look at all that asphalt as an editable surface. They pointed us to this great tool, newly built and still in progress: StreetMix.net. It was developed over a few hours at a hackathon two weeks ago by a group of Code for America fellows, Lou Huang, Ezra Spier, Marcin Wichary, Katie Lewis and Ans Bradford. Their site allows you to do your editing online, adding a bike lane to your boulevard or snipping out that 8-foot parking curb.
Give a Minute Project Jonathan Schultz Give a Minute homepage features a user interface modeled on Post-it notes. UN-HABITAT Adopts First-Ever Resolution on Public Spaces Resolution Requests UN-HABITAT’s Executive Director to Ensure the Application of Place-Making Internationally April 15, 2011- Nairobi, Kenya The Governing Council of UN-HABITAT (United Nations Human Settlement Programme) has adopted the first-ever public space resolution which urges the development of a policy approach for the international application of Placemaking. The resolution, adopted during its 23rd Session, “requests the Executive Director, in collaboration with Habitat Agenda partners…to develop a policy approach on the role that place-making can play in meeting the challenges of our rapidly urbanizing world, to disseminate that policy and its results widely and to develop a plan for ensuring its application internationally…” PPS and UN-HABITAT Part of a Growing Awareness that Quality Public Spaces are Linked to Quality of Life
Tools - Rightsizing Streets The needs of our communities evolve over time, and our street design should, too. That’s the idea behind ‘rightsizing streets’ – reconfiguring the layout of our streets to better serve the people who use them, whether they’re commuters driving, shoppers walking, or children bicycling. Across the country, communities large and small are achieving impressive safety, mobility, and community outcomes by implementing such reconfigurations. Burning Man and the Metropolis Essay: Nate Berg "Intersection," installation by James Reagant and Charles Fields, 2010. [photo by MadeIn1953 via Flickr] It's not exactly the ideal place to build a city. No water, little vegetation, limited animal life.
Detroit Leads the Way on Place-Centered Revitalization Future plans for Cadillac Square call for a lively marketplace / Image: PPS You may have heard about downtown Detroit’s big comeback story. Campus Martius has become one of America’s great urban squares. Publications - UCLA Guide to Creating 'Parklets' On the heels of the recent City Council vote to allow the construction of a series of micro-parks in Los Angeles, researchers from UCLA Luskin's Complete Streets Initiative are releasing a comprehensive guidebook to planning, building and maintaining “parklets,”—small parks created in urban areas from the conversion of parking spots, alleyways and other underutilized spaces for cars into places for people. The report, “Reclaiming the Right-of-Way,” compiles best practices from cities in the U.S and Canada that have implemented parklet projects in their communities. These projects, which enhance neighborhoods through low-cost, small-scale inventions, were pioneered in San Francisco but have also appeared in New York, Philadelphia, and Vancouver, B.C., among other cities. “These community-driven projects allow for citizens to be engaged in improving their communities in a new way,” said Madeline Brozen, program manager of UCLA Luskin’s Complete Streets Initiative.
WikiCity – How Citizens can Improve their Cities This post is also available in: Chinese (Traditional) When governments don’t build infrastructure, citizens usually complain, but can’t do much about it. They pressure public officials and protest against proposed projects, but that’s as far as citizen participation in city building usually goes. Why Cities Can't Afford to Lose Their Artists The Art Basel Miami Beach art fair kicks off this week, an event that drew 75,000 people and 140 international museum and international groups in 2013. The art fair is widely credited with kick-starting the economic resurgence of the Miami area, so it seems like a good time to ask: What do we really know about the role of art in the city? Does it help to drive economic growth and development or does it contribute to gentrification?
Street Design Manual - Louisville Kentucky See the full list of bicycle related complete streets projects. Louisville Metro Complete Streets Ordinance (February 2008) Complete_Streets Manual (full) (25 MB PDF file) Complete Streets Manual (Separated for easier download): The Louisville Metro Complete Streets Manual is among the most comprehensive documents of its kind in the United States.