EVOLVING URBAN SPACES
Cities are for people. In the reinvestment and reinvention that has characterized urbanization over the last several years, urban designers, advocates, and city leaders have embraced this seemingly simple concept. From this basic mantra, many movements to evolve urban spaces as places for people have flourished.
- How can we embrace universal design to encourage urban exploration no matter a person’s ability, age, or background?
- How can spaces encourage authentic urban experiences? What is an authentic urban experience?
- Through adaptive reuse, how can we reinvent historic buildings, transportation infrastructure, and other community assets?
- How can we prioritize urban greening to enable greater wellness and sustainability?
Can We Design Cities for Happiness?
Shareable.net, March 2010
“Quality of life is not just a phrase to [former mayor of Bogotá, Colombia Enrique] Peñalosa. He is firmly dedicated to giving everyone in a city more opportunity for recreation, education, transportation and the chance to take pleasure in their surroundings.”
Can These 10 Pop-Up Housing Concepts Change the Way We Think About Urban Living?
The Coolist, various dates
“From student housing to disaster relief, artist studios and homeless shelters, these compact housing systems could change the way we think about urban living.”
How Leftover Urban Spaces Can Fix Big Problems for San Francisco
SPUR, March 2011
“That’s a lot of city-owned land just sitting there collecting plastic bags. Their shape, size and location — often alongside highways or near industry — make these leftover lots unusable for traditional development. But what if there was a way to reclaim them for public use?”
20 Creative Adaptive Reuse Projects
ArchDaily, March 2016
“Whether due to environmental reasons, land availability or the desire to conserve a historic landmark, countless architectural firms worldwide are turning to adaptive reuse as a solution to some of the modern problems of the built environment.”
Cities Alive: Green Building Envelope
Arup, September 2013
Can retrofitting cityscapes with vegetation improve the health and well-being of urban citizens? Can we use green facades to capture renewable energy and drive sustainability? Experts from eight Arup skill networks across the globe cross-examine these questions with a view to shape better cities. The comprehensive research considers whether green building envelopes can have a special role to play in improving our cities for their inhabitants.
Contrasting reviews on the influential and critically acclaimed Streetfight: Handbook for an Urban Revolution by former New York City Department of Transportation commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan:
A Playbook on the Politics of Better Streets
CityLab, March 2016
“During her tenure as New York City’s transportation commissioner, Janette Sadik-Khan oversaw the addition of 400 miles of new bike lanes, helped implement the nation’s largest bike-sharing system, converted 60 plazas into spaces where people could sit and relax, and repurposed 180 acres of asphalt for pedestrian and bike use.”
Former Transportation commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan ruined our streets
New York Post, March 2016
“Three years since Janette Sadik-Khan left her post as the city’s commissioner of Transportation, what has her ruinous tampering with historic traffic patterns wrought?… A streetscape that is more disorderly looking than it was in the crime-wracked decades from the 1970s-’90s. “Plazas” are occupied mainly by tourists and bums. Left-turn lanes are so confusing that no one — walkers, cyclists or drivers — knows what to do!”
Why buses represent democracy in action
Enrique Peñalosa, TED Talks, September 2013
“‘An advanced city is not one where even the poor use cars, but rather one where even the rich use public transport,’ argues Enrique Peñalosa. In this spirited talk, the mayor of Bogotá shares some of the tactics he used to change the transportation dynamic in the Colombian capital… and suggests ways to think about building smart cities of the future.”
Design with the blind in mind
Chris Downey, TED Talks, October 2013
“What would a city designed for the blind be like? Chris Downey is an architect who went suddenly blind in 2008; he contrasts life in his beloved San Francisco before and after — and shows how the thoughtful designs that enhance his life now might actually make everyone’s life better, sighted or not.”
- Interview: Jan Gehl on London, streets, cycling and creating cities for people, The Guardian, January 2014
- In German Suburb, Life Goes On Without Cars, New York Times, May 2009