Here’s a site, recommended byMichael Geller, that lives up to its name:

Cooltown

It’s “a blog on crowdsourcing places for creatives,” so it self-describes, though I’m not entirely sure what that means.  Lots of good urban stuff, with more than just an American perspective.

Good stuff on New York, too.  I was interested to see that in the above post ,   NYC has seven of the top ten most walkable neighbourhoods in the U.S.

Although I didn’t get a chance to cover it the current issue of Price Tags (the one on Times Square), the City of New York has a ‘plaza program’ that awards eight projects in any of NYC’s five boroughs by funding the redesign and redevelopment of the street into a plaza.

Cooltown posted the results of the competition here:

ny-brooklyn-fulton-marcy

Fulton Street & Marcy Avenue before and after (proposed).

And here’s piece of asphalt in Brooklyn already transformed:

NYC  Pearl Street Triangle

Toronto Star columnist Christopher Hume reports on the Pearl Street project above in a piece on Janette Sadik-Khan, the New York traffic commissioner who recently visited Toronto.  The secret of her success?

The answer, says Sadik-Khan, is the pilot project.

“People are more willing to change if they know it’s not permanent,” she explains.

“The public needs to see things right away,” she says. “We have the vision in New York and we are able to implement that vision.”

Consider the case of Pearl Street Triangle, which occupies what was previously an asphalted road. The space of the park was painted green, with a “curb” outlined in white. Add a few heavy-duty planters, some tables, chairs and umbrellas and, voila, instant plaza.

It doesn’t take long for people to colonize these new spaces, and to grow attached to them.

Comments

  1. If you like before and after images, you might enjoy this:

    http://www.asla.org/2009awards/226.html

    It’s an Urban Corridor Planning Study for the City of Houston, Texas.

    You can see much larger images if you click the “larger image” links, then in the window that pops up, look for the “Click here to save larger image” link, and click that too.

  2. Pingback: re:place Magazine

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