The University of South California’s Expansion Leads to Serious Community Concerns

Town-gown relationships near the University of Southern California are tense to say the least.

Because the University has not built sufficient student housing to accommodate their growing population, many students have had to seek housing in the surrounding neighborhood. This demand for housing has spurred for-profit developers to buy up properties and market exclusively for students. 

But prior to the massive demand for student housing, those same properties served local, lower-income families, the majority of whom were African-American or Latino. These families, which had lived in the neighborhood for generations, have now been displaced to other areas of the City. 

The University now has plans to nearly double the size of their campus, and local residents are worried about how the expansion will impact their community. Read more at healthycal.org

massurban:

What Citizens Add to Planning

Kaid Benfield. Jan 6, 2012.

The video at the end of this post is a rare and engaging inside peek at two planning workshops in the small, historic city of Belfast (population 6,658) and the town of Lincolnville (population 2,042), both in Maine. The most eloquent voices in the room are not professional planners, but ordinary citizens who care about their community, raising such issues as how their streets function, building facades, walkability, places for seniors and kids, safety, and the like. 

I really like it as an example of what real folks – not just we enviros and “urban wonks” – care about, as well as what a citizen planning session feels like. The workshops were hosted in October 2011 by the local nonprofit Friends of Midcoast Maine, in partnership with the Orton Family Foundation and The Project for Public Spaces, assisted by Vermont-based planner Paul Dreher.  

Friends of Midcoast Maine, led by my friend Jane LaFleur, is organized “to help Midcoast communities plan for a vibrant and sustainable future. [The group is] an independent resource that provides expertise in support of smart growth principles.” More specifically, according to a recent annual report, it provides education, workshops and technical assistance; project endorsements and advocacy for sound planning and sensible growth. It works along a stretch running roughly 100 miles northeast from Brunswick to Bucksport and including many historic communities.”

Via: The Atlantic

Video: Friends of Midcoast Maine

We’ve built places that are designed for disease… Kids can’t walk to school; people have a hard time accessing healthy food. We’ve designed places like this, and it’s up to us to undo it, and the only way is through urban planning.
Robert S. Ogilvie, program director of the Planning for Healthy Places initiative of Oakland-based Public Health Law & Policy

Awesome!

studentofplanning:

engenderandendear:

yokefellow:

All the tools are still there! Full marks for Brisbane!

Yay, Brisbane! 

Great idea!

IKEA to Build A Neighborhood

International company IKEA, known for their low-cost design furniture, will develop a 26-acre complete London neighborhood.

“The aim is to create a friendly neighbourhood idyll, with courtyards and a public square to encourage interaction, and the unsightly aspects of life will be kept to a minimum. Cars will be parked underground and rubbish will be discreetly disposed of through underground tunnels. A school, health surgery and nursery will be built to minimise inconvenient travel.”

citycooperative:

via GOOD | How to Bridge Neighborhood Gaps? Turn Overpasses into Main Streets
” The answer to one of today’s most difficult urban planning problems  may lie in the Middle Ages. In cities and towns across America, freeways  cut through communities, creating urban dead zones that sever  neighborhoods from each other. To heal that damage, the city of  Columbus, Ohio built a type of urbanized bridge that was common in  Europe between the 12th and 17th centuries.
In Medieval and  Renaissance Europe, imaginative, multifunctional bridges known as  “habitable bridges” were quite common. Some hosted markets. Others  contained mills that harnessed the power of the river. Many housed  defensive towers or featured chapels. Beyond the novelty of having  buildings on a bridge, they were highly functional, as they became  natural venues for commercial trade… By the 18th and 19th centuries, the  construction of habitable bridges was phased out in Europe as the  disciplines of architecture and engineering became divorced…
That brings us back to Columbus. In the late 1960s, a major highway  (now Interstate 670) was built through town, carving a 200-foot-wide  gash in the city that separated downtown Columbus from the nearby Short  North neighborhood. A plan for capping the highway was developed in  1996, and finally completed in 2004. Technically, the project consists  of three connected bridges: Car traffic passes on the middle span,  flanked on either side by platforms that support storefronts and  sidewalks. The three bridges fit together into one urbanized overpass  that’s home to a handful of restaurants and shops, all of which turn  their backs on the highway. “I think the success of it is that most  people don’t even know they’re on a bridge,” says architect David  Meleca, who designed the retail portion of the project…
Meleca acknowledges that a bridge like his might not work for every  highway crossing, but on High Street, renting the space hasn’t been a  problem so far. “It’s added a really strong connection with the  downtown,” says Meleca. “Before the bridge was done, you would’ve never  walked across that freeway. It was a typical utilitarian, scary freeway  crossing.” Extending the urban streetscape across the highway shields  pedestrians from the roar of the road below and lifts a psychological  barrier between neighborhoods, healing a generation-old wound created by  the Interstate Highway System.”

citycooperative:

via GOOD | How to Bridge Neighborhood Gaps? Turn Overpasses into Main Streets

” The answer to one of today’s most difficult urban planning problems may lie in the Middle Ages. In cities and towns across America, freeways cut through communities, creating urban dead zones that sever neighborhoods from each other. To heal that damage, the city of Columbus, Ohio built a type of urbanized bridge that was common in Europe between the 12th and 17th centuries.

In Medieval and Renaissance Europe, imaginative, multifunctional bridges known as “habitable bridges” were quite common. Some hosted markets. Others contained mills that harnessed the power of the river. Many housed defensive towers or featured chapels. Beyond the novelty of having buildings on a bridge, they were highly functional, as they became natural venues for commercial trade… By the 18th and 19th centuries, the construction of habitable bridges was phased out in Europe as the disciplines of architecture and engineering became divorced…

That brings us back to Columbus. In the late 1960s, a major highway (now Interstate 670) was built through town, carving a 200-foot-wide gash in the city that separated downtown Columbus from the nearby Short North neighborhood. A plan for capping the highway was developed in 1996, and finally completed in 2004. Technically, the project consists of three connected bridges: Car traffic passes on the middle span, flanked on either side by platforms that support storefronts and sidewalks. The three bridges fit together into one urbanized overpass that’s home to a handful of restaurants and shops, all of which turn their backs on the highway. “I think the success of it is that most people don’t even know they’re on a bridge,” says architect David Meleca, who designed the retail portion of the project…

Meleca acknowledges that a bridge like his might not work for every highway crossing, but on High Street, renting the space hasn’t been a problem so far. “It’s added a really strong connection with the downtown,” says Meleca. “Before the bridge was done, you would’ve never walked across that freeway. It was a typical utilitarian, scary freeway crossing.” Extending the urban streetscape across the highway shields pedestrians from the roar of the road below and lifts a psychological barrier between neighborhoods, healing a generation-old wound created by the Interstate Highway System.”

Are urban bicyclists just elite snobs?

 Will Doig debunks the myth that bicycling is just for elite gentrifiers in a recent article for Salon. 

Urban bicyclists have an image problem. They’ve become stereotyped as pretentious, aloof jackasses, and a lot of this has to do with the changes taking place in cities right now. During the last decade, dozens of urban cores were inundated by young, well-educated newcomers. Places like Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago and Washington added tens of thousands of these new residents. And one thing’s for sure: These kids really like bikes. An analysis by Atlantic Cities showed that bicycle ridership in these cities soared during this period. In some cases, it more than doubled.

… But the bicyclists-as-gentrifiers trope turns out to be more perception than reality, though. Over the last decade, the share of white bicyclists fell in proportion to riders of color. And ridership is remarkably equal across income groups. Part of the reason we don’t see it this way is because all too often, bike infrastructure gets concentrated in tony areas. Look at a map of a city’s bike lanes and bike-share stations and you’ll have a perfect guide to the “good” neighborhoods. In many cities, writes Dave Feucht, editor of the bicycling blog Portlandize, “being able to get around by bicycle is seen as elitist because you have to have money in order to live in a part of the city where it’s even possible to ride a bicycle.”
Another way land use and urban planning can promote health and wellness
citymaus:


A two way separated bike path on a one way street in downtown Montreal.

wish we had these in Downtown/Gaslamp Quarter San Diego! (as well as on any other well-traveled one-ways). 

Another way land use and urban planning can promote health and wellness

citymaus:

A two way separated bike path on a one way street in downtown Montreal.

wish we had these in Downtown/Gaslamp Quarter San Diego! (as well as on any other well-traveled one-ways). 


In Tokyo, children design the city of their dream and participate in post-earthquake urban planning. They started with the streets and talked about the layout of buildings, housing, and retail. 


urbanlabglobalcities:

Tokyo Designers Week 2011
With pleasure children designed the city of their dream. They started with the streets.

In Tokyo, children design the city of their dream and participate in post-earthquake urban planning. They started with the streets and talked about the layout of buildings, housing, and retail. 

urbanlabglobalcities:

Tokyo Designers Week 2011

With pleasure children designed the city of their dream. They started with the streets.

Innovative, Healthy Affordable Housing 
The most celebrated building in New York City this fall isn’t perched on  the edge of Central Park or in downtown Manhattan or even in trendy  Brooklyn. The structure gracing the front page of The New York Times is in the heart of the South Bronx. Via Verde (“The Green Way”) is not only architecturally striking, it’s also an  experiment in healthy, sustainable and affordable living for low- and  moderate-income residents.
Via Verde promises urban renewal, with green rooftops for gardens and  solar panels that meet 5 percent of the building’s electricity  load. ”This is at the leading edge of social housing in New York and  America,” said Robert Garneau of Grimshaw Architects, which co-designed  the building with Dattner Architects

Innovative, Healthy Affordable Housing

The most celebrated building in New York City this fall isn’t perched on the edge of Central Park or in downtown Manhattan or even in trendy Brooklyn. The structure gracing the front page of The New York Times is in the heart of the South Bronx. Via Verde (“The Green Way”) is not only architecturally striking, it’s also an experiment in healthy, sustainable and affordable living for low- and moderate-income residents.

Via Verde promises urban renewal, with green rooftops for gardens and solar panels that meet 5 percent of the building’s electricity load. ”This is at the leading edge of social housing in New York and America,” said Robert Garneau of Grimshaw Architects, which co-designed the building with Dattner Architects