bike parking canopy proposed by NL architects in the netherlands


dutch practice NL architects has proposed to add 6,000 bike storage spaces to the city of hague's central station.

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Boston Neighborhoods Ranked by Walkability

Pedestrians stroll through Boston’s Downtown Crossing. (AP Photo/Neal Hamberg)

Bikes might be hogging the trend spotlight these days, but cities are smart to cater to those who move by shoe.

And Boston is one place that’s set to be a leader in that regard, according to the people behind last year’s ranking of walkability in the 30 largest metros in the U.S.

The region is home to 57 key “walkable urban places” that make up only 6 percent of the metro’s land area. The rest of the region misses out not only on walkability, but a majority of commercial real estate development, according to “The WalkUP Wake-Up Call: Boston,” which was released today. The authors, Chris Leinberger and Patrick Lynch of the George Washington University School of Business, say that walkable urban places (what they call WalkUPs) attracted the majority of real estate development in the last cycle and concluded that pedestrian-oriented living is in high demand in Boston:

Metro Boston is on the leading edge of the national structural shift towards walkable urbanism. The weighted-average valuation for walkable urban real estate is 37 percent higher than drivable sub-urban real estate in the region.

Previous research has demonstrated the correlation between walkable urban places and both the education of the metropolitan work force and the GDP per capita. The current research confirms this finding: For example, since 2000, 70 percent of the population growth of young, educated workers has occurred in the walkable urban places of the Boston region.

The report makes the case that walkable communities make good sense by ranking the city’s neighborhoods for walkability, and measuring economic performance by real estate valuations, fiscal revenues generated for local government and social equity performance.

“This analysis validates the shift towards walkable urban development that we’ve seen across the country,” said Leinberger, who has contributed to Next City. “This change will reshape the way we approach urban design and planning, regulation, financing and construction nationwide. The findings will play a critical role in the guessing game of where developers and investors should be looking in the future.”

Leinberger’s a dedicated proponent of walkable urbanism and transit-oriented development, and is involved in real estate too.

The highest-ranking WalkUPs receiving the report’s “platinum” designation in the economic category included Back Bay, Beacon Hill and MIT/Kendall Square. All are located in or near downtown, with rents averaging 9 percent above the second tier of WalkUPs that got a “gold” label.

Walkable urban places in Boston that received the report’s “platinum” designation in the economic category

The “copper” WalkUPs are largely outside of Boston’s core metropolitan area, such as downtown Gloucester and Lowell.

“Many of the copper-ranked WalkUPs have inherited a street network devised before the rise of the automobile, meaning they have the appropriate ‘bones’ for future walkable urban development,” the study notes. “Unfortunately, some of these WalkUPs do not have appropriate zoning for what the market wants, generally not allowing sufficient density for new development and economic growth to emerge.”

For those connecting the dots between gentrification and transit-oriented development, the study’s authors suggest that the cure for rising rents in desirable, walker-friendly neighborhoods is to build more desirable, walker-friendly neighborhoods. Noting that reliable public transit is key to walkability, they also fire a warning about MBTA, which struggled mightily this winter with keeping public transit running during major snowfall.

“It’s clear from this research that reliable and efficient transit service is vital to the success of walkable urban places, which are largely clustered around MBTA stations both in the rapid-transit served core and on the outer reaches of the commuter rail,” said Barry Bluestone, director of the Dukakis Center at Northeastern University, which is also behind the report. “In order to realize the private market investment in these walkable urban places, we are going to have to improve capacity and resiliency of the MBTA.”

Walkable urban places in Boston that received the report’s “platinum” designation in the social equity category

Accessibility, affordability and opportunity dominate the report’s social equity rankings. The number of platinum-ranked WalkUPs doubles, with 10 neighborhoods remaining “somewhat affordable” and in close proximity to public transit and job centers. Nine of the 10 copper-ranked social equity WalkUPs overlap with the lowest economic ranking of WalkUPs.

The study also pinpoints 14 emerging (East Boston, Ipswich, Needham are a few) and eight potential WalkUPs (includes Everett, Natick, Stoughton) and concludes that a push toward walkable urbanism could have better long-term effects on real estate pricing and have major implications for policymaking:

Policymakers must understand how to position their communities to take advantage of this shift in market demand. At a minimum, the government must not discourage walkable urban development with outdated, auto-oriented zoning codes and parking regulations, or long public approval processes.

For all the neighborhood rankings, read “The WalkUP Wake-Up Call: Boston” here.

 

Smoking room designed by Hiroyuki Ogawa to offer clean air instead of fumes

Japanese studio Hiroyuki Ogawa Architects has created a smoking room that is designed to never be smoky inside a shopping centre on the outskirts of Tokyo (+ slideshow). (more…)

 

How City Park Design Can Go Grassroots

Groups working on a makeover plan for Flushing Meadows Corona Park, above, are engaging a broad base of stakeholders. (Photo by Patrick Stahl)

In gentrification-wary 2015, the term “park equity” carries troublesome new undertones. Yes, equally distributed green space is the obvious ideal — play deserts and other built imbalances often shave years from the lives of poorer residents — but what happens when a beautiful new park opens and the rent shoots up? As this site’s Science of Cities column examined last summer, how “can we reduce environmental inequities without displacing the very people the improvements are supposed to benefit?”

That Next City post cited a paper coauthord by UC Berkeley professor Jennifer Wolch, also covered recently by Governing, Grist and Fast Company Design. The “just green enough” strategy that Wolch outlines hinges on one point: When building a park, investors, developers and designers can speak their collective piece, but their voices can’t drown out those of the residents for whom the park is being built. To fight displacement, community engagement is key.

With New York’s High Line, where property values rose 103 percent between 2003 and 2011, in our cultural rearview mirror, officials and advocates are assembling new — and, hopefully, more grassroots — models for green space revitalization.

One comes from Queens, only 11 miles from Manhattan’s famously remade railway. Flushing Meadows Corona Park, originally built for the 1939/40 and 1964/65 World’s Fairs, is a sprawling, 897-acre campus spanning one of New York’s most ethnically diverse neighborhoods. Currently, it houses the New York Hall of Science, Queens Museum, Queens Zoo and Citi Field, but according to the Design Trust for Public Space (an organization that’s partnered with New York Parks Department and the Queens Museum to lead redevelopment) its “confusing circulation paths and outdated fairground design” could use a makeover.

Design Trust Executive Director Susan Chin says the area should cater to its immediate neighbors — not just to visitors driving in.

“In 1964-65 most people drove there, but that’s not the same experience you would have arriving as a pedestrian or from the subway or neighborhood,” she says, adding that from large parking lots to signs and entrances, the park’s layout reflects history, not the present.

Because it wants to redesign for the surrounding community, the Design Trust is working with a new engagement model. Last year, it assembled a group of Queens-based activists and stakeholders, with participants including transit advocacy field organizers, Vision Zero activists and members of Immigrant Movement International, among many others.

The group, which has met since December, will present its final design concepts at a public forum on April 12th. Split into four teams, it’s been working toward several goals, including access, making it easier “to get to the park from surrounding neighborhoods,” and historical presentation, making “layers of park history more visible.”

Echoing the de Blasio administration’s Community Parks Initiative, Chin says that designing from the bottom up, with intensive stakeholder participation, empowers residents around their new resource.

“If we engage the community, we do more to help it retain its rights,” she says. “We’re not just teaching them about design concepts and the park, we’re creating a core group of advocates.”

A second example comes from downtown St. Louis, where a recent brainstorming session took on a revamp of Aloe Plaza. Though the plaza is located among businesses rather than residences, diluting the threat of so-called “environmental gentrification,” it’s still an interesting model of community solicitation.

The meeting, which took place last week, was led by Alderwoman Christine Ingrassia, Downtown St. Louis Inc. and the Downtown Neighborhood Association. With a federal grant proposal in the works, Ingrassia says that the group wanted to hear upfront from downtown residents and businesses. Pitches included a Ferris wheel, community gardens, a playground and redesign to make the plaza’s central fountain more accessible.

“We wanted to hear what would make this a place they’d want to be, rather than just coming up with our own ideas,” Ingrassia says.

Community engagement is certainly no panacea. When revitalization actually does force displacement, it’s usually the complex culmination of mandates, zoning and investments. Those issues won’t be fixed by helping to design a park.

Still, it’s a necessary first step, because the dreaded g-word is both amorphous and difficult to draw universal conclusions from. Officials undertaking green space revitalizations need to actively engage and consider the communities that will use them. Even in gentrification-wary 2015, park equity shouldn’t be controversial.

 

۳۶SML Beach House, Designed by LevenBetts

36SMLHouse-LevenBetts-Exterior-HERO The New York-based firm designed the 8,000-square-foot beach house in three spokes to separate, but not isolate, the family's activities.
 

retro olympus stylus SH-2 camera combines performance and convenience


described as the only camera in its range to support live composite technology, the olympus 'stylus SH-2' is able to take stunning night scenes, cityscapes and even star trails.

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Hennepin County Walker Library, Designed by VJAA

HennepinCtyWalkerLibrary-VJAA-HERO.jpg Vincent James and Jennifer Yoos discuss how this reimagining of a legacy library helped to reinvigorate the streetscape in this neighborhood in northern Minneapolis.
 

Editorial: Jon Jerde the Apostate

JerdePlaceMaking-CanalCity-HERO As a master of architectural spectacle, Jon Jerde demonstrated that architecture really can be a good time.
 

designboom technology editorial internship available!


we're seeking a creative and enthusiastic individual to join our team!

The post designboom technology editorial internship available! appeared first on designboom | architecture & design magazine.

 

Jiminez Lai’s Youthquake at the Graham Foundation

Treatise-JimenezLai-Hero Lai sits down to discuss his Graham exhibit "Treatise," the youth movement in architecture, and his move to L.A.
 



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