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jerryking : public_spaces   22

City Parks Piggyback on Infrastructure
Oct. 8, 2019 | The New York Times | By Jane Margolies.

With land scarce, green space is being built into needs like transit hubs and power stations. But the projects come with challenges.....Salesforce Park is a lush landscape that stretches four city blocks atop a transit center in San Francisco. With lawns, hillocks, lavender beds, leafy trees and a walking path, it gives commuters a relaxing place to wait for their bus and attracts people who live and work nearby looking for respite in the middle of a busy city.

Despite its presence as a calming oasis, Salesforce Park faced stressful start-up challenges....Building a park 70 feet in the air atop a transit center showed how complex it can be to piggyback green space on active infrastructure. Such projects require coordination among many consultants and, often, multiple levels of government, with possible construction delays, cost overruns and pushback from residents....still, with land for urban parks scarce and prohibitively expensive, the practice is becoming increasingly common......“It’s a way of making infrastructure do double or even triple duty,” ....Parks add value not only for relaxation, recreation and human health,....but also for combating heat, absorbing storm water and providing habitat for wildlife....an infrastructure project with a park can cost less than two projects undertaken independently, ......“There’s an economy of scale and an efficiency,”....The idea of building parks on infrastructure can be traced to the rails-to-trails movement, which for four decades has transformed abandoned rail corridors into walking and biking paths.......The wildly popular High Line in Manhattan, which opened in 2009, gave impetus to the idea of adding greenery to infrastructure that is raised off the ground.....The High Line is considered a design and tourism triumph, but it has also drawn criticism for accelerating gentrification along its route and not better serving residents of nearby public housing.... adding green space to functioning infrastructure has gained traction.....The vast majority of projects are built on transportation infrastructure, however, including so-called deck parks over highways — adding green space while stitching back together sections of cities that the roadways ripped apart long ago...
economies_of_scale  green_spaces  High_Line  infrastructure  parks  public_spaces  repurposing  Salesforce  San_Francisco  overlay_networks 
october 2019 by jerryking
The Meadoway: 16 km stretch of urban park will connect downtown to Scarborough | CBC News
Posted: Apr 11, 2018 | CBC News | by Ramna Shahzad.

The park will connect 4 ravines, 15 parks and 34 neighbourhoods.

A 16-kilometre long stretch of land slated to be transformed into a large urban park called The Meadoway is "a bold vision," Mayor John Tory said on Wednesday.

The park, which will stretch north from the Don River Ravine in downtown Toronto all the way to Rouge National Urban Park in Scarborough, will allow pedestrians and cyclists to travel the entire length without ever leaving the park. .......The city is working with the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) and the W. Garfield Weston Foundation to transform a barren power corridor into the green space over the next seven years.

The entire project is expected to cost around $85 million. The W. Garfield Weston Foundation has pledged a total of $25 million to support it over the coming months.

"[The park] serves as another example of what can be accomplished when we work together with public, private and philanthropic partners,"
bicycles  cycling  Don_River  habitats  landscapes  linearity  Meadoway  neighbourhoods  outdoors  parks  philanthropy  public_spaces  ravines  Rouge_Park  Scarborough  Toronto  TRCA  urban  wilderness  green_spaces 
july 2019 by jerryking
Robert Bundy: Powerful bureaucrat helped shape Toronto - The Globe and Mail
OLIVER MOORE
The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Jun. 08, 2017

Robert Bundy, the powerful Toronto civil servant who oversaw the expansion of the city’s parking system and parks, eventually meeting his match in the stubborn residents of the harbour islands, died of heart failure on May 8 in Toronto. He was 94.

A property developer who had served in the Royal Navy during the Second World War and was decorated twice by Russia for his role in the Murmansk Run supply convoys, Mr. Bundy moved into public service at a time when city bureaucrats enjoyed substantial clout......Early in their marriage, Mr. Bundy joined the city bureaucracy. His construction business had been successful and “he didn’t have to worry about finances,” his son Brock said. “He really truly believed he was doing something to make everyone’s life better, and you can see that all the way through.”

The elder Mr. Bundy became general manager of Toronto’s parking authority in 1958, a time when creating plentiful and cheap parking was seen as crucial to helping the city compete with the suburbs. A 1968 annual report for the agency shows that in his first 10 years in the role the number of municipal off-street parking spaces nearly doubled to 14,440.

In the late 1950s, he also chaired a committee trying to ensure that sufficient development followed the route of Toronto’s east-west subway line. And he pioneered the concept of a business improvement area, which recruits local merchants to help make their surroundings more attractive and marketable.

The importance of abundant parking, however, remained a passion for years. He was co-founder of what would become the International Parking Institute and travelled to learn from his peers across the continent. Decades later, when he was part of a pitch to redevelop Toronto’s Greenwood Raceway, the proposal was built around extensive new parking.

However, he was cognizant of the needs of non-drivers as well. As Metro’s parks commissioner, he oversaw great swaths of new green space. His family said he was particularly proud of Rosetta McClain Gardens in Scarborough, a park specifically designed around the needs of people with disabilities.

During his tenure, the city created bicycle trails in some of its green spaces, routes that proved so popular they led to friction between cyclists and other users
Toronto  cities  parking  WWII  bureaucrats  parks  obituaries  city_hall  property_development  veterans  leaders  Royal_Navy  BIAs  public_spaces  city_builders  civil_servants  redevelopments  green_spaces 
june 2017 by jerryking
$25-million project reimagines area under Gardiner with paths, cultural spaces - The Globe and Mail
Nov. 16, 2015| The Globe and Mail | ALEX BOZIKOVIC.

This move, to make a beautiful place out of unused infrastructure, reflects the role of landscape architects in today’s cities. “We realize we’re not going to find new public realm in the conventional places,” Mr. Ryan said. “There are no more Central Parks to be built.”

Instead, the big projects involve reclaiming leftover industrial land or infrastructure – “while the glacier of industry recedes from the downtown,” as Mr. Greenberg said.....The construction and the operation of Under Gardiner reflects an unusual partnership. Built by the public agency Waterfront Toronto and owned by the city, the project will be funded with $25-million from local philanthropists Judy and Wil Matthews. They, and the city, are studying whether the space could be run by a park conservancy, a not-for-profit institution that would work in tandem with the city.....“This area is the new frontier on which the city is growing,” Mr. Greenberg said, “just as old infrastructure becomes available for reuse and reinvention.”
parks  Toronto  public_spaces  Gardiner_Expressway  revitalization  rejuvenation  reinvention  landscapes  philanthropy 
november 2015 by jerryking
Toronto’s Yonge Street evolving from sleazy ‘strip’ into a global landmark - The Globe and Mail
MARCUS GEE
The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2015

Yonge is about to go through big changes, becoming not just a renowned national street but a world street, with a level of density and activity that will make it feel more like Tokyo or Shanghai than the jumbled, still shabby downtown stretch that visitors see today.

More than 30 building projects, many of them soaring towers, are in the works. At one intersection alone, Yonge and Gerrard, six towers are coming, and that is on top of the immense glass skyscraper that already stands on the northwest corner.
Marcus_Gee  Toronto  landmarks  public_spaces  Yonge_Street  revitalization  property_development  urban_planning  quality_of_life 
november 2015 by jerryking
Hidden landmarks: Why Toronto is at the forefront of the landscape architecture movement - The Globe and Mail
May. 01 2015 | The Globe and Mail | ALEX BOZIKOVIC.

The history of Toronto's University Avenue: The landscape designer André Parmentier planted the avenue in 1829; it was reshaped in the 1920s in the Beaux-Arts style; and in the 1960s, the current landscape was designed by the British-born architect Howard Dunington-Grubb to cap the newly built subway. It includes perennials, statues and vent stacks.

What is clear to Mr. Birnbaum – a century and a half of design ideas – is invisible to most of us, part of the scenery. That is the plight of landscape architecture, and this is what Mr. Birnbaum’s group is hoping to change: to make familiar the idea of a “cultural landscape” as something to be seen, valued and protected by the general public. As he puts it, “We’re making visible the often-invisible hand of the landscape architect.”

What exactly is a “cultural landscape”? It can be a street or a waterfront, designed or inherited. But most often it means a designed outdoor space, the work of landscape architects who deal with urban and ecological lenses, as well as vegetation and the formal design of plazas, streets and other outdoor spaces...Waterfront Toronto: In remaking 800 hectares of the industrial waterfront, that agency has brought together some of the best landscape architects in the world to remake the topography and to set a high standard for the urban fabric it is building....Parks matter! Parks generate real-estate value and, more importantly, a sense of place. As Mr. Birnbaum points out, the waterfront parks “were built first, communicating what the quality of life will be along the waterfront. We think it sets an enviable standard, and that’s why we will be bringing people from all over the globe to see the landscapes and to discuss these issues.”
Toronto  landmarks  landscapes  architecture  design  parks  waterfronts  Waterfront_Toronto  history  public_spaces  quality_of_life 
may 2015 by jerryking
The Laneway Project: How one small idea could bring new life to Toronto’s back alleys - The Globe and Mail
MARCUS GEE
The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Mar. 20 2015

The Laneway Project. Its organizers, a trio of Toronto planners and urban designers, are working with city officials and community groups to find ways to green, beautify and enliven Toronto’s back lanes, turning them into places where people want to spend time instead of simply pass through.
ideas  civics  design  public_spaces  neighbourhoods  Toronto  green  beautification  urban  Marcus_Gee 
march 2015 by jerryking
Hidden language of the streets - FT.com
March 6, 2015 | FT| Edwin Heathcote.

Each city has its own visual and filmic shorthand for its streetscape (should read "cityscape"). There are the monuments — the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben, the Empire State Building and so on, but at street level there are markers of urban identity as potent as the great monuments and which, in fact, have a far more meaningful impact on everyday life, as the fragments that form the backdrop against which we live our public lives.
...Street furniture and the in-between architecture that populates the pavements defines the experience of walking through the city. ...Streets and their furniture are designed for an ideal public but they can also be vehicles of control....The question is, what kind of meaning does our contemporary streetscape communicate? Throughout the history of public space, urban markers have been used to convey a sense of place, of centre, connection and of context. ....Then there is a rich layer of what we might call in-between architecture, the market stalls, newsstands, food carts and hot-dog stands, caramelised-nut vendors and seafood stalls. To a large extent these are among the elements that make up the experience of the city yet they are rarely regarded as architecture. Instead they represent an ad-hoc series of developments that have evolved to an optimum efficiency....This layer expresses the story of the desires, the fears, the entrepreneurialism and the attitude to privacy of a city. But the most intriguing thing is that it is simultaneously an expression of the top-down and the bottom-up city.
cities  design  identity  architecture  public_spaces  furniture  cityscapes  iconic  top-down  bottom-up  street_furniture  streetscapes  overlay_networks  streets  landmarks  shorthand 
march 2015 by jerryking
The High Line effect: Why cities around the world (including Toronto) are building parks in the sky - The Globe and Mail
DAVE MCGINN
The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Oct. 01 2014

The final section of the 2.4-kilometre-long park was completed last month, putting the finishing touch on what has become the most successful public-space transformation in the United States, if not the world. The High Line attracts five million visitors a year, making it the second most visited cultural venue in the city. Its financial impact has been similarly massive, attracting $2.2-billion in new economic activity and raising tax revenues by an estimated $980-million over the next two decades.

Now Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Rotterdam, Seoul, Toronto and Mexico City are all hoping to catch some of that magic with their own “parks in the sky.” These projects are redefining our understanding of what a park is, and in the process helping to create a richer, bold new vision of public space.
parks  High_Line  Toronto  Chicago  Philadelphia  Rotterdam  public_spaces 
october 2014 by jerryking
When it comes to the arts, here’s what Toronto needs in a mayor - The Globe and Mail
KATE TAYLOR
The Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Jun. 30 2014

In their statement, they say they want a Toronto that is ambitious, creative, accessible, forward-thinking, responsive, collaborative and imaginative.

They say the city needs a mayor who has a strategic vision, consensus-building leadership skills and a passion for Toronto; who embodies inclusiveness in all interactions; and who balances the budget.

They also identify five things Toronto needs in order to thrive: a creative and innovative economy, healthy and productive citizens, a vibrant cultural sector, affordable and accessible transportation, and beautiful and connected neighbourhoods and green spaces.
cultural_institutions  art  museums  Toronto  elections  mayoral  ROM  AGO  TIFF  neighbourhoods  parks  public_spaces  forward-thinking  green_spaces 
july 2014 by jerryking
Can Museums Help Make Cities More Intelligent?
June 8, 2011 | Center for the Future of Museums |

[L]istening to awesome speakers explore the potential for such systems of ubiquitous, networked data to transform the urban landscape.

Curator Susan Piedmont-Palladino. Susan identified museums’ roles in urban design as provoking active curiosity and increasing “urban literacy,” thereby inspiring people to take action...Here are some interesting nuggets I took away from the day:
(1) Access to data can shift power to the people
Many speakers acknowledged the troubling potential for governments to monitor (and misuse) such rich troves of data on peoples’ movement and activities. However, Judith Rodin, president of the Rockefeller Foundation, pointed out that the “ground up” use of technology enables citizens to band together to prevent government abuse. As an example of ground up citizen tech, she pointed to to Map Kibera, which enables Nairobi slum dwellers (aka “informal occupants”) to create a digital map of the informal economy and residential patterns. Prior to this, the Kenyan government did not recognize or gather data on the slum, depriving its residents of political recognition and services. What issues in your museum’s community might benefit from citizen use of data, and how might a museum help people access and interpret this information?

(2) The future of digital data rights. Caesar McDowell, professor of the Practice of Community Development at MIT, approached data privacy from another angle, proposing creating a Personal Digital Commons, controlling the rights that automatically accrue to data collected via social media. You could apply one of four licenses to the data collected by Facebook, LinkedIn and their ilk: free use; limited negotiated use; collective community use (use of aggregated data for community benefit); or no use. What data does your museum collect from users of your digital platforms, and what options do you give them for controlling how you use this information?

(3) How digital devices influence use of public space
I’ve heard many folks angst over how the use of smart phones, tablets etc. in museums will affect the experience.
museums  cities  urban  networks  data  grass-roots  Nairobi  informal_economy  sense-making  public_spaces  smart_cities  interpretation  engaged_citizenry  deprivations 
december 2012 by jerryking
New urban design plays a heady game of risk
Mar 12, 2005 | The Globe and Mail pg. F.3|
Doug Saunders.

The slogan of the new movement that is overtaking Europe's cities: "To make it safe, you need to make it dangerous." Iain Borden, director of the Bartlett School of Architecture in London and a leader of this new movement. Its members recently published an intriguing report titled "What Are We Scared of: The Value of Risk in Designing Public Space."

In recent months, a school of architects and urban planners has picked up disparate cues from the urban experiments taking place in northern Europe and given them a name -- risk. Our cities, they believe, are now designed predominantly to minimize risk, and this has made them dull, homogeneous, repetitious and, paradoxically, often quite dangerous.

(Risk is more than an intellectual puzzle — it invokes a profoundly physical experience. A small amount of danger surrounding the use of public spaces might act much like a vaccine immunizing the population against complacency).
Doug_Saunders  urban  design  risks  safety  public_spaces  counterintuitive  urban_planning  uncertainty  complacency  biology  psychology  dangers  life_skills  coming-of-age  risk-assessment  high-risk  low-risk  soul-enriching  physical_experiences 
october 2011 by jerryking
Bringing the High Line Back to Earth - NYTimes.com
By WITOLD RYBCZYNSKI
Published: May 14, 2011
The High Line may have become a fashionable distraction for out-of-town
visitors, it succeeds because it offers a green outlet to its many
neighbors, who, like Parisians, live in small apartments. In no other
American city do residents rely so much on communal green space, rather
than backyards, for relaxation....American cities are always looking for
quick fixes to revive their moribund downtowns. Sadly, the dismal
record of failed urban design strategies is long: downtown shopping
malls, pedestrianized streets, underground passages, skyways, monorails,
festival marketplaces, downtown stadiums — and that most elusive fix of
all, iconic cultural buildings. It appears likely that we will soon be
adding elevated parks to the list.
New_York_City  sightseeing  things_to_do  urban  parks  High_Line  Manhattan  revitalization  public_spaces  green_spaces 
may 2011 by jerryking
Hillbillies no longer calling the shots at Nathan Phillips Square
Feb. 21, 2010 | The Globe & Mail | Marcus Gee. Supports
the idea of the reinvesting in, and the revamping of, Nathan Phillips
Square.
Toronto  urban  renovations  green_roofs  public_spaces  Marcus_Gee  priorities  design  city_hall 
february 2010 by jerryking

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