Tim Tompkins – Time Square Alliance Interview by Streetsblog

Streetsblog San Francisco recently had an interview  with Tim Tompkins, President of the Times Square Alliance to see what they could learn about Times Square public spaces.

Tim Tompkins have a few interesting thoughts such as

What I see is that what’s been happening is part of a larger movement in terms of the revitalization of cities. It’s kind of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, where you need to take care of the basics of comfort and security first before you can even think about anything else………

and

I think the biggest change is that now, especially with the introduction of Duffy Square, which opened in October 2008, [we redefined the] expectations for Times Square as a public space. Until we actually had Duffy Square as a kind of a concrete, tangible paradigm, it was all theoretical, and people couldn’t really experience it.

http://sf.streetsblog.org/2009/10/28/news-from-ny-what-we-can-learn-from-times-squares-public-spaces/

to read the full interview go to the [SOURCE: Streetsblog San Francisco]

Playground to be designed by game designer

In recent News via Guardian newspaper a game designer, Keita Takahashi will be working with Nottingham City Council and its landscape architect to come up with a playground design for Woodthorpe Grange Park.

SOURCE: Guardian.co.uk

Ed note: I think this will offer a new perspective on playground design. Hopefully, this will create a playground that will encourage children to spend more time in the landscape. It is good to see a city that could create a playground that responds to the new generation of children who are growing up in an age when games are played virtually not physically.

Downtown Miami’s Simpson Park is renovated

MiamiHerald.com reports

Two years ago, Miami and Audi of America began a joint effort to revitalize downtown’s Simpson Park, one of the city’s few remaining hammocks.

Last Friday, Carolina Monteiro, head designer of Enzo Enea Landscape Design in Miami, as well as Oppenheim, Sarnoff, Mayor Manny Diaz and Anja Kaehny of Audi celebrated Phase Two of “re:design Simpson Park” with a ribbon-cutting ceremony to inaugurate the park’s grand opening.

SOURCE:  MiamiHerald.com – Downtown Miami’s Simpson Park is renovated, back from obscurity

Landscaping With a Lighter Touch – NYTimes.com

A recent article by William L. Hamilton at the New York Times about landscaping enhancing property values interviewed some landscape architects and clients and many drew the conclusion that people are heading towards more low maintenance gardens with few features. Out with the outdoor kitchen and in with the kitchen garden. More native plants and natural aesthetic.

The landscape architects in the article were:

Mike Mushak (CT, NY) said his clients were more interested in growing vegetables and getting their hands dirty than owning and operating the elaborate outdoor appliances…..

Anne Howerton(SF) said “how much work you want to put into maintaining a property, at any price point.”…….

Andrea Cochrane(SF) said about clients with green intentions – “They’re definitely aware, but when people look at the amortization — the payback — they tend to cut it out. I’ve become a little jaded about that.”…..

Perry Guillot(NY) stated that “High, high maintenance, that’s moved on,”……..“It’s like having five bad kids in the house, constantly needing things.”

Read the full article at the the [SOURCE: New York Times – Landscaping With a Lighter Touch]

Common Council Explores Redesign of The Commons

Recently Sasaki Associates and Clough Harbour & Associates(engineers) presented several design options for a redesign of the Itaca Commons to Ithaca Commons Council and about 30 residents. A finalised preliminary design will be available in December, 2009.

“The Commons is a vital area for the Ithaca community, but some areas are in need of major repair,” said Susannah Ross, a senior associate at Sasaki Associates.

The first option was a minimal plan addressing some current issues and maintaining the existing design; the second option was a radical redesign inspired by “solar radiation” and the third was an “eclectic streetscape” plan.

For more information go to the [SOURCE: The Cornell Daily SunCommon Council Explores Redesign of The Commons]

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