The city took a tentative step this week toward fulfilling the dream of a certain kind of urban idealist, saying that it will explore the possibility of creating a bike-sharing program that could make hundreds or even thousands of bicycles available for public use.
“This is a really big deal,” said Wiley Norvell, a spokesman for Transportation Alternatives, an advocacy group for cyclists, pedestrians and transit riders. “In the realm of things you can do to boost bicycling in a city, bike-share is at the top of the list.”
The city asked companies and organizations interested in running a bike-sharing program to provide assessments of how it could work.
SOURCE: NYTimes.com – City Will Explore Broad Bike-Sharing Plan –
Aucklanders have three weeks to comment on a $25 million plan to revitalise Aotea Square and turn it into the city’s premier civic open space, able to host events for 20,000 people.
Urban design professionals are divided over the draft plans for the square, which opened in 1979 and has been on the drawing board for a makeover since 2000.
SOURCE: NZ Herald – Public hold key to $25m city facelift (+photos) – 10 Jul 2008 –
The University of Chicago Press has published Modernizing Main Street: Architecture and Consumer Culture in the New Deal by Gabrielle Esperdy, an associate professor in the New Jersey School of Architecture at NJIT.
Esperdy’s research and teaching focuses on urbanism–the study of the urban environment, its buildings, infrastructures, institutions, and all things that support and shape them.
“Despite what many people think,” Esperdy said, “What we could call suburban and urban today are utterly intertwined. Who can say where the city ends and the suburb begins? This is especially complicated in a state like New Jersey which has a strong urban tradition in the sense of defined, albeit small-scale, communities. In this state now the concerns of smart growth are forcing a reconsideration of conventional suburbia. Many people would like to make the state more dense and less car dependent.”
SOURCE: Eurekalert – New book by NJIT architecture professor focuses on urbanism.
Stitched together by developers from fields and gravel pits, Apple Valley has worked for years to build the kind of downtown where residents can leave home in the morning and walk to the bus, their jobs or local stores.
New restaurants and a hotel, townhouses and a park with water fountains where kids can play have already sprung up in the Central Village, but right next door, there are still empty fields.
The housing market slump caused a slowdown in development that forced city leaders to plead earlier this summer to hang onto public funding that is key to their vision: a $2.3 million Livable Communities grant from the Metropolitan Council to build underground parking below an as-yet-unbuilt complex of housing and businesses on Galaxie Avenue.
SOURCE: Star Tribune – Vibrant urban villages? Plans don’t fit reality.