Great cities have great urban parks. Central Park in New York, Millennium Park in Chicago, Washington’s Mall. They are magnets for the key ingredients that make a successful city center: housing and hotels, shops and cafes, museums and concert halls, public festivals and recreation from active sports to leisurely strolling. They provide breathing room amid the civic bustle; they open up the densest cityscapes; they signify the heart of the heart of their hometowns.
Unfortunately, Los Angeles — a great city by most definitions — has no important downtown park. Griffith Park meets many needs, but it’s not in the center of the city. The Cornfield, north of Chinatown, is also removed from the action (and mostly not off the drawing board). The public space that links downtown’s civic center buildings may get a polish as part of the Grand Avenue project, but it’s tucked away, hemmed in by government buildings. None of these alone is the great, open-air city gathering place that L.A. needs.
SOURCE: Los Angeles Times – Where’s our Central Park?
Another major “green roof” project is set to move forward atop a high-profile building in downtown Minneapolis.
City officials are putting together construction documents for a green roof over Target Center, even as the city – with help from a project team led by RSP Architects – continues the job of planting 40 varieties of mostly native plants on a portion of Minneapolis City Hall.
The Target Center project was first reported by Finance and Commerce in March 2007.
By putting vegetation on top of the 18-year-old city-owned arena, the city hopes to protect the membrane and extend the roof’s life. Green roofs typically last 40 to 50 years, compared to 20 to 25 years for a conventional roof, Guild said.
Read more @ the Source: Finance and Commerce – Target Center roof going green
Los Angeles Business Council (LABC) honored the region’s finest architecture design projects, including the new Los Angeles Green Building Award, at the 38th Annual Los Angeles Architectural Awards. The Awards Program, which recognizes entire project teams (architects, developers and contractors), spotlighted the abundance of world-class architecture and sustainable development being built in Los Angeles today.
LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE AWARD
Project: Santa Monica Airport Park
Architect: ah’be landscape architects
Contractor: L.A. Engineering
Owner: City of Santa Monica
Project: South Park Streetscape
Architect: ah’be landscape architects
Contractor: Kato Landscape
Developer: The South Group Partnership
Owner: City of Los Angeles
For the full list of winners go to the SOURCE: StreetInsider.com – World-Class Design and Sustainable Development Take the Spotlight at 38th Los Angeles Architectural Awards.
Explore Design (ED) is North America’s first Education Expo dedicated to the design discipline. Explore Design is a structured two-day event where students are provided with the information required to pursue an education, and ultimately a career in the world of design. Students interested in design will be presented with all the information needed to make an educated decision about their future in a contemporary, interactive, and experimental environment. Educational institutions, associations and professional groups will all be accessible to student attendees.
Explore Design takes place on Wednesday and Thursday, October 1 and 2, 2008 in Constitution Hall at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, located at 255 Front Street West. For more information, please visit www.exploredesign.ca.
SOURCE: canadianarchitect.com – Canadian Architect – 6/18/2008.
Tim Holt of San Francisco Chronicle interviews urban planning guru, Jan Gehl about San Francisco and create urban spaces and a more pedestrain city(Ed– Maybe hard with those hills) and open air shopping.
Read more @ the SOURCE: SFGate.com – Making S.F. into a people-oriented city
GRAHAM BLACK AND BRAD KHOURI have written a comprehensive article about designing residential developments in Seattle.
Town homes don’t have to be ugly and dampen the human spirit. But so many of them are eyesores that town homes have become a lighting rod in the local debate over housing. They’ve been blamed for the decline of community and called a threat to single-family neighborhoods. Their rapid proliferation has even prompted recent City Council-led community forums.
Town homes aren’t the problem. A critical part of the housing stock, they allow the city to create more urban density, reduce our carbon footprint and provide an affordable housing option for local families.
Bad design and laziness are the real problem. Badly designed, shoddily built, cookie-cutter town homes that don’t fit or build the character of our city’s neighborhoods isolate residents from one another and discourage open space. Bad design is the result of a formula-driven approach, where generic plans are slapped onto every lot, regardless of site or neighborhood.
Seattle has an opportunity to shape neighborhoods for the future. The city needs to take charge of its permitting and design process, eliminate the loopholes that allow some builders to avoid design review and give an incentive for opting into that process. Design review, when done right, can ensure projects that make the city a more interesting place.
Read more @ the SOURCE: Seattlepi.com – Good design requires innovation.
The Heinz Endowments has given $2 million to Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Architecture to endow a directorship and diversify students in urban design.
SOURCE: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review – CMU gets $2 million gift for architecture school –