In Newark, Children Reclaim a Playground’s Meaning – NYT

To cover the littered lake of cracked asphalt, the students suggested gardens. For the darkest corners of the schoolyard, they asked for new playgrounds, safe and bathed in light.
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Sylwia Kapuscinski for The New York Times

To help relieve the dark memories of the site at the Mount Vernon School where four young people were shot, three of them fatally, in August, the schoolyard here will be remade.

At a community meeting at the school on Tuesday night, students who participated in redesigning the schoolyard, in collaboration with landscape architects and the Trust for Public Land, unveiled the plans.

Read more New York TimesIn Newark, Children Reclaim a Playground’s Meaning –

Garden City lands eyed for urban food research

Brian Lewis looks at ‘farm to plate’ in Richmond British Columbia, Canada and how garden cities can help

Read more @ Canada.com – Garden City lands eyed for urban food research.

Princeton unveils most comprehensive campus plan in its history

For more than two years, a team of architects, landscape architects and planners at Princeton University has labored to strike a perfect balance between the old and the new. They have balanced between centuries of tradition and plans for innovative new spaces where architects can continue to design buildings that are both of their time and timeless.

Read more @ Princeton University – Princeton unveils most comprehensive campus plan in its history.

The monstrosity next door

The City Council is considering a proposed ordinance that would curtail “mansionization.” If the measure passes, the maximum allowable size of a house on many residential lots would drop from about 7,000 square feet (excluding garage) to about 3,000.

The use of the word “mansion” here is not complimentary. It’s meant to conjure up a scenario in which a residential street of, say, 1920s cottages or 1950s ranch houses suddenly gets a new neighbor — a 3,500- or 4,000-square-foot house with two full stories. Though meeting the required setbacks, the building’s bulk makes it more visually prominent than the older houses on the street. What’s more, it may have an architectural style or features that some find ugly — or simply out of place on the block. The result: unhappy longtime homeowners bemoaning the changing character of their neighborhood — loss of privacy, sunlight, views or charm — and demanding that City Hall do something.

Read more @ Los Angeles Times – The monstrosity next door – Todd Gish.

Hands off Greenbelt, urban planner says

Ottawa needs to redevelop to improve the lives of city residents but growth should not be in the Greenbelt, says Larry Beasley, one of Canada’s top urban planners and a senior adviser to the National Capital Commission.

The chairman of the NCC, Russell Mills, recently sparked controversy by saying that the city might want to build on some of the less vital parts of the Greenbelt, a 20,000-hectare ribbon of land owned by the federal government that encircles central Ottawa.

Read more @ Ottawa Citizen – Hands off Greenbelt, urban planner says.

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