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 –
FASHION guru turned urban design expert Wayne Hemingway is one of the most outspoken critics of British playgrounds.
He wants UK councils to follow the lead of other European countries like Germany and Denmark, which have a more imaginative approach to play and refuse to sacrifice risk and fun because of health and safety regulations.
Yorkshire Evening Post – Design expert looks to continent to put risk back into playtime –
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.