The Laboratory for Contemporary Urban Design at Tel Aviv University has a weekly meeting to study the urban spaces to develop an overall picture of how spaces and neighborhoods develop. The group gathers information on the ground and interviews residents for a later group discussion. The Laboratory for Contemporary Urban Design was set up in 2010 with seven members who hotly debate the urban planning of Israel.
If you create the same type of apartment and structure, without variety in the mix of the neighborhood, you in fact produce homogenous social environments. The interaction with ‘the other’ is completely lost.
Read more about The Laboratory for Contemporary Urban Design at Haaretz.com – Deconstructing the city, from inside a lab
Mega-cities around the world such as New York, London, Los Angeles, Shanghai are often blamed for the high Green House Gas(GHG) emissions but a recent report released found that cities like Sydney(20.6), Calgary(17.7), Stuttgart(16.0), Denver (21.5), Rotterdam (29.8) CO2 equivalent (tCO2e) per capita where far higher than some of the world’s mega-cities including Shanghai (11.7), Tokyo (4.89), Dehli (1.5), Mexico City (4.25), London (9.6) and New York (10.5) CO2 equivalent (tCO2e) per capita. Although it could be seen that the overall city emissions are high however, when measuring tCO2e per capita it gives a very different picture.
The report focused on the Canadian city of Toronto and the results were surprising across the city as an inner city resident could have an annual emissions as low as 1.3 tCO2e whereas someone in a sprawling outer suburb could have 13.02 tCO2e. The report has a series of aerial images including high-rise(1.31) to outer suburbia(13.02) with the annual emissions for the area which gives a great insight into urban design and consequent emissions.
Lowest emissions in the study where from apartment dwelling city residents using public transit as there main source of transport.
I recommend reading the report ‘Cities and greenhouse gas emissions: moving forward‘ (10 January 2011) – a free copy is available from Environment & Urbanization
NOTE: Values in brackets () are tonne CO2 equivalent (tCO2e) per capita
Jeff Speck of Speck Associates recently gave a presentation at the University Park Alliance as apart of the Urban Innovators Speakers series. Speck stated that “Most American cities have been shaped around the automobile” and “Cars are a greater risk than crime” to pedestrians. He also spoke about the need to create thriving cities and that cities need to be designed for people.
Read more at [Ohio.com]
Chicago Rarities Orchard Project is a non-profit organization founded to establish community rare-fruit orchards in Chicago. There current project is Logan Square an abandoned lot that Chicao Rarities hopes to turn into a community orchard and plaza. Currently they are working with the City of Chicago and Altamanu planning + landscape architecture + urban design on developing the plan for the orchard.
Read more at Chicago Rarities Orchard Project
Spotted at Huffington Post
Superblocks have their advantages – internal circulation is pedestrian friendly but also disadvantages – long distances between blocks and sometimes impervious as they become more private rather than public space. Recently Under One Roof posted an interesting read about how development of superblocks can improve cities. Read more at [Under One Roof]