Jan Gehl on Urban Design | VIDEO

Jan Gehl, architect and urban designer that has helped cities around the world focus on improving the quality of life. In this short 3 and half minute crane.tv video ) Gehl gives some insight into cities such as Copenhagen and urban design.  “….its like a revelation, oh we forgot the people…”
 

Urbanized: A Conversation

Urbanized,  feature-length documentary by Gary Hustwit was recently shown at University of Pennsylvania. Afterwards, a panel conversation took place between Gary Hustwit, James Corner and Ricky Burdett chaired by  Marilyn Jordan Taylor (Dean of PennDesign). The 40 minute conversation was caught on film and published by PennDesign for our viewing pleasure.

Mega Cities not always the biggest polluters

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

Speck: Cars are a greater risk than crime to pedestrians

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]

Suburbs stop growing due to housing bust

USAToday reports

The recession and housing collapse have halted four decades of double-digit growth for nearly half of the nation’s biggest rapidly expanding suburbs.

Twenty-four of the 53 cities of 100,000 or more that grew by at least 10% every decade since 1970 lost population in the last two years.

SOURCE: USA Today – Housing bust halts growing suburbs

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