Erie Street Plaza is a small urban plaza in the Historic Third Ward district of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The 13,000-square-foot plaza lies at the point where the Milwaukee River meets the Federal Channel as it empties into Lake Michigan. It is the final link in a series of public space activators along the Milwaukee Riverwalk, a three-mile pedestrian and bicycle corridor that connects downtown Milwaukee to the emerging and redeveloping Third Ward, Beerline Districts, and the lakefront beyond. At the beginning of the project’s design, the future of Erie Street Plaza – its users, its function, its programming, even its necessity – were undecided. The urban context was generally one of infrastructure and industry; the site lacked neighbors and potential users. The site itself was a surface parking lot, subject to harsh environmental conditions, including high winds off the lake. Who is it for? How will it be used? This uncertainty, this open-endedness, was at the core of its design.
This is based on an essay on landscape urbanism by Linda Pollak. The ideas and theories explained in the video are from Pollak and Lefebvre.
Film by Oscar Gomez, Jared Schmidt, Derek Sergison, Cory Silva.
And that’s the rub—the bit about cars and “spacious suburbs.” Architects who believe that a fresh commitment to urban living offers the best path to a sustainable future are deeply disconcerted by this quasi-green rhetoric, and by the way it’s catching on at trendy architecture schools. They call it a “a misguided surrender to suburban sprawl.”
The Landscape Urbanism vs New Urbanism debate has been burning along for the last few months with LAND Reader – LU vs NU synopsis back in November. Leon Neyfakh of the Boston Globe has recently published Green Building that adds more fuel to the LU vs NU fire.
Its an interesting article worth the read but one line(amongst many) that stayed with me was “We criticized it and called out all the contradictions, and we laughed and we made fun of him,” Duany recalled about showing a lecture delivered by Charles Waldheim. Is Landscape Urbanism vs New Urbanism about theory and how to make great places for people or more about ego?
Landscape Urbanism and New Urbanism articles and opinion pieces over the last few months have provided great reading material for us to think about cities and communities. Whether your on the Landscape Urbanism or New Urbanism side we all know this debate will rage on but with Urbanisation occurring a phenomenal rate in Asia and Africa the biggest question is will these theories be placed into real practice (beyond the token projects) so they can be truly evaluated or will the debate continue on until the protagonists are long gone.
Below is a list of recent articles that will provide some great Sunday reading to get you all fired up for Monday at the office. Remember to follow us @landreader to get the latest landscape headlines like the ones below.
These are only some from the past year there are many more from pre-2010 and not on the web including Topos #71 – Landscape Urbanism and also books including Ecological Urbanism (Harvard GSD). If I have missed any important articles on the web send me an email [email protected]
for more links to Landscape Urbanism and New Urbanism articles