Washington Square Plaza | San Francisco | estudioOCA

Washington Square Plaza | San Francisco | estudioOCA

Seating ribbon and public lawn at the metro entrance.

This study for the treatment of the future subway extension to North Beach takes into consideration the historic value of the neighborhood and existing park, and attempts to create an improved pedestrian experience while minimizing the impact on the community. The proposed plaza replaces a small, inaccessible landscaped area and a short section of Powell Street, creating a unified pedestrian plaza containing the primary subway entrance, public seating, a public lawn, and outdoor dining areas for the existing restaurants. Views down Powell Street to the bay are maintained.

Continue reading Washington Square Plaza | San Francisco | estudioOCA

San Francisco using new online tool for mapping trees

Last week the Mayor of San Francisco, announced new online tool developed by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire), in cooperation with Friends of the Urban Forest (FUF) and the City of San Francisco, to catalogue the city’s trees.

“You can add the trees around your home, office, school, or local café to the Urban Forest Map, or you can use it to learn more about the trees in your neighborhood,” said Amber Bieg, manager of the project. “It’s like a census for trees.”

Anyone with a web browser, whether on a mobile device, laptop or desktop computer, can add information about specific trees to the Urban Forest Map, such as their location, species, size, and health. That data can then be used by urban foresters and city planners to better manage trees in specific areas, track and combat tree pests and diseases, and plan future tree plantings. Climatologists can use it to better understand the effects of urban forests on climates, and students can use it to learn about the role trees play in the urban ecosystem.

Because the Urban Forest Map is built with open-source software, and leverages the growing power of geographic information systems (commonly known as GIS tools), it will likely have uses beyond those currently envisioned. Technologists can “layer” the tree data with other kinds of geographic data to illuminate or reveal aspects of an area or region that might otherwise be overlooked.

San Francisco is the first city to use the Urban Forest Map; others are expected to follow. “Million Tree” campaigns are taking-off around the nation, and this tool enables the on-the-ground community information sharing vital to the success of such campaigns.

See the tool in action at Urban Forest Map

[SOURCE: SFGOV.com] via Inhabitat

NBBJ and Chan Krieger Sieniewicz to merge

NBBJ, a global architecture and design firm, and Chan Krieger Sieniewicz, internationally-known for urban design and architecture excellence, announced today a merger of the two firms that will create an integrated team of over 700 architects, landscape architects, urban designers, planners and interior designers.

The Chan Krieger Sieniewicz team, including its five principals, will continue in their current roles. As part of the transition to the NBBJ name, the Cambridge office will operate as Chan Krieger NBBJ.

The merger gives NBBJ, which already operates a project office in Boston, a larger presence in New England. The Seattle-based firm has offices in several U.S. cities, including Columbus, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Seattle. Overseas offices include London, Beijing, Shanghai and Dubai.


UC Davis students have designs on Washington Square

18 students from UC Davis are creating design concepts for Washington Park in San Francisco to be presented to the Friends of Washington Square Park and the city’s Recreation and Park Department. The San Francisco Chronicle reported the recent site visit by the students and Marianne Bertuccelli, the department’s manager for Washington Square and 35 other sites in the city’s northeast.

The park sees a large amount of activity during the day and especially on summer weekends. The San Francisco Chronicle quoted Bertuccelli as saying

“We’re interested in seeing what the students come up with, and how that compares with our thoughts. … I’d love to form a consensus with the community about something we can implement on a phased-in basis.”

Read the full article at the SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle – Students seek ways to improve Washington Square

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Walter Hood in the New York Times

New York Times feature with Walter Hood about Crown Memorial State Beach

Mr. Hood, whose landscape architecture firm designed the grounds of the de Young Museum in San Francisco, lives in Oakland, and he spends a lot of time traveling. In August, he accepted a Cooper Hewitt National Design Award at the White House. (His words have been edited and condensed.)

read more at the SOURCE: New York Times – A beach with a different view

The Urban Land Institute Announces Winners Of The 2009 Global Awards For Excellence Competition

Highline NY

IMAGE SOURCE: Flickr – bettyx1138

Five outstanding developments have been selected as winners of the 2009 Urban Land Institute’s (ULI) Global Awards for Excellence competition, widely recognized as the land use industry’s most prestigious recognition program. The winners are: the American University in Cairo – New Campus, Cairo, Egypt; California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco; The Rise, Vancouver, British Columbia; West Chelsea/High Line Rezoning Plan, New York City; and Zhongshan Shipyard Park, Zhongshan, China.

SOURCE: The Urban Land Institute

Westborough Park to receive $2 million improvements

Westborough Park in the center of South San Francisco is about to get a $2 million facelift and playground equipment. The funding will come from development fees set aside for the project.

San Francisco Examiner reports

The city is currently outreaching to architecture firms for proposals to do the park improvement work.  They’ll accept proposals until the end of November, City engineer Ray Razavi said.

A landscape architect should be hired by early 2010, he said………..South San Francisco officials hope to have the upgrades completed by the spring of 2011.

[SOURCE: San Francisco Examiner – South City park to receive $2 million improvements]

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