Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Saturday, May 12, 2007


From "Downtown pulls all-nighter: LOOPTOPIA Crowds brave wind, cooler temps for 'dusk 'til dawn' cultural fest, " in the Chicago Sun-Times:

Starting about 5 p.m. Friday, when folks typically abandon the Loop for hipper locales or home, thousands gathered at various sites from Daley Plaza to the Chicago Cultural Center to take in the big-city bash dubbed Looptopia.

Billed as "America's first dusk 'til dawn cultural and artistic celebration," Looptopia featured performances by the Chicago Symphony and the Joffrey Ballet as well as comedians, poets and authors.

Does DC have enough imagination or stuff to do to be able to do something like this?
Reprinted from 11/21/2005
Call for Museums to stay open til 10 pm at night... in London

I will write a bunch over the next couple days about the Citizens Summit, one of the things that I mentioned is that all too often we look at issues in very circumscribed ways. E.g., people talk about "Midnight Basketball Leagues" for youth. What about keeping libraries and other such facilities open late?

In "Call for museums to open at night," the BBC reports that:

London's galleries and museums should open until 10 at night to give people an alternative to binge drinking, the London Assembly is expected to say. The call for a more diverse night-time economy comes ahead of Thursday's new flexible opening hours. The assembly's economic development committee report also recommends running the Tube later at weekends and employing more [commercial district] managers. It calls for broader entertainment not solely geared towards young drinkers.

Committee Chair Dee Doocey said: "The needs of residents and visitors who want to enjoy the city at night must be balanced with the right to enjoy a good quality of life in the capital." The idea is not a new one. The Tate Modern, on London's South Bank, already opens until 10pm on a Friday and Saturday, while the Tate Britain hosts a "late at the Tate" once a month. A spokesman for the British Museum , which also has later opening - until 8.30pm - on a Friday, added: "It's definitely an idea that is already out there."
bfi  London IMAX Cinema  Rolling Stones At the Max 2D.jpg
Directed by Julien Temple, Roman Kroitor, David Douglas, Noel Archambault. Rolling Stones: At the Max, the first feature-length IMAX concert film, features The Rolling Stones in top form during their highly acclaimed Steel Wheels/Urban Jungle 1990 Tour. Running time: 89 minutes

This is relevant on many dimensions of city "cultural" planning. For maybe ten years I've raised the point about getting the museums on the National Mall to be open later and open later not just during the summer. And coordinating other cultural activities alongside -- such as 10 pm movie matinee pricing at the downtown cinemas (Landmark, Regal), getting the IMAX theaters to "loosen up"--e.g., how about a Friday midnite showing of the "Rolling Stones" movie? And working with the institutions along the Mall, such as the upcoming Newseum or the Canadian Embassy to do related programming.
National Film Board of Canada - Montreal Storefront
National Film Board of Canada - Montreal Storefront "CineRobotheque.

E.g., one of my suggestions for the Canadian Embassy was to do something with the National Film Board of Canada, which is an active participant in the Canadian Film Industry. In Toronto and Montreal, the Film Board has "storefronts" where people can watch, for a small fee, most any film produced by the organization, and they can do plenty of other things besides.

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