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.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Horrid graphic attempts to explain responsibility for various elements of DC public space

This was from twitter, via an e-list.  The design is crap, an embarrassment, but I suppose it is intended to be "fun" and quick and "now."

Ideally the design of a storefront in such a publication would reflect the recommendations of the out-of-print publication Thrive: A Guide to Storefront Design in the District of Columbia.

Plus there are two errors.  In DC, on the street, WMATA is not responsible for bus shelters.  DDOT is, via the contract with Clear Channel/Adshel.

There is also text in the same section about "news racks" and assigning responsibility to WMATA.  This would also be a DDOT responsibility, with a soupcon of Business Improvement District involvement, depending on the location.

However, newsracks are protected under the First Amendment, at least based on decisions in this circuit of federal courts, so companies don't have to commit to participating in newsrack beautification programs.

Cities like DC ought to be committed to excellence in graphic design when communicating about design of all types, including urban design and the built environment. (And to referencing, extending, and acknowledging previously produced excellent work.)

From the commercial district revitalization framework plan I did for Cambridge, Maryland:

Just as the study team believes that “we are all destination managers now,” elected and appointed officials in particular and in association with other community stakeholders serve as a community’s “brand managers”—whether or not they choose to think of their roles in this manner.

That means that decision-making on land use and zoning, business issues, infrastructure development (roads, sewers, water, utilities, transit), technology (broadband Internet, etc.) and quality of place factors (arts, culture, historic preservation and heritage, education, public schools and libraries, etc.) must be consistent and focused on making the right decisions, the decisions that collectively achieve and support the realization of the community’s desired vision and positioning.

The materials that the community uses to communicate (print media advertising, brochures, websites, radio and television commercials, billboards, public relations placements, press releases, etc.) also must be consistent with the vision and positioning of the community’s branding program.

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At 5:02 PM, Anonymous Etched Glass said...

Thanks for this informative blog, I got more understanding of mega cities such as New York city.


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