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, August 04, 2016

Two interesting resources new to me

1.  Portland has the organization City Repair, which aims to rebalance the relationship between people as pedestrians and public space, especially streets and intersections.

But Portland has spanned a separate but related organization, Depave, dedicated to active removal of large expanses of asphalt, such as parking lots.  While focused on Portland, they work in other communities.  Among the many resources on the blog is a guide to taking on such projects.

2. The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat is a resource organization addressing sustainability issues in the context of hyper dense cities like New York City, Tokyo, and Hong Kong. They have an extensive conference, meetings, and publishing program, publish a journal, etc.

One of their working papers is on the High Line Effect and how the way it spurred subsequent development is an effect produced by local circumstances that aren't often generalizable to most other places, despite the explosion of copycat projects around the world ("The High Line effect: Why cities around the world (including Toronto) are building parks in the sky" and "Is Vancouver's Arbutus corridor a greenway that can bring in the green?," Toronto Globe & Mail).

Note that when I talk with people about "best practices," I say that elected officials and key stakeholders find examples from other countries to be almost completely irrelevant, that examples from elsewhere in their state are best, but examples from around the country are good--especially high profile examples.

The High Line is a good example, because a similar project in Paris, Promenade Plantée (at left) which in part is the conversion of a railway viaduct that opened about 15 years before the High Line.

Note that Urban Institute released a report, Equitable Development Planning and Urban Park Space: Early Insights from DC’s 11th Street Bridge Park Project, about the possible impacts of the 11th Street Bridge Park, including displacement of current residents in the neighborhoods impacted by the park.

My opinion is that because the park isn't embedded within the city's network of blocks and buildings, but will be across the Anacostia River, I don't think it will be able to have the same kind of "priming effect" on real estate development compared to the High Line.

But that may be a strict reading, because in any case, the limited inventory of desirable places to live in DC in the face of increased demand to live in the city means that Anacostia is ripe for real estate pricing escalation, despite public safety issues.  Also see the 2011 blog entry, "Revitalization in stages: Anacostia."



At 5:45 AM, Blogger Suseela Susiee said...

What an awesome post, I just read it from start to end. Learned something new after a long time.

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