October 7, 2014

“A city is not an accident but the result of coherent visions and aims.” 
― Leon KrierThe Architecture of Community

Compare this with:

“I believe that the idea of the totality, the finality of the master-plan, is misguided. One should advocate a gradual transformation of public space, a metamorphic process, without relying on a hypothetical time in the future when everything will be perfect. The mistake of planners and architects is to believe that fifty years from now Alexanderplatz will be perfected. -p.197” 
― Daniel LibeskindDaniel Libeskind

How do you effect any sort of positive change, gradual or otherwise, without looking into the future? Will the the piecemeal changes of a gradual transformation add up to a better whole?

September 18, 2014

Dearborn Street Two-Way Protected Bicycle Lane

Location: Chicago, Illinois

Source: personal photos

Chicago’s two-way protected bike lane on Dearborn Street was installed in December 2012. Since then, the road has seen a 171% jump in bicycle ridership, and its bicycle-specific traffic signals have boasted an increase in cyclist traffic signal compliance from 31% to 81%

In the two pictures here, it is clear that Dearborn Street is accessible to many users, including cyclists, pedestrians, motorists, bus passengers and commuter rail passengers. This level of multi-modal access serves as a prime example of the complete street concept.

An additional fun note: the popularity of the Dearborn Street protected bike lane has spawned its own fan-based Twitter feed: @DearbornBikeLn.

- Dan Sommerville

September 18, 2014

Location: Qiaoyuan Wetland Park, Tianjin, China

Source: personal photograph

Qiaoyuan Wetland Park is designed by landscape architecture Kongjian Yu. The land used to be a garbage dump, through regenerative plan, it has been transformed into a low maintenance urban park. There is a circle of red structures which are representative elements of Yu’s design. 

The park is surrounded by residential districts with huge amount of inhabitants. However, the utilization of the park is low, as some of the space is unreasonably designed.

Yajing Zhou

September 17, 2014

Liberty Plaza, Ann Arbor.

I’m not sure if this is a good public space or bad. I have conflicting feelings of the park and found some good pictures I think reflect the diversity of opinions and realities of the park.

Sources:

mlive.com

http://libertyplazaannarbor.files.wordpress.com/

-mike davis jr-

September 17, 2014

This public space is at the end of Pacific Ave. in Santa Cruz, CA. I find it interesting for its location between an intersection of streets, at the end of the vibrant commercial area of downtown Santa Cruz (you can see it at the bottom right corner of the 2nd photo). It is an especially popular space in the summer months when folks will gather there over coffee, smoothies, or capoeira as seen in the bottom photo.

Source:

1st and 2nd photo - http://servingsantacruzcounty.com/wp-files/172/2012/01/Santa_Cruz_downtown_clocktower.jpg

3rd photo - Personal photograph

Alexis Gomez

September 17, 2014

The first one is a public open space on the west loop of Chicago. A small bus stop and the corridor under the L compose a wonderful urban space combining with the transportation system. Also, small park and square make the space more attractive for the citizens. Here people meet, communicate, and rest, in my perspective, it is a successful urban public open space.

The second one is a open market with a small scale. People would gather not only due to the function of this space, but also the comfortable spatial scale comparing with the skyscrapers in the neighborhood. Different people and goods will meet, which makes the space full of vigor.

Baihe Yang, taken by myself, Chicago

September 17, 2014

The upper photo is the lobby of Chicago Union Station which used to be a waiting area before the new underground station was built in 1960. But the Union Station is now a low-usage public space, not many passengers want to wait for the train there.
Therefore, CDOT now decides to revitalize the place by attracting investment such as stores and restaurants, following the same pattern as New York’s Central Station, in order to bring back the crowds.

Source:
Chicago Union Station- http://chicago-architecture-jyoti.blogspot.com/
New York Central Station- http://wallpaperfast.com/

Bonnie Wang

September 17, 2014
Washtenaw & Baldwin Ave

image 

Here is an example of a space that does not work, in multiple ways…

  • First, Washtenaw should realistically be two lanes wide, and should have never been expanded to four lanes. In my opinion, this street is far to narrow and the speed limit is about 10 miles too fast for its location. I think it is reasonable for Washtenaw to expand into four lanes just before Bear Claw Coffee.
  • Second, the “no left turns” sign (from Washtenaw onto Baldwin) is not very clear, and cars get pulled over all of the time for turning left onto Baldwin from Washtenaw. Washtenaw has a lot of problems and could have been planned much more wisely.

Source: personal photograph

Kale Mabin

6:58pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/Zrq8nw1R3EvNL
Filed under: poorplanning 
September 17, 2014

Zhongshan park in Wuhan.

The park is located in the center of the city, providing citizens with 320,000 square kilometers ground of greenery and entertainment. Surrounded by high density of mixed-used land, Zhongshan park is not at all affected by the modern buildings. With all the traditional Chinese landscape it seems to have the power to calm you down from impetuous city life. 

There is a corner in the park that has been very busy these recent years. The corner is used as a certain kind of information center, so you can always see people there chatting and taking notes. The picture with a lot of people shows an ordinary day of that corner.

Source: baidu images

Yiting Yao 

September 17, 2014

This is The Old Stone House on M Street in Georgetown, Washington, DC. The garden in the back is one of my favorite small public spaces in DC. In the midst of the rushed sidewalks of Georgetown you can step into this quiet backyard garden for a rest, coffee, work break. It is owned by the NPS, so free and open. The house itself  is rumored to be haunted- so just a little bit of exciting too. - Pam.

September 17, 2014
The equator in Uganda is a major tourist site in the Southern part of the country. It crosses Lake Victoria and it is an attractive choice for safaris in the region and substantial flows of tourists.
Source: Uganda tours and travels,www.safari-in-uganda.com
Gertrude Waigumbulizi

The equator in Uganda is a major tourist site in the Southern part of the country. It crosses Lake Victoria and it is an attractive choice for safaris in the region and substantial flows of tourists.

Source: Uganda tours and travels,www.safari-in-uganda.com

Gertrude Waigumbulizi

September 17, 2014
Sheraton Park gardens in Kampala, the Capital City of Uganda. There are multipurpose gardens located outside the Sheraton Hotel. 
Source: google images
Gertrude Waigumbulizi

Sheraton Park gardens in Kampala, the Capital City of Uganda. There are multipurpose gardens located outside the Sheraton Hotel. 

Source: google images

Gertrude Waigumbulizi

September 17, 2014
The Holy Mosque in Mecca represents an extreme juxtaposition between public and private space. It is a site that one must visit to complete the Hajj, and men and women can share in the space. Indeed, it is meant to accommodate over 800,000 worshipers. At the same time, the surrounding city of Mecca prohibits entry by non-Muslims. 

Source: http://www.independent.co.uk/migration_catalog/article6140087.ece/alternates/w620/Pg-32-mecca-main-getty.jpeg

The Holy Mosque in Mecca represents an extreme juxtaposition between public and private space. It is a site that one must visit to complete the Hajj, and men and women can share in the space. Indeed, it is meant to accommodate over 800,000 worshipers. At the same time, the surrounding city of Mecca prohibits entry by non-Muslims. 

Source: http://www.independent.co.uk/migration_catalog/article6140087.ece/alternates/w620/Pg-32-mecca-main-getty.jpeg

September 17, 2014
A view of a street in Old Town Hanoi, Vietnam.  The street contains hotels (for tourists and backpackers), small food markets both inside stores and outside on the street, street restaurants where people cook pho in a pot on a burner right on the street.  No cars are allowed to drive these streets, but motorbikes are allowed.

A view of a street in Old Town Hanoi, Vietnam.  The street contains hotels (for tourists and backpackers), small food markets both inside stores and outside on the street, street restaurants where people cook pho in a pot on a burner right on the street.  No cars are allowed to drive these streets, but motorbikes are allowed.

September 17, 2014

In the heart of Detroit lays Campus Martius Park. 
This public space represents August Woodward’s focal point of the City. 
Campus Martius is activated in numerous different ways throughout the year to ensure public participation and usage. 
During the summer months, part of the park is filled with sand and beach chairs as well as a full bar. Music plays from the numerous speakers throughout the park and the working people of Downtown Detroit flock to the park to enjoy lunch or drinks after work. 
In the winter months, the City of Detroit builds a full ice rink in the heart of the park. With that, they place a massive Christmas Tree in the park for tourists and Metro Detroiters to come and see.