New York collects about $60 million annually for allowing signs, ornamental lampposts, stand-alone clocks, benches, bollards, planters, permanent trash receptacles, delivery ramps and just about anything else imaginable on, over or under the city’s 12,000 miles of sidewalks. [...]
Overall revenue from sidewalk-permit fees has risen by about 50 percent in the past decade, the bulk of it from utility companies for pipes and transformers below ground. — nytimes.com
The only context in which [Times Square] is routinely praised is a historical one, and then usually in a misguided glorification of its former grittiness. Nostalgia clouds the ugliness of the past and conceals the vibrancy of the present, but perhaps worst of all, it offers a pass for looking at Times Square as it really is and as it should be. [...]
if you’re trying to fight your way through the crowds of Times Square, you’re missing the point—the point is the crowd. — observer.com
The Hills on Governors Island will welcome visitors this summer — nearly a year ahead of schedule, it was announced last week — and add 10 acres of green space to the city, largely in the form of four artificial hills. Made of recycled construction debris and clean fill, the hills rise as high as 70 feet above the island...An unseasonably warm fall contributed to faster-than-expected construction times. — NextCity
Mall of America’s ability to so zealously suppress the December 23 [Black Lives Matter] protest there highlights how, in a nation where more and more public life takes place in privatized spaces, the ability to exercise First Amendment rights has become increasingly contingent...
Legal arguments that free political speech should be allowed at malls center around the idea that the shopping center has replaced the town square as a place where opinions can be heard and exchanged. — the Intercept
Back in October, the Pershing Square Renew non-profit group revealed 10 big-name semifinalist teams in a competition to redesign Pershing Square in Downtown Los Angeles. City Councilmember Jose Huizar formed the Pershing Square Task Force in the summer of 2013 with the goal 'to re-envision Pershing Square' into a new town square with better public access, fresh landscaping and the like, to what they believe would further spruce up the evolving city. — Bustler
According to PSR, the park has been constantly overlooked for redevelopment. Inevitably, not everyone agrees the historic park should be revamped.Nearly two months later, the competition is now down to the final four proposals:Agence TER with SALT Landscape ArchitectsSWA with MorphosisJames Corner...
Visitors to the garden bridge in London will be tracked by their mobile phone signals and supervised by staff with powers to take people’s names and addresses and confiscate and destroy banned items, including kites and musical instruments, according to a planning document. [...]
Caroline Pidgeon [...] said she feared the bridge was following “a worrying trend of the privatisation of public places, where the rights of private owners trump those of ordinary people”. — theguardian.com
Public Space Protection Orders, or PSPOs, came into existence last year under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. Similar to the much-derided anti-social behaviour orders (asbos), PSPOs allow for broad powers to criminalise behaviour that is not normally criminal. But where asbos were directed at individuals, PSPOs are geographically defined, making predefined activities within a mapped area prosecutable. — theguardian.com
A Brazilian urban planning collective called Urb-i...scoured Google Street View images to find the most stunning public space transformations from around the world. The results give us hope that our cities are becoming more beautiful places to live. — Business Insider
Cheer up: not everything is getting worse, at least not if you check out these comparison shots of real places from around the globe captured on Google Street View. Compiled by Urb-i, these 41 intersections and urban streets are studies in pedestrian-friendliness; as the years melt by, many of the...
It’s hard to grasp his calculus. One of Mr. de Blasio’s big initiatives, Vision Zero, aims to improve pedestrian safety. Ripping up the pedestrian plazas in Times Square, restoring cars and forcing millions of people to dodge traffic again, runs headlong into his own policy.
As an exasperated Tim Tompkins, the president of the Times Square Alliance, put it on Thursday: “Sure, let’s tear up Broadway — we can’t govern, manage or police our public spaces.” — nytimes.com
With a $35,000 grant from the Knight Prototype Fund, [MITs Elizabeth Christoforetti] and her team are working on a project called Placelet, which will track how pedestrians move through a particular space. They’re developing a network of sensors that will track the scale and speed of pedestrians [and vehicles] over long periods of time. The sensors, [currently being tested in downtown Boston], will also track the 'sensory experience' by recording the noise level and air quality of that space. — CityLab
the place where cities get “remade” is in the public rather than private sphere. Part of the problem, then, with privately owned public spaces (“Pops”) ... is that the rights of the citizens using them are severely hemmed in. [...]
[Pops] feel too monitored, too controlled, to allow this communal activity to simply unfold. London, and many other cities, are failing miserably to enable diversity in people’s engagement with such spaces. — theguardian.com
The first public parklet in downtown Portland, the installation is intended to help revitalize this stretch of SW Fourth Avenue in the heart of the SoMa EcoDistrict (for “South of Market Street”), giving students, faculty, and workers from surrounding offices a place to sit and enjoy their food-cart lunches in the sunshine, rather than racing back to their desks to eat. — pdx.edu
If the project is scaled up, it could have a substantial impact on the urban fabric: Los Angeles has a total of almost 900 miles of alleys, roughly the length of the coast of California. Proponents believe that on a citywide scale, green alleys could act as significant rainwater sponges, mitigate the heat island effect, and reduce vehicle use, as well as bring social and health benefits to nearby residents. — nextcity.org
SUBMIT NEWS: submit in 60 seconds!