* You are viewing Posts Tagged ‘heritage’

Many Tastes are Lost: Landmark Buildings and Urban Context

Is this plaza for people or the building? Thanks to Neils displayed on Flickr for this great Creative Commons photo!

Urban regeneration and cultural heritage were the focus of World Expo Theme Week in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province. “Nowadays, cities have grown in height, but they are having identical faces,” stated Ruan Yisan, a renowned expert on ancient building. The issue is twofold. Ruan believes designers lack confidence in their culture. In addition, newness is valued above history and culture. Solutions discussed at the forum included heritage protection and placemaking by responding to locally distinct geography, climate and tradition.

However, some places go too far in confronting the uniformity of modern cities. The notorious Bilbao Effect, in which the construction of an architectural oddity stimulates economic … Continue Reading

Weekly NewsPool: Local energy, the London Underground, and the end of Heritage Week!

In planning news and in the blogosphere, this week brought two great stories from Boston, including a glimpse at the future of open transit data. Other stories address the challenging imperative of energy security, and mark without mourning the end of the public-private partnership that, until recently, operated London’s Underground.

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The plight of modern heritage

The old New York Penn Station was demolished in 1963, sparking a new consciousness of heritage value and preservation. This 1962 photo is in the public domain.

In Canada, we’re fairly new to this whole heritage business. It’s taken some time, but we’re finally beginning to understand the intrinsic value of heritage buildings. If a building is in good repair and it “looks old”, it stands a good chance of being protected, at least in the major cities.

But what about the buildings that don’t look old? Across the country, stories have popped up of communities rallying around historic buildings constructed as recently as the 1960s. This begs the question: where does “old” stop and “new” begin?

These days, buildings from the 1950s and 60s don’t get very much … Continue Reading

Heritage Conservation for Tourism in Malaysia – Is it Possible?

Melaka and George Town were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008. Thanks to Gary Arndt on Flickr for the Creative Commons photo.

The Malaysian cities of Melaka and George Town have developed over the last 500 years through trading and cultural exchanges between the East and West in the Straits of Malacca. Asian and European influences have given these cities a very specific multicultural heritage that is both tangible and intangible. Melaka’s government buildings, churches, squares and fortifications represent history from the early Malay sultanate (15th century) and the Portuguese and Dutch periods (16th century). George Town’s residential and commercial buildings represent its British era (18th century). These two cities along the Straits constitute a physical and cultural landscape unparalleled anywhere else in East and … Continue Reading

Next week is Heritage Week!

Thanks to Steve Cadman on Flickr for this Creative Commons photo of the Lower Eastside Tenement Museum in New York.

During the coming week, we here at PlanningPool are looking forward to sharing a series of posts about victories and challenges in urban heritage planning around the world. Join us next week for Heritage Week, from May 10 – 14!

To start thinking about the dynamics of change and preservation in cities, we recommend an article by urban economics guru Edward Glaeser that appeared in the New York Times earlier this week. Responding to Jane Jacobs’ well-loved and oft-quoted principles of successful urban environment, Glaeser suggests that this approach placed too high a value on retaining older buildings and maintaining moderate densities. Is there any … Continue Reading

Heritage Streetcar Win: San Francisco’s F-Market & Wharves Line

A heritage streetcar on San Francisco's F-line makes its way to the Castro District. Photo by Rachael Young, used with permission.

Today’s post celebrates a particular planning win, San Francisco’s heritage F-Market and Wharves streetcar line, as well as a broader, equally winning trend of urban streetcar revival.

These days, San Francisco’s six mile F-line line is one of the worlds’ longest publicly-operated vintage streetcar routes, boasting a fleet of restored antique cars from around the world. This fall will mark fifteen years since the local public transit system, the San Francisco Municipal Railway, began running vintage cars in regular service between the Castro and Financial Districts. A decade ago, the route was further extended to Fisherman’s Wharf.

Much-loved by residents and tourists, the F-line serves around 20,000 … Continue Reading

CIP Niagara Conference: Contemporary Approaches to Urban Heritage

This post comes to you from an afternoon session entitled “Saving our cities: Contemporary approaches to heritage planning.” The two joint speakers are Phil Goldsmith and Antonio Gómez-Palacio, who have worked together on several projects. Mr. Gómez-Palacio works with the Office for Urbanism, while Mr. Goldsmith has extensive experience in adaptive reuse of Toronto’s heritage buildings.

Contemporary Approaches to Heritage

Phil Goldsmith and Antonio Gómez-Palacio argue for a hybrid approach to heritage restoration and new architectural styles. Photo by author.

The session opened with the quote “Although […] heritage belongs to everyone, each of its parts is nevertheless at the mercy of any individual” (Amsterdam Charter, 1975). Intensification of urban fabric places stress on heritage buildings, so the present is an important time for the heritage of … Continue Reading

Snapshots: Bus Stop Furniture in Small-Town Coastal BC

Snapshot_BC_Town_Bus Stops

Funding public transit service and infrastructure is a challenge anywhere, but transit providers in small towns and rural areas have even fewer resources to work with. In my travels through small-town British Columbia, I’ve been continually amazed at the resourcefulness demonstrated at bus stops.

Along the Sunshine Coast Highway, where the first photo was taken, bus stops are furnished with every imaginable kind of seating by the people who use them. Lawn chairs are the most common bus stop furniture, but old kitchen chairs are also a favourite design solution. Sechelt is a District Municipality: to qualify for this designation, the incorporated area must be greater than 8 square kilometers in size and have an average population density of fewer than 5 persons per hectare. This … Continue Reading

A Streetcar Named… Revival?

Sorry all, another lame title by me! Anyway, check out PP’s shiny new exclusive video.

A Streetcar Named… Revival? from Planning Pool on Vimeo.

Did you notice the vintage ads in the old streetcar, I reckon they’re a bit more modest than the stuff Vanessa saw in Portland. And be sure to pay special attention to the fantastic soundtrack, performed by our own very talented Vanessa Kay!

Having long been interested at the sight of those old streetcars that still made a circuit along Vancouver’s Southeast False Creek, trundling along with elegance and poise when seen against the car traffic that rushes past, I thought it would be neat if PP did a feature on it. After … Continue Reading

Urban Omnibus and the New Spirit of Urban Photography

The venerable Architectural League of New York has fostered interdisciplinary approaches to urbanism since the late 19th century, opening membership to painters and sculptors as well as to architects and other design professionals. Launched earlier this year, its online project Urban Omnibus further expands the organization’s scope by tapping into participatory media culture. It solicits and displays photography in ways that have only became possible in the last few years, and that reflect democratization of the means of producing and disseminating images of the city.

The most interesting photo in the Urban Omnibus Flickr Pool, as selected by Flickr's interestingness feature. Thanks to Pabo76 for licencing this great image of the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant using Creative Commons.

Alongside commissioned articles, Urban Omnibus displays photos of New York that … Continue Reading

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