* You are viewing Posts Tagged ‘New York’

“This used to be an art gallery.”

A visitor relaxes in an indoor replica park at the "Park Here" exhibit in Openhouse Gallery, New York. Thanks to Katie Killary on Flickr for the Creative Commons photo!

Despite the disdain often attributed to artificial plants, natural replicas can be more than just entertaining. Park Here, an art installation at Openhouse Gallery in New York City, goes a step further. In stark contrast to the blustery outdoors, the inhabitable scene replicates a sunny day in the park, complete with chirping birds.

Exposure to nature has been proven to play a role in health and well-being, with documented benefits including relaxation, mental restoration, self control, flow experiences and childhood development. In addition, there are … Continue Reading

Planning Challenge 1: Commercial Aggregation and Subdivision (Part 2)

Levittown, Pennsylvania

At the dawn of the 20th Century, cities were ascendant, dense, and prosperous, if also iniquitous and polluted. By mid century cities reached their zenith, and a slow decline lead by the flight of the white middle class and industry to cheaper land in the suburbs, subsidized with mortgage insurance and federal highways, free of urban crime and overcrowded school districts. By the last quarter of the century, American cities appeared to be in free fall, many having lost more than half their population, leaving behind the poor and marginalized. Then, in the last decade of the 20th Century the dense city once again showed signs of life.Young, creative professionals were heading to cities after college, crime rates began to reverse, … Continue Reading

Betaville: Multiplayer Engagement Planning in Beta

We’ve blogged on PlanningPool in the past about the lure and the foibles of city-building games like Sim City, and about the promise of interactive 3D urban models for communication and engagement.

Battery Park Street, New York, as seen in Betaville

But what if 3D urban models like Virtual Berlin could be plugged into a city-building game engine like Sim City’s? And what if everybody could play?

That’s the idea behind Betaville, a new collaborative planning technology developed by the Polytechnic Institute of New York University.

Betaville is based on an open-source, multi-player gaming engine that runs 3D models of real-life communities. Changes can then be proposed to these “base models” by all participants and modeled in alternative versions of the world.

The intent is nothing less than … Continue Reading

Green to the end

New York's Washington Cemetery. Thanks to Limonada on Flickr for the great Creative Commons photo!

“We have had bribes offered […] but we have nothing to be bribed for. We have no room.”
So said Dominick Tarantino from Washington Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York, one of the first burial places to reach capacity. No new cemeteries have been established for fifty years, so inflated prices of New York real estate continue after death, where residents vie to be buried where they lived.

As cities continue to densify, will this scenario be repeated everywhere? Historically, municipal parks and cemeteries were planned in tandem. The Rural Cemetery Movement played a significant role in North America’s park and landscape architecture history:
Planned as serene and spacious grounds where the combination of nature … 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

‘Urban Acupuncture 101’ – Mobility and cycling in New York with Janette Sadik-Khan

October 19, 2009.  In a room full of Vancouver’s planning and transportation elite, Gordon Price (director of SFU’s City Program) introduced an event from SFU’s public lecture series, evoking New York City’s gritty and dangerous history, comparing it to a “fallen empire.”  He feels that the success in recent years give it reason to be called “a resilient city” – acting as proof that cities can rebound – and aptly referencing the Gaining Ground conference this week.  Our guest this evening, Janette Sadik-Khan is the commissioner for New York City’s Department of Transportation (DOT). She is largely responsible for this transformation, rigorously analyzing ways to make streets more people oriented in one of the world’s largest most congested city.  “It’s a war out there,” she said a few times.

[caption id=”attachment_1459″ align=”aligncenter” width=”574″ caption=”Creative Commons photo of NYC's 9th Ave … Continue Reading

In New York City – Fresh Kills Park is Waste Space, Play Place


The NYC Sanitation Department donated one of these machines for use in the new park's signage. Photo by author.

For over 50 years Fresh Kills was the main landfill for New York City and  the largest dumpsite in the world.  In March of 2001 the site was closed due to pressure from the Environmental Protection Agency, only to be reopened temporarily in September of that year as the receiving site for the demolished World Trade Center buildings.   Now the land, once a symbol of waste and environmental disrespect, is being re-developed as the largest park in New York City—at 2,220 acres it will be almost three times the size of Central Park.  The site will be extensively landscaped with native vegetation and will provide natural ecological areas as … Continue Reading