Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel floats ordinance to fast-track transit-oriented development, reduce parking minimums

Currently under construction, 2211 N. Milwaukee Ave. is one of several TOD projects planned near Chicago transit stations. (Brininstool + Lynch)

Currently under construction, 2211 N. Milwaukee Ave. is one of several TOD projects planned near Chicago transit stations. (Brininstool + Lynch)

This week Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel will push a plan to expand transit-oriented development (TOD) by easing zoning restrictions and releasing certain projects from parking requirements altogether.

Continue reading after the jump.

Milan hops on the car-banning bandwagon with its own proposal to create zones of “pedestrian privilege”

Milan_tram_at_Scala_theatre_(232522732)

(Courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

Milan is the latest city to join the ranks of Paris, Madrid, Brussels, and Dublin in expelling cars from its smoggy, often gridlocked city center. Unlike its more zealous counterparts, the city has opted for an incremental approach, with no proposed timeline and a gradual, virtually street by street implementation.

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Traffic-plagued Dublin institutes a ban on cars in downtown area to reduce city-center congestion

(Courtesy Dublin City Council and the National Transport Authority)

(Courtesy Dublin City Council and the National Transport Authority)

In another radical pushback on the congestion-creating, carbon-emitting automobile, the Dublin City Council and National Transport Authority have proposed to ban private cars from entire sections of the city’s downtown core. The capital city of Ireland and prime economic hub ranks tenth globally in terms of traffic congestion, according to a study led by GPS maker TomTom.

Continue reading after the jump.

After planning commission okay, Cleveland is set to install its first pop-up parklet

Plans for Cleveland's first parklet. (Historic Gateway Neighborhood Corp.)

Plans for Cleveland’s first parklet. (Historic Gateway Neighborhood Corp.)

Parklets are coming to Cleveland. The urban planning tool remaking urban streetscapes from Los Angeles to Chicago got a nod from Cleveland’s Planning Commission last week, clearing the way for an outdoor living room to replace a parking space in front of the popular Noodlecat restaurant at 234 Euclid Avenue. Read More

Orphaned segment of Minneapolis skyway destined for art installation, modernist lakeside home

(Dream the Combine)

(Dream the Combine)

In February, a Twin Cities design firm advertised an unusual yard sale of sorts. CityDeskStudio offered to pay $5,000 to whomever could haul away and repurpose an 84-foot long section of Minneapolis‘ famous skyway system that once spanned South 5th Street. The skyway segment is now headed to a private residence in Brainerd, Minnesota—but not before playing host to a contemplative art installation that examines the philosophical dimensions of this defunct piece of pedestrian infrastructure.

COntinue reading after the jump.

Cleveland delays $25 million lakefront bridge for pedestrians and bicyclists

(City of Cleveland)

(City of Cleveland)

An iconic pedestrian bridge planned for downtown Cleveland has been delayed, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer‘s Steven Litt. Originally planned to be ready in time for the Republican national convention in 2016, the $25 million steel bridge would connect the northeast corner of Cleveland’s downtown Mall to an open space on the shores of Lake Erie between the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and the Great Lakes Science Center.

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Minneapolis takes a cue from the Netherlands with city’s first woonerf shared street

A woonerf street in Jimbocho, Tokyo. (Rob Ketcherside via Flickr)

A woonerf street in Jimbocho, Tokyo. (Rob Ketcherside via Flickr)

A residential development in downtown Minneapolis is set to give the city its first woonerf, a road type developed in the Netherlands that integrates vehicle traffic and parking with pedestrians, bicyclists and public amenities. Read More

Twin Cities architects will pay you $5,000 to take this piece of the Minneapolis skyway

This defunct chunk of the minneapolis skyway is currently gathering dust. (citydeskstudio)

This defunct chunk of the minneapolis skyway is currently gathering dust. (citydeskstudio)

Minneapolis architects CityDeskStudio are sitting on an iconic piece of Twin Cities infrastructure. Almost a decade ago they acquired a defunct chunk of the city’s elevated pedestrian network, the Minneapolis Skyway. Years later they’re still wondering what to do with it, which could be to your benefit if you’re in the market for a 140-ton steel box designed by Ed Baker.

You don’t need deep pockets, either. In fact, they’ll pay you $5,000 to haul it away.

Continue reading after the jump.

Video> Shanghai Talks: Toronto city planner James Parakh talks skyscraper design, sustainable urbanism

Last September the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat invited me to serve as the special media correspondent for its Shanghai symposium, entitled “Future Cities: Towards Sustainable Vertical Urbanism.”

I conducted video interviews with dozens of architects, developers, building managers, and others on topics relevant to tall building design and sustainable urbanism. Among the many designers, engineers and other tall building types I interviewed was Toronto City Planner James Parakh.

Watch the video interview after the jump.

Iowa City picks Cecil Balmond for downtown art project

Art, City Terrain, Midwest, News, Urbanism
Thursday, February 12, 2015
.
(Iowa City)

(Genus Landscape Architects / Iowa City)

Iowa City this week picked engineer-turned-artist Cecil Balmond to anchor an overhaul of the city’s downtown pedestrian plaza. His sculpture will be the focal point of Iowa City’s Black Hawk Mini Park Art Project, the first phase of an $11 million streetscape redevelopment project that officials hope to start next year. Read More

Proponents Lose Battle to Build Park Across Los Angeles River

The old Figueroa-Riverside bridge will be demolished as a new vehicular bridge is built upstream. (waltarrrrr / Flickr)

The old Figueroa-Riverside bridge will be demolished as a new vehicular bridge is built upstream. (waltarrrrr / Flickr)

A proposal to turn the old Riverside-Figueroa Bridge into a High Line–style park appears to be dead after a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge declined to issue a temporary restraining order to demolition crews. Introduced by RAC Design Build and EnrichLA last fall, the Figueroa Landbridge would have preserved part of the 1939 bridge for use by pedestrians and cyclists while the replacement span for vehicular traffic was built upstream. Read More

Second “Arterial Slow Zone” Arrives in the Bronx

DOT Commisioner Polly Trottenberg at the announcement. ( Flickr / NYCSTREETS)

DOT Commisioner Polly Trottenberg at the announcement. ( Flickr / NYCSTREETS)

Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero is coming to another dangerous New York City corridor. NYC Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg and city officials announced that the Grand Concourse in the Bronx will become the second of the city’s 25 planned “arterial slow zones.” The speed limit on more than five miles of the busy road will be lowered to 25-miles-per-hour, and traffic signals will be retimed to protect pedestrians. The announcement comes weeks after an eight-mile stretch of Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn and Queens was given the same treatment.

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