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City of Oakland expands Parklet Pilot Program. 
"There will be up to fifteen (15) parklets selected in this pilot program extension.  As much as possible, the selected parklets will be distributed throughout the City."
info meeting: 14.10.14.applications due: 17.11.14.more info.
via oaklandlocal, 01.10.14.
» Uptown Oakland Named One Of The Best Neighborhoods in America

THE APA (american planning association) PUT OAKLAND ON ITS TOP TEN HOODS LIST!

As part of its “Great Places in America” program, the association has selected the ten best neighborhoods in the country that “add value to communities and foster economic growth and jobs.” Uptown — which helped Oakland earn a spot on another high-profile ranking — is the only California neighborhood to make the cut on the association’s list, making Oakland one of only two West Coast cities to be featured in the top ten. 

The association defines Uptown as the area bounded by Grand Avenue, 14th Street, Telegraph Avenue, and the I-980 freeway: 

via ebx, 01.10.14.
read more: APA’s Great Places in America: Neighborhoods—Uptown.

i wouldn’t include the freeway in uptown’s borders…

it’s still really weird to think of Uptown as Uptown, though… as someone who sort of remembers that this area didn’t used to have much.. Plus since i still think of the 19th st BART station as being downtown, going a block down to Telegraph Ave from Broadway and being in “Uptown” instead of “downtown” is strange.

the whole area west of San Pablo Ave i wouldn’t call Uptown, either..

anyway, thanks, Jerry Brown!

» The 4 Transportation Systems You'll Meet in the Future

"Anthony Townsend and the NYU Rudin Center for Transportation Policy & Management have released Re-Programming Mobility—a report intended to provoke city officials, urban planners, and the general public into participating in the future of transportation, rather than reacting to it. Otherwise, he says, decisions made in board rooms today will impact the civic arena for decades to come.

Los Angeles, 2030

Driverless cars have arrived in the Los Angeles of 2030, but they don’t play nicely together. L.A. roads carry a mix of tiny Google pods, bigger luxury models, and low-cost Chinese knock-offs—each with varying degrees of automation and poor overall connectivity. The result is enormous congestion. (Adding to the problem, driverless cars now circle in traffic to avoid paying for parking, increasing vehicle-miles traveled by 30 percent.) Youth interest in transit has waned, because digital disengagement is just as easy in a driverless car as it was on a train. From the report:

No one had ever considered the risks of incomplete automation, and now planners everywhere are trying to figure out ways to accelerate the adoption of these technologies and avoid getting stuck in transition like LA.

Boston, 2032

In this scenario, Boston becomes a dense city to the extreme degree. Freed of possessions by the sharing economy, young people flock to micro-apartments just 135 to 160 square feet in size. The possessions they do own exist in local warehouses, with a system of driverless valets to pick up or drop off items on demand—a sort of “goods cloud.” Autonomous bikes thrive, reducing the need for car-ownership and creating streets friendly to pedestrians by day. At night, however, driverless urban freight vehicles take over the roads to replenish and relocate the shared stream of goods. 

Townsend says no scenario is intended to be a favorite or ideal, and expects the “real outcome” to be a mixture of each. “Really, the purpose of the scenarios is to try to get people to understand the messiness of the future,” he says. “There’s not a single technology, or a single decision, or a single economic force that’s going to shape the outcome. It’s actually the interplay of lots of different forces, including the policy and planning choices we make. That’s what we’re trying to call people’s attention to.”“

read more: citylab, 29.09.14.

» Repacking Portlandia

America’s most urban planning-obsessed city is about to get a lot more urban.

Residents of Division Street’s “Breakfast House”, protesting an eviction notice. via The Oregonian, 16.05.14.

"A look through the real estate stories in local newspapers, business journals and the Portland Monthly makes this much clear: there’s a construction boom going on in the city, and for the first time in a generation, it’s producing buildings that are truly, enthusiastically, sometimes ill-advisedly new. As Randy Gragg points out in that article series above, the boom is not unprecedented in size; the number of building permits issued in the city in 2013 is still well below the peak of the hot-burning early 2000s.

But what’s being permitted this time is different. Instead of more two-story homes with lawns, punctuated by the occasional condo, now we seem to be making almost nothing but urban buildings. City buildings. Buildings for people who walk fast and ride the streetcar and take taxis, and stay up late and order takeout…

"Portland is a city built on a dense grid of streets, with abundant sidewalks and closely spaced commercial districts. Its public transit system far outstrips that of any US city of comparable size. The growing preference for localism prompts many residents to look down the street for their needs, rather down the highway. These are the underpinnings of a dynamic, multi-modal city, and they’re ideal for supporting the kind of density depicted in the latest round of renderings."

read more: medium @carlalviani, 26.09.14.

local urbanism - parisian style



[Parisian fishmonger]

Charles Landry's The Creative City: A Toolkit for Urban Innovators includes this intriguing example of city policy intended to keep small retail in neighborhoods and shift requirements for new buildings from parking spaces to storage for bicycles and baby strollers. Emphases added: 

Paris approved a Local Urbanism Plan in 2005 which seeks to encourage small shops and key workers to stay in the city. It seeks to sustain the economic, social and cultural ecology of Paris, not in a nostalgic way but to strengthen locality and diversity. Central Paris, with just over 2 million residents, is far livelier because it has a dense and varied network of shops and people. It wants to sustain the social balance that makes Paris what it is and not have a place with the rich on one side and the poor on the other.

It seeks to achieve this goal by influencing the market through regulation and incentives. To nurture la mixité sociale, a requirement for developers is to set aside 25 per cent of any project spanning more than 1000mfor social housing apartments in districts where there is little at present. The majority of these will be reserved for key workers, such as teachers, nurses, council employees and shop- keepers, who are rapidly being driven out of a city where many residents rent their homes, endangering the social fabric.

To enhance a vibrant local retail sector on the streets of Paris and to sustain its distinctive food culture, half the 71,000 shops in Paris have restrictions placed on them to prevent inappropriate change of use when the shopkeeper either sells up or retires. This means that a small food shop would have to remain a food shop, and it would prevent, for example, a string of mobile phone chain shops replacing butchers, bakers or greengrocers. The move follows studies showing that the number of delicatessens has fallen by 42.8 per cent in the past decade, with butchers falling by 27.2 per cent, fishmongers by 26 per cent and bakers by 16.2 per cent. At the same time, the number of mobile telephone shops has risen by 350 per cent, fast-food restaurants by 310 per cent and gymnasiums by 190 per cent. Other measures in the plan include a requirement for developers to set aside 2 per cent of any new building for residents’ bicycles and pushchairs. On the other hand it will reduce the number of parking spaces they are required to create. (p.134 Landry)



Escalator etiquette. Concept by Yoni Alter.

Everyone remember this! It’s the simple way to make infrastructure more effective. 
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