Islands of LA/Green Streets

Can't remember if I heard about this and just haven't posted, but you should know about it too. Community-based art, turning neglected spaces (meant to control cars) into pieces of art - Islands of LA. You can see a slideshow of what they're doing here.

There was also a very good and short Streetsblog piece about Green Streets in NYC, tying it into sustainability.


Everyone calls her Friend

With this profile, now everyone will be saying that they've known Jen Bekman. Hurray Jen, I couldn't be more pleased for you! (I'm also a satisfied customer of 20x200, a habit I urge everyone to indulge in.)


NYC Neighborhood Achievement Awards

via flickr

Yet another competition celebrating all the neighborhood-based achievements in the city. So what if there is no cash prize, there are plenty of entrepreneurs out there doing good who would benefit from a big boost of publicity. Launched by the Department of Small Businesses. Go here for more details.


"We Love You, Public Space!"

Image from flickr

I love groups like the Vancouver Public Space Network. Hyper-local interventions resonate deeply, especially when there is so much mass-anything. (via NowPublic)


Capturing place

Well, can you?

An intriguing proposition indeed.


Happy New Year!

It's the Year of the Rat, yes, it's true, a perfect year for NYC. While my parents have a month-long celebration oversees, I am alloted one evening. These images are from the best party I've attended so far this year at the Hester Street Collaborative New Year's Celebration.

Waiting to dance

Lanterns the kids did with stamps of rats on them. You can catch more at the Sara D. Roosevelt Park in the LES through Feb 15.

Staircase at office...love the way it's in the middle of the floorplate and how transparent it is. Forces people to interact...

Alive from Chicago

I'm not in Chicago, but I found this picture I took while I was there scoping out neighborhoods and attending last year's GreenBuild.

Isn't this mailbox a great idea? This particular street in the Lincoln Park area felt very well-tended for, very alive and balanced. I especially loved the groomed alleyways that snaked behind the houses (unfortunately did not think to pull out my camera).

Also, Look how much space is given to the pedestrian space, instead of to the road The tree pits are spaced far apart along the walkway too, so there's a feeling of space and lush growth.


Age-friendly neighborhoods

montague street
Originally uploaded by James Andrachuk
When I moved to Brooklyn Heights, I didn't expect to stay long in this particular spot. It's a small studio, and currently needs to provide for a couple with an energetic dog. But as I have gotten to know the neighborhood, I realized that it would be a dream spot in which to grow old. It's in an elevator building across the street from the library, two blocks from the closest subway station, one block from two bus lines, two blocks from a drugstore, two blocks from a grocery store, and two blocks from a dry-cleaner, among other amenities. The Green market is open three blocks away every Saturday and it is one block from a park. There isn't ample seating in the neighborhood, but there are wide sidewalks that are well-maintained. (Through another lens, this place would be great for kids too. But I digress...)

I realized just how fabulously lucky I was - sure, I benefit from all of these amenities now, but I was more struck by how much I would benefit if I lost my mobility, had a significantly reduced income, and am perhaps far away from family. Anyway, all of this to say, I was pleased to find this new initiative from the City Council and the New York Academy of Medicine called Age-Friendly New York City. We easily take for granted our ability to cross the street for example, and don't often stop to think that others might experience difficulty.


Thursday, Thursday, Thursday

I highly recommend checking out the image source.

Where are you going to be?

Join the Hester Street Collaborative in celebrating the Year of the Rat.
5:30 pm design activities for children in the workshop
7 pm cocktail and hors d'oeuvres
113 Hester Street

Still wondering about green architecture? Find the answer at the Goethe Institute, where it will launch a year-long inquiry, "What is Green Architecture?", curated by MoMA's Andres Lepik. The series will be kicked off with a talk by the German architect J├╝rgen Mayer H.
7:00pm, Goethe-Institut New York
1014 Fifth Avenue@83rd Street

Finally, it's the all-star round: PPS hosts a Social with special guests Transportation Alternatives and The Open Planning Project. C'mon people, this is the crowd behind Streetsblog, NYC Streets Renaissance, all things streets. It's kind of like a sub-gathering of TED, but it's tangible, about New York, and you're invited.
The Edge Bar, 95 E. 3rd St between 1st and 2nd Ave