Friday, June 29, 2012

Photos of pedestrian streets in Barcelona, Spain (1)

View of La Rambla, Barcelona Typical pedestrian street La Rambla de Barcelona Flower Stalls in La Rambla Barcelona La Rambla Barcelona Bird Stalls at La Rambla Barcelona La Rambla Barcelona Side street Torrijos street La Barceloneta
more street photos:

Photos of pedestrian streets in Tokyo, Japan

Pedestrian streets in inner Copenhagen city, Denmark

Photos of public spaces and pedestrian streets in Oslo, Norway

The streets of central city of Aachen, Germany

Potos of pedestrian spaces in downtown Madrid, Spain (1)

Public Transport Research Challenges in India

by Geetam Tiwari

Urban transport and urbanization are closely interlinked. Therefore planning for urban transport starts at understanding the urbanization process. India is only 30% urbanized at present, however, is expected to double its urban population in next twenty years. An important characteristic of Indian urbanization has been growth of informal sector as an integral part of urban system. If public transport has to become competitive as a choice mode, it must be designed as a system not merely introducing bigger vehicles(buses) or rail technology. The system components include infrastructure design, traffic operational strategies, vehicle design, institutional structure and financial model designed to meet the specific requirement of public transport uses and operators. Our TRIPPP colleagues have been working on various aspects of public transport systems. In this paper a summary of research work in the area of planning and policy for public transport system is presented.


more about urban India:


Master of Architecture, Urban Design, University of Delhi, India

Bike sharing around the world

Q&A with Nirmal Kumar: Transforming Paratransit in India

Urbanization, Urban India and Metropolitan Cities in India.

Urban transport crisis in India


Design Lessons From India's Poorest Neighborhoods


via United Nations Human Settlements Programme

Planning Sustainable Cities: Global Report on Human Settlements 2009 assesses the effectiveness of urban planning as a tool for dealing with the unprecedented challenges facing 21st-century cities and for enhancing sustainable urbanization.
There is now a realization that, in many parts of the world, urban planning systems have changed very little and are often contributors to urban problems rather than functioning as tools for human and environmental improvement. Against this background, the Global Report’s central argument is that, in most parts of the world, current approaches to planning must change and that a new role for urban planning in sustainable urban development has to be found. The Global Report argues that future urban planning must take place within an understanding of the factors shaping 21st-century cities, including:
• the environmental challenges of climate change and cities’ excessive dependence on fossil fuel-powered cars;
• the demographic challenges of rapid urbanization, rapid growth of small- and medium-sized towns and an expanding youth population in developing nations, and, in developed nations, the challenges of shrinking cities, ageing and the increasing multicultural composition of cities;
• the economic challenges of uncertain future growth and fundamental doubts about market-led approaches that the current global financial crisis have engendered, as well as increasing informality in urban activities;
• increasing socio-spatial challenges, especially social and spatial inequalities, urban sprawl and unplanned periurbanization; and
• the challenges and opportunities of increasing democratization of decision-making as well as increasing awareness of social and economic rights among ordinary people.
An important conclusion of the Global Report is that, even though urban planning has changed relatively little in most countries since its emergence about 100 years ago, a number of countries have adopted some innovative approaches in recent decades. These include strategic spatial planning, use of spatial planning to integrate public-sector functions, new land regularization and management approaches, participatory processes and partnerships at the neighbourhood level, and planning for new and more sustainable spatial forms such as compact cities and new urbanism. However, in many developing countries, older forms of master planning have persisted. Here, the most obvious problem with this approach is that it has failed to accommodate the ways of life of the majority of inhabitants in rapidly growing and largely poor and informal cities, and has often directly contributed to social and spatial marginalization.
There are a number of key messages emerging from the Global Report, all of them contributing towards finding a new role for urban planning in sustainable urban development. One important message is that governments should increasingly take on a more central role in cities and towns in order to lead development initiatives and ensure that basic needs are met. This, to a large extent, is a result of the current global economic crisis, which has exposed the limits of the private sector – in terms of its resilience and future growth as well as the ability of the ‘market’ to solve most urban problems. It is clear that urban planning has an important role to play in assisting governments to meet the urban challenges of the 21st century.
As the world becomes numerically more urban, it is important that governments accept urbanization as a positive phenomenon and an effective means for improving access to services, as well as economic and social opportunities. If urban planning is to play a more effective role as a consequence of this policy orientation, countries need to develop overall national urban strategies.
With respect to the reconfiguration of planning systems, the Global Report’s message is that careful attention
should be given to identifying opportunities that can be built on, as well as factors that could lead to the subversion and corruption of planning institutions and processes. In particular, urban planning needs to be institutionally located in a way that allows it to play a role in creating urban investment and livelihood opportunities through responsive and collaborative processes as well as coordination of the spatial dimensions of public-sector policies and investment.

more about urban sustainablity:

Transportation and Sustainability Best Practices Background

Towards a Sustainable Urban Form in Chiang Mai

Sustainable human settlements development in Latin America and the Caribbean

Can Ontario deliver the continent's best land-use plan?


Sustainable Urban Forms Their Typologies, Models, and Concepts

Environmental Justice and the Sustainable City

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Skyline photos of Portland, Oregon (3)

Portland Silhouette skyline dusk 2 Portland Night Time 2 Spooky Portland 1 IMG_3956.JPG Mini Skyline skyline Portland Portland, Oregon Skyline Portland Portland downtown portland skyline, seen from my bike
more skyline photos:

Skyline photos of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (2)

Skyline photos of Buenos Aires, Argentina (2)

Skyline photos of Sydney, Australia (3)

Skyline photos of Sacramento, California

Skyline photos of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1)

Skyline photos of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (1)

Skyline photos of Prague, Czech Republic (1)

Skyline photos of Montreal 1

Skyline photos of Manchester 1

Skyline photos of Düsseldorf, Germany


by Ayşin SEV and Aydan ÖZGEN

High-rise office buildings, which are developed as a response to population growth, rapid urbanization and economic cycles, are indispensable for a metropolitan city development. In 1930, Clark and Kingston (cited in Klaber, 1930) made the following observations The skyscraper: A study in the economic height of modern office buildings: “Given the high land values in central business sections of our leading cities, the skyscraper is not only the most efficient, but the only economic utilization of certain strategic plots. An exhaustive investigation… has conclusively demonstrated that the factors making for diminishing returns in the intensive development of such plots are more than offset by the factors making for increasing returns…” (Klaber, 1930).
This statement holds true for today; however, the relationship between cost and benefit is more complex in today’s global marketplace. The political ideology of the city plays an important role in the globalization process (Newman and Tornely, 2005; Abu-Ghazalah, 2007). The current trend for constructing office buildings is to build higher and higher, and developers tend to compete with one another on heights. Tenants also appreciate a landmark address and politicians are conscious of the symbolic role of high-rise buildings. The international and high technology styles have accompanied nearly all new tall buildings and became landmark of our cities (McNeill and Tewdwr-Jones, 2003). Nonetheless high-rise office buildings are more expensive to construct per square meter, they produce less usable space and their operation costs are more expensive than conventional office buildings. The space efficiency, as well as the shape and geometry of the high-rise building need to satisfy the value and cost of the development equation. Space efficiency, which is determined by the size of the floor slab, dimension of the structural elements and rationalized core, goes along with the financial benefit.
By the end of 1990s, at more than 30 stories, net to gross floor area ratios of 70-75% were common in office buildings (Table 2) (Davis Langdon and Everest, 1997). However, Yeang (1995) stated in his book “The Skyscraper: Bioclimatically Considered” that net-to-gross floor area should not be less than 75%, while 80% to 85% is considered appropriate. Wherever the tall building is being constructed, achieving suitable space efficiency is not easy, since it is adversely affected by height as core and structural elements expand to satisfy the requirements of vertical circulation and resistance to lateral loads. Space efficiency can be increased by the lease span, which is defined as the distance between the core and exterior wall.
Factors affecting the design of high-rise buildings vary from country to country, such as local climate, zoning regulations, cultural conditions, technological opportunities, and etc. For instance, in Germany, where building codes dictate shallow floor slabs of 8.0 m, efficiencies of 60-70% are common, whereas London’s Canary Wharf Tower, can achieve a netto-gross ratio in excess of 80% with floor slabs of 2500 m2, and 11.0 m lease span. In this respect, when the high-rise office buildings of Turkey are investigated, conceivable space efficiency is not achieved when compared with the examples from the world. As Watts and et al. (2007) stated in their article that “fat is happy”, the highest office buildings of Turkey are happy, however, they are not so successful in respect to space efficiency. Therefore this research tends to compare and reveal the similarities and differences between the tallest office buildings at abroad and in Turkey in terms of space efficiency.
Canary Wharf Tower

Canary Wharf Tower, by Destinys Agent

more about architecture:

Will Chicago finally get a new supertall skyscraper?

The Heights: Anatomy of a Skyscraper (Book Review)

The Heights: The Anatomy of a Skyscraper

Montjuic Communications Tower built for the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona

The Professional Practice Of Landscape Architecture: A Complete Guide To Starting And Running Your Own Firm

For the Record: The First Women in Canadian Architecture

Performance Architecture: The Art And Science Of Improving Organizations

Ebook: Service-oriented architecture: A planning and implementation guide for business and technology

The Skyscraper, Green Design, & the LEED Green Building Rating System: The Creation of Uniform Sustainable Standards for the 2 1 st Century or the Perpetuation of an Architectural Fiction?

The Skyscraper, Green Design, & the LEED Green Building Rating System: The Creation of Uniform Sustainable Standards for the 2 1 st Century or the Perpetuation of an Architectural Fiction?

by Stephen T. Del Percio

On March 28, 2000, one hundred commercial office buildings throughout the United States received an Energy Star Label, "the federal government's highest symbol of excellence for energy efficiency and environmental conservation.To qualify for Star status, which certifies buildings in the top quarter of comparable buildings in terms of energy efficiency, a building must meet certain energy performance criteria; it must also satisfy minimum standards for healthy indoor air quality. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the United States Department of Energy (USDOE) created the designation in 1998 "as an incentive for the [real estate] industry to reduce demand for electrical energy use and, thereby, help lower greenhouse gas emissions.
Four Times Square, a forty-eight story post modem office tower in the heart of Manhattan's Times Square, was one of the recipients of an Energy Star Label. The Durst Organization, its developer, chose a site that at the time seemed highly incongruous to the stringent, globally conscious, environmental construction standards it required of the entire project team. Completed in 1998, the building was America's first environment-friendly, large-scale green construction project, and it quickly became an important focal point of the ongoing controversy over the purported benefits of sustainable design. Notably, the tower's success as America's first green high-rise indirectly led to the creation of the United States Green Building Council's (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System for high performance buildings.8 The critical acclaim that the building's innovative sustainable design concepts received, in both architectural and academic circles, encouraged developers across the street at Three Times Square to adopt similar green standards for their new high-rise office building. Boston Properties, the developer of the final two office towers in the Times Square redevelopment scheme, chose not to incorporate green elements into either of its structures despite the acclaim Four Times Square had received.
The overwhelming lack of uniform green design elements in America's most important modem high-rise buildings, in spite of substantial guidance for developers and contractors provided through programs like LEED," has led some to suggest that the purported economic and environmental benefits of such construction are illusory. This suggestion is erroneous. The necessity for green design in responsible twenty-first century architecture becomes frighteningly clear upon an examination of the impact high-rise construction has on the natural environment; the construction, maintenance, and operation of residential and commercial buildings in the United States produces numerous negative externalities which wreak havoc on the natural ecosystems in which those structures are erected. Moreover, many universally accepted global environmental problems have been directly or indirectly associated with the
built environment. Buildings occupy significant amounts of land, modify natural hydrologic cycles, contribute to global climate change, affect biodiversity, contribute to soil erosion, have major impacts on water and air quality, and are sources of major quantities of solid waste. It follows that promoting green buildings is essential to the ecological future of both our country and our planet.

Times Square

more about architecture:

River gyms and stackable cars: The future for sustainable design

Architecture: Domes Throughout History- Domes of the Past, Present and Future

Book review: Designing for Civil Defense in the Cold War

A New Architectural Standard for Sustainable-Minded Companies

The Subversive High Rise Designs of Rem Koolhaas and OMA

CN TOWER A Monument to Canadian Architecture

Will Chicago finally get a new supertall skyscraper?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The cost of sprawl: an Italian case study Laura Fregolent, Stefania Tonin

by Laura Fregolent and Stefania Tonin

understanding the development of a “metropolitan sprawled system”. The portion of Veneto Region that is part of our case study covers about 3700 square km, for a total of 145 municipalities. The main aim of our paper is to find out if low-density development patterns are more expensive and if local public spending is influenced by different urban forms expansions. We measure sprawl with some indicators suggested by the literature such as urban density, population density and the territorial fragmentation.
Data for the economic analysis come from local balance sheets of 145 municipalities for the year 2007. In particular, we collect the costs of the main public services sustained by the municipalities such as public transport, road and street maintenance, waste management, and water and sewer services. Adopting regression analysis, we estimate the impact of urban sprawl on different current expenditures, controlling for other variables such as local taxes paid by citizens, central government aids, territory characteristics, and more others.
We find that low density development patterns are in general more expensive, in particular when municipalities have to provide education services, solid waste collection and other environmental and urban management services.
Our analysis wants to highlight the threats posed by sprawl in terms of urban sustainable development patterns and to put in evidence the costs of an unbalanced growth in order to let public government to re-orient their policies versus the containment of the urban growth process.

more about urban sprawl:


Is sprawl undermining food security?

Urban shrinkage in Leipzig and Halle, the Leipzig-Halle urban region, Germany

Employment Decentralization as Urban Sprawl Character in 1950-80

The impacts of major transportation infrastructure on the form and function of the urban space: the case of the "Athens urban freeway"

Monday, June 25, 2012

Transportation and Sustainability Best Practices Background

Prepared by CH2M HILL and Good Company for the Center for Environmental Excellence by AASHTO
Transportation and Sustainability Peer Exchange May 27-29, 2009, Gallaudet University Kellogg Center

The University of Plymouth Centre for Sustainable Transport provides a widely accepted definition of a sustainable transportation system that states: A sustainable transportation system is one that:
• allows the basic access needs of individuals and societies to be met safely and in a manner consistent with human and ecosystem health, and with equity within and between generations;
• is affordable, operates efficiently, offers choice of transport mode, and supports a vibrant economy;
• limits emissions and waste within the planet’s ability to absorb them, minimizes consumption of non-renewable resources to the sustainable yield level, reuses and recycles its components, and minimizes the use of land and the production of noise. Such sustainability improvements around transportation may not be achieved quickly. However, using a Triple Bottom Line framework to guide planning, policy decisions, and implementation can provide steps toward developing a sustainable outcome. When thinking about delivering transportation solutions and infrastructure in a more sustainable manner, agencies and companies are considering each of the bottom line elements:
• Economy — Support economic vitality while developing infrastructure in a cost-efficient manner. Costs of infrastructure must be within a society’s ability and willingness to pay. User costs, including private costs, need to be within the ability of people and households to pay for success.

Highway Insomnia
• Social — Meet social needs by making transportation accessible, safe, and secure; include provision of mobility choices for all people (including people with economic disadvantages); and develop infrastructure that is an asset to communities.
• Environment — Create solutions that are compatible with - and that can be an enhancement to - the natural environment, reduce emissions and pollution from the transportation system, and reduce the material resources required to support transportation.

more about sustainable transportation:

Ten Principles for Successful Development Around Transit

Improving the Pedestrian Environment Through Innovative Transportation Design

Promoting Sustainable Transport in Latin America through Mass Transit Technologies


The new district of Freiburg-Rieselfeld: a case study of successful, sustainable urban development

Research on Factors Relating to Density and Climate Change

The Causal Influence of Neighborhood Design on Physical Activity Within the Neighborhood: Evidence from Northern CaHfornia

Ten Principles for Successful Development Around Transit

by Robert Dunphy, Deborah Myerson, and Michael Pawlukiewicz

In the early years of the 20th century, transit dominated travel in cities—and, by necessity, development was clustered near transit. In fact, transit and land use were so closely connected that private transit operators often developed real estate and used the profits to subsidize transit operations. By the close of the 20th century, however, the automobile had become the dominant means of travel in urban centers, cities with extensive transit networks were in decline, and proximity to transit was most often an afterthought in development. Once the norm in urban settings, development around transit became the exception. And, as accessibility for automobiles became the focus of development, with no regard for the location of transit, the basic principles for developing around transit fell into disuse, and were eventually lost.
Recently, however, new trends have emerged that favor cities, transit, and development around transit. A number of major cities with extensive transit networks—including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, and Seattle—are enjoying increases in overall population and even greater gains in downtown areas, where transit is most accessible. It is even possible in some cities to get by without a car on most days.
Chicago, one of the nation’s leading transit cities, has seen a reversal of its long-term population decline: between 1990 and 2000, the city experienced a 4 percent overall gain in population, and the downtown population jumped by 51 percent. Other older cities with rich transit traditions, such as Baltimore, Cleveland, and Philadelphia, gained population downtown, the center of their transit systems, while continuing to lose population overall. Older and newer suburbs—Palatine, outside Chicago; Richardson, outside Dallas; and Englewood, outside Denver—have refocused their attention on developing, or redeveloping, around new or mature transit stations.
What does it take to make such developments work? The principles presented here can serve as reminders for communities, designers, and developers who may have forgotten them. For those in newer, automobile-oriented communities, who have experienced nothing else, these principles can serve as a checklist for the development of pedestrian-scale communities that will be suitable for public transportation, either now or in the future. The principles will also be useful for transit agencies and others engaged in new transit projects, to ensure that nearby development will generate sufficient numbers of riders to support transit, and that transit will indeed enhance the community.

more about pedestrianization:

Reliable and valid NEWS for Chinese seniors: measuring perceived neighborhood attributes related to walking

Residents’ perceptions of walkability attributes in objectively different neighbourhoods: a pilot study

De-spatialized Space as Neoliberal Utopia: Gentrified İstiklal Street and Commercialized Urban Spaces

Towards a walkable city: the planning practice of Shenzhen, China

Improving the Pedestrian Environment Through Innovative Transportation Design

Improving the Pedestrian Environment Through Innovative Transportation Design

Institute of Transportation Engineers

The U.S. Surgeon General recommends that we participate in 30 minutes of activity most days of the week. Walking might seem like a suitable approach to attaining this goal, but it can also be dangerous when practiced in the presence of automobiles. Motor vehicle collisions with pedestrians accounted for 4,808 deaths in 2002. The number of reported injuries involving pedestrians that year was much higher, at 71,000.
Pedestrian fatalities represent just over 11 percent of all traffic fatalities, yet walking trips account for only about 6 percent of all trips in the United States. Despite these statistics, walking remains a healthful, inherently safe activity for tens of millions of people every year. Recent numbers from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics reveal that three-quarters of U.S. adults (152 million) walked, ran, or jogged for more than 10 minutes within the past 30 days.
Clearly there is a need for transportation facilities that can safely accommodate the needs of pedestrians and bicyclists of all ages and abilities. Communities have been responding to this need with driver and pedestrian education campaigns,safety programs for schoolchildren, traffic calming measures, safer crosswalks for all user groups including the handicapped, improved surfaces and lighting and advertising campaigns to raise awareness of pedestrian issues.
The following case studies highlight various education and safety programs and facility improvements that some communities have implemented:
-In Boulder, CO, city officials analyzed and tested ways to improve vehicular traffic control compliance at crosswalks. The results indicate that drivers are now paying more attention.
-In Phoenix, AZ, hundreds of schools are now safer places for schoolchildren to walk because of its crosswalk safety program.
-In Oregon, the city of Portland took safety one step further with its accessible pedestrian signal (APS) program.
-In Seattle, Councilmember Richard Conlin initiated a citywide pedestrian awareness program.
-“Slow down! Chill out! Drive well!” The San Francisco Department of Public Health campaigned for increased pedestrian awareness and reports improved driver behavior.

shared bicycle / pedestrian sidewalk in use

shared bicycle / pedestrian sidewalk in use, Portland, by Mark Stosberg

more about pedestrianization:

Walking and cycling for sustainable mobility in Singapore

Perceptions of Accessibility to Neighborhood Retail and Other Public Services

Bridges to Utopia? A Sustainable Urban District in Freiburg, Germany


Evaluating integration between public transportation and pedestrian-oriented urban spaces in two main metro stations of Tehran

Mixing Cars, Cyclists & Pedestrians on Exhibition Road – London’s Take on Shared Space