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Archive for February, 2012

The BMW Guggenheim Lab blog features an interview with Michael Van Valkenburgh, principal of MVVA. Van Valkenburgh speaks of the emotional qualities of designed urban spaces and the approach that his firm uses to heighten the urban experience. The design of the Brooklyn Bridge Park is highlighted.

 

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Call it what you will – tactical urbanism, DIY urbanism, etc. – many urban planners and designers are thinking creatively about how improvements to the city can be made in an era of tight budgets. The video below showcases a project in Syracuse that could be considered in this vein. The project, called A Love Letter to Syracuse, is a public art project sited in a strategically important location in the city. My personal experience of the project matches the artists’ and community organizers’ intentions, I think. It makes me happy to pass through this area and generally feel good about the city. Residents of aging cities need more of this! It is also a good example of a public-private partnership between the private university, SU, and the local government.

The video was posted on YouTube a little over a year ago, but it deserves another look and wider circulation. I have to say, I’m growing more and more interested in the use of paint as an inexpensive tool for neighborhood improvement.

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Place names on USGS topographic quadrangles offer insights into local history, but I rarely see anyone making use of the information contained in the names. This map is an exception. I missed this last fall when it apparently made the blog rounds, but here it is in case you missed it too.

US Stream Names Map by D. Watkins

Read more about this map on Derek Watkins blog.

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