All in the name of citizen-led urban redevelopment. OK, a bit breathless and slightly high pitched too. But good nevertheless. I love it when people send me good links (thanks Andy!). Follow this one to see a TED X presentation by Jason Roberts of the Better Block project – rapid urban revitalization.
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Posted in Cities, Landscape Urbanism, tagged cities, Near West Side Initiative, public art, revitalization, Rust Belt, Syracuse, Syracuse University, tactical urbanism, urban design on February 2, 2012|
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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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Posted in Design Practice, Landscape Urbanism, Shoulders of Giants, tagged cities, community activism, community gardens, innovative planning, landscape architecture, pop-up urbanism, tactical urbanism, urban design on January 13, 2012|
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On the planning academic listserv, Planet, a recent string of posts debated the emerging interest in tactical urbanism (also known by several other names including pop-up urbanism and insurgent urbanism). Ellen Shoshkes from Portland State University pointed out that the conceptual forerunners of activist urban design include people like Karl Linn, a landscape architect who worked with communities in the San Francisco Bay area since the early 1960s. Ellen is right to suggest that we all can benefit by knowing more of this history. Karl Linn died at the age of 81 in 2005, but a website lives on in his name at karllinn.org.
A brief description of Karl Linn’s life is found in a SFGate article that announced his death. An excerpt is provided below. A more thorough description of Karl’s long and generous career is found here.
As an 11-year-old Jewish boy in Germany during the rise of the Nazis, Karl Linn knew about persecution when he fled with his family to Palestine.
The conflict he saw in both places launched him on a lifelong quest for social justice and harmony, notably through landscape architecture and community gardens, three of which he established in his adopted city of Berkeley.
“My experience with racism motivated me to devote my life to contribute to the emergence of a humane society,” he said in a 2003 documentary film that focused on him and one of his community gardens. “That’s the way I’ve attempted to live my daily life.”
Very fitting to be thinking of Karl Linn on the weekend of the Martin Luther King holiday.
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