Amanda Burden: Public spaces have power

When we think of cities, we think of buildings and skyscrapers and stray cats. For Amanda Burden, who spent 12 years as New York City’s director of urban planning, they’re primarily about people. They’re about where people go and where they meet — that’s the core of how cities work. And for the people, even more important than the buildings are the public spaces in between them. Those, to Burden, are what makes the cities come alive.

The central question she asks is, “What makes a public space work? What is it about unsuccessful places that keeps people away?” Burden, it turns out, was trained as an animal behaviorist, but she uses those skills to study how people interact with their spaces.

TedBlog

 

As New York’s chief city planner under the Bloomberg administration, Amanda Burden led revitalization of some of the city’s most familiar features — from the High Line to the Brooklyn waterfront (Ted). She exposes several different models of public open spaces in New York City, including the High Line, in order to illustrate which one works and which one does not, how people experience outdoor activities in those spaces, underlining that public spaces indeed have power.

 

Source: www.communicatieonline.nl

9 Urban Apps That Make Cities More Sustainable and Fun

Wonder how to induce new urban cultures within our urban environment towards a more sustainable, livable, and fun city? Synchronizing with the rise of mobile phone and apps technologies, New Cities Foundation together with its media partner Guardian City, introducing a yearly worldwide competition AppMyCity, which rewards new concepts of mobile applications or urban apps that improve the urban experience, connect people, and… Read more →

“Cities are an immense laboratory of trial and error, failure and success, in city building and city design. This is the laboratory in which city planning should have been learning and forming and testing its theories. Instead the practitioners and teachers of this discipline have ignored the study of success and failure in real life, have been incurious about the reasons for unexpected success, and are guided instead by principles derived from the behavior and appearance of towns, suburbs, tuberculosis sanatoria, fairs and imaginary dream cities – from anything but the cities themselves.” Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities (1961).

Paul Pholeros: How to reduce poverty? Fix homes

 

In 1985, architect Paul Pholeros was challenged by the director of an Aboriginal-controlled health service to “stop people getting sick” in a small indigenous community in south Australia. The key insights: think beyond medicine and fix the local environment. In this sparky, interactive talk, Pholeros describes projects undertaken by Healthabitat, the organization he now runs to help reduce poverty—through practical design fixes—in Australia and beyond.

Teddy Cruz: How architectural innovations migrate across borders

 

As the world’s cities undergo explosive growth, inequality is intensifying. Wealthy neighborhoods and impoverished slums grow side by side, the gap between them widening. In this eye-opening talk, architect Teddy Cruz asks us to rethink urban development from the bottom up. Sharing lessons from the slums of Tijuana, Cruz explores the creative intelligence of the city’s residents and offers a fresh perspective on what we can learn from places of scarcity.

Linda Hill: How to manage for collective creativity

 

What’s the secret to unlocking the creativity hidden inside your daily work, and giving every great idea a chance? Harvard professor Linda Hill, co-author of “Collective Genius,” has studied some of the world’s most creative companies to come up with a set of tools and tactics to keep great ideas flowing — from everyone in the company, not just the designated “creatives.”

Facets of Alster Lake, Hamburg

 

The Alster is a right tributary of the Elbe in Northern Germany. It has its source near Henstedt-Ulzburg, Schleswig-Holstein, flows somewhat southwards through much of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg and joins the Elbe in central Hamburg. In total, the Alster is 56 km (35 mi) long and has an incline from 31 m to 4 m above sea level. Its drainage basin is about 587 km(227 sq mi), being regarded to most beautiful and widest scenery of nature in Hamburg.

The Alster Lake is Hamburg’s most important waterscape and landscape feature, which is divided into two parts, Inner Alster (Binnenalster) and Outer Alster (Außenalster). While the Elbe river is a tidal navigation of international significance and prone to flooding, Alster is a non-tidal, slow-flowing and in some places, seemingly untouched idyll of nature, in other places tamed and landscaped urban space. In the city center, the river forms two lakes, both prominent features in Hamburg’s cityscape.

 

History

Hamburg was founded at the mouth of the Alster river in the 9th century and used it as a port. The water was used to flood the moats of the fortifications. The Alster has been dammed since 1190, originally to power a watermill. In 1235 a further dam was built for a second mill, which changed the shape of the river to be like a lake. In the 15th and 16th century, an Alster canal was built to connect Hamburg with Lübeck. The canal was about 8 km (5.0 mi) long and built from the Alster to the Beste, a tributary of the Trave river, at Sülfeld. Because of the difficulties in holding water, especially near marsh areas, the 91 km (57 mi) long waterway from Hamburg to Lübeck was navigable from 1529 to 1550 only. Hamburg expanded along the shores of the Alster, and several locks were constructed to make the river navigable. Until the 19th century water transport with barges were used up to the town of Kayhude. The barges—transporting building material, fuel, and foods—were staked or hauled.

 

Ecological and Economic Value

The Alster is the most favorable spot for the Hamburgers to do water sports, sightseeing, recreation, and park-sauntering in the city centre. It is navigatable some 9 km upstream from the mouth. Alster Touristik GmbH (ATG), a subsidiary of the Hamburger Hochbahn, provides public and touristic transport on a fleet of Alster ferries in the city of Hamburg. Along the entire course within Hamburg, rowing or paddle boats are available for rent. In general, the Alster is assessed to be clean, even though the section below the lock at Rathausschleuse and closer to the port may have the occasional floating debris. Hamburg’s Alster and its lakes and canals are famous for its white swans, cared for out of public funds since the 16th century.

 

Text source: Wikipedia