More Megaparks

On 9 januari 2010, in internationaal, by Zef Hemel

Gelezen in Next American City van 5 januari 2010:

Diana Lind is hoofdredacteur van Next American City, een uiterst professioneel blad dat vier maal per jaar verschijnt, tevens website over Amerikaanse steden. "Next American City is based out of Philadelphia but is distributed nationally and covers cities, sustainable development, architecture, politics, art, and everything in between." Je blijft uitstekend op de hoogte van het wel en wee van de Amerikaanse steden door hun website regelmatig te bezoeken. ‘City Journal’ van het NICIS en het blad ‘Vitale Stad’ zouden hier wat van kunnen leren. Lind blikte onlangs terug op 2009 en, nog belangrijker, ze blikte vooruit naar 2010. "So what will 2010 bring for cities?" Ik citeer:

1. Well I guess as per my notes above: it’s the continued comeback of post-industrial cities. They don’t even have to be post-industrial, per se. Things like the Jackson Community Design Center in Mississippi, or Urban Biofilter in Oakland. When there’s little to lose, plus a spirit of adventure or experimentation, innovation is sure to follow.

2. Fewer megaprojects, more megaparks. A project that has long intrigued me and will be covered in the magazine in the summer of 2010 is the The Park in Dallas. What’s so special about it? It’s 5.2 acres on top of a freeway! Calling St. Louis! Calling Milwaukee! And really any other city with a highway that separates its city. In fact, why is Philadelphia’s Wallace Robert and Todd helping with a 21st-century park in Louisville instead of grassing over 1-95?

3. More online applications respond to social issues. For a long time blogs, iPhone apps and GIS-related programs have really focused on the built environment — they’ve shown how fast you can get through a city using public transit, they tell you where the nearest coffee shop is. But they’re not that good at helping solve more complex social issues. Where’s the anti-poverty app? Don’t laugh — we might see it in 2010. Programs like Envisioning Development, launched by the Center for Urban Pedagogy; Heatwatch a facet of SeeClickFix; and Foreclosure Response are three favorite examples of how the web is particularly useful as a tool for educating the public and government about these challenges.

4. The urbanism field grows more crowded. I’ve been in my job for about 20 months and in this time I’ve been astonished by how many urbanism programs and projects have sprouted up. Who would have thought that a magazine called GOOD, “for people who give a damn,” would now boast that one of their main areas of focus is on cities? That an online art rag, Triple Canopy, would devote two of its issues to urbanisms? Even a trendwatching company says “urbany” is the new thing. It will be very interesting to see how we all mete out our space.

5. New urbanism role models. A Next American Vanguard recently penned a book called Real Role Models: Successful African Americans Beyond Pop Culture, which got me thinking about the kinds of people we, as a society admire. Are our defaults for icons and heros changing? Houston elected an openly gay woman as mayor — not your typical role model. Meanwhile Obama dismissed Van Jones as soon as he was collateral — are phenoms out? Although I mentioned a few brave urban thinkers a few months back, I think it’s fair to say that the field of urbanist heroes in 2010 is wide open.

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