This wonderfully researched and well-written history, explores the making of Boston by focusing on the social and environmental factors that shaped the city, its human ecology. There are five sections of the book:
A city planner by trade, Speck is aware of what works and doesn’t work in creating and maintaining thriving…
Restore a ton of parkland currently cordoned by ramps.
Connect the Esplanade more closely to the city, increasing accessibility and safety.
Connect more of the street grid to Storrow Drive, easing access for all modes.
Save a boatload of money not rebuilding the $300 million separation structures.
Reduce construction nightmare that rebuilding the Storrow tunnel would entail.
What’s the catch? Well, it might take a little bit longer to drive to your destination via the same route you used in the past. On the other hand, you might also save a lot of time by not having to go around and around in loops on one-way streets. I know that some traffic engineers will be screaming that this represents a “downgrade” but they can take that attitude back to the 1950s where it came from. For the rest of us, this would represent an upgrade: a better city. Plus, $300 million saved! Heck maybe more. I suspect that any attempt to replace the Storrow tunnel will quickly turn into it’s own “little Big Dig” with rapidly inflating costs. That’s a lot of money that could be put into so many other, better, actual improvements. Like making the MBTA an attractive option for people who currently feel like they have no alternative but to drive along this way. How MassDOT approaches the impending dilemma of the Bowker Overpass and the related Storrow Drive tunnels will tell if they are really serious about their “GreenDOT” proposal or not."
Over 50% of the world’s population lives in cities. By 2050, this is widely expected to reach 70%. Cities are undergoing unprecedented change and urbanism is one of the most crucial issues of our time.
Here at This Big City we think the important and exciting issue of urbanism should be brought to the attention of Tumblr users by promoting the urbanism tag to featured status.
Featured tags are selected based on volume of content and engagement with content, which is why we need Tumblr’s fantastic urbanism community to support this campaign. Please reblog this post and add the urbanism tag whenever you share content related to the topic!
This is no short-term goal. It will take a consistent increase in the level of content for Tumblr to promote the urbanism tag.
Together we can build an engaging catalogue of content on the crucial issue of urbanism, hopefully resulting in the promotion of the urbanism tag to featured status. If we achieve this, the crucial issue of urbanism will land in the dashboard of millions of Tumblr users across the globe.
If you want to back our Urbanism Campaign and be added to the list below, reblog this post then drop us a message including your email address. We’ll be in touch! Most importantly, add the urbanism tag to all relevant content you share.
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The recent and important “complete streets” movement has made a terrific contribution to getting our streets right, by insisting that they be designed so as to accommodate all users, from motor vehicles to pedestrians to transit users and bicyclists. Thanks to the movement’s efforts, this is now the law of the land in an increasing number of jurisdictions. It’s an important start."
Streets are by definition public spaces.
6/6: Boston embraces age of the skyscraper
The Garden and Government Center garage mega-projects are ambitious variations on the same theme, at sites that have long held wasted potential. It’s the High Spine extended into North Station. The Causeway Street site that Boston Properties and Delaware North are now teeing up for redevelopment has been a fenced-off parking lot since the old Boston Garden came down 15 years ago. The property, once the center of a dark, beer-stained, part-time corner on the edge of town, is now teeming with activity. The Big Dig, the demolition of the elevated Green Line, and the expansion of North Station have combined to open up a neighborhood penned in by hulking transportation systems. New residences and offices are now springing up on three sides of the Garden site. The proposal for replacing the old Garden with 1.7 million square feet of new homes, offices, hotel rooms and shops — punctuated with towers that could match the tallest buildings in the Financial District — would anchor all this new development. The Government Center Garage project is even more ambitious. It would transform a nine-story, 2,300-car garage that spans Congress Street into a five-acre, six-building complex. The garage is the last of a number of urban renewal-era parking structures that the city sold in the 1970s and 1980s to be slated for redevelopment. It has deadened the surrounding city blocks and walled off the downtown from the Bulfinch Triangle for roughly half a century. The garage’s developer, the HYM Investment Group, wants to cut the garage in half, wrap its blank sides in shops, offices, and homes, add new structures along the Greenway and Haymarket Square, and top the garage’s western half with a pair of significant new towers. The garage redevelopment and the Garden project are both large, expensive, and unusually tall for their part of town. In each case, the height isn’t an end to itself, but a way of paying for the retail and street level improvements below. And the shops at the base of the developments are aimed at reinforcing the activity that’s already happening in the low-slung neighborhoods next door, in the North End and Beacon Hill and the emerging Bulfinch Triangle. It’s the High Spine extended into North Station — height, density, and low-rise neighborhoods all working in harmony."
This plan looks awesome. I hope NIMBY’s don’t nibble it to death.
Part of a brilliant blog post by a Jamaica Plain resident on the history of the Arborway in Forest Hills and a bright vision of the future.
This terrific post on Steve Miller’s Blog is a long read but worth reading for it’s compilation of strategies for making bicycling safer and desirable for everyone. Check it out!
There’s something about the theme song of Star Trek TNG that brings me such comfort.
Guess who was just admitted to Simmons’ Graduate School of Library and Information Science…