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Monday News Roundup

Mar 28, 2011

Interesting articles and posts you may have missed last week:

9 Urban Fails (yUrbanism)
(these are hilarious)

Roundup of some great alcove beds (Remodelista)
Thomas Jefferson understood the appeal of alcove beds (see his iconic alcove bed at Monticello here); here’s a roundup of some modern favorites.

Tall or sprawl, Metro Vancouver has it all (Vancouver Sun)
Metro Vancouver is losing nine square feet of land per second to urban sprawl. Author David Owen, however, still puts Vancouver among a short list of “green” places to live, due to their high density and lack of carbon footprint per capita. Here are six places Owen considers green – and six that, by his definition, are “brown,” or not representing sustainable living.

Great studio retrofit of an aging printing press in downtown Barcelona (Inhabitat)
The allure of the old infused with the new could not be more pronounced in this studio retrofit of an aging printing press in downtown Barcelona.

Check out this kitchen island that disappears into the floor (Design Milk)
Tim Thaler wanted to maximize the floor space in his kitchen, but also needed a solution for an island. How could he have both? By hiding the island in the floor. Tim’s island comes up and down with the touch of a button on his iPhone — there’s an app for that.

Taking a green roof to the extreme (Sustainable Cities Collective)
Art Vandelay of Golden Colorado has taken the concept a little too far for the local building inspector. Called simply The Tree House, he says his vision is now complete after a ten year grow-in period and numerous structural improvements.

Tearing down freeways to make room for a new bicycling economy (Grist)
Here’s one way to fund bicycle infrastructure: Stop building freeways in cities. Better yet, tear down the ones we already have.

New media makes transit more attractive (Sustainable Cities Collective)
Last week, we released the results for our “Tech for Transit: Designing a Future System” study, a collaboration between Latitude Research and Next American City. The study asked regular drivers in Boston and San Francisco to go car-free for one whole week, sharing their experiences and recommendations along the way.

As Americans get larger, FTA raises standard for average transit passenger weight (Good)
Last month, we heard that Americans are now fat enough to need larger ambulances. Earlier this month, the Federal Transit Administration bowed to the inevitable and submitted a proposal to change its bus testing regulations “to more accurately reflect average passenger weights and actual transit vehicle loads.”

What emerging generations want:  a piazza (Sustainable Cities Collective)
As the 1600+ entries in this blog provide evidence for, emerging generations are moving into downtowns, driving less, walking more, living in smaller homes they can actually afford, preferring local businesses and slower food, prioritizing health,going green and valuing community and social networking like never before. It keeps coming up again and again, that the one amenity that does a remarkable job of fulfilling these values is the timeless piazza.

New idea:  Food Halls (Sustainable Cities Collective)
When you hear the term “food court”, most of us automatically think, “fast food in a mall”. What if the experience was more about slow food efficiently prepared, with a multitude of sit-down dining choices in environments designed for you to enjoy your food, sprinkled with specialty food shopping choices? Enter the “food hall”.

The link between thriving towns and a sustainable rural landscape (Switchboard at NRDC)
Yesterday, the Eastern Shore (MD) Land Conservancy announced the launching of a new Center for Towns to support “models of sustainable, walkable, diverse, well-defined and vibrant communities within our beautiful rural landscape.”  The Center was announced at a press event attended by yours truly in the beautiful town of Easton, where the Conservancy is also holding a conference.

Interactive urban agriculture map (Grown in the City)
Grown in the City has launched an “Interactive Urban Agriculture Zoning Map” to track urban agriculture zoning across the United States.

The future of urban agriculture (Sustainable Cities Collective)
Dr. Cohen’s current research focuses on urban food policy, particularly innovative planning strategies to support food production in the urban and peri-urban landscape, public policies to engage citizens in sustainable food production, urban planning and food access, and civic agriculture in cities and suburbs.