Nice shot of Cyclehoop’s Car Bike Port in Helsinki. It makes a great contribution to the streetscape!
“The Car Bike Ports in Helsinki look great and are well used by cyclists. Since installing them we have received a huge amount of positive feedback from locals through mail and Facebook. The racks have generated relatively big media value helping to promote cycling, as well as encouraging cycling in the city by providing locals with a secure place to park their bikes.” Helsinki Council.
Read more here!
Palmgracht, Jordaan, Amsterdam
Excellent shot of a liveable street! Narrow roads for slow speeds, clear corners for better vision, play spaces, trees…
photo: Thomas Schlijper
A few pictures of the busy Viktualienmarkt in Munich! A great place to buy food or just have a beer with friends in the late afternoon sun. Although there were loads of tourists around, there were equally as many locals! It has a great human scale and a nice authenticity and hasn’t succumbed to Covent Garden Syndrome (thankfully)!
A few pictures from a recent trip to Camley Street Natural Park in Kings Cross! A great space in a gritty urban area that makes London a bit more liveable!
Dalson Eastern Curve Garden
Some pictures from a recent trip to Dalson Curve Garden! This is a really great project and space. It seemed popular with adults and kids of every demographic! They also run workshops on everything from gardening to pizza making! Well worth visiting!
The Dalston Eastern Curve Garden is now open to the public from 11am – dusk every day. The Garden has been created on the old Eastern Curve railway line which once linked Dalston Junction Station to the goods yard and the North London Line.
The architectural collective Exyzt who built last summer’s temporary Dalston Mill on the site, returned this year to construct a spacious wooden garden pavilion for events, workshops and gatherings.
Wildlife-friendly trees and shrubs, including hazel, hawthorn and birch have been planted alongside butterfly bushes, bracken and other plants that were already growing on the derelict site. The Garden also includes large raised beds for growing food, which are already filling up fast with tomatoes, peppers and scented herbs, all grown by Dalston residents.
Farming in the City!
Pictures from a recent visit to Mudchute Park and Farm in south London!
Just a couple of stops past (but a world away from) Canary Wharf, it offers an amazing juxtaposition of manmade landscapes - a semi-rural environment set against a backdrop of straight lined and shiny corporate headquarters. The place had a great hum of activity and the restaurant there does a cracking breakfast too (have the pancakes, bacon and maple syrup)!
Far from the city’s pretty but prissy royal parks, London’s urban farmyards create pockets of more natural, organic space in the metropolis, where Londoners and visitors can get back to nature and remember that there is more to life than hustle and bustle, standing on the right, walking on the left, oystercards, zooming cars and a cacophony of sirens.
Urban farms create spaces that have the capacity to transform the reputation of an area, adding human friendly elements to frequently sidelined neighbourhoods. A recent post by Julian Dobson of Urban Pollinators highlights that city farms have a capacity to grow and develop, from fledgling voluntary ideas to credible organisations and places, contributing far more than initially anticipated.
There are many of these farmyards throughout London; Hackney, Spitalfields and Vauxhall farms being the most well known! I would definitely recommend checking them out!
Integrates into the streetscape well!
Potgieterstraat by Carve in Amsterdam is an innovative re-envisioning of an inner-city street previously devoted to car traffic and parking.
In the words of Landzine:
Carve’s intervention was firstly to rethink the street into a play street, accessible only to bikes and pedestrians. All surface materials were removed, the existing trees however were kept and new ones added. Into that clearance, Carve designed a mogul landscape with play objects integrated, materialized in abstract black rubber. The play objects vary from interactive elements to water sprayers. The rubber can be used as a drawing surface, invites to jump, run, fall thanks to its soft feel while reducing noise levels.
However, the true benefit of this design is not obvious on a first glimpse. It is rather the reclaiming of local urban realm by its community. Parents but also citizens without children interact and relax here on wooden benches and around a little kiosk. The location becomes an anchor for neighborhood interaction and interlocks as well its surrounding blocks as well as helping to get together people of different backgrounds and ages.
Checkout Landzine’s full profile of this project.
The Bike Show on Resonance FM - To Copenhagen City of Cyclists
Jack Thurston of The Bike Show interviews Mikael Coville-Anderson of Copenhagenize about his blog, the growth of cycling as a way of getting around in Copenhagen and his work with other cities Well worth a listen!
Not sure I share Jack’s views on the principles being difficult to implement in London due to its narrow streets and historical development pattern…Amsterdam and Copenhagen also have many narrow streets where cars and people cycling co-exist beautifully - without sweat, fear and lycra!
A trip to the Danish capital of Copenhagen, city of stylish cyclists, where Jack Thurston meets Mikael Colville-Andersen, the force behind Cycle Chic and Copenhagenize. We talk about how a single street photograph set him on a new path of bicycle advocacy, fashion and city planning consulting. And lots and lots of blogging.
RUDI: Place Making 2012: Sharing innovation in urban life
Great read with some good examples!
In creating PLACEmaking, we aimed to put together a publication offering food for future thought: the creation of social cities, the use of Big Data for civic benefit, the articulation of economic and social value, and the development of tools and processes that enable everyone to participate in the design and shaping of place.
IM VIADUKT - Zurich (April 2012)
I thought this was a really nice reuse of space in a cross section of mainly residential streets in Zurich. It’s a great example of how hard infrastructure can be made permeable and integrated into the local neighbourhood, converting it from a dead, border vacuum type of space (of the type Jane Jacobs discussed) into a living part of the neighbourhood.
The only thing I felt was disappointing about the development was the tenant mix. Although for the most part it consisted of independents, the majority of them sold high end, high price products and the whole thing had an air of exclusiveness.
There is a good series of photos, plans etc on the architect’s website here, some great shots of the arches during the day and night on the IM VIADUKT website here and a brochure for the development here.
In large cities like London where land is expensive, the spaces created by viaducts provide an ideal place for the more awkward, less commercially attractive but vital businesses in the city - catering companies, bakeries, hardware shops, car, bike or motorbike shops, car parks, pop-up clubs, restaurants and bars. Their size and slightly off the beaten track location also makes them cheaper to rent. However in London there aren’t many that have a coherent strategy like IM VIADUKT that could make them more identifiable places that positively contribute to local neighbourhoods and streetscapes. There are informal examples like Maltby Street/ Druid Street/ Spa Terminus which are getting a foodie reputation, with many arches being occupied by traders leaving Borough Market and the arches in Brixton but there is still a lot more potential to strengthen this. In Vauxhall for example where there is no main high street or focal point, a more considered strategy for their occupation could have been useful… But perhaps it is better that there isn’t a strategy - it leaves space and opportunity for the enterprises mentioned above that need cheap space, large footprints and central locations? What do you think?
NEA: Creative Placemaking
Creative Placemaking is a resource for mayors, arts organizations, the philanthropic sector, and others interested in understanding strategies for leveraging the arts to help shape and revitalize the physical, social, and economic character of neighborhoods, cities, and towns…
…Creative placemaking is one of the tools that mayors can use to tackle their design challenges, whether it is building artist live/work spaces in abandoned warehouses, designing youth employment programs around mentoring relationships with artists, or curating a performing arts series in urban public places.