Jane Jacobs wasn’t bullish on urban parks. She preferred active sidewalks. In her classic urban planning (sociology?) book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, she noted that parks created “borders,” that often result in blighting or “slumming” along their edges. She attributed this circumstance to a lack of diversity of uses, a lack of density, and many other factors, and how they interrelated (her “organized complexity”). [Read more…] about Are cities building too many parks and plazas in their downtowns? The experts weigh in . . .
The High Line
The oldest river crossing in New York City is now the newest. The 1848 High Bridge that spans the Harlem River and links upper Manhattan to The Bronx has recently emerged from a multi-year, $61.8 million renovation. It re-opened to the public on June 9th. Whether the initial enthusiasm of using this restored public space can reenergize a neighborhood will take years to find out, however, for the moment this project is bringing tourists and residents to an area that was previously known only to locals and intrepid urban explorers. Will it spur new economic activity to an ungentrified area? Is that indeed what is wanted or needed? Questions to be answered later. [Read more…] about The High Line? No, The High Bridge!
I am walking 30 feet above the ground, through buildings, eye-level with billboards, rubbing shoulders, it seems, with all the tourists in New York City. I am surrounded by plants that poke out from the railroad tracks that are remnants of New York’s industrial past. [Read more…] about The High Line