Tuesday, November 26, 2013

True sustainability

UniverCity is a sustainable-development community located at the top of Burnaby Mountain (adjacent to Simon Fraser University) outside of Vancouver. Here is what the area looks like from above:

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Two things are apparent from the satellite view: an abundance of green space, and an abundance of parking space.

Monday, November 18, 2013

The German town that scrapped all traffic lights and signs

Excellent little story (complete with pictures) on the success of "shared space" in Bohmte, Germany. 

Here's a snippet:

"Four weeks ago, Bohmte banned traffic lights and warning signs, including those instructing drivers to give way or stop.
Only two rules remain – drivers cannot go above 30 mph, the German speed limit for city driving, and everyone has to yield to the right, regardless of whether it is a car, a bike or a mother with a pushchair.
Officials revealed there have been no shunts, bumps or pedestrian injuries in the month since the scheme started.
Previously, there was at least one serious crash every week and scores of lesser 'fender-benders'."
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1028740/Accident-free-zone-The-German-town-scrapped-traffic-lights-road-signs.html#ixzz2l33llJaD 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Continental differences in street pattern

Dave Munson over at Munson's City recently did a cool study comparing the most common street grids from continent to continent. He used three common categories: Grid, Organic, and Loose Grid. Munson writes:

"When I was two years old, my family moved from the Bay Area to Northampton, Massachusetts. My earliest memories are from there and it is one of the three or four places I usually claim as my hometown.
My family loved Northampton, and even after moving away, we would make regular pilgrimages back every few summers or so. I really wasn’t sure what I liked so much about it until I went to urban design school, but now I know part of it was the organic street grid. Each block feels distinct, and the slight curves of the streets create outdoor rooms, while the density of the street network allows multiple ways to get to your destination.
Unfortunately, the organic street system, common in other parts of the world, is a rare thing in the US and Canada. I decided to take a look at the major cities of Anglo-America and see where I could find organic cities. But first, here are the general characteristics of the street patterns I found..."

Check it out!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Taxco, Guerrero

The relatively hidden gem of Taxco lies approximately 100 miles southwest of Mexico City. The town is known for its silver trade and irregular, winding streets.

The beautiful church of Santa Prisca is in the center of town. And, for the record, you are looking at pretty much the widest stretch of pavement in the city.

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