“Transforming a sea of asphalt”

What was that down at Awatea Street. Ever get sick of petrochemical surfaces and glaring urban planning ineptitudes… And yes, DCC urban designers, I agree with you, public streets can be more than traffic corridors – the potential mixes or sequences of use are the opportunity…

Chris Doudney, retired University of Otago Staff Architect sent me this link, saying: “The comments run the full gamut of objection/support – I liked the heartfelt one from the waterfront champion.”

Allison Arieff – A New York Times Blog
September 22, 2009, 10:00 pm
Pavement to Parks

Last Friday, cities and towns throughout the world celebrated Park(ing) Day, an event created to bring awareness to the importance of using and enjoying public space. Witnessing all those swaths of pavement transformed into plant-filled community gathering spaces (Streetfilms.org has a short film of San Francisco’s Park(ing) Day) got me thinking about — given the tangential way my brain works — the process of land-banking.

Land banking — the strategic acquisition of land in advance of expanding urban development, and the holding on to it as long as possible to maximize profits — is especially pronounced in once-booming, now-busted city centers like Las Vegas, Baltimore and Phoenix, which by the way now has more vacant land than any other major city in the United States. With the economic downturn things have changed somewhat, but there remain huge numbers of empty lots being “banked” in downtowns nationwide, all waiting for a real estate recovery.
Read more

– Allison Arieff is editor at large for Sunset, and the former editor in chief of Dwell magazine. She is co-author of the books “Prefab” and “Trailer Travel”, and the editor of many books on design and popular culture, including “Airstream: The History of the Land Yacht” and “Cheap Hotels”. Allison Arieff lives in San Francisco.

Post by Elizabeth Kerr

1 Comment

Filed under Architecture, Design, Economics, Events, Fun, Inspiration, Site, Town planning

One response to ““Transforming a sea of asphalt”

  1. Elizabeth

    ### Radio New Zealand National Mon, 12 Oct 2009 09:35
    Nine To Noon with Kathryn Ryan
    Urban restoration
    Bruce Clarkson, chair of biological sciences at Waikato University, on urban restoration and retro-fitting our cities to encourage native species, both flora and fauna, back into built-up areas.
    Audio Ogg Vorbis MP3 (15′35″)


    ### Scoop Monday, 12 October 2009, 3:17 pm
    The CBD’s new urban oasis officially opens
    Press Release: Auckland City Council

    Auckland City Council
    Media release

    12 October 2009

    The CBD’s new urban oasis officially opens

    St Patrick’s Square will be officially reopened by His Worship the Mayor, Hon John Banks on Saturday, 17 October to celebrate its transformation into the city’s new urban oasis.

    St Patrick’s Square is the only significant area of green open space between midtown and the waterfront and the upgrade has created a more attractive space for all to enjoy.

    The $9.2m upgrade, funded by the CBD targeted rate, began in August 2008 and is part of council’s Auckland’s CBD into the Future strategy, a 10-year plan aimed at creating an urban centre that will attract a lively mix of business, residential and cultural activity.

    Auckland City Council is investing a total of $965 million to transform and revitalise Auckland’s CBD and the waterfront as part of a 10-year action plan that began in 2004.
    Read more

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