Tag Archives: Pattern making

Hamilton is here, DUD

Link received from Hype O’Thermia
Sat, 4 Apr 2015 at 10:20 a.m.

█ Message: Local shop owners blame lack of free parking and rising costs for “demise” of Hamilton’s CBD.

WaikatoTimes - Hamilton CBD 1

The Central Business District of Hamilton is looking a little gloomy, with for lease signs up in many shop windows.

### Stuff.co.nz Last updated 05:00, April 4 2015
Hamilton central-city retail space sits empty
By Rachel Thomas and Nancy El-Gamel
Twenty per cent of ground level central Hamilton retail space is empty. Local shop owners are blaming lack of free parking and rising costs, while business leaders are pointing fingers at absentee landlords, sub-standard buildings and an inability to compete with lower rents at The Base.

The Base is New Zealand’s largest shopping Centre based in Te Rapa, 7 km North of Hamilton CBD.

To quantify what the average shopper sees [in the CBD], the Waikato Times counted all ground floor premises in the block within Hood St, Victoria St, Angelsea St and Liverpool St, finding that of 524 premises, the 104 empty ones outnumbered the 67 locally owned and operated stores in the area. […] Hamilton Mayor Julie Hardaker acknowledged the CBD needed desperate attention, and said council was taking a “holistic approach” to the problem. […] “For the city centre to be successful it must be commercially and economically successful and over the last few decades most reports have focused on physical changes, so we have started with an economic analysis and looked at the trend since 2001 in terms of the economy.
Read more + Video

WaikatoTimes - Hamilton CBD 3WaikatoTimes - Hamilton CBD 2

Read comments to the article.
How many other places – like Dunedin – mirror Hamilton ?

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Images: Waikato Times/Stuff – Hamilton CBD [screenshots from video]

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‘The scrum and fray of urban life’

Book Review

### thenation.com March 18, 2010
Living for the City: On Jane Jacobs
By Samuel Zipp

This article appeared in the April 5, 2010 edition of The Nation.

Cities, Jane Jacobs famously observed, offer “a problem in handling organised complexity”. In her first and still most famous book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, published in 1961, Jacobs argued that cities are not chaotic or irrational; they are essentially systems of interrelated variables collected in an organic whole. The challenge, she wrote, was to sense the patterns at work in the vast array of variables. Something similar could be said for writing about cities. How does one coax the thread of a narrative from the scrum and fray of urban life?

In Twenty Minutes in Manhattan, Michael Sorkin, an architect and critic, makes like Jacobs and immerses himself in the rhythms and patter of the street. He has shaped his book according to the contours of his daily stroll across a dozen or so blocks of Lower Manhattan, from the top floor of his five-storey Greenwich Village walk-up to his office in TriBeCa. Walking, Sorkin writes, is “a natural armature for thinking sequentially”, providing opportunities for heady musings on all manner of city life. Yet his peripatetic narrative is anything but linear. Proving there’s a raconteur in every flâneur, Sorkin unspools strands of free-floating observations about a scattered array of urban issues and gathers them into a loose weave along his path downtown. Any full accounting of his rambles would be impossible, but he manages to ruminate on landlord-tenant troubles, the 1811 Manhattan grid, historic preservation, the “ratio of tread to riser” on apartment stairs, elevator etiquette, zoning and housing codes, rent control, the theory of montage, green roofs, public art, crime, gentrification, traffic, urban renewal and public-private partnerships. He also takes diversions into the city thinking of Walter Benjamin, Michel de Certeau, Ebenezer Howard, Jacob Riis, Le Corbusier, Henri Lefebvre, the Walt Disney Company, the Situationists, the New Urbanists and, of course, Jane Jacobs. It’s a primer on what one might call the “New York school” of urbanism.

Sorkin is a congenial, sometimes irascible guide. Ever the Manhattanite, he lambastes oblivious SUV drivers, callous landlords and “Disneyfied” urban environments (an undying spark for his ire), but he is also aware of his own foibles, including his tendency to lapse into “high ethical mode”. Sorkin’s musings–outrages and enthusiasms alike–converge around his sensitivity to the restless yet productive tension between the city’s role as both public sphere and commercial marketplace, and the intermingled chances city life offers for making meaning and making money. For Sorkin, the city’s hum and buzz is the sound of an endless “dialogue of desire and demand” and the pitched voices of “poets” and “bandits” jostling for each and every advantage.

(via The Nation)

Other reviews:
metropolismag.com
reaktionbooks.co.uk
amazon.com

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In March 2002, the Masterclass! programme hosted two world leaders in architecture and urban design. The British Council, Montana Wines, Fullbright New Zealand and the New Zealand Institute of Architects (NZIA) jointly delivered a stimulating programme led by Kelvin Campbell from the United Kingdom and Michael Sorkin from New York.

The Dunedin Masterclass! and Urban Design Masterclass! Lunch were held with assistance from NZIA Southern, Dunedin City Council and Southern Urban Design Forum.

Post by Elizabeth Kerr

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