Tagplaza

Wildly different priorities

The people of the Netherlands show how they place priority on a multitude of transportation modes on every block.

Take for example this Hard Rock Cafe in Amsterdam, a restaurant known around the world – there’s always one in each country’s largest cities.

The only way to arrive is by foot or by bicycle! There’s no car drop off or parking lot. The rear of the restaurant has patio seating along the canal so it might even be possible to dock your boat here!

Photo: Reclaim the streets


You should be able to tell that Peoria Street had auto traffic across the entire bridge over the Eisenhower (I-290), but then the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) took over this area in the 1960s (shortly after the sunken Blue Line was built). An expanded station house was built with a large waiting area which includes interior bike parking within the paid fare zone.

UIC has classrooms immediately north and south of the expressway and Blue Line so it’s in their students’ best interest to have good access to the train station.

How could the former road space be changed now to make this a better public space or plaza?

I think the first thing I would do is remove the curbs – if you’re riding a bike these get in the way.

Placemaking roundup

A roundup of recent posts on the blogosphere about attempts at placemaking. While engineers, planners, designers, and architects can spend time and money on making a place, only its users have the authority to call it one. How will these “places” fare?

  • Disney will be revamping its stores to match the Apple Stores’ level of attraction and attention by no longer placing the attention on toys, but more on experience and interaction. “Imagination Park” from Brand Avenue.
  • A team led by MIT researchers entered a competition to build a new, permanent, tourist attraction to be built for and after the 2012 Olympics in London. Visitors would ascend one of two 400-foot towers and watch the city from inside plastic bubbles, while on the face of the bubbles, a “mood barometer” would be projected. Read deeper into the project’s beginnings and the people behind “The Cloud” on City of Sound.
  • Two new parks (or plazas?) open in downtown Chicago, Illinois, and both feature boxed up lawns. This new “park” phenomenon helps Lynn Becker refine the definition of a park.
  • Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat changes “tall buildings” standards to now include lowest pedestrian entrance. The result: Trump Tower now taller than Jin Mao Building in Shanghai, China. Burj Dubai still world’s tallest: “John Hancock Center stacked atop Sears Tower.”

Photo of typeset as seating in Printers’ Row Park in Chicago, Illinois. See item three below.

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