Posts tagged with "David Byrne":

Bike Share Programs Roll Along in New York, Chicago

Chicago’s bike-for-rent made its test premiere during the annual “Bike the Drive” event on the Windy City’s Lake Shore thoroughfare Sunday, and Wednesday opened the new service for membership sign-ups. Chicago’s Department of Transportation unveiled its bike share plans in April, tapping Portland, OR–based Alta Bicycle Share, which also runs New York and DC’s bike-share programs, to roll out 400 stations and about 4,000 three-speed “Chicago Blue” bicycles across the city. Divvy,” as the Chicago program is called, recently released a map of planned stations, 75 of which the city said will be online by the end of June. But Chicago's four-wheeled share service also saw big news this week, when car rental giant Enterprise bought local nonprofit I-GO, a car-share program launched 10 years ago by the Center for Neighborhood Technology. Meanwhile Memorial Day marked the official debut of New York City’s bike-share, with more than 6,000 trips logged in a matter of hours. This video from StreetFilms captured the media frenzy, as well as testimonials from the likes of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg (who mounted but did not ride a bike) and musician David Byrne:

BAM! Brooklyn Academy of Music Kicks Public Art Up A Notch in Fort Greene

The Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) is expanding its programming to the streets of Fort Greene. Brownstoner reported that the multi-arts center is proposing a series of temporary murals in front of an empty lot at 31 Lafayette Avenue, across from one of its performing arts spaces, the Howard Gilman Opera House. BAM plans to launch the program with a mural by Brooklyn artist KAWS, and then invite other local talent to display their art. There will also be space made for more of David Byrne’s sculptural, letter-shaped bike racks akin to the ones he designed in front of the Peter Jay Sharp Building. Community Board 2 will vote on the art wall tomorrow.

Quick Clicks> River Metro, Byrne, Reskinned, Jane

Mississippi Metro. Strange Maps pointed out a clever reinterpretation of the Mississippi River basin as a subway system. Check out a bigger version at Something About Maps. (You may also be interested in the Sustainable City Collective's list of top five urban infographics.) Byrne-ing Down the House. David Byrne waxes poetic on the arts-and-crafts bungalows of Berkeley after taking a recent bike ride through the city's early 20th century neighborhoods. Reskinning. Solve Climate News spotlights Toronto entrepreneur Ron Dembo who is tackling insufficiently skinned buildings to increase energy efficiency. (Via Planetizen.) Janie's got a Walk. With warm weather closer on the horizon (despite a fresh blanket of snow across parts of the country), Shareable recommends planning a Jane's Walk in your city, after the famous urbanist Jane Jacobs, to explore the history, ecology, and social issues in your neighborhood.

Landscape Guidelines Landslide Debut

The line stretched down the block outside of the Center for Architecture last night for the release of High Performance Landscape Guidelines: 21st Century Parks for NYC. The document providing sustainable park guidelines was produced through a partnership between The Design Trust for Public Space and the Department of Parks and Recreation. The manual is the first of its kind in the nation. The crush at the door felt like a rock concert, though it was said that even David Byrne didn’t draw crowds this size when he appeared at the venue, nor, for that matter, did Zaha Hadid. “It’s like the Studio 54 of design,” quipped Park Commissioner Adrian Benepe by way of introduction. “People are killing themselves to get in here.” Don't worry; Not really! But It was very crowded. The report includes clear bullet-point guidelines for sustainable parks through their design, construction and maintenance. Besides outlining the benefits, which range from tree preservation to pest control, the report also walks the reader through site assessment and analysis. One major section delves into practices dividing that focus among soil, water, and vegetation. While the Trust and the City acknowledge that there will be a certain amount of redundancy for cross reference purposes, an attempt was made at a linear approach.Other cities are already expressing an interest in producing similar reports of their own. "Its an incredibly useful document that takes you step by step through new thinking about parks in a way that doesn't throw the baby out with the bathwater. There's a new [sustainability] layer, in addition to the beauty, history and culture." said Tricia Martin, president of the New York Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects. At the event, case studies from the book were presented, including Fort Totten in the Bronx designed by Nancy Owen Studio largely without reference to the guidelines. Asked if that project would have differed had the manual been available, Owen replied, “I think it would have been easier, because it’s all in one place and you’d just go down the check list.” “It’s a remarkable document in that it brings the institutional knowledge into one place,” said Linda Pollak, a landscape designer. Design Trust Executive Director Deborah Marton believes the sharing of information with the feet on the grass who actually maintain the parks will be integral for any current changes to survive into the future. “People will have to accept that places look sort of new and maintenance will have to be changed,” she said, referring to to less pristine manicuring of modern-day park aesthetics where what might look like weeds to the untrained eye could actually be filtration wetland to the trained eye. Marton added that the report notes that the old model of hiring seasonal workers at minimum wage to maintain parks over the course of the summer will need to be supplemented to include the hiring of year round specialists with training that’s on par with electricians or plumbers. “We have to make a commitment to these workers if we expect them to be committed to the landscape,” she said. And a crowd was on hand to show the will is there to get the process started.

Sidewalk Sipping with Sadik-Khan at NYC Pop-Up Cafe

Sidewalk cafes have long been a popular feature of New York City dining, but many restaurants’ sidewalks are too narrow to set out tables and chairs without violating city code. Offering a solution to this spatial problem, on August 12 the Department of Transportation (DOT) unveiled its first “pop-up cafe” in Lower Manhattan—an 84-foot-long and 6-foot-wide wooden platform with planters, wire railing, 14 cafe tables, and 50 chairs—as the agency’s latest move to reclaim road space for public use. The platform is installed in four parking spots in front of two establishments on Pearl Street, Fika’s cafe and Bombay’s restaurant, which approached the Downtown Alliance and DOT earlier this year about ways to expand onto the sidewalk. According to DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, the agency worked closely with the two restaurants as well as the Downtown Alliance and the Department of Consumer Affairs, which licenses outdoor cafes, to arrive at a workable solution that would provide not only cafe tables but new public space in a part of the city starved for parks. “Inventions like this help make our streets into destinations and improve the quality of life for the thousands of people who live, work, and play in Lower Manhattan,” Sadik-Khan said in a release. The inexpensive platform was designed pro bono by San Francisco–based architect Riyad Ghannam of RG Architecture, who came to the DOT’s attention after an agency intern mentioned a similar design Ghannam had first created for the popular Parking Day event in San Francisco. The DOT then recruited Ghannam to advise on the Lower Manhattan site, and in short order he found himself designing and helping construct the project, for which Bison Innovative Products provided the materials at cost and participated in construction pro bono. “It was just barely a month from the concept to actual on-street implementation,” said Ghannam by phone from San Francisco. “The idea is that this is temporary, or at least seasonal, so we wanted the restaurants to have enough time to use it.” The cafe space is maintainted by the two restaurants but freely available for use by the public. The platform and its 12 Cor-ten steel planters will be stored during the winter, when the parking spots will be returned to service. The DOT is currently evaluating the cafe to determine if similar temporary spaces should be rolled out elsewhere in the city. The agency would do well to look to San Francisco, which according to Ghannam is studying the revenue potential of streetfront sites that could be rented by adjacent restaurants instead of given over to parking meters. “It’s kind of a win-win,” Ghannam said. “The business gets some stimulus by having more space to use, and the city gets revenue.”