Posts tagged with "Suburbs":
The problem seems to be "attention," or more specifically, the lack of it. With so many different distractions -- from a flashing neon sign, to the cell phone conversation of a nearby passenger on a bus, a city dweller starts to practice something known as "controlled perception." That toggling back and forth between competing stimuli can be mentally exhausting.Researchers asked different groups of students to spend a day in the city and in the suburbs and then evaluated their mood and attention. While the suburbs have their own unique stress points compared to the city (who enjoys the road-rage inducing commute on the choked interstate or the banal asphalt lots fronting endless shopping centers?), there's much more green within sight that soothes our brains. To be fair, there are many different types of urban experiences - many replete with green space. While a walk through the crowded, neon-flashing streets of Times Square with its hustle and bustle could undoubtedly strain the most focused individual, a stroll through the shady, tree-lined streets of the West Village, steps from where Jane Jacobs once lived, can offer a thoroughly relaxing experience. But increasing the amount of nature in cities can't be a bad thing. Even a little green can go a long way. From the Boston Globe:
Studies have demonstrated, for instance, that hospital patients recover more quickly when they can see trees from their windows, and that women living in public housing are better able to focus when their apartment overlooks a grassy courtyard. Even these fleeting glimpses of nature improve brain performance, it seems, because they provide a mental break from the urban roil.It looks like urban planners are a little like the doctors of the city. But what's your experience in cities, suburbs, or even in the park? Does the city stress you out? Can more parks save us from a world of stress? Share your insights in the comments below.
AgIsland This ambitious entry has Long Island reclaiming its agrarian roots, replacing office parks with farms. It also calls for consolidating and relocating 9 million square feet of office space along Route 110, utilizing a transit-oriented model.
Building C-Burbia Landscape designers created "an infrastructure system for short-term biomass storage and formation of long-term soil carbon reservoirs in suburban landscape."
Levittown: Increasing Density and Opportunity through the Accessory Dwellings One problem of suburban life in the NYC metro area is a lack of affordable housing options. One solution proposed here is to allow a homeowner to maximize the buildable area of his/her lot, preferably by using modular forms (instead of timber) the structure can expand and contract as needs change.
Long Division This vision of a sustainable Long Island starts with a regional plan that aims to preserve the island's aquifer, maximize transportation, and targets several underutilized downtowns for growth. The plan calls for new typologies of space combined with planned voids.
SUBHUB Transit System Transit doesn't always go where people need it to and is sometimes too big for it's own good. Instead, a more walkable and extensive micro-infrastructure that consists of re-imagined transit, a HUB at existing train stations where people and goods transfer to a smaller shuttle system, and SUBHUBs at existing public schools is envisioned for Long Island.
The winning student submission is: Upcycling 2.0 These Columbia University students target the ubiquitous suburban typologies -- single family house, strip mall, train station, street medians, big box stores, endless parking lots -- and re-appropriates them.
The winning Long Island Index People’s Choice Award, selected by the public, goes to: LIRR: Long Island Radically Rezoned Long Island becomes Living Island by re-densifying the residential fabric, re-centering public space around train stations, and chopping up underused parking surfaces into small blocks that are a more appropriate fit for scale of the neighborhood.
While the Long Island Index originally anticipated having a first prize and multiple other winners, the jurors felt that the winning submissions were all strong and decided to honor the top designs equally. Therefore, $20,000 will be split among the top five designs; each will receive $4,000: The student prize was $2,500. ( The “People’s Choice Award” did not have a cash prize.)Winning entries will be on view at The Long Island Museum from October 8th-October 24th and at The Long Island Children’s Museum from October 5th-October 31st.
There's a strong strain of retro-futurism detectable in the current front-runners. Alexandros Tsolakis and Irene Shamma's sleek airships make you want to don a jetpack and silver jumpsuit. And Light + Space's towers of sustainable residences bear a striking resemblence to Safdie's Habitat '67.
This is the popular vote, so just like in high school, the sexy designs are getting the attention while the zoning-policy proposals sit all by themselves in the cafeteria. Head over to the competition website through August 17th to check out the finalists, and maybe even consider parking your lunch tray next to some of the underdogs.