2019-02-16T10:55:55+00:00 Essays

Week 5 Discussion Response: The Expansion of a City

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Week 5 Discussion Response: The Expansion of a City


Respond to these follow responses you must write a response to these statements with some solutions or questions you feel need to be answered. Remember your answers to these statements must be number.

1a. the expansion of a city is typically dictated by developers, whom want to take advantage of rising lot prices and economic potential. In this quest many greenspaces, parks, or plazas are encroached upon or built over entirely. You can see this in boston right next to our school, where there once was the prudential plaza, a 12 story or so building has popped up. This is favorable to businesses because of the increased number of consumers per block. It is up to city officials and designers to ensure that green space is utilized and protected. To me that means that green space connects wherever possible to help with ecological preservation and revitalization; urban farming is available and public; and along these interconnected green spaces are inviting and pleasant bike and pedestrian pathways. I think that in cities that are continuing to grow, public spaces may be allocated on the first floor of buildings and on rooftops. Ive always wondered why public space is sometimes limited to sidewalks and randomly dispersed green space. Cities can be made more public, green, interconnected, and thus more enjoyable. In cities with shrinking populations and growing numbers of vacant lots, there may not be the financial backing to maintain all the green space. Therefore there must be a division of these lot spaces, some around the edges of town could be given wholly back to nature, while lots in more dense areas could be chopped up and sold as community garden space so that individuals rather than the city, can maintain them. This also provides the opportunity for people who live in economically depressed areas to grow there own food, which I think we are all too disconnected from natural foods. there are also parks I saw in a reading that use pervious pavement and vegetation that does not need to be maintained, rather than just lots of grass, these spaces should be designed to be functional and practical for cities that dont have the means to maintain hundreds of new green space. I think that in the U.S. in general there is a gross fascination with perfectly manicured green grass lawns and parks, which require lots of watering and mowing, but also diminish the significance of other vegetation that actually contributes to things like remediation, pollination, and natural beauty. 

2a. Looking through the readings and the presentations, there seems to be a consensus that shrinking communities are easier to adapt than growing communities. With shrinking communities, abandoned lots can be repurposed- government and different city groups can clear and plant abandoned lots and use them for art, recreation, education, urban farming, watershed protection or combinations of all of those to restore vibrance and community. These create safe and clean gathering places for communities and raise values of surrounding homes. Farr notes that there`s a 24% typical sales premium for dwellings within 100ft of park space. The creation and maintenance of these spaces can also provide activity/employment/job skills for lower income community members. One of the big issues that seems to come up with shrinking cities is contamination. Many abandoned factory lots suffer contamination so while, maybe these lots had become impromptu playgrounds for young people, without proper testing and management, the community could actually be at risk of an assortment of poisonings, not least of which would be lead. Growing cities, I feel, have more issues than opportunities because there`s a lot less room to move, and if they`re growing that typically means that housing is in high demand and investing in building more, denser space gets a high return. To clarify: growing cities mean that there`s great opportunity for population density, mixed-used structures and well-backed public transportation, but it becomes harder to add these into the design of the city. With growing cities, sustainable design seems to have to be made more into regulation if it is to work. High quality of life has to be guaranteed to everyone, including people that can`t afford the seaside luxury condos. Citing Farr, incorporating park land does raise value of housing, and even small 1/4acre parks are acceptable. In growing cities, designers have less luxury of being spontaneous or inspired. They have to get ahead of the game and demand reforms so that they can affect a community. Where as in shrinking cities, a group can get together and transform a site, gain some popularity, and then be given permission and backing to convert other sites.

1b. While shrinking cities have the land available for public and private green parks, gardens, and plazas; cities adding density are eyeing the potential profits being thrown around by developers. It is difficult to deny buildings from moving in, but I think it is necessary to keep an interlocking network of green spaces, while green spaces that are isolated should be given up first.(only if they have to be). I think the future is landscape urbanism, where buildings integrate with green spaces, inviting the public onto green roofs and terraces. while park space can be put on and into buildings in many innovative ways, I think that there are opportunities to develop underground urban farms. There is a project in London paid by Microsoft that utilizes old bomb tunnels to create whats looked like many acres of public garden space. Another innovative solution is to expand into the sea on coastal cities. Coastal cities typically have less budget constraints than landlocked cities and face the threat of sea level rise. By expanding into the sea there can be a buffer layer that should be covered in natural plant growth, that works to absorb and alleviate storm surge water, while adding miles of coastal park space. This is certainly a great undertaking, but one proposal that I`ve seen and been impressed by is the `dry line` by BIG. https://vimeo.com/117303273 We must look to take advantage of all spaces within and around our city to revitalize damaged or destroyed ecologies, which will provide psychological and physical advantages for urban residents. these solutions are not just for aesthetics like many believe, and when proposing them to city officials and the public, the problems of sea level rise, pollution, ecological destruction, etc. must be addressed.

2b. There is always the challenge of educating stakeholders in the importance of sustainable urban practices. Currently cities and this country do things in a particular way that appears to save money in the short term but inevitably cost more in the long term. The long view of the situation is always hard to argue but necessary. Old zoning must be tackled to insure innovations in urban planning can be pursued. I believe there is a movement toward more sustainable cities do to data and damage. The flooding in Texas, New Orleans, New York and cities all over the world do to climate change is waking people up that things need to change. The more data a designer has behind them the better. Stormwater management through bioswales, open green spaces and rooftop gardens can cost a bit upfront but will save tremendously not only in damages prevented but in water treatment as well as increased property value. Designers can also help build jobs and food security through green development. Cities need to think about the jobs and economy of the future and why not have it be green and deep within the city. When communities are healthy and feel empowered economies grow and poverty reseeds.


Green spaces Name: Instructor: Institution: Course: Date: 1a. America is a purely capitalist society, an aspect that can be seen in quite a number of processes. Ideally, this is an aspect that can be seen in city planning. Most of the developments in the cities and generally urban spaces have taken on a capitalist stance, where the developers dictate the level of growth and the consequences of the same. As the response rightly puts it, developers have taken a very aggressive approach, where they even encroach on the green spaces. It is now common to


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