By Hannah Jarman-Miller

The Zupan’s in my neighborhood closed recently. After nearly 20 years of occupying a mixed use private-public space in SE Portland, a design that spurred much of the development on the changing Belmont strip, the grocery store closed its doors, leaving the space vacant with an uncertain future. I felt unmoved, perceiving that I had many other options at my disposal. I couldn’t help but think of the Whole Foods less than a mile away. However, the comings and goings of grocery stores have ramifications much deeper than whether you can still have your pick of preferred produce provider.  A growing body of research suggests that the suburbanization of food retailers in North America in recent decades has contributed to the emergence of urban 'food deserts', or disadvantaged areas of cities with relatively poor access to healthy and affordable food[i].

By Hannah Jarman-Miller

Laurelhurst Park is one of my favorite places in Portland. Once the site of a prestigious cattle farm, the area was sold to the City of Portland in 1911 when the east side neighborhoods were beginning to develop and the land became too valuable for agriculture. The area was converted into a public park, intentionally designed to serve the needs of the growing community, which it has continued to do for many generations. It was even named the most beautiful park on the west coast in 1919, and though it may not hold this title in 2017, it is still one of the most beautiful parts of my day.

by Hannah Jarman-Miller

This time of year is intertwined with a deep and sudden compulsion to be outside. As the first sunny days of spring begin to bloom, and the world becomes welcoming again, I often find myself drawn out to meandering walks through my neighborhood. As an apartment dweller, I don’t have an outside space to call my own. Instead, I turn to my city to provide me the lush backyard, shady patio, and front porch view that I so long for on this particular kind of spring day.

Taylor Campi

The Center for Urban Design and Mental Health[1] (UDMH) recently celebrated World Health Day[2] with a flashmob… of tweets.

The theme of this year’s World Health Day was “Depression: Let’s Talk,” in response to a staggering rise in the rate of depression worldwide in the last decade. Planners, architects, and other placemakers posted photos and videos of ways to #DesignAgainstDepression. Tweets discussed the importance of engaging children, places that facilitate physical and social activity, and the connection between greenspace and mental well being.

Suzanne H. Crowhurst Lennard

An admirable book called City Squares (Catie Marron, Ed.) was published last year. I was glad to see more attention being paid to this topic but, I must admit, a little disappointed by the book’s main thrust. Out of 18 writers who contributed chapters on “the spirit and significance of squares around the world” at least one third focused on the political demonstrations, sometimes violent, that took place in recent decades in Taksim Square, Tahrir Square, Tiananmen Square, Euromaidan Square, and elsewhere.

Carmel, IN today unveiled the Range Line Road Diet.  For about half the length of the road it decreases the number of lanes from five to two, and installs a median the entire distance of the project, with wider sidewalks, a cycle track, and two ten foot ped/bike paths for shorter trips. Go Carmel!

By Andrew Hickey

Art can play a powerful and valuable role in healing community and fostering dialogue about public policy. I experienced a striking example of this when a Portland art and music venue became a center for talking about community issues that failed to be addressed in other spaces, like the gender divide in electronic music; current sex worker issues; or the need for music spaces to address larger political concerns, such as the presidential election. The effectiveness of these events, workshops, and community dialogue, lead me to investigate recent efforts that bridge the gap between art and community.

Suzanne Crowhurst Lennard was keynote speaker at the Norwegian Architectural Institute’s Annual Conference in Oslo, November 24. “The built environment is health policy in concrete”, she reminds the audience, and if we want to make our cities healthy we must first make them healthy for children: the environment a child grows up in shapes their health for the rest of their lives.

This eReport presents six presentations and slides dealing with different aspects of community engagement, including a methodology for eliciting a community vision, children’s involvement in improving their neighborhood, a history of civic engagement in a city, and community-led improvements in a neighborhood, as well as case studies showing how to involve more diverse skills in achieving lasting improvements.

In Moscow and St. Petersburg where Maxim Atayants works, new buildings continue to be constructed using one of two styles – either classical, or 1960s concrete/glass style.  As an architect, Maxim believes it is important to create a continuous, human scale urban fabric that provides a hospitable background and setting for people’s lives. Classical architecture and urban design allows him to achieve this goal.

Syndicate content