The key factor that draws people to a certain place is the place itself. Quality of Place, in comparison to Quality of Life, refers to a unique set of characteristics that define a place and make it attractive. This factor is so important, that Florida has identified Quality of Place as “Territorial Assets”; the fourth T of economic development after Technology, Talent, and Tolerance (the 3Ts of Economic Growth).
There are three key dimensions to Quality of Place (Florida, “What Draws Creative People?”):
What’s there: the combination of the built environment and the natural environment; a stimulating, appealing setting for the pursuit of creative lives.
Who’s there: diverse people of all ethnicities, nationalities, religions, and sexual orientations, interacting and providing clear cues that this is a community where anyone can fit in and make a life.
What’s going on: the vibrancy of the street life, café culture, arts, and music; the visible presence of people engaging in outdoor activities—altogether a lot of active, exciting, creative goings-ons.
In summary, Quality of Place is about an interrelated set of experiences. Many of these experiences occur at the street level and are dynamic and participatory. Everyone is a part of the picture of the place; whether it’s being a part of the street-buzz or retreating to your home or the park.
Quality of Place does not occur automatically. It is an ongoing, dynamic process that involves the engagement of a number of disparate aspects of a community. However, the process is not always a good thing; what appears to be neighborhood revitalization from one perspective is gentrification from another. (Florida, “What Draws Creative People?)
Another element of Quality of Place is thick labor markets. Creative people are attracted to places that offer several jobs in their field rather than just one. They want confidence in knowing that there are several opportunities for them and they don’t have to feel trapped working the same job for the rest of their life. To be attractive, a place needs to offer a job market that is conducive to a horizontal career path (Florida, Revisited 287).
Thick labor markets allow for place to solve a basic puzzle of our economic order: it facilitates the matching of creative people to economic opportunities, providing a labor pool for companies that need people and a thick labor market for people who need jobs. In this way, place replaces the large corporation. It becomes the central organizing unit of our economy and society. “The gathering of people, companies, and resources into particular places with particular specialties and capabilities generates both the efficiencies and the innovations that power economic growth” (Florida, Revisited 288).
The new development for Las Vegas will form a connection between the proposed High Speed Rail Station and the new VIVA Station development located west of I-15. The development will incorporate a multitude of uses, including a new linear parkway that extends North/South, office space, condominiums, affordable housing, a recreation center, an event center, and commercial space. Combinatory Urbanism, a concept established by Thom Mayne, was incorporated into this project.
THOM MAYNE’S COMBINATORY URBANISM: THE COMPLEX BEHAVIOR OF COLLECTIVE FORM EXPLORES NEW DIRECTIONS AND APPROACHES TO URBAN PLANNING AND DESIGN.
For the past forty years Thom Mayne and his firm, Morphosis, have been engaged with projects that exist in the hybrid space between architecture and urban planning. Against this backdrop, Thom Mayne’s new book Combinatory Urbanism: The Complex Behavior of Collective Form (Stray Dog Café, 2011) surveys 12 urban projects that range in scale from a 16-acre proposal for rebuilding the World Trade Center site after the 2001 terrorist attacks to a 52 thousand-acre redevelopment proposal for Post-Katrina New Orleans. This book and the proposals found within, posit an alternative to traditional end-state planning solutions, while attempting to not only illuminate but also explicate Mayne’s own work and critical processes. Combinatory Urbanism represents a departure from previous Morphosis publications. Both a manifesto on urbanism and a comprehensive presentation of Morphosis urban design projects, many of which have never before been published; this book fills a void in the world of architectural and urban design publications.
I used this idea in my design to suggest a new type of Las Vegas Urbanism that responds to the needs and multitude of uses that the people of Las Vegas demand. By intersecting and combining program uses and building form, the development was able to "explore new directions and approaches to urban planning and design" in a beneficial way. The development strives to create a new Las Vegas experience that attracts not only tourists, but locals as well who are looking for a place that meets their work, live, and play needs.
Rural-urban categorization system is touted as effective in coding, education, and design. The Transect, a new model for planning and coding the New Urbanism, is beginning to be employed in regional planning. Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company (DPZ) employs transect design and conducts research which was used in our analysis.
This week, we explored the suburbs in greater detail by first establishing a mapping analysis of the different urban systems in the area. Vegetation and natural systems, streets, highways, topo, zoning, and sub-divisions were all incorporated into our study. In an effort to define and recognize open space, we noted areas of future and present open space conditions and recognized the connections that could be gained through the redevelopment or through establishing new open spaces.
Below is pictured a final result of the study:
Orange: Township lines
Purple: Future Open Space
The study was very effective, and by taking out the aerial view I was able to identify relationships better.
In our next series of studies, we conducted an analysis of 2 major transects and 4 minor transects. We established an area of reference, being the Cuyahoga River, and produces diagrams comparing the East side with the West side. We included one natural diagram and one cultural diagram on both sides of the river. The analysis was meant to be abstract and a way to recognize connections.
After a series of transect designs, we conducted a more in-depth analysis of possible areas of open space. We chose 3 areas that incorporated multiple systems. We looked for areas to redefine; make connections. Our first site involved taking an existing wetland and developing a strategy for flood control and stormwater prevention. We also wanted to preserve the existing forest and develop the land to west by turning it into a passive park.
The second site was on the west side of the Cutahoga River as well. We wanted to extend the Buckeye trail to an existing maintained open field and redefine the space to include a recreational park with possible frisby golf, hiking trails, and temporary structures to help benefit the community and to connect the residential areas to the east and west.
The third site was in an industrial region. We looked into vacant and foreclosed buildings and proposed the concept of public space within the boundaries of exterior walls. We felt the idea was weak and involved a lot of research in terms of deconstruction costs and benefits of the space in the area. Considering we have to pull off a final project in three days, we suggested a different route. More information after the break.
Welcome to the age of reinvention. Waggonner & Ball Architects have done it this time with their strategy for a comprehensive, integrated water management system for New Orleans. The plan includes the east banks of Jefferson, Orleans and St. Bernard Parishes.
Congrats goes out to these locals for the incredible amount of research and heart that they have put into this overwhelming issue. It has truly prepared them for the task of attacking it on a regional level. Their proposal is a composite of knowledge and experience, to boldly embrace water as an amenity of the delta city in order to keep New Orleans afloat.
The issues in New Orleans are endless. Unique challenges must be addressed such as the climate, hurricane threats, and the infrastructure. With the formation of Dutch Dialogues in 2006 and collaboration with the American Planning Association, Waggonner was able to address issues in New Orleans through the formation of three workshops where Dutch engineers, planners, designers, and soil experts visited New Orleans to develop and discuss potential solutions along with New Orleans’ own.
To address this issue you must first understand the water problem in its full context of infrastructure, geology, history, topogrophy, politics, etc, to create possibilities for the future.
Waggonner & Ball view the water as a positive addition to the city and to the neighborhood. "Their plan for the city includes visible water storage to aid with soil subsidence and flooding. They have also proposed a system to circulate the water in New Orleans by linking canals and major infrastructure. At an even bigger scale, Waggonner & Ball will tackle New Orleans’ water districts and develop them based on the topography, not on the politics. The architects also hope that through pilot projects politicians and residents alike will take notice of the benefits of having water within the city. The full proposal presents a future New Orleans that is actually possible, and could only help the city to stabilize and grow."*
*information received from Archdaily
There's no question that the 2012 Olympics will be a push towards innovation, technology, architecture, urban design, and sustainability. With just under a year to go until the opening ceremonies to the 2012 olympics, you have to wonder how the designers are addressing some of the concerns in the London infrastructure. According to Archdaily, "The London 2012 Games offers a unique opportunity to revitalize the Lower Lea Valley, transforming one of the most underdeveloped areas of the UK into a benchmark 21st century urban environment that reflects the diverse and lively population of the region."
What baffles me about the Olympics is the ability for it to change the course of a city. I've been to London and I love it. There's no doubt in my mind that I want to go back, I should go back, or that I will eventually go back (perhaps next year for the Olympics). London will almost indefinitely change because of the Olympics and the new infrastructure is the designs greatest asset.
The problem that many cities face is what to do with the park after the games are over. Cities like Sydney, Athens, and Barcelona have simply turned the park into a tourist spot. Since my last visit to Barcelona almost two years ago, I was able to visit the olympic park, now almost 50 years old. My experience was weak, I found the park to be deserted besides the few tourists lurking around.
The solution: after the games, the park will be transformed into one of the largest urban parks created in Europe for the last 150 years."The new park will be connected to the tidal Thames Estuary to the south and the Hertfordshire countryside to the north. The canals and waterways of the River Lea will be cleaned and widened, and the natural floodplains of the area will be restored to provide a new wetland habitat for wildlife, which birdwatchers and ecologists can enjoy." Sounds sustainable if you ask me.
Brandon E. Young