According to Harvard researchers, via the New York Times:
Harvard University researchers note that as much as one-third of the land in some cities is devoted to parking spots. Some city planners expect that the cost of homes will fall as more space will become available in cities [due to driverless vehicles]. If parking on city streets is reduced and other vehicles on roadways become smaller, homes and offices will take up that space. Today’s big-box stores and shopping malls require immense areas for parking, but without those needs, they could move further into cities.
At Rebar we are always trying to re-imagine our city’s car-centric streets by turning them into mobile parks, temporary public spaces, new bike lanes, and now city-permitted parklets. We think this public space is not just for automobiles and history supports this. Check out this new book, to be published in August 2013:
Roads Were Not Built For Cars was crowd-funded on Kickstarter and is going to be available for free digitally and for purchase in print.
An increasing share of the Internet’s visual resources are now locked away in private cabinets, untagged and unsearchable, shared with a public no wider than the photographer’s personal sphere…Hundreds of millions of people who have photographed culturally significant events, people, buildings and landscapes, and who would happily give their work to the commons if they were prompted, are locked into sites that don’t even provide the option. The Internet (and the mobile appverse) is becoming a chain of walled gardens that trap even the most civic-minded person behind the hedges, with no view of the outside world.
Josh Wallaert, “State of the Commons,” Design Observer, November 8, 2012.
Look out Windy City! What started with Park(ing) Day and became a household name in SF is rolling out in Chicago.
Rebar’s Showplace Triangle is featured in a recent commercial for LRG Clothing called Letting the Kids Play Part 2. Although it wasn’t designed for skating, the plaza occasionally ‘stacks functions’ as urban oasis and adventure playground.
Above, SLO’s design with changeable exterior building skin. (Photo SLO)
Many of Los Angeles’ classrooms exist in temporary or portable structures, established to save money and act as a quick fix to the need for expanded classroom space. Of the LA Unified School District’s 9,300 temporary classrooms, most are drab, poorly designed for student engagement, and are in need of repairs or replacement.
As part of a larger effort to rethink education, The Los Angeles’ Unified School District recently invited three LA-based architecture firms (Swift Lee Office or SLO, Hodgetts+Fung, and Gonzalez Goodale) to rise to this design challenge. The firms designed pre-fab, temporary school structures that feel like permanent spaces, and create inspiring learning environments for kids. The designs include a sustainable focus, with features like natural lighting and air flow, and use of renewable energy and materials (which also integrates lessons on environmental design into the physical classroom). The designs can be built cheaply, quickly, are easy to assemble, and can be produced en masse. Designs range in size from 6,000 to 30,000 square feet.
Hodgetts+Fung’s prototypes, built mainly of fiberglass, are lightweight and easy to replace. (Photo Hodgetts+Fung)
Gonzalez Goodale’s modular prototypes. (Photo Gonzalez Goodale)
More in The Architect’s Newspaper article.
Rebar recently had the pleasure of briefly hosting Clara Åhlvik who was traveling through San Francisco on west coast tour through the USA. Clara is a curator and artist with the Jönköpings läns museum in Sweden, and has developed several DIY manuals with collaborator Otto von Busch that remix couture, food, and activism. These were featured in Craftwerk 2.0: New Household Tactics for the Popular Crafts, which you should check out if you’re in Sweden.