Infrastructure: recycling Olympic venues

ParqueOlimpico

Wired  published an article at the start of the 2016 Rio Olympics showing how recycling Olympic venues would work once the competition ended. Parts of the aquatics venue (above) will be used to create two public pools. The beachside volleyball stadium will become four elementary schools.

I like this design concept. It reminds me of other innovations in public infrastructure, such as prefab bridgesSuch innovations cut both costs and construction times. But will Rio actually follow through on the promise?

Continue reading Infrastructure: recycling Olympic venues

Infrastructure: Build sidewalks to build community

sidewalks build community
Flow chart showing benefits of sidewalks and walking

Sidewalks are infrastructure and infrastructure is a reflection of our social nature. Sidewalks are, or can be, important public spaces. They might, or could, be the public space with which we’re most familiar. Sidewalks build community and promote the healthy lifestyle and walkable neighborhoods that many people say they want.

Consider what happens on sidewalks: chalk drawings, tricycle rides, dog walks, hopscotch, jump rope, lemonade stands, neighborhood conversations, holding hands.

Continue reading Infrastructure: Build sidewalks to build community

The power of program design: housing first – Update

Homeless Paul

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti recently called for $100 million in the city’s 2016 budget to help change the homeless crisis in his city. At this point, this is just a budget proposal so it’s hard to know exactly this money, if eventually appropriated, would be spent.

Continue reading The power of program design: housing first – Update

City design: Redesigning failed municipal golf courses

failed municipal golf course

More golf courses have closed than opened since 2006, according to Bloomberg. Many a failed municipal golf course opened during the stock market bubble of the 1990s and the housing market bubble of the 2000s, only to suffer during the Great Recession. In 2013, 14 new courses opened in the U.S. while 157 courses closed.

Continue reading City design: Redesigning failed municipal golf courses

Marketing Approaches to Reducing Gun Violence

Police in riot gear at Ferguson protests

Ferguson. Staten Island. Pasco. Baltimore. Police mistrust and gun violence are currently dominating the headlines. Crime, health and safety, institutional transparency, accountability–all these public sector issues intersect the problems of police mistrust and guns. Could there be a marketing approach to reducing gun violence?

Continue reading Marketing Approaches to Reducing Gun Violence

Solving urban expansion: Design that includes families

Because we’re social animals, we like to live together. Increasingly, this means living in cities. In his TED talk, Alejandro Aravena notes that by 2030, we will have 5 billion people on Earth living in cities.That’s a lot of togetherness.

Continue reading Solving urban expansion: Design that includes families

Democratic transportation: Buses in Bogota

Enrique Penalosa, former mayor of Bogota, Columbia, sees transportation as a matter of equity. “An advanced city is not one where even the poor use cars,” says Penalosa, “but rather one where even the rich use public transportation.” (Or bicycles.)

Continue reading Democratic transportation: Buses in Bogota