More than 80% of public space is dedicated to streets, not people; that must change, say city planners.
For years, cars have dominated cities. But as climate issues escalate, and urban populations continue to grow, the percentages of vehicles to humans must change—so says an expert panel that recently discussed changing streetscapes on a webinar presented by Meeting of the Minds. On the panel were Geeti Silwal, a principal in the San Francisco office of Perkins and Will; Anna Muessig with Gehl; and Ed Krafcik, VP of city growth with Soofa. “Getting about should be a quality experience. It connects us to the outdoors and changing climate,” said Muessig.
According to Silwal, that means getting tough, to the point, that in some cases, street width should be limited to a pair of lanes, and within them should be dedicated lanes for bicycles and mass transit. “The rest of the area should be for people and green space.” In opening the discussion, Silwal referenced replicating a vacation ideal—duplicating the wonderful international plazas and public spaces where people love to congregate, and which leave holiday goers with fond memories. As an example, Muessig pointed to Copenhagen, and some of that city’s human-scale initiatives. Architecture and infrastructure matter, said Muessig, but must be more visible and given greater prominence.
Below are a few solutions that caught our eye and lend themselves to these public space ideals, we hope you find them useful in a future project.
New & Noteworthy
The Nova C Recliner is a lounge variant of the Nova C Back, made in an ergonomic, body-conscious design that fits a reclined seating position. The configurable winding Nova C Back allows grand seating in scale with grand indoor spaces. The bench shapes a seamless seating line for natural flow control, while the body-conscious contours ensure comfort.
Three Keystone Hardscapes projects recently earned 2019 Hardscapes North America (HNA) award recognition. The annual awards are given by the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute. Pictured is Confluence Park in San Antonio, designed by Cribley Enterprises, which won in the commercial paver category greater than 15,000 sq. ft. Keystone’s Holland, and CityScape Pentagon pavers, in a custom Caststone, were used on the project. The company also won honors for its products in Confluence Park in Denver, as well as Travis at the Lake, apartments in Austin, Texas.
Celebrating 50 years of designing solutions for outdoor environments, Landscape Forms introduces Generation 50, a line of benches and litter receptacles that according to Chief Creative Officer Kirt Martin, takes the best of the company’s classics and “interprets them in new ways and with new technologies. “In a sense, this line represents the second generation of Landscape Forms’ original products,” adds chief designer Robert Chipman, the nephew of John Chipman Sr., who founded the company in 1969. “We’re connecting our history to our future.”
From Stone Forest is a set of unique benches: The Puzzle Bench features a modular set of alternating concave and convex cubes, carved from solid blocks of Antique Grey limestone. The Quad Bench is a parallelogram-shaped, part utilitarian, part modernist sculpture, available in Gregio Sandstone or Antique Grey Limestone. The Natural Boulder Fire Vessel offers rich patinas formed over millions of years that create a dramatic contrast with the saw cut and polished top surface. For use with a customized gas kit and tempered glass, available with a match-lit or electronic gas kit and light blue or black glass.
VERDEdri delivers more with less:
- Fast, quiet operation
- Superior HEPA filtration
- ADA compliance
SuperClear 45-HS-LI from SAFTI FIRST is the clearest, most affordable, 45-minute glazing product that meets all fire, hose stream and impact safety requirements for 45 minute doors, sidelites, transoms and openings. No wires, amber tints, films or laminates. It has a VLT of 90%, STC of 37 and is available in large sizes. It can be used in interior and exterior applications including energy-efficient make-ups. UL and Intertek listed. Proudly USA-made with fast lead times and competitive pricing.
Airolite’s SCC550 combination louver is the latest addition to its Storm Class louver line. A 5.5- inch deep combination louver that features horizontal exterior blades along with vertical interior blades, the SCC550 gives designers optimum flexibility as the horizontal exterior blades allow for a wide range of bold sightlines for conventional to nontraditional appearances, while the interior vertical blades yield high ventilation rates while providing unsurpassed weather protection. The SCC550 Storm Class combination louver is AMCA 540 Listed for Wind-Borne Debris Impact and AMCA 550 Listed for High Velocity Wind-Driven Rain.