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Living Streets: Strategies for Crafting Public Space

ISBN: 978-0-470-90381-0
336 pages
March 2012
Living Streets: Strategies for Crafting Public Space (0470903813) cover image

The only book of its kind to provide an overview of sustainable street design

Today, society is moving toward a more sustainable way of life, with cities everywhere aspiring to become high-quality places to live, work, and play. Streets are fundamental to this shift. They define our system of movement, create connections between places, and offer opportunities to reconnect to natural systems. There is an increasing realization that the right-of-way is a critical and under-recognized resource for transformation, with new models being tested to create a better public realm, support balanced transportation options, and provide sustainable solutions for stormwater and landscaping.

Living Streets provides practical guidance on the complete street approach to sustainable and community-minded street use and design. Written by an interdisciplinary team of authors, the book brings insights and experience from urban planning, transportation planning, and civil engineering perspectives. It includes examples from many completed street design projects from around the world, an overview of the design and policy tools that have been successful, and guidance to help get past the predictable obstacles to implementation: Who makes decisions in the right-of-way? Who takes responsibility? How can regulations be changed to allow better use of the right-of-way?

Living Streets informs you of the benefits of creating streets that are healthier, more pleasant parts of life:

  • Thoughtful planning of the location, uses, and textures of the spaces in which we live encourages people to use public space more often, be more active, and possibly live healthier lives.
  • A walkable community makes life easier and more pleasant for everyone, especially for vulnerable populations within the larger community whose transportation limitations reduce access to jobs, healthy food, health care, recreation, and social interaction.
  • Streets present opportunities to improve the natural environment while adding to neighborhood character, offering beauty, providing shade, and improving air quality.

If you're an urban planner, designer, transportation engineer, or civil engineer, Living Streets is the ultimate guide for the creation of more humane streetscapes that connect neighborhoods and inspire people.

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS xi

OVERVIEW xiii

Chapter 1 PLACEMAKING IN THE PUBLIC RIGHT-OF-WAY 1

The Function of Places 2

Why Invest in a Quality Public Realm? 4

Placemaking and Design 5

Encouraging the Use of Public Space 11

Reclaiming Right-of-Way for Public Places 14

Considering All the Elements in the Right-of-Way 21

Chapter 2 MOBILITY 23

Connecting People to Places 24

Why Have Walkable, Bikeable Communities? 25

The Size and Shape of Movement 26

The Pace of Movement 34

A Shift in Thinking 35

Chapter 3 NATURAL SYSTEMS 39

Reconnecting Cities to Nature 40

Urban Biodiversity 41

Natural Systems and Opportunities in the Right-of-Way 42

Why Reconnect Nature and the City? 49

Chapter 4 ELEMENTS 51

Places to Move Through 52

Materials 58

Intersections 59

Bicycle Facilities 61

Signage 68

Street Furniture 70

Street Trees and Landscaping 74

Swales and Rain Gardens 74

Curbs, Gutters, and Alternatives 77

Parking 79

Chapter 5 INFLUENCES 83

Considering Context 84

Policy Foundation—Policies That Infl uence Street Design 87

Codes, Guidelines, and Standards 93

Reality Factors 99

Chapter 6 TYPOLOGIES 113

Typologies Overview 113

Residential Streets 115

Green Streets 123

Alleys 139

Main Streets 154

Thoroughfares 171

Shared-Use Streets 182

Festival Streets 193

Chapter 7 CASE STUDIES 207

Mint Plaza 208

Nord Alley 217

Central Annapolis Road 225

78th Avenue SE Shared Use 235

High Point 243

Barracks Row 255

New York City 263

Terry Avenue North 271

Chapter 8 WHAT'S NEXT 285

Biophilic Cities: More Nature in the City 286

New Technologies 287

Building the Dream 290

Conclusions 296

RESOURCES 301

INDEX 311

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Lesley Bain, AIA, LEED, is an architect, urban designer, and Principal at Weinstein A|U Architects + Urban Designers LLC. Lesley has played prominent roles in many of Seattle's urban design efforts including pedestrian planning, station area development, campus planning, and incorporating transportation into neighborhoods.

Barbara Gray is an urban planner with eighteen years of professional experience in community design and transportation planning. She currently manages the Transportation Systems Design and Planning group for the Seattle Department of Transportation.

Dave Rodgers, PE, LEED, is recognized nationwide as being at the forefront of innovative sustainable design. He is a Principal at SvR Design Company.

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"A chief purpose of Living Streets is to encourage designers to see streets as "more than just places to drive." The book explores how intelligent street planning can create good places for living, working, and playing; strengthen community interaction; encourage healthier ways of life; develop local economies; and promote urban patterns that are less dependent on fossil fuels." (Better! Cities & Towns, September 2012)
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April 30, 2012
EXPLORE THE FASTEST GROWING SEGMENTS OF ARCHITECTURE & DESIGN: LIVING STREETS & LIVE-WORK SPACES

John Wiley & Sons, the leading publisher of architecture & design books, is releasing two new titles that explore the biggest trends affecting our cities and working environments.  The first book, Live-Work Planning and Design: Zero-Commute Housing ($80.00; April 2012) investigates the end of commuting and the creation of urban designs that bring lives back together through shortening or eliminating the separation between work and life.  The second book, Living Streets: Strategies for Crafting Public Space ($85.00; April 2012), looks at the creation of livable public spaces.  The importance of this has never been greater, as public spaces shape lives, and have more stakeholders than ever from business owners who want to see their retail districts become profitable, to health experts encouraging exercise, to a commuter who uses the sidewalk to reach the bus stop on his daily trip to work.

Live-work is the hybrid building type that integrates living space with a work space. For thousands of years, cities and towns contained shophouses, the original live-work buildings, in which work and commerce were carried on at the street level and some or all of the workers lived above or behind the work area. More recently, due to the vast availability of warehouse space, live-work spaces re-emerged with artists renovating warehouse spaces in New York and other cities and have evolved into a building type that is increasingly common for new construction as well as renovations of existing buildings. Live-Work Planning and Design is the only comprehensive guide to the design and planning of live-work spaces for architects, designers, and urban planners. Readers will learn from built examples of live-work, both new construction and renovation, in a variety of locations. Professionals will learn how various municipalities have developed and incorporated live-work within building codes and city plans. Author, Thomas Dolan, whose pioneering website, live-work.com, has been guiding practitioners and users of live-work since 1998, is the United States' leading expert on the subject.

The second title, Living Streets: Strategies for Crafting Public Space, encourages designers to look at streets as more than just places to drive, and explores movement as only one of several roles that street space can play. The authors look at the importance of street design from a multi-use and spatial standpoint rather than a single-purpose traffic function. In many cities, streets are considered to be a network of spaces with a mix of uses and users, with spatial qualities and unique contexts.  Inside, it's revealed how proper street planning can:  

  • Create excellent places to live, work, and play
  • Strengthen community interaction
  • Encourage healthier lifestyles
  • Develop local economies
  • Promote urban patterns that are less dependent on fossil fuels

The book provides a broad overview of the growing approach toward complete and sustainable street design. Its contents present the background on modern street design and where it has failed, describe a series of street typologies, and demonstrate, through diverse case studies, the applicable lessons learned from each. Featuring examples from over two-dozen completed street design projects around the world, the book provides practical guidance on the complete street approach to sustainable and community-minded street and road design.  Living Streets: Strategies for Crafting Public Space, is written for teams of engineers, transportation planners, landscape architects, and urban planners.

These two new titles are essential additions to the libraries of any architecture or design professional involved with urban development.  

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

LIVE-WORK PLANNING AND DESIGN:

Thomas Dolan, is the principal of Thomas Dolan Architecture (TDA) in Oakland, California. An architect, landscape and urban designer, and development and code consultant, Dolan designed the first purpose-built live-work complex constructed in the United States. He was instrumental in the development of the live-work building code for the city of Oakland. Dolan is active in the Congress for the New Urbanism and is the founder of the pioneering website www.live-work.com, which has been a resource for practitioners and users of live-work since 1998.  

LIVING STREETS:

Lesley Bain, AIA, LEED AP, Seattle, WA, is an architect and urban designer and a Principal at Weinstein AU Architects and Urban Designers. Lesley has played prominent roles in many of Seattle's urban design efforts including pedestrian planning, station area development, campus planning and incorporating transportation into neighborhoods. Lesley has a B.A. from Yale University and a Master of Architecture degree from University of Pennsylvania.

Barbara Gray, AICP, LEED AP, Seattle, WA, is an urban planner with eighteen years of professional experience in community design and transportation planning. She currently manages the Transportation Systems Design and Planning group for the Seattle Department of Transportation. Barbara's areas of expertise include urban design, street design for pedestrian and bicycle safety and access, land use planning, transit-oriented development, and neighborhood planning. She led the staff effort to develop Seattle's Complete Streets Ordinance and is the project manager for Seattle's citywide pedestrian master plan.  

Dave Rodgers, PE, LEED, Portland, OR, is recognized as one of the civil engineers on the forefront of innovative sustainable design in Seattle and nationwide. He is a Principal at SvR Design Company. SvR has been involved in projects including Growing Vine Street, Maynard Avenue Green Street, Terry Ave Design guidelines, Bell Street Park Project, and the High Point Neighborhood green community design.  

LIVE-WORK PLANNING AND DESIGN

Zero-Commute Housing

Published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Publication date: April 23, 2012

$80.00; Hardcover; 272 pages; ISBN: 978-0-470-60480-9

 

LIVING STREETS

Strategies for Crafting Public Space

Published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Publication date: April 2, 2012

$85.00; Hardcover; 336 pages; ISBN: 978-0-470-90381-0

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Living Streets: Strategies for Crafting Public Space (US $85.00)

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