Modern Cities, Modern People
Picking up from Part One, the following are an amalgam of what I personally believe as aspects in applying the City Beautiful Movement to the twenty-first century:
Sustainable initiatives like LEED have greatly improved quality of life and promoted social order in many facets of design and public wellness. It has informed the community on the environmental impact that one carries. It has fostered the grassroots movement of the “green” trend that has become ubiquitous in all aspects of design. In the grand scheme of things, LEED have brought overlapping disciplines of the built environment together and showcased to the world the stepping stone of the “new” City Beautiful Movement in the 21st century.
Low impact development (LID) and best management practices (BMPs) could probably be coupled with LEED, but they are significant stand-alone aspects of urban and suburban land development in the modern world.
Senate and Assembly bills may not have the glitz and the glamour of a grand and environmentally conscious designed building or landscape, but they do more to get things accomplished. These bills have for example restricted sprawl and promoted urban density, as well as improvements in storm water management and best management practices. One bill of note is SB 375, which was previously written about here. And they say nothing gets done in congress or senate! More so in local governments I suppose.
Incorporation of alternate power sources, i.e. solar, wind turbines, dams, which have changed the landscape dramatically and morphed the process of urban and regional planning
Earlier this year, the New Cities Summit took place in Paris discussing the ways in which to building better, more efficient vibrant cities as our population in urban areas will more than double by 2050.
Because of significant population growth in the next 50 years and into the forseeable future, transit-oriented development has and will continue to morph our environment. A prime example of this is in Los Angeles, where new transit money has been spread across the state and into new transit hubs in downtown Los Angeles’ Union Station. A rendering cab be seen above. Public transportation and the infrastructure that comes with it will greatly impact the way cities choose to expand whether that is vertically or horizontally.
Another example of transit-oriented development impacting urban planning is San Francisco’s Transbay Terminal. Not only is the terminal being built, but the surrounding areas in the heart of the city are seeing their value skyrocket. Structures are being built at alarming rates in such economic times in the SOMA area, due in large part to the Twitter tax break. This TOD project shows the value of public transit in urban areas.
Previously written about by Arch//Land, but over on Land8, ecometropolitanism is just a fancy word for landscape urbanism. Its the idea of integrating the natural environment into the urban landscape. This is a significant part of adapting City Beautiful to the modern world.
Note to Readers: Feel free to chime in if you believe something is missing in the conversation.