November Preservation Clippings

Posted on: December 9th, 2013 by Preservation Leadership Forum Staff

Articles and blog posts from affiliated organizations and thinkers that will help in your work as preservation leaders.

Placemaking

A new report  from MIT’s department of urban studies and planning,  titled Places in the Making, argues that the process of making a place is as important as the place itself. Jared Green, editor and writer of The Dirt TM blog, offers a thoughtful and detailed review of this report, which he calls a “fresh take” on placemaking.

Livability

In his blog post, “The Livability Trap,” which appears in the Atlantic Cities Place Matters, writer and editor Jordan Fraade examines the emerging “livability” index industry, in which different websites or media outlets rank cities based on various—often subjective—criteria that add up to provide the "livability” score of a city. In particular, he looks the ratings made by the Economist, which critics say ignore cosmopolitan cities in favor of slightly duller locales.  Fraade suggests that there are many ways of determining the livability of cities and he encourages readers to take a more careful look at the rankings.

Cohesive Communities

In a recent post for Atlantic Cities, “creative class”-thinker Richard Florida offers his take on a recent study by Michigan State University sociologist Zachary Neal and psychologist Jennifer Watling, which investigates the connections between diversity and social cohesion. While the research project itself leans heavily on computational models and a narrow definition of diversity, it offers much food for thought about the future prospects for diverse urban neighborhoods.

(Re)introducing Public Health

A century ago, public health and urban planning went hand in hand. Today, however, this isn’t always the case. A special issue of AIArchitect examines the growing movement to reconnect public planning and public health.  You will find articles on the history of health and urban planning, recent projects designed to improve public health, and university programs that integrate urban health and urban planning.

Commemorations

November 22 marked the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Tex. Though scores of new books, television shows, and documentaries have been produced on the subject, an appropriate memorial in Dallas is still the subject of debate. Mark Lamster, the architecture critic of The Dallas Morning News and a professor in the architecture school at the University of Texas at Arlington looks at the newest example, a plaque on the grassy knoll of Dealey Plaza, and asks if this is the best we can do.

The "High Line effect"

Recognizing the success of the New York High Line, several cities are looking to transform their old and underutilized bridges into elevated parks and walkways in the hopes of enhancing and expanding public open space. In “Want an old bridge? Many cities say yes,” Washington, D.C.-based journalist Melanie Kaplan examines a project in her own neighborhood, the 11th Street Bridge. This project will be the first elevated bridge park in Washington D.C. and will connect the Capitol Hill and Anacostia neighborhoods. Kaplan explores the process under which initial, small grassroots efforts bloomed into a half-million dollar fundraising effort and generated much excitement and anticipation.  She also explores other linear parks in the making, such as Chicago’s Bloomingdale Trail and Park.

We do our best to stay on top of things, but if you find something you consider a “must-read” for your Forum colleagues, let us know and we will include it in the monthly “Preservation Clippings.”

So much information, so little time. Let us do the clipping for you.