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Posts tagged "Fred Kent"

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Fort Worth Turned Two Parking Lots Into Sundance Square Plaza

While in Dallas for the CNU23 conference this May, I wanted to explore. It was my second time there in less than a year, and I wanted to see if Fort Worth was much different than the tough-to-be-a-pedestrian conditions I was experiencing in Dallas. I spoke to some folks at Project for Public Spaces (PPS) who convinced me that I needed to go see Sundance Square Plaza, which PPS President Fred Kent has called one of the best squares in the world.

I was glad I went. Sundance Square Plaza is a bold, beautiful space filled with energy. As PPS wrote soon after the plaza opened in 2013:

Where once there were two parking lots on either side of Main Street in the center of downtown Fort Worth, there is now the much-loved and much-used Sundance Square. The Square has become an integral part of the downtown Fort Worth experience, hosting events both large and small, and taking on an increasing role in the life of the city.

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Mayor Bill Peduto Wants to “Leapfrog” Your City on Bicycling and Livability

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto is putting the rest of the United States on notice. His city is on the rise, and he fully intends to keep it that way.

For the first time in over half a century, Pittsburgh is expecting an increase in residents as the number of people moving back to the city grows. Complete streets policies are high on Peduto's agenda for managing this growth and making the city more attractive. Earlier this month, the ProWalk ProBike ProPlace conference took place in Pittsburgh, and the energy of the city was on full display. So was Peduto, who was very active at the event.

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Mayor Bill Peduto soaks up some rays at Park(ing) Day 2014. Photo: City of Pittsburgh

Peduto is now at the forefront of a new wave of American mayors who understand how reforming the design and function of urban streets is key to growing a city. When talking to him, it's clear right off the bat that he's well-versed in urbanism and the history of cities. Even so, he wants to learn more. This summer, he went on a study tour with The Green Lane Project to check out the best bike infrastructure Copenhagen has to offer.

Local advocates have high hopes for Peduto's administration, which has already delivered some high-profile improvements. According to the latest stats, Pittsburgh has the 11th highest bike mode share in the country, and there is solid momentum to build on that. Pittsburgh recently implemented its first true protected bike lanes downtown, part of Peduto's push to create a more multi-modal city.

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Contested Streets: Breaking New York City Gridlock

Produced in 2006 as part of the New York City Streets Renaissance Campaign, Contested Streets explores the history and culture of New York City streets from pre-automobile times to present.  This examination allows for an understanding of how the city --- though the most well served by mass transit in the United States --- has slowly relinquished what was a rich, multi-dimensional conception of the street as a public space to a mindset that prioritizes the rapid movement of cars and trucks over all other functions.

Central to the story is a comparison of New York to what is experienced in London, Paris and Copenhagen.  Interviews and footage shot in these cities showcase how limiting automobile use is in recent years has improved air quality, minimized noise pollution and enriched commercial, recreational and community interaction.  London's congestion pricing scheme, Paris' BRT and Copenhagen's bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure are all examined in depth.  New York City, though to many the most vibrant and dynamic city on Earth, still has lessons to learn from Old Europe.

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NYCSR in Chicago

In March 2007, The Project for Public Spaces' Fred Kent visited Chicago to meet with many of the key leaders in the Livable Streets movement. Kit Hodge, who was a key figure with NYCSR's birth in NYC, arranged several meetings and presentations - including a very productive, private meeting with Cheri Heramb, the Commissioner of Chicago DOT.

It's apparent that Chicago is on its way to developing and implementing key strategies that will transform its streets into safer, interactive public places. Just one is Mayor Richard Daley's Pedestrian Advisory Council of which Heramb is a co-chair. But even more vital is the air of cooperation and openess that exists in the city government to make a good faith effort to work with communities and advocates to change Chicago for the better.