American City X: Syracuse After the Master Plan by Mark Robbins

By Mark Robbins

In American urban X, editor Mark Robbins, former dean of Syracuse University's tuition of structure, argues that cutting edge and compelling structure can't in basic terms increase the way in which a urban is perceived, but in addition switch how it works. trying to Syracuse, big apple, because the archetypal "American urban X," the ebook showcases initiatives that reveal capability optimistic futures for put up business towns around the nation. that includes renovations and ground-up constructions—ranging from landscapes to constructions and infrastructure—at either residential and institutional scales, the winning fresh paintings in Syracuse addresses sustainability, fabric and formal experimentation, and creative use of house for evolving neighborhood wishes.

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4 The south end of the street is marked by a new urban space that reconfigures pedestrians and cars in the parking lot of a local supermarket and produces an updated image for an underwhelming amenity. Stormwater from the supermarket’s roof and from the parking lot is gathered in biofilter pockets—planted with local grasses and perennials—along the street edge. Modular paving enhances the entrance to the market while calming traffic. Most significant in the design is the organizational banding of permeable and impermeable paving that highlights rain when it falls and directs it toward custom-built protective “nests” that elevate the parking planting to a design installation.

Recognizing the lack of massive funds aimed at renewal as well as the limits of earlier approaches, the method suggested draws on a variety of physical and social patterns as a base for strategic interventions that offer the potential for inflection and linkages at several scales. As opposed to the clean slate associated with the master plan, more particularized design interventions draw from the social, political, and economic opportunities at hand. It is an urbanism that is, in the best sense, opportunistic.

Optimistic Urbanism The Near Westside was also the site of From the Ground Up, a competition for new sustainable houses organized in 2008 by the School of Architecture partnering with the NWSI, the CoE, and Home HeadQuarters, a private nonprofit housing agency. The purpose of the competition was to create models for high-energy-performance homes and to encourage a reconsideration of the city’s approach to density. Zoning and density are critical to the discussion, as the existing social-service models and city zoning policies have encouraged demolition, larger lot sizes, and the fusing of multiple lots into single-home sites with asphalt parking pads rather than on-street parking.

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