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Thread: Ameliorating the lousy urbanism of the tower in the park

  1. #1
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    Ameliorating the lousy urbanism of the tower in the park

    Does anyone know of any studies, books or articles about reworking the ghastly housing superblocks of the 50s--70s? I know that in 1968 at the behest of the HDA, Lawrence Halpern wrote a proposal for modifying the Penn South houses in NYC but that's the only trace I can find. I heard that France attacked this problem in the 80s but have no other info.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Luca's avatar
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    Do you mean aside from tearing them down and starting anew?
    Life and death of great pattern languages

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    maudit anglais
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    There has been a fair bit of work done in Toronto on this topic as it is a very common development type in the suburbs.

    Here are a couple of links I dug up quickly from a google search. I know there is some other good work out there too, but I couldn't find it. This is an article put together by an architectural firm which discusses both energy retrofits and intensification potential:

    ERA Article

    This is a preliminary staff report on a large redevelopment proposal which would have intensified a large towers-in-the-park development. The development scheme has changed somewhat since this report, and I'm not sure of the proposal's status at this time.

    Don Mills Staff Report

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    http://www.huduser.org/Publications/pdf/def.pdf

    this PDF report, "Creating Defensible Space" by Oscar Newman may be useful. Talks about the problems of superblock projects, and has some examples of how some project neighborhoods were revitalized (although not superblocks, some of the changes to how public space is organized would be appropriate to superblocks.

  5. #5
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    reworking-- not destroying

    Quote Originally posted by Luca View post
    Do you mean aside from tearing them down and starting anew?
    No matter how tempting, since Puitt-Igoe, most municipalities have been either the environment take its course (benign neglect) or actively building and landscaping to make superblocks better places to live. I need some names of these projects and some books or articles which describe their efforts.

  6. #6
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    thank you

    Quote Originally posted by Tranplanner View post
    There has been a fair bit of work done in Toronto on this topic as it is a very common development type in the suburbs.

    Here are a couple of links I dug up quickly from a google search. I know there is some other good work out there too, but I couldn't find it. This is an article put together by an architectural firm which discusses both energy retrofits and intensification potential:

    ERA Article

    This is a preliminary staff report on a large redevelopment proposal which would have intensified a large towers-in-the-park development. The development scheme has changed somewhat since this report, and I'm not sure of the proposal's status at this time.

    Don Mills Staff Report
    [/I]

    I appreciate the hot tips.
    I was around for the Pruitt-Igoe demolition and the Newman book but I know the world has since moved on. I also live in a middle-class tower-in-the-park and though we could use more amenities, I find it quite nice for my current needs. The landscaping is now mature and particularly wonderful during the springtime. So I know things are complicated.

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