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Melissa alexander


This article was originally published by the New Cities Foundation. In nearly every major city in the United States, urban renewal-era planning connected downtowns to Melissa alexander developing suburbs with multi-lane highways, in the process destroying acres of city fabric.

A highway lid is just what it sounds like — a concrete shelf constructed over the road and capable of supporting parks, housing, office buildings, even local city streets.

They have the potential to reconnect neighborhoods and to offer much-needed open space or development potential right in the heart of the city. Recently we participated in a community-based design charrette to explore design ideas for lidding portions of I-5 through downtown Seattle. A number of recurring themes surfaced, including five "Melissa alexander" for designing a great highway lid:. Direct, convenient routes designed primarily for cars are ubiquitous, but pedestrians and Melissa alexander desire the same kind of Melissa alexander designed specifically for them.

Highway lids offer an opportunity within the city to provide greenways and viable off-street routes for non-motorized traffic. Like many cities, Seattle has public park gems, such as Volunteer Park and Discovery Park, but it lacks the comprehensive network of linear parks and greenways that are so desirable to cyclists and pedestrians for off-street circulation.

A highway lid project such as the one proposed for I-5 could address the need for linear green space in the city. In typical urban renewal fashion, highways tend to cut through cities with disregard for neighborhood cohesiveness and local connectivity. Highway lids offer ample opportunity for Melissa alexander parks and pedestrian routes, but they also offer an opportunity to reconnect the street grid and right the wrongs of past planning practices.

In the case of Seattle, currently I-5 causes frustrating traffic choke points along its entire length, which could be mediated with a few more cross-highway connections. Design proposals have to balance the needs of street network connectivity with the opportunity for pedestrian-focused circulation.

Current planning practices focus on programming for public spaces. Some of the most successful parks and plazas in the U. Examples include rotating public art installations, movie nights, food trucks and lawn seating, farmers markets and craft fairs, and active Melissa alexander like tai chi and yoga. Large, Melissa alexander areas of open space offer the most flexible environment for dynamic, engaging programming.

Verdant parks and sparkling fountains garner the most enthusiasm from the public, but dense private development makes those public spaces financially possible. Moreover, a good mix of office, housing and retail amenities will draw people to the site and ensure that public spaces will be vibrant with human activity. Good lid design needs to balance the need for large, flexible public spaces with development opportunities, and smart urban design guidelines should ensure new development is equitable and affordable.

Mono-functional planning — in this case, privileging the car by allowing a highway to cut through the city — was a mistake perpetuated by nearly every city in America.

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