Page N2.1 . 10 July 2002                     
ArchitectureWeek - News Department
< Prev Page Next Page >



Renewed Urbanism

by ArchitectureWeek

The Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) has announced its second annual Charter Awards, honoring 18 projects that represent "best practices" in urban design and planning. Award recipients represent all scales of development from individual buildings to regional plans, mostly within the United States. They illustrate elements of CNU's goal to rein in urban sprawl by promoting "walkable" mixed-use affordable neighborhoods.

Cited for improvements at the block scale is a section of Bethesda, Maryland that had been characterized by underused shops, low-rise office buildings, and surface parking lots. The primary goal of redevelopment was to create an inviting and comfortable pedestrian experience. The development was designed by several architects to look like it had evolved over time. The completed development widened the sidewalks and added cafe seating and a fountain-centered gathering place. The district is now a place to stroll, shop, and dine, promoting pedestrian use and public transportation.

Another CNU-selected project is a city-scale development plan for Beirut, Lebanon. U.S. firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill proposed five urban neighborhoods on newly filled land on the Mediterranean, adjacent to the city's historic center. The high-density project will house government and private offices, retail and commercial space, and residential neighborhoods. Its centerpiece will be the resurrection of the corniche, a waterfront esplanade that is the most-used public open space in Lebanese culture. The corniche will serve as a pedestrian walkway and public park zone linking the project center to public buildings, a new harbor, and the sea.

At the neighborhood scale, award winner Holly Park is mixed-income, mixed-use housing in Seattle by Weinstein Copeland Architects. This parcel was originally developed as temporary World War II worker housing. The new neighborhood will provide community services such as library, child care, and employment programs. The designers met challenges of low costs and an aggressive schedule by standardizing building dimensions, assemblies, and materials but combined them to produce an attractive variety of houses. Holly Park encourages pedestrian traffic, and semi-private front porches invite neighborhood interaction.

The CNU jury, which reviewed over 200 submissions, included Jonathan Barnett, professor of urbanism at the University of Pennsylvania; Alex Krieger, chair of the Urban Design Program at the Harvard Design School; Richard Rosan, executive vice president of Urban Land Institute; Elinor Bacon of the National Revitalization Commission; John Norquist, Mayor of Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Bonnie Fisher, principal of ROMA Design Group; and Ken Greenberg, architect and urbanist from Toronto, Ontario.



ArchWeek Image

A block-scale development in Bethesda, Maryland, planned by Richard Heapes of Street-Works, won a Charter Award from the Congress for the New Urbanism.
Image: Congress for the New Urbanism

ArchWeek Image

SOM's city-scale development plan for Beirut, Lebanon includes five urban neighborhoods and a new corniche on the Mediterranean.
Image: Congress for the New Urbanism

ArchWeek Image

Holly Park is mixed-income housing in Seattle by Weinstein Copeland Architects.
Image: Congress for the New Urbanism


Click on thumbnail images
to view full-size pictures.

< Prev Page Next Page > Send this to a friend       Subscribe       Contribute       Advertise       Privacy       Comments
AW   |   GREAT BUILDINGS   |   DISCUSSION   |   SCRAPBOOK   |   BOOKS   |   FREE 3D   |   SEARCH © 2002 Artifice, Inc. - All Rights Reserved