Posts Tagged ‘streetscapes’

9-11 Urban Legacy: Cities of Bollards

September 13, 2021

9-11 Urban Legacy: Cities of Bollards

“It used to be that D.C. architecture consisted of graceful Georgetown mansions, neoclassical federal buildings — and, of course, the monuments. When the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts was founded in 1910 to guide Washington’s architectural development, it reviewed designs such as those of the Lincoln Memorial and the Federal Triangle. Over the seven years I’ve served on the commission, however, an increasing amount of time is spent discussing security-improvement projects: screening facilities, hardened gatehouses, Delta barriers, perimeter fences, and seemingly endless rows of bollards. We used to mock an earlier generation that peppered the U.S. capital with Civil War generals on horseback; now I wonder what future generations will make of our architectural legacy of crash-resistant walls and blast-proof glass.”

— Wittold Rybczynski, Meyerson professor of urbanism at the University of Pennsylvania.

Read more:

“The Blast-Proof City,” Wittold Rybczynski, Foreign Policy

“I Came, Eyesore, I Conquered,” Witold Rybczynski, Slate

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Short link:  https://wp.me/p6sb6-xue

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

 

Micro-Libraries

October 27, 2013

Micro-Libraries

We came across a tiny library on a Capitol Hill sidewalk by chance yesterday, which is how you are meant to first encounter these free book exchanges. You can read more about them here, but the photos below show you what you need to know.

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Newspaper Boxes

September 16, 2013

Newspaper Boxes

Q: How many newspaper vending boxes are on DC sidewalks?

A: No one knows. They spring up like toadstools.

The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) has published a proposed rulemaking which will regulate the placement and maintenance of publisher boxes on public space. Among other things it requires registration of boxes, imposes a registration fee for them, requires their maintenance, and mandates removal of abandoned newspaper boxes.

There are no existing DC regulations for these streetscape features, and problems have been resolved by a complaint-driven ad hoc process. DDOT Public Space staffers hear about abandoned boxes from angry neighbors, and wheelchair users file ADA complaints when new boxes block the sidewalk. The proposed regs aim at creating a more pro-active situation and a better pedestrian environment. And we’ll even find out how many news vending boxes there are out there.

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Washington, City of Bollards

September 12, 2011

Washington, City of Bollards

“It used to be that D.C. architecture consisted of graceful Georgetown mansions, neoclassical federal buildings — and, of course, the monuments. When the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts was founded in 1910 to guide Washington’s architectural development, it reviewed designs such as those of the Lincoln Memorial and the Federal Triangle. Over the seven years I’ve served on the commission, however, an increasing amount of time is spent discussing security-improvement projects: screening facilities, hardened gatehouses, Delta barriers, perimeter fences, and seemingly endless rows of bollards. We used to mock an earlier generation that peppered the U.S. capital with Civil War generals on horseback; now I wonder what future generations will make of our architectural legacy of crash-resistant walls and blast-proof glass.”

Wittold Rybczynski, Meyerson professor of urbanism at the University of Pennsylvania. Read more:

“The Blast-Proof City,” Wittold Rybczynski, Foreign Policy

“I Came, Eyesore, I Conquered,” Witold Rybczynski, Slate

Short link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-b6L

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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