New PDF release: American City X: Syracuse After the Master Plan

By Mark Robbins

In American urban X, editor Mark Robbins, former dean of Syracuse University's university of structure, argues that leading edge and compelling structure cannot in basic terms improve the best way a urban is perceived, but in addition switch how it works. seeking to Syracuse, manhattan, because the archetypal "American urban X," the e-book showcases initiatives that exhibit strength confident futures for submit business towns around the state. that includes renovations and ground-up constructions—ranging from landscapes to constructions and infrastructure—at either residential and institutional scales, the profitable fresh paintings in Syracuse addresses sustainability, fabric and formal experimentation, and creative use of area for evolving group wishes.

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Surface runnels scored into the pavement system lead to a water feature constituted by gathered and recycled rain. A simple extension of the basin’s concrete pour serves as the foundation for seating made of molded plywood. This is configured to facilitate relaxing, viewing, and napping and thus to integrate activity with the engineered system. , p. 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.

The approach in Syracuse is incremental in part by necessity, because of the financial as well as jurisdictional challenges posed by a single massive redevelopment project. Syracuse University, as an economic force and as a draw for population, provides one of the anchors. In an era in which many local governments have been divested of professional expertise, the university has an increasing role to play and can be the interlocutor between private market interests and civic goals. It can influence longer-range thinking, beyond political agendas and immediate economic gain.

City administrators leverage the planning document and the success of the first project to obtain other public and private funds to continue their work. During the era of Syracuse’s greatest growth, Onondaga Creek was the city’s “other” waterway, second in every way to the Erie Canal. This project identifies opportunities to recuperate the creek’s status as both a natural and an infrastructural feature of the urban landscape with the potential to activate and reorganize the city. The configuration of the creek today is the cumulative result of 150 years of channelization projects intended to address its repeated flooding, a phenomenon produced by stormwater runoff and exacerbated by an overtaxed sewage-treatment system.

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