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Pecha Kucha Rundown: Denser, Part 1

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Noelle and I had fun at Pecha Kucha in San Francisco at the SPUR Urban Center on Tuesday.  For those unfamiliar with the Pecha Kucha format, each speaker has 20 slides and 20 seconds per slide. The format makes for a fun but focused look at what a wide range of professionals is working on and thinking about. Presentations are loosely organized around a theme. The theme this time was “Denser.”

Using my notes, I am putting together a set of posts that lists the presenters in order, along with links to their website (if I could find them) and any major thoughts I jotted down. For some presentations, I took a number of notes. Other presentations have fewer notes (maybe I was looking at the images more carefully?). All of the presentations were more interesting and beautiful than revealed by my notes and these posts.

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Grady Gillies – Architect – UCLA, Suprastudio

DENSE city

dense buildings

dense population

dense space

dense community

Looked at 8 cities as part of the studio, including:

Cleveland, OH – transforming access and landscape

Flint, MI – advantage of a shrinking city’s migration is SPACE

New Orleans – blighted property presents an opportunity

Tucson, AZ – relentless expansion of the city edge

Merced, CA – looking at potential impact of high-speed rail

Toledo, OH – city’s solar industry as a new urban identity

More information on the studio and work:

http://www.suprastudio.aud.ucla.edu/

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Craig Scott – Architect – IwamotoScott

DENSER

environmental / technological performance

spatial / material geometry

urban / architectural experiences

3 focuses of firm’s practice – buildings, installations, and digital fabrications

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Robin Levitt – Detroit

(Anna’s note – his entire introduction was “Robin Levitt, Detroit” but there is a little info on the ever-helpful Wikipedia)

Talking about the de-densification of a city

Birthplace of the automobile

Detroit was the Silicon Valley of its day

1950s saw Detroit’s population peak just under 2 million

[Image of reduction in building density in the downtown district]

Detroit could geographically fit San Francisco, Boston, and Manhattan, but has a much lower population density

Population decline over the years

But actual geographical area of the city was expanding

Ruins now dominate the Detroit landscape

Neighborhoods have been cleared

City looking at a strategy of controlled abandonment

City of Detroit began as farmland, and in many neighborhoods it is returning to farmland

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Parts 2, 3, and maybe 4 coming soon!

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BART Seat Lab

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Bay Area Rapid Transit, or BART is a common fixture in the lives of Bay Area  California residents. The above-and-underground train network spans northward to Richmond, southward to Fremont, and regularly ferries passengers between San Francisco and points to the east.

Despite their centrality to Bay Area daily life, BART cars have not seen a replacement since the 1970s when the system opened; and that is about to change. BART is actively seeking feedback on its ‘Fleet of the Future’, a long-range plan to replace its cars.

This estimated $3 billion project will be the single largest upgrade expenditure that the BART has ever seen—that could be why BART is enlisting the help of the public to get it right.

A series of ‘seat labs’ are taking place at BART station near you! There, you can try out several configurations of seats and aisle widths, and give feedback on materials, lighting, signage and more. What is most important to you on your commute?

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Remaining BART seat lab schedule and locations

Read more:

Seat lab early feedback: Majority of riders want wider aisles in Fleet of the Future

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Snippets

Are suburban corporate campuses falling out of fashion? NRDC staff blog predicts an increase in smart growth.  Lonely Planet surveyed travelers to find a list of the top 20 walking cities.  Grist readers nominated 10 additional cities that didn’t make the original Lonely Planet list. A study commissioned by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations finds that roughly one third of the food produced for human consumption every year gets lost or wasted.