Written April 30, 2007 by georgia
Reporting on tanker accident almost misses public transit options

I have been following a thread on the Walking Berkeley blog about car-free living. It is a timely topic given the unfortunate accident on the freeway early Sunday morning. I watched a local news channel on Sunday morning and was disappointed with the news reporting, especially with regards to the transporation alternatives initially suggested by the newscasters. BART, bus, and ferry alternatives were only presented after a disjointed discussion about different auto routes and long auto commute times. I think the discussion about public transit would have taken even longer to emerge ff two sporting events were not scheduled in Oakland on Sunday afternoon and evening, for which BART is heavily used. By the way, BART is free today.

Written April 29, 2007 by georgia
Gasoline tanker accident on freeway interchange


The San Francisco Chronicle has updates on the crash, the fire, revised transportation alternatives, and rebuilding plans.

Written April 17, 2007 by georgia
(Private) functions versus (public park) form

Note: This post was edited on April 29, 2007.

Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation.

The Project for Public Space (PPS) was intimately involved in Bryant Park's "turn around" in the 1980s. Bryant Park is featured on the organization's Great Public Spaces list, but the park has lost some of its lustre. In a recent PPS article titled "When bad things happen to good parks," the park has been re-evaluated and placed in the organization's "Hall of Shame. " The article points the finger at privatization. Ironically, private enterprise, albeit more local in nature, and a public-private partnership were two of the elements that PPS highlighted in its original appraisal of the park:

"The park's center is a three-acre open green surrounded by tall, arching trees. Kiosks at its northwest corner offer coffee and light meals, and directly behind the library on the east side is Bryant Park Grill, an indoor restaurant with outdoor and roof-deck dining. More than 1000 lightweight chairs can be moved throughout the park during good weather...."

"The park is managed by the Bryant Park Restoration Corporation is an innovative organization responsible for a multitude of park activities and events, as well as ongoing security, maintenance, and marketing...."

If the integrity of Bryant Park's public-ness is to be recaptured, it will require more than wayfinding kiosks and movable chairs (two major elements of the park's redesign in the 1980s). We need to remember that our municipal parks function as soapboxes and represent the legacy of the public provision of open space begun in the nineteenth century.

Written April 11, 2007 by georgia
Post #100: Dearborn, Detroit, Chelsea

Abandoned rail station and hotel (Roosevelt Park in the foreground)
Note: After publishing this post, I looked through the photographs on the Fabulous Ruins of Detroit. The building in my photograph is the Michigan Central Railroad Station. Read and see more at Fabulous Ruins.

Recently I visited a friend in Ann Arbor, Michigan. We spent sometime in Dearborn; we drove through Detroit; and we had lunch in Chelsea, Michigan (we did not eat any Jiffy products).

I left Michigan looking forward to another visit--soon--especially to Detroit and for much longer. The city is somewhat of an enigma in the landscape architecture and planning fields. My first introduction to Detroit were the Michael Moore movies then The Origins of the Urban Crisis by Thomas Sugrue. Sharon Zukin has also written about Detroit in Landscapes of Power: from Detroit to Disney World. There are many more publications about Detroit; a search of UCB's Environmental Design library shows 117 with "Detroit" in the title (Amazon posts 85,431 results with keyword "Detroit"). I have not come across fiction about and/or set in Detroit. I would like to read from this genre as well as books about the city's ecology and green spaces.

left: Arab-American Museum, Dearborn

left: Tiger Stadium (read and see more at Fabulous Ruins)
right: Roosevelt Park, Michigan Avenue

The People Mover, downtown Detroit

left: Jiffy factory at the edge of downtown Chelsea
(Amtrak line in middle-ground)





local ecology, 2005-2007

Base layout by Firdamatic