Buildings as Catalysts for Urban Development

One concern in considering building complexes as urban designs and as public policy issues lies in their catalytic effect on their neighbourhoods. This concern was certainly a motivating factor behind John D. Rockefeller's plans for Radio City in New York (see Chapter 7 on Rockefeller Center). It was also that of Robert Moses, Head of the City Planning Commission of New York in the 1950s in promoting the proposal for Lincoln Center (see Figure 7.7). His goal was to eliminate the slums north of Columbus Circle and build a 'glittering new cultural centre' in order to change the character of the whole west side of the city. He succeeded but 7000 people were displaced by the project (Caro, 1974). The building of the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan had a similar purpose (Ruchelman, 1977). The Grands Travaux of French president Fran├žois Mitterand in the 1980s and the recent (2000-3) development of the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles had similar aspirations. The latter, designed by Frank Gehry, hopes to have the same catalytic effect on Grand Avenue as the Guggenheim Museum has had on Bilbao.

All buildings shape the flows of people and of winds, they add to or detract from the streetscape. They form part of the skyline. They can, as the Pioneer Place scheme, result in an improvement of the cityscape in a way that makes it attractive for further development. Museums, libraries, and new well-located retail space can all spur urban development. The Canary Wharf scheme was the lead project in the development of the Docklands area of London and parking garages were in Glendale (see the case studies of both in Chapter 8). Perhaps the most widely publicized building that has acted as a catalyst for development during the past decade has been the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain.

Homeowners Guide To Landscaping

Homeowners Guide To Landscaping

How would you like to save a ton of money and increase the value of your home by as much as thirty percent! If your homes landscape is designed properly it will be a source of enjoyment for your entire family, it will enhance your community and add to the resale value of your property. Landscape design involves much more than placing trees, shrubs and other plants on the property. It is an art which deals with conscious arrangement or organization of outdoor space for human satisfaction and enjoyment.

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