Planning, Design and Infrastructure
The urban place manager emphasizes efforts on the built environment because of the significant impacts they have on the quality of life and one’s authentic experience of a place. Every place is different; therefore, place management strategies should respond to a myriad of place-based identifiers including, the place’s specific scale, status, culture, climate, community vision, goals, and mission, keeping at the forefront considerations of sustainability and resilience.
Through numerous approaches, such as land and real estate development, zoning and land-use, streetscape improvements, transit-oriented development, multi-modal connections, sustainable infrastructure, attainable housing initiatives and historic preservation among others, place managers enhance the quality of life for all stakeholders of a place.
A New Future for I-35: Urban Land Institute Panel
The project, undertaken by the Downtown Austin Alliance, builds on the Texas Department of Transportation’s plans to reconstruct Interstate 35 through the downtown core. I-35 is an immense highway with a deep, complicated history; a structural barrier that has caused division in our community for decades. Our project aims to enhance TxDOT investment, making the most of this once-in-a-generation opportunity by creating a shared community vision that will improve quality of life.
Central Green: Connecting Community with Commerce & Culture
Over several years, the Baton Rouge Downtown Development District has worked to connect numerous civic and cultural institutions downtown through a unified system of greenspaces known collectively as the Central Green. In total, the Central Green boasts over 11 acres of accessible, contiguous public greenspace in the heart of downtown. The Central Green is now host to events ranging from large concert series attracting thousands of attendees to small informal gatherings.
In a city with a nation-leading park system and leafy neighborhoods, downtown has been the gap in our tree canopy for generations. Trees cover 30% of Minneapolis overall, but only 4% in the downtown core. This is significant for our community because street trees are an invaluable resource for improving public health, addressing the heat island effect, and creating an inviting public realm.
Writing on the Walls
Writing on the Walls is an annual series of collaborative public art installations and events. At the inaugural event in March 2020, local, national and international artists simultaneously created two new landmarks in downtown Austin, including our city’s largest mural to date. This mural is located on the iconic Congress Avenue, 11 blocks south of the state capitol, and located at the gateway into downtown Austin.
Bloor Annex Parkettes
This project was initiated to improve the pedestrian experience along the popular Bloor Street and create new beautiful and environmentally conscious public places to sit, rest, and enjoy the outdoors. It involved the transformation of four underused paved right-of-ways into a series of new dynamic green spaces. These parkettes feature trees, pollinator-friendly gardens, wood decking, bike parking, and custom site furnishings.
Civic Center Initiative
The three connected public plazas in front of San Francisco’s City Hall (Civic Center Plaza, Fulton Street Mall and UN Plaza) were blighted, crime-ridden and well known as a place to avoid. Through a significant private donation two new state-of-the art playgrounds and an adjacent café were constructed in Civic Center Plaza. These new amenities were the catalyst for creating surrounding programming that supported the success of the playgrounds and laid the groundwork upgrades to come.
From Pilot to Pandemic: The [Fortuitous] Benefits of Understanding Your District’s Curb Usage
Downtown Santa Monica undertook a project to map our curb network to help us better understand the status quo and search for opportunities to adapt curb use for current needs in COVID. The resulting intelligence has been used to directly inform policy recommendations and facilitate conversations with stakeholders, beginning with a pilot to convert restaurant-adjacent metered parking into short-term loading zones during peak hours.
The Rail Park: A Railroad and Neighborhood Story Wall
The Rail Park is an adaptive reuse of the Reading Viaduct, once used by the Reading and Pennsylvania Railroads, and a hub for hundreds of rail lines. At the entrance to the park is an 80-foot long “ghost map” wall that provides a dramatic visual reminder of what this industrial neighborhood once was, and the fascinating stories and significant architecture that merited its placement on the National Register of Historic Places.
P.U.M.A.’s Global Trends Report: Pandemic July 2020 Update
In late 2019, P.U.M.A. and IDA jointly released the 2020 Global Trends Report highlighting opportunities arising from converging shifts in demographics, lifestyles and a new category, “disruptive forces,” that are shaping our cities. Little did we know that months later we’d be in the midst of the disruptive events of our lifetimes – the pandemic that has wreaked havoc on public health and economies, and the American protests for racial justice that could accelerate dramatic socialRead More
Top Issues Council: Housing Attainability – How UPMOs Can Support A Diversity of Housing in Their Districts
Every community needs housing options that meet a diversity of incomes and lifestyles. The Housing Attainability Top Issues Council report demonstrates how urban place management organizations of all sizes and resource levels can play a role in encouraging more housing at a variety of price points and of varying styles.Read More