Meeting of the Minds took a few moments to talk with Herrie Schalekamp about new working relationships between researchers and paratransit operators in South Africa and beyond. Herrie is the ACET Research Officer at the University of Cape Town’s Centre for Transport Studies. In addition to his research, teaching and consulting in the fields of paratransit and public transport reform he is involved in specialised educational programmes for paratransit operators and government officials. Herrie’s activities form part of a broader endeavour to investigate and contribute to improved public transport operations and regulation in Sub-Saharan African cities under ACET – the African Centre of Excellence for Studies in Public and Non-motorised Transport.
Artist Workspace Prototype Rolls Down Market Street
Meet Studio 1, San Francisco’s 2nd Living Innovation Zone and mobile art studio. Studio 1 is a 65 square foot “off the grid” solar powered studio, public art project, and micro-residency center designed and constructed by David Szlasa. Studio 1 brings artists to the streets to interact with the public – allowing the community to be part of the design and exhibition process. “It was the most exposure I’ve ever gotten as far as my artwork.” said Andrea Bergen, the first artist taking residency in Studio 1.
“In the past few years, the City has worked with the community to revitalize Market Street by attracting new jobs to the area, building more housing for our City’s families, keeping our community-oriented arts organizations in the neighborhood and activating the street with initiatives like Living Innovation Zones,” said Mayor Edwin M. Lee. “This Living Innovation Zone is a forward-thinking prototype that creates affordable space for artists to engage directly with the public on one of our City’s busiest thoroughfares and ensures our local art community and everyone in our City prospers from our successful City.”
Built on the back of a flatbed trailer, the Studio is made primarily of reclaimed and salvage materials with features including an integrated video projection screen and motion activated undercarriage LED lights.
The Studio is a mobile LIZ, sited at NEMA and Mechanics Plaza during the summer of 2015. The project is one of several structures Szlasa has built for artists and creative people in response to the need for alternative models for artist work space in growing economies like the Bay Area.
According to the creator, David Szlasa “Studio 1 is a prototype for a scalable, sustainable solution for art spaces in under-resourced areas.”
For a week at a time from June 17th to July 25th, artists curated by Szlasa and the San Francisco Arts Commission are occupying the Studio. Each artist-in-residence represents a mix of disciplines and will develop programming schedules to complement the natural traffic patterns of the location, scheduling open studio hours and exhibitions on a regular basis. More information on the day-to-day programming can be found here.
The project was celebrated on June 25th at an event that brought together all of the champions who made this project possible, including, David Szlasa, San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Civic Innovation, the Planning Department, San Francisco Arts Commission, Rainin Foundation, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and of course, all the artists who are bringing the Studio to life week by week.
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Spotlighting innovations in urban sustainability and connected technology
Brownfields are sites that are vacant or underutilized due to environmental contamination, real or imagined. There are brownfields of some kind in virtually every city and town in the U.S., usually related to a gas station, dry cleaner, auto repair shop, car dealership or some other ubiquitous local business that once benefited the community it now burdens with environmental hazards or old buildings.
In addressing this issue, technology has not been effectively deployed to promote redevelopment of these sites and catalyze community revitalization. We find that the question around the use of technology and data in advancing the redevelopment of brownfields is twofold:
How can current and future technology advancements be applied to upgrade existing brownfield modeling tools? And then, how can those modeling tools be used to accelerate transformative, sustainable, and smart redevelopment and community revitalization?
Across the country, urban parks are enjoying a renaissance. Dozens of new parks are being built or restored and cities are being creative about how and where they are located. Space under highways, on old rail infrastructure, reclaimed industrial waterfronts or even landfills are all in play as development pressure on urban land grows along with outdoor recreation needs.
These innovative parks are helping cities face common challenges, from demographic shifts, to global competitiveness to changing climate conditions. Mayors and other city officials are taking a fresh look at parks to improve overall community health and sense of place, strengthen local economies by attracting new investments and creating jobs, help manage storm water run-off, improve air quality, and much more. When we think of city parks holistically, accounting for their full role in communities, they become some of the smartest investments we can make.