By Mark Robbins

In American urban X, editor Mark Robbins, former dean of Syracuse University's institution of structure, argues that leading edge and compelling structure cannot in simple terms increase the best way a urban is perceived, but in addition swap how it works. trying to Syracuse, new york, because the archetypal "American urban X," the booklet showcases tasks that reveal strength optimistic futures for submit business towns around the kingdom. that includes renovations and ground-up constructions—ranging from landscapes to structures and infrastructure—at either residential and institutional scales, the profitable contemporary paintings in Syracuse addresses sustainability, fabric and formal experimentation, and artistic use of area for evolving group wishes.

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Extra resources for American City X: Syracuse After the Master Plan

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Two developments just outside the downtown core make a case for the effectiveness of design and planning expertise paired with economic and political means. The first is the Near Westside, an urban neighborhood in Syracuse comprising some 200 structures, including wood-frame houses, schools, public housing, and large commercial and warehouse buildings. It provides a microcosm of the building types and social fabric of Syracuse, and of neighborhoods found across the country. Though its median household income of $11,500 makes it one of the poorest census tracts in the United States, as a whole it offers a scale like the city itself, in which modest projects will have an impact.

As opposed to the clean slate associated with the master plan, more particularized design interventions draw from the social, political, and economic opportunities at hand. It is an urbanism that is, in the best sense, opportunistic. Discrete projects can have a catalytic impact on the existing urban fabric, with street patterns reconsidered and landscape used more intensively as part of the planning. Syracuse ranks 170th nationally and 5th in New York State in terms of size, with a population that has fallen from a high of 220,000 in 1950 to 145,000 in 2010.

Most significant in the design is the organizational banding of permeable and impermeable paving that highlights rain when it falls and directs it toward custom-built protective “nests” that elevate the parking planting to a design installation. This language is repeated, at a different scale, as the site’s bollards. , p. 45). The second project, the revitalization of Onondaga Creek, is a complex and ongoing effort with many partners. An original vision, the Onondaga Creek Conceptual Revitalization Plan, was spearheaded by the Onondaga Environmental Institute and called for large-scale planning efforts to improve the creek.

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