People Places for the 21st Century

Landscape Architecture for Landscape Architects Forums GENERAL DISCUSSION People Places for the 21st Century

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    James Atchison

    I wanted to ask the lounge what everyone thinks about what new social spaces will look like for the “Eco-boomers” or “Millennials”? 

    Basically the idea I have for my thesis is how we need to look at designing social spaces that incorporate a high level of flexibility, walkability, and technology. Flexibility, being that these spaces can support multiple uses happening at the same time or over the course of the day. Walkability, meaning that these new spaces need to be more accessible by foot or bike than by car. Technology, whereas these new social spaces incorporate free public WiFi or outdoor work areas for portable businesses.
    Here in Phoenix I see a lack of good people places in general. There are some, but not to the standards of what a city that needs to attract members of the “creative class” or “eco-boomers.” Since my city is very auto-dominated, the possibilities for pedestrian scale are nonexistent and this large scale problem affected the design of our people places (plazas, streetscapes, and urban parks). This problem prompted my thesis of how we can change public/social spaces for the next generation. I want to design for people, since they are the ones who populate cities not vehicles. 
    Also there is the thought about how these social networks influence these spaces as well. I am looking into developing a similar rating system to the one you see at to apply to social spaces. I believe that this concept is one that could be used by residents and visitors alike to find a good “third place” in a city they are not familiar to. 
    Lori Molitor

    I like the idea of a “Place Score” or “Place Finder”. It seems similar to the PPS Great Place finder,, but I’d hope it would be an easier search that includes many more spaces based on location. It seems you could get a lot of data from the designers of the places themselves, especially when it comes to intended uses. It seems to tie in well with the idea of evaluating the sucess of designs after construction. You could provide a form for a designer to fill in to populate your database with info on each project. Once you’ve got some data, make it a moblie app like Four Square with a search based on location and out of towners would find it even more useful.

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