TED Video: Ellen Dunham-Jones on Retrofitting Suburbia

As King Street goes under the microscope, architect Ellen Dunham-Jones talks in Atlanta about the successful reuse of empty buildings and parking lots, and enhancing the attractiveness of major thoroughfares. Infill doesn’t have to mean swallowing up our remaining in-town greenspace.

From the TED Blog, 6/29/10:

“Ellen Dunham-Jones fires the starting shot for the next 50 years’ big sustainable design project: retrofitting suburbia. To come: Dying malls rehabilitated, dead “big box” stores re-inhabited, parking lots transformed into thriving wetlands. (Recorded at TEDxAtlanta, January 2010 in Atlanta, GA. Duration: 19:23)”

See also:

Facebook: Retrofitting Suburbia  

Video: Zoning Revisions Committee Continues to Deliberate King Street, 7/21/10

Video: Zoning Revisions Committee Examines King Street Proposals, 6/30/10

Video: Chamber Presents “Rezoning King Street” to Planning Board (6/13/10)

Northampton Redoubt: Urban Planning, Public Policies, and Urban Ecology
…I have not been able to find definitions of infill that include removing viable greenfields, though they may exist. Generally infill seems to concern redeveloping previously developed areas, vacant lots, or brownfields and rehabilitating historic buildings. Thus obscured from the recent debate has been the importance of maintaining Northampton’s Urban Ecology, which enhances the quality of life of intown dwellers, human or otherwise…

Gazette: “‘Brownfields’ law altering landscape” (4/21/08)
Today’s Gazette includes an AP report on the kind of smart growth we think is great: brownfields revitalization. Reusing buildings and paved areas, as opposed to knocking down urban trees and encroaching on wetlands, is infilling the right way.

Syd Gernstein: “Brownfields Revitalization Cuts Urban Blight, Suburban Sprawl”
…One obvious benefit of brownfield redevelopment is that it eases the need for metropolitan expansion. It allows a city to grow by making better use of the space it already occupies…

MassDEP Brownfields Success Stories

EPA: Brownfields Success Stories
Lowell, MA (PDF, 2002): Almost completely developed, with historic industrial buildings standing adjacent to high-density residential neighborhoods, Lowell was faced with a critical shortage of land and the modern industrial space needed to attract job-producing businesses to the area…