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Rethinking America's Streets





This is the Third Street Promenade in downtown Santa Monica, Calif., a 70-foot wide outdoor mall lined with trees, with 60 stores, 25 eateries, kiosks, public art pieces and benches. This successful mixed-use entertainment venue runs about 0.4 miles between Broadway and Wilshire Boulevard. Its proximity to the seashore has made it a popular tourist spot.





The "Rethinking America's Streets" panel at the LA Expo in Long Beach, Feb. 13 comprised MIG, Inc., principals Susan Goltsman, FASLA, president, Steve Lang, ASLA, and Mukul Malhotra, director of urban design. Steve Lang is at the podium.


Among the featured panels presented at the L.A. Expo in Long Beach, Calif. (Feb. 13-14) was "Rethinking America's Streets." The panel comprised three MIG, Inc. (www.migcom.com) principals: Susan Goltsman, FASLA, president, Steve Lang, ASLA, and Mukul Malhotra, director of urban design.

The panel presented a program called re:Streets (www.restreets.com), an effort to fundamentally rethink America's streets, funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. re:Streets is led by MIG. The founding partners are PLAE, Inc., a nonprofit, America Walks, Landscape Structures, Ironsmith and DeepRoot. Founding sponsors include DuMor Site Furnishings, Landscape Forms, Berliner Seifabrik, Filterra and Playcore.

re:Sreets asks the question, What would streets look like if instead of focusing on drivers and traffic the goal was to accommodate people, promote healthy urban living, social interaction and business and support regenerating the environment?

"Our objective is to provide clear design ideas for cities to revitalize American streets, so they serve a wide range of community needs, including transportation, commerce, education, recreation and gathering," explained Susan Goltsman, FASLA, a president and principal at MIG, and project director for re:Streets.

re:Streets is a multidisciplinary collaboration focused on the planning, design and construction of streets as a method for improving the livability of the built environment. It is exploring the future of streets and what our roadways would look like if they were designed for living, not just driving.

As our transportation has evolved, vehicles have increasingly took over the streets, overwhelming pedestrians and bicyclists. re:Street's interactive website presents case studies and focuses on practical, implementable solutions, using best practices, design ideas and case examples. It's organized by the functions of a street: mobility, wayfinding, commerce, social gathering, events and programming, play and recreation, urban agriculture, green infrastructure and image and identity.

re:Streets has also developed a comprehensive design manual for creating streets that promotes the expanded street functions.

Editor's note: LASN was pleased to present MIG's dynamic renovation streetscape design ("Long Beach Transforms Transit Mall to Transit 'Gallery'") in the Aug. 2013 Streetscape issue http://landscapeonline.com/research/article/18122.








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