Euclid Avenue in Cleveland has seen many lives, from a one-time “Millionaires’ Row” early in the 20th century to an underused industrial corridor lined with dilapidated buildings. Always a major artery in the region’s transportation network and lined with major regional institutions such as Cleveland State University and University Hospital, this historic main street was recently transformed by a $197 million investment in bus rapid transit (BRT) and special attention to the latest innovations in street design. Today, more than 89 development projects totaling roughly $4.7 billion of investment are completed or in progress along Euclid Avenue, as estimated by the regional transit authority.
Although some projects have been delayed by the recent nationwide downturn, overall the corridor has bucked national trends and as the economy comes back is now poised to again become one of the United States’ great urban boulevards. Cities around the country are now looking to Cleveland as a model for successful BRT thanks to the thoughtful and comprehensive public investment that has leveraged itself many times over in private sector and institutional dollars.
Paddington reservoir gardens is a reimagination of a former water reservoir in Sydney, Australia, that was decommissioned in 1899. A team of designers, led by Sydney-based Tonkin Zulaikha Greer, was commissioned by the Sydney City Council to transform the disused site of the long-crumbled reservoir into a modern urban park. The city anticipated that the new park would replace the subterranean infrastructure. But instead of simply capping the reservoir ruins and building open space on top, the designers used the existing structure to create a public space that seamlessly merges Sydney’s past and present.
This space is a new model for adaptive use and preservation of heritage in dense urban areas, creating a reminder of the relatively recent past while also providing a respite from city life. By injecting a long-forgotten piece of municipal infrastructure with new life through strategic structural and landscape design interventions, a thoroughly modern public space has emerged.
Bridging the mouth of the marina Channel, marina Barrage creates Singapore’s 15th freshwater reservoir and its first in the heart of the city. Designed and developed by the Public Utilities Board (PUB), Singapore’s national water agency, the barrage and reservoir stand as an international model for urbanized areas. Part infrastructure project, part new urban park, Marina Barrage features an 11,000-square meter (118,400-sf) green roof, a jetty for boats to dock, a water-sports center for sailing and rowing, an exhibition gallery for public education, and commercial space for restaurants and retail use.
Since opening in 2008, Marina Barrage has welcomed more than 2 million visitors and received numerous awards for excellence in engineering and sustainability, standing as a water conservation model for urbanized, seafront cities across the globe. Singapore’s circumstances necessitated a bold and innovative solution to provide a new supply of drinking water, increased flood control, and recreational opportunities for its citizens.
Citygarden, which opened in July 2009 on two of the gateway mall’s key blocks, was aimed at creating an active and enticing space that would attract a diverse public, alter perceptions of downtown, and catalyze downtown development. The 2.9-acre (1.2-ha) rectilinear open space comprises a sculpture garden with interactive art, imaginative and whimsical water features, and dining and picnicking venues. The inviting park has spurred redesign of the Gateway Mall, elevated the status of public art in St. Louis, and has been a boon to local businesses.
The Fitzgerald is a 4.5-acre (1.8-ha), transit-oriented, multifamily rental development, built on a brownfield infill site in midtown Baltimore. It includes 275 rental apartments, 24,000 square feet (2,230 m²) of retail space, 77,095 square feet (7,162 m²) of open space, and a much-needed 1,250-space parking garage that serves residents, retailers, the University of Baltimore, and the surrounding community. It is the largest residential property in the city to secure LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification; it includes a vegetated green roof, electric car charging stations, and numerous in-unit green features.
Brays Crossing shatters the stereotype of low-income, single-room-occupancy (SRO) housing, proving that it can be both visually attractive and affordable and built debt-free and without government subsidy. Developed by New Hope Housing, a Houston-based nonprofit, the community features 149 SRO units along with community space and on-site social services, in seven brightly colored buildings that were formerly a dilapidated and blighted motel. The project is clad with a colorful steel mural that attenuates sound from the nearby highway, a functional solution that extends the rich mural tradition of Houston’s East End neighborhood.
Brays Crossing is the fifth project in Houston developed by New Hope Housing, an independent nonprofit founded in 1993 that is dedicated to providing stabilized housing for single adults living on limited incomes. New Hope Housing developed Houston’s first SRO, the Hamilton Street Residences, in 1995 and has provided more than 4,000 individuals — many of whom ultimately transition to traditional housing — with high-quality, supportive housing, helping alleviate homelessness in Houston.
The 62-hectare (153-ac) Mandurah Ocean Marina is a waterfront hub and major tourist destination adjacent to the central business district of Mandurah, a city located about an hour’s drive south of Perth, Western Australia’s capital. With a thriving tourism industry, Mandurah is one of the fastest-growing urban areas in Australia.
Fulfilling a 30-year community vision for a world-class boating and tourism facility, Mandurah Ocean Marina overcame major stakeholder differences, enabling positive outcomes for all involved: adjoining landowners, clubs, and residents. The development was created on a strip of underused — and in some areas derelict — oceanfront land. Composed of North Harbour and South Harbour, linked by a pedestrian bridge, the development offers a mix of residences, hotels, shops, restaurants and cafés, entertainment venues, mooring facilities for large and small boats, and activities for boating and fishing enthusiasts. Specifically, it includes 2,500 square meters (26,900 sf) of office space; 16,000 square meters (172,200 sf) of retail, restaurant, and entertainment facilities; a 24,000-square-meter (258,300- sf) marina; 281 hotel rooms; 410 residences; and 1,700 parking spaces.
Located on the outskirts of Milan, Perseo is a 16,000-square-meter (177,200-sf) office development built to the highest level of sustainable design. Comprising two buildings connected by a slender four-story bridge, the project is capped by an expansive brise-soleil that shades the glass facade and uses passive design to reduce energy use by more than half of what the code requires.
Completed in January 2011, Perseo is located near the grounds of World Expo 2015 and is designed to anticipate the future needs of Milan through energy-efficient and intelligent design. Milan enjoys low unemployment and a per capita income that is almost twice the national average. With the World Expo—and its theme of sustainable development—slated to arrive in the suburban area of Pero, the vacant site where Perseo now stands became a desirable location for office development. Although outside the central business district, the project is near a major hub of Milan’s freeway system and two subway stations.
Located at the intersection of Center and south highland avenues in Pittsburgh’s east Liberty neighborhood, phases I and II of EastSide comprise a 5.1-acre (2.0-ha) development that includes retail, restaurant, and office uses, with surface and deck parking. They include 4,724 square feet (439 m²) of office, 112,835 square feet (10,483 m²) of retail, and 472 parking spaces.
Eastside transforms a patchwork of 14.3 acres (5.8 ha) of distressed properties in the heart of Pittsburgh’s east end. The project borrows economic strength from the more affluent adjacent neighborhoods of Shadyside, Friendship, and Highland Park to fuel the redevelopment of East Liberty, a commercial center plagued by decades of decline. Eastside phases I and II are complete, tenanted, and operating. Eastside V opened in July 2011 as a two-level Target store. Eastside III and IV are in planning.
A combination of the German word for energy — energie — and the name of the building material company — the Gienger group — that occupies the space, ENER[GIE]NGER is innovative retail and exhibition space that uses the latest sustainable technologies. The 2,600-square-meter (28,000-sf) space is a helix-shaped building clad entirely in solar and photovoltaic panels, glass, or metal elements. Serving as the showroom and outlet for Gienger products, the spiraling building structure forms a glittering point of attraction within an otherwise ordinary industrial park in Munich, Germany.