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Category Archives: Urbanism

Below are listed the articles filed under Urbanism

Thursday! City Suds at Zanzabar Tackles the Bloomberg Challenge

Tuesday, August 14, 2012 by Branden Klayko.
Join us for City Suds at Zanzabar!

Join us for City Suds at Zanzabar!

What’s Louisville’s big idea? This Thursday, August 16 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., join us for the next City Suds Urbanism Happy Hour at Zanzabar (2100 South Preston Street), which is quickly shaping up to being a monthly event. We’ll be taking on the Bloomberg Mayors Challenge, brainstorming ideas for Louisville to bring home the $5 million dollar prize, and if we come up with something good, we’ll send it along to Mayor Fischer for consideration. What’s the Mayors Challenge?

The Mayors Challenge is a competition to inspire American cities to generate innovative ideas that solve major challenges and improve city life – and that ultimately can be shared with cities across the nation.

And there’s $5 million at stake, so our idea has to be good! What can Louisville do to improve the quality of life of its diverse communities? How can the city become a sustainability leader? What’s our secret strategy to overthrow Portland, Oregon as the “capital of biking?” Louisville is competing against 393 other cities, and five winners will be selected to receive one of four $1 million prizes or the $5 million grand prize to help make the idea a reality.  (Wondering what kind of big ideas they’re thinking of? Here are a few examples.) Louisville has until September 14 to submit ideas, so we’re thinking we better get started! While there’s going to be some big thinking going on, remember that City Suds is a social happy hour, all about city life, meeting your fellow urbanists, and having a good time, so bring your ideas and your friends this Thursday!

(Oh, and this is a great opportunity to drop off your registration forms for PARK(ing) Day 502 this year! Registration ends Friday, August 18 so we have plenty of time to square the permits with the city before the big event on September 21. If your still on the fence, it’s easy to participate in PARK(ing) Day and create your own pop-up public space. All the details are at

Weekend Movie: Meet Urbanist William Holly Whyte

Saturday, August 4, 2012 by Branden Klayko.

Anyone who cares about cities should know William Holly Whyte, one of America’s preeminent urbanists ranking with Jane Jacobs and Louisville’s own Grady Clay. In 1980, Whyte created this film, The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces, documenting how people behave and interact in public space, focusing primarily on New York City. It’s an hour long, but well worth watching, so find some time this weekend and get to know cities—and Louisville—a little better.

With Big Four Bridge To Open Next Year, Jeffersonville Park Unveiled

Thursday, August 2, 2012 by Branden Klayko.
Aerial view of Big Four Station in Jeffersonville. (Courtesy The Estopinal Group)

Aerial view of Big Four Station in Jeffersonville. (Courtesy The Estopinal Group)

On Thursday, July 19, Wayne Estopinal didn’t know what kind of response he would receive when he stood in front of a crowd in Jeffersonville to display his firm’s latest concepts for Big Four Station, a park surrounding the northern approach to the Big Four Pedestrian Bridge over the Ohio River. “I came here ready for a battle,” Estopinal said. “In reality, people really liked it. It was really well received.” Estopinal is principal at The Estopinal Group, an architectural firm with offices in Louisville and Southern Indiana who designed the latest component of the Big Four project with Taylor Siefker Williams Design Group.

Continue reading after the jump.

Disappearing Downtown: What the Flood Didn’t Destroy, Progress Did

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 by Branden Klayko.
View of Downtown Louisville during the Great Flood of 1937.

View of Downtown Louisville during the Great Flood of 1937.

We’ve all seen the horrific photos of the 1937 flood which covered nearly the entire city with frigid, polluted water and snow. Here’s a new photo I had not seen before showing a section of Downtown underwater on January 25, 1937. While the city survived the flood, the same can’t be said of its fight with the wrecking ball in the second half of the 20th century.

Leave a comment below with the location depicted here and your guess as to how many of the hundreds of buildings seen in the photo above can still be seen today. We’ll have an update next week with a modern-day view and some added history.

12-Lane Highway Gets Started With Ceremonial Wrecking of Downtown

Tuesday, July 24, 2012 by Branden Klayko.
The old Vermont American Building a few years ago. (Branden Klayko)

The old Vermont American Building a few years ago. (Branden Klayko)

The destruction of Downtown Louisville by twelve lanes of steel and concrete—about 280 feet wide when massive shoulders are added in—began yesterday with the ceremonial wrecking of a portion of the historic Vermont American Building on the corner of Main and Jackson streets. Governor Beshear, Mayor Fischer, Congressman Yarmuth, Metro Council-member Tandy, and a cadre of other officials gathered to mark the occasion of what’s being billed as the start of the Downtown portion of the Ohio River Bridges Project.

Continue reading after the jump.

Seeing Southern Indiana: Creating Positive Change on the Waterfront

Tuesday, March 27, 2012 by Nicholas Seivers.
Seeing Southern Indiana. (Courtesy Nicholas Seivers)

Seeing Southern Indiana. (Courtesy Nicholas Seivers)

[Editor's Note: Nicholas Seivers is an urban planner and long-time supporter of Broken Sidewalk. In his spare time, he reimagines the city through his planning lens. He is currently working with TARC on long-term planning and is owner of the Louisville-based planning and design company Urban Composition.]

Last year I was looking around Louisville for areas of unrealized potential. I dutifully followed Broken Sidewalk for development announcements. I kept up with all of the local economic development and planning offices for larger scale plans. While sitting on the Louisville wharf looking across the river, I recalled how the then mayor of Jeffersonville regarded the Louisville skyline as an asset for Southern Indiana. I wondered why there was only one residential tower facing back at Louisville. The clock of the former Colgate factory was the only remarkable feature on the Southern Indiana skyline, though not necessarily the most prominent.

I dug a little further. On more than one occasion, I actually crossed the Ohio River. I spoke with staff with the Cities of Clarksville and Jeffersonville. I did a little more research on the Bridges Project. Being in the space I was able to appreciate what the area was used for and where priorities were placed over the years. It wasn’t until I measured the distance from Downtown Louisville to the Colgate Factory that I was ready to put pen to paper. It is closer to Downtown than are the Highlands. It could be anything.

Continue reading after the jump.

Friday! Ready, Fire, Aim: Making Pilot Projects a Reality

Thursday, March 22, 2012 by Branden Klayko.
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An Open Streets program in New York draws a crowd. (Branden Klayko)

An Open Streets program in New York draws a crowd. (Branden Klayko)

Fresh on the heels of an inspiring talk last week with Gil Penelosa, director of the non-profit 8-80 Cities advocating for livable cities designed for all citizens, the Urban Design Studio is ready to make concepts reality with a forum tomorrow, Friday, March 23. One of the biggest concepts Penelosa brought to Louisville is the pilot project: the idea that it’s okay to experiment with the urban environment to figure out what works and what doesn’t. Cities we hold up as examples of urban innovation today have been doing just this for years now, from New York City to Portland, Oregon.

How to get involved after the jump.

Q+A> Gil Penalosa on Livable Cities

Tuesday, March 13, 2012 by Branden Klayko.
Gil Penalosa. (Courtesy 8-80 Cities)

Gil Penalosa. (Courtesy 8-80 Cities)

Gil Penalosa is the executive director of 8-80 Cities in Ontario, Canada, which advocates for vibrant and healthy cities. He will be speaking tonight, Tuesday, March 13th at 6:00 p.m. at the Glassworks at 815 West Market Street as part of the Urban Design Studio‘s Sustainable City Series.

Penalosa previously served as Commissioner of Parks in Bogotá, Columbia and helped to initiate many of the city’s most innovative programs such as the Ciclovia Open Streets program where a street is closed to auto-traffic on Sundays and opened for use as public space to the larger community. Broken Sidewalk recently spoke with Penalosa about his work in creating better, livable cities and public spaces and how Louisville can benefit from increased attention to public space.

Read the interview after the jump.

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