Oculus - Spring 2016 Institutional Shifts - (Page 19)

opener The Intersection of Technology and Walkability B Y L A U R A H E E RY P R O ZES 've been "waiting for the world to change," to quote an Athens, Georgia, band. In fact, Athens illustrates a recent critical trend: technology and research that thrive in urban, walkable places rather than the isolated, auto-focused office parks. Athens was founded with the University of Georgia in the 1780s as a traditional grid of high-density streets, with walking as a primary means of mobility. Yet, like most urban districts and "Main Streets" across the U.S., auto-centric zoning, road design, and growth in the 1960s-70s left a moribund Main Street behind. Slowly, local grassroots reseeded, and local shops, restaurants, and housing regrew a thriving street life, reconnected with the university life. A surprisingly large market has emerged for lively mixed-use, walkable districts. Are large institutions making the shift? "Arts and cultural institutions were the first to shift away from walled, island campuses to integrate into urban neighborhoods," notes Will Herbig, formerly with the National Capital Planning Commission in Washington, D.C., now program director of the Congress for the New Urbanism. Suburban and small-town universities have moved departments and established institutes in urban cores across the country to harvest the energy of the street and build interaction with neighborhoods, constituencies, and partner institutions. "Educational institutions are partners in 'Regional Innovation Clusters,'" adds Herbig. These are geographic concentrations of industries, he explains, like Stanford and California's Silicon Valley, North Carolina's Research Triangle Park (with the University of North Carolina and Duke University nearby), and local university-business culture seeding incubators, such as the EcoDistricts at the Portland Sustainability Institute in Oregon. Universities are involved in "Innovation Districts," where government incentives spur the development and deployment of new products, processes, and industries in partnership with local businesses. The Association of University Research Parks studies practices that cluster education, research, technology transfer, and resources to grow jobs and innovation. An example is Buffalo Niagara, a medical university research district with street networks, transit, and mixed uses. An unlikely institution to plan an urban district is the Department of Homeland Security. Herbig notes: "The Homeland Security Regional Innovation Cluster is a $3.4-billion project designed to transform the West Campus of St. Elizabeths Hospital and bring 14,000 jobs to one of Washington's most disinvested neighborhoods." Moreover, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), in its 2013 Unified Facilities Criteria (UFC), shifted away from "auto-oriented development toward a more sustainable, compact, walkable, urbanist model," says Mark Gillen, professor at the University of Oregon and DOD's consultant for the UFC. Healthcare giants and insurers are moving from large, isolated suburban campuses, chasing the patient closer to home by establishing small-scale clinics or urgent-care "docs in a box" in high-traffic retail locations and urban districts. Public-health experts (the U.S. Surgeon General's office and the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention) increasingly promote live/work/walk districts. "Sitting is the New Smoking" is their rallying cry. New York City's Active Design Guidelines have gone national, as officials seek to make healthy choices (exercise, connection to nature, and healthy food) part of everyday life, rather than a chore that must be squeezed into busy days. With many campuses already embedded in neighborhoods (among them, New York University, Parsons The New School, and Pratt Institute) rather than set off in discrete campuses, there's plenty of opportunity to extend their presence into larger districts by partnering with economic-development agencies, foundations, and other institutions and private entities. ©Jeremy Bitterman I Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates/ Flad Architects,, page 26 What's Inside 20 The Challenges of Expansion 24 A Win-Win at Rockefeller University 26 Course Requirements 28 1,087 Windows (and a Unique Focus) on the City 30 Tech Time 31 Playing a New Tune 32 A More Perfect Union 34 Social Innovation by Design Laura Heery Prozes recently joined a development team for walkable senior housing for creatives and innovators. At Brookwood Group, she was design architect for projects for The Coca-Cola Company, Time Warner, Georgia Tech, and the Peachtree Corridor redesign. Since 2010, she has served on the Congress for the New Urbanism's board. Institutional Shifts Spring 2016 Oculus 19

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Oculus - Spring 2016 Institutional Shifts

Letter from the President
Letter from the Editor
Center for Architecture
One Block Over
Opener: The Intersection of Technology and Walkability
The Challenges of Expansion
A Win-Win at Rockefeller University
Course Requirements
1,087 Windows (and a Unique Focus) on the City
Tech Time
Playing a New Tune
A More Perfect Union
Social Innovation by Design
In Print
117-Year Watch
Last Words
Index to Advertisers

Oculus - Spring 2016 Institutional Shifts

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