Course Materials: List by Humanities Materials

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Rudy Bruner Projects - Case Studies
Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence Gold Medal Winner - The Times Square: The Times Square has meticulously restored historic 652 room hotel to provide permanent single room occupancy units at affordable rents. The Times Square serves a mixed population including formerly homeless individuals, low income adults, and persons in need of social service support. The project combines excellence in design with an innovative model of housing, social services and job training, and has stabilized a key corner in the ongoing revitalization of the Times Square district. ( Also see Theme: History and Urban Renewal. Social Sciences.

Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence Silver Medal Winner - Greenpoint Manufacturing & Design Center): Through rehabilitation of a troubled but architecturally significant mill building, a collective of woodworkers and artists established space for incubator workshops and studios with easy access to the downtown markets. Greenpoint has thus maintained and created jobs that otherwise would have abandoned the city for suburban markets. ( Also see Theme: History and Urban Renewal. Social Sciences.

Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence Silver Medal Winner - Lowertown Redevelopment - St. Paul: Over a 20 year period, a unique approach to redevelopment has transformed a nearly defunct warehouse district perched on the edge of downtown St. Paul into a vibrant urban village with thriving art studios, entertainment, employment, parks and walk-to-work housing. ( Also see Theme: History and Urban Renewal. Social Sciences.

Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence Silver Medal Winner - Project Row Houses: Project Row Houses has forged new connections among Houston communities through the rehabilitation of 22 historic "shotgun" style houses which now provide art gallery and installation space, showcasing the work of prominent African-American artists. In addition, Project Row Houses provides 5 houses and support services for single working mothers, and a variety of daycare and after school programs for neighborhood youth. ( See also Theme: History and Urban Renewal, Art and Danger. Social Sciences.

Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence Silver Medal Winner - South Platte River Greenway: The South Platte River Greenway encompasses 10.5 miles of the South Platte River, running through the birthplace of the City of Denver. Prior to the establishment of the Platte River Development Committee in 1974, the river itself was seriously polluted and unfit for recre-ational use. Since 1974, the River has been fully reclaimed, opening the river and its banks for a mix of public recreational uses. ( See also Theme: Nature in the City. Social Sciences.

Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence Gold Medal Winner - Greenmarket: Greenmarket is a group of 19 farmers markets operating in 7 boroughs of New York. Greenmarket brings fresh farm products grown in New York to inner-city neighborhoods, benefiting the urban public and sustaining agricultural uses in the state. In peak season Greenmarket served approximately 40,00 people per week. It has played a significant role in the revival of Union Square and its immediate neighborhood, and benefits 10,000 low income consumers through WIC Farmers Market Coupons. ( See also Theme: Nature in the City. Social Sciences.

Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence Silver Medal Winner - Harlem Meer. Central Park - New York, NY: Years of neglect had allowed this lake in Harlem's corner of Central Park to become polluted and dangerous. A creative partnership between the city and the Central Park Conservancy has brought back the park, cleaned up the lake, restored the historic boathouse and playground and returned a beautiful and important amenity to the citizens of Harlem and New York. ( See also Theme: Nature in the City. Social Sciences.

Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence Silver Medal Winner - National Aids Memorial Grove: The National AIDS Memorial Grove is the first living memorial in honor of all people touched by AIDS. Built to transform a wooded dell in Golden Gate Park, the Memorial Grove was developed to honor people with AIDS/HIV, their families, friends and caregivers through the creation of a landscaped setting for healing, hope and remembrance. ( See also Theme: Nature in the City. Social Sciences.

Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence Gold Medal Winner - Harbor Point: The transformation of Columbia Point, a 1,504 unit public housing project serving mainly low-income minorities into a newly renovated 1,283 unit Harbor Point mixed-income community. The project introduced new models of tenant participation, mixes of affordable and market rate housing in a well designed complex. ( Theme: Crime, Danger. Social Sciences.

Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence Gold Medal Winner - The Maya Angelou Community Initiative: An exceptionally democratic and inclusive process by Housing Our Families led to the successful conversion of one of Portland's most troubled properties into 42 units of low income housing for mostly single, female-headed households. By reaching out to the community, the project became the impetus for revitilization and reinvestment in the surrounding neighborhood. ( Theme: Crime, Danger. Social Sciences.

Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence Silver Medal Winner - Center in the Square: Center in the Square incorporates restoration of a 1914 warehouse to create a downtown cultural center housing the Art Museum of Western Virginia, Science Museum of Western Virginia, Roanoke Valley History Museum, Mill Mountain Theater and The Arts Council of the Blue Ridge. By bringing together a group of cultural entities in a rent free space, Center in the Square has created a new cultural and educational destination in Roanoke, and has sparked the revitalization of downtown. ( See also Themes: Art and Preservation, History and Urban Renewal. Social Sciences.

Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence Silver Medal Winner - ARTScorpsLA: ARTScorpsLA has transformed blighted parcels of abandoned land within the inner city of Los Angeles into vital, public art places. Through ARTScorpsLA, young people in the community can design and create art-based community gathering places on parcels of vacant and abandoned land. The project promotes the concept of community building through the arts on a variety of sites, transforming blighted neighborhoods and contributing to community pride. ( Themes: Art and Preservation. Social Sciences.

Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence Silver Medal Winner - Lower East Side Tenement Museum: Located in Manhattan's Lower East Side, the heart of the Lower East Side Tenement Museum is its landmark tenement, home to an estimated 7,000 people from over 20 nations between 1863 and 1935. The Museum's mission is to promote tolerance and historical perspective through the presentation and interpretation of the variety of immigrant and migrant experiences on Manhattan's Lower East Side, a gateway to America. ( See also Themes: The Immigrant Experience, Art and Preservation, History and Urban Renewal. Social Sciences.

Social Science Articles
Looking at Cities by Allan B. Jacobs (Cambridge: Harvard, 1985): This book provides an excellent guide for non-design professionals on how to understand the nature and uses of an urban place from looking its physical cues alone. It is useful as an introductory and 'methods' readings for students learning how to look at urban spaces. Chapter.1 "Starting to Look" and Chapter.3 "Clues" are particularly useful. Theme: Introduction, Methods. Social Sciences.

Chapter 5, "Redefining Excellence in the Urban Environment: The Rudy Bruner Award Program" in Placemaking: The Art and Practice of Building Communities by Lynda H: Schneekloth & Robert G. Shibley, (New York: John Wiley & Sons; 1995). This chapter provides and in depth description of the history and nature of the Rudy Bruner Award. It discusses some of the lessons learned from analysis of early winners. Theme: Introduction. Social Sciences.

"The Science of Smart Growth" by Donald Chen, Scientific American December 2000 p 84-91: The term "Smart Growth" has taken on many meanings and become a political issue in some states. Smart growth refers to policies that attempt to channel growth and development in ways that are more environmentally friendly while at the same time providing retail and residential settings that are more accessible and oriented to transportation options. Chen does an excellent job of laying out the issues and providing a framework for understanding the potential for Smart Growth policies to reduce sprawl and otherwise improve the design on new communities. Theme: History and Urban Renewal. Social Sciences.

"Between Burb and Burg: The father of New Urbanism, Andres Duany, is reshaping suburbia and the practice of architecture," by George Musser. Scientific American, March, 2000: New Urbanism, along with Smart Growth, represents, an important trend in modern urban development. New urbanism tries to model new communities on some of the elements that made older "organic" communities successful. It seeks to reduce dependence on cars, increase options for mass transit and self powered travel (walking, biking) and in so doing increase social contact and the sense of community. Many 'New Urbanist' communities have been built around the country and it has become a powerful trend in residential design. (Also see Shibley, Robert G., The Complete New Urbanism and the Partial Practices of Placemaking Utopian Studies Journal 9.1 (1998): 80-102). Theme: History and Urban Renewal. Social Sciences.

Chapters 37 ("One Mile") & 38 ("One Mile Afterward") in The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York by Robert A. Caro (New York: Random House Trade Paperbacks; July 1975): This may be the best history available on the way in which policy and people have shaped (and miss-shaped) urban environments. Chapters 37 and 38 provide a detailed description of how the Cross-Bronx Expressway was planned and built, how citizens fought it and lost, and how it impacted the lives of the residents and the future of the Bronx. Theme: History and Urban Renewal. Social Sciences.

"Environment and Crime in the Inner City: Does Vegetation Reduce Crime?" by Francis Kuo and William Sullivan in Environment and Behavior, Vol. 33 No. 3, May 2001 343-367: Kuo and Sullivan provide powerful data that support a growing body of research and theory on the importance of nature and natural surroundings for human psychological health. This study systematically looked at a number of public housing buildings in Chicago that differed only in the degree the buildings provided natural green landscapes. The study found a significant impact of greenery on level of crime in public housing projects. Theme: Nature in the City. Social Sciences.

"Biophilia, Biophobia and Natural Landscapes" by Roger Ulrich in The Biophilia Hypothesis by Stephen R. Kellert and Edward O. Wilson (Editors) (Island Press; November 1993): Ulrich provides a detailed and definitive review of theory and research concerning E.O. Wilson's concept of biophilia (and its opposite - biophobia). Wilson has proposed that, due to the environment in which the homo sapiens evolved, contact with nature (in particular savannah-like landscapes) is important for human comfort and happiness. Ulrich discusses a number of studies, including his own classic study of the impact of nature views on hospital patients, that provide evidence that nature views reduce stress and have other beneficial effects. Theme: Nature in the City. Social Sciences.

Sommer, Robert "Farmers' Markets as Community Events." in Public Places and Spaces, by I Altman and E. Zube (Ediotrs), (New York: Plenum, 1989): Sommers provides empirical data and discussion of the social ecology of farmer's markets. He argues that the farmer's markets play a different role than other, traditional shopping experiences in supporting social interaction and developing a sense of community. Theme: Nature in the City. Social Sciences.

Defensible Space; Crime Prevention Through Urban Design, by Oscar Newman (MacMillan Publishing Company October 1973). (also see "Creating Defensible Space" available at Newman initiated the field of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) with his 1973 studies comparing the design of public housing projects that were safe or dangerous for residents. He concluded that the architecture of the facilities was key to safety (including the use of low-rise buildings that created good semi-private spaces for social support). Newman's concepts have been extraordinarily influential in the design of public housing and private residential areas. Theme: Crime, Danger. Social Sciences.

Chapter 2, "The uses of sidewalks: safety" in The Death and Life of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs (New York: Vintage Books, 1992): This is a reissue of the classic book from the 1960s that promoted organic elements of city neighborhoods over artificial new towns of suburban subdivisions. Jacobs described how density in the context of good, small scale urban settings, supports safety by, among other things, providing natural "eyes on the street." Theme: Crime, Danger. Social Sciences.

Let's put on a show, by Elizabeth Strom, in the Journal of Urban Affairs, 21 (4), 423-435 (1999): Strom discusses the trend toward using performing arts centers as a way to revive urban areas and reviews examples in a number of cities. She discusses their uses and where and how they do and do not succeed. Theme: Art and Preservation. Social Sciences.

The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces by William H. Whyte - film:; and book: (New York: Project for Public Spaces, 2001): This one-hour film (originally aired on PBS' Nova series) and companion book show the landmark research of William H. Whyte on the nature of design and behavior relationships for urban plazas. The film is especially powerful in demonstrating his methods (time lapse photography, film, behavior observations) and his insights. Whyte conducted this research in order to help reshape New York City's zoning rules for the design of plazas. He lays out for the reader/viewer the design requirements of good public plazas (including location, sun/light, water, seating, and public art) and shows how he developed these criteria. The film is engaging and clear and serves as a good segue into a homework project for students to analyze design and use of a local plaza. Themes: Introduction, Methods, Art and Preservation, Crime and Danger. Social Sciences.