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Old Posted Jun 25, 2012, 6:05 AM
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Your Favorite Unrealized Urban Plans

So I have seen a lot of cool urban plans on the internet and I figured I would share some of my favorites:

The Woodward plan for Detroit. Looks like something you would see in renaissance Italy or France. I tried making this layout in google sketchup and was surprised to see that the squares pictured around only about 50 x 50 feet wide. Not very big buildings to be honest, though blocks could be combined to make some larger structures.


whitewallbuick


Next up, the Burnham plan for Chicago. Partially built, but would have been pretty epic if it had been fully built. Also included a pretty massive central civic structure.


Penn State Library

Penn State Library


The Completion of Washington by Leon Krier. I mean its a crazy giant lake for a national mall. Its like Amsterdam and Washington DC had a baby. Now all it needs are canals everywhere.


MOMA

Germania, a replacement for Berlin. Not so much the actual plan, which consisted of a giant dick-move by running people who didn't vote for Hitler out of their homes and building a giant city on top of the ruins. It did have some crazy grand looking architecture though. Kind of makes me think about how beautiful the Colosseum is, in spite of the whole "feeding people to lions" thing. Honestly though, it looks cool from a distance, but would have been horrible to live in due to a lack of human scale.



imageshack, originally posted here

Show me your favorites.
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  #2  
Old Posted Jun 25, 2012, 1:05 PM
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Jacques Gréber's 1917 plan for Philadelphia. It included radial boulevards out from City Hall and major points downtown. The circles at major Broad Street intersections would have been nice to see.



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Old Posted Jun 25, 2012, 5:20 PM
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The some-what realized Lindhagen-plan for Stockholm from 1866. A quick comparison with today's Stockholm will tell you that a lot of it was realized, but there's many bits I'd have loved to see;
Ringvägen (the ring-road on the Southside) would have extended all the way to the northern shorelines,
Folkkungagatan (the main east-west street on the Southside) extended all the way to the west instead of stopping half-way,
Sveavägen (main north-south avenue on the Northside) would have continued all the way to the palace and the water instead of turning and then stopping a dozen blocks away,
Kungsgatan (main east-west street on the inner Northside) would have connected to Fridhemsplan in the west and Karlaplan in the east.


source: wikipedia


Half of this in now the most protected greenspace in Sweden, half is suburbia and university campuses (Swedish style, i.e. slabs-in-a-"park").

source: wikipedia
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Old Posted Jun 25, 2012, 8:00 PM
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The Woodward Plan was conceived in 1805 after the city burned to the ground. The problem is that the landowners wouldn't have any of it.
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Old Posted Jun 25, 2012, 8:12 PM
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Nothing wrong with slabs-in-the-park. Juxtaposition between nature and the man-made. Could be worse. Could be like the US - modular classrooms, trailer-park style prefab units decomposing in fields.
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Old Posted Jun 26, 2012, 1:35 AM
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Maybe someone can help me with this. I believe there was a plan to rebuild a crowded part of london, using a number of large traffic circles and orientating it around a circular shape. I think it is near where the Millennium dome is now.

It was a rejected plan, but still looked pretty interesting.
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Old Posted Jun 26, 2012, 3:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Krases View Post
Maybe someone can help me with this. I believe there was a plan to rebuild a crowded part of london, using a number of large traffic circles and orientating it around a circular shape. I think it is near where the Millennium dome is now.

It was a rejected plan, but still looked pretty interesting.
I'm assuming you're thinking of something more recent but the Wren plan from 1666 has some of the features you mentioned.

http://mapco.net/london/1666wren.htm
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Old Posted Jun 26, 2012, 3:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seaskyfan View Post
I'm assuming you're thinking of something more recent but the Wren plan from 1666 has some of the features you mentioned.

http://mapco.net/london/1666wren.htm
That was one plan that I ran into during the search, but not quite the one I remember.

I remember it having something to do with streetcars and wanting to either remove some of them ore revamp the streetcar system in that area.

I faintly remember a map with some red lines marking where new roads would go. Yet, this map was somewhat old if I remember right, like 1800's era.
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Old Posted Jun 26, 2012, 4:26 AM
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This site has some good ones, including one for Columbus I actually wish was implemented.

http://www.library.cornell.edu/Reps/DOCS/schermer.htm
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Old Posted Jun 26, 2012, 6:10 AM
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Exodus or the Voluntary Prisoners of Architecture, London, UK, 1972.
Rem Koolhaas.



[Click for full size]

http://thefunambulist.net/2010/12/16/students-exodus-or-the-voluntary-prisoners-of-architecture/

I'm a fan of radical architectural theory.
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Old Posted Jun 26, 2012, 10:29 AM
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^ One of those walls would go right through my building.. yikes.

Anyway here's the original plan for Metro Centre in Toronto, which would have required the demolition of Union Station. The only part of it actually built was the communications tower, as the CN Tower (obviously with a different design):




Source.

Next there's Buckminster Fuller's fever dream with it's 400 foot tall crystal pyramid, "Project Toronto":


Source.

Complete with floating "Pro-to-Cities" on Lake Ontario:




Source.
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Old Posted Jun 26, 2012, 1:53 PM
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That Metro Centre plan looks like the equivalent of strewing a pile of jersey barriers between the city and lake. UGGGh.
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Old Posted Jun 26, 2012, 1:59 PM
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that Rem Koolhaas scar tissue through london is disturbing. i guess it's different and upsetting now that inflated egos have actually cut wound like swaths of destruction through cities and it's not just some wacky advanced thing that is talked about with turtleneck people a generation or two ago.

Last edited by Centropolis; Jun 26, 2012 at 2:15 PM.
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Old Posted Jun 26, 2012, 2:06 PM
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man just like you know i can hear the jazz flute.


http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7013/6...496e8fbe5c.jpg


http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7015/6...b658ab7cc1.jpg

From the 1960 Downtown St. Louis Plan. The brooding sacrificial sun-pyramid in the first rendering is probably unnecessary...Memphis built it instead...without the cloaked blood-wizard on top.

Last edited by Centropolis; Jun 26, 2012 at 2:58 PM.
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Old Posted Jun 26, 2012, 4:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zilfondel View Post
Nothing wrong with slabs-in-the-park. Juxtaposition between nature and the man-made. Could be worse. Could be like the US - modular classrooms, trailer-park style prefab units decomposing in fields.
There's plenty wrong with slabs in the "park". It wastes tons of space, destroys the urban fabric (or prevents it from ever being created). Most of Stockholm is slabs-in-a-"park", and all these 'burbs are pretty dead, no streetlife since there's no place for streetlife.
But, yeah, of course it could be worse.
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Old Posted Jun 26, 2012, 4:38 PM
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Some of these look great for victorious generals riding on horseback, and not much else besides.
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Old Posted Jun 26, 2012, 7:08 PM
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Some of these look great for victorious generals riding on horseback, and not much else besides.
I think the Burnham plan for chicago is truly good and I feel like the design for detroit wasn't too bad, though they would have struggled with such small blocks.

Hitlers plan for Berlin was nucking futs.
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Old Posted Jun 26, 2012, 7:30 PM
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I don't have a photo account or know how to link other people's flikr pics, but here's a plan for the Seattle Commons park circa 1993, basically from just beyond the northern edge of Seattle's CBD northward to Lake Union (bottom of map). The image reflects surorunding developement that wasn't part of the proposal itself, but would have been expected had the park happened. http://www.flickr.com/photos/seattle...es/5204202277/

I volunteered for the nonprofit behind this in late 1992, and was soon after on the organization's (or related campaign's) staff most of the time until 1996, when we lost our second attempt at a City levy.

Paul Allen donated $26,000,000 for land aquisition. The land we bought would have been donated to the City as part of the park. When the plan failed, the land became his. This is the centerpiece for a huge amount of development since then.

Today, South Lake Union (the park area and the surroundings) is the busiest development zone in town, with several million square feet built or underway, heavy on research labs, Amazon, and apartments. Now we're debating zoning much of the area highrise, with the mayor forwarding his plan to council this week.

Two small parts of the park did get built -- one block next to the existing Denny Park where we laid sod and built a basketball court that are still there, and the large pier and shoreline, which was completely redone recently, and which have the relocated Museum of History & Industry opening soon in the historic Naval Reserve Building.

I'd love to have the park, but I also love what's been happening.
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Old Posted Jun 26, 2012, 7:34 PM
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The image reflects surorunding developement that wasn't part of the proposal itself, but would have been expected had the park happened. http://www.flickr.com/photos/seattle...es/5204202277/


Seattle Commons draft plan, 1993 by Seattle Municipal Archives, on Flickr
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Old Posted Jun 26, 2012, 7:43 PM
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Thanks Brickell!

PS, we sure pissed some people off by showing new construction on their properties. The idea was to show something new on any underused site. But it was just a guess. Showing buildings also confused people with the idea that we planned to develop those sites, rather than the truth which was we'd expect the park to be an encouragement for development to happen naturally.

PS, that highway at the bottom exists for the first four blocks on the left. From there, it's a one-way couplet of surface streets with a bizarre "s" shape westbound. Right now the whole thing is being rebuilt as a two-way boulevard, with the other half of the couplet (Valley Street) being much smaller than it is now, to oversimplify. A Tiger Grant announced last week will continue the boulevard under Aurora at the current underpass site on the right. The slanty road on the right will mostly disappear.
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