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Is the Second City First When it Comes to Beautiful and Sustainable Streetscapes?

indiana-14th-street chicagoPhoto: Landscaped medians, S. Indiana Ave. and 14th St., Chicago, IL Should streets be treated as places? How is the New York City Department of Transportation transforming our city streets? Will the entire city benefit? What are the possible economic benefits of this new holistic approach? As streets across the United States are being changed to accommodate the needs of all users (pedestrians, bicyclists, bus riders, the old, the young, and car and truck drivers), this Thursday’s program, The Complete Street, will feature four exceptional presentations — including one from Janet Attarian, director of Streetscape & Sustainable Design Program, Chicago — on urban streets as they are and could be. In Chicago, melding complete streets and ecological design has resulted in sustainable changes both practical and pleasing, such as permeable pavers and landscaped medians that reduce storm water run-off while offering visual pleasure (see image above). Here in New York, bicycle paths have opened and sections of Broadway have closed to create pedestrian plazas, an experiment that will become permanent. What are the best practices in contemporary streetscapes? What are the challenges? How can improvements be funded and maintained? How can civic momentum be maintained from one administration to the next? Join us for an engaging discussion of the city streets of today and tomorrow. Thursday, April 29, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. The Complete Street: Sustainable, Healthy & Pleasurable At Scandinavia House, 58 Park Avenue, between 37th & 38th streets MAP Moderator — Paul Steely-White, executive director, Transportation Alternatives Panel — Janet Attarian, director of Streetscape & Sustainable Design Program, Chicago; Nicole LaRusso, senior vice president for Economic Development and Planning, ADNY; Gary Toth, senior director, transportation initiatives, PPS; and, Andrew Wiley-Schwartz, assistant commissioner of NYC DOT. $15, $10 MAS members. Reservations required. Purchase tickets online or call 212 935 2075.