The project to resurface and reconstruct Monroe Street in 2015 and 2016 is now in the public input, design, and planning phase (see this earlier post). The City describes the planned work as a road works project. The importance of this project to the neighborhoods is that it’s outcomes will decide the physical, social, and cultural, and environmental fabric of the watershed for a long time into the future–perhaps the next 30 to 50 years. Will we even be driving cars in 30-50 years? (Click here for details on the City’s effort to ask for public input.)
Thinking Outside the Traffic Lanes
This planning phase gives residents of Madison and the Lake Wingra Watershed a chance to ask ourselves what we want our city of the future to look like. What can the Monroe Street project do to create a more livable city? What does a more livable urban world look like? Can the Monroe Street project include smart urban design features that promote energy efficiency, civic and social engagement, and low-impact living–features such as civic meeting and recreational spaces, room for bicycles and pedestrians, permeable pavement, and food production in urban spaces, to name a few–that will contribute to–rather than detracting from–a sustainable future.
Some Ideas of What a Livable City Can Be
Just in time to help us think our way through this planning phase, the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the UW-Madison, has published a new issue of its In Common magazine that discusses, in depth, the topic of “Livable Cities.”
Just a few of the articles in The “Livable Cities” issue are these: Toward a more livable urban world”; “A global view of urban growth”; “Growing food in forgotten spaces”; and “A livable city solution.” The reading should be good homework for the July 9 listening session.