Category Archives: Boston

Lego Block Parklets in Boston

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Four new parklets will be popping up around Boston this summer as part of a new program of the Boston Transportation Department. Brooklyn-based Interboro Designs developed a modular design dubbed “ad-blocs”. These plastic blocks can be stacked and combined to form many different settings. Like giant Lego bricks, the ad-blocs have raised and depressed components that let them lock together. Alternatively, the depressions can be used as planters.
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Experiencing the City through its Street Patterns

By Jake Tobin Garrett

Nothing gets you quite as acquainted with a city’s street system than by being a tourist. This summer I had the opportunity to hit up a few different North American cities–Vancouver, Montreal, New York, Boston, and Minneapolis–each with their own street pattern eccentricities. Some of the cities, like Vancouver, I was extremely familiar with (having lived there up until 2010), while others I had only a passing familiarity or none at all. Wandering around these different cities got me thinking about how the very backbone of a city—its street pattern—shapes the wider experience of the city itself, one that is more personal.

Now, in the age of the iPhone, when even six year olds seem to be able to orient themselves using GPS technology, perhaps the navigability of a city’s street system doesn’t seem that important. Who cares about our mental maps when we have a pixelated one right in the palm of our hand?

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