Saturday, February 13, 2010

Berkeley's SOSIP

I have created a little web site at illustrating the changes that could occur as part of Berkeley's Street and Open Space Improvement Project (SOSIP).

Though it is a local issue, it is of wider interest because the University of California is demolishing the State Health Dept. Building, a highrise surrounded by a parking lot that represents everything wrong with modernist urbanism.

The SOSIP gives us the opportunity of transforming this site and the area around it into a fine-grained network of pedestrian-friendly streets.

For me, there is a strong symbolic resonance to replacing a modernist highrise with an urban fabric of walkable streets. It is a rejection of modernist urbanism that reminds me of the demolition of the Pruitt-Igoe housing project. But it is even better, because the modernist urbanism is being replaced by an urban fabric created in a piecemeal way, like traditional urban fabrics.

If these two pictures from the web site about the SOSIP intrigue you, then look at the entire site at


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