Category Archives: urban planning

Phil Goff’s Presentation Now Available

Phil Goff is the New England planning and design leader for Alta Planning + Design’s Cambridge office. Alta is a Portland, OR-based consulting firm that specializes in active transportation facilities and programs. Goff has 20 years of experience in urban design, transportation planning and bicycle advocacy. A native of Keene, he has worked on various projects throughout the state and sits on the Board of the Bike-Walk Alliance of NH.

On May 23 at Portsmouth High School, Goff gave a presentation on innovations in bicycle facilities and design with recommendations for Portsmouth. Massachusetts cities such as Cambridge and Somerville have made great strides over that past 15 years in designing their compact and crowded streets to accommodate more bicycles. They have vastly increased the number of cycling commuters while reducing motor traffic and maintaining safety for all. There are a lot of creative ideas Portsmouth can borrow that are illustrated in Goff’s presentation.

Paris to Portsmouth


PS21 is excited and pleased to host one of the architects of the 2015 Paris Agreement, the historic accord on climate change that currently enjoys the support of nearly every nation in world. Dr. Edward Cameron will be joining us on Wednesday April 18 at 7:00 PM at 3S Artspace at 319 Vaughan Street.

Dr. Cameron will provide us with an overview of the Paris Agreement. This will include detail on the architecture of the Agreement, as any successful attempt to align municipal strategy with the Agreement should borrow from the architecture.

He will then proceed with an assessment of the climate policy of our federal government, followed by an overview of how other non-state actors in the United States are building a low-carbon climate-resilient economy with a particular emphasis on the private sector, as he views this as an exercise in economic development for the region.

Finally, he will give us a sense of what would be needed to build a climate strategy on the local level, along with some guidance as to what individuals can do to be agents of climate action.

Following the presentation, we will reserve ample time for questions and discussion. The event is free and all are welcome. Please register online to help ensure sufficient seating.

Upcoming Events

Paris to Portsmouth – Part II
In October, PS21 will assemble a panel of municipal officials from other New England cities to discuss their efforts to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.

Toderian Video Now Available

Brent Toderian’s presentation on Density Done Well on March 5 at 3S Arts Center was well attended. Mr. Toderian gave us plenty to think about.

In case you missed the presentation, PS21 has made a video of the event available here.

We were not entirely surprised when several of the concepts presented by Mr. Toderian on March 5 resurfaced five days later at the city’s public input session on plans for the reuse of the McIntyre federal building.

On March 6, PS21 brought Mr. Toderian to Concord to address an audience of land use professionals from throughout New Hampshire. It was a full house at Concord’s Red River Theatre. The video of that event is available below.

Density Done Well


Brent Toderian will be presenting on his signature topic, Density Done Well, at 3S Arts Center in Portsmouth on Monday March 5 at 7 PM. Doors will open at 6:30 PM. The event is free, and all are welcome. Please register in order to ensure sufficient seating.

On the following day, Mr. Toderian will present at the Red River Theatres in Concord at 10 AM. Doors will open at 9:30. This session will be geared toward land use practitioners throughout New Hampshire, although the general public is certainly welcome. We recommend that attendees register in advance for the Concord session.

Mr. Toderian is a passionate practitioner and advocate for creative, vibrant city-building. He is an internationally respected thought-leader with over 25 years of experience in advanced urbanism, city planning and urban design. He has advised and collaborated with cities, agencies and best-practice developers around the world, in Aukland, Brisbane, Buenos Aires, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Medellin, New York, Oslo, Rotterdam, and Sydney. He was formerly the Planning Director for the City of Vancouver, British Columbia.

Mr. Toderian is the founding president of the Council for Canadian Urbanism (CanU), and a regular contributor to the Huffington Post, Planetizen, CityLab and SPACING. Learn more about him at his web site.

The events’ lead sponsor is the NH Housing Finance Authority. Additional sponsors include the Piscataqua Savings Bank, Olde Port Properties, and the NH Planners Association. Event Partners are Plan NH, 3S Artspace, Seacoast Media Group, PortsmouthNH.com, GDI Design, and the Northern New England Chapter of the American Planning Association.

Brent Toderian on Density Done Well

Urban planner Brent Toderian will present at 3S Arts Center on Monday March 5 on his signature topic, Density Done Well. Doors will open at 6:30 PM. The presentation will commence at 7 PM.

Brent is a nationally and internationally respected practitioner and thought-leader with over 25 years of experience in advanced urbanism, city planning and urban design. In recent years he has advised and collaborated with cities, agencies and best-practice developers around the world, including the cities of Auckland, Brisbane, Buenos Aires, Copenhagen, Gold Coast, Groningen, Helsinki, Medellin, New York, Oslo, Perth, Rotterdam, and Sydney.

A passionate practitioner and advocate for creative, vibrant city-building, Brent is the founding President of the Council for Canadian Urbanism (CanU), and a regular writer with the Huffington Post, Planetizen, CityLab and SPACING. He is a highly sought-after international speaker, teacher and thought-leader on cities and issues of advanced urbanism.

Please note that PS21’s original plan to provide a live video feed from Vancouver to 3S Arts Center on January 25 has been cancelled, as we have persuaded Mr. Toderian to appear in person on March 5.

Matthijs Bouw Talk Draws Full House

The Levenson Room at the Portsmouth Library was at capacity on December 6 for a presentation by Dutch architect and urbanist Matthijs Bouw that illustrated his design for flood protection infrastructure in Manhattan, the philosophy behind that design, and the lessons that are applicable to Portsmouth.

Bouw’s firm is the publisher of Engagement by Design, a booklet that emphasizes the importance of engaging all stakeholders in the design process. See also this lively 4-minute video on proposed flood protection measures for lower Manhattan.

Matthijs Bouw to Speak on December 6

In October 2012, Hurricane Sandy sent a record storm surge of 13.88’ across New York Harbor, inundating large swaths of lower Manhattan. This prompted Mayor Michael Bloomberg to vow that the city would be prepared when the next storm strikes.

On Wednesday, December 6 at 6:30 PM at Portsmouth Public Library, PS21 will present one of the designers of New York’s new flood protection plan, Dutch architect and urbanist Matthijs Bouw. He is a founder of One Architecture, an award-winning Amsterdam and New York-based design and planning firm. Bouw will discuss his experience in New York designing protective infrastructure along Manhattan’s shoreline, and his work in the Netherlands. One third of the Netherlands is below sea level. The country has long been recognized for its sophisticated water management strategies.

Attendees will have an opportunity to discuss what lessons might apply to Portsmouth, and what infrastructure options might protect our city from a rising sea and storms of unprecedented scale. Scientists advise that climate change will bring more such storms, and with greater frequency, and that the effects will be exacerbated by a sea level that is projected to rise some 3 to 6 feet by the end of the century. It is not hard to imagine a storm surge of unprecedented height rolling up the Piscataqua on an incoming tide.

Bouw is the Rockefeller Urban Resilience Fellow for PennDesign at the University of Pennsylvania, and is developing the Chief Resilience Officer curriculum for 100 Resilient Cities. His firm co-leads the team that won the Rebuild by Design competition for the flood protection of Manhattan, and is currently part of the multi-disciplinary teams executing the first phase of the East Side Coastal Resiliency project for Lower Manhattan, as well as planning the Lower Manhattan Coastal Protection project. In Panama, Bouw is the urban designer in the ‘Water Dialogues’ team. In the Netherlands, his firm is part of the ‘Hackable City’ team for Buiksloterham, a large-scale brownfield redevelopment in Amsterdam-Noord based on the principles of the circular economy.

The event is free and all are welcome. Please register to help ensure sufficient seating.

Upcoming Events

Density Done Well: On January 25, urban planner Brent Toderian will be presenting via a live video feed from Vancouver on his signature topic that brought him international renown, Density Done Well. As he notes in his blog, It’s an understatement to say that the D-Word is a controversial subject in cities across North America. It needn’t be so though, and shouldn’t be, as when it’s done well, density is immensely important to the success of cities and regions.” Following the presentation, the local audience at 3S Arts Center will have an opportunity to pose questions to Mr. Toderian.

PS21 has new chair and two new board members

The PS21 Board of Directors recently elected Emily Corbett Chadwick as its new chair (see photo below). She has been an active member of the PS21 community for two years, and led the development and implementation of the Vaughan Mall Green demonstration project. Emily works at Manypenny | Murphy Architecture in Portsmouth, and earned degrees in Architecture at the University of Michigan, and a B.A. in the Growth & Structure of Cities at Haverford College.

 

Doug Roberts, co-founder of Portsmouth Smart Growth for the 21st Century (PS21), is the outgoing chair. He resigned from the board in August to run for a seat on Portsmouth City Council. Doug stated that he hopes to be elected to the City Council in November “in order to take a more directly active role in advocating for innovative ideas and the positive discussion of issues facing Portsmouth.”

Two new members have been elected to serve on the PS21 board. Deb Chag is a Middle Street resident who has served as a volunteer on numerous Seacoast nonprofit boards. She participated in the North End and West End charrettes, as well as Portsmouth Listens – West End, and was a volunteer for the PS21 Vaughan Mall Green demonstration project.

“I’m excited to join the PS21 Board because I appreciate the progressive thinking of this community group. I hope to help broaden the visibility of PS21 by continuing to identify and promote demonstration projects and other relevant events,” Chag said.

Jonathan Sandberg, a Boston native who moved to Portsmouth in 2000, works in Student Services at Portsmouth High School. Sandberg served on the board of the Portsmouth Historical Society and helped foster the creation of the Discover Portsmouth Center. He is a member of the Citizens Advisory Committee for the Federal Block Grant Program for Portsmouth, and participated in two sessions of Portsmouth Listens.

“I’m pleased to be directly involved in planning and implementing PS21 activities. In particular, I’m a strong advocate for improvements to pedestrian and cycling infrastructure,” Sandberg noted.

Vaughan Mall Green Summer Series Gets Under Way

Summer is here, and PS21 is ready to celebrate it with you! Performances and activities are scheduled for  Vaughan Mall on Saturdays from 4-6 PM through the end of August.

VAUGHAN MALL GREEN SUMMER SERIES

July 15 – Eastern Sleds with Justin Carloni, 4-6 p.m. Americana

July 22 – Singing Our Way – a cappella singing trio (4 p.m.); Leftist Marching Band – marching band with a progressive voice (5 p.m.)

July 29 – Seacoast Storytellers present “A World of Tales” with Debra Ballou, Shawn Middleton, and Michael Lang (4-6 p.m.)

RAIN Aug. 5 

Aug 12 – Midnight Blues Jazz Combo, a jazz, funk and pop quartet (4 p.m.); Ray Demarco (5 p.m.)

Aug. 19 – Jim Danger, acoustic rock’n’roll (4 p.m); Sam Robbins, acoustic Americana, country, folk and pop (5 p.m.)

Aug. 26 – Mitch Shuldman & Linda Bieber, classical guitar and flute (4-6 p.m.)

SEPT. 2 – Singer-songwriters and recording artists Jim Rioux & Guy Capecelatro III, (4-6 p.m.)

Contact Ellie  with any questions.

Summer Activities in Vaughan Mall!

PS21 is organizing summer events as part of its revitalization project, Vaughan Mall Green.  We’re looking for performers and entertaining group activities — musical acts, games, exercise or meditation classes, dancing, juggling, game tourneys, theater demos and more!

If we receive City Council approval, we are planning to have events Saturday afternoons from 3-5 pm in July and August. Performance slots can range from 45 min to 2 hours. Performers will not be paid, but may accept donations.

Spread the word! To sign up, please fill out this brief online form and contact Ellie at portsmouthsmart21@gmail.com.