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Cotton
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Some Eastern European cities (Moscow, Prague, St. Petersburg) have trend of pretty strange infill development. Developers are trying to build up every single empty lot, including squares and parks.

Some examples:
In 2000-2003, a huge Atrium mall was built on the site of Kursky Rail Terminal square in Moscow, separating the rail terminal from Garden ring (https://goo.gl/maps/XP393)

The square in 80s

pastvu.com

The mall itself


A tram loop was destroyed to make way for White Gardens business center (https://goo.gl/maps/ycp0U)

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/31/Tram_Moscow_Lesnaya.jpg

The line itself was closed between 2008 and 2013, until a revers was built.




In Prague, they even had to demolish Narodni Trida metro station entrance to build up the area.

Share other examples of this kind of infill development.
 

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In Rīga, Latvia one of the best examples for this crazy development is the central train station. Mainly because tourists now think that it's a big shopping center and nobody can find the trains anymore - the ticket offices and exits to platforms are hidden between the many shops.





The only piece of information telling foreign people that it's also a station is a small, black sign on the wall of the station building in roughly the middle of the both pictures - "stacija вокзал terminal"

I made a small map to show the changes between early 90ies and 2014:

 

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PRESIDENT OF SPACE
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Mainly because tourists now think that it's a big shopping center and nobody can find the trains anymore - the ticket offices and exits to platforms are hidden between the many shops.
They did something like that Washington Union Station in the US.

There is no apparent change to the front plaza and exterior, but the historic station hall and some of the original concourse to the platforms is a shopping mall now. Then they built a parking garage more modern transit concourse connected to the metro on top of the original platforms.

It's still a really important train station with numerous amtrak lines and the heart of two commuter systems, not to mention a metro station. But it's also where tour buses full of 8th graders stop for lunch and where your cousin can buy one of those stupid "FBI: female body inspector" shirts from a turista souvenir stand.
 

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^^
In general it's a good idea to have restaurants, post office, tourist information, bank, small kiosks and souvenir shops at major train stations. But they shouldn't get in the way and add trouble to those trying to find the trains.

But it's really easy to go over the top - our station has book shops, clothing stores, footwear stores, make-up shops, zoo shop, a supermarket... Is it something like that also in Washington Union station?
Theoretically they could at least split it in levels - all train and travel needs essentials should be on level 1 while the other shops on levels 2, 3, etc.
 

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Ars longa, vita brevis
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In Bucharest, commie blocks have been built quite tight to very tight, but in the last decade there has been a phenomenon to fill the barren space between them (which is technically green space) with new apartment blocks. It's awful, and often illegal. The new blocks have no particular merits in themselves, they are occupying what should have been actual green space or play ground, can be very close to the old blocks around them (up to having your balcony two metres away from the next building), there isn't enough space around the new building to create enough parking space, and in general it's f*cking ugly, who in his right minds would pay loads of cash to live like that? But during the housing bubble lots of people lost their rationality.

Here's an example next to which I lived for a while: street view. This is just a couple hundred metres away, you can see another one under construction: street view. There are also some old houses between the commieblocks that the communists have spared for some reason, so the result is a total cluster****. In the next similar space on the street it's the same just hidden by trees, so it is only visible by satellite.
 

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In Bucharest, commie blocks have been built quite tight to very tight, but in the last decade there has been a phenomenon to fill the barren space between them (which is technically green space) with new apartment blocks. It's awful, and often illegal. The new blocks have no particular merits in themselves, they are occupying what should have been actual green space or play ground, can be very close to the old blocks around them (up to having your balcony two metres away from the next building), there isn't enough space around the new building to create enough parking space, and in general it's f*cking ugly, who in his right minds would pay loads of cash to live like that? But during the housing bubble lots of people lost their rationality.

Here's an example next to which I lived for a while: street view. This is just a couple hundred metres away, you can see another one under construction: street view. There are also some old houses between the commieblocks that the communists have spared for some reason, so the result is a total clusterfuck. In the next similar space on the street it's the same just hidden by trees, so it is only visible by satellite.
They should demolish those hideous commie blocks and build proper inner city quarters instead. :eek:hno:
 

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What urban life? New commieblocks that, just like old ones, are abandoned during the day since everybody is at school or work somewhere else in the city. Casinos that simply rob people of their time and money. New bad architecture where once there were trees and recreation zones. High density should be done properly - with mixed use buildings, easy reachable mass transit and beautiful parks between the high-rises for effective recreation (when done properly they're not wasteland). This is thread is for examples of high density done badly - usually with just maximum profit in mind. Correct me if I'm wrong.
 

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Density can't be done with with parks between buildings. It may be density in numbers but it will never feel like a proper inner city.

A park here and there in a larger area, like it's done on Manhattan or most older European city centers where a block sometimes are a park instead of a building are good. But the way that it's been done since the 50's are just horrible. Plain horrible. Even worse than horrible. Parks with scattered buildings in them are just the worst possible solution to build a city.

What you described were more or less just commie blocks with some business in some of the buildings instead of only apartments.

Apart from density in terms of the inhabitants there has to be density with the actual buildings themselves too.
 

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I myself live in an old city where entire city blocks are parks. And I really meant that, not a city block that's an awful mix of some buildings and park. Like you said, it doesn't feel like inner city. Maybe there could be a city block with buildings on all sides and a park in the middle. There is also such park in my city but you feel like in a zoo - a bit of nature walled in. A better solution for block insides would be like my city's Berga Bazārs - small pedestrian alleys with some trees and small shops, art galleries, restaurants and a cinema on the first floors of the buildings. Such places really bring life to the usually lifeless backyards.
 

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Another example of Bucharest's absurd urbanism. Look here, make a 360 degree turn to see how dense the place already is. Well, that little public "garden" there, squeezed between commieblocks, the only such place for the people in this neighbourhood, was erased for the building of a 10-floor new block... illegally and in the complete spite of the locals.

It all started when, out of nothing, people got a poster in their (already paid for this year) parking requesting them to move out their cars (not that there is any free space for parking left, this is one of the city's main problems) because the land is now private and construction work must start immediately, as the new building will eat both the garden and most of their parking. No consultation, no legal steps whatsoever. Realizing that what's happening is probably an abuse, the residents organized themselves and petitioned the district hall in many ways, only to be left without proper answers (or answers such as "all the necessary information can be found on the city hall website" - obviously bollox). The only authority that has eventually given an answer is the constructions supervising authority, which has confirmed that the construction permission granted by the district hall is illegal as green space cannot have its destination changed even in the case of ownership change. However, no public institution that could do it has, so far, taken it to itself to use its prerogatives to implement the law and stop the construction work. In the meantime, the illegal building has already risen with a few floors:



As you can see, in this sort of inner courtyard that the commieblocks were forming, there already was another new apartment building, right near which the new & bigger one is being raised. A couple more observations: the new building is supposed to bring about 70 more cars, despite the parking space of the area being diminished (and previously full anyway); the public garden had been, since the Google car passed by it in 2011, re-done by the district hall (with public money, of course), and had ended up looking quite good according to the residents, who were using it as the only place where they would bring their children out.
 

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Toronto built a 51 floor skyscraper in that narrow gap between these 2 buildings:



The finished tower
 

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Economics worldwide are shifting to denser cities. This is happening everywhere, from Dhaka:



to Bolivia:



to Uganda:



to Florida:



(from the respective fora)

Sprawl is out, infill is in.
 
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