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This city really is made up of renters. But we’re not part of the conversation; we don’t get included

Zachary DeWolf, Next City

Category Archives: Urbanism & Design

February 27, 2017
Photos: Philly’s Abandoned Turbine Halls
The Guardian

The Philadelphia Electric Company built enormous metropolitan power stations at the turn of the 20th century. Now vacant and decaying, these buildings are a blight in the eyes of some city planners – and a beacon to urban explorers.

Healing the Healer Through Urban Design

As designers look for ways to improve patient outcomes in hospitals, creating a better working environment for those on the front lines of care is a must.

Rahm Emanuel’s ‘People Plazas’ Struggling
Chicago Tribune

When Mayor Rahm Emanuel got the Chicago City Council to approve his “people plazas” program in spring 2015, he envisioned it as a way to transform dozens of empty pieces of land and underused public spaces around the city into inviting places for Chicagoans to meet up and hang out.

Many Uses in Denver, Linked by One Vibrant Alley
Urban Land Institute

The connections among a mix of uses on a single urban block are normally left to the streetfronts that surround them, or to interior corridors. But in a historic district in Denver, it is an alleyway that pulls uses together.

February 26, 2017
Chicago: An Architectural Legacy Worth Celebrating
The Washington Post

Washington has some interesting architecture — monuments and museums, governmental and private office buildings, embassies, and historic and contemporary homes. Still, it hardly has the design cachet of Chicago.

The Rise Of Smombie Urbanism
Pop Up City

In recent articles, we’ve already reported on the fact that increasing numbers of people are glued to their smartphone screens. Whether we want it or not, this undeniable trend forces governments and designers to rethink the use and design of urban spaces.

British Artist Explores Cities With Painting
Creative Boom

Bold, colourful and naïve in nature – this is how British artist Rachel Tighe describes her work. “It represents how I see my surroundings in an expressive and fluid form.”

Don’t Sweat the Shadows on the Boston Common
Boston Globe

From the anguished comments now on file at City Hall, you’d think a proposed new skyscraper downtown in Winthrop Square would block enough light to turn the two parks into the Arctic tundra. Sorry. It won’t. There just isn’t a problem here.

Jan Gehl Gave Us Great Cities, But What’s Next?
Financial Review

Jan Gehl collaborated with others the world over – with differing levels of success – to give postwar modernist cities with wide streets and flat parking lots a human touch. But what’s next in his vision of the urban future?

L.A.’s Boulevards: Spaces for Celebration and Cultural Resistance

L.A.’s boulevards have the practical function of ordering commerce and traffic, both pedestrian and vehicular. But they are also curated displays of the city’s identity — simultaneously, destinations and transitory spaces where culture, in its flow, is publicly shaped and performed.

Prohibiting Density Doesn’t Ease Traffic, It Creates Sprawl
Los Angeles Times

Supporters of Measure S say it will stop mega-developments that worsen traffic. But in fact, the measure will do little to improve traffic. Congestion has many causes and possible cures, none of which are addressed or advanced by Measure S.

February 23, 2017
Re-Imagining Our Cities’ Streets
Pop Up City

In many regards the suggestion that we need to reorganize the inner cities to allow for self-driving vehicles seems more a continuation of the past than an anticipation of a positive future.

Could a Map Fix Ease Overcrowding on D.C.’s Blue Line?
Washington Post

With Metro’s most recent SafeTrack shutdown, Virginia riders are finally doing the thing that Metro has been asking them to do for years: They’re switching from the overcrowded Blue Line to roomier Yellow Line trains. But will these riders stick with their new commuting routes?

Anatomy of a NIMBY

Restricting housing construction does not just hurt developers—it makes housing less affordable for everyone. But to overcome neighborhood resistance, you need to understand what drives it.


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