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Building infrastructure faster and without adequate study or time for community input may be good for developers, but it’s lousy for everyone else.

Kevin DeGood, Washington Post

Category Archives: Urbanism & Design

May 25, 2017
Architects of Social Responsibility

Last month, Airbnb announced they had hired former Architecture for Humanity co-founder Cameron Sinclair to lead their project to supply temporary housing to 100,000 people in need, shortly after launching a program to secure refuge for members of Chicago’s homeless community.

Bjarke Ingels Makes Impossible Concrete
Smithsonian Magazine

The architect of the future is running late—not just a few minutes sorry-to-keep-you-waiting behind schedule, but so catastrophically, are-you-really-still-here? late that when Bjarke Ingels finally shows up, it’s with a raspy plea for sympathy

Placemaking When Black Lives Matter
Project for Public Spaces

What would placemaking look like when Black lives matter? Washington D.C.’s director of planning illustrated the racial limits of DIY optimism, stating, “I’ve told my staff that PARK(ing) Day is really nice.

Planning for Better Health at the Regional Scale

“Zip codes can determine your health,” said Kelly Porter, regional planning manager for the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO), at the American Planning Association (APA) annual meeting in New York City.

London’s Bank Junction Closed to Autos
Guardian Cities

Bank junction, one of London’s most dangerous intersections, was closed this week to all but buses, and people on bikes and foot, from 7am to 7pm on weekdays, in an 18-month experimental scheme that could be as ground breaking as New York’s Times Square or Paris’s Left Bank.

May 24, 2017
How One Harlem Store Changes Over Four Decades
Smithsonian Magazine

When it first caught the notice of Chilean-born photographer Camilo José Vergara in 1978, it was one of the last vestiges of old Harlem—the Purple Manor Jazz Club, with distinctive wavy window panes and painted accordingly.

Maps Show How Barcelona is Connecting Green Space

A map of Barcelona will show you that while the city has a plethora of green spaces, they’re far from the city center. And after a few millennia of settlement, the city is developed within an inch of its life, making change hard.

Future Uncertain for Business Districts Outside Detroit
Michigan Public Radio

There are small business districts throughout Detroit that are barely hanging on. They were once thriving. But population loss and the loss of wealth in the neighborhoods have created hard times for neighborhood businesses. The question is: what to do with them now?

Building a Food Scene in the Suburbs
New Food Economy

The residents of Fishers, Indiana are tired of Taco Bell—and new employers won’t move in without better local fare. Inside a mayor’s quest to lure promising chefs with low rent and low risk.

Taller Buildings in Exchange for Affordable Housing
San Francisco Chronicle

A housing density law that took two years to craft was approved by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, notching a win for developers and pro-growth advocates who say the only way to make San Francisco affordable is to keep building.

On Skyways and Bus Lanes

Whether the Minneapolis skyway system contributes good things to the livability of downtown has been well discussed for a while on this site, but the conversation has been brought to a wider audience recently with local businessman Eric Dayton coming out aggressively against them.

Designing More Effective Protests

A flash competition in New York City asks designers to come up with way to make protests stand out as they become more frequent.

May 23, 2017
Kolko: The Return to Cities is a Myth
New York Times

Be skeptical when you hear about the return to glory of the American city — that idealized vision of rising skyscrapers and bustling, dense downtowns.

Cyclists Use Cardboard Cutouts to Demand Safety
Boston Globe

Under cover of darkness, several cyclists late Sunday night placed eight large cartoon cutouts displaying advice about bicycle safety along portions of Massachusetts Avenue, sending a punchy visual message to drivers and city officials that more needs to be done to make roads safer for those on two wheels.

Are America’s Cities Running out of Room?

A shortage of homes for sale has bedeviled U.S. house hunters in recent years, so why don’t builders build more? One problem is that they’re running out of lots to build on—at least in the places that people want to live.

The Truth About Density and Public Health

As recently as 20 years ago, more than two detached houses throughout Australia were approved for construction for every multi-residential dwelling which was approved.

Why the Sounds of the City Matter
World Crunch

It probably has happened to you one time or more. While you’re walking somewhere in a city, you suddenly feel the desire to stay a while longer in a particular spot. And for no obvious reason. It’s just a place among others, maybe a greyish alley or non-descript city square.

The Invention of the Ghetto as Place and Idea
Zocalo Public Square

When sociologist Mitchell Duneier was growing up in the 1960s, he said, “references to the word ghetto were references in my house and in my segregated Jewish community on Long Island to the Nazi ghettos.”

Are Modernist Landscapes Worth Saving?

As our cities evolve, and what people want from their public spaces changes, should Modernist parks, plazas, and streets be saved? For lovers of Modernism, the answer is always yes.


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