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Quote of the Day

It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy: We assume families don’t want to live downtown, we therefore don’t design for family, and, sure enough, families don’t come, or they don’t stay.

Brent Toderian, Vox

Category Archives: Urbanism & Design

June 25, 2017
In Defense of the High-Rise
Jacobin Magazine

Elite arguments against tower blocks aren’t about safety — they’re about contempt for public housing.

Killing the City Won’t Save the Small Town
The American Conservative

To address the problem of the rural-urban divide, we have to understand what drives it. Why can some coastal cities seemingly do no wrong, while interior cities can’t seem to do anything right?

June 22, 2017
The L.A. River’s Design Charrette
Landscape Architecture Magazine

The big conundrum of the Los Angeles River—that it is so imposing yet so divorced from the city—shows in the visions for its future proposed in early June by seven architecture, engineering, and landscape architecture firms.

Information Infrastructure: Little Black Boxes
Urban Omnibus

What does infrastructure look like? Iconic dams, bridges, and highways are one thing; today’s information and material networks and flows are harder to visualize. Without monuments or landmarks, they’ve nonetheless tied together and transformed landscapes across the globe.

An Identity Crisis for American Architecture?
Los Angeles Times

What is Americanness in 2017? What does it mean to say that a building “belongs” in that sort of rich architectural and historical context? How noticeably should that sense of belonging evolve over time?

For Columbus, GA, Slower Cars Means More Productive Streets
Strong Towns

In Columbus, the need to redesign 13th Street came to the forefront when an alignment of efforts between a number of community groups occurred. With Strong Towns’ help, the street was redesigned for a more multimodal, livable future.

Participation as a Tool to Build More Democratic Cities
The City Fix

Listening to people takes into consideration the needs and knowledge of the local community, and it has impacts on the scale of the project, depending on what level of decision-making feedback is solicited. It is crucial to urban planning and creating democratic cities.

Excessive Design Standards Add $150K to Sydney Apartments
Sourceable

Excessive requirements relating to design features such as size, cross ventilation, natural daylight and building depth are adding as much as $150,000 to the cost of delivering new apartments in Sydney compared to Melbourne, a property industry lobby group has claimed.

June 21, 2017
Columbia, MD, Early Smart Growth City, Turns 50
Greater Greater Washington

One part real estate project, one part social experiment, Columbia, Maryland is one of the most ambitious and successful planned communities ever built in the United States. It turns 50 this week.

There Goes the Gayborhood
New York Times

Places like Greenwich Village in Manhattan and the Castro district in San Francisco, once incubators for the gay rights movement, have “straightened” in recent decades, leading to incidents of resistance and some angst about the effects on the L.G.B.T.Q. community.

Are Towers Inherently Wrong for Public Housing?
Crikey

St Louis’ famously demolished Pruitt-Igoe public housing project has a lesson for the debate over high-rise stemming from the Grenfell Tower fire; it’s not really about the architecture.

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