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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

July 1, 2013
Mixed Use in an Over-Retailed Environment
Urban Land Institute

Thousands of retail complexes across the United States, from small strip centers to megamalls, stand vacant or suffer from double-digit vacancy rates.

Hyperdensity and Providing Cities Room to Grow
City Block

The first thing crossing my mind when reading Vishann Chakrabarti’s piece in Design Observer (Building Hyperdensity and Civic Delight) was: what the hell is ‘hyperdensity?’

The Re-Emergence of Midtowns
American Dirt

When negotiating the introduction of typically suburban corporate chains in an otherwise urban neighborhood, it typically takes an inordinate amount of fancy footwork.

Leicester’s Livable Streets
Streetsblog.org

Leicester is a city of about 330,000 in England’s East Midlands region. Like many other cities, it developed big mid-century plans to drive highways through its city center and paved over much of its historic core.

June 28, 2013
Detroit Traffic Island Turned into a Beach
USA Today

A traffic island in the heart of downtown Detroit has been transformed into an urban beach thanks to a civic group whose shopping list included about 150 tons of golf-course bunker sand.

June 27, 2013
Is Urban Sprawl Always Sprawl
Global Site Plans

In the United States, we often refer to the widespread suburban, non-city center areas as sprawling neighborhoods.

Suburbs in the Sand, Choose Your Metaphor
The Atlantic Cities

With Chad Wright’s “Master Plan,” an art installation resembling a Levittown made of sand and picked apart by the rising tide, metaphor is in the eye of the beholder.

Tear Down Those Viaducts, Vancouver
Huffington Post, Brent Todarian

“Vancouver is the city without freeways.” How often have you heard that? It’s close to being true, however I often say that there’s an asterix beside the statement.

PDC Disbands Urban Renewal Advisory Committees
Portland Oregonian

Portland’s process-heavy government is getting an unusual overhaul, with the city’s urban renewal agency disbanding seven advisory committees over the objections of some long-serving residents.

Collapsible Urban Shelters
Pop Up City

Brooklyn-based artist and architect Chat Travieso has designed a series of collapsible shelters for urban camping purposes.

Steve Jobs on Building Spaces and Interaction
Outlaw Urbanist

While reading Walter Isaacson’s biography of the co-founder of Apple and former majority shareholder of Pixar Animations Studios, Steve Jobs (review available here on The Outlaw Urbanist), I came across a fascinating passage.

St. Louis Teardown Study Mysteriously Halted
St. Louis Post Dispatch, via: Planetizen

City development officials kicked off last year a study that was to take a look at tearing down the elevated section of Interstate 70 that divides the northern half of downtown St. Louis from the riverfront.

1854 Omnibus TOD
Greater Greater Washington

Today, DC area real estate revolves around proximity to Metro. But transit-oriented development is nothing new here.

June 26, 2013
Boise Residents Want More Compact Development
Idaho Statesman

A study found that residents in six cities – including Boise – want more housing options in neighborhoods where they can walk to schools, parks, shops and other everyday destinations.

June 25, 2013
Frequent Building Collapses Mar Mumbai
New York Times India Ink

In India’s financial capital, the skyline is dotted with decrepit buildings that seem to be only a strong monsoon shower away from crashing to the ground.

Eugene to Focus on Defensive Walking
Eugene Register Guard, via: Transportation Nation

Whether it was your parents teaching you in a grocery store parking lot, or a certified instructor in a driver’s education class, “defensive driving” is a term most of us have heard early and often.

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