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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 13, 2017
Monumental Architecture Folly
National Review

If you’re looking for a textbook example of the Washington swamp Donald Trump vowed to drain, the Dwight D. Eisenhower National Memorial, designed by celebrity architect Frank Gehry and soon to be erected in the capital’s monumental core, has plenty to offer:

June 12, 2017
Is Houston’s ‘Sunday Streets’ On The Right Track?
Houston Chronicle

Houston’s Sunday Streets events can be hit-or-miss. When the monthly events work out, closing a street to cars and opening it up for recreational use, they attract a buzzy crowd. But sometimes, nobody goes.

How 7 Dictators Used Buildings to Influence and Intimidate

The construction of buildings is among the clearest and most obvious visual indicators of a society’s power and economic standing, so for a new government trying to project power and prosperity, for example, architecture can be the quickest way to show its success.

UK Rail Station’s Tribute To Mathematician Got The Wrong Answer

Despite being built in his honor, Princeton professor John Conway said he hadn’t been asked about Cambridge North’s station design, and hadn’t seen the new building since it opened in 1970. After reviewing photographs of the building, he noticed something: “They’re wrong.”

Consultants Dodge Questions on Austin CodeNEXT Ideology
Austin Monitor

Making a rare appearance, an elephant was spotted waltzing through City Hall during the May 30 land use joint commission meeting. Supposedly, the large creature has always been in the room during CodeNEXT work sessions, but nobody wants to acknowledge it – profit.

The Oval is Philly’s own “Champs-Élysées”
Huffington Post

The Fairmount Park Conservancy and Philadelphia Parks & Recreation recently announced they will host the fifth summer of The Oval with expanded programming entitled, The Oval+ presented by PNC.

June 11, 2017
3-D Architectural Model of Aleppo Imagines a Post-War Syria

“Future Aleppo” was made by 10-year old Mohammed Qutaish. Working in temporary, makeshift studios, he built a colorful, four-by-four foot model of Aleppo made of cardboard and glue, styled after architectural scale models he found online.

American Poverty Moves to the ‘Burbs

University of Washington professor Scott Allard estimates that there are 17 million people living in poverty in the suburbs of the US’s big cities—4 million more than in cities themselves.

Density-Fighters Pan Austin’s Zoning Overhaul
Next City

Knowing that the rollout of new draft zoning maps would send tempers flaring, Austin Mayor Steve Adler encouraged the public to “chill out” upon their April release. But so far the city’s CodeNext zoning overhaul process continues to provoke strong reactions from all sides.

How Does Housing Stock Affect Urban Revitalization?
New Geography

The second of Pete Saunders’ nine reasons why Detroit failed is “poor housing stock,” particularly its overweighting towards small, early postwar cottages. But why hasn’t the same happened to Philadelphia?

Johnson, AR Building ‘Instant Downtown’
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Many of the larger cities along Interstate 49 in Northwest Arkansas are seeing renewed interest in development, both residential and commercial, centered on their growing and evolving downtown districts. What about Johnson, which doesn’t have its own downtown?

Good Urbanism and Placemaking Have No Size Requirements
Economics of Place

Northville, WI, Madison, WI, and Chicago share two things in common- they accept who they are, and they do what they do very well. You won’t find many gimmicks in these towns. Instead they accentuate their positive aspects to create unique experience for people.

June 8, 2017
Frank Lloyd Wright, Urban Visionary

For all his criticisms, America’s most celebrated architect wasn’t intrinsically opposed to cities. Instead, he urged us to examine what they had become and recognize that none of their failures were inevitable.

The Best Complete Street Policies of 2016
Smart Growth America

The Best Complete Streets Policies of 2016, released today by the National Complete Streets Coalition, celebrates the communities that passed the strongest Complete Streets policies in 2016.

Q&A: Local Planning Legend on Urban Density in Houston
Houston Chronicle

Mary Lou Henry, an industry leader who in 2014 received the Texas Planning Legend award from the state chapter of the American Planning Association, has been a longtime board member of Scenic Houston. Henry met with the Chronicle to discuss Houston’s past, present and future.


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