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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 8, 2017
Despite Unpopularity of Planned Cities, Columbia, MD Still Influential
Baltimore Sun

Though Columbia, MD, hailed as “the Next America” at its founding didn’t quite hold to James W. Rouse’s original vision, experts say it has hung together remarkably well. Even as urban design has evolved, Rouse’s work has paved the way for a new generation of planned cities.

June 7, 2017
The Race To Map The World In 3D
Fast Company Design

Creating 3D maps of all city streetscapes is paramount to the future of self-driving cars. While we’re at it, can it also be helpful for cities?

How Does Housing Stock Affect Urban Revitalization?
Aaron Renn

The second of Pete Saunders’ nine reasons why Detroit failed is “poor housing stock,” particularly its overweighting towards small, early postwar cottages. Will the same problem hurt Philly in the future?

The Death and Life of Times Square
The New York Review of Books

In an era of drastically reduced civic expectations, Snøhetta’s brilliant reconfiguration of Times Square is an exemplar of how much can be achieved in city planning without the gigantic financial outlays and dire social displacements typical of postwar America.

A Town Well Planned: Parcels and Master Street Plans
Strong Towns

This article will discuss how to arrange parcels within a Master Street Plan. Believe it or not, the best way to determine where streets should go is to determine the arrangement of parcel blocks first.

Innovative Companies Create the Campus-Feel in Big Cities

Creating a campus-like workplace to spur employee innovation can be a challenge in an urban environment like Singapore, but the model can be adapted, according to Microsoft’s director of real-estate strategy, William Lee.

Boomers, Millennials, and the McMansions No One Wants

Millennials might be coming into their own as the nation’s biggest group of first-time home buyers, but they aren’t exactly lining up with bids in hand for those large, expensive homes in the sleepier suburbs.

June 6, 2017
Portland’s Timber High Rise Gets Construction Permit
The Oregonian

An 11-story timber high-rise planned in Portland’s Pearl District has been approved for construction, its developers said Tuesday, a milestone for wood technology that could allow for even taller timber buildings.

George Tucker, America’s First Urbanist

George Tucker was a 19th century public intellectual who appreciated cities as engines of progress and offered some of the clearest early statements on their behalf. His ideas today still sound impressively modern.

Nostalgia Can’t Stop A Smarter L.A.
Los Angeles Times

Despite the nostalgia for L.A.’s sprawling past, we were right to vote down Measure S, just as we are right to build up the Metro, and to try to coax Angelenos out of their cars.

Philly’s University City District Bucks Hostile Design Trends

One of the tasks University City District has set for itself, and pursued with great skill, is “creative placemaking”. It installs street furniture and pop-up parklets that are meant to maximize public space, transforming underused corners of the city into attractions.

New Orleans: The Impossible City
Places Journal

Before the failed levees drowned it in brackish water, press coverage and design competitions, New Orleans was largely a mystery to anyone who hadn’t been there, and to most people who had. Now we might imagine we have the full picture of New Orleans. But of course that’s not true.

Views of Humanitarian Architecture in Practice
Nonprofit Quarterly

Despite a lack of reliable international figures mapping the architecture nonprofit sector, online giving in the U.S. grew by 7.9% last year, with the “arts and culture” sector leading the way. This reflects a growing pro-bono and humanitarian emergence in the profession.

2020 Olympics Reshaping Tokyo’s Skyline

According to recent figures published by Bloomberg, 45 new skyscrapers will be constructed within Tokyo’s limits. If this figure is accurate, that would be mean a 50% increase in high-rises between now and 2020, compared to the previous three-year period.

June 5, 2017
LA’s CicLAvia Changes Our Street Design Paradigms

Downtown LA, like other downtowns in American cities including New York, Chicago and Boston, all feature a common theme — automobile traffic. That is, at least, until LA’s CicLAvia closed the streets to cars.


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