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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

Tag Archives: Urban Design

January 5, 2014
Better Bricks Through Brewing Beer
Smithsonian Design Decoded

While for most of us, the side-effects of beer consumption include might include late night pizza, questionable decisions, and painful hangovers, researchers at the Polytechnic Institute of Tomar in Portugal have found a way to turn binge drinking into binge building by making better bricks – or, rather, by brewing better bricks.

December 20, 2013
December 19, 2013
The Humble Bench Becomes Comfortable
ASLA Dirt Blog

“People now want to be comfortable when they sit on a bench,” said Erik Prince, ASLA, Stoss Landscape Urbanism, in a session on urban furniture at the 2013 ASLA Annual Meeting in Boston.

December 16, 2013
Ground Level Retail Makes Room for Apartments
Portland Oregonian, via: GB

In a red-hot apartment market, landlords are having no problems filling apartments. But filling ground-floor retail space underneath apartment buildings is a different matter, especially in sleepy corners of neighborhoods still developing.

December 15, 2013
Developers Finding New Uses for Old Parking Garages
Minneapolis Star Tribune

The parking garage could well be the ugly duckling of architecture. Built more for convenience than for show, these concrete bunkers dot the Twin Cities urban landscape and beyond.

Does Your Community Suffer from Power Pole Blight
Rust Wire

I don’t know about your community, but here in Greater Lansing there seems to be an intense love affair between public utilities and power poles. “Holy pincushions, Batman, you’d think they’d all been raised by a family of porcupine.”

New York City’s Largest Affordable Housing Project Since 60s

In a week defined by a powerful story about poverty and homelessness in New York, a bit of a bright spot: The City’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development chose a scheme for a truly massive affordable housing development in Queens

December 12, 2013
Young Couples Seek Condos and Town Houses
San Jose Mercury News

Vineet Kannan and Aparna Jain, two software engineers in their 20s, are making a move that is increasingly popular among the Bay Area’s young professionals: They’re abandoning their apartment in Mountain View and buying a townhouse in a new urban infill development in San Mateo.

December 11, 2013
Baltimore’s Hopscotch Crosswalk
Architects Newspaper

Crossing the street in Baltimore just got a lot more fun. The city has just unveiled its newest dispatch: a “hopscotch crosswalk” transforming the downtown street crossing at the corner of Eutaw and Lombard streets into an entertaining diversion for pedestrians.

December 9, 2013
Little Boxes
New Yorker

The photograph that accompanies this week’s Fiction, “Coming Soon,” by Steven Millhauser, is from the series “Landscape with Houses,” by the New York artist James Casebere (whom we posted about in 2011).

December 4, 2013
How to Combine a Dense City with an Open Landscape

Earlier this year, the company, directed by Bjarke Ingels, won an international architectural competition for the design of Europa City, an urban plan located next to the highway in Triangle de Gonesse, outside of Paris.

December 3, 2013
Complexifying the Street Grid
Walkable DFW

There is a post up over on blog-friend Strong Towns that is getting quite a bit of linkage play about differentiating street grids based on geometric size of the block pattern and the ratio of the quadrilateral “private” developable block and the size, scale, and amount of public infrastructure that inter-meshes with that private space.

A Tiny House Grows in Washington DC
National Journal

If you drive to the end of a residential street in the Northeast quadrant of Washington, D.C., you’ll see a small white sign, affixed to a fence, that points down an alleyway to Lot No. 21.

December 2, 2013
Will Detroit Shun Freeways for More Walkable Streets

The City of Detroit and the Michigan Department of Transportation are consulting with local stakeholders, including development agencies and local employers, to study transforming I-375 into a pedestrian-friendly parkway.

November 24, 2013
Group Urges Charlottesville to Focus on Urban Design
Charlottesville Tomorrow

With Charlottesville experiencing one of the biggest construction booms in its history, a volunteer group of architects wants the City Council to pay more attention to urban design.

November 21, 2013
UK’s Misguided Attempt to Bring Back the Garden City
The Atlantic Cities

Around 1900, British urbanists thought they had figured out the perfect city. A world away from the overcrowding and grime of London or Manchester, new so-called “garden cities” could be strung like loose chains of pearls around major urban centers.

Architectural History of the Book Depository Site
Smithsonian Design Decoded

This week marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. On November 22, 1963, a pall was cast over the country that some people say we’ve never emerged from.

November 19, 2013
November 18, 2013
November 17, 2013
Why Suburbanites Should Support Good Urban Design

Well, I had this great post thought up on why stakeholders outside the bicycling and transit communities, from all areas of our metro should support alternative transportation options.


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