Connecting competence to organized support is key to reversing the Sisyphean cycle of urban placemaking.
"The systems and policies that created and support the single-use, automobile-oriented built environment run very deep, and they are implemented locally. If the zoning is changed in one location of one municipality, it does not change in tens of thousands of other locales. Even if complete streets policies are enacted at the state level, the actual thoroughfares are designed by engineers and transportation planners who have decades of education and experience geared toward automobile throughput. They follow a system of functional classification that still tends to produce wide arterial roads that are dangerous to people on foot or bicycle."
Sitting in a hot hall awaiting the start of a conference last year, the Sri Lankan architect Ashley de Vos told me about the ‘gossip tree’ that is at the heart of traditional villages in the island. It’s an image that has echoes in many...
"Imagine how different our towns and cities might be if every new development began with the planting of a gossip tree."
When I have a hard time understanding government spending — the construction and tinkering that goes into, say, Maryland's multibillion-dollar annual budget — I just imagine the whole thing as a kitchen-table conversation with members of a household declaring and negotiating priorities. (Pardon the time-worn metaphor, but it works for me.)
Hard to argue with this. This is a pressing problem for those working on land conservation outside the URDL in Baltimore County and for our County government, which relies on POS funding for parks and public recreational facilities.
I and others have been tracking for some time a surging interest in walkable neighborhoods, in both reinvested downtowns and more pedestrian-friendly suburban developments. Just last month I cited University of Utah Professor Arthur C. Nelson for the propositions...
The evidence behind the trend toward more walkable suburbs
This from my good friend Laurie Taylor-Mitchell: "as cities have grown bigger and the world has urbanized, densities have been steadily falling. As a result, cities require more urban land per person, meaning total growth in the city area is much greater than population growth.''
"without swift and decisive action to limit greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels and other sources, the world will almost surely face centuries of climbing temperatures, rising seas, species loss and dwindling agricultural yields. The damage will be particularly acute in coastal communities and in low-lying poor countries — like Bangladesh — that are least able to protect themselves."
Professor Arthur C.Nelson, of the University of Utah, has made a career out of studying the relationships between demographic and real estate market trends. He predicted the 2007 collapse of the housing market because of oversupply of key housing...
Scary prospect that we need to get our arms around - "Seventy percent of new nonresidential space will be redevelopment on existing developed lots."
When it comes to preserving land and creating public parks, few government programs have succeeded like Maryland's Program Open Space. It has been one of the state's most effective weapons in the cause of protecting the environment and off-setting the worst effects of poorly-managed sprawl development in the cities, suburbs and rural areas.
I believe it's true that before we stared raiding POS to balance the State's budget back in the 90's, the program conserved as much as was being developed on an annual basis.
Some years ago, when our movement to replace sprawl with better cities and suburbs was relatively new, I had a big moment at NRDC. Unfortunately, it bombed.
There really is quite a diversity of textures and contrasts in towns within the URDL, unlike some of the new urbanist developments referenced in this blog post from Kaid Benfield. In some areas, we really do have "good bones" upon which to build.
Whether you love them or loathe them, Walmart -- one of the most recognizable symbols of modern suburbia -- is going urban, as senior ULI analyst Edward McMahon explains.
Hard to believe a smaller, somewhat more attractive Wallmart store forming the base of an apartment building. If you attended our breakfast last year, you will recognize the author as our speaker, Ed McMahon.
Anyone who bikes in a city knows that it can be frustrating and dangerous to share the road with cars, particularly when street design privileges drivers over cyclists. For this reason, designers and architects around the world have started to look...