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Urban Policy

Discerning Successful Elements of People, Place and Urbanism

Charles R. Wolfe | Posted 10.24.2011 | Home
Charles R. Wolfe

Nothing is better for advocates of urbanism than simple immersion in the look and feel of a successful, authentic place. After a week of observation ...

Rediscovering the Road to the Sustainable City

Charles R. Wolfe | Posted 10.16.2011 | Green
Charles R. Wolfe

Those of us who write about cities should be students of history and experience, and with some humility listen to scholars and the legacy of urban development from from around the world.

Retaining Sustainable Storefronts in the Urban Realm

Charles R. Wolfe | Posted 10.09.2011 | Home
Charles R. Wolfe

Vital storefronts are an indicator of urban success, while empty businesses are akin to the ruins of Pompeii.

Uncovering Embedded Patterns of Place in the City

Charles R. Wolfe | Posted 09.30.2011 | Green
Charles R. Wolfe

2011-07-31-Screenshot20110731at5.20.36PM.jpg Amid the roads, sidewalks and places that you have visited before, there are often embedded patterns to uncover, read and reinterpret.

Assuring Sustainable Third Places in the City

Charles R. Wolfe | Posted 09.23.2011 | Green
Charles R. Wolfe

Will the prime square footage occupied by Borders have similar 'third place' potential once reclaimed? Will replacement uses provide the equivalent fusion business purposes of books, coffee, lecture and song?

Fusion Businesses and the Cities of Tomorrow

Charles R. Wolfe | Posted 09.16.2011 | Green
Charles R. Wolfe

When a small branch of a local ice cream business opened within the laundromat up the street, it was evidence that today's land use regulations are becoming more in sync with changing urban reality.

Pondering Artifacts of Displacement in the Sustainable City

Charles R. Wolfe | Posted 09.04.2011 | Green
Charles R. Wolfe

If our cities must be dense to be competitive and sustainable, we must also look with care to the potential displacement of uses, institutions or traditions -- not to mention the artifacts we will leave behind.

Political Schizophrenia in Detroit

Kirk Cheyfitz | Posted 09.04.2011 | Politics
Kirk Cheyfitz

The mayor of Detroit, a businessman turned novice politician, is failing to provide the political leadership necessary to turn one of America's most troubled towns in a new direction.

Exploring the Immediacy of the In-Between Place

Charles R. Wolfe | Posted 08.27.2011 | Arts
Charles R. Wolfe

The archaeology of today's urban regions need not be excavation-based. One trick allows the illusion of memory through photographic tools.

Corners as the Baseline for Urbanism

Charles R. Wolfe | Posted 08.12.2011 | Green
Charles R. Wolfe

More so than public squares -- which require a conscious set-aside of assembled space -- corners naturally result from crossroads, the elemental feature of travel between places.

25 Overlooked Political Books Of 2011

Anis Shivani | Posted 08.08.2011 | Books
Anis Shivani

Can Detroit be saved? What are the myths of green energy? What can we learn from the boggled reconstruction of Iraq? Are we going to share a future of biometric surveillance? Just how did white middle-class Americans start identifying themselves as outsiders?

Creating the Urban Diary

Charles R. Wolfe | Posted 08.07.2011 | Green
Charles R. Wolfe

Cities are hubs of human interaction, and the urban experience can be enhanced by authentic participation in the dynamics of a place and transitions to nearby venues.

Love NYC's Diversity? Then Strengthen Rent Regulations

Brad Lander | Posted 08.03.2011 | New York
Brad Lander

Rent regulations aren't just our best affordable housing program. They are something much deeper: policy for a diverse, stable city.

Exploring Simple Urban Amenities at the Public Edge

Charles R. Wolfe | Posted 08.02.2011 | Green
Charles R. Wolfe

What if American cities legislated brighter color amid windows, balconies planted green and encouraged flags and hanging laundry? What if homeowner associations and rental contracts required vegetation and decoration?

Making Big Urban Ideas Happen Through Idea Management

Charles R. Wolfe | Posted 07.27.2011 | Green
Charles R. Wolfe

Once a big idea is vetted -- whether in an authoritarian or democratic way -- what assures its success? Most particularly, what if, from Day One, the vision pushes comfort zones of the achievable; politically, legally or monetarily?

Framing the Question of Place in Portland

Charles R. Wolfe | Posted 07.16.2011 | Green
Charles R. Wolfe

2011-05-16-Portland.jpgPortland has captured the imagination of a new generation of city-oriented populists.

Coloring the Urban Experience

Charles R. Wolfe | Posted 07.11.2011 | Green
Charles R. Wolfe

How can we marshal the potential of urban color while retaining a legally appropriate balance between public regulation of the private realm?

Inspiring the Redefinition of Urban Public Space

Charles R. Wolfe | Posted 07.06.2011 | Green
Charles R. Wolfe

Here, from afar, is more evidence that street and square, beach and byway all have a greater and unrealized multipurpose capacity, ripe for recalibration in ever-evolving America.

Visioning Neighborhood and the City, Then and Now

Charles R. Wolfe | Posted 06.21.2011 | Chicago
Charles R. Wolfe

Today's efforts to recreate elements of the city, of whatever prescription of urbanism (e.g., "new," "landscape" or "ecological"), often turn on issues once considered in design competitions long forgotten.

Urbanism Chasing Utopia

Charles R. Wolfe | Posted 06.11.2011 | Green
Charles R. Wolfe

Generally speaking, the description of any Utopia that involves many details is apt to be an unconvincing way to present a principle which can be appl...

In the City, We Cannot Live by Social Science Alone

Charles R. Wolfe | Posted 05.25.2011 | Green
Charles R. Wolfe

Edward Glaeser's recent piece on Seattle is great press -- the stuff of boosterism and for use as evidence in corner of higher education, in the face of looming budget cuts in Olympia, our state capital.

Writing on the Wall

John M. Eger | Posted 05.25.2011 | Arts
John M. Eger

Especially in our digital age, when signing someone's Facebook "wall" feels so transitory, there's something alluring about markings with more permanence.

Mayor Emanuel's Next Move on Immigration Policy

Afton Branche | Posted 05.25.2011 | Chicago
Afton Branche

As Chicago's next mayor, Emanuel has a crucial opportunity to prove his critics on immigration policy wrong.

Nature in New York City

Marielle Anzelone | Posted 05.25.2011 | New York
Marielle Anzelone

It isn't easy being green in the Big Apple. Over the past century, 75% of the city's woodlands, wetlands and meadows have been destroyed.

Cabrini-Green's Closure Ends An Ugly Era In Public Housing

AP | KAREN HAWKINS | Posted 05.25.2011 | Chicago

CHICAGO — For decades, Chicago's infamous Cabrini-Green high-rises – with their fenced-in balconies and horrific high-profile crimes &ndas...