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Urbanism

The Bottom-Line Patterns of Urban Street Design

Charles R. Wolfe | Posted 04.02.2014 | Green
Charles R. Wolfe

A recent collaboration suggests that we should explicitly recognize historic patterns of pedestrian city settings in contemporary urban design and pol...

Why Do We Write About Cities?

Charles R. Wolfe | Posted 03.31.2014 | Green
Charles R. Wolfe

In 2011, amid a visit to San Francisco and just back from Africa, I offered some thoughts about why we write about cities. Three years later, I'm not sure much has changed.

Targeting the Place-Receiving in Placemaking, and Why

Charles R. Wolfe | Posted 03.17.2014 | Green
Charles R. Wolfe

In the end, we should focus more on place-receivers as the most authentic stakeholders of meaning in the urban experience. If people cannot place-receive with a sense of acceptance and inspiration, placemaking may mean very little indeed.

Why Urban History Matters

Charles R. Wolfe | Posted 03.06.2014 | Green
Charles R. Wolfe

Going forward, let's not discount the influence of history's recurring themes in how we redevelop the urban realm.

Sustainability Squared

Mary Manning Cleveland | Posted 04.06.2014 | Green
Mary Manning Cleveland

How can the world attain a decent, sustainable lifestyle, one that doesn't wreck our land, water, and air? In fact, we already have the necessary technology -- technology that can create more and better jobs. Here are examples from farms, cities, and businesses.

When Words Lose Their Meaning at the Edge of the City

Charles R. Wolfe | Posted 04.06.2014 | Green
Charles R. Wolfe

The age-old questions of urban boundaries and city walls matter less today in a physical sense, but photographs have suggested that the political overlay of region, cities and neighborhoods still keep visible form, however counterintuitive.

Urban Blending and the Mythical Search for 'Congruity' in the City

Charles R. Wolfe | Posted 04.02.2014 | Green
Charles R. Wolfe

For many, a dramatic contrast in height, bulk and density is the recipe for "incongruity." But, in a larger sense, don't today's urban centerpieces by definition show the latent "incongruities" of city life?

The Image of Urban Vitality: Is It Really Just Skyscrapers?

National Trust for Historic Preservation | Posted 03.18.2014 | Green
National Trust for Historic Preservation

By Mike Powe and Jeana Wiser, Preservation Green Lab View of Manhattan from Brooklyn. When you picture the heart of a thriving city, what image com...

Sustainable City Building

Jens Martin Skibsted | Posted 03.09.2014 | Politics
Jens Martin Skibsted

The challenge of global warming is no longer the science, or the rate of innovation, but the rate of implementation: We have the clean solutions, now let's bundle them and install them.

Theory and Reality and the Post-Sprawl City: Part 3 of a Review of Landscape Urbanism and its Discontents

Frank Gruber | Posted 03.02.2014 | Books
Frank Gruber

L.A. was the first automobile-based sprawl city and it is the first post-sprawl city. It baffles urban theorists of all sorts, most of whom choose to wish it away.

Giving the Urban Poor Access to City Centers

Josephine d'Allant | Posted 02.05.2014 | Impact
Josephine d'Allant

Whether through new infrastructure work, transportation initiatives or training programs, efforts to link informal settlements with the infrastructure of the formal city are well underway in cities across the globe.

Dirty, Dangerous and Alive: CBGB's Alluring Punk Rock Ethic

Paul Grenier | Posted 01.23.2014 | Arts
Paul Grenier

CBGB is about the rejection of utilitarianism. The details of the punk style -- the lewdness, the filth, the screaming protests -- it's all secondary, man. Despite the dastardly lip-syncing in the movie, that point comes through quite nicely.

The Urban Stage on Election Day, Seattle Style

Charles R. Wolfe | Posted 01.23.2014 | Green
Charles R. Wolfe

In general, our mayor's race has been local in focus, without ample attention to how McGinn reflects, if not leads, the trend lines of changing cities everywhere.

Hipster Urbanism and the Transformation of Our Cities

Sua Son | Posted 11.04.2013 | Impact
Sua Son

Some say recent urban transformation is due to the influx of 'hipsters' with a real passion for food and an eye for design -- urban cheesemongers and mustachioed greengrocers, with their organic fruit and vegetable smoothies.

Dysfunctional Nations, Rising Cities

Benjamin R. Barber | Posted 01.23.2014 | World
Benjamin R. Barber

The Washington tantrum that threatened the global economy over the last several weeks is no isolated instance of some peculiarly American dysfunction.

Urban Metabolism and the Nature of Sustainable Cities

UCLA Inst. of the Environment and Sustainability | Posted 12.17.2013 | Green
UCLA Inst. of the Environment and Sustainability

Stephanie Pincetl is director of the California Center for Sustainable Communities at UCLA. The Center studies the "urban metabolism" of Los Angel...

Finding Urban 'Tethers' in City Places

Charles R. Wolfe | Posted 01.23.2014 | Green
Charles R. Wolfe

In London's Russell Square one recent morning, I saw the human-scale "tether" illustrated above. Whether for safety or togetherness, parent and chi...

Why the 'Sit-able City' Is the Next Big Idea

Charles R. Wolfe | Posted 12.09.2013 | Green
Charles R. Wolfe

A greater focus on the sit-able is an invitation to rich discussion and ready illustration based on human tradition.

Contrasting Two Models of How Places Survive

Charles R. Wolfe | Posted 01.23.2014 | Green
Charles R. Wolfe

The silence of Brovès provided a stark and confounding contrast. I found while photographing the townscape that without its people, the urban form along the highway had little voice. Are there practical lessons from these two models of how a place survives?

Kolor Kathmandu Injects Color Into the Nepali Consciousness

Niranjan Kunwar | Posted 11.05.2013 | Arts
Niranjan Kunwar

The Kolor Kathmandu murals inject much-needed splashes of color into the Nepali consciousness: They compel you to reimagine your national identity and redesign your idea of hope and possibility.

Public Pianos and the Urbanist Dividend

Charles R. Wolfe | Posted 09.29.2013 | Green
Charles R. Wolfe

Given the right context, the simplest urban intervention enlivens public space, reaps enormous value and fosters fundamental, human expression and curiosity. The public piano trend is among the latest of the many pop-up catalysts now popular in small city spaces.

The Rural Landscape and Urban Lessons Learned

Charles R. Wolfe | Posted 09.07.2013 | Green
Charles R. Wolfe

Take a harder look, and see the reasons forests and farms have been elemental to growth management legislation, emulating the naturally evolved agricultural region that has always surrounded the City of Rome.

Green Infrastructure and the Path to Recovery

Aaron Bartley | Posted 08.28.2013 | Green
Aaron Bartley

By investing in tangible projects that conserve precious water resources, create jobs in low-income neighborhoods, and make cities more livable, the green infrastructure movement, offers a powerful alternative to austerity economics and speculation-based growth models.

Three Everyday Ways to Inspire Urban Change

Charles R. Wolfe | Posted 08.21.2013 | Green
Charles R. Wolfe

Unfortunately, when it comes to these far-away urban places, not all of us have real-time access to the inspirational modern projects served by transit, or the historic monuments, streets and squares that illustrate the potential of creative city life.

Life in Shanghai

David Gosset | Posted 08.13.2013 | World
David Gosset

While the myth of the "Old Shanghai" is more a narrative cultivated by a few foreigners than a living point of reference for the Shanghaiers, Shanghai has an instinctive passion for the newness and the promise of each day.