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Urbanism

Why Did America Destroy Its Great Cities?

Frank Gruber | Posted 10.02.2011 | Home
Frank Gruber

I don't suggest that there was a purposeful rationale, or even multiple rationales, to destroy the cities. The causes are more likely to have been social, cultural, economic and demographic.

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.

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.

Urban Living

Blythe McGarvie | Posted 08.21.2011 | Business
Blythe McGarvie

Researchers identified May 23, 2007, as the first time in history that city dwellers outnumbered the world's rural population. Because cities are growing, companies locate in urban areas as an efficient way to reach talent and customers.

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.

Planning and Building for the Future, Dead: Round Up the Usual Suspects

Frank Gruber | Posted 08.08.2011 | Books
Frank Gruber

If Jane Jacobs showed the way with The Death and Life of Great American Cities, why did so few follow it? Why have the 50 years since publication of the book been so disastrous for American cities?

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.

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?

Jane Jacobs vs. Andy Warhol: Who Knew?

Frank Gruber | Posted 07.26.2011 | Books
Frank Gruber

It has always seemed odd that while Los Angeles gets no respect from urbanists for its form and "livability," it is nonetheless one of the most important cities in the world.

After the Obama Speeches: Reflections on Urban Sustainability

Charles R. Wolfe | Posted 07.19.2011 | Green
Charles R. Wolfe

Could sustainability principles pave the path to peace? President Obama's strategic statements about the Middle East last Thursday (and as clarified ...

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?

Proxy Wars: More on Reconsidering Jane Jacobs

Frank Gruber | Posted 07.11.2011 | Books
Frank Gruber

What the New Urbanists take from Jane Jacobs is what nearly every other planner or urbanist working today takes from Jacobs regardless in what context they work: a set of pro-urban values. Love of the city.

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...

Keeping Cities Simple: Shelter and the Wheel

Charles R. Wolfe | Posted 06.05.2011 | Green
Charles R. Wolfe

What if a zoning code is no longer cohesive, or impedes rather than accomplishes societal goals? Let's remember to reassess -- with simplicity in mind -- and recall the first principles of shelter and the wheel.

Envisioning the Blend: Tradition, Tourism and Sustainability

Charles R. Wolfe | Posted 05.30.2011 | Green
Charles R. Wolfe

At the interface of tradition, tourism and sustainability, dramatic photographs can tell a story that is hardly apparent at first glance. A stone's...

What President Obama Can Learn From Brazil

Milton Curry | Posted 05.25.2011 | Arts
Milton Curry

What we need now is what Brazil's former President Kubichek produced in the 1950s -- a symbolic architectural/urban concept that mobilizes the nation to want to achieve its goals.

Updating "Make No Little Plans": Urbanism, Social Network-Style

Charles R. Wolfe | Posted 05.25.2011 | Technology
Charles R. Wolfe

Surely every self-styled urban visionary, and quotation-centric student of prose, knows the magic words attributed to monumental, "city beautiful" Chi...

What Philadelphia's Census Numbers Tell Us About the Arts and the Changing City

Gary P. Steuer | Posted 05.25.2011 | Arts
Gary P. Steuer

The connection between the changing demographics of the city and the arts should be obvious. Our "traditional" (i.e. not community-based) arts groups must find a way to thrive.