I don’t know why I like this photo so much, but I do.
Tag Archives: urban
A bright light this quiet morning.
This week my family enthusiastically celebrates both Canada Day and Independence Day, wishing Canada a happy 145th birthday, and the US a happy 236th. We honor the effective portions of the collective community vision that made these two nations great! The oldest continuously occupied settlements in each country are St. John’s, Newfoundland & Labrador, at 429 years, and Acoma and Taos Pueblos, both in New Mexico, at 1,012 years.
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It’s as if I’ve subcontracted out my thoughts and ideas to highly talented writers who churn out one great post after another! These thoughts on hotels are inspiring, to say the least.
While walkable mixed use town centers may not be the *easy* choice for the asphalt guy, the engineer, or even the developer who has to attract tenants to an environment they may not be as used to… they are certainly becoming best practices for sustainable community development. More importantly, they are quickly becoming a market favorite and a valuable amenity to their adjacent (and integrated) residential neighborhoods. Too often, however, municipalities and developers choose only to commit to this model halfway, viewing it as a niche market with limited potential where quaint mom and pops struggle away (you know, that one-off new urbanist development at the edge of town), while the “real stuff” happens in large conventional single-use centers down the street.
This lack of commitment allows many of the essential ingredients of a successful walkable town center to get sucked into car-focused single-use centers (the easy place…
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Love parts of this, despite the sadness that would be if grand architecture were everywhere replaced with push carts and vendor trucks.
Wish I could be there. Maybe next year…
PlaceShakers gets put on ice this week as we, together with most of the urbanists we know, head to West Palm Beach, Florida, for CNU 20: The New World, this year’s installment of the annual Congress for the New Urbanism.
Will you be there?
As summarized by the CNU, “The New World confronts the challenges of peak oil, climate change, and growing wealth disparity, along with worldwide adjustments in the financial, housing, retail, transportation, and energy markets. Taken collectively, these challenges are drastically changing how we do business in the 21st Century, and opening new opportunities for the New Urbanism.”
This comes on the heels of last year’s Congress, where Next Generation urbanists brought fresh ideas and approaches to the wet blanket malaise of the sagging economy. Scott Doyon wrote about some of them in advance of the gathering while Howard Blackson followed up with a post-game analysis
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This is just too useful:
I hope one day automobile drivers take safety seriously.
I think that we are collectively involved in a wrong war. I’m not talking the middle east here (save that one for another post!), I’m talking about the war in NYC between bicyclists and pedestrians. It’s been going on for some time now, with flare ups interspersed between coldwar-esqe lulls that never mean peace but aren’t quite war. And I have two major quarrels with this war. They are really one and the same, but I need some substance here so bear with me.
My first quarrel is one of general principle. When we, the citizens of this fine city (if you don’t live here that’s fine too, just keep bearing with me – the relevance to your life is coming soon) engage in this war, we are participating in the downfall of humanity via that well trodden path known as Divide and Conquer. Of course we are on the receiving end – i.e. We are not conquering anything, we are actively participating in our own defeat. Stay with me here, this is important if you want to fully grasp my point. God created Man, and gave us feet to walk on. And Man created bicycles, so, indirectly, God created bicycles. But, and here is the important distinction, automobiles, and the entire suburban culture, are products of the devil, in the form of giant, evil corporations and the cold war era fear of nuclear annihilation (whereas feelings about nuclear annihilation today, by those who still think about such things, are different – generally an almost fatalistic, even optimistic, view that whether or not we blow the world to smithereens, it has to get better than this). Don’t argue with me or try to persuade me with contrary facts – I know what I’m talking about here!
Now the real enemy of both pedestrians and bicyclists is, obviously, cars and their drivers. Think about it. If they’d stop bringing their big stupid vehicles into town, the streets would have plenty of room to accommodate both pedestrians and bicyclists. (Anybody who dares to bring up even the slightest flaw in this logic will be mocked mercilessly and then beaten into obscurity with an “I can’t hear you” stick!)
Now, this brings me to my second issue. The fault of this whole situation clearly lies with city management (they’re trying to conquer us!!! – ok, maybe not really. Maybe…). I won’t harp on too much because the mayor appears to be baby stepping in the right direction, but I’d really like to see a communist style redistribution of wealth, applied, of course, to the wealth of moving-around space in this city. Get the cars the hell out of here and let’s see some better resource management!
Have any of you ever taken a good, close look at some of the lane dividers painted on our streets? Or taken a civil engineer’s eye to some of our less perpendicular intersections, particularly in the outer boroughs? I don’t think anyone from the city has either… It’s a miracle more people aren’t killed on these streets every day, whether they’re walking, biking, or participating in the destruction of all life on earth by driving a car.
Oh, and if you really want to get in shape, you should probably get your fat ass out of your car and walk a little!