Category Archives: History

It’s Where We Live

Home, by Yann-Arthus Bertrand. A stunning photographic exploration of our own backyard, a surprising amount of which I felt like I was seeing for the first time. The whole movie is here…

Posted in Climate Change, Culture, education, History, How We Build, How We Live, How we Move, How We Think, Journalism, Livability, Science, Sustainability, technology, thinking, What if? | Leave a comment

Food for Thought: Thomas Paine

There could be no such thing as landed property originally. Man did not make the earth, and, though he had a natural right to occupy it, he had no right to locate as his property in perpetuity any part of it.
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The City of the Future?

We humans love to plot our existence on time lines. Make the world linear. Everything has a beginning, a middle, an end. The universe in vectors. But how often does reality comply? It seems to me that no geometric figure can accurately represent the dynamism of civilization. Sometimes a vector may well be appropriate. Other times, a triangle or a step pyramid. The closest model to my mind, however, is a helix, or rather multiple helices. Some are bent, some wrap around others, some are vertical, some aren’t. All, however, are roughly orbital. A new development (such as the automobile) creates a new ring, the course of action spurred on by that development plays out, and eventually things come back around to a new approximation of where they began.
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Is Private Property a Destructive Notion?

The authors, Eduardo Moisés Peñalver and Sonia K. Katyal, are professors of law at Cornell Law School and Fordham Law School, respectively. In their telling, the people who challenge the broad scope of property laws through deliberate protests are a highly useful and indeed, honorable force for good. They are the ones who have shown great personal courage in forcing property law to become more responsive to evolving norms. They are the ones who dare to assert that property owners have certain affirmative responsibilities to larger social and democratic values. Continue reading

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A Question of Nomenclature: What is a Neighborhood?

What, exactly, is a neighborhood? People on all sides of the urban conversation talk about neighborhoods, trotting them out to support everything from transit oriented development to the suburban status quo, from Smart Growth to no growth. Formal definitions vary, but few include criteria beyond a set of distinctive characteristics shared by a contiguous geographic area inhabited by people who behave neighborly. Which, despite its vagueness, sounds sensible enough. Imprecise, but sensible. And yet, when I think about the neighborhoods I’ve lived in, or spent time in, few of them fit even this ambiguous definition.
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Posted in Culture, History, Josh Grigsby, Nomenclature, Personal Experiences, Sarasota, urban design, urban planning, vernacular architecture, walkable, What if? | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment