- Today's Moment of Idealistic Naivete: Wikileaks: http://wp.me/pCprU-mB 6 years ago
- Ending the War on Drugs: http://wp.me/pCprU-mw 6 years ago
- Twilight Of The Suburbs, Now Home To One-Third Of America's Poor http://huff.to/bGZP7F 6 years ago
- U.S. Subways Harness Kinetic Power To Recycle Train Energy http://huff.to/bVsXvR 6 years ago
- America's Walk Deficit http://yhoo.it/dijIvg 6 years ago
- Today’s Moment of Idealistic Naivete: Wikileaks
- Ending the War on Drugs
- The Most Walkable Cities in the World
- It’s Where We Live
- Can Cities Feed Themselves?
- French Street Artist Wins TED Humanitarian Prize
- Dimanche Sans Voiture
- Are Brussels and Los Angeles Sister Cities?
- Masdar begs the question: What exactly is meant by “a sustainable city?”
- Is Generation Y Passing on Cars?
- Can Cities Make Us Crazy?
- Stranger Studies 101: Cities as Interaction Machines
- Does New Orleans Have an Identity Crisis?
- Three Urban Interventions in Two Hours: NYC
- Cargo Bike Spotted…
Category Archives: Uncategorized
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.
I’ve heard Seaside, Florida, lauded as the first great project of the New Urbanism. I’ve also heard it ridiculed as new-faux urbanism. So what’s the truth, at least as I see it? Well, during the scant few hours I recently spent there I saw a lot to like. Dozens of wonderful pathways for bikes and pedestrians that connect everywhere to everywhere, many of which feel like something to discover instead of simply travel. Residential roads eschewing sidewalks in favor of shared space. Relatively tall buildings on relatively narrow lots. Architecture with integrity. Loads of trees and shady places (critical given the town’s latitude). Seaside feels like it was designed by people who care.
To be perfectly honest, I had never heard of New Urbanism or Seaside until I moved to Florida in 2008. The sunshine state is gaga for New Urbanism, and while any planning discussion walks a tightrope of divisiveness DPZ’s landmark resort was nearly universally praised by those I spoke with. Sure, its utopian urban design made it an easy visual joke as the shooting location of The Truman Show. And, no, it was never intended to be anything more than a wealthy resort town. But I kept hearing how wonderful the experience of actually being there was, and after two years of this finally got to spend a few hours last week exploring it myself.
Yep, I’m back.
First off, thank you to the thousands of readers who continued to visit the Planologie Blog despite nary a new post in over a month. I expected my modest readership to dry up completely, and am quite pleased to be proven wrong.
Secondly, I’m changing things up a bit. Sea changes in my life have sent me on a bit of a walkabout, with my next couple of years to be spent studying Urban Studies in Brussels, Vienna, Copenhagen, and Madrid, among other European locales. First, though, I’m in New Orleans, Los Angeles, and Boston for a month apiece. I’m going to spend less time researching articles to repost, more time exploring, observing, and documenting my travels. Posts will no longer be daily; two or three per week is my new target, and it might take a bit before I’m back to even that. The viewpoint will remain, of course, focused on urban planning-related issues.
Again, thank you everyone for sticking with me. Hopefully the best is yet to come.
In the most simplistic statistical reading—higher GDP per capita means higher tax revenue means better funded schools means better education—there seems to be some legitimacy to the story’s thesis. I don’t think real life is so simple, however. Unqualified as I am to provide an in-depth critique of the significance of GDP or the relative educational histories of Caribbean nations, I won’t attempt to here. Besides, those things aren’t what interest me. Without questioning the intelligence, honesty, or diligence of the author, I was struck by what I perceived to be a fine example of stuck-in-system thinking.