Category Archives: walkable

The Most Walkable Cities in the World

Lucca, Italy {photo by me} Frommer’s recently came out with their list of the top 10 most walkable cities in the world (check out this article that includes pictures). Lists like this are never exhaustive, so what cities would you add? … Continue reading

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Three Urban Interventions in Two Hours: NYC

Found myself in New York City the other day with a couple hours to spare, so thought I’d explore some of Manhattan’s recent urban planning projects. Two hours turned out to be just enough time to check out the (sort of) newly pedestrianized Times Square, trace the 9th Ave bike lane from 33rd to 20th, walk the length of phase 1 of the High Line, and head back to Port Authority alongside the 8th avenue bike lane.
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Posted in Auto Independence, Bicycles, Dispatches, Food for Thought, Josh Grigsby, Livability, Placemaking, Transportation, urban design, urban planning, walkable, What if? | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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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Posted in architecture, Culture, History, human scale, Josh Grigsby, Rants, technology, thinking, Uncategorized, urban design, urban planning, vernacular architecture, walkable, What if? | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thoughts on Seaside, Sea Change

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.
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Posted in architecture, Auto Independence, Dispatches, human scale, Josh Grigsby, Livability, Placemaking, Uncategorized, urban design, urban planning, walkable, What if? | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

31 Rights-of-Way in Seaside, Florida

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.
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Posted in Culture, Dispatches, human scale, Josh Grigsby, Livability, Placemaking, Transportation, Uncategorized, urban design, urban planning, walkable, What if? | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments