Tag Archives: Paris

The World’s Most Beautiful Cities

Since beauty is subjective, we surveyed city specialists from a range of fields, including urban planning, architecture and sustainable development. Respondents include Reynolds and Michael Kaufman, an architect at Chicago-based architectural firm Goettsch Partners, as well as Raymond Levitt, director of the construction program in civil and environmental engineering at Stanford University, Tony McGuirk, an urban designer, architect and chairman of BDP in London, J. Hugh O’Donnell of urban engineering firm MMM International, and Ken Drucker, New York design director of architectural firm HOK.
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Where Everybody Knows Your Name

Sociologist Ray Oldenburg dubbed them Third Places in his 1989 book, The Great Good Place. He wrote that Third Places (not work, not home) are “the heart of a community’s social vitality, the grassroots of democracy.” But in the U.S., he wrote, we’ve almost lost them, as people spend more time in cars, in shopping malls, or at home in front of a screen. Continue reading

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Universal Beauty and the Responsibility of Cities

In chapter eight of Anthony M. Tung’s erudite and impressive Preserving the World’s Great Cities: The Destruction and Renewal of the Historic Metropolis, there is a passage that stopped me in my proverbial tracks and hasn’t left my thoughts since. Tung is writing about Amsterdam at the dawn of the 20th century:

As parts of the inner city became slums and were threatened with clearance, and as picturesque canals were filled in to create new roads and better circulation, elements of the historic environment began to be eliminated. Growing numbers of citizens became alarmed and called for preservation of the historic center. In addition, a new ring of speculative housing began to surround the old metropolis. Numerous Amsterdammers began to ask that the expansion of the city meet a reasonable standard of beauty. Continue reading

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from FASLANYC: Die Mythisch Verloren Stadt!

There’s been a bit of a dust up in the past decade concerning one of the most American of themes- the mythical city of riches! The Ancient City of Z has been profiled again in recent years as new archeological efforts and methods, including aerial photography and satellite imagery, have revealed the existence of sophisticated urban cultures existing in the Amazon river basin for hundreds of years prior to European arrival. Continue reading

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