At a large common table at a fave coffee shop early last year, I spied a man alternating between working intensely on his computer, and furiously sketching on a pair of canvas Vans. (Okay, spied is a bit dramatic, he was sitting right across from me!) Honestly, I was mesmerized by his drawings… their color, abstraction and dimension. His focus. His switching between computer work and sketching. I was desperately trying to figure out how to surreptitiously take a photo of the whole thing… but I’m not so good at that. (I always forget the sound is on when I try to take a secret picture… busted!)Continue Reading Cool Freaking Shoes, Publishing, & Third Places
Arts & Culture
Let me begin with a confession. I almost decided not to continue my annual update of Presents for Plannerds which I started in 2013. As my family knows, I have never been much of a shopper, but I thought it would be fun to compile a list of gift ideas for my fellow planners and those who may want to give us presents for Christmas. So I updated the list in 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017. But as December approached this year, Continue Reading Presents for Plannerds: 2018 Edition
(Originally published on the David Prowler Blog on May 16, 2018)
It’s in a bourgeois neighborhood that’s well off the tourist path. It’s small; I’m guessing about 200’ by 500’, ringed by a hodgepodge of stores and dotted with street furniture. Nothing fancy at all, really modest. [Read More]
I find it fascinating that in response to an article about economic development, a male planner felt entirely comfortable telling me that the only thing of value about me is how developed my breasts and vagina are. In fact, he seemed downright proud about that observation, so much so that he signed his email to me with his company logo, telephone number and web address. What precipitated this completely unprofessional sexist email outrage that I quoted exactly in the headline?Continue Reading The only feminist development I’d like to see is on your chest and between your legs…
Thank you to the team at Architectural Concepts, Inc. (www.4designs.com): Plan submittal and corrections. Precious!
Can you believe that it is almost the middle of December already? Well, it is that time of the year again when many of us think about giving and receiving presents. I previously shared some ideas on the perfect gifts for planners, architects, landscape architects, and other related professionals in 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 which have turned out to be a few of my most read articles. I am glad to know that my lists have been helpful (and perhaps entertaining?) to some planners and/or fans of planners. Without further ado, here is my 2017 edition of Presents for Plannerds:Continue Reading Presents for Plannerds: 2017 Edition
A fresh pulpo (octopus) tostada is exotic enough to take anyone’s palette on a journey. I recently had the opportunity to join a group of 15 young land use professionals from San Diego for a day of discovery and delight in our sister city, Tijuana, Mexico, on a hot, dry August afternoon. It begins with the new pedestrian crossing in San Ysidro, which is as sterile and contrasting to the vibrant life beyond as it gets. The long walk down the crossing feels like a transformation, one that is deeply experiential. Once on ‘the other side’, it is clear that a revitalization is underway. There dust in the air from all the construction, as a new wave of entrepreneurs look to transform this young city through creative mixed-use projects, design and cuisine.Continue Reading Three great things happening now in downtown Tijuana, Baja California
Welcome back to the Island of Utopia! Part I began the first installment of a three-article series commemorating the 500th Anniversary of the publishing of St. Thomas More’s classic book, Utopia. In Part I, the word “Utopia” was defined and several of the key geographic features of More’s fictional Island of Utopia were described. In Part II, we’ll delve into the some of the urban design characteristics of Utopian cities.Continue Reading Anecdotes on the Urban Design of Utopia: Part II of III of the Utopia 500th Anniversary Series
The idea for grand pedestrian routes through downtown San Diego is not new. In 1908, John Nolen famously had vision of a Promenade from Balboa Park to San Diego Bay along what is now Cedar Street. Just imagine how that would be today if it had been implemented 100 years ago, with the beautiful County Administration Building at the bottom of the gentle hill from Park to Bay. Sometimes I think ‘so many opportunities lost’ should be San Diego’s motto.
But, in the fertile minds of planners, this idea hasn’t died. Now, they are being called Green Streets, and six are planned for downtown.Continue Reading A New Grand Pedestrian Promenade Through Downtown San Diego?
Who are the homeless of San Diego? Yearly reports from several agencies reveal tragic glimpses of the humans everyone labels home-less. Homelessness has existed since the beginning of History, so I used to be just as jaded and callous as other people who always assumed the lot would always consist of the stereotypes: criminal offenders, the mentally ill, the infirm, addicts and other varieties of outcasts. Continue Reading Urban Street Symbols: Hidden Messages in the Metropolis