We hear a lot about “smart growth” in the press, in blogs, and at planning commissions these days. There are folks who support smart growth projects, and folks who don’t. But of course, no one ever couches their opposition to a smart growth project in terms of favoring “dumb growth,” although that’s what they may really be saying, if they thought about it. [Read more]
With Thanksgiving and the holiday season fast approaching, this is perhaps a good time to look ahead to 2018. Specifically, I would like to talk about some events that planners, architects, and landscape architects can look forward to in the new year. Continue Reading Looking Ahead to 2018: Events for Planners
As we are now in the month of November, this is probably a good time to look ahead to 2017. Specifically, I would like to discuss some events that planners, architects, and landscape architects can look forward to in the new year. For those of you who follow my writing, you must know by now that I am a big fan of conferences. As I explained in Rest for the Weary Planner, I see conferences as opportunities to learn, grow, network, and be inspired and/or encouraged. I always return to work from conferences feeling refreshed and more prepared to take on the work that awaits me. In 2016, I was fortunate to be able to attend the APA California Planning Conference in Pasadena, CA. Without further ado, here are twelve conferences and meetings that may be of interest to those of us in the fields of planning, architecture, and landscape architecture:Continue Reading Looking Ahead to 2017: Events for Planners
Wheels are vastly different than legs. Give wheels smooth, wide, straight, and solid turf, and they can reach speeds not even legs attached to a cheetah can reach. This is particularly true when the turf is wide enough to support four wheels connected to a mechanical engine. On the other hand, legs can climb stairs, step over obstacles, negotiate narrow spaces, and take their cargo places wheels can’t go at any speed. Legs can travel a short and straight line where wheels require a lengthy zig-zag route.Continue Reading The Missing Link to Unsprawling: Bipedal Shortcuts
Portland is a planner’s mecca. Or is it? Visitors to the city are treated to postcard worthy scenes of light rail trains, streetcars and even an aerial tram gliding past renovated brick warehouses and gleaming glass towers. But at the regional level the picture is not so perfect.Continue Reading The Commons Concept – A Strategy to Restore Balance to the Portland Region
When I signed on as a contributor to UrbDeZine I promised Bill Adams that I would post at least once a month. I think I’m slightly off schedule. My excuse is that I’m in the middle of a move from Pennsylvania to Colorado and things have been a little bit stressful.
But while I was in Colorado recently searching for a rental house I had a dilemma that seems relevant to this blog’s subject matter – a serious housing crisis in Northern Colorado.Continue Reading Colorado Has a Housing Crisis
While I was a graduate student at UC Berkeley studying architecture, ideas were always buzzing around; at design charrettes, guest lectures and of course, at the dining table. International House, where I lived, was home to residents from eighty countries enrolled in various academic programs. Our insatiable thirst for learning extended to coffee hours and dinner, with enough food for thought to go around.Continue Reading Celebrating Uncharted: The Berkeley Festival of Ideas
The common wisdom is that all the new development, or at least all the interesting development in San Francisco, is South of Market. This of course makes news because it represents a sea change from the prior 100+ years when “south of the slot” was the industrial, working class (or worse) sector of the city.Continue Reading Where grows San Francisco?
An invitation was emailed last week for a ground breaking ceremony to be held on Wednesday Oct. 8, at 10:00 AM for a new Pendry Hotel to replace the parking lot of 5th & J. The invitation was ground breaking in more than one way. This parking lot was the site of one of the most egregious abuses of eminent domain under the California Community Redevelopment Act, and became one of the poster-children of the property rights – anti-eminent domain movement. Many believe it also played a role in Governor Brown’s repeal of the redevelopment law. Continue Reading Parking lot no more at Fifth & J in the Gaslamp Quarter?
A city makes many investments, such as infrastructure improvements, life and safety services, and in their employees. To fund such, cities rely upon new development and construction to fuel its economic generation engine with new jobs, housing, shops, parks, fees, and tax revenues.We have all experienced the difficulties with building new developments in Southern California. It is either too difficult to build something great or too easy to build something terrible. Most city planning departments have to overcome a past of allowing for deplorable new buildings that challenged the character of beloved older communities.Continue Reading The Value of Planning in the Age of Economics.